Blogging 101: History Of How Blogging Changed Through The Years

History Of How Blogging Changed Through The Years
Would you believe that close a third of all websites online today are blogs? There are 1.7 billion websites out there, and 500 million of them are blogs. What started as a hobby is now a multimillion-dollar business, which produces 2 million blog posts every day.

Blogging is synonymous with WordPress, a blogging platform that established itself as the blogging authority of the internet era. The platform powers over 30% of all blogging websites online. Nevertheless, do you know blogging survived a whole decade on the World Wide Web without WordPress?

WordPress was created in 2003, while the very first blog was posted in 1994! Curious as to who the godfather of blogging is? Let us take a trip down memory lane and relive the history of this much-cherished play and work internet activity.

When Did Blogging First Begin?

The 90s

The year is 1994, Pulp Fiction is out, and the Quentin Tarantino massive box hit is raking in millions. Amazon and Yahoo make their debut too this year, and Nelson Mandela becomes the president of South Africa. The blogging scene is also making its baby steps a year after the first web site launch by Tim Berners- Lee in 1992.

The honored title of the world’s first blogger is highly disputed and understandably so. In 1993, Rob Palmer launched his first plain text blog while MIT’s Claudio Pinhanez, Justin Hall, and Brian Lucas all launch theirs in 1994. Claudio publishes his "Open Diary”, while Justin, the father of over-sharing, begins his "personal homepage" Justin’s Links From the Underground.

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Brian Lucas, on the other hand, establishes a travel journal, Thanks to his over sharing the New York Times Magazine named Justin as the official godfather of personal blogging.

Come 1997, Jorn Barger formed the charming term “weblog," a rather pleasant change from blogging’s older terminology such as online journals or diaries. At the close of that decade, blogging became more mainstream with the launch of Open Diary.

Open Diary is WordPress's predecessor allowing blog posts and reader comments as well. The term weblog was soon shortened to blog, and by 1999 as the world held its breath for Y2K, Blogger and LiveJournal were born.

The Early 2000s

By the beginning of the new decade, blog monetization appeared in the scene as blogging began to impact lives globally. In 2002, the year that Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets release, were released, saw the launch of Technorati.

Built originally as a blog search engine, Technorati was launched in February of that year. It is also the year that sparked the first blogging privacy concerns. Personal blogger Heather B. Armstrong lost her job after posting content about her colleagues on 2002 nevertheless remains a big year for blogging as it encouraged the rise of mommy bloggers.

In 2003, TypePad and WordPress joined the scene, and Google launches Ad Sense, buying out Blogger in a bid to mine data and improve their search engine. AdSense brought advertising to blogs and consequently, about blog sponsorship by huge brands.

The Guardian became the first live blogging site, and cyber journalists joined the blogosphere. In 2004, "blog" became the Merriam-Webster word of the year, and Steve Garfield launched the first video blog. YouTube, however, caught up in 2005, starting as a dating site!

2006 To 2010

In 2006, poor Pluto was declassified as a planet, and Google cleverly buys out YouTube for a then massive, but worth it with hindsight, $1.65 billion. This is the year that BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post hit the scene, blurring the line between blogging and news reporting.

Jonah Peretti, Huff Post's co-founder, went on to create BuzzFeed increasingly meshing entertainment and news into one open blog. 2007 saw the rise of microblogging as online attention spans began to decline.

Tumblr, the world's largest blogging platform, with 488 million blogs, was born. Tumblr encouraged short-form writing, and articles averaged 300-to 400 words. Twitter use exploded this year, popularizing extreme short-form writing with its 140 characters per tweet rule.

2010 To 2019

There is a significant lull in blogging innovation till 2012, the year that the Mayan apocalypse was expected, but the world was busy dancing to Gangnam Style. It is the year that Medium appears on the scene. The platform is co-founded by Blogger's Evan Williams, bringing in the era of decentralized content.

LinkedIn established its influencers program and in 2016, WordPress's .blog as blogging became increasingly popular. The rest, as they say, is history.

How Has Blogging Changed Over The Years?

  • The roaring 20s are here, and the blogging landscape has changed in various ways. Data, for instance, shows that long-form writing is back in fashion. The average blog post today is 1,236 words long, a 53% rise from the average blog post of six years ago.
  • Visual content is as successful as ever, and collaborative blog posts are even more successful. Bloggers are, therefore, using more expert opinions, contributor quotes, and influencers to produce strong results. Besides paid promotions and influencer outreach, bloggers have taken to social media to promote their writing.
  • In the past, there were no social media algorithms so, the content was viewed when and where shared. Things have changed over the years, and while most bloggers take advantage of cheap and easy social media promotion channels, more of them are paying for it.
  • Social media channels such as Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram have absorbed large numbers of online visitors, so bloggers are struggling harder than before to attract readership. Many of them are not only using these newer channels for promotion but have built up robust email marketing strategies.

Where Is The Future Of Blogging Going?

Content will continue to rule in the future, unlike the past, when a focused keyword regime would bring in the numbers. Google's intelligence is maturing, and its algorithm can now comprehend the content quality. People are also becoming very fussy about the online content that they want to consume. There is an information overload forcing people to only view blog content from the sites that they have subscribed to.

Vlogging and podcasts will, however, continue to bud, so blogs are going to require more of this type of content. Google SERP is also increasingly diverting traffic from blogs, and the situation could worsen, as the platform becomes fully AI-powered.

This loss in the audience amongst competitive niches opens up doors for blogs that create content for low competition niches. Smart bots will be increasingly used to write pre-fed statistics and factual content, but stellar blog writers will thrive in persuasive content writing.

AUTHOR_NAMEAbout the Author:
David is an experienced Public Relations manager currently working as part of the Cardinal Digital Marketing team. They are an Atlanta based Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in PPC Management.
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