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What are Blogs? And Which Types are the Most Popular?

Popular types of blogs include cooking, fashion, and sports. Learn more about other types of blogs and how you can create your own.

You may be surprised to learn that the first blog was written in 1994 before the name "blog" was invented. In 1997, the term "weblog" was spawned but it wasn't shortened to "blog" until 1999.

When blogs began, they met Merriam-Webster‘s definition that a blog is "a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer."

But over time, the purpose for blogs grew into this second definition: "A regular feature appearing as part of an online publication that typically relates to a particular topic and consists of articles and personal commentary by one or more authors."

It wasn't until 2002 when the Mommy blogs began that blogs began to serve another purpose: To promote or sell products or services to make money. Since that time, blogs have become a necessary way to reach a target audience for most types of businesses, even if they do the majority of their business from a brick-and-mortar location.

What are blogs?

In today's world with rapidly developing technology, blogging has morphed into a huge money-making enterprise. There are basically 3 styles of blogs in 2022.

Other than the small number of personal blogs, almost all blogs are written for businesses to meet the needs of a specific audience with SEO content.

And blogs are no longer limited to text content. There are vlogs (video logs), and most blogs offer content like images, polls, infographics, puzzles, and more to make them interactive. Podcasts, which have episodes of audio content, are a cross between blogs and traditional radio shows.

Blogs are usually constructed in a periodical fashion, where each new post shows at the front of the queue with earlier posts following in reverse chronological order. This allows you and your readers to have a framework or structure when they are looking for a specific post.

Reasons to blog

The most common type of blog is the small business blog. These blogs are written to market a business's products or services to prospective customers.

Why do small businesses need a blog?

Small businesses have a much smaller marketing and advertising budget than large corporations. They compete with companies that are household names or have massive branding campaigns. For example, Kleenex, the brand name, has become the household name for this product in most of the U.S. The product name is tissues.

So, to reach their target demographic, most small businesses have turned to the internet for marketing and advertising. Blogging is one of the successful ways to drive leads online. This is true across most industries and demographics.

Types of blogs

Technically, you can have a blog in some format—text, video, audio, or images—about any topic. But blogs in some industries do better than others. The most successful categories are topics that change often like fashion or are rewarding hobbies for readers. Here are the most successful blogging categories.

1. Food blogs

Food is one of the most popular blog categories. Food blogs range from baking blogs to vegan blogs to baby food blogs. If you can think of a food topic, chances are that there is at least one blog about it. Some of these blogs are the grandchildren of the original Mommy blogs. They began as Mommy blogs, then specialized in their more successful topics of cooking, baking, or other food topics.

The majority of food bloggers earn their income from sponsorships in which they are paid to write content for their sponsors. This may involve creating an original recipe using the products or visiting a restaurant that sells them. Sponsorships clearly state what you need to do to earn your commission.

2. Travel blogs

Traveling is popular with most demographics, especially retired people. Travel blogs bring the richness of exotic locations to viewers through imagery, video, and streaming while offering insight into the best way to travel in different countries, states, or even locally.

Travel bloggers work in a similar vein as food bloggers, except that the best travel blog writers get to travel on their sponsor's dime in order to give you their in-person impression of the destination, including hotels, local restaurants, and entertainment. The best travel bloggers give their tips on how to make each trip easier and more entertaining, safer, and how to deal with sudden travel plan changes.

3. Health and fitness blogs

Health and fitness blogs have become well-liked by several demographics, and each blog caters to a specific audience. Some focus on medical issues like diabetes or heart disease. Others focus on how a demographic, like retirees, can stay healthy in their daily life. At the other end of the spectrum, you'll find blogs about professional weightlifting, yoga, or even the best children's fitness routines.

Health and fitness is a very broad category that offers a range of subtopics for health bloggers to explore. It's important to know your audience, and what they are interested in. Then you can offer them the health and wellness tips when you see which topics get the most visitors and clicks.

4. Lifestyle blogs

Lifestyle blogs generally have an overriding theme like living in the country, small towns, life in a region of the country, living with kids in a downtown city, or just about any living situation you can find. These tend to be more upscale because many of the products and services that sponsor lifestyle blogs are marketing upper-scale brands.

However, there are some lifestyle blogs that talk about living a minimalist lifestyle or a low-tech lifestyle. These lifestyle blogs show how to live a certain way and offer you a quieter, simpler lifestyle. Lifestyle blogs incorporate home decor, remodeling, entertaining, life goals, vacations, and regularly cross into the territory of health and wellness, and sometimes food.

5. Fashion and beauty blogs

Since fashion and beauty trends change often, blogs about these topics never run out of things to cover. Many of these blogs are niche-focused. For instance, a blog that discusses how to select thrift shop finds and then turn them into trendy wardrobe additions rather than general women’s fashion.

Creating a micro-niche theme for the fashion blog draws in an audience that follows these trends, and reduces the need to compete with corporations.

6. DIY craft blogs

The internet has been good for DIYers. You can find a blog post or YouTube video about almost any kind of DIY project, large or small. Using images or video, DIY craft bloggers can demonstrate and explain how their audience can complete the same craft, including what materials they need to buy, and how to do it step-by-step.

These projects can be anything from how to build a deck to how to crochet an octopus. There is definitely something for every crafter imaginable. These types of blogs often promote DIY projects that you can share with a group of friends so you can get together and make it into a group project.

7. Parenting blogs

Parenting is a huge job, and no one knows that better than another parent. Parenting blogs were originally an offshoot of the Mommy blogs, except they've become specialized. You can find blogs on how to homeschool your children, make clothing for them, the best ways to get kids to eat nutritional foods, and what baby furniture is the best to buy for your budget.

They're a good place to find support for new parents, or if you're struggling with your new baby. There's also advice for parents on how to take care of themselves, and how to get a few minutes of "me" time.

8. Business blogs

We've already discussed why small businesses need to have a blog, but the truth is that almost every type of business has a blog in one form or another. And blogging isn't just for B2C companies. B2B companies also find that blogs help with website optimization for search engines and qualifying new leads.

Business blogs also show the personal side of any business, with content about the people behind the products.

That means that you need to have content to answer questions that typical searchers ask when searching for your products.

9. Personal finance blogs

Many people are interested in ways to earn, save, and grow their money. This is especially true for people who are retired or near retirement. They want to learn ways to save money, and how to make money last longer. These types of blogs usually find a niche for their audience. Some may specialize in stocks, bonds, and investing, while others can be about how to start saving for retirement in your 20s and 30s.

Some finance blogs are geared to reach out to students who have a limited budget and give them suggestions on how they can live on a minimal budget. There are plenty of personal finance topics to write about, and there is a lot of competition in this sector.

10. Sports blogs

Sports fans love to learn about their favorite teams and players, therefore it's not surprising that you can find lots of sports blogs on one sport, a range of local sports, or even sports camps to help participants improve their skills. Some blogs focus on the development of specific players or teams, while others report what is happening globally in sports. Blogs that focus on just one sport may only be active while that sport is in season, or they find other topics to share with their followers during the off-season.

There are also blogs for fantasy sports like fantasy football or basketball. If you're into horse racing or even the soap box derby races, you will find a blog to read.

These 10 categories of blogs are just a sampling of blog types. With some research, you can find a topic that you believe in and that has enough information to sustain a blog indefinitely.

How do I write a blog?

The question, "how do I write a blog?" is actually far too broad of a topic. You should really be asking yourself how do I write a blog about whatever topic you want to focus on.

To answer that, ask yourself these questions before you begin writing:

  • What is my overall topic?
  • What aspect of this topic do I want to write about?
  • Can you be more specific on that aspect?
  • What is your blog's purpose?
  • What type of content will you post?
  • Who is your target audience?

When you know the answers to these questions, you are ready to create your blog design and a list of topics that are relevant to your audience.

Now you're ready to write a blog post

Before you start your post, you should know your topic and be clear on the keywords you want to optimize for. If it makes it easier for you, create an outline to follow. Determine whether the post will link to other resources and where. Decide how long the post will be. Is it 300 words, 1000 words, or more? Most blog posts are starting at about 800 words to 1000 words or more. This gives you a lot of room to create a worthy post for your followers to read and learn from.

Then, start to write your post.

A blog post usually has a list of features, no matter the topic or length, including:

  • Heading or title (h1)
  • Subheadings (h2)
  • Smaller subheadings (h3)
  • One or more images
  • Links to other relevant pages
  • Introduction
  • Conclusion

These form the structure of the piece you're writing.

Optimizing your blog for SEO

There are lots of ways to optimize for SEO. These include:

  • Focusing on keywords
  • Buttons to share blog posts
  • Title, tags, meta title, and meta description
  • Internal links to relevant pages
  • Optimizing images and videos
  • Break up text with different formats
  • Strive to offer the featured snippet
  • Make sure your post is comprehensive
  • If you're blogging for local search results, tie in location

How do blogs make money?

There are several ways for bloggers to make money from their blog:

  • If they're an influencer, they may be hired to write a post about a brand for a commission or flat fee.
  • Sponsors can ask bloggers to create their own post while using the sponsor's products. For example, a food blog may be asked to create a new recipe using specific ingredients.
  • You can give space for paid ads on your blog. They pay a commission on the number of clicks or sales.
  • The blogger can be an affiliate seller for products or services and if a visitor clicks on a link and buys something, they earn a predetermined commission.
  • They can sell their own products themselves or through a Print-on-Demand program.

How to start a blog for free and make money

There's no one set way to start a new blog for free, and make money But, you have a lot of options. The trick is finding a topic you're passionate about, and that you can find different keywords to draw the right organic traffic.

You are the determiner of what you want to post and how you want to earn money from your blog posts. Decide on the first keywords that you want to optimize for, and choose the best way for you to earn money. When you first start out, you might not get the sponsors you want. As your audience grows, so will your sponsorships.

A lot of software and platforms allow you to get started for free until you meet a threshold. Once you hit a specific threshold, you will begin to get charged. Mailchimp offers several free offerings once you sign up that you can use to get your blog started. If you take your time, and monitor which content most interests your visitors, or drives the most sales, you can focus on those topics when you continue to write your blog posts.

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