These days the words blog, blogging and blogger gets thrown around a lot. You may have some idea of what it’s all about, but people often still have a ton of questions. Who are these people? What exactly are they doing? Are they really making a living doing this? Fear not! We’re going to answer all of these questions and much more!
What is a blog and where did they come from?
Blog is the combination of the words web and log. It’s not clear exactly when blogging started, but one thing is for sure. The idea of blogging was well under way by the early to mid 1990’s. At that time most blogs were located on specific websites where a person could make an account and start writing. Similar to the way that Tumblr still works today. A blog was a lot like an online diary or a journal where people could write entries called “Posts”.
Over time the people who did this regularly became known as “Bloggers”. They wrote about whatever they wanted, often things that were going on in their lives or their hobbies. There definitely wasn’t any money involved and most bloggers did it because it was a fun hobby.
Today the world of blogging as changed dramatically. Most blogs have moved away from centralized website, and the bloggers themselves started creating their own websites. Much like ours that you are on right now! We built unearthevoyage.com from scratch and it’s sole purpose is to be the home for our blog. The vast majority of Bloggers have also focused on one specific niche to write about. It is still a hobby for many bloggers but the idea of blogging as a profession has become quite common.
How do bloggers make money?
This is one of the most confusing parts for most people. How do bloggers make money? Their readers are given access to their blogs for free, and bloggers say that they work for themselves. So where does the money come from?
If a blogger is able to build a large enough audience within the topic that they write about, they begin to gain a bit of influence within that industry. Companies within the same industry recognize that and are often eager to work with bloggers to help get the word out about the products or services they provide. Bloggers are able to pick and choose the companies they work with and act as a sort of gatekeeper between these companies and their audience. Bloggers often accept money, products or trips to visit destinations (for travel bloggers) in exchange for speaking about it to their audience.
You will also notice that most blog posts that you read have ads in them. Those ads also help to earn a small amount of money for the blogger. They give companies like Google permission to place the ads in their articles and get money in exchange for the number of people that see them. A good bloggers knows how to use this opportunity to help fund their work without placing so many ads that it becomes distracting to their readers.
It would be great if there wasn’t any money involved, because it always seems to complicate things. But bloggers like everyone else in the world have bills and need to eat. A good blogger will also limit the amount of this stuff that you see and will only work with companies that they believe offer good services or products that their readers might actually want.
What you can do to help?
Blogging has come a long way from it’s humble beginnings to the full blown industry that it is today. But even still writing has never been the most profitable occupation. There are of course exceptions to the rule and you will find bloggers who are doing quite well for themselves. But the reality of the situation is that 99% of the bloggers operating today are far from wealthy. We do what we do because we love it! We love the topics we write about and we genuinely want to provide something useful to our readers. We love the people that we get to meet and want to give something of ourselves to them.
If you find a blog that you love there is a number of things you can do to help the person who runs it. The first and easiest thing is to simply keep coming back. A regular audience is very encouraging to a blogger and it helps give them the motivation to keep blogging.
Tell your friends who you think might also enjoy reading the blog. You can share their posts on Facebook or any other social media. This gets their blog in front of more eyeballs, which is always a good thing.
Click on their links
Many bloggers will add links into their post that will take you to products that they believe in. Don’t ever buy anything that you don’t want or need, but if you are going to buy something then take the time to click your favorite bloggers link to that product first. Bloggers often have agreements with these companies where they will receive a commission off of the sale because you originally came from their site. The price of the product doesn’t change at all and so it’s a great way to support your favorite blog at no extra cost to you!
Finally many bloggers have taken the time to create products themselves. They often have ebooks or courses that they have created for sale on their blogs. Again don’t buy anything you don’t want obviously, but if you see something that you might like then you can feel good about knowing that the money you pay for these products helps keep your favorite blog going!
Do you have more questions about blogs? Leave a comment below and let us know!