What is a Blog?


Before you can start blogging, you naturally have to understand what it is. You might already have an idea or you might have read a couple of different definitions online. I shall attempt to combine here the important elements and features of a traditional blog to come up with an inclusive definition.

A Simple Definition

A blog is short for web log and is essentially a kind of website or part of a website, the owner of which regularly publishes content called posts. These posts are arranged in reverse chronological order and are open to visitor interaction in the form of comments.

From this definition it’s clear that a traditional blog:

  • is a kind of website or part of a website
  • has regularly published content
  • organizes content in reverse chronological order
  • invites interaction

It is because of these aspects that blogs were once often regarded mainly as online journals, diaries and logs.

Note that I specifically defined a traditional blog. This is mainly because there are now several blog-type web properties that no longer strictly fit this definition.

Blogs vs. Websites

Although a blog is a type of website, sometimes it’s easier to form a better picture of what a blog is when it is compared with a general website. As you might have guessed, a plain website:

  • may not be expected by visitors to have fresh, regularly updated content although it can carry new content when the webmaster sees fit to publish
  • may not be open to comments
  • can contain evergreen content such as non varying information about a company
  • can optionally have limited content that gives basic information about something like a company, corporate entity or organization

Some people call websites static. Unlike blogs where regular content pushes old content down such that a blog may contain a different entry at different times, some websites may contain the same pieces of information at the front so that visitors always see the same thing every time they visit or for extended periods of time.

Again, there are many exceptions here. News websites for example are required to be frequently updated. It’s important to keep in mind that today, the distinctions between blogs and websites can get blurred.

It’s also important to note that some webmasters choose to use various blogging platforms to publish content online but do so in a way that departs from the traditional definition of a blog. Some for example, turn off time and date stamps to create the impression of evergreen posts or content. Others also turn off comments.

Expanding the Definition of Blogs

There are also those bloggers who choose to expand the traditional definition of blogs. In short, they add or enhance the elements, qualities or features of their blogs to fit their needs, intentions and preferences. For example, blogs today can:

  • include options to share, distribute or spread content
  • offer a visible way for visitors to subscribe to get updates on fresh content
  • integrate with social networks to foster a sense of community
  • include forms of monetization
  • be used for marketing

This is as close as I can get to a simple answer to, “What is a blog?” but there’s a lot more basic information you need to learn about. Coming next, we’ll explore the different types of blogs.

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2 Responses to What is a Blog?
  1. Fitness
    November 11, 2011 | 3:01 am

    Great! Thanks for the share!

  2. Erasmo Lonneman
    April 22, 2012 | 1:30 am

    Fairly good post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have actually enyed reading your weblog posts. Any manner I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon…

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