Do you have a blog?

A Crash Course in Blogging Basics

What is a Blog?

The word blog is a contracted word combining web and log. A blog can be general commentary, but usually focuses on a specific area of interest of a web author. If you had a hobby of electric trains you might put up a blog focusing on the electric train.

A blog can be built with any web editor but most are built on specific blogging software. Blogging software has several desirable features that enhance the blogging experience.

What is Blogging Software?

Blogging software is a Content Management System that is tuned to the requirements of a blog. There are many features of blogging software that would be very time consuming to duplicate with web editing software.

With most blogging packages there is a browser based user interface. Not only does this mean that you do not have to have a web editor, but you can also update the blog from any Internet connected computer.

Blogging software has a comment system built in to the software. This allows readers to comment on the posts to the blog. There is the option to have memberships and to require registration to post comments.

The design of the blog is controlled by a theme. You can accept the default theme and make some changes to it through the editor or you can easily find other themes designed to work with the software.

There are also third party plug-ins that can be used with the major blogging software packages to add features or extend the functionality.

What are the Major Blogging Platforms?

Blogger is Google's blogging platform. Google hosts the blogs on their servers. There are some features that have been developed by Google. This is a good and popular platform.

TypePad by Movable Type is a blogging platform that has been around for a long time. The platform is backed by a major CMS and is used on the enterprise level a good deal.

WordPress is a blogging platform that is in  very wide usage. WordPress does offer hosted blogs, but it is easy to set up a WordPress blog on any hosting space. WordPress is also used for many websites that are not in the blog format.

How are Blogs Used?

Blogs are used to disseminate information, express opinions, and to promote products.

Many companies maintain a blog to announce new products or new features or services. Some companies have an internal blog that is accessible to employees to announce things of interest and provide information of value to the staff.

There are many blogs that are produced as political or social commentary. The opinions of the blogger are stated in the posts and the readers often comment on these blogs.

Other blogs are used to promote a product or a class of products. Often the blogger is an affiliate of the promoted product and hopes for some income from those that he sends to the product sales page.

There are blogs that are instructional in nature. They give hints and tips on various topics that they hope will be of interest to a broad audience.

You can blog about any subject. If you look around the Internet you will find many interesting blogs. If you have a special interest you can probably find someone blogging about it by doing a search.

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