When I thought of starting a blog of my own I was not sure what to blog about.
Like a lot of teenagers I was not sure what my interests were and what was that I could write about passionately.
I wondered what drove people to create amazing content and where do they get the will and discipline to do it regularly and effectively.
But how did it all start ? lets investigate
Long ago someone somewhere thought of keeping a personal log online.
Not so long ago considering internet was made public only in late 1980s. So it was more of an online Journal
I googled to find out that the first blog was started by Justin Hall in 1994.
How cool he must have been back then
although he wasn’t allowed to call himself a blogger since the term was not yet invented.
But surely James didn’t see any potential and affiliate were not big back then,
neither did we have Google so no adsense.
But his website links.net exists and it could do with a little redesign
That was back then.
The term Weblog was coined in 1997 by John Barger who was an online diarist.
Barger had been an active member at USENET with around 10,000 posts to his credits.
We can consider him to be the father of blogging.
It was in 1999 that the word weblog metamorphosed into blog.
So why did these people actually writing personal entries online for the world to see when there was no way to monetize it.
We din’t have social media back in 1990s and internet being a swanky new tool which gave freedom to publish your story no questions asked, having world as your audience was lucrative enough
First blogs were not about tech, beauty or society but glorified journals.
But being a blogger was not easy in early years of blogging.
It meant you had to be a programmer as there was no blogspot or wordpress with a luxury of an admin console to publish and monitor your site.
It was a pain to buy a domain name and hosting as there were not many companies selling that.
So it was tough being a blogger
The numbers tell it . According to Jesse James Garrett in 1999 there only 23 blogs online.
I mean there are more states in whole of USA !!!!
But if you compare it to 2005 there were 30 million blogs online.
Exponential growth would be an understatement here, but what contributed to such growth.
A significant piece of credit goes to blogspot which came out in 1999.
Blogspot know as blogger initially made blogging simple and took it to the masses.
Now you just had to exhibit your creative prowess and blogger would take care of all the technical aspects and it was absolutely free.
So people got a chance to experience blogging themselves hence a global blogging community was created.
In 2003 WordPress was launched and with that people now had a choice between blogger and wordpress(obviously there were lot more but these two were the big names).
The bloggers along with blogs started to mature around this time.
Blogs at this point in time began to diversify in content.
A Platform to voice an opinion
People found a new medium to vent their anger, voice their opinions and Share the knowledge.
In places such as Egypt and Syria at the time of curfews and wars when these countries were isolated bloggers and citizen journalists provided an inside view.
Blogs like the revolting Syrian fill in the void which is left by the absence of traditional media.
Sites such as techcrunch and engadget started out as review blogs and today are valued in millions.
Similarly blogs like Huffington post and the storypick were instantaneous hit as they catered to niche which people wanted to read about but couldn't get enough through traditional media resources.
Below is a talk by Shradha Sharma, founder of YourStory which publishes stories and journeys of young indian startups.
Youtube has contributed immensely giving yet another platform for bloggers to be themselves and build a community of followers online.
VLogging is the new trend which has given birth to internet superstars, some of whom have a following in millions and are giving a run for their money to the movie celebs
Love him or hate him even Justin Bieber was discovered by a talent agent online when he uploaded a video of himself on YouTube in 2007
Building, Promoting a brand and making a fortune
It's not a top secret that if you have a business promoting it online is a necessity.
Also not every new business can afford a primetime slot in a news channel or an advertisement in a local daily.
Digital marketing has kicked of in a big way in the past decade. As more people get access to internet around the world it has a potential to be one of the biggest industries of the future.
With the help of digital marketing techniques, the world becomes your audience and cost of promotion is significantly less compared to traditional marketing.
Blogs are being used world over by businesses to building a brand image.
According to business marketing gurus blogs are the single most important platform to market a brand or a product online, having a higher return on investment when compared to social media.
According to Olivia Allen a marketing consultant
- B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
- Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information
Influencing others to buy a brand or product
The superstars of blogging world or the influencers are all product of affiliate marketing
In their niche.Opportunities for Affiliate marketing and google’s ad program called adsense gave birth to professionals in the field.
Blogs such as Huffington post and viralnova which started as online journals are million even billion dollar businesses.
Since people accepted blogging as an industry a lot of meta bloggers came to surface. They made money through their blogs and made even more money educating people how they make thousands of dollars blogging.
People like John Chow, Gary Vaynerchuk, Neil Patel are few names that come to mind
I make money online by telling people how much money I make online
I make money online by telling people how much money I make online thats how John Chow an influencer cum blogger who makes thousands of dollars every month describes himself.
So we have know have travelled through past and landed in present.
Blogs overtime have metamorphosed from personal journals to million dollar businesses and in the process made bloggers superstars of the internet.
People say future seems dull now that we have Facebook instagram and youtube to kill time and interact. We have sites like quora to quench our thirst for knowledge.
In an era of decreasing concentration and attention spans it will be a challenge for blogs to survive.
Already microblogging sites such as twitter and tumblr are a hit.
But a survey has suggested otherwise.
Blogging has survived and around 80 million blogs start each day suggesting it still has the x factor.
People love expressing themselves and voicing their opinions, till the time blogs help them do that they will stay relevant.
Face of blogs in future might change completely keeping in pace with time.
But as far I see they will be there till foreseeable future.