What is a blog?

Introduction to Monetized Blogging

You may have heard the term “blog” but no one has bothered to explain to you what a blog is. Today I will introduce you to blogging and why you may want to consider this as a creative outlet and a way to potentially earn money in the future!

photo of the text BLOG

According to Wikipedia, the word blog is “a truncation of the expression WEBLOG”. In other words, an online (“web”) diary (“log”). It is a wonderful informal-style way of writing, and has become hugely popular now that WordPress.com and other content management systems (CMS) have free accounts and easy set-up instructions. Anyone can blog!

Back in the early days of blogging, it was mostly an extension of online forums. It allowed people with an opinion on any subject to have a platform to express that opinion. This has paved the way for not only personal blogs, but also for “niche” blogs. As we know, a niche is simply something that people are searching for on the internet, and so if you want to sell something on the internet, a niche website is perfect!

Getting Started

You will need:

A niche, which is the theme for your website  i.e. toys for puppies. Ideally, your niche should be a hobby of yours, or something that you are interested enough about to write blog posts while you learn about it.

A blogging platform, such as WordPress . Some free options are wordpress.com, wix.com, or Tumblr which are considered hosted, while wordpress.org is self-hosted, requiring you to find your own host.

A domain name for your blog. This can be related to your niche or it can be your “brand” name. The domain is your web address i.e. joesblog.com. If you are using a hosted sub-domain then it will be something like joesblog @ yourhost.com .

Choosing a free sub-domain is a great idea for people who are not sure if they want to blog, and are just testing the waters. Be aware that if you choose a sub domain, you do not own your domain name. Be sure to check whether you can transfer your domain to a self-hosted option later on if you decide to blog for secondary or primary income.

If you think that blogging is the way for you to go, consider going with self-hosted and also consider purchasing your domain name for several years, to avoid accidental loss of content. If you forget to pay for another year, you can lose access to your domain.

A host for your website. There are lots of hosting options on the internet and some combine with domains. See my post for more information on what options are available and useful. Hosting options include Bluehost or HostGator, to name two that are popular, but again it is best to shop around.


photo of the wordpress logoAfter you set up your domain and hosting, you can start personalizing your website with themes. WordPress comes with lots of free themes, and some really nice paid themes as well. Many free themes can be upgraded to Pro versions of that theme.

You can also change themes, usually without too much trouble, if you decide that you do not like the options or lack of options for your theme. Some themes are better suited to e-commerce, while others are very popular and you may not want your site to look like everyone else’s.

And the best news? There are tons of helpful videos for every aspect of WordPress, from set-up to tips ‘n tricks, to installing or uninstalling plug-ins. You will not have to worry about most of this in the beginning, but as you become more proficient and as you start to notice what is going on with other people’s websites, you may decide to start testing out new plug-ins.

Getting ready for the world to find you!photo of a blue piggy bank pig wearing pink sunglasses

If you want to monetize your blog, with affiliate links like the ones from Amazon or from private affiliate programs, you are going to want to start some “best practices” with search engine optimization or SEO. SEO are the things that YOU will do to make your website friendly to search engines, which makes it easier for people to find your website when searching the net.

Indexing: After you have published a blog post, you can then submit a sitemap to Google so that your site will get indexed. I will cover how to submit the sitemap in another post (with pictures), but getting indexed does take some time…in some cases up to three weeks. You will want to submit the sitemap as soon as possible after publishing, to save time. After that you will see your posts rise in Googles (or Bing or Yahoo) ranks. This means that you are officially on the internet! But, you still have work to do…

Plug-ins: One that you want for sure is a spam blocker. I use Akismet Anti-Spam, which checks your comments for potential spam. You can help yourself in this regard by changing your settings in Settings > Discussion and checking the boxes for holding comments in moderation and manual approval of comments. There are plenty of spammers out trying to use your blog platform as a way advertise their products or services.

I also use the All-In-One SEO plugin, which makes editing your meta data easy (see my post here); EWWW Image Optimize, which reduces the file sizes for images, which helps your page load faster; and you should consider a social plug-in if you want to share blog posts on social media like Facebook and twitter.

Try to keep your plug-ins to a minimum of 5 or 6, to help your pages load quicker. If your pages load too slowly, people will just click away to another website. Try to stick with free plug-ins until you know for sure what you like and what works for you.

Other SEO: I have post on best SEO tips and things to avoid with SEO. These are things to think about as you move forward with your website. There are plug-ins for Google Analytics that you can add to your WordPress blog to help you track how many visitors are coming to your website. This is information that you want so that you can improve upon it and get more visitors.

photo of a cup of coffee, a notebook and a penInteresting Content

…or your blog posts. By far, the best way to improve your rankings in search engines is to produce quality content. Thoughtful posts with relevant media (pictures or videos), that prove to visitors that you know what you are talking about. This puts the authority in “authority site”, which is what you want if you are going to monetize your website.

As people visit your site and see that you have some knowledge and understanding of your niche, they will begin to trust you and whatever you are promoting.

I hope that you have found this information useful. I will also be doing a post on how to write blog posts using WordPress platform, which is what I use.

If you have any comments, please use the comments box. If you have suggestions for upcoming posts or just general questions you can direct them to support@fearlessaffiliate.com. You information is safe with me!

16 thoughts on “What Is A Blog?”

  1. Hi Irma
    good explanation of what a blog is. I want to sell things on my website, and write reviews. Is this a blog too? If I sell many products, of the same niche, do I have to write a lot of content for each individual item? How much content per post?
    Have a good time Stefan

    1. Hi Stefan and thanks for dropping by!

      I think that writing reviews on a website is totally blogging! Mommy-blogs are like that, and they do it so that they can stay home and raise their children while earning some money…a great idea! I think as things change in your niche, you will likely do reviews naturally and then share the results.

      Irma 🙂

  2. Hello and thanks for sharing, blogging has become so popular in this day and time that so many people have and is getting into this line of work. Blogging has so much to offer as long as you go about it the right way, putting in those long hours and waiting for your break to come. Many are know doing this full time and making a good living. Your post is very informative with lots of good information.

    1. Hello Norman, and thank you for stopping by!

      I agree! It is funny how something that started as an online diary is now an employment opportunity! It is awesome because we all benefit from these blogs.

      Irma 🙂

  3. This is a great article for beginners. My first blog I was all over the place. I didn’t know how to pick a topic, what were plugins or anything. You give the right amount of information to get started. It is true the niche is the hardest and the scariest part and then making sure your content is interesting. Thanks for the info!

  4. Thanks for the article and explaining some of the terms in a language that I can understand. I am very new to the world of blogging and creating content and finding that I enjoy it very much. There really are a lot of little details and things to consider though, it’s a lot more than just writing a blog, because after all we hope to have an audience. Thanks for the information.

    1. Hi Maryjane, and thank you for stopping by!

      I wish you the best of luck with your blog, and much success! I, too, find it rewarding.

      Irma 🙂

  5. This is a great article for some one looking to to start off in blogging. I have now been blogging for about 6 months now and I have never looked back. The details that are contained in this article is just how I got started. The hardest thing I found when I started was picking out a niche thanks for the article.

    1. Hi James, and thank you for stopping by!

      I was actually hoping to motivate some of my family members into blogging, since so many of them tell me that they are interested in writing the family history and putting it out there for the rest of the family. Great idea! Do it! 🙂
      Thank you for your kind comments.

      Irma 🙂

  6. I find the history and definitions to be interesting. It filled a gap in my blogging background. Years ago, when I heard of blogging, I thought “who would want to do that day after day”. It reminded me of the early days of FB when people took a picture of the sandwich they had for lunch, and that was a big deal. Even though blogging is in its’ infancy, in the grand scheme of earth history, it has come a long way. Food for thought!

    1. Hi Judith, and thank you for stopping by!

      I laughed out loud at your comment about posting pictures of sandwiches! Too funny 🙂

      I think the best part of blogs is that you get a personal perspective about some products, not just a sales pitch.

      Irma 🙂

  7. This is a great overview of blogging! I tell you, the hardest part is finding the time, and then committing to it. A person can blog about almost anything. If there is a hobby, or an interest, you can (in theory) turn that into an income stream. I know it takes a lot of work, and again, dedication. Anyway, I think you have touched on a lot of good points in your post. I will be sure to check back in the future for more fantastic articles on blogging!

    1. Hi Steve and thank you for stopping by!

      I actually was writing this post because several family members are really interested in what I am doing here but they do not understand it! One of my cousins has expressed interest in putting family history, stories and poetry online, and I am encouraging everyone that I know to go ahead and set up a free blog just for that.
      I also encourage them to buy a domain, just in case something happens with the free site.
      Since I have learned the power of journaling I try to encourage others to “tell their stories”; and if you can find a way to earn some extra cash, then I say why not?

      Irma 🙂

  8. I was thinking in starting a Website Blog, and I found your information very useful. I would like to make a e-commerce site with some blogs. By the hosting, do you recommend anyone in particular? Bluehost has a lot of marketing, but, is it the best? What about GoDaddy? I have heard good things about them. What should I consider before choosing a Web Host?

    1. Hi Ruben and thank you for stopping by!

      I recommend looking for hosting that gives you enough storage/bandwidth to allow your site to grow. SSL (security) is an important consideration, as well as additional extras like an email address (more than one is great!) and 24/7 support. These are things that usually come with paid hosting, but not free. I currently have hosting provided by Wealthy Affiliate, which includes all of these options in my membership.

      Irma 🙂

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