A blog is an online discussion or written commentary posted on the Internet, usually consisting of informal, frequently chronological blog-style text posts. Blogs are frequently displayed in reverse chronological order, with the latest post appearing at the top of the page, above all other posts. Most blogs use categories to help readers locate the content they are interested in. Many blogs allow users to comment on other blogs, thereby adding another layer of organization to the blog architecture. In this way, each blog represents a mini-site or mini-community within a community, such as a social network or a professional association. Many popular blogs allow comments to be posted anonymously.
The rise of blogging coincides with the rise of social networking. Social networks, such as Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook, have made it easier than ever for people to interact on a one-to-one basis, with members able to exchange personal information, photos, blogs, and commentary in real time. Bloggers find that they can make money through advertising posted on their blog. Some blogs also provide sponsored advertisements, which monetize the content and the time devoted to the blog.
Unlike traditional websites, blogs do not need to cater to a particular demographic or geography, although targeting a specific group of people through advertising is becoming more common. In the past, companies would create blogs for their target audiences, who would then be targeted based on age, gender, educational background, or any other variable the company deemed relevant. Nowadays, blogs are used for a variety of different reasons by individuals who do not necessarily have a clear demographic target audience. As blogs have become increasingly popular, some companies have created blogs separate from their company and operate independently from the company, creating a sort of online PR outlet.
Most bloggers begin their blogs with the intention of creating a platform through which they can express themselves and talk about their opinions. However, other bloggers make money through their blogging, earning money through advertisements posted on their blog pages or through their affiliate partners, who post links to the products promoted on their pages and earn a commission on sales. Many bloggers use their blogs as a way to make money through blogging without spending any money on start-up costs. They often simply choose a topic for their blog, make their daily posts, and then make money through advertisements, sponsorship sales, or other means.
As much as Google AdSense has made it easy to earn money through Google advertising programs for blog posts, blogging itself has not been without its controversy. Bloggers may choose to participate in various advertising programs that are then run in reverse chronologic order through their blog posts. For example, if someone writes a blog post about the latest technological advances in the automobile industry, the search engine company’s ads might run first in the reverse chronological order. If the blogger chooses not to participate in the program, the ads would run last.
The purpose of blogging is for individuals to share information with others. Blogs provide an easy way for others to express their opinions as well. Some Internet marketers have taken blogging to another level and create what are known as niche blogs. Niche blogs are designed to be a place where a blogger shares information about a particular aspect of a chosen industry. This type of blog post may include tips on how to care for and maintain a wooden floor, ideas on how to raise children properly, or even information on how to start a small business.