What is a blog?

 

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What is a Blog?

A blogger preparing her notes for her daily online journal

What's coming up

In this activity, we will explain what a blog is, how a blog works and how easy it is to start one.

We'll also look at:

  • What you can blog about.
  • What you can include in a blog post.
  • How to limit who reads your blog.
Start activity
An illustration of a book

What is a blog?

A blog is like an online diary or journal. It lets you write your thoughts on a website and share them with the world, or just your friends and family.

The term blog comes from the phrase web log. Each individual blog entry is known as a blog post (or just post for short). A person who writes a blog is called a blogger.

Examples of blogs

Here are some blog examples for you to check out. Click once on each line below to open that blog.

An example of a cookery blog
An illustration of a published blog showing the most recent blog at the top of the page

The blog site

A blog is published onto a website.

Whereas most regular websites are made up of several web pages, a blog is usually just a single page.

The main page orders all your blog posts by date, with the most recent on top, and the oldest at the bottom.

Creating a blog site

Creating a website for your blog and adding new blog posts is easier than you probably think. There are free, simple-to-use blogging services to help you set up your blog site on the internet.

Once you have entered your blog text, you need to click on the publish button so that it becomes available for people to read
An icon of a padlock

eSafety Tip

There are some blog creation websites that are free to use, and some that offer paid-for services. If you're new to blogging, go with a free website so you can experiment and try out blogs without racking up any costs.

Blogs can be more than words

You're not limited to the written word when composing a great blog post. Your posts can include photos, diagrams and video clips to help get your message across. You can also include links to other web pages in your blog.

An illustration of a knitting blog
An illustration of a travel blog

Posts are organised automatically

When you publish a new post, it automatically appears at the top of your blog, above your previous posts. You can scroll down to see your previous posts beneath it, and visitors to your blog can search and sort your posts by year or month.

Adding labels to blog posts

When writing a post, you can add labels, such as holidays or family to group your posts into different categories. This makes it easy for visitors to your blog to find topics of interest.

Visitors can see posts from specific categories or they can search through your blog for specific words and phrases, just like a web search.

An illustration of a travel blog with different headings to identify the subject matter of the posts
A beautiful antique clock - perfect subject matter for a blog

What to blog about?

You can blog about absolutely anything. Some blogs are like diary entries, where you write about what you've seen or done that day, or whatever's on your mind.

Other blogs are dedicated to a specific topic. You can focus on anything that you're passionate about, whether it be antique clocks, classic sports cars or knitting patterns.

Getting started

Creating a blog is like making a website, but easier, because a lot of the setup is done automatically by a blogging service.

You'll need a computer, tablet or smartphone and an internet connection, of course, then all you need to do is:

  • Choose a blogging service and create an account.
  • Give your blog a name.
  • Start writing posts.
A blog about clocks ready to hit publish
An illustration of a blog with comments from readers

Blogs can be public or private

Publishing a blog post is a bit like posting a message on Facebook, except that your blog is on your own website.

Once you've published a post, your blog is out in the open, so anyone can read it. They can also leave comments, although you can disable this feature if you wish.

An icon of a padlock

eSafety Tip: making your blog private

If you're concerned about privacy, then you can set your blog to 'private' and restrict access to only those you approve.

You can also make your blog anonymous, or write under a made-up name, rather than putting your name to it.

Well done!

You've now completed the What is a blog? activity. You've learned that a blog is like an online diary. Blogs are easy to use, and you can write about absolutely anything that interests you.

Next up, we'll look at the benefits of blogging and how to share your blog with others, in the Why would I want to blog? activity.

A proud baker taking an image of her creations ready for her next blog post