Glossary for beginning bloggers

The lingo or jargon used in blogging and other internet-related topics can be very confusing for total beginners.  Many common words have taken on new meanings, and other new words have been created.  Another thing you will find as you explore the internet is that acronyms are everywhere.  The purpose of this glossary is to define these terms and acronyms as simply and clearly as possible, in relation to their use on blogs especially.

These are basic explanations; if you want more detail, you can type the term in the search bar on the upper right of the page, and there’s a good chance you’ll find a post on this site that gives more details.  If that still doesn’t help, you can check out other internet glossaries (I suggest netlingo.com) or an internet encyclopedia (wikipedia has pretty good definitions) or you can do a search on a search engine like google or yahoo.com or another search engine.

If you find one of the definitions confusing, feel free to contact me and I’ll try my best to improve it – or perhaps you can write a better definition, and I would then be happy to post your definition, and attribute it to you.  And if you come across a word, phrase, or acronym that I haven’t included here but would be a good fit for this glossary, please let me know so I can add it.

about page – Every blog should have a special page, separate from the “posts,” that introduces the blogger and the blog’s topic.  (You will often also start your blog posts with an initial post that tells your story related to your blog.  This is often called a “my story post” and is similar to the material on the about page.)  Your about page is kind of like an interesting resume which demonstrates your passion and expertise to potential readers.  It also includes your motivations for the blog and your hopes for it.

A-lister (aka A-list blogger) – The writer behind a blog that is at the top of the blog industry, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, lots of comments, large influence – and very often, a very good income (think possibly millions of $$).  A-list bloggers generally make great content their number one focus.  They know why they are blogging, they have a strong personal strategy and values (which almost always focuses on helping others) and they have a consistent style for their posts.  It mostly always takes a lot of time (even several years) and a really huge amount of effort to become an A-lister, but it is certainly possible.  A-listers often also end up as Pro-bloggers, making a full-time living from their blogging and related activities.

account – When you sign up with a blog platform provider (such as wordpress or blogger), you set up an account in order to use their platform on which to build your blog.  Accounts may be free or may have a cost, usually depending on the level of complexity of services provided, whether or not you have a unique domain name, and on whether the site is self-hosted or hosted by a blog service provider.

affiliate link – A link to another blog or website that usually offers some product or service for sale.  Once the link is clicked by a reader, it is possible that income will be earned by the site with the link.  (see “affiliate marketing”).

affiliate marketing – A relationship in which a blogger uses his or her blog to generate sales of a product for the product owner (often another blogger), and receives a percentage of the profit of each sale in return for their sales work.

archive – The area on a blog where old posts are stored but are still accessible to blog readers.  Usually archives are listed by date, and there will often be a list of dates (usually months and/or years, with particular dates in a drop-down list) in the blog sidebar where you can click on a date if you know the approximate time a blog article was posted.  Other ways of accessing archived posts is by typing a search term in a search bar, or through links, categories, tags or labels (usually also listed in the sidebar).

article : see “post”

audience (aka target audience) – A specific group of people to whom your blog’s message is aimed.  The audience can be defined by age, gender, relationships, personal interests, reader needs, etc.  If you don’t decide exactly what kind of people you are trying to reach, you might just end up trying to reach anyone or everyone – and end up not pleasing anyone.  You need to define your target audience, and become more and more familiar with them as you build relationships with your readers.  Then they will come to trust you more and find your blog more and more useful.

authority – Blog authority is related to the amount of respect you get from people using the internet to find information in a niche (topic area).  If you and your blog have strong authority, it means that many people (sometimes thousands or even millions) of people come to your site and look at many of your posts and pages, bookmark your site and return to it regularly, link to your site, reference the material site, subscribe to your blog and your email newsletters, order free materials from you, purchase materials at a cost, even attend conferences and other off-line activities you are involved in.  Overall, many people think of you as a top expert in your niche.  They consider your site to be an authoritative and complete reference in your topic area.  Usually they also find your site easy to navigate and use, with a pleasing design, and a friendly, helpful, caring attitude.  Search engines have other methods as well to gauge authority, such as if your site gets links from educational and government sites, as well as other more technical attributes (see SEO).

auto-responder course : see mini-course

bio – A short, concise, and hopefully interesting and/or entertaining one or two sentence biography about who you are, what you blog about, and possibly your credibility/authority (experience, education, successful products you’ve created, etc).  Your bio is often posted at the bottom of each of your blog posts or in a box on the right-hand column of your blog post page.  You may well also include it in other communications, such as on your Facebook mini-site, on e-mails, and on e-mail newsletters.  It is an important part of your “brand” so that people come to instantly recognize you.

blog (aka weblog) – A personal website where an individual (or sometimes a group of individuals) regularly posts information and opinions, usually related to a specific topic (“niche”).  A blog is meant to reach out to a community; that is, it is meant to be read and responded to by others who are interested in the niche.  Blogs started as online journals or diaries, but have now expanded to include reader feedback (comments), sales of products and/or services, discussions, and more.  Companies and organizations also often have blogs attached to their sites, where particular individuals from that group are assigned to blog, increasing interaction with customers, and making the site feel more personable.

blog content plan – a kind of calendar or planner you use to allocate posts you have created to be published on particular days of the week or month.  For example, you may decide to write a post every Wednesday about “how to” do something related to your blog topic, and a post every Friday about useful posts on other related blogs that you have read in the past week.  You can write posts ahead of time and allocate them to the particular time you want to publish them.  This is also handy for posts you will publish while you are relaxing on your holidays.  There is software that can automatically publish a post on the date you have chosen, or you can keep an eye on your calendar and do it yourself.

blog platform (aka blogging platform) – Computer software (program) that helps you to create and maintain a blog.  Major platforms include Google’s Blogger, WordPress, and Typepad, among others.  Some platforms are free; others require you pay a fee.  Platforms come in a wide variety of complexity.  Some allow you to create a simple blog in which all you have to do is type your article into a post box, and hit the publish button.  Others give you an amazing variety of choices and possibilities.

brainstorm – Usually done in a group of people, but can be done by an individual.  The participant(s) try to solve a problem by gathering a list of spontaneous, open-minded ideas related to it, no matter how seemingly sensible or how seemingly wild and crazy. The ideas are then explored in more depth to find really useful solutions.  Brainstorming is a great way to initially begin to think about what you want to do with your blog, and then to find solutions to problems that may arise in the blogging process over time.

brand – Your brand links your blog, and everything else you do that is connected with your blog, to a benefit, an idea, a logo, a slogan, a look, and identification with the unique you.  Together these things make a memorable package which is your brand.  They create an image in the reader’s mind.  With lots of repetition and consistency in your blog message and in all your related communications and activities, you can build a strong brand that people remember and recognize, and which will encourage them to take the action you want them to take – reading your blog, responding to it, perhaps buying a product or service you are offering, etc.

browser – A program used to download, view, upload, surf, or otherwise use documents on the internet.  Some popular browsers include Firefox and Internet Explorer.  (Sometimes a browser is also referred to as a “window” but technically a window is the rectangular screen through which you view documents and programs on the internet.  Windows also refer to the particular page or pages you are currently viewing on your computer screen.  And it is also part of the name of the Internet Explorer browser!)

browser tabs – Tabs along the browser bar at the top of a browser page (see “browser”).  The tabs allow you to open and view multiple web pages without closing the page you are currently viewing.  You can open a new page by clicking on the “+” sign or the “Add Tab” button next to the name of the page you are currently viewing.

budget – Most bloggers will need to set up a budget at some point.  While you can start blogging for free with free platforms like Blogger or WordPress.com , it is likely that at some point you may want to purchase your own domain name, own your own site, and perhaps start selling some kind of products or services from your site.  You might want to hire someone to improve your site, buy reference materials, attend conferences, and so on.  Whether your blog starts to become a business, or even just a more expensive hobby, it is wise to budget!  A budget also helps to keep you on track with your blog purpose.  If you find you are spending money on things you never intended to do with your blog, you might want to stop and think it over again.

bullet lists – Most internet readers quickly skim to find information they are looking for.  Using bullet lists (or numbered lists) makes your most important and useful points stand out.  If the reader is attracted to the information in the list, he or she will likely continue to read on to find out more detailed information.

categories (and tags) – Blog platforms may offer you the opportunity to label your posts with categories and tags.  While categories refer to the broadest aspects of your blog niche (overall topic), tags refer to smaller details within categories.  While most posts will be listed under one (or possibly two) categories, you can use tags to indicate subtopics of the categories.  If the reader reads the article and wants more or related information, he or she can check the category listing and click to find other posts with the same general topic, or check the tag listing (often at the end of the post), and click to find other posts dealing with a specific sub-topic.  While most bloggers use categories (although not all platforms offer them), tags are used by some bloggers, while others think they mostly just cause clutter.  You may want to look at some other blogs in your niche (topic area), and see if and how – and why – they use categories and/or tags, and then make your own decision based on your blog’s purposes and format.

comments – Underneath most blog posts is an area for readers to leave comments (though some bloggers choose not to include this).  Blog comments make a blog interactive and social, allowing readers to express opinion and share information with the blogger and other readers (the blog “community”).  As the blogger responds to reader’s comments, trust and relationships are built.  Bloggers should also be reading other blogs related to their topic, and should comment on them.  This is a good way to become recognized and to draw traffic to your own blog (but don’t be “pushy” about it!  Give useful, interesting comments, not “come to my blog” comments).

computer language (aka programming language) – an artificial language designed to be used by a machine.  Early programming languages were used to direct the actions of machines like player pianos and Jacquard looms!  Nowadays, we usually think of programming languages in terms of computer languages.  See “software” for more details.

contact form – A contact form on your blog gives your readers a place to sign up for extra information from you, the blogger.  This might include an e-mail newsletter, or announcements about the launch of a new product, or information about upcoming events related to your blog.  Contacting your readers in these ways builds their interest in your blog and builds your blog community and readership.

contact information – Blogs are social.  Their purpose is to build relationships and a sense of community with others who share your interests.  Almost all blogs, therefore, should provide a way for your readers to interact with you by providing contact information such as an e-mail address (usually one directly related to the blog rather than your personal e-mail address) and possibly phone and/or snail mail (traditional mail) addresses.  If you are selling a book or other product you may also provide contact information regarding the publisher or distributor, places to purchase the product, and so on.

content – Content is at the core or heart of blogging.  A successful blogger consistently and regularly writes and publishes content that is compelling and engaging to readers.  To achieve this, your content (articles; and perhaps videos, pictures, audio clips, etc) must be original and interesting, and be a resource that is helpful to your target audience.  So it should be on topic(s) that you have reasonable expertise in and that you are passionate about.  And it should always keep the needs and interests of your readers in mind.

content is king – If you are the slightest bit interested in blogging, you will find yourself reading and hearing this phrase over and over.  It means that everything you post up on your blog is for the reader.  As such, your content should be relevant, informative, accessible, useful, concise, scannable, have great titles and headlines, and always feature excellent writing.  Great content is generally considered the #1 thing that keeps readers coming back for more.

CMS – Content Management System – A computer-based system for managing content.  It allows many people to contribute to and share stored data.   Some blogs actually have several contributers, some of whom actually write content for the blog, and others who do background work, like research, technical work, editing, etc.  CMS defines user roles, such as who can view, edit, publish, etc on your blog.  It also makes storage and retrieval of data easy, and improves communication between users.

copywriting – The use of words to promote an idea, a business, a person, or an opinion.  The ultimate purpose of copywriting is to convince the reader to take action (for example, to buy a product, join a group, sign up for an e-newsletter, be convinced of your opinion, etc).  It is also related to content in blogs that attracts SEO (search engine optimization), giving you a high ranking in search engine lists.  You can create your own copywriting, or hire a professional copywriter – or perhaps even become a copywriter-for-hire yourself if you want to make some extra income.  (see also: SEO copywriting)

Creative Commons(aka share-alike license) – The name of a non-profit corporation that makes it easier for people to use and build on the work of others without breaking copyright laws.  The creator of original works (writing, art, music etc) can use free licences to mark their work in such a way that others know when they have permission of the creator to share or use the original work. (see also: uncopyright)

credentials – Your involvement in the niche you’ve chosen, such as career, volunteer, or hobby experience.  Your credentials give evidence of your expertise and time in the niche (subject area of your blog).

cross link – Is to exchange the link (URL/internet address) to your blog with other bloggers.  It can be a good way to get noticed by readers.  It is helpful, often, to include a “blogroll” of links to other related blogs, for the use of your readers.  However, links to unrelated blogs, or poorly designed blogs, can be annoying to readers, and search engines will end up placing your blog in a lower ranking in the search results.  So if you cross-link and create a blogroll, be sure to include excellent blogs related to your niche (topic).

design – The effect of first impressions cannot be denied.  Your blog content may be great, but if your blog looks unprofessional, or is hard to navigate (get around in), readers will often not come back to your blog.  Readers make nearly instant decisions based on a blog’s look and feel.  Good blog design can help you gain traffic (get more readers), get followers (people who come back over and over again), communicate your blog message, and sell your services/products.

direction – Where is your blog heading in the medium and long-term?  Your blog direction is determined by the goals you set for the blog, the type of content you publish, and your audience’s needs and desires.  You will use these things to inform your decisions about blog content, promotion, audience engagement, etc.

domain name / subdomain – A name owned by a person or an organization, which is used as an internet address to identify the location of particular web sites (including blogs), and particular pages (or blog posts) within those sites.  If, as a blogger, you decide to have your own, totally independent blog, you will want to purchase and register your own unique domain name.  If you choose to create your blog under the umbrella of a blog platform organization, your blog name will be a sub-domain of the organization.  For example, this blog (for the moment, at least) is under the umbrella of wordpress.com, so the name I have chosen for the blog, blogbasics4totalbeginners is a sub-domain, and the address looks like this :  https://blogbasics4totalbeginners.wordpress.com.  I also have another site which is independent (though I use the wordpress.org platform to help me create it), and it has its own domain name, penandpapermama.  Its URL looks like this:  http://penandpapermama.com/  (See also the definition for URL).

donation : Sometimes very loyal readers of a blog, or readers who have found valuable information at your blog that they couldn’t find elsewhere, would like to make a donation to the blogger as a sign of appreciation for the quality and content of the blog.  This can easily be done by adding a Paypal donation button to your blog.  You can get a free Paypal account, then go into their Merchant Services area, and choose the Donations option.  You will be given a piece of “code” which you add to your blog, usually in your sidebar.  People can click on it, and then make a donation which will go straight to the bank account you choose when you set up your PayPal account.  You might not receive a lot of income, but it is simple to set up, so why not consider giving readers the opportunity to thank you with a donation?  Some blogs offer a free gift (perhaps a special “report”) as a thank-you for donations.  Other blogs tell their readers they will send a proportion of the donations to a particular charity.  Other blogs have donate buttons that send donations straight to a charity. Still other blogs only put their donate buttons on special free tutorials or other special free products, allowing readers to show their appreciation for these forms of in-depth content. You might want to wait until you have a fair amount of valuable content on your blog, if you are going to put up a general donation button.

download – To transfer a file or files from one computer to another; for example, from a server to your desktop computer.  Conversely, if you create a file on your computer and then transfer it to your blog and publish it, that is an upload.  When you “load” a web page onto your browser (for example, open and look at a blog page that is on the internet) you are downloading it from the server.  You are also downloading when you save an internet page(s) or document to your computer.  And you are also downloading when you print out an article from your computer or the internet.  Quite a versatile term, right?

e-book (aka ebook) – short for electronic book.  An e-book is a book that can be read on a computer or other digital device like a kindle or other reader, or on a PDA or other type of handheld device.  There are many e-book formats and readers.   E-books are becoming increasingly popular, as e-book readers improve in quality.  Online book distributors like Amazon are actually starting to make more sales in e-book format than in traditional formats.  Even traditional book publishers are offering a number of their paper-based books as e-books.  Many authors are now offering books in e-book format instead of (or in addition to) traditional book formats, often selling them through their author blog.  Many bloggers offer e-books that give more detailed information about a topic on their blog.  They may offer the e-books for free, or for sale, depending on the length and complexity of the book.  They may write the e-book themself, or they may make an affiliate offer, a way of advertising an e-book from another blogger.

eCourse : see mini-course

edgecraft – Being on the front edge of things.  Riding the wave.  When a new direction is announced, you decide not only to follow it, but to get closer to the edge, and top it.  And then you top that … and that …

elevator pitch – A very precise description of an entrepreneur’s (and/or blogger’s) idea, business model, or marketing strategy which he or she delivers to potential investors, customers, etc.  It should ideally be short and succinct enough to be delivered in the time of an elevator ride – 30 to 60 seconds, or at the very most, about 2 minutes.

e-mail – (alternate spelling: email) – Electronic Mail.  Mail that is electronically transmitted to and from your computer (as opposed to traditional mail – aka snail mail).  E-mail sends your messages instantly anywhere in the world.  Many people have multiple e-mail addresses, and most bloggers have a particular e-mail address dedicated to their blog.

e-mail address – An e-mail address has the form username@hostname.com .  You choose the username.  The host name is the name of your ISP or e-mail provider.  If you are verbalizing the e-mail address you say, “username at hostname dot com.”

e-mail newsletter : see “newsletter”

fans – Usually are people who “like” a company, organization, group, movie star, or other individual or group featured on a special mini-homepage on a social networking site like facebook.  Unlike “friends,”  fans very often are not personal “friends” of the person or group they “like” but they admire them in some way, and may follow them on their blog or website, and may attend conferences or other events involving the person or group or purchase their products or services.

favicon – (Favorite Icon) – The name for a small icon (a symbol similar to a logo) used in Internet Explorer browsers to identify a “favorite” or a “bookmarked” site (a site that you really like and want to go back to often, so you include it in your favorites/bookmarks).  Certain sites have favicons on the browser address bar (at the top of your screen) next to the URL (the internet address of the site you are viewing), and also next to their titles in the bookmarks list if you have marked the site as one of your favorites.  This favicon is usually a modified version of the company’s logo.

feed – the syndicated content from a blog.  Syndicated (joined together, organized to be broadcasted) blog content is aggregated (gathered together) and delivered to subscribers through a feed reader (see RSS)

feedback – A web page that accepts user input.  In the case of blogs, feedback is usually in the form of comments after a post.  But many blogs also provide other feedback formats, such as email and phone contact information, forms, surveys, etc.  Blogs, which emphasize a sense of community, and aim to constantly improve and grow, thrive on feedback.

flagship content – What you want to do and why, and how others can benefit from it.  It should be one of the first things your readers encounter when they come to your blog.  It should be part of your first post; should be detailed on your About page, and also your Mission page if you have one; and can also be summarized in a box in the sidebar next to your posts.

follow – To “follow” is to sign up on a social networking site (such as Facebook or Twitter) to get reminders of new information posted by individuals or groups you are interested in.  Each site has its own precise way to allow you to follow, but it is almost always easy, just involving the click or two of a mouse button.  It is a good idea for a blogger to follow people (like other bloggers, or experts in your blog’s topic area) to keep up on what’s happening in your niche and what other bloggers are doing with it.

formats – different “frames” you can use to shape the key message in your post (article) and/or make your post readable and otherwise attractive to your audience.  Some possible formats are: a series of posts on a specific topic; a long article; a short article; a list; a brief concise remark; a link to another blog with your remarks/opinions about it; a photo-essay; etc.

formatting elements – Elements used to organize and display information in your blog posts.  Examples are headlines, bold, italics, highlighting, bullet or number list, quotation marks for blocks, and so on.  Formatting elements in blogs quickly draw the reader’s eye to key points and make the post easier to read.  Thankfully, most blog platforms make it very easy for you to include formatting elements, with just a click or two of your mouse.

forums – Internet communities or gathering places that tend to be more conversational, less time relevant, and less of a “teaching” purpose than blogs.  But, like blogs, they aim to create community, information is shared and built upon, and individual threads (discussions on a certain topic) often have a sense of narrative (a developing story line).  Some blogs have forums built into them where members of the blog community (regular readers/followers) can discuss relevant topics, share information, encourage, etc.  Sometimes the blogger shares special information on the forum that is not found in the rest of the blog, and forum members pay a membership fee to receive this information and be part of this specialized community.  The “comments” section of blogs are sometimes also referred to as a forum since they often turn into lively discussions on a particular blog post topic.

friend – Someone you know (at least theoretically!) who links to your personal mini-page on a social networking site like Facebook.

gadget : see “widget”

global perspective – To develop a global perspective is to think and reflect about topics of interest, in this case, blogging itself and of course the topic(s) you blog about.  So you listen to, and discuss, and act upon those topics in communication with people from all over the world who may well have perspectives and outlooks quite different from yours because of different culture, religion, educational background, age and much more.

guest posts – Posts (articles) on a blog written by a different writer than the usual blogger.  You can invite people to write guests posts on your blog, or you can offer to write guest posts on other blogs.  Guest posts should feature your very best writing and offer some very useful information to the readers.  So of course it should be on the niche (topic) of the blog it will be published on.  Guest posts are a great way for you to get noticed by readers of other blogs, who may then decide to check out your blog.  It’s also a good way to get links, make your own blog more interesting by including opinions and ideas from other writers, and grow your reputation and your blog.

hacker – see techie

handheld device : see PDA

header – The area that spans the top of a blog page (or web page).  It includes the blog title, and usually a graphic (picture).  It also often includes a tag line and a logo, and sometimes navigational links or advertisements.

headlines (and titles) – The purpose of your blog title is to concisely describe the purpose of your blog, and to attract readers.  The title of each post, and the headlines you use within each post build upon this.  People are busy nowadays and there is a lot of information out there to choose from.  You need to catch people’s attention, or make them curious enough that they decide it is worth their time to read your post.  Your titles and headlines generally need to promise people that you can fill a need that they have – for example, your title might include the words “how to…” or use very specific keywords related to currently popular topics, or answer one of the 5 W’s + H (where, who, when, what, why, how); or perhaps you might try to be humorous or provocative to catch their attention – but then make sure the content is really worthwhile reading.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – A computer language that uses tags (information contained in < > brackets) to structure your text, and which tells the web browser how to display text and images for the person viewing the page.  In the old days, you had to learn to write HTML code in order to create your site.  Nowadays, you can use ready-made platforms, and basically just type in your text in the same way you would type it on a sheet of paper or on a word-processing program.  Easy!  But as your blog grows, you may at some point want to learn some HTML in order to create special content formatting which your blog platform may not provide.

hyper links : see “links”

ideavirus – Winning ideas spread.  You can design, arrange and manipulate your ideas to make them more spreadable, until the ideas spread themselves.  And note: you do not need to – indeed, you do not want to – use spam, annoying gimmicks, etc to create your ideavirus.

image (aka “visual”) – A picture (as opposed to text).  Images, including visuals such as videos, photos, drawings, graphs, etc., make your blog much more attractive to readers.  Use images frequently – but be aware of copyright laws.  There are many sources of copyright-free images, such as the “commons” section on flickr – and of course images you create yourself.

indexing (aka SEO indexing) – People use special indexes (similar in a way to the traditional indexes in a book or in a card catalog) to find information on the internet.  These indexes are called search engines.  To get the search engines to list your blog in their index, and especially in order to get it listed near the top of the list for your keywords, you need to help them by making your blog site “SEO friendly” using keywords effectively, and by removing things that can block or confuse the search engines as they “crawl” your site looking for your keywords.

influence – On blogs, influence is your power to attract and keep and audience who read and comment on your blog, and may also purchase services and products which you offer.  Blog influence is developed by focusing your content on topics which will appeal to a targeted social community (audience of people with a common interest); by listening to what your community is talking about; by finding out their wants and needs; by linking to other blogs or websites that are related to your topic; by making your blog SEO compatible; and by defining metrics which will measure your success (such as keeping track of the number of visitors to your blog, or the number of tweets on Twitter in response to your blog posts).

internet – The internet is a worldwide computer network through which individuals, organizations, companies, educational institutions, and such can provide and share information through computers and related devices like cell phones.  This worldwide network uses a standardized system called the IP (Internet Provider).  The World Wide Web (www) connects documents on the internet using hypertext links.  These linked documents are retrieved by HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

ISMInformative.  Simple.  Memorable.  The basis of an amazing blog.  The kind of blog (and of course blog content) you want to aim for.

keywords – A word, acronym, phrase, etc., that you type into a search engine (such as google) in order to search for information related to that term.  In order to help people find your blog using search engines, it is important to use keywords effectively (see “SEO”).

keyword search – A way to search for information on the internet.  At search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing (and many others), you enter a “keyword” that might be likely to be found in an article about the topic you want information about.  The search engine then provides a list of possible articles.  (You can also include a “search” feature within your blog for people to use internal key words to search for particular details or subtopics within the blog.)

launch post – the first article (post) that you publish on your blog.  It usually tells what your blog will be about, and often tells about you as the blogger.  It identifies the problems your blog will solve for your readers, questions it will answer, help it will provide.  The launch post focuses on the needs of the readers, so they will want to keep coming back.

life hacking – A term computer geeks (people who are really interested in the technical side of using computers and the internet) use to describe their love of using tech skills to save time, automate boring tasks, and confuse other people with hot keys, shell scripts, and lots of jargon!

links (aka hyper links) – Text or graphics on a web page or blog post that when clicked on with a computer mouse will take you to another page (and/or site) or to a different place on the same page.

lizard brain (aka the resistance) – The part of your brain near your brain stem, including your amygdala.  The primitive part of the brain, responsible for fear, revenge, anger, anxiety.  These emotions can get in the way of your best work, as you end up hiding, rationalizing, sabotaging, procrastinating, and otherwise failing to produce the great work you are capable of as a blogger.

logo – A graphic mark or symbol used by organizations, companies, and individuals to promote instant public recognition of your brand (including your blog, and all the things that relate to it).  Logos may simply be a graphic (like the famous Nike “swish”) or may be a word (like the famous Coca-Cola phrase written in red) or may be a combination.  A logo is an important part of your “brand,” so if you want to find a way to easily and quickly be recognized, consider developing your own logo and use it in all your communications.  Note:  Unless you are very graphically inclined, you might want to hire a graphic designer to help you develop a really effective logo, as it is best not to have to change it later.

marketing – Blog marketing refers to marketing (trying to sell products or services) on the internet by using a blog.  Blog marketing includes strategies such as explanation of products and services, interaction with the user community/customers (your readers), previewing or reviewing products or having some of your readers beta-test the product (test a preliminary sample), gathering feedback through surveys, affiliate marketing (advertising another blogger’s products on your blog), and so on.

marketing channel – A marketing channel is the path a product follows from production to the point of purchase (consumption).  In the past, for a book, for example, the path would include the writer, an agent, a publisher, a distributor, a bookstore, and maybe others as well.  The use of internet marketing has in many cases shortened this channel significantly.  For example, a writer can now use technology to write, design, and publish an e-book (or other product) from start to finish without all those go-betweens – assuming the writer has all the necessary writing, technology, marketing and other necessary skills.  Since most people, at least initially, are lacking skills in some areas, they may still need to engage the use of other people in the channel.  Often they can do this in innovative ways, such as having some of their followers do “affiliate marketing” of the product on their own sites, or sharing/bartering skills with others.  In the end, they may make far more profit than they would have with traditional marketing channels.

media – A means of communication that reaches or influences people.  Traditionally, we think of books, magazines, newspapers, radio, television, and film.  But nowadays a great many people are far more likely to turn to new forms of media for information, especially media that use computers or mobile devices (cell phones, I-Pads, etc) which are connected to the internet.  Websites, blogs, e-books, online newspapers, e-mail, micro-blogs, and online news-sites are examples of the new media.

membership : most blogs start out as free sites that anyone can access (though some bloggers create a private blog that is limited to only certain members, such as a place for family members to interact, or a place for employees of a particular company).  But at some point, you might want to restrict some of your content to certain members.  Some reasons: to provide proprietary information; to offer specialized information for a fee; to have a private safe place to discuss things.  To get into this part of the site, members have to register and login (and possibly pay a fee).  The site might be part of your blog, or might be set up as a separate site that is linked to your blog.  There is software available to set up membership-only sites, or if you are using certain platforms, such as WordPress, you can add plug-ins that make a membership-only area possible.

mentor – Having a mentor to help you with your blog is a wise move.  A mentor is someone who already has experience and interest in the topic of your blog.  Your mentor guides you, as you build a close relationship.  Almost everyone has areas in which they need some help – writing, using the technology, marketing, or whatever.  Your blog will improve more quickly with a mentor.  On the other hand, as soon as you have a bit of experience, you can start mentoring others.  We learn more about our craft when we teach others, actively guiding them through a process we are already involved in.  We ourselves learn to communicate better, and our own thinking and knowledge is challenged.

micro-blog (aka microblogging) – A form of blogging in which users write brief text updates (usually less than 200 characters) and publish them.  These posts can be submitted in various ways such as text messaging from your cell phone, instant messaging, e-mail, or with your computer on the internet.  Examples of micro-blogging are Twitter “tweets” and Facebook “status updates.”

mindmap – A diagram you create to develop and show connections between words, ideas and tasks related to the blog you are planning.  Typically, you write a key word (likely the core topic of your blog) in the center of a piece of paper, and draw lines outward from it.  At the tip of each line you write another word that is a key sub-topic of your original word.  From those words you draw more outward lines, and attach even more detailed related words/ideas.  It is much like setting up an outline of your blog, but the format allows you to clear see relationships between ideas.  You can draw other lines that connect ideas on different parts of the page, you can sketch in doodles that illustrate ideas, you can use color-coding, or whatever helps you get a clear picture of what your blog will be about and how it will be set up.  A mind map is a particular kind of brainstorming approach useful for planning and organizing your blog.

mini-course (aka free report, eCourse, autoresponder course) – A (usually free) tool that allows you to provide valuable content to your readers, and also allows you to promote your own products/services or affiliate products at the same time.  Mini-courses are normally distributed as a series of articles in e-mail format over a certain period of time. Therefore they are generally available only to readers who sign up as “subscribers” on your blog.  A mini-course is aimed at a niche market, a group of individuals who have specific wants and needs, and usually a common problem that needs a solution.  To find a good topic for a mini-course, you need to find a “killer topic” within your blog’s niche that some of their readers would like more information about.  You should listen to your customers, reading their comments and e-mails they may send you.  You can also conduct a survey, and you can join discussions in your blog’s own forum, or on discussions on other blogs in your niche.  Is there a common problem showing up?  Can you solve it?  By creating a quality mini-course for your faithful followers, you are helping them out, and at the same time you are promoting your blog and your products/services and demonstrating your authority (expertise).  You may even later on be able to expand your mini-course into a product such as an e-book or a major course in which you might include videos, webinars, podcasts and other similar teaching methods.

mobile device : see PDA

monetization – Exchanging something for money.  There are many ways to monetize your blog.  You can advertise for others through such means as Google Adsense, private advertisements, or affiliate marketing.  You can of course also sell your own products (books, e-books, consulting, tutoring, or any product or service you develop).  Some bloggers make millions of dollars through their blogs.  Other bloggers just blog for the sheer enjoyment or to help others, and they don’t bother with monetization at all.  Some offer “free” products, but make it possible for users of these products to “donate” (to the blogger, or perhaps to a favorite charity chosen by the blogger) if they choose, through PayPal or a similar service.

newsletter (aka e-mail newsletter) – An email newsletter associated with a blog has a great impact on building blog readership.  There are a number of companies that can help you with this, providing easy but customisable fill-in-the-blank type templates.  They often offer a free option to introduce the service, or free until your e-mail list of subscribers reaches a certain size.  Examples of these are aweber or vertical response  . The idea is to build a list of newsletter subscribers to whom you send a weekly or monthly (or other scheduled) newsletter, often with content that is only available to them, not to general readers of your blog.  Newsletters create reader loyalty, develop trust between your readers and you, build relationships with your community of readers, and increase traffic to your blog.  Most people are familiar with e-mail, so they are comfortable receiving information from you in this way, and it can make them feel that you are personally interested in them and appreciate them.

niche – a specialized topic that a particular blog focuses upon.  Also the corner of the market or readership on which a blogger focuses.  A niche blog may contain advertisements which attempt to sell the reader a product or services, along with posts (articles) that contain valuable information, usually related to the products and/or services being marketed.

non-streamed webcast : see “podcast”

objectives – the planned end result(s) and outcome(s) of your blog activity.  Clear blog objectives, stated precisely and measurable, are important in developing an effective blog.  Objectives provide clear statements about what actions need to be taken by the blogger, and what actions it is hoped the readers will take in response to the blog.  Objectives are a focus for your blog activities and help keep you on track as you develop your blog.  They are also a basis for evaluating your success with the blog.

optimize – Whether your blog is personal in nature, or is connected to your business, or is a business in its own right, you should make sure that you optimize it, both to keep your readers coming back, and also so the search engines can easily “crawl” your blog and hopefully give you a high SEO ranking in the search engine listings so people can easily find your site using a search.  Some ways to optimize your blog so people return are: to customize the template you get with your blog platform, by putting a unique picture in the header, and taking advantage of other custom choices (so choose a template that gives you choices!); avoid gaudy color schemes, or white print on a dark background, or anything else that makes it hard to read; make sure you have RSS feeds available; offer e-mail subscriptions and/or e-mail posts; be careful with spelling and grammar; make it easy for people to get around (navigate) your site; and so on.  For some information on SEO optimization, see the SEO explanations in this glossary.

opt-in (or opt in) (aka permission based) – The act of personally requesting to be added to a site’s email distribution list.  For example, a reader can sign up (opt in) to receive a blog’s e-mail newsletter, by clicking on a button.  Then the reader will receive a follow-up e-mail from an auto-responder (an automatic e-mail responder) that will request the reader to confirm that they actually opted in to receive the newsletter.  This is a safe procedure for a reader so they don’t end up getting spam e-mail.  At the same time, when a reader opts in (signs up) for an e-mail newsletter or a free e-book or something similar, it is good for the blogger because it builds the blogger’s email list, a strong indicator of the popularity of a blog, a great way to build your community of readers, and a good potential way to sell your products.  Note: if you start receiving e-mail from a site that you did not opt-in to, that e-mail is most likely spam or worse.  Delete it.  Do NOT reply or confirm!

organic traffic – Readers often come to your site by first going to a search engine to look for blogs and other sites that are about your specific topic or niche.  Search engine technology uses “robots” to “crawl” through sites looking for keywords related to the site topic.  Using “algorithms” of what they think makes a site most useful, the search engine lists your site under one or more keyword search terms.  They then place your site (rank it) near the top, in the middle, or near the end of listings for that term – and you of course want to be near the top.  If you design your site to please the search engine’s algorithms, you might well be at or near the top.  The people who come to your site probably picked it from the top few listings produced this way – they are then “organic” traffic.  But some sites choose to pay search engines to place a kind of advertising listing near the top.  Readers can easily tell which listings are paid.  And they generally have far more respect for organic listings than for paid listing.  So it is wise to take time to learn about at least the basics of “SEO optimization” if you want to get good organic listing ranking.

page – A blog page is a “static” (non-changing) page on a blog, separate from the posts pages(s).  It does not use categories or tags.  It gives useful information related to the blog.  About pages, for example, introduce the blog and the blogger to the audience.  (see also: “posts”)

PDA (personal digital assistant) (aka mobile device, handheld device, portable device) – a small handheld device which is really a very basic portable computer that contains a digital calendar, an address book, a memo area, and other features such as the ability to read e-books.  Many PDAs offer internet access which really expands their applications.  Newer PDAs include such useful input devices as a keyboard, a stylus (a pen that writes on the screen) and/or a touch-screen display.  PDAs are also sometimes referred to as gadgets (not to be confused with “gadgets” that are also known as “widgets”).  Palm Pilots, Blackberries, and iPhones are examples of PDAs.  This technology is constantly expanding and improving.  (Note:  PDA is also online shorthand for “public display of affection”!)

PDF (Portable Document Format) – The file format created and viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader and other Adobe/Acrobat programs.  This is a standardized document format used across the internet to transfer (and download, if desired) many different kinds of documents.  You might, for example, create a special report or e-book on your site in PDF format that your readers can easily download to their computer, and even print out.

peer review (aka blogging buddy, peer blogger) – Someone who knows your topic well and is likely also a blogger.  Reviews your posts before publishing.  Gives insight into how readers will see your content.  Identifies information you may have assumed or overlooking.  Peer review is a useful form of feedback, and you should accept the suggestions with an open mind.

performance – Your blog is an opportunity for a presentation, a distilled and unique package of information.  It is your chance to connect with your audience and deliver something of real value.  How are you performing?

permission – If you deliver personal, anticipated, and relevant messages, you will build permission; that is, loyal followers who give you permission to share even more information (and products and services) with them.  Permission is also known as privilege.  Permission always outperforms spammy messages.

permission based : see “opt-in”

pillar content – Foundational or basic content that is essential knowledge for everyone in your niche.  It is often referred to as “evergreen” as it never loses its relevance.  It is the basic information that people would search for using search engines.

platform – The kind of operating system on which a software application or computer runs.  Examples of computer platforms are Linux and Windows XP.  Examples of blog software platforms are WordPress and Blogger.

plug-in (aka plugin) – A software program that extends the capabilities of your blog software.  Plug-ins, for example, might allow you to run videos or audio-clips.

podcast (aka non-streamed webcast) – digital files, either audio or video, that are released from time to time (often on a regular schedule, but not always). A podcast is very similar to a webcast, a show that is broadcast over the internet and is broken up into episodes. People tend most often to think of podcasts as audio programs.  Many podcasts deliver information on a regular basis, much like radio news programs, but they can also be music broadcasts, audio-plays, and other radio-show type formats. Podcasts have very often been downloaded to Apple’s iPod, which is why the term “pod”cast started.  While podcasts can be listened to directly from the internet server where they are stored, you can also (usually) download them onto your computer or mobile device and listen to them later at your convenience.  By the way, you will probably need to download free iTunes software onto your computer or iPod type device, in order to listen to podcasts, although it is possible to listen with other software alternatives.  You may decide to feature podcasts on your blog for people to listen to and/or download.

portable device : see PDA

post (an article) – Blog entry or article.  Posts are usually listed on blogs in reverse chronological order on your blog front page (or posts page).  That is, the oldest posts are at the end, and the most recent ones at the beginning of the page.  Posts are always associated with a date, which may be included in the URL (internet address) for that particular article.  Blogs may also have pages with “static” information that stays the same, for example, your “about” page which tells about you and about the purpose of your blog.

post (verb) : see “publish”

post publication follow-up – Promotion, response to comments.  Once you have posted a blog article, you have really just begun.  Blogs are for community and communication.  Many readers will want to comment on what you have written, or ask for more information.  That is why most blogs include comments, contact information, and often the option to subscribe to a newsletter.

press release – A written communication delivered to the news media to announce something that is supposedly newsworthy.  Usually press releases are mailed or faxed or emailed to newspapers, radios, and TV stations, using a pretty standard format.  There are plenty of press release templates available in books or online to help you design your press release.  Press releases try to attract favorable PR (public relations attention) or publicity for products, services, or events.  They should include just enough information to get the newsperson interested in calling you to find out more, and then hopefully create a news story around it.  Bloggers often send out press releases related to special activities on their blog, and to events related to their blog (for example, a launch of a new book or other product, or being invited to be a keynote speaker at a conference or workshop).

privilege : see “permission”

pro-blogger – A professional blogger; that is, a blogger who makes enough money from his or her blogging and related activities that she/he can live on the income (sometimes live very well indeed).  (See also: “A-lister”).

programming language : see computer language

promotion – The efforts a blogger makes to grow their blog and reach a larger audience.  There are many different methods, some of which are generally more effective than others, and some of which are best for particular blog topics.  Some forms of promotion include SEO, consistent posting, RSS subscriptions, linking, and commenting on other blogs.

proof read – Just as in traditional writing for books and articles, proof-reading your blog is very important.  Writing that has correct spelling and grammar, accurate facts, reference to solid sources for your facts, and which includes interesting stories, a well designed format, and concise reading, will tell readers that you care about your topic, that you have authority (expertise in your topic area), and that you care about your readers.  It is a good idea to have someone trustworthy to proof-read your work and honestly tell you how you can improve.  Listen to what your readers say too – and even read-between-the-lines of their comments for clues as to what may be a problem with your blog.

publish (or post) – To publish content to your blog, such as a written article, a video, a tutorial, a webinar, a podcast, or some other format that deals with your blog topic.

publish button – The button you click on your blog platform software (or on your mobile device) to send – to publish! – your blog post or other message out onto the internet for all the world to see and admire.  Very exciting!  But make sure that what you are publishing is worth people’s time to read, and helps them out in some real way.

publishing process – A checklist of items to tick off for each post you prepare for your blog, before it is published.  A great idea so you don’t forget anything important.

purpose – A clear focus on what you want your blog to be about and what you hope to accomplish with it.  Your purpose should be expressed in a clear, concise blog purpose statement.  It helps you, the blogger, to start and maintain your site.  It answers:  why you blog; what you want to be known for; what you want to write about.

program – see software

pursue your passion – Doing something you love to do, usually something that will help other people in some way.  When bloggers pursue their passion, they write (or video blog, etc) about something very important to them, that they have good knowledge about and experience with.  It’s been found that if you really aren’t all that passionate about your topic, you likely won’t end up sticking with blogging about it for long.

quality content – Without good quality content, who si going to want to read your blog?  There are so many sources of information available today in our “information society” – in both traditional and new formats – that it is absolutely essential for you to provide the best quality you can.  New media is “community” oriented for the most part, so reach out and welcome help in creating truly quality content.  Lots of people will gladly assist you.

remarkable – Worth talking about.  Your blog should be remarkable, not because you say it is, but because your audience (readers, consumers, community, followers) say so, and act upon it.  Remarkable content, products and services that always put your audience at the fore-front are the best way to succeed in the blogging world, just like in the real world.

report : see mini-course

resistance : see “lizard brain”

retweet – To copy, paste, and send out again another person’s tweet.  (See “tweet”).

RSS feed – RSS : Really Simple Syndication is a simple way to send your new blog posts to readers who want to regularly read your new material, but don’t want to have to be checking all the time to see what’s been posted.  A web feed (RSS document) can be read on an “RSS reader” or “aggregator”, a web location where these “feeds” are collected together for readers, according to which blog feeds they have chosen.  A couple examples are Google Reader and Yahoo’s reader .  As a blogger, you can have an RSS feed button on your blog.  It is a great way to share your regular new blog posts with faithful readers who are excited to see what’s new at your site.  RSS is free.

sales funnel – a systematic approach for selling products or services.  Blogs that sell things (e-books, for example, or traditional books, or consulting services, or whatever) have more change of success if they have a well thought out sales and marketing plan.  A blog’s sales funnel starts with the visitors who come to your blog through the various ways you use to attract them.  You want to keep them coming back (to read – and perhaps to purchase something from you), so you reach out to them, especially by encouraging them to opt-in to your e-mail list.  You might then offer them a free e-book or free course that will help them in some way.  When they sign up for that offer, they are now in your sales funnel.  Keep offering good free information, but you may also start to offer them more in-depth materials for a price.  When they decide to make a purchase, then the funnel has achieved its purpose: to make sales.  Then keep the funnel going and see if you can make even more sales to your customer.

scraping – Copying material from a blog, and not giving the writer attribution.  Bad.  Very bad!  Traditionally known as plagiarism – and the same or very similar copyright laws apply.  Yes, you can definitely be charged for copyright infringement online.

search engine – A program on the internet that acts like a card catalog for the internet.  Search engines index websites (including blogs) by “crawling” through sites looking for “keywords.”  To find information on a topic, the search engine user types in a descriptive word and the search engine lists sites that feature that keyword in their meta tags, URL, site name, and site content.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – While SEO is using keywords to convince search engines to think you are highly expert or authoritative on a particular topic, and thus your blog deserves to be highly ranked in the search listings, SEM is paying search engines to put your site near the top of the listing page next to authoritative organic SEO site listings.  SEM is a form of paid online marketing.  You can use it to move your site higher in the listings, but people can tell when a listing is SEM, and are more likely to choose an SEO listed site to check out, as it is considered more authoritative – and probably also more honest and transparent.  SEM listed sites are often assumed to be hard sale sites rather than good sources of information.

search engine optimization (aka SEO) – Selecting targeted keywords that describe the main topic(s) of your website or blog.  Search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo look for keywords in meta tags, blog post titles, and within posts, and then based on the search, the search engines place the front page of the site, or particular pages in the site, in their search rankings for people who are searching for information on the topic.

SEO : see “search engine optimization”

SEO copywriting – Traditionally, a way to optimize written content on a web page (including on blog pages) by using keywords and phrases in particular frequencies and densities.  But SEO copywriting has also come to involve creating trust and authority, using links, quality and relevance, bookmarks, tweets, and more.  Overall, it refers to creating content that is so compelling that other people want to promote it by linking to it or sharing it, which in turn increases people’s trust in your authority, and helps bring up your ranking in search engine listings.  (see also: copywriting)

SEO indexing : see “indexing”

sidebars – On blogs, sidebars are the areas (usually to the right, but sometimes to the left, or at the bottom on) your postings page.  They are not part of your actual post (article) content.  Rather, they include such useful information as links to your most recent or most popular posts, a calendar, advertisements, a blogroll (links to other blogs), a short bio about you and your blog, or almost anything that readers of your blog would find useful or entertaining.  But be careful.  It is easy to fill up your sidebars with clutter that makes your posts hard to read and distracts your reader from your real content.  If it is really annoying (bring flashing doo-dads, or pop-up ads, for example), potential readers may just leave in a hurry and never come back.

sign off – This term may be used to refer to closing a computer program or application or network as part of the process of shutting down your computer.  But in blogging, it also may refer to your signature line at the end of your blog posts (and also your e-mails, e-mail newsletters, etc).  A good sign off will be consistent in all your forms of communication and will often include some thing(s) that people identify with you, that is, your “brand.”  It could include a favorite quotation, your blog tag line, or other similar item that people immediately identify with you.

signal – That which makes your message, or idea, or offer stand out in the midst of the endless number of conversations happening on the internet.  It is also your ability to attract readers to your site so that they join your community and faithfully read your blog (and buy your products, if that is part of what you do).  To have signal, you must figure out how to align what you have on your blog with what people want and need.

snail mail – Traditional postal mail methods.  Much slower delivery than e-mail, which is usually nearly instantaneous.  It’s slow delivery results in the moniker, “snail mail.”

sneezer – A person who spreads an idea in the same way that some people spread a virus.  As a blogger, you should watch for these people in your audience, build relationships with them, and help them, and they will start “sneezing” your ideas to others.

social media – Are formats on the internet that allow people to interact, using technology.  Besides blogs, social media forms include social networks (like facebook), video sharing (like YouTube), podcasts, wikis (like wikipedia), and more.

social media presence – Refers to how much you are noticed, used, and respected in the online media world of websites, blogs, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  There are many ways you can improve your presence.  Examples are: provide really useful content information; respond to people as quickly as possible when they comment or contact you; keep up to date in your niche (topic area); have a good plan and strategy and stick to it; build trust from your community by being honest and transparent and consistent; comment on other blogs in your niche area; and develop your own “brand” – your unique recognized identity – through your blog, e-mail newsletters, social networks, and products and services.

social networking – Communities of people on the internet who communicate with and socialize with each other using internet technologies.  The users generate most of the content.  The places where they meet online are known as social media.

software – Computer software includes a large variety of computer programs and related data that instruct a computer on what to do and how to do it.  Application software are programs that allow computer users to do a wide variety of activities on the internet – such as write emails, play games, take courses, and of course create blogs!

spell-check – Many computer software programs, including blog creation programs, include a spell-checker feature that will automatically check your spelling.  Use it, by all means.  But also recognize that it can miss errors, for example not picking up on incorrect use of similarly spelled words (like there, their, they’re) etc.  Good spelling is very important to give your blog a professional look.  By the way, most spell checkers give you a choice of different types of English spellings, for example, British vs American.  You should decide which kind of spelling you are going to use, and be consistent with that.

static pages – On blogs, the frequently published posts which are the key content of the blog, appear in reverse chronological order on your blog’s home page.  But “pages” are for more-or-less unchanging content (though they can be updated if need be) such as “About Me,” “Contact Me,” “Policies,” “Legal information” etc.  Pages are outside the normal chronological structure of the blog, and are used for information about the blogger or the site that is always applicable.  You can organizes pages for any amount of content.  On this site, we have also added pages including “Table of Contents” and “Glossary.”  While you might not find these pages on most blogs, they are here especially to help out our target audience:  people who are totally new to blogging, and especially seniors who may be more comfortable with more traditional ways of accessing information.

sticky posts – No, not post-it notes!  They are posts that are extremely relevant and informative and unique.  They have to be memorable enough that readers keep on reading, remember your message, and want to come back to read more of what you write.  They are posts that the blogger decides is of ongoing, critical importance to the users of the site.  While most posts are constantly being pushed down in reverse chronological order by new posts, a “sticky post” is “pinned” near the top of the post page (or sometimes a forum front page), so that it doesn’t end up getting buried by newer postings.  Some blog platforms allow for sticky posts; others do not provide this option.  When a blogger decides a post is no longer that important, he/she can easily move it back to its original place in the chronological order.

style guide – A collection of rules you use to guide your everyday decisions about presenting content on your blog.  This may be simple things like whether you will use British or American spellings, or more complex things about how long your articles will be depending on the purpose of the post, and how widely or narrowly you will define your niche (topic).

subdomain : see domain name / subdomain

subheadings – In most cases, blog posts (articles) are fairly short and concise.  The majority of readers on the internet tend to “skim” quickly for information they are seeking.  So it is important to make your posts easy to read and make it easy for readers to quickly spot your key points.  Using headings and subheadings helps a lot.  They should be clear, interesting, and can use different sizes and fonts to attract your readers’ notice.  Blog platforms have easy options to help you make attractive headings.

subscribe – There are a variety of ways you can let a reader “subscribe” to your blog and sites and other materials related to your blog.  Examples are RSS feeds and e-mail newsletters.  Subscriptions are usually free to the reader, but in some cases there may be a cost to the blogger; generally the cost is reasonable, and is often a good investment into growing your blog and any potential service or product sales.

tag line (aka tagline) – A memorable phrase that sums up your personality and purpose as a blogger, or that sums up a product or service that you are offering.  On your blog, it usually appears under (or sometimes above) the blog title.   Tag lines can clearly and succinctly describe (and show what make you unique), can emphasize a key benefit, can explain why you are better than your competitors, can be a witty catchphrase people will remember, can emphasize your personality; can express your vision or mission; or can make people take action related to what you are offering.  Your tagline works together with your blog title to express at a glance what the blog is about.  An example of a famous tag line in the world of film comes from Star Trek:  “To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

tags : see “categories”

target audience : see “audience”

techie  (sometimes aka hacker) –  A person who is especially expert in or enthusiastic about (and always learning more) technology, especially the technological aspects of computers and their users.  Sometimes techies are also referred to as hackers – but more often when people speak of hackers, they are referring to techies who use computers to get unauthorized access to data.

tentblogger – A blogger who makes a few dollars here and there through their blog while covering the topics of interest they choose.  Any blogger that makes some money through their blog.  (By the way, tentblogger is also the name of one of my favorite blogs about how-to-blog.  Check it out!)

thread – This term originally referred to a chain of posting on a single subject in a newsgroup (e-group, e-mail group) or in a series of forwarded e-mails between a group of people.  Threads also appear on blogs, in the comments section of a post.  Some blog comments sections are set up so that responders can comment directly to comments made by another responder.

tribe – Group of people who have in common a culture of some kind, a connection, and often share similar goals.  Tribes need leaders.  Tribes are an opportunity to find like-minded people to hang out with and learn from, but they are also an opportunity to connect with people who you can lead where they (and you) want to go.  Your blog tribe is your blog community, your loyal readers and customers.  Be a great leader and they will support you and follow you.  And your tribe will grow.

tweet – To send out a post to tell a global community (audience) what you are doing or thinking about right now.  The term “tweet/tweeting” started out on the social network site Twitter.com.   Twitter allows users to send short messages (limited to 140 characters or less) to the computers, cell phones, and other mobile devices of the people who have chosen to “follow” the person sending the tweet.

titles : see “headlines”

trending – A word, phrase or topic that is posted multiple times on the micro blog service, Twitter.  One reason Twitter is useful for bloggers is that by signing up to follow bloggers and other people interested in or related to your blog niche (topic), you can keep up on what is currently of high interest to readers and bloggers, and then write posts (articles) that deal with that aspect of your blog topic.  A good way to attract new readers.

uncopyright (aka Open Source Blogging) –  As famous blogger Leo Babuta at zenhabits puts it, “Feel free to steal my content.”  To uncopyright your blog is to give notice to your readers that they have full permission to use any of your content any way they like.  That is, you release your copyright rights on your blog contents, and they become public domain.  However, you may still ask for readers to at least attribute your work to you, and hopefully they will link to the original post on your blog from which they took and used your material.  There are of course pro’s and con’s to deciding to uncopyright your work.  A more limited form of doing something like this is called Creative Commons (see: “Creative Commons.”)

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – Your blog’s address on the internet.  For example, the address of this blog, https://blogbasics4totalbeginners.wordpress.com describes the access method (http://), the server (wordpress.com), and the unique address (blogbasics4totalbeginners).  It is important to choose a URL that is easy for your readers to remember and spell.  It should of course relate to your blog topic, or to you.  (See also the definition for domain name/subdomain)

URL shortening service – URL’s (website addresses, including blog addresses) can sometimes be quite long, especially for specific posts, which can include the name of the website, the date of the post, the title of the post, and other information.  When people are including URL’s on mini-posts (such as on Twitter tweets or on Facebook status updates) where the messages are limited to a small number of characters, it is handy to be able to use a short form of the URL.  There are special services on the internet that can help you with this.  A well-known one is bit.ly .

USP : Unique Selling Proposition – A marketing term used in internet marketing to refer to some aspect of a product or service that makes it better, unique, or more useful than other similar products and services.  Since there are so many similar products and services out there, including blogs, it is really important to consider what makes your product (even a blog where you aren’t trying to make money) special so that people are willing to spend time there – and potentially to buy products or services from you if you decide to include that on your blog.

video – Moving visual images.  Very popular on the internet.  Often featured in blogs, as a useful and graphic way to share information.

vlogs (aka v-logs, vogs, vidblogs, movie blogs, vblogs, vidcasts, vcasts) – A blog that provides a video journal on a topic instead of just text entries.  Blogging using video.  “Vloggers” are video bloggers.

visual : see “image”

weblog : see “blog”

website – A place on the internet that is comprised of files organized in a hierarchy.  A website can contain text, graphics, audio, video, etc.  Websites differ from media such as TV or radio because they can easily be interacted with by the users.  Blogs are websites that are usually designed to be highly interactive with a targeted community of users.

white space – Is the portions of a blog page which are unmarked.  Effective blogs (and other websites) include a fair amount of white space, which makes the articles (posts) easier to read, and allow your main points to stand out.

widgets (aka gadgets) – An application that can be added to your blog to allow your users to interact with your site in more ways.  There are thousands of widgets (some for free; some for a price).  Some are very useful (for example, ones that link the reader to your RSS feed), some may be useful (like virtual post-it notes), and some are strictly for fun (like virtual pets).  You should check out reviews of widgets before choosing ones for your site.  And you should realize that certain ones (or too many of them) can really slow down your site.

wikis – Frequently updated sites, usually updated by the users themselves.  Commonly used as references.  Wikis may also provide a narrative (story) when they are used to keep track of changes and updates in a project.  Wikis are not generally considered to be blogs, but blogs often contain some of the features of wikis.  An example of wikis is the wikipedia encyclopedia.

window(s) – see “browser”

worldview – The expectations, biases, and preconceptions that you bring to a situation.  You must understand your readers’ worldviews if you want to sell them on your ideas, services and products.  Their worldview will always affect how they perceive and react to what you have to know them.  Get to know the people in your community, see things from their viewpoint, and adjust the way you communicate your message so that they will want to listen to you, and to respond to you.

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