A weblog (or simply blog) is a website that ‘publishes’ or features articles (which are called ‘blog posts’, ‘posts’, or ‘entries’), written by an individual or a group that make use of any or a combination of the following:
- Straight texts
- Photographs or images (photoblog)
- Video (videoblog)
- Audio files (audioblog)
Usually presented and arranged in reverse chronological order, blogs are essentially used for the following purposes:
- Online journal or a web diary
- Content managament system
- Online publishing platform
A typical blog has the following components:
- Post date -the date and time of the blog entry
- Category – the category that the blog belongs to
- Title – the title of the blog
- Main body – the main content of the blog
- RSS and trackback – links the blog back from other sites
- Comments – commentaries that are added by readers
- Permalinks – the URL of the full article
- Other optional items – calendar, archives, blogrolls, and add-ons or plug-ins
A blog can also have a footer, usually found at the bottom of the blog, that shows the post date, the author, the category, and the ‘stats’ (the nubmer of comments or trackbacks).
There are numerous types of blogs. Some of them are the following:
- Political blog – on news, politics, activism, and other issue based blogs (such as campaigning).
- Personal blog – also known as online diary that may include an individual’s day-to-day experience, complaints, poems, and illicit thoughts, and communications between friends.
- Topical blog – with focus either on a particular niche (function or position) that is usually technical in nature or a local information.
- Health blog – on specific health issues. Medical blog is a major category of health blog that features medical news from health care professionals and/or actual patient cases.
- Literary blog – also known as litblog.
- Travel blog – with focus on a traveler’s stories on a particular journey.
- Research blog – on academic issues such as research notes.
- Legal blog – on law (technical areas) and legal affairs; also known as ‘blawgs’.
- Media blog – focus on falsehoods or inconsistencies in mass media; usually exclusive for a newspaper or a television network.
- Religious blog – on religious topics
- Educational blog – on educational applications, usually written by students and teachers.
- Collaborative or collective blog – a specific topic written by a group of people.
- Directory blog – contains a collection of numerous web sites.
- Business blog – used by entrepreneurs and corporate employees to promote their businesses or talk about their work.
- Personification blog – focus on non-human being or objects (such as dogs).
- Spam blogs – used for promoting affiliated websites; also known as ‘splogs’.
Blogging is typically done on a regular (almost daily) basis. The term “blogging” refers to the act of authoring, maintaining, or adding an article to an existing blog, while the term “blogger” refers to a person or a group who keeps a blog.
Today, more than 3 million blogs can be found in the Internet. This figure is continuously growing, as the availability of various blog software, tools, and other applications make it easier for just about anyone to update or maintain the blog (even those with little or no technical background). Because of this trend, bloggers can now be categorized into 4 main types:
- Personal bloggers – people who focus on a diary or on any topic that an individual feels strongly about.
- Business bloggers – people who focus on promoting products and services.
- Organizational bloggers – people who focus on internal or external communication in an organization or a community.
- Professional bloggers – people who are hired or paid to do blogging.
Problogging (professional blogging) refers to blogging for a profit. Probloggers (professional bloggers) are people who make money from blogging (as an individual blog publisher or a hired blogger).
Below are just some of the many money-making opportunities for probloggers:
- Advertising programs
- RSS advertising
- Affiliate Programs
- Digital assets
- Blog network writing gigs
- Business blog writing gigs
- Non blogging writing gigs
- Flipping blogs
- Consulting and speaking
The following are a few things that you need to consider if you want to be successful in problogging:
- Be patient. Problogging requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention a long-term vision.
- Know your audience. Targeting a specific audience or group is a key to building a readership.
- Be an ‘expert’. Focus on a specific niche topic and strive to be the “go-to” blogger on that topic.
- Diversify. Experiment with various add and affiliate programs that enable you to make money online (aside from blogging).
- Do not bore your readers. Focus on the layout. White spaces, line spacings, and bigger fonts make a blog welcoming to read.
- Certainly, it is possible to earn money from blogs. One just needs to take risks, the passion, and the right attitude in order to be a successful problogger.