Blogging 101 – Learning and Understanding Blog Terms
A blog is an online journal consisting of a series of posts, or articles, stories or opinions placed online publicly or privately, on probably every topic you could imagine. From technical to entertainment to ramblings and everything in between, there are blogs to cover it. Blogs differ from websites in that they are usually updated very frequently, usually daily or weekly at the very least.
The word ‘blog’ is shortened from the original term, ‘weblog’. Originally a weblog was used by techs to put updates on a website into a timeline. From there it grew into what we know today.
There are now a variety of different types of blogs for you to find.
- There are video blogs where the content is provided in an a video format. These blogs are great for instructions, humour and of course interviews. The video blog has now attracted the attention of the big media who are prepared to turn a video blog into a professional mini-blockbuster complete with multi-million dollar budgets and big name stars.
- There are photoblogs which are filled with graphics. A lot of professionals tend to use these as they are easy to update and edit.
- A regular blog is written, but may also include graphics, photographs and video blogs.
Various devices are used to create blogs. Still the most common is via a PC, but blogs can be prepared and sent via phones and other mobile devices.
The term “niche” is used to describe the market audience that the blog will cater towards. Blogs tend to be in clearly defined niches, such as news, or on a particular subject such as pet care.
A post is the term used for an article or piece of content written at a particular time. For example, if this article were on a blog, it would be a post.
Blogs are usually structured in the same way, although they may look very different and carry very diverse content.
Most blogs are shown in reverse date order – newest posts first. There is usually an archive to find all the posts.
Here are a few more terms you will come across in regard to blogging.
- The post headline. This is called the title. When creating a blog title, it needs to be appealing to the audience, but also use keywords and phrases a user or search engine may search on.
- The URL of the blog is called a permalink. A permalink is a permanent identifier of the post so it can be fully referenced and found in the future. A permalink may be numeric or may include the title of the post, or a combination of both. Permalinks are important in search engine optimisation on blogs wanting to make money online.
- The body. Simply, the body is the content of the post
- Categories. Posts are often divided into categories within the blog to help users find older posts. For example, in a pet website, the categories might be cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and fish.
- Tags and Tag Clouds. A tag is a keyword or keyphrase that a user may search on in order to find the post. A series of tags are used with each post. A tag cloud is a group of keywords shown in various font sizes according to their quantity of use on the particular blog site. A very popular keyword will be large and bold, while a rarely used keyword will be in small font.
- Post Date. Almost self explanatory, the post date is the date and time that the post was published.
- Trackbacks. Trackbacks are links to other sites within the blog entry.
- Pings. When you ‘ping’ a blog, you are in fact telling a list of interested sites that you have posted a new entry. The interested sites will crawl your blog and index the information.
This is basically all the technical information you need to understand in order to use a blog successfully. Now you know what it is, you are ready to move onto the next step, which is to create your own.
Blogs are quite easy to set up and use and there are a number of free options for you on the Internet, but that is beyond the boundaries of this article.