Beginner's Guide

What is a Blog and How Does It Work? (Explained)

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What is a Blog and How Does it Work?

Do you want to know what is a blog and how does it work? You have come to the right place.

You probably have landed on many blog sites and read tons of articles too. Although blog sites surround us in all time, plenty of people still don’t understand what blog actually is and the working of blogs.

If you’re one of them that wants to know about blogs, then right now is the perfect time for you to learn and even start your own. And, we’ll help you with that!

We’ll be explaining what a blog is, how it works, and everything you need to know about blogging in this article. So, stay buckled up and start learning.

A) What is a Blog? – Definition

Blog, shortened from a weblog, is an online journal like a website covering many different topics by a writer or a group of writers. In other words, it’s a type of simple website comprising articles and stories mainly, on a specific subject or niche.

What is a Blog Introduction
Introducing What is a Blog

For example, the website you’re currently viewing ‘www.sitesaga.com‘ is also a blog and you’re reading a blog article. You can explore various parts of this site, you can find articles containing information about ‘websites and blogs’.

Blogs started as more of a personal online diary or simply a log of people’s lives that they shared online. People wrote about their daily life, shared that online with internet users, and started it as a creative playground.

Even today, personal blogs are very popular. For example, ‘www.gatesnotes.com‘ is a personal blog of business magnate Bill Gates.

Gates Notes Personal Blogs
Gates Notes (Example of Personal Blog)

Although started as a very personal outlet for individuals, it became a widely used medium for sharing information and people’s views on different topics. This turned the online diary into what we now know as a blog.

Nowadays, people prominently use blogs as a means of sharing information, marketing products, and entertaining people. Many organizations, companies, and business owners keep blogs as a way to promote their services and products.


B) What is the Purpose of a Blog?

You now know what a blog is, but what’s the purpose of starting a blog? Well, there can be many different reasons to start blogging.

You can not only start blogging to express your creativity and write your stories but also for marketing your products and services. It can be in any way that you desire.

Blog for Marketing
Blog for Marketing

Evolving from a personal diary to be a major form of digital marketing; from writing about daily life events to writing about products and services about a company, people use blogs for many different tasks.

Hence, there’re broadly 2 purposes of blog:

  1. To Share Your Stories, Ideas, Opinions, Creativity With Others (Personal Blog)
  2. To Share Information About Some Products With the Intention of Marketing and Generating Revenue (Business Blog)

With a personal blog, you can connect with your target audience. It always acts as a medium between you and your audience to get to know each other, share ideas, and communicate on your content.

On the other hand, a business blog allows you to promote some products, help with marketing, and even make money online.

How to Use a Blog for Marketing Your Business?

From a business point of view, blogs are often used for marketing the products and services offered by a business. With blogs, you can:

  • Educate more and more consumers about the products and services,
  • Persuade them to buy your products,
  • And grow your sales.

For example, this is a marketing blog from Namecheap.com. Namecheap is a business that provides domain registration services. This business has a blog which the company uses to do marketing of the products and to communicate with their customers.

Namecheap Blog (Example of a Marketing Blog for Business)
Namecheap Blog (Example of a Marketing Blog for Business)

In the same manner, many companies and organizations have utilized the opportunity that blogs have provided them. Blogs help increase the worth of their product and act as a great marketing tool. It also helps increase the company’s exposure.

One important thing to note about this blog is that it’s not a separate website itself, but a part of the main website ‘www.namecheap.com‘. They have built this blog as a subdirectory or subfolder of the main website which we can access at ‘www.namecheap.com/blog/‘.

Similarly, other businesses also create a blog section on their site and promote their goods and services.

There’s yet another type of business blogs ‘affiliate marketing blogs’ where bloggers will promote others’ products for commission money.

Should You Start a Business Blog or a Personal Blog?

Although there has been a trend of more business blogs and creating blogs in general lately, you can still create a personal blog and share your life experiences. In fact, there’re still many blogs that focus on creativity rather than the promotion of products.

Depending on the purpose of your blogs, you can create different types of blogs. You:

  • Have a desire to log your daily life? – Start a personal blog.
  • Have a company and you want to talk about your products? – Create a business blog and promote your products. 
  • Love traveling and want to share your experience with others? – Build a travel blog and share your travel stories.

For more information, see our detailed article on types of blogs.

You have a good understanding of what a blog is and what a blog is used for. You may want to know how to start a blog. Don’t worry, we’ll dive into it.


C) How Does a Blog Work? (Explained)

Blogs consist of various types of articles or posts created by a group of bloggers or an individual. The main attractions of your blogs are the quality content and informative articles you post.

Although the appearance of blogs has changed a lot over time, the basic structure has remained the same. Blogs have your recent post first, followed by the old one in reverse chronological order.

Blog Structure
Blog Structure

The basic structure is:

  • Header: This is where the navigation bar and menu are present.
  • Main Content: This contains the latest blog posts and basically what the viewer visits for.
  • Comment Section: Generally within blog posts, this section is where people can interact and give feedback to the authors.
  • Sidebar: This is where you can place some of the widgets to provide additional information.
  • Footer: Bloggers often put relevant links like the disclaimer, privacy policies, etc. here.

The most crucial part of the whole blog is the main content, where all the blog posts are made.

So, What are Blog Posts?

The blog posts are the articles containing the information that the viewer has come for. In other words, all the articles that the author makes and publishes on their blogs are blog posts. You can write articles about anything, ranging from creative story writing to a full tutorial.

Blog posts are mostly categorized and properly sorted which makes the blog convenient for the viewer to surf on. And, people normally use categories and tags for organizing the content in a blog.

Proper management of the content and structure of blogs is what makes them appealing to people. Ideal blogs post have proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Great SEO optimization helps the site rank a lot higher in search engines, and the blogs can acquire good traffic. You might want to check our guide on how to write great blog posts.


D) How to Start a Blog? (Step-by-Step)

In the earliest days of blogging, the ability to create blogs was limited to a few people, the web developers only. One had to manually develop a site by coding. But it’s no more the case.

There’re several easy to use blogging platforms available on the market now. With these blogging sites, anyone can build a blog without writing a single line of code. The only requirements are your dedication and time.

Hence, it’s pretty easy to start blogging nowadays. Here. we’ll briefly explain how to create a new blog (step-by-step).

Step 1: Choose a Good Blogging Platform

As mentioned before, you can find several different blogging platforms nowadays on the market. Hence, we’ve another problem! It’s really confusing to choose a platform from many sites with more or less similar features.

Let’s make it easy. Here are the some of the most popular blogging sites:

i) WordPress

It’s the most powerful blogging software. Used by over 30% of the websites on the internet, it’s the most popular content management system. To start blogging on this, buy a hosting account and install WordPress on it. As you yourself host it, you’ll have full control over your site and it’s highly extensible.

ii) Blogger

Blogger is one of the oldest and most popular blogging sites. Managed by Google company, it’s a fully hosted blog site. It means that hosting is provided, so you don’t need to buy and set up. To start blogging here, you just need a Google account with which you should sign up. It’s easy but limited.

Check out the WordPress vs Blogger article.

iii) Medium

Medium is comparatively a new blog platform but a very popular one nowadays. Just like Blogger, it’s also a hosted platform. So, you don’t need to set up or install anything. Just go to www.medium.com, set up your account, and start writing articles. Very simple, but you won’t get much flexibility.

For more details, please check our detailed comparison of Medium vs WordPress.

If you want more alternative options, then read our article on the best blogging platforms and choose a perfect platform to start blogging.

Our Recommendation is WordPress!

If you want a quick suggestion from us, then we suggest going with WordPress. It is the world’s most powerful website and blog platform.

WordPress Website Building Platform
WordPress Website Building Platform

If you’re a beginner, then you may need some help at first. But no worries, you can find plenty of guides and tutorials online. For instance, you can check our step by step guide on how to start a website.

Once you’ve set up your blog on WordPress, you’ll have a complete freedom to design it any way you wish to. You can have any theme for design, add any number of features, put advertisements, promote your products, or anything.

With that said, now let’s go ahead and see how to set up a blog site on WordPress.

Step 2: Set up WordPress

Now that we’ve chosen WordPress as our blogging platform, the next step is to install and set up WordPress. It starts with purchasing a hosting plan and domain name. You can buy them from hosting companies like Bluehost, DreamHost, or SiteGround.

The good news is that they offer a ‘WordPress pre-install’ option when purchasing hosting. For example, you’ll see a ‘Pre-Install WordPress’ checkbox option on the DreamHost checkout page.

Pre-Install WordPress Option in DreamHost
Pre-Install WordPress Option in DreamHost

If you don’t choose this option, then also there’s nothing to worry. Most hosting providers offer one-click WordPress install option from your hosting account panel.

After WordPress is installed on your site, login to your WordPress admin dashboard by going to the login URL like this: www.example.com/wp-login.php. Now, from your dashboard, you can change your blog’s design, add articles, and publish.

Step 3: Design Your Blog & Start Publishing

Now, it’s time to beautifully design your blog. In WordPress, site design is determined by the theme. For blogging, there are tons of amazing blogging WordPress themes.

For example, you can find free themes like Ashe, Zakra, Astra on the WordPress.org themes repository. You can choose the best WordPress theme and install it right from your WordPress dashboard.

Search for Theme in Search Field
Search for Theme in Search Field

After installing your theme, you can customize it for a better design. Also, you can install WordPress blog plugins to add extra features and functionalities.

Once the theme and plugins set up, you can start adding articles. Go to ‘Posts> Add New‘ from your dashboard menu and start writing. Here’s how a WordPress content editor looks like.

WordPress Content Editor
WordPress Content Editor

That’s it! You see it’s pretty easy to start content blogging on WordPress too!


E) How is a Blog Different From a Website?

People often confuse blogs and websites with each other. The main reason for the confusion is that many companies are using blogs as their primary website or are blending blogs into their website.

Website V.S Blog
Website vs. Blog

Broadly, a website is a collection of interlinked webpages grouped together under a unique name called the web address. While blogs are a type of website which focuses on publishing timely content quite often.

Generally, by website, we understand a static webpage that has primary information on what the company is, how it operates and other details of the company. Whereas, blogs for companies are logs of all the change and workings documented.

The blogs are updated quite frequently and are more engaging with the viewers. Viewers can comment and voice their feedback. Websites, on the other hand, do have a contact page but are very still and static compared to the blogs.

The major difference can be found in the blog posts. Blog posts, more often than not, have publishing date, author, categories, and tags while websites have none.

Start Blogging or Build a Website?

It might be hard to decide whether to start a blog or website as a beginner. Which one is better? The simple answer to this would be, it depends. But that doesn’t clear the confusion in our mind, does it? A good comparison here will help you decide.

What are Websites Like?

  • Websites are simply static pages with a piece of brief information on what the company is.
  • They don’t have posts but rather pages with an introduction to the main topic.
  • They are not interactive and are mainly focused on providing a simple introduction.

What are Blogs Like?

  • Blogs are often updated with new information.
  • It provides a ground for interaction between the company and the consumers.
  • You can get constant feedback and improve on the services.

If a company is just starting out and focused on refining the company than maintaining a daily log can be a challenge. So, the website would be an efficient choice.

Whereas, many pre-established companies are recognizing the marketing advantage of an interactive platform that blogs provide. They have started creating blogs and integrating them with their websites.

Need help to create your first website? Check out our step by step website creation guide now! Easiest guide online!


Conclusion

You understand what a blog is and how it works. Now, you are ready to take your first step.

You can get right into blogging, writing great content, and letting the world know. But with writing quality content, advertising your blogs, and pushing it towards a greater mass through social networking media is also a very crucial part of blogging.

You want to amass as much traffic as possible in your blog to spread your creation to many as well as to increase your blog’s worth.

Learning about blogs can seem overwhelming at first. Although with a proper guide, you can easily learn all the blogging basics and start your own blog in no time. We wish you the best on your journey to becoming a professional blogger.

We hope this article helped you to learn what a blog is, why create a blog, how it works, and more. You may also want to see our article on what is a domain name.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Written By SiteSaga Editorial
SiteSaga Editorial is a team of highly experienced writers, marketers, and web developers. We're here to help beginners get online with their self-made websites or blogs and succeed.

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