Blogs and Blogging
It is very important for writers of any genre and any type of writing – whether writing articles, short stories or novels – to have a blog. A “blog” is short for web log. Basically a blog is a place online where you write things. A website is also a place where you write things, but the difference between the two is that with a blog, you are expected to add postings regularly. A website is more static. Websites are most often used to sell things. A website is usually changed when new products are added to your offerings or when prices change. Otherwise, things stay pretty much the same.
A blog, on the other hand, is the place where you connect with your followers. If you have an interesting blog, people who follow you tend to look forward to reading new postings. They know and expect that you will give regularly give them something new and interesting to read.
The only real difference between a blog and a website is that a blog is more dynamic. It is updated regularly and blogging offers many challenges to writers who really want to get into the habit of writing regularly. A blog can be updated daily, monthly or every two or three months. The important thing is that you present readers with a unique twist on a particular topic.
Blogs are often the outgrowth of a hobby or interest that a person might have. If you like model airplanes, you can write regularly about new developments and new products in the area of model airplanes. The same goes for vegetable gardening or flower gardening or sewing or just about anything people might be interested in reading about.
There are many places on the internet where a writer or hobbyist can set up a blog. Many are free while others cost money. If you have your own website, you can easily attach a blog to it as an extension. The following web addresses are for illustrative purposes only. They do not actually lead you to a real website. Say your website is mysite.com. You can add an extension to your original website by appending the site name to mywebsite.com/blog. You can also later add more extensions to the original website by adding an extension such as mywebsite.com/modelairplanes. You can have one website with ten or more blogs attached all of about ten dollars a month.
Many of the websites that offer free blogs don’t allow you to have your own website name. You usually something like blogger.com/mywebsite or mywebsite.wordpress.com. While this will do for a beginner, this is a dead giveaway that you are indeed a beginner. Another problem with a free blog is that the blog provider will encourage you to post advertisements on your blog to make money for yourself. The reality is that ads on your blog only make money for the company that gave you the free blog. They pay something like a few pennies for thousands of views and clicks on their ads. This might translate into fifteen cents a year in income for you and lots of dollars for them. If you do make a few cents, there’s the possibility that the company will later cancel your blog for some obscure violation of their terms of service.
Start by getting your own website. Add a blog to it as an extension and, if you want to sell products, join an affiliate program like Amazon or Commission Junction and simply add links to your products. This is an easier and simpler way to make money with your blog if that’s what you want to do.
If you choose to start with a free blog, go with something like WordPress.com. For a few dollars a month, you can later transform you blog into a website with your own unique domain name like mywebsite.com.
Blogging is simply writing and posting to a blog or web log. If you are a writer, it is quite a benefit to have a blog where you can add chapters from your current project and give readers the opportunity to offer feedback to ongoing work. You’d be surprised to know how honest and helpful your followers can be in shaping your stories.
Another benefit of having a blog is that if you post a short 500-700 word article just once a week, after six months you’ve got over 18,000 words, a solid framework on which to build an e-book or even a print book. Expand and compile your posts and you can then self-publish your blog posts as a book on a free or paid self-publishing platform.
The benefits of having a blog are immeasurable. A blog can take you from beginning novice to published writer in just a few months if you are diligent and hard working. You should read as much as you can and study English grammar and composition and take up the challenge to start and post regularly to your blog. The internet age offers many great opportunities to those writers who are serious about getting published. Start today by finding out how you can get a blog on which you can post your own ideas as you hone your craft and aspire to become a published writer.