What is a Blog?

In our previous post, Setting Up Blogging, we began a brand new series all about blogging with a look at how to set up your blog.

In this post, we continue with our new series by answering the question “what is a blog?”

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What is a Blog?

At its root, a blog is nothing more than an easy way to publish content on the Web. You could argue that blogs are the original social media application. When blogs arose at the tail end of the 90s, they represented freedom for the average person from the tyranny of the techies. No longer did regular folks need to run the gauntlet of people who had to be involved in putting content on the Web, from the Web designers to the developers to the Webmasters. Anyone could easily start a blog and publish their thoughts on the Internet. It was amazing.

Today, in the midst of hundreds of social networking sites, the blog remains the choice for a personal soapbox. As much as you can rant on Facebook, for example, there’s nothing as intimate as your own space to blog. And there is nothing more popular on the Web, with 77 percent of active Internet users reading blogs.[1] According to Nielsen, blogging on mobile phones doubled in 2012.[2]

Even today, the modern blog still resembles the diary-oriented Weblogs of old. Simply put, it’s a log of your thoughts, ideas, links, photos, videos, or news in a series of posts arranged in chronological order. Because of its power and flexibility, the blog can be the cornerstone of your social computing strategy, second in importance only to your main Website.

In fact, we recommend making a blog the centerpiece of your social media strategy. Whether the blog is on your existing site or on one of the blog hosting platforms we detail later, of all the types of social media, the blog offers you an opportunity to state your case with the fewest restrictions. You’re not limited by Twitter’s 140 characters or by the length of a Facebook or LinkedIn status update. While it’s not a good idea to routinely go on at great length, with a blog you have the opportunity to develop a theme or an argument that other venues rarely provide.

So do your work here, in your blog. And link to your blog from everywhere, as we discussed in the Triangulate Your Social Media Presence post. Don’t be discouraged by the tens of millions of competitive blogs out there. Make your blog the place you state your case, and most intimately engage with your community. If you offer value — resources, insights, encouragement — and effectively engage your community, your blog can be a hit.

Next up: Blogging Glossary

What is a Blog? is the 142nd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 375. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

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—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

[1] The Future Buzz’s article Social Media, Web 2.0 And Internet Stats: bit.ly/b4o8bO

[2] Nielsen’s Social Media Report 2012: Social Media Comes of Age bit.ly/10gYpti