It's like a diary.. but for everyone? 🤔

A blog is a regularly updated online journal, informational publication, or other professional or personal ‘log’ of information. A university student named Justin Hall is credited with creating the web’s first log back in 1994.

The word ‘blog’ is a shortened version of the now less-common term ‘weblog’ – a log on the web. The first use of the term ‘blog’ was on programmer Peter Merholz’ personal blog in 1999, where he jokingly split the word ‘weblog’ up into ‘we blog’ for his site’s sidebar.

Some blogs may simply be the writer’s personal accounts, opinions, and life updates. In fact, this was the original conceit of a blog – an online diary, of sorts. These personal blogs still exist, and sometimes the line between a professional and personal blog can be blurred, especially on blogs dedicated to cooking, crafting, travel, and general lifestyle topics. Additionally, the social media website Tumblr refers to individual user accounts as ‘blogs’.

On the other hand, professional blogs, run by a business or brand, house informational articles meant to answer questions their target audiences has, provide advice and inspiration, offer company news and updates, and give suggestions on ways their products can be used. Of course, a blog is also an excellent opportunity to show expertise, keep a site updated regularly, make use of target keywords, and prove expertise to Google’s algorithm.

What does a blog look like?

A blog’s landing page will usually include every blog post that’s live on the site, sorted in reverse chronological order, leaving the newest posts at the top. Some sites will have important posts pinned to the top for quick reference.

From there, most blogs are divided into categories. This allows a browsing reader to more easily find a post that is suited to their needs or interests.

When a blog post is selected, it will follow a sort of ‘essay’ format much of the time. There will be an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. For a professional blog, these sections will be divided using H2-H6 headings. Not only does this help those who might prefer to skim, but it also helps web crawlers identify the purpose and content of a page.

Blogs may also make use of tables, bulleted lists, infographics, and photographs.

Should your site have a blog?

If you want to start a personal blog recounting your life, days, and opinions, go for it! Even if you have no intention of monetizing it, journaling can still be fun and mentally rewarding.

For businesses, though, it’s hard to deny how useful a blog can be for driving traffic to a site. A product page, about, and homepage can only attract so much traffic on a site that’s still starting out. While they’re essential for people who already know about a product or service, they won’t do as well at pulling in new leads. That’s where the search queries answered by a blog post come in.

On top of attracting new leads, a blog is also a place to cultivate an online presence and engage with an audience.

(If you’d like an example of a blog, why not take a look at ours?)

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