Master the art of blogging with this concise 12-point beginner’s guide to getting a blog up and running.
What is a blog?
The name blog comes from weblog, an early online journal that began life in the mid-1990s as the digital version of a personal journal, and has since evolved into something much bigger and more complex. People still use blogs to write about their personal lives, but blogs now have many other uses from niche DIY websites publishing original content to influential independent media sites to small businesses talking with their customers. Arts and culture organisations primarily use blogs to flesh out their programmes, share news and engage with their wider audience on a more personal, dynamic and informal level than their main public-facing website allows.
Blogs are written in 'posts', typically read in reverse chronological order with most recent posts at the top. The title or masthead appears at the top - be sure to choose an interesting, unique name that communicates immediately what the blog is about, and use a subheading if you need to for extra clarity. Down the side of the blog, alongside the main body where the posts appear is the sidebar, which is where links to other sites usually appear. This is where many bloggers like to maintain a blogroll, a list of other relevant sites or like-minded blogs you recommend. This is also the natural place for widgets or plugins, mini applications you can run on your blog with a variety of cool functionalities, including Twitter feeds, recent pins on Pinterest, tag clouds, or an Instagram photo slideshow. These add-ons add interest and can make your site seem more dynamic, but beware of making your blog too noisy. Overall, your content should remain the focus.