There are no signs that man is making attempts to ditch the Internet; at least not anytime soon. In the same breath, blogs are not going anywhere. They have come to stay. The word ‘blog’ is an adaptation from weblog and it is credited to one Merhilz Peter who first used the term on this blog peterme.com in 1999. The word has since been used in various noun and verb forms and of interest is that people who engage in blogging are now called bloggers – one of the professions birthed by the digital age. Later in the same year that the word was coined, Meg Hourihan and Evan Williams of Pyra Labs created blogger service, which fledged into blogspot and blogger pro for advert revenue generation. Google will later acquire it four years after.
A blog is a journal or a diary that is on the Internet. Unlike previous diaries that are private; blogs are mostly public and personal blogs most times detail that life or everyday activities of the blogger or the interests of the blogger. Blogging happens because as humans there is that desire to be heard. We have cravings to share information or tips about something we know so much about or even our career and for the very bold ones, it can be about intimate details of their lives. It is courtesy of blogs that the Internet parades information on almost any sphere of life from any part of the world. And this is so because someone decided to write a blog about it.
There are various types of blogs. Tumblr, is an example of a microblogging platform with several social media widgets fused into it and it is predominantly used by a lot of young people. Microblogging platforms have the uniqueness of spontaneity. Twitter and Facebook are also regarded as blogging platforms. Personal blogs and group blogs are also other blog types. The art of blogging started with personal blogs and in situations where the user decides to use their various strengths to pool knowledge to a single location and usually around the same subject, then a group blog is the product. While the concept of blogging originally started as a private diary, organisations today also improve their communication by setting up blogs on their website. It is a perfect way to continually engage customers and generate traffic and attention. For organisations, it is the best way to be seen as an industry expert especially if valuable contents are being put up on the blog. It also has the advantage of boasting the image of the brand if the audience can connect with the content of the blog. Blogs have the advantage of not being monologues. This means it is interactive in form and the comments from readers or viewers can serve to generate new ideas by the business that owns the blog. It is also a dependable way for management to gauge public reaction to a product or service and also an avenue to see things from the perspective of end users.
Beyond this, blogs can also be classified based on the subject matter it chooses it focus on. A blog could be educational, political, entertainment, theatre or even cartoon based. The decision on what niche to have a blog is based on the competence, passion and interest of the blogger. Before now, blogs majorly contained only words and the audience had the responsibility to read through without the luxury of images or videos. That has all changed with the development of several other Graphic User Interface platforms. The video log, popularly known as vlog, is predominantly video-based. The blogger has the responsibility of updating edited videos on the blog for the viewing public. Photoblogs are common with photographers who have more of pictures on their blogs than words that attempt to describe the pictures. Since corporate and individual blogger can alert their audience as the blog is published through email subscription, then blogs are also a good way to get more subscription for the business or other interests.
On a daily basis, across the world, there are people who are starting to blog and there are those who are trying to start a new blog. There is also that crowd hoping to generate income from advertisement on their blogs. For those now sold to setting up their first blog, www.wordpress.com for hosted option or www.wordpress.org for self-hosted option; www.blogspot.com; www.ghost.org are some spots they can set up a blog for free.
Growing good content on a blog is a big deal. It is important the author(s) brainstorm first on what needs to be written. A good brainstorming session can lead a blogger to develop content for the site for a period of a quarter or a month depending on the preferred choice. Scheduling the posts is also important, as this is dependent on when the target population is likely to be online surfing. Email marketing of new blog posts, especially those that will benefit the readers is needful. A company that sells clothes for example will get good leads from a post titled – ‘7 Ways to Prevent Your Shirts from Fading Fast’. Readers will see themselves in the post and will learn from it. There is nothing as horrible as a blogpost with good content that was poorly presented either in terms of language or with regards to presentation style. It is important that the layout is easy on the eyes and the words are properly edited for audience to truly enjoy the post. That the number of blogs continues to grow daily means there is more to it. A guestimate of the number of blogs based on few statistics available will put the figure at around 600 million blogs more or less. When people search online, they seek for information, if your blogs holds superior information compared to others and is visible then, you may just be on the verge of enjoying the next big patronage; either in social or business terms
Sola Fagorusi is a social entrepreneur and a prized freelance writer with a bias for youth and rural development. He started off as a youth staff with Action Health Incorporated in 2001. The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife alumnus currently manages the programmes ofOneLife Initiative, Nigeria. ‘Sola is a DESPLAY Africa (Africa’s foremost and most consistent annual youth democracy academy) fellow and has been on its faculty since 2011. Keenly interested in governance and pan-Africanism, he volunteers as online editor of YouthHub Africa; a cyber-community for young Africans involved in social change. He believes in the efficacy of oratory and writing as tools to drive developmental engagements. As a freelance writer, he spares time to pen thoughts on contemporary societal issues and is a weekly columnist with Nigeria’s most read daily ? Punch Newspaper. His training and capacity cuts across democracy and governance, leadership, micro-enterprise, ICT4D, SRH, value chains, development communication and policy issues. He tweets @SolaFagro and blogs at www.kadunaboy.com
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