In 2016, doesn’t it seem like we take the word “blog” for granted? Everyone has a blog, or so it seems.
But what constitutes a blog? Do people on Tumblr who collect and reposts photos from their favorite television series count? How about your neighbor around the corner who blogs about her homemade cat food? Or does it refer to just what you, a B2B content creator, do for a living?
The question is rhetorical. The word blog applies to all of these areas and many countless others. It is such a broad term that I would argue it must get confusing to the general public. After all, there is a significant difference between a blog devoted to pictures of the cast from Harry Potter and an article about common content marketing mistakes.
It is all content, but how do you differentiate a blog from a blog?
After all, when I think of a blog, I think of what I’m working on, but others, including your audience, might not. I started exploring synonyms for the word blog, just to see what the general public would find at the very beginning of learning about blogging.
Honestly, after seeing these results I could see why some have attempted to steer clear of the word blog. When I surveyed the top 10 results on Google for the two queries “synonyms for blog and “other words for blog” the top two alternatives were “diary” and “journal.”
It sounds rather elementary, or should I say elementary school. Good luck being taken seriously when you tell your friends you spent your all workday writing in your diary. Or telling your boss you need a bigger budget for your journal.
Both terms are better suited to an angsty teenager than a working professional with a sound content marketing strategy.
The rest of the language that were used most commonly as synonyms to blog aren’t much better. Here is a table containing the number of times (out of the 20 results from the 2 search queries) that each term was used as a synonym for blog. For the purposes of this table, I excluded the 35 terms that only came up once.
|Term||# of Mentions|
These synonyms might encompass some parts of what a blog is, but none of them really hit the nail on the head.
You’re working on professionally created content.
The word blog has morphed extensively from its original name, “web log” or “weblog.” These terms were coined in 1997 before being shortened to “blog” soon after in 1999.
The term “web log” is outdated. I’ve never read it in any context independently, only as a synonym for the word blog. A google search for “web log” turns up 407 million results. But a search for “blog” turns up 1.7 billion results because of its more popular, modern usage.
In essence, all the language offered as a definition or synonym for the word blog is dated. When I think of a blog or you think of a blog, you think of professional or at least semi-professional content creation. You don’t think of this charming definition from Urban Dictionary (the rest are equally as brutal).
Even as I looked at the handful of articlesand a forum that were contained within the 20 search results I studied, I couldn’t help but notice how old they were. The articles were from 2007. That means that they are almost ten years old and are still on the front page of Google. Considering the leaps that blogs have made in that time, doesn’t it seem like the conversations should be more up-to-date?
There are loads of amazing blogs out there with such great content and they are buried under this outdated nonsense? It seems to me that marketers have a couple of options.
Rename Your Blog
Some demographics will not respond well to the word blog, either being too young, too old, or too jaded for the term. When I was researching alternatives, I found some less common, more suitable terms for a set of posts collected on a webpage for the means of effective content marketing.
- Latest Updates
- Latest News
- Insider News
- News Bulletin
- Industry Updates
- Customer Corner
I even saw one company direct you to their blog with the word ‘”Learn.” What a brilliant way to introduce insightful, educational content.
Rewrite the Definitions
The thing about the internet is that it is fluid and that with enough people changing the definition, we could claim the term blog back.
The words above represent the general ideas behind the word blog and they are not accurate to the most common usage of the word today.
But with enough discussion, the tide could be shifted to represent the main use of blogs these days. The Google results will shift if enough people write about it.
If you call what you write a blog, you should care about how the original word is portrayed on the internet as it affects the success of your own work. It the public doesn’t recognize the blog as a legitimate publication, just a journal or something equally as trivial, it will undermine all the hard work that you do.
We lack a word that describes what we do, as it is presently all just blogging. There is no way to differentiate the professional from the hobbyist. I think it might be time to change that.
What do you think? Should there be a different word for professional content and non-professional content? Does one already exist? Let us know in the comments section.