Your personal skill sets, hobbies, talents, and experiences make you uniquely qualified to tell a story — your story.

Whether you want to share educational articles, updates about your creative pursuits, or entries in your travel journal, blogging provides the tools necessary to not only publish that material, but also to attract an audience and generate a long-term income. First, however, you’ll need a working knowledge of the purpose and function of blogging.

Not the “Dear Diary” You Remember

Blogging is just like journaling – except the content isn’t hidden behind lock and key.

A blog (short for web log) organizes individual pieces of content into a searchable archive. Unlike the treasure trove of secrets you might have kept as a child, a blog usually displays entries in reverse-chronological order. The most recent post appears at the top so readers always know when you add new content.

Publication at the Click of a Button

Blog software programs make blogging as easy as clicking a button.

A blog lives at a particular Web address, just like any other Web site. The main blog page usually displays the most recent posts (or excerpts of those posts). When readers click on a particular post, the link takes them to the post’s individual page.

Blogging software programs (also called platforms) archive content in other ways, too. Users can display content based on date, category, tag, and other organizational strategies. Most blogs also utilize a search feature; instead of rifling through hundreds of virtual pages to find what they want, readers simply type a keyword or phrase into the search box.

Your Purpose – Your Style

Blogs debuted on the web as personal journals, but now they host all types of content. Use your blog to share text, photos, videos, and other types of media for public consumption.

A Harvard Law survey found that popular English-language blog topics range from politics to crafts, with dozens of subjects in between. As a blogger, you decide what content fits on your blog.

You might want to customize your blog with themes, which change the aesthetic appearance of your Web site. Font choices, background and text colors, graphics, and other visual elements help brand your blog and distinguish it from the others on the Internet.

If You Build It…

Perhaps you stowed your childhood diary under your mattress or in the back of your closet, far from the prying eyes of nosy siblings. Blogs, on the other hand, foster social connections. They encourage community by allowing readers to post comments on posts or share entries on social media.

The modern blog contains numerous interactive features to help bloggers (blog authors) communicate with their readers. If a reader leaves a comment on a post, the blogger can post a reply. This fosters a sense of connection between readers and creators, which also increases the likelihood of a reader returning at a later date.

For Every Voice, a Platform

Readers view blogs on computers as well as mobile devices.

Just like a magazine or newspaper, a blog represents a unique publishing medium. It amplifies your voice so others hear it and respond.

Not only does blogging bring recognition for your work, but it also allows you to generate revenue. Many bloggers monetize their blogs with display ads, affiliate marketing links, and even premium content.

When consumers surf the Internet, they devote nearly 25 percent of their time to blogs and social media, according to a Nielson study, and that number continues to grow thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices.

Your thoughts, ideas, and creations deserve recognition. To carve out your own corner of Internet real estate, sign up for a risk-free trial with BlogPress.

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