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What is a Blog? Tips to Start Your Successful Blog

Aug 22, 2008
What is a blog?

Originally known as a weblog, its a frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links. Blogs range from the personal diary type to the full blown marketing tool, maximised for profit. They can be unfocused,ranging over a series of topics or focused on one particular field.

They tend to have a number of things in common

* The content area with articles arranged in chronological order, the newest on top.

* archives of older articles

* comment areas,where people can leave comments or questions.

* A links area where people can leave links to their sites

* An about me page, where the author gives some personal information.

Blogs are made up of pages and posts. Pages are fairly static. They include the "about me" page, and possibly an opt in page where readers are invited to leave their email details to get further information and the like. Posts are the "diary entries" frequently updated usually daily and giving pertinent information relevant to the blog and its readership. The posts are the articles and the machinery on which the blog and its success revolve.

What are the 3 most common types of blog post?

1. Information. Where you give,you guessed it, information on something. You could be giving an definition or more likely,an explanation or description of whatever your niche or interest might be.

2. Instruction. Pretty self explanatory really. This is the one where you are telling people how to do something.People learn in different ways, some by the written word,some by hearing and some by watching. Many blogs these days will take advantage of text,audio and video.

3. Inspirational. Those sorts of posts are the of "could be"stories. Stories of personal success that inspire others to carry on, either in that particular niche or in life!

There will also usually be an archive section. The posts can be arranged in date order or you can archive them by author (some blogs have a number of contributors) or alphabetically. The technique of organising and presenting the articles in a linear fashion are what make blogging a popular tool.

How is content created for a blog? Well it's a communication tool first and foremost and communication these days is done in a variety of ways, text, audio and video and a number of blogs contain some or all of these elements. Content can be made in all of these ways,but it they are primarily a text based platform for communicating ideas and information.

What should you write about? When you are first starting out you might find it a bit difficult to get going (or you might find it easy and then run out of steam!). If you have put a bit of thought into what your blogs main theme is about then that is the place to start. If you have a blog about training your cat, then you could have a post on training your cat to whistle in 7 easy steps! On a more serious note, just look at the theme of your blog and write. It doesn't have to be Shakespeare but it does have to be at least a little interesting with some personal stuff thrown in on occasion.

Try the following tips:

Free write. This is something taught on creative writing courses, and it is what it says on the can, you just write anything that springs into your mind, however rubbishy it might be.This can often unlock the creative juices and warms you up. You might come up with some great ideas just by sitting down and doing this although the primary purpose is really to get things moving.

Have a break. Really the opposite of free writing but just as useful. If you are stuck, get yourself out and about for 15 minutes, make a drink, do a bit of exercise. Just a change of scene can help.

Try mind mapping. The buzz word of the moment it seems, but it does seem to work to get things shifting. Get a pen and paper and draw a bubble in the center, put in a word then draw other bubbles off it with any word or phrases you associate with the one in the center. Be as creative as you want, even if there seems to be no association between the words, there will be something in your brainstorming that connects them in some way. Go wild! Stop when you are exhausted. Have a look at what you have written and get rid of the ones that you don't think will add anything to your blog. This way you can often create a series of associated blogging ideas. Its something like free writing but a bit more structured.There are lots of tools out there to help you but the cheapest will be a pen and a bit of paper.

Hope this helps to get you started and keep you focused.
About the Author
I provide help and information on blogging for newbies. FREE tips for you,how to start , problems you will face and how you solve them. I have been there believe me! Jane Robinson Click Here to visit my site
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