The word blog derives from a corruption of the words web and log and was originally conceived as a sort of online diary. A blog consists of a series of discrete entries or “posts” normally displayed in reverse chronological order, newest first.
Since the advent of the blog in the 1990s they have evolved and are now often used by commercial organisations for online marketing or advertising. A typical blog post contains text, images and links to other blogs or websites. Blogs may also contain videos or other multimedia.
There are three very popular blogging platforms in use today: Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr and many commercial CMS systems can also support blogging. It is important to take cues from these blogging platforms when specifying a blog since they set people’s expectations as to what a blog is all about.
A blog normally consists of a blog landing page containing a list of blog posts, each entry in the list has a title, a byline, a summary possibly accompanied by a featured image, each of which links to the full blog post.
Blog articles or posts are frequently categorised with each such category forming a common thread usually related to the subject matter. It is also common practice to have a blog search function, this may be a category search, an archive search, a keyword search or a full text search. Many blogs feature a feedback mechanism that allows readers to comment on the blog posts. Such comments are usually moderated by the blog owner.
Since blog posts usually are presented in a page in their own right they can be provided with metadata for use by search engines and should in general be optimised for SEO purposes. This would for example include having a single H1 tag, a matching title tag, a description tag and list of metadata keywords. The URLs of the blog pages should also be SEO friendly. Given the serial nature of the blog posts it is very often the case that the URL will incorporate the date of the post, although this is not essential.
It is possible to integrate a blog into a Facebook account or other social media account. In this posts published to a blog appear directly in the Facebook timeline. It is also possible to have comments made against the Facebook item to be linked back to the blog.
As blogs have developed over the years the metaphor of a personal diary has to some extent been superseded. Now it is perhaps more appropriate to think of a blog, especially a commercial blog, as a sort of online magazine. The blog landing page acts rather like the index page of the magazine while the blog posts themselves can be regarded as the magazine articles.
If you would like some advice or help in creating or optimising your blog please contact us – we’d love to hear from you!