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If you’re confused about what is a blog, what kind of blogs exist, and how blogs can be successful, you’ve come to the right place.
I also didn’t truly understand what blogging was when I first started. In fact, I didn’t even call myself a “blogger” for the first several months.
I just thought that I had a health and fitness “website” that I was trying to make money from.
It wasn’t until I got deeper down the rabbit hole of writing articles while trying to earn some money that I learned more about what is a blog and how it related to my own website.
Understanding what blogging really is crucial to unlocking the potential of a blog’s success.
I’ve since built a few of my own blogs and monetized them in a variety of ways, so I’m here to help break down some of this information for you.
First, let’s start with the basics: What is a blog?
Definition of Blogging: What is a Blog?
The term “blog” comes from a combination of two words – “web” and “log.”
In real terms, a blog is a website or portion of a website made up of a collection of articles. You are reading a blog right now.
A blog’s main purpose is usually to provide information for readers on a certain topic.
The definition of a blogger is simply someone that owns or writes for a blog.
The much more interesting truth is that blogging is a fun and mentally-charging form of creative expression. It’s taking your unique thoughts and your unique writing style and mashing those two things together in the form of written expression.
Blog writing really can be introspective, fun, exciting, mind-numbing, emotional, relaxed, or whatever you decide for it to be.
What is the Difference Between a Blog and a Website?
All blogs are websites but not all websites are blogs. Let me explain.
A blog is a website in which the primary purpose of the entire website is to post content in the form of articles.
A good example is Avocadu, which shares health and wellness blog posts. This website also sells products, but they use their articles as a driver to sell those products.
Any website can have a blog on it, but you would call it a website when the blog portion is not the primary feature (i.e. a website selling software – the product is the main feature).
Let’s look at the website for ConvertKit, a software company that sells email marketing software, as an example of a website that is not a blog but has one.
On their website, they sell email marketing services. That is their primary product and the primary purpose of their website.
On the menu of their website, they also have a link to a web page for their blog that they use to help inform and educate readers about their product.
Another great example would be a hairstylist that has a website with a few articles on how to style or treat hair. Their primary service is hairstyling and their website functions to bring in new clients to them, but they don’t spend the majority of their time writing articles about this topic.
What is a Blog Used For?
When you’re looking to answer the question of ‘what is a blog,’ it’s important to understand what blogs are used for.
Blogs can exist for a variety of reasons. A few of the most common reasons include to:
- Educate Others
- Build an Online Business
- Brand Awareness
- Rank in Search Engines
Blogs also often have more than one purpose and can technically exist to satisfy all of these purposes.
Education and Information
The primary purpose of the vast majority of blogs is to provide informational content designed to educate readers about a particular topic.
Many blogs that sell products and services also share informational blog posts related to the topics of their products to help educate consumers more on why their products are necessary or what they should consider when buying their products.
For example, a website selling skincare products might write articles about why good skin care is important or why you might need (or avoid) certain skincare ingredients to help their consumers make educated decisions.
This is especially important if there is a need to spread awareness about topics that are not as well known to the average consumer.
Other bloggers that have non-profit websites share information solely to educate and not to sell.
Build an Online Business
Some blogs are used primarily as a means to advertise a personal brand or sell products or services. For example, this blog exists primarily to sell online blogging courses.
We share blog posts on various topics such as content writing, earning money, and business growth, but these articles are created as a means to educate our readers about our products and ultimately drive traffic to affiliates and our courses.
Many niche blogs are also turned into businesses selling products such as eBooks, courses, coaching, and more because bloggers need a way to monetize their blog posts and earn money for a living.
A few other common examples of why people start blogging as a business:
- Starting a travel blog to document and finance your travels
- Starting a lifestyle blog to show off and finance your fashion addiction are examples
- Creating a food blog because you’re a stay-at-home mom cooking every day anyway
Blog content can be used to help a company increase brand awareness around certain topics or products relating to the company.
Canva, a popular design software, is a great example of a website that uses its blog to increase brand awareness.
The website does have a blog, but it’s not very prominent or easy to find because this isn’t the primary purpose of the website.
Their blog is used to help customers and potential customers understand and use their products better. In fact, it’s set up as a place to “Learn” on their website.
Rank in Search Engines
Some websites create blogs to help their websites rank in search engines like Google. This really goes hand-in-hand with brand awareness because the search traffic is what creates that brand awareness.
Continuing with our Canva example, their blog post on “Mother’s Day Quotes” is full of Canva templates specifically for Mother’s Day.
This informative article has the potential to rank in search for this keyword and bring in new traffic that can help people discover how to use this tool to share their favorite quotes on Mother’s Day.
7 Main Types of Blogs
Now, let’s break down the specifics of the different types of blogs to help you understand what is a blog and how they can function.
Here are the main types of blogs that exist on the internet:
- Personal Blog or Hobby Blog
- Niche Blog
- Business or Corporate Blog
- Political and News Blogs
- Media Publishers or Multimedia Blogs
- Affiliate Marketing Blogs
- Review and Opinion Blogs
Let’s dive a little deeper into these different types of blogs.
1. Personal Blog or Hobby Blog
A personal or hobby blog is primarily used to document someone’s thoughts, opinions, experiences, and other personal matters of interest. Some refer to it more like an online diary.
Blogging in this way is usually more information in nature and provides readers with insight into the creator’s life or hobbies.
They can be in a variety of niches or topics, such as travel, photography, music, and arts and crafts. Some bloggers also use their personal or hobby blog to promote their professional skills or services.
The biggest indicator for personal blogs is that it’s usually not monetized in any way.
2. Niche Blog
A niche blog typically focuses on very specific topics and activities. It is usually aimed at a narrow audience and covers topics in-depth.
Niche blogs focus on a particular subject and are generally the most popular types of blogs. They can cover all kinds of topics, including technology, food, fashion, travel, music, health, lifestyle, sports, gaming, etc.
The blog you are reading right now is a niche blog in the online business and blogging niche.
Choosing a niche for your blog is an important decision because it can often (not always) determine how much success you will have.
3. Business (Corporate) Blog
A business blog usually exists to promote and increase visibility for a business or company.
A blog for a company is often used as an additional marketing channel to reach potential customers, build brand awareness, and create relationships with existing customers.
Business blogs typically feature blog posts such as product announcements, industry insights, trend analyses, customer success stories, expert interviews, and more.
4. Political and News Blogs
We’re grouping these two together because political sites often share news-related information as well.
As you can guess, these types of websites usually share news, political information, and other local or global content that is relevant.
For example, Sustainability Magazine publishes news-related content about sustainability in particular.
5. Media Publishers or Multimedia Blogs
Media publishers and multimedia blogs are generally known for having multiple authors that publish on a variety of topics multiple times a day.
These website are usually large and have entire teams of content and freelance writers working behind the scenes to give you new and trending content around the clock.
A reverse blog is another term for this type of blog because rather than the blog owner writing all of the blog posts, other bloggers write the content. They are also called group blogs.
6. Affiliate Marketing Blogs
Technically, affiliate marketing blogs can also be niche blogs, but we felt like they deserved their own category because many of them exist solely for the purpose of earning affiliate marketing revenue.
Some blogs exist solely to create reviews and promotional content around affiliate products to earn a commission from recommendations and purchases.
Wirecutter is a great example of a website that primarily shares a ton of content with affiliate links.
Many lifestyle blogs and beauty blogs are also heavily invested in affiliate marketing practices.
7. Review and Opinion Blogs
Finally, we have review and opinion blogs. While product reviews also relate to affiliate marketing blogging, we’re talking about sites more like movie and book reviews in this category, like Metacritic and Goodreads.
There are also blogs like Stereogum that share a lot of interviews and opinion pieces.
What Kind of Blog Should I Start?
As you can see, there are a lot of different types of blogs that serve a variety of purposes. It’s really up to you to decide what kind you want to start based on where your interests lie.
If you want to earn an income, starting with a niche blog on a particular topic that interests you is probably the best place to start flexibly.
With a niche blog (like this one), you have a variety of options to monetize and many different directions that you can go.
Keep reading to learn more about how to make money blogging because that will also help you decide what direction you might want to go in
How Do Blogs Make Money?
Another key factor to really understanding what a blog is – is to learn how they earn money.
It takes a lot of work to write a new blog post multiple times a week, evening with the AI writing tools that we have on the market today.
Blog owners have to get paid somehow, so let’s explore monetization in more depth here.
In addition to the different types of ways to make money blogging outlined below, know that it’s also quite common for bloggers to take on side hustles or other blogging jobs to supplement their income.
The methods below are not the only ways to make money with a blog but they are by far the most popular and successful.
Ads are one of the most popular and easiest ways for blogs to make money. Blogs can monetize their websites by displaying ads from third-party ad networks, such as Google Adsense, Mediavine, and Ezoic.
These ad networks will place relevant ads on your blog in return for a share of the revenue generated from each click.
Ads are a great way to make money passively and don’t take much effort, but the downside is that many users find them intrusive and distracting. They make your website look bad and many people use adblockers on their browsers to prevent ads from being displayed anyway.
Ads can still be very effective but the key to earning decent money with ads is to have a lot of traffic.
As mentioned earlier, bloggers can sign up with affiliate networks to promote products or services in exchange for a commission on any sales they generate.
This is a great way to make money blogging without having to take the time to create your own products and services.
Affiliate marketing is generally the most successful when you create a strategy that focuses on a few, higher-paying affiliate programs or when you have a broader approach but a lot more website traffic.
Popular affiliate-focused articles include software comparisons and reviews, for example:
Sponsored Posts and Content
Other websites generate income through sponsored content, which is essentially just a blog post that you get paid to publish on your website.
Bloggers often partner with brands and organizations to publish content that promotes their products or services.
This kind of blog post is usually paid upfront and can be a great way to make money provided it’s in line with the topics your audience is interested in.
It’s important to disclose any sponsored content so readers know which content has been generated for payment.
In order to make money with sponsored content, you generally have to have a larger audience and a page that displays important metrics about your audience (i.e. Avocadu’s Advertise page).
Selling Products and Services
Finally, one of the best ways to earn a significant income is through creating and selling your own products and services.
This can involve digital products such as online courses, eBooks, and coaching or physical products that are usually sold on eCommerce platforms.
There are tons of online learning platforms on the market that will help you put together your product and design beautiful landing pages to help sell it.
Selling on Facebook and Instagram is also pretty popular and can be another way that bloggers share their products, especially with the help of paid advertisements.
What Makes a Blog Successful?
There are a lot of ways that you can be successful and it really boils down to what the purpose of your blog is.
One of the best ways to create a successful blog from the start is to create a business plan for your blog. This will help you determine:
- What the overall purpose is (mission statement)
- What kind of content you want to create (editorial calendar)
- How you plan to promote your blog (traffic)
- How you will monetize (success)
And more… Establishing SMART goals from the beginning will also help you set reasonable deadlines and identify key metrics to track your progress along the way.
When you’re building your foundation, it’s also important to get set up with the right blogging platform (website builder) and hosting service.
This will ensure that you have access to the right plugins and customizations as well as optimal site security and backups in place.
Content and Target Market
A blog’s success is also often determined by how well the blogger creates content and how well that content speaks to its target audience.
Anyone can throw up information on the internet these days. It’s not that hard. But this doesn’t usually attract customers.
Creating content that builds trust, relationships, and deeper connections — that’s where the magic happens.
In order to figure out who your target audience is, you generally need to narrow down your niche a bit in order to make sure that you’re reaching a more specific subset of people.
If you try to speak to everyone, you will end up reaching no one.
Consider who your target audience is and what kind of content will resonate best with them.
When you’re thinking about your target market and what kind of content to create, you also need to keep in mind where your people spend their time.
Building an online community for your audience is a key factor for success for many bloggers.
If you’re trying to reach Boomers, maybe consider optimizing your blog for Google SEO and reaching them through search engine results.
Whether you’re trying to start a YouTube channel, drive Pinterest to your blog posts, or any other combination of the above social media platforms, just make sure that you research your competition and create a focused strategy.
You don’t have to drive a lot of web traffic to be successful, but your traffic should be purpose-driven and targeted.
This is the best way to attract visitors, drive audience engagement, and make sales.
Finally, monetization is an easy measure of success for many people. How much money can you actually make blogging?
Most blogs make absolutely nothing, but many successful blogs also make anywhere from $5,000 – over $100,000/month.
The level of success in your hands and blogging success can be a fickle and slippery thing to catch hold of (and stay holding on).
Many people wonder if blogging is already dead and the simple answer is absolutely not.
The more complicated answer is that the blogging world is constantly changing and evolving and if you want to hold on to your success, you must change and evolve with it.
One year, Pinterest has explosive growth. The next year, you might need to think of starting a podcast. The next, you may have to think about video content.
Blogging is a constant hustle and while this may sound a bit exhausting and it certainly can be, the rewards can also be beyond anything you’ve ever dreamed of.
We have personally earned over $200,000 in a single month with this blog, but we have also had months after that where we’ve fallen greatly from that number.
There are highs and lows and everything in between, but that makes the journey so much more exciting!
Why All Websites Should Have a Blog
Having a blog on your website is one of the most effective ways to drive more traffic, establish trust with potential customers, and create a lasting impact on your industry.
It allows you to create content that can touch the personal lives of your customers and provides them with valuable information about your company’s products and services.
This content can be shared in the form of articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, or any other medium that provides an engaging experience for the reader or viewer.
A blog also serves as an excellent platform for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes; as blogs provide quality content for search engines to crawl and index. This can result in higher ranking in search engine results, more visitors, and quality leads.
It will also help you create a stronger connection with your current customers. By giving them fresh and interesting content on a regular basis, they will keep coming back to find out more about what’s new within your company.
Finally, blogging can help you stay ahead of the competition by providing timely information about industry trends and news.
By staying up-to-date on what’s happening in the market and making sure you’re ahead of the game, you can ensure that you remain competitive in the ever-changing landscape of business.
Overall, all websites should have a blog because of the numerous benefits that they provide!
Key Pages to Include on a Blog
When setting up a blog, it’s important to include the right key web pages. These pages will help ensure that your content is organized, easily accessible to readers, and that you have an effective way to monetize your blog.
The most essential page to include on your blog is the home page. This page should give a brief overview of what your blog is about and draw readers in with compelling visuals and/or headlines. Your navigation bar should also be prominent here and present visitors with easy access to all other areas of the site.
Another important page to add is an ‘About’ page. This page should provide detailed information about yourself and the purpose of your blog.
It should also explain why readers should trust you as a source for this content, so don’t forget to include testimonials from satisfied customers or links to respected sites where you’ve been featured or published.
A ‘Contact’ page is also essential as it gives visitors a direct way of getting in touch with you if they would like more information or have queries about something they read on your site.
Make sure it contains all relevant contact details such as an email address, physical address (if applicable), social media accounts, and phone number (if applicable).
Archive or ‘Blog’ Page
Your website should also contain an ‘Archive’ or ‘Blog page, which displays the full list of individual posts in reverse chronological order along with categories and tags that make it easier for users to find relevant articles quickly and easily.
You can also use this page as a platform for displaying related posts or further reading options in order to improve user engagement with your blog content.
Finally, no blogger can do without a good set of legal pages.
Having legal pages is essential for protecting both the content creator and visitors of the website.
If you are selling affiliate products or other products for a commission on your website, you will also need appropriate affiliate disclaimers on your website.
How to Start Your Own Blog
The best part about starting your own blog is that you can do it very affordably and in 30 minutes or less.
We have a complete guide on how to start a blog that will walk you through all of the setup steps, including:
- Choosing a niche and name
- Setup with a hosting plan
- Blog design
- How to write your first blog post
- How to start learning money, and more!
The post also includes a discount on hosting! Click here to start your own blog today!
What is a Blog FAQ
Below are some frequently asked questions related to what is a blog.
What is a blog and how does it work?
A blog is a type of website that contains regularly updated content, typically written in an informal or conversational style. Blogs can be used to disseminate information, opinions, entertainment, and other forms of mainstream media. Bloggers often post articles, photos, videos, and audio recordings on their blogs to share with their readers.
What is an example of a blog?
An example of a blog can range from an individual’s own thoughts and opinions to a corporate or entertainment outlet. For example, an individual might post about their personal experiences, lifestyle tips, or interesting facts. A corporate blog may discuss the latest industry trends, product updates, and customer stories. Examples of popular blogs include lifestyle and fashion blogs, food blogs, travel blogs, and DIY blogs.
What is the purpose of a blog?
Blogs can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Personal documentation and journaling (hobby blogs),
- Creative expression
- Teaching and coaching others
- Selling products
- Promoting brands
The beauty of blogging is that you can use your blog for whatever purpose you want.
How do bloggers make money?
Bloggers can make money in a variety of ways, including with ads, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and through selling their own products and services. Some methods, such as ads and affiliate marketing, are more passive, while others such as selling online courses and coaching services require a lot more effort. The best way to earn money with a blog is to diversify with a variety of monetization methods.