The word blog is a shortening of the words “web log.” Blogs have evolved from their earliest roots of being a log, or journal, on the web, to sophisticated sites. Yet essentially, they are the same. A blog is a website which you can update periodically with fresh content.
Thousands of templates for blogs are available, many of them free. Each time you write a new entry, called a “post,” it will appear at the top of the blog, and later entries will be archived below it. Readers can fill out a simple form to respond to your post. These are called comments. Often, comments will become a conversation not only with the blogger, but with the other commenters as well.
The most successful blogs have a focus or theme. Whether that is parenting, politics or pets, a blog that offers focused content will attract readers.
Author blogs should have themes that are consistent with the author’s brand. For example, if your books are about parenting, don’t get too heavily into politics.
A blog has dynamic content. While you should update your website content periodically, much of that content will be static: here’s a list of your books, here’s your bio, here’s a way to contact you.
But a blog can (and should) be updated several times a week. It becomes the vehicle for conversation. A blog should have dynamic content that allows for conversation with your readers.
A blog allows you to respond to current events (or other blogs) immediately. While books can take a year or more to write, edit and publish, a blog is immediate. It is like having your own daily newspaper.
If you are just starting out as a blogger, you may want to create several posts before launching your blog. That way, you can post something each day for a week to jump start your blog.