What is a blog and what differentiates it from a web page 2023
if you wanted to have a quick definition of what a blog is, the definition above sums up all the essentials. But you should know that blogging is much more than that.
The concept first appeared in the mid-1990s as a kind of personal blog that the authors practically used as a personal diary exposed to the public on the Internet.
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But things have evolved a lot since then. It has been discovered, for example, that they serve as very powerful digital marketing tools, so much so that they have led to a revolution in the professional world by democratizing access to business on the Internet.
This same blog, Godaddy 2.0, is a perfect example: I founded it in 2011 as a mere hobby, an outreach site on topics that I liked, with some perspective also of generating income via advertising, but without expecting much more than a modest extra help per month.
5 years after it was founded (in 2016), the blog had evolved in such a way that it had become (along with other websites that followed later) into a family business owned by my wife Raquel and I: Wenova Online, SL
What is a blog for, what is it done for, and what characterizes it?
Have I captured your interest with this example? Well, let’s talk now about the aspects that make a blog a blog, what it is for, and how it can be taken to a point like our case.
What is the difference between a blog and a web page?
Many people wonder what the difference is between a blog and a website.
Well, what you should be clear about is that a blog is not something different as such, it is just another web page, but with some specific characteristics, functionalities that are what make it a blog itself.
These functionalities are implemented in web applications or platforms (software that is installed on a web server) and cloud services such as Blogger or WordPress that, thanks to this, make blog creation quite simple and fast.
But, in addition, the most important, Blogger and WordPress, are free, a fundamental reason for the tremendous success of these platforms. Based on WordPress alone (the leader) there are at least 25 million websites on record at this time.
In addition, these platforms are not used exclusively to create blogs, they are used for practically any website of low or medium complexity. So much so that there are even big brands like Sony or Walt Disney whose websites are based on WordPress.
Well, what is it then that makes a blog a blog? Let’s see it:
Blogs publish content on a regular basis, similar to a traditional magazine that publishes new issues every X time. Blogs that value themselves try to be rigorous with this by publishing with a fixed periodicity of, typically, one or several times a week.
The blogging platforms include feed functionality that allows feed readers such as Feedly to easily keep up-to-date with all the blogs they follow at a glance.
Interaction with readers and community
Blogs were one of the first websites, if not the first, that, through comments, introduced the possibility of interacting directly with the author and other readers.
This produced a feeling of closeness between them and with it a previously unknown experience for readers that have been very successful and have inspired web 2.0. It was the basis for developing ideas based on that concept, such as social media.
On the other hand, I forged the concept of the web community, a group of people who follow the blog in question, forming the community of followers with a group identity that is articulated around the common interests reflected in the blog’s theme, etc.
The strong informal and personal touch
Within this spirit of seeking closeness with followers, a more informal deal with readers is also logical. This is reflected, for example, in that the norm is to talk about “you” to your readers.
In a good blog, in short, you should always look for an environment similar to that of a group of friends. So much so that even many of the well-made corporate blogs also maintain that style of communication on their blogs.
The posts (entries) and pages of the blogs
Along with blogs, the concept of “post” was also introduced, which has later been taken to other areas such as, for example, social networks.
A post, entry, or article is the content par excellence in a blog, they are the pages of new content that a blog publishes periodically every X time. All blogs have a page with a list of their posts.
Examples of this would be product and service pages or pages such as “About”, “ Legal notice ” or “Contact”. These pages articulate the basic structure of the site. While the posts are that “trail” of new content that makes a blog a fresh and dynamic site.
Organization of content by categories and tags
A last very characteristic point of blogs is the organization of their content by categories and tags.
It is normal for a blog, after a few years, to accumulate hundreds of posts. Such an amount of content requires some organization, which is what blogging categories and tags have been invented for.
The categories with a division of coarse grain content should be consistent with the theme. Theirs is that there are few categories, as a general rule, no more than ten, less if possible.
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A blog can be a simple hobby or a powerful professional tool
Along with the ability to connect with readers, another of the most important aspects of a blog is its enormous versatility. And I do not mean so much the theme, but what to use it for.
This, in reality, is due to the very concept of a website, which allows certain information to be spread potentially to millions of people.
By now on the web, we are already very used to it, but we must remember how absolutely revolutionary this fact was when back in the year 95, more or less, the Internet began to reach homes around the world.
The most important contribution of blogs (from their platforms such as Blogger or WordPress) was to make the creation of a website something free and very simple, available to everyone.
Why Blogs Work So Well In Digital Marketing
The great professional potential of blogs basically lies in the fact that they are, by their very nature, an ideal marketing tool.
Blogs make possible, and in a very simple way, what Seth Godin considered was the ideal way of doing marketing, the “permission marketing” and that has now evolved towards the concept of inbound marketing :
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This is so for several reasons: first, they allow to attract in a natural way (not forced and intrusive as in advertising) an audience with an interest in a certain topic through search engines and other sources of traffic (social networks, etc.).
But, in addition, powerful platforms such as WordPress, together with email marketing tools such as Mailrelay (which also have free options) have the tools to retain those readers who have come to your website and get their contact (email).
To attract this audience we simply have to create and publish content of value for these people and position them on Google (along with other actions such as publications on social networks, for example).
And this is where the real challenge lies: in creating content of this quality and being able to position it on Google. But both are more a matter of personal capacity and work than economic because the tools are practically free. And the knowledge of how to do all this is also out there for free, on websites like this blog.
Therefore, if you want to use it like this, a blog can be a powerful tool that gradually generates a qualified customer base (customers selected by their interests), in autopilot mode and at practically zero cost.
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And wouldn’t it be better to create a YouTube channel?
In recent years, as a content platform, YouTube has overshadowed blogs. Now, it is cooler to have a YouTube channel than a blog.
And it makes perfect sense: Most people find videos more engaging than the text and numbers around YouTube with YouTubers boasting tens of millions of followers subscribed to their channel or the more than 5 billion videos viewed per day. they are overwhelming. These are figures that the best blogs can only dream of.
In fact, I highly recommend creating your own YouTube channel. Here you can learn how to do it:
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But beware: things are not as obvious as it may seem at first glance and now automatically discarding a blog in favor of a YouTube channel without further consideration would be a serious mistake. You should always have your own website and a blog is the simplest formula.
Here are some important points to ponder:
In the first place, leaving blogs for the dead would be as if in the 1920s (when TV was invented) people had thought that in a few years books would disappear. It does not make sense, they are very different media and both have their space.
However, the above does not mean that the “competition” is not noticed. For example: in many blogs, the visits have even improved, the time spent on the pages has clearly shortened. And the thing is that time is finite and you have to distribute it …
But even more important as a criterion in your decisions I consider this aspect: on YouTube and any other platform that is owned by a third party (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) you are completely captive. They have you by the neck.
This is reflected in many aspects, the most important, that you do not have real contact with your followers. You have “followers” or “subscribers”, yes, but you do not have a real contact like a simple email, that data is saved to the platform for her.
Something as simple as communicating something to all your followers you cannot do. Even when publishing new content, all platforms, including YouTube, severely limit organic reach (followers to reach). You only reach a fraction of your total audience.
If your YouTube channel is nothing more than a hobby, this may not be too tragic, but if you intend to turn it into a business (if only to generate a little extra per month), things change a lot.
In this case, you have to be very clear that the greatest asset of your business is these people who follow you. If you want to get the potential out of your business, you need their contact yes or yes.
The only way to guarantee this is to have your own website, that is, that the platform is yours, managed by you, with your own domain and on your own hosting, such as, for example, a WordPress blog with hosting.
Here you can set up the capture of leads in conditions and everything else that is needed to really have the contact of your followers and, as we saw, except for hosting (which will not cost you much more than around € 5 per month), you can do all this for free.
Am I saying that a YouTube channel is a bad option?
Not at all, a YouTube channel is something very powerful and highly recommended.
But my advice is that, sooner or later, you accompany that channel with a blog with hosting (which is its own platform) and a mailing list that allows you to counteract the captivity to which you are subjected to being on a third-party platform where control is they have them and not you.
And if you already have a YouTube channel and these reflections have made you worry, calm down, do not panic: you are in time to correct the situation.
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There are effective strategies to bring at least a large part of your channel followers to a mailing list that I explain in the YouTube post just above this paragraph.
What types of blogs exist and what are their characteristics
Let’s see then what are the types of blogs that exist so you can see if any of them can fit you.
Personal blogs are just that: personal. They are blogs in which the author talks about the topics that interest him, his experience, his day-to-day life, political issues, and other personal concerns, etc.
The first blogs were practically all personal because the very concept of a blog was conceived that way then, a kind of private diary open to the public.
My recommendation here is that if dumping this type of content in public really satisfies and motivates you to carry out the daily work that a blog entails, fine, but keep in mind that, unless you are already a famous person, these blogs have it difficult to achieve success.
The reason for this is that these types of blogs have very little potential to reach a large audience (which is what allows you to do “powerful” things), after all, if you are not a well-known person, there will be few people to the one that interests your life. It’s kind of cold to say it like that, but it is.
Professional and personal brand blog
Over time, bloggers began to realize one thing that is actually basic common sense: they were much more successful with content that interested others than with content focused on their own person.
But, in addition, they discovered that all this entailed a very positive and very powerful “side effect”: publishing useful content on a certain topic generated a reputation for the author of that content on that subject.
This is how blogs were discovered as the ideal tool to create a solid personal brand, in less time and with less effort than by traditional means (lectures, book publishing, etc.):
In a situation of excess of professionals, it is vital to differentiate yourself to survive, creating a personal brand is the best way to do it.
Applied all this to topics related to your profession or your business, the blog becomes an excellent professional tool to promote your career, improve your employability or support your business.
With the rise of YouTube, the same is very true also for YouTube, so much so that it works even better for this because being visual produces more closeness with the author and therefore has more potential for connection ( “engagement” ) than a blog.
How could it be otherwise, companies realized what was happening with blogs and also wanted their “piece of the cake. ” So blog sections started popping up on corporate websites like mushrooms.
But many companies, I would say that the majority, did it really badly: they put a blog, with minimal effort, trivial content that does not add value and often updated only from Easter to Ramos.
This perfectly reflects what happens so many times in corporate environments they see a phenomenon, they are going to exploit it, but they do it quickly, superficially and without really understanding “what it is about”. The result: a bunch of corporate blogs that nobody cares about.
My recommendation: if you have a company, that you know that a blog on a company website runs well, it works. But as in the case of individual authors, it must be carried out with affection, making an effort to add value to the content, taking care of the relationship with the readers, and maintaining total discipline in the periodicity of the publications.
Blogs and niche websites
The last variant that many people have discovered as an opportunity for a small business is websites, websites that are often blogs or are built with blogging platforms.
We could be talking, within the health and fitness world, in a yoga blog, for example, or, within the gardening world, for example, in a blog specialized in the bonsai world.
From this visibility, there are many formulas to make these types of sites a source of income, from passive income formulas such as affiliate marketing to traditional formulas such as the provision of professional services.
Here you can learn which ones exist and how they are implemented:
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Examples of successful blogs and ideas of what to do
We have conducted many interviews with bloggers on Citizen 2.0. As the intention of these interviews is to inspire you with the success of these blogs and with the ideas that they can give you, the condition to be interviewed has been to generate, at least, an income of € 300 per month.
It may seem like a very modest figure to talk about “success”, but, apart from seeing that it is a success to get this extra income with an activity that you like, it has been very intentional to keep your feet on the ground, not to mention the ” mega-hits ”, cases that are not usually realistic as a goal and with which it is difficult to connect.
All these cases can be found in the success stories area of our VIP Zone, our free membership site for blog subscribers.
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