An Answer to What is a Blog Anyway?

A Blog is Like A Magazine or Newspaper Column

waht is a blog - character with question mark in hand standing on laptop keyboardDo you get asked, “What is a blog anyway?” I found a new answer to that question (it should work especially well for those over age 30 or so). A blogger is like a magazine or newspaper columnist, and a blog is kind of like a newspaper or magazine column, but on the Internet, instead of a hard copy publication. Instead of having to convince an editor or publication to publish their column, a blogger (i.e.columnist) can put up their own blog online for anyone to read (i.e a column). Like columns – blogs are usually a mix of opinion and facts/useful information.

Blog Comments are Like Letters to the Editor

Another way that blogs are like newspapers and magazines columns: a blogs”comments” section is like the letters to the editor. There is one advantage over letters to the editor though…many blogs are set so that comments are posted online instantly, you don’t have to wait a month to see if the editor chose your letter. Just like letters to the editor, comments can be positive, can add more to the conversation, or they can be from people who disagree with you.

I got this idea when I picked up a book from the 1980’s “How To Write and Sell a Column” – if you substituted blog for column in the book – except for the need to sell it to an editor – many ideas in the book works for ideas for blogging. And even the “pitch an editor” tips might help you land a good guest blogger spot on a larger online publication, you might even get paid for it.

Your Point of View?

What is your analogy for what a blog is? How do you describe a blog to those who ask when you say I write a blog?


P.S. if you are reading this near a holiday – an analog like this can be a big help when at office parties or talking with your family if you are thinking about creating a blog of your own. Be prepared with an answer for what is a blog anyway!

A How to Blog post By Cathy Larkin: PR,  Social Media & Blogging Consultant and Coach: @Cathy WebSavvyPR & @WhyDoWeBlog.


7 thoughts on “An Answer to What is a Blog Anyway?

  1. Cathy, This is a pretty good analogy and I do think the “blog” definitions will vary (formulating a blog post of my own, hmm). I think the Comments are the big difference for me. Unlike static stories, blog posts are dynamic because of comments. They spark discussion, debate, and sometimes, distribution when people share or link back to content. There’s much more give and take between writer and reader. FWIW.

  2. Davina, I agree – the definition I gave of the actual blog and an online magazine or newspaper is a bit limiting – since a blog can range from a simple online diary to a full fledged interactive website (that hardly looks like a blog) at the other end.

    But I was looking for that basic analogy so when some family member over the holidays says, “So what are you doing these days?” And you answer, “I’m writing a blog about XYZ.” I want bloggers to be ready for their follow-up question: “What is a blog anyway?” ;~)

  3. Hello,

    I am 46. I don’t know much about blogs. I liked your newspaper column analogy a lot. Now, my biggest question is how do I find blogs to read. Is there a list of all blogs somewhere by topic?


  4. Shan,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog post. And I guess when I mentioned the age thing, I was just thinking that fewer younger folks are that into newspaper columns etc.

    Yes there are several ways to find blogs on topics of interest. I’m going to put a quick answer here, and because I think you are not the only one with this question, I’ll create a longer answer as a blog post and will post the link here a bit later this morning.

    1) You can go to a search engine like Google and type in a phrase like “photography blogs or blogs on gardening” or whatever topic you are interested in.

    Also, some companies host blogs on their own website, as a more informal way to learn about a company. So next time you are on a website, look for a link to their blog.

    2) You can also go to one of several blog directories and look up blogs by topics: – this site lists 1.2 million blogs – the blogs are categorized and there is a search box. this site is set up like a search engine for blogs, but the results may look funny – they show blog posts titles, that fit the search terms you used, not just the name of a blog.

    There area also niche blog sites that gather similar blogs together like – mainly blogs on a variety of topics, but written by and/or for women. More to come in a slightly larger blog post on the topic. Great question!

  5. Pingback: How Do I Find a Blog? | Why Do We Blog?

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