The first blogs were created in 1994; these were simple websites where individuals could write content about the news, information or even personal diaries.
The first bloggers started writing their blogs on primitive websites with technology in the 1990s.
The technology of blogging has evolved with the development of social media platforms like Facebook in 2004, YouTube in 2005 and Instagram in 2010.
The development of social media and the fact that in 2022, there will be over 600 million blogs and 1.9 billion websites worldwide.
There are over 6 million blog posts published every day and more than 2.5 billion every year.
The origins of the blog
It’s generally recognised that the first blog was Links.net, created by Justin Hall while he was a Swarthmore College student in 1994. Blogs were not called blogs initially.
They were just personal homepages and were relatively primitive in terms of technology, and the experience of navigating these blogs was primitive.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the term “weblog” was coined.
The word’s creation has been attributed to Jorn Barger of the influential early blog Robot Wisdom.
The term was created to reflect the process of “logging the web” as he browsed.
1998 marked the first known instance of a blog on a traditional news site when Jonathan Dube blogged about Hurricane Bonnie for The Charlotte Observer.
“Weblog” was shortened to “blog” in 1999 by programmer Peter Merholz. It was not until five years later that Merriam-Webster declared the word their word of the year.
The original blogs were updated manually, often linked from the main home page or archive. This wasn’t very efficient, but unless you were a programmer who could create your custom blogging platform, there weren’t any other options.
A few different “blogging” platforms cropped up during these early years. LiveJournal is probably the most recognisable of the early sites.
And then, in 1999, the platform that would later become Blogger was started by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan at Pyra Labs. Blogger is mainly responsible for bringing blogging to the mainstream.
The growth of the blog
The early 2000s were a period of growth for blogs. In 1999, according to a list compiled by Jesse James Garrett, there were 23 blogs on the internet.
According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere report, by the middle of 2006, there were 50 million blogs.
Political blogs were some of the most famous early blogs. Some political candidates started using blogs during this period, including Howard Dean and Wesley Clark.
In the rise of blogging, a critical event was when bloggers focused on the comments U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said regarding U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond in 2002. Lott, while praising Thurmond, stated that the U.S. would have been better off if Thurmond had been elected President in 1948.
Thurmond was a strong supporter of racial segregation (though his position changed later in his political career). The mainstream media didn’t pick up on the comments and their potential implications until bloggers broke the story.
In-depth topic blogs were also becoming more prevalent during this time.
They often delved much deeper into current news and pop culture than mainstream media sources and commented directly on what traditional media was reporting.
By 2001, there was enough interest in blogging that some how-to articles and guides started cropping up.
Now, “meta blogs” (blogs about blogging) make up a sizable portion of the most popular and successful blogs.
Several popular blogs started in the early 2000s, including Boing Boing, Dooce, Gizmodo, Gawker (the first significant gossip blog to launch), and WonketteThend the Huffington Post. Weblogs, Inc.
Was started by Jason Calacanis in 2003 and was then sold to AOL for $25 million. That sale helped cement blogs as a force to be reckoned with rather than just a fad.
A couple of powerful blogging platforms got their start in the early 2000s. Version 1.0 of Movable Type was released in September of 2001.
WordPress was started in 2003, though parts of its development date to 2001. TypePad was also released in 2003, based on Movable Type.
Some peripheral services to the blogosphere started in the early 2000s. Technorati, the first major blog search engine, was launched in 2002. Audioblogger, the first significant podcasting service, was founded in 2003. The first video blogs started in 2004.
Also launched in 2003, the AdSense advertising platform was also founded, which was the first ad network to match ads to the content on a blog.
AdSense also made it possible for bloggers without massive platforms to start making money from when they started blogging (though payments to low-traffic blogs weren’t substantial).
Once bloggers started making money from their blogs, the number of meta blogs skyrocketed. Bloggers like Darren Rowse (of Problogger.net and Digital-Photography-School.net) and John Chow made sizable amounts of money telling other bloggers how they could turn blogging into a full-time career.
One early event that highlighted the rising importance of blogs was the firing of Heather Armstrong, the blogger behind Dooce, for comments posted on her blog regarding her employer.
This event happened in 2002 and sparked a debate over privacy issues that still haven’t been sufficiently put to rest by 2011.
“Dooced” became a slang term to describe being fired from one’s job for something you’ve written on your blog and has made appearances in Urban Dictionary and even on Jeopardy!
Blogs go Mainstream
By the mid-2000s, blogs were reaching the mainstream.
In January 2005, a study was released saying that 32 million Americans read blogs.
At the time, it was more than ten per cent of the entire population.
The same year, Garrett M. Graff was granted White House press credentials, the first blogger ever to do so.
Several mainstream media sites started their blogs during the mid to late 2000s or teamed up with existing blogs to provide additional coverage and commentary.
By 2004, political consultants, candidates, and mainstream news organisations began prominently using blogs.
They provided the perfect vehicle for broadcasting editorial opinions and reaching out to readers and viewers.
Mainstream media sources also team up with existing blogs and bloggers rather than just setting out independently.
Take, for example, the regular posts on CNN.com from Mashable editors and writers. Another good example is the purchase of TechCrunch and associated blogs by AOL, which, while not a traditional media source, is one of the oldest internet companies still in existence.
During this time, the number of blogs grew even more, with more than 152 million blogs active by 2010.
Virtually every mainstream news source now has at least one blog, as many corporations and individuals do.
The Rise of Microblogs and Tumblogs
Many people only think of Twitter when they think of microblogging. Still, other microblogs (also called Tumblog) platforms allow for a more traditional type of blogging experience while also allowing for the social networking features of Twitter (like following other bloggers).
Tumblr was the first primary site to offer this service in 2007.
Unlike traditional blogging services, they allow for various post types, which have a one-size-fits-all post format (that will enable users to format their posts however they want, including adding multimedia objects).
It also makes it easier for users to reblog the content of others or to like individual posts (sort of like Facebook’s “like” feature).
Posterous is another similar service. Launched in 2008, Posterous allows bloggers to set up a simple blog via email and then submit content via their online editor or email.
Posterous is sometimes considered more of a lifestreaming app than a blogging platform, though it’s technically both.
Those who blog to grow their brand profile
By starting a blog, you can enhance and promote your brand profile by promoting yourself and promoting your services. If you are a freelance copywriter or freelance journalist, or any freelance professional, you can use a blog to promote yourself. For instance, if you are a personal trainer, you can use your blog to talk about training techniques, foods and other relevant methods to improve a person’s physical fitness. A blog can also highlight your skills and demonstrate your experience and the depth of your knowledge. For example, a copywriter or a writer can use a blog to demonstrate their writing abilities and the ability to drive web traffic to their website.
Those who blog about their chosen subject
blogging about a chosen topic can help start your blogging journey or writing journey; depending on which term you want to use, blogging about your interests can help sustain your blog.
However, keep in mind your interests can change, and when you make changes to your blog, for instance, if you start a blog talking about gaming, change your mind as you get older or your interest change, you have to start writing about something else.
The benefits of passion blogging are that you can morph your blog to the subjects that you are passionate about in the current profession you are currently working.
For instance, if you are a Recruiter, Work Coach or Personal Development Coach, you can use your blog for personal development advice to create a strong readership.
Linking your professional experience with your blog will help expand your individual business or personal profile.
Those who blog to enhance their business profile
If you are a small business owner or have any business, you can use your blog to promote yourself and your business, no matter the scale.
For example, if you are a Copywriter or Trainer, you can use a blog for advertising yourself and promoting your product. But to get the most out of your blog, you must work on Search Engine Optimisation to climb the Google search engine to get the first page on people’s google search.
You can promote your business using a variety of social media platforms, such as creating a Facebook and creating a social group around your business, as long as it’s relevant to your company and can be used effective way on Facebook platforms social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn are also invaluable.
It can be something as simple as word of mouth or using digital marketing to enhance your market reach when it comes to marketing. This is where a blog can become handy to expand your profile and expand your target audience.