Tag Archive: blog definition

Types of Blogs According to Topic

There is no single accurate count for the total number of existing blogs. Many sources agree though, including Technorati, that there are now more than 100 million blogs on the internet today. Their sheer quantity makes it difficult to try to classify blogs. Add to this the fact that there are no official rules that specify the boundaries blogs should follow in order to fall under a particular kind.

For the purpose of learning how to blog however, it’s important to get an idea of some of the more popular types of blogs. This will make it easier for you to decide for yourself what tone, theme, approach or direction to take for your own blog.

Topic Classifications

There are many different ways to group blogs. To simplify matters, let’s look into classifying blogs according to topic. Blogs can fall under:

  • Personal
  • Themed/Niche
  • Mixed
  • Corporate/Business/Official

Personal Blogs

These are the most common kinds of blogs and are often the easiest to find content for. This is because these feature personal life experiences and events or author opinions and thoughts.

In effect, personal blogs are the closest examples of traditional blogs. They are essentially online diaries and journals that carry a personal tone. Examples of personal blogs include:

Themed/Niche Blogs

A blog of this type may or may not be written in a personal tone depending on the author’s preference. Themed or niche online properties however distinguish themselves from the personal kind because they revolve around a specific area of concentration, usually excluding highly unrelated topics.

Themed blogs can either be broad or specific. For example in the area of health, you can choose to write about the broad topic of health or the more particular sub topic of low card dieting. In the area of sports, you can choose to blog about all kinds of sports or you can concentrate on the specific topic of boxing.

Here are some actual examples:

Mixed Blogs

In between personal and themed blogs, there has emerged the mixed kind. These feature a variety of topics and tones as the author sees fit to publish. Bloggers have a variety of reasons and motivations for having these.

I wouldn’t recommend going down this path unless you’re already a popular person or you have a well formed objective in mind. This is because it is difficult to create a dedicated readership when you write about a variety of different topics.

Corporate/Official Blogs

These are the kinds of blogs written for and about a specific company, organization, movement, institution or public figure. Bloggers or staff members are usually commissioned to write according to the values, principles or identity of the official owner. Examples include:

Best Types of Blog

Unless you’ve been hired to write for an organization or you own a company, you really have only two options, a personal or a themed blog. The best kind will depend on your intentions, purpose or objectives for blogging.

Based on my own experience however, I would lean towards setting up blogs about specific themes or niches. Blogs with themes are the ones that are likely to develop a following. There are groups of people out there that are absolutely dedicated to specific topics and they might follow you if you develop a great blog about their interest.

Take note though that you should never go for a niche or theme that is too narrow. Otherwise, you may not have enough information or content to publish.

Now that you know what a blog is and what kinds are out there, it’s time for you to prepare to blog. The next section will tackle defining your intentions and forming the right mindset.

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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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