In the early 1970s, three US universities and the New York Public Library created a new kind of practical resource-sharing consortium, which incorporated in 1975 as The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RLG), until its merger with the OCLC library consortium in 2006.

RLG grew to include virtually every type of cultural memory institution—universities, national libraries, archives, historical societies, museums—all with remarkable collections for research and learning.

RLG’s main offices were in Mountain View, California, approximately seven miles south of Stanford University (where their data center was housed). There was also a branch office in New York City.

A board of directors, elected by the RLG members’ designated representatives, was responsible for the strategic management of the activities, property, and affairs of the corporation. The president was CEO and a voting member of the RLG board.

RLG staff, numbering approximately 85, were organized into the following departments:

—President’s Office
—Member Programs & Services
—Product Management
—Marketing & Sales
—Finance & Administration

What is a blog and why should you start one?

It’s 2018, and the odds are pretty good that most of your favorite websites on the internet today are blogs.


Blogs really exploded in popularity a little bit more than a decade ago. Starting as self-publishing platforms designed to give everyone a simple and straightforward way to put up their own thoughts, ideas, and interests on the internet with no headache or hassle, blog platforms really exploded alongside WordPress and a handful of other platforms.


Today, WordPress powers close to 50% of all websites (all websites), really showing just how powerful blogging really is. Sure, blogging has of all quite a bit over the past decade or so – and will likely to continue evolving as time goes on – but it definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.


So, what is a blog? To learn a little bit more about what a blog is and why you should consider starting one, we’ve put together this quick guide!


What Exactly Is A Blog, Anyway?


A blog is nothing more than your own little corner of the internet, a website that you are in total and complete control over, and a digital platform that you can use to share pretty much any kind of content you’d like.


The earliest blogs on the net were used as independent media sites or as personal journals, but eventually blogs morphed into websites that contained all kinds of information, all kinds of content, and all kinds of posts – usually ordered in an easy to find and easy to understand fashion.


The odds are pretty good that the overwhelming majority of your favorite websites out there today are blogs, simply because they have become the “gold standard” of websites right now.


If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, however, you’re going to want to be strategic and systematic about diving right in – and you want to pay close attention to the tips and tricks we highlight below.


Find Your Niche


With literally hundreds of millions of different websites out there on the internet today, and more being added every single day, the odds are pretty good that you’re going to be climbing into a crowded industry or market no matter what kind of blog you are looking to create.


This is why it is so important that you really drill down into the kind of niche that you want to focus on, the kind of content you want to post, and the kind of editorial voice you want to have that separates you from the rest of the pack.


The overwhelming majority of your time spent strategizing your new blog before you launch should be focused on this critical cornerstone.


Traffic Is Everything


The best content in the world isn’t going to mean anything on your blog if you aren’t able to consistently drive targeted traffic to your new platform.


Traffic is the lifeblood of any website today, and you have to make sure that you are doing literally everything in your power to find potential new visitors and blog readers and get them to your blog ASAP.


Paid advertising is a powerful tool (but can get pretty expensive) for driving traffic, but good old-fashioned search engine optimization still does some pretty heavy lifting as far as getting new visitors to your blog is concerned. A combination of both is probably best for those just getting started.


How Are You Going To Monetize Your Blog?

If you are going to monetize your blog you’re going to want to know how are going to go about doing exactly that before you fire up your blogging platform for the first time.

Way too many people do a great job at building an incredible blog, developing an audience that is excited about the content posted, and generating a tremendous flood of traffic only to have either absolutely no idea how to monetize all of those visitors or to put poorly implemented monetization approaches into place that kills the blog faster than you ever would have thought possible.

In the early stages of your blog development you should be focused on creating world-class content in generating traffic above all else, but you want to at least have a plan to monetize your visitors right out of the gate so that you can be smart, systematic, and strategic about doing so when the time is right.


Why Build A Blog In The First Place?

There are a lot of really big benefits to starting a blog in the first place, and because it is so quick, so easy, and so inexpensive (even free if you take certain approaches) you really have to be at least a little bit crazy not to get your own blog fired up and running ASAP.

If you are still sitting on the fence a little bit and unsure of whether or not the benefits of blogging are really worthwhile, check out the details we highlight below.

The odds are pretty good you will be fired up to get your blog up off the ground almost immediately by the time you’re done with the benefits of blogging we touch on here!


You’ll Learn A Lot More About Things You Are Interested In

They say that one of the best ways to learn more about something you are interested in is to try and teach it to someone else, and this really rings true when you build a blog around your passions and your interests.

You might think you already know pretty much everything there is to know about whatever it is you are building your blog around, but as you research new posts, new ideas for content, and new details to share the odds are really good that you’ll learn even more about this topic than you ever knew existed previously.

There may not be a better way to become an expert in a certain field today than firing up a blog, diving into the research necessary to produce top-notch content, and soaking in all of that knowledge along the way.


You’re Thinking Will Become A Lot Clearer

On top of getting a better understanding and command of the topic, niche, or industry you are writing about in your new blog, you’re also going to find that your thinking about this area also becomes a lot clearer, too.

Many of us find that when we have our most deeply held beliefs challenged by someone else we have a tough time defending our position. Not because we waver in our beliefs but instead because we simply haven’t had to get crystal-clear about what we think and why we think that way.

Blogging on a regular basis is going to force you to be as crystal-clear with your words as possible, which is (obviously) going to force you to be as crystal-clear with your thinking as possible.

You’ll find that your ability to communicate with others – regarding this topic or any other – improves dramatically, even after just a few weeks of consistent blogging. You’ll become more persuasive, you’ll better understand other people’s viewpoints, and you’ll have a much easier time with empathy and engaging with others in deeper conversation.


Your Confidence Will Shoot Right Through The Roof

Getting feedback from your readership and receiving the validation that comes from building a successful blog is going to do wonders for your confidence, just the same way that clearer thinking and more strongly held beliefs will as well.

You may believe that you are less than an expert in a specific field or area right now, but once you have a blog with hundred or more posts on it, comments and an active community of strangers eagerly anticipating your next post, and a flood of traffic coming to your platform every time you post something new that attitude is going to change pretty quickly.

This confidence seeps into every aspect of your life, giving you a quieter but improved command of how you move through this world – online and off.


You Can Make Pretty Good Money (Almost Completely Passively, At That)

Building a blog has a skyhigh return on investment (ROI), simply because you can literally get started right now – this very minute – with nothing more than an idea and an email address.

There may not be any other opportunity out there in the world today that gives you the chance to build a business out of thin air, all without having to risk any of your own cash or capital and not having to put any of your skin in the game before things take off or crash and burn.

If you’re able to build a successful blog with intelligent monetization strategies, it isn’t all that hard to pull down some pretty decent money almost on autopilot. You have to produce the content once, and then it goes into your blog library – and you might be able to make money off of each individual blog post for years and years after you have already handled the heavy lifting for that content.

It doesn’t get much better than that!


You Can Carve Out Your Own Corner Of The Internet

At the end of the day, the internet has completely changed our lives – in ways that many of us still can totally comprehend.

In a world as fast-paced and stress packed as our modern environment is right now, there’s nothing better than carving out your own digital real estate on the internet and using it as a base of operations to bring together like-minded individuals and strangers that could become lifelong friends.

As we have highlighted the a bunch of different times in this quick guide, there’s absolutely zero risk and zero downside to building your own blog right now, this very minute.

Utilize the tips and tricks included above, always try to post the best content possible, and focus on traffic generation and monetization right from day one and you’ll be off to the races!