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  • Writer's pictureRussell E. Willis

Why Blogging? - The Strategic Blogger: Part 1

Strategic Writer: Episode 2


Weblog graphic
photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

What Is a “Blog”

Before there were blogs, there was the nascent internet (born in 1983).  In the 80s and early 90s, digital communities, often called “forums,”  emerged.  These communities created innovative ways to have “conversations” by sharing information in “threads.”  By 1992, some of these innovative conversations had morphed into what we would call blogs.


The term "blog" is a contraction of the words "web" and "log." It was coined in the late 1990s by Jorn Barger who used the term to describe short articles featuring his own wisdom and links to other sites on his website, “Robot Wisdom.”  In 1999, Peter Merholz broke the term “Weblog” into “we blog” as a joke.  From then on, “blog” it was.


Initially, these online logs were primarily used to share personal thoughts, experiences, and reflections on various topics. As the popularity of this format grew and blogging platforms became more accessible, blogs evolved into a diverse medium used for everything from personal expression to professional journalism, marketing, and beyond.  Most website platforms incorporated blogging.  In some cases, the website functioned primarily as a blog, with navigation to other pages with various kinds of content. 


Many of the successful blogs emerged in the early 2000s, including Huffington Post. In 2003, WordPress, one of the top current blogging platforms, was born.  The term "blog" has since become ubiquitous in internet culture, representing a wide range of websites and content formats.  For instance, the open-source learning management system called Moodle had one of the earliest “blog” functions which I used extensively in the mid-2000s.  


Why Blog?

Blogging, at its basic level, is a form of digital communication, along with many other forms, including video.  Many blogs are personal or hobbyist blogging, focusing on self-expression or niche interests.  These blogs appeal to “followers” who often subscribe to their favorite blogs.


By the late 2000s, however, blogging had become a significant communication tool for businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and individual thought leaders.  Today it is one of the critical tools in the copywriting toolbox for marketing and advocacy.


photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

So, I’m Ready to Blog.  Now What?

To start a blog, you don't need much in terms of technology, but having specific tools and platforms can significantly enhance your blogging experience.  Here’s an essential list of basic blogging technology:

  1. Computer or Mobile Device: You need a device like a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone to create and manage your blog.

  2. Internet Connection: ‘Nuff said.

  3. Blogging Platform: Many platforms provide templates, tools, and hosting services to make it easy to create and manage your blog.  WordPress, Blogger, Medium, Squarespace, Wix, and many more platforms offer various extended services, including a complete website architecture.  For full disclosure, I am a happy Wix user.

  4. Writing and Editing Tools: You'll need basic writing and editing tools to create your blog posts. Many bloggers use word processing software like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, or you can use the built-in editors provided by blogging platforms.  In addition to the tools provided by Wix, I use Google docs extensively, linked to Grammarly (a multi-faceted and widely used editing tool).

  5. Images and Multimedia: Visual content can enhance your blog posts, so you may need tools for creating or sourcing images, videos, and other multimedia elements.  I have found Synthesis to be a useful AI text-to-video software.

You might want to consider some additional technology if you want to enhance and expand your brand or reach:

  • Domain Name: If you want a custom web address (e.g., rewilliswrites.com),  you'll need to register a domain name. Many blogging platforms offer the option to purchase a domain name directly through them.

  • Content Management System (CMS): If you're using a self-hosted platform like WordPress.org, you may need a CMS to manage your blog content. WordPress is the most popular CMS, but there are others like Joomla and Drupal.

  • Social Media Integration: Integrating your blog with social media platforms can help you promote your content and engage with your audience. Most blogging platforms offer built-in social sharing features, but you may also want to use third-party tools for scheduling posts and managing social media accounts.

  • Analytics: Tracking your blog's performance is essential for understanding your audience and improving your content strategy. Many blogging platforms offer built-in analytics tools, or you can use third-party analytics services like Google Analytics.

Generally, while you don't need advanced technology to start a blog, having access to the right tools and platforms can make the process easier and more enjoyable.  But, if you have blogging capabilities built-in to your website or use a platform like LinkedIn that has a resident blogging function, you may already be on your way to becoming a steely-eyed blogger.

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by Russell E. Willis


If I can help you, your business, or your organization with copywriting (white papers, blogs, web content, case studies, or emails); Ghostwriting (Books and articles -- specializing in converting blog and podcast series into print or ebooks); or short-form "explainer" videos, please check out REWillisWrites.com (and fill out the contact form) or email me at rewilliswrites@gmail.com.


I am also available for strategic planning consultations for not-for-profit organizations and creatives. Contact me at REWillisWrites@gmail.com for more information.

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