Blogging has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a personal diary just around the turn of the century. Blogs are a part of mainstream culture today, providing news, forging relationships and building business brands — all at the same time.

Blogging has a recent origin. A college student named Justin Hall created a simple personal site, which contained interesting links and a couple of photos, in the year 1994. The subsequent years witnessed the emergence of blogging platforms, which made it easier for people to create blogs and leave comments on others’ posts. The launch of Technorati, the first blog search engine, in the year 2003 fuelled the growth of blogs further. The arrival of a free and open-source blogging platform called WordPress in 2003 was the real game-changer on the nascent blogging scene. WordPress dramatically expanded the appeal and spread of blogging by facilitating the creation of blogs and even websites without the need to possess prior technical knowledge. Video blogs came into existence a year later in 2004. And the rest is history.

Building a blog for yourself involves some basics. A good command over the language is a given as linguistic errors can seriously dent the credibility of a blogger in the eyes of the readers. Blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger are free and easy to use, but knowledge of web designing would go a long way in rendering a blog attractive and interesting. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital skill-set for bloggers as the ranking on Google and other search engines are based on the keywords used in the content. Meta-descriptions and one-sentence summary of the blog articles would also go a long way in boosting search engine ranking and attracting a greater number of readers.

Blog posts are considered as the purest form of online content. The written word is the simplest content that can be read, indexed and ranked by Google. Advances in facial recognition are rendering images and videos more search engine-friendly with each passing day, but there is still a long way to go from the speed and ease of comprehending the written word. Blogging does not offer provisions for content filtering, unlike other content platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and video. Blogs are a critical source of content for social media channels. A single blog post can fuel an endless stream of FB posts, tweets and LinkedIn updates. From the business point of view, a blog presents an ideal platform to tell the story of a brand, connect with the customers and stay ahead of the competition.

Blogs have only been around for 20+ years, but it seems like a lifetime. Some of the early blogging platforms have gone extinct and others such as WordPress have morphed into a thriving content management system. Moving beyond their humble beginnings as glorified online journals, blogs have become a means of self-expression, pursuing the passion for writing, sharing views and conducting business. And the possibilities are truly amazing and endless.