What is a blog? How do you start a blog? Are they therapeutic? Will they sing to you? Whether you're a seasoned blogger or have yet to start, we'll answer your blogging FAQs.
If you're a newbie, read our guide on how to start a blog. If you're a pro, then join the Bloggers Network or read our tips on how to write a great blog, grow your readership and promote your blog on social media.
A blog is an online notebook usually kept by one person, and written from their point of view. The word 'blog' comes from 'web-log', and they were originally online diaries - a diary entry would be called a 'blog post'.
"I just witter on in mine – but it is a place where I can speak." wannabesybil
"Bloggers blog for different reasons. I am an opinionated woman who doesn't have an outlet for all her opinions! And I like to share stuff I find interesting, funny, delicious, touching." MmeLindor
Today, a blog can be lots of things. A place for you to rant about your day, or share your experiences. An opportunity to comment on current affairs, display your projects or keep track of any niche subject that takes your fancy (breaking news on vintage yoyos, anyone?).
Why do people blog? We asked our members and they gave us a whole stream of answers:
"I started this blog because I wanted to remember." Stitchthis
"I started my blog as a way of sharing my parenting experiences - good, bad and ugly." Trouble's Mum
"I wanted a creative outlet to write, not just edit. To learn new stuff." PlaygroundOnlin
" I started my blog to have somewhere to let out the real me without having to worry about what people in real life thought." Attempting the Ordinary
"I started blogging to share wine knowledge, write and avoid overdosing on bad telly in the evenings," Knackered Mutha
"Because I needed somewhere to vent my chicken neurosis #truefact" Madchickenlady
Blogs can be used like online diaries - they're a powerful way to talk about pain, release stress, gather and express your thoughts. Or a blog can be a place to share your knowledge on a topic; it can be an informative, useful and interesting guide for readers. And if you use it because you're a budding writer, it can be a helpful tool to improve your writing skills and spread the word about your talents.
Of course, there's also the thrill of being published. There are few places online where you have the freedom to say (almost) what you like (do see the small print about libel!). You're free to write without pressure, deadlines, and expectations. A lucky few might find their blog resonates so deeply that they're offered a shot at the ultimate writer's dream: a book deal.
The secret to enjoying blogging is this: blogging is more than simply putting pen to paper. To get the most out of blogging, invest your time in these three different activities:
1. Writing your blog.
The A-Z of Blogs read a basic guide
Improve your blog how to blog brilliantly
People turn to blogging because they have something to say. Now's the chance to voice your views and make yourself heard, or let off steam or delve into the world of fiction. The great thing about a blog is that it's your space - and you can be as formal or informal, as truthful or fictional, as you like.
2. Gaining readers.
To do this, you have to get your blog out and about on the blogosphere, using social media like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word and optimizing your posts and pictures so that people can find your blog through search engines. Joining the Mumsnet Blogging Network is another great way to showcase your blog in the blogosphere.
Once you've built up your blog traffic and readers are flocking to your blog, you'll need catchy titles and interesting writing if you want them to stay. We show you how to build up a blog readership.
3. Reading other blogs.
Anyone who writes will know that you learn by reading others - and the same is true of blogging. Reading other blogs could give you inspiration or keep you up to date on the latest blogging trends. Commenting on others' blogs is a great way to build a web presence and be welcomed into the blogging community - and other bloggers need encouragement too!
"If you visit or read someone's blog and you like it, leave a comment. It will make their day and will also (usually) make them visit your blog in return. Blogging is like a little community and it's always good to build up positive relationships with your blogging neighbors." overmydeadbody