Blogging A to Z: Your Glossary Guide for Success
Blogging has come a long way. From the earliest online diaries and journals, “web logs” became blogs, the noun turned into verb and, before we knew it, the vast array of topics and niches exploded into a blogosphere — with over 500 million to be found and 7 million posts every day. So whether you’re a seasoned blogger or completely new, you’ll need a smattering of the lingo for this journey. From the basics (Article, Feed) to the techy stuff (CMS, XML), take this as your handy A-Z for blogging success.
A is for… Article. An easily-digestible slice of written content. Once the preserve of print media, Articles can of course cover an infinite number of topics and themes. The idea is to keep readers informed, educated, and entertained — in a single sitting, or perhaps while they are on-the-go.
Come up with a hook to engage the audience of your Blog Article right from the start. Choose a clear subject and take a unique point of view. Select a topic you’re knowledgeable and passionate about. Think about a current trend, an issue that piques interest, or a problem to be solved. Use your own words and ideas to develop to a unique voice and perspective in your articles. Finish with food for thought or a Call to Action (CTA). This will all help attract an audience and encourage social sharing. See also: Niche
The creative brain behind the content. It’s their unique voice and perspective that breathes life into a text. Authors are named and credited with a byline (like “by Joe Blogs”) alongside a date of publishing. See also: Blogger
When readers click on links you’ve shared and buy something or take an action, and you then earn a little something each time, that’s Affiliate Marketing.
Let’s say, for instance, you have a guitar blog, and you include sponsored link to a popular guitar manufacturer. When your readers click on that link and buy an instrument, you might earn a commission. It’s a way for bloggers to earn while helping others discover cool products or services. A potentially lucrative endeavour. But don’t mislead or overpromote: it’s essential to strike a balance between earning and bringing genuine value to readers. Plug that guitar because it rocks. See also: Monetisation
The clickable text on a link, Anchor Text is there to act as a description for said hyperlink. For example, if I were to say that it’s so easy for anyone to buy a domain name and build a great website. Anchor Text also makes it easier for readers to find useful info on a page, but also helps search engines by detailing what your blog is all about. See also: Hyperlink
Alt Text (“Alternative Text”) is the brief description that you can add to an image on a webpage to give it more information or context. However, it exists within the HTML code. To describe an image to your readers you’ll want to use a Caption instead.
These tags are optional, but useful for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It’s also a good thing for those who may not be able to see an image. The text can be read out loud by screen reader software or Alexa (or your favourite). Some choose to declare image rights/authorship in the Alt Text, but this isn’t really the place — better to state this clearly in the Photo Credit and other copyright notices.
First coined in the late 1990s, Blogs are now staggeringly popular. It’s a way to share our experiences and ideas. The ease and speed of Blogging is arguably the main factor. It’s ripe for the modern age. Forego the smoky publishing house: you are the author, editor, proofreader and publisher, all rolled into one. And if you are, then you may call yourself a Blogger.
A collective term for all the apps, software or services that let you create and manage a blog. Some of the most popular Blogging Platforms include WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. For more, see: CMS
The Blogosophere is the entire network of blogs and bloggers on the net. Blogtopia, the Blogolopolis, Blogton-on-Sea, Blogstonbury Festival — none of these choices ever proved quite so popular.
Also known as an Inbound Link, a Backlink is a connection from one website to another. In the context of blogging and SEO, the term generally refers to links that point towards your blog or website from external websites. Links that point from your blog to other websites are Outbound Links. These offer your readers chance to gain additional info or sources related to your content.
Links are a fundamental part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Search engines take quality Backlinks as a sort of vote of confidence for the relevance and quality of content. By contrast, linking to less credible (or dodgy) sites can damage your rank. See also: Link Building
A certain number of website visitors may take one look at your website and run. Navigating away without so much as a click is, in the world of web analytics, a metric known as Bounce Rate. A high percentage isn’t good. It would suggest visitors aren’t finding that content very relevant or interesting. Fortunately, you can do things about that. See also: Quality Content
Technical stuff now. A Canonical Link is an HTML tag that directs to a primary webpage, preventing duplicate search results. That is to say: every website is made up of multiple pages and Canonical Links point to the most relevant one(s). Visitors can then arrive at a logical top-level page (eg., your Blog Homepage). With platforms like WordPress, this is all done for you and nothing to worry about.
The labels or topics used to group and classify content. With a travel blog, for instance, you could use Categories like ‘Backpacking’ or ‘Southeast Asia’ to sort posts into travel-related sections. For a food blog, you could sort things gastronomically, into ‘Desserts’ or “Vegetarian’. Naturally, a well-organised blog is easier to navigate. Like chapters in a book, Categories ensure readers find content that matches their interests. This is also good for search engines that see them rather like containers for keywords and links.
Call to Action (CTA)
Subscribe to a newsletter. Request a sample. Buy an item. Click that next link. A Call to Action is a prompt to get visitors doing something. In the context of a blog, that might be a simple ‘Read More’ or a link to buy a product you’re recommending. The CTA is often clickable link or button. See Also: Lead Magnet
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The percentage of people who click on a web link they’ve seen (or that we know have loaded up on their screen, at least). CTR is a measure of how many readers are clicking on articles after seeing them. How well are your blog titles attracting attention, for example?
Let’s illustrate with an example: on Google, if 1000 people see your blog come up in the results and 100 of users click to visit it, your CTR is 10%. And that’s very good, actually. For reference, the average CTR for 1st place (ie., “I’m feeling lucky”) on Google is 28.5%, while only 2.5% of users ever click the tenth link.
CMS (Content Management System)
The CMS is the app or software platform that allows you to create, edit, organise, and publish your blog content. For the most part, bloggers today won’t need any technical skills. CMS’s have developed to make it so easy. There are dozens, but only half a dozen or so big players. One of the most popular is WordPress. It’s arguably the single best tool for posting great blogs fast and there are hundreds of themes to choose from.
The responses, feedback, and general “bants” under your blog post. Comments allow users to engage with content; share their opinions, ask questions, make requests, and everything else.
When you see a good number of comments that usually suggests certain level of popularity and authority. Reply to comments and interact with your readers to build that further.
An essential concern for any organisation with a marketing department (and for many that don’t have one), Content Marketing means generating content and getting it out there to an audience. The idea is to build brand awareness, brand identity, foster loyalty, and thereby achieve business goals. But it’s a fiercely competitive business: 61% of companies say their number one challenge is gaining traffic and leads. Blogging is one of the most effective tools in the arsenal, with research to suggest that businesses that blog see up to 126% higher lead growth than those that don’t.
Your web address. It’s important to choose a good one: an effective Domain Name will help people discover and remember your website. This also plays a role in how your blog will appear search results. To find the right domain name, head over to a top domain registrar!
Do Follow Links
A Do Follow Link is a hyperlink that search engines, such as Google, follow and factor into website rankings. For example, a link in a blog post that directs search engines to visit another website. They help the webpage get noticed.
Compare that with No Follow Links. These prevent search engines from following and passing on trust and credibility. They’re common in user-generated content, like blog comments, to avoid promoting unverified sources or spammy behaviour.
The level of interaction or participation that your visitors have with the online content is called Engagement and that includes everything from liking, sharing, and subscribing, or perhaps even just having a ruddy good time reading. Low engagement, bad; high engagement, good. It shows your blog audience is actively interested and involved.
The art of crafting tailored emails and getting them to your subscribers. When done right, an Email Subscription an be a really effective tool for converting interested readers into dedicated followers. You can build up a Mailing List to share content and updates, grow connections. You may choose to offer your finest exclusive or early-access content via email. If selling is your game, Email Marketing can be a great way to promote products, nurture leads, and conduct surveys. As ever, though, it’s important not to overdo it. See also: Affiliate Marketing
Estimated Reading Time
This nifty feature seen at the start of articles predicts how long it’ll take you to devour the entire piece. While not a necessity, placing an Estimated Reading Time at the top of an article is a classy move and one that many visitors will appreciate. Of course, you can add this manually, or if you’re using WordPress, there are ways to install ‘Estimated Reading Time’ plugins that do it for you.
A Favicon is a small icon or image associated with a website. It appears in the browser tab or next to the website’s name in bookmarks, helping users easily identify and recognise the site.
A Feed is a stream of content. Your Blog Feed is your stream of blogs — displayed in chronological order for users to view and interact with. The use of the term started to gain traction with the rise of social media and blogging platforms in the early 2000s (along with “timelines”). It’s now a common part of the online vernacular.
An RSS Feed, which stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ or ‘Rich Site Summary’ (depending on who you ask) is a a type of feed and web format that makes it easy to subscribe to and receive updates. Blogs often provide RSS feeds as a way for readers to subscribe to their content. When a user subscribes to a blog’s RSS feed, they’ll receive updates whenever the blog publishes a new post.
To Follow and Following is all about the action of subscribing to a blog or website’s updates. When a user follows a blog, they can receive notifications or updates when new content is published.
A smart strategy in which a Guest Blogger writes (and possibly even publishes) content for a blog that’s not their own. This can go either way: you could be contributor to another blog, or you might want to find a great guest to contribute to your own. Look for authorities in your niche. Perhaps you’re in touch with them already. Reach out with a pitch and emphasise how this could be a win-win (and it can). Guest Blogging is great way to tap into fresh audiences, improve a website’s authority, and gain more impact. There can be some crossover with the idea of Influencer Marketing, if you find an especially well-known individual.
Google Analytics is a handy web analytics service courtesy of Google, offering in-depth stats and insights on your website and blog traffic. There’s a lot of analytics tools out there, but Google’s is perhaps the most well-known. Such tools are a must-have for website owners looking to grasp how users interact with their content and make smart, data-backed decisions.
A Headline acts as your first impression. They are also the titles that make it easy for readers to find what they want. A good one has the potential to grab the reader’s attention. The Headline is stypically larger, bolder and more prominent than regular text. It’s often the same as or very similar to the blog Meta Title.
Used to organise the content of the blog post, Header Tags give a clear structure and visual structure to the content of a blog, both for readers and search engines. This structure is often represented in descending font-size or in other thematic ways.
The Headline of a webpage is often the H1 tag in the HTML structure. H1 is thus the marker for your main title, introducing the main subject or topic. H2 works for subheadings, breaking down major sections into manageable chunks. This all make it so that the content is well-organised and reader-friendly. H3 can then be used for sub-subheadings, H4 for sub-sub-subheadings, and so on.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
The fundamental language of the internet. HTML is a coding language (invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, no less) and we just saw some of it with H1 tags. Used to create and structure content on webpages, HTML features various elements and tags that define the structure, formatting, and layout of web content.
Just leave it all to the boffins, then, right? Well, possibly. But having at least some working HTML knowledge is always handy. All citizens of the blogosphere should know, for instance, how to structure content with Header Tags — if only with paper and pencil. You’ll want this when sending blog content to another person to publish for you (or vice versa).
More often than not just “links”, Hyperlinks are the clickable bits of text or elements that take you to another webpage. Naked Links or Bare URLs are those that only show the raw URL (like www.123-Reg.co.uk) with no Anchor Text. Needless to say, Broken Links spell trouble.
Posting a regular blog has the potential to generate 94% more links to your website.
Influencer Marketing involves working together with influencers or celebrities to promote their products or services. These figures can use their credibility and wide reach to support and recommend these offerings to their audience. See also: Guest Blogging
Infographics combine text, images, and graphics to represent information in an easy way. They’re great for breaking down big research findings and for making large amounts of data digestible. Imagine, for example, a blogger writing about health and wellness could use an Infographic to illustrate the benefits of a fitness routine using visuals to show exercises or diet tips.
Keywords are words or phrases that convey the primary topic or subject of a blog post, helping search engines (and humans) understand the content’s focus. Keyword Density is an expression to refer to how often those keywords show up.
You can use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, Moz, or SEMrush. These tools provide data on search volume, keyword difficulty, and related terms. Look for keywords with a balance between search volume and competition — and make sure they fit naturally within your content.
It’s important that you don’t overdo it. Trying to squeeze as many keywords in as possible is called Keyword Jamming and, while that may have tricked the search engines fifteen years ago, it’s likely to draw the wrong sort of attention today. Or even no attention at all: Google can interpret this sort of thing as naughty “Black Hat” SEO, pushing you down the search results or getting you removed entirely! Bottom line: in your blog, focus on valuable, high-quality content, quality backlinks, and just a sprinkle of keywords.
The longer and more specific keyword phrases that may appear in blog content. For example, while “Cornwall” — or even “Cornish beaches” — would count as a single keyword, “Dog-friendly Cornish beaches for families” might be an example of a Long-Tail Keyword. Using them can target a niche audience and improve your visibility in search engines. That said, such phrases are likely to appear naturally in quality content, so there’s no need to overdo it.
Link Building is all about getting other blogs and websites to link to your own. There are many strategies: reach out to other website owners for collaboration, use social media to attract attention to your site. Most importantly, you have to demonstrate your authority and offer (you guessed it) quality content that others want to link to. The difference between Link Building and Backlinks? Good question. Link Building is the process, whereas Backlinks are what you’re after. Put it this way: Backlinks are to Link Building what fruits are to gardening.
No, not that big one on your fridge: Lead Magnets are the incentives offered to readers in exchange for action. Essentially, some kind of tempting offer, dangled like a digital carrot to entice visitors to share their details. For bloggers, this could entail a free guide on a specific topic in exchange for, say, a visitor’s email subscription. You might choose to offer a product sample, a product demo, an ebook, a video, perhaps a webinar or even tickets to a real life event.
With quality Lead Magnets, a blogger can offer valuable resources to visitors while at the same time positioning themselves as an authority on that chosen niche. On the other hand, many visitors will navigate away when pushed for an email address and that’s one factor to consider. An unfair trade off might negatively affect your Bounce Rate.
The snippets of HTML that offer information, that is, Metadata, about the content of a webpage. There are two main types: Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions. You’ve definitely seen them before. The Meta Title refers to the very short (1-2 sentence) description of a webpage. It’s clickable when it appears in the search results and usually shows on the browser tab when that webpage is open.
The Meta Description, then, is the brief (perhaps 3-4 sentence) info below the Meta Title in the search results. Meta Titles and Descriptions should be within 60 and 160 characters respectively. Good Meta Tags are likely to attract much more traffic to your blog.
You’re passionate about your chosen subject and you want to turn that passion into a profit. And why not? Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur with the aim of building up the brand. Monetisation is all about turning that blog into bucks.
There are numerous ways to do so:
✓ Sell Digital Products: Sell a product or service directly through your own website. Create and sell your own e-books, online courses, or downloadable resources directly to your visitors.
✓ Ad Revenue: Place ads on your blog and you can earn money when visitors click them.
✓ Affiliate Marketing: Promote products or services and earn a commission for each sale generated through your affiliate links.
✓ Sponsored Posts: Get paid by brands to write about their products or services in your blog posts.
✓ Membership or Subscription Models: Offer premium content or a private community to subscribers for a recurring fee.
✓ Freelancing: A graphic designer, a copywriter, or a teacher, perhaps? Use your blog to build up your base.
✓ Consulting: Showcase your expertise on your blog and attract clients interested in your services.
“One in three bloggers monetizes her or his online activity, and about 10% are making over $10,000 per year. The lucky few, or more precisely the top 0.6%, are raking in a whopping $1M+ annual earnings.”Radoslav Chakarov, Web Tribunal
A regular email communication sent to subscribers, often containing updates, news, promotions, or curated content from a blog or website. It is a valuable tool for building and engaging with an email list. With useful advice and the latest information, you can draw your audience in with your engaging personality and then build trust so subscribers look forward to hearing from you. Bloggers have other sorts of followers and options for keeping in touch, though. See also: Feed, Followers
A Niche is a specialised segment within a broader market characterised by distinct or unique features (potentially quirky) that set it apart from the mainstream. It should rhyme with “quiche” (even if many choose to pronounce it otherwise…). A Niche Blog, as you might expect, is one that focuses on rather specific subject matter.
Finding a Niche allows bloggers to target a passionate audience and establish expertise. There’s potential to monetise content more effectively, either directly or through advertisers and sponsors. Such specialisation often results in more loyal and engaged followers.
Organic Traffic refers to visitors who arrive at a website through unpaid, “natural” search engine searching rather than through paid advertising. Blogging is one of the very best ways for businesses to increase their organic hits.
Also known as HTML Anchors, these are the clickable links contained within one (usually long) web page. Page Jumps allow you to jump around from top to bottom. For example, clicking the ABCs on an alphabetic article like this one!
Plugins are pieces of software or add-ons that can be installed on a content management system (CMS) to extend its functionality. They offer various features and customisation options to enhance a website’s performance and capabilities. The great thing about installing plugins is that it’s incredibly easy and you can do it all from the backend of your site
WordPress is a powerful and easy to use content management system (CMS) that can be used to create and customise websites. Once you have chosen your domain and built the bare bones of your new website, you can choose from a vast number of plugins to increase the functionality of your site. Plugins can assist your site in a variety of ways, from search engine optimisation (SEO) to usability. See also: Widgets
Crafting well-written and original articles that exceed your readers’ expectations. Quality Content is the true key to getting your blog noticed.
As for what makes Quality Content exactly, well… that’s the million dollar question. It’s all subjective. But for sure, content that’s unique and insightful will grab attention.
You can make your content stand out by:
✓ Sharing your own experiences, stories, insights.
✓ Drawing upon new data that’s only available to you.
✓ Forming a unique opinion or a different viewpoint.
In a sense, there’s less competition if you come up with something that nobody has blogged about before. Readers are looking for facts they don’t know and information that isn’t easy to find elsewhere, after all.
SEO has its uses, but there’s no accounting for quality. The algorithms underpinning the modern search engine have evolved. Google tends to prefer content that is trustworthy and unique, too. It’s all about making awesome content that people love to read and share.
Responsive Design is a way of building websites so that they automatically adjust and look good on various devices, be that computer monitors, smartphones, tablets, or even smartwatches. Rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model, the idea is to bring coding and design together so that the website knows “where it’s at” and sorts itself out accordingly. This involves HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to organise layout, proportions, font sizes, and so on. This can get a bit technical (and from personal experience this is one of the most pull-your-hair-out parts of web development for anyone with amateurish coding ability). Luckily, modern Web Builders and CMS platforms like WordPress will sort it all out for you. Moreover, WordPress allows you to preview all pages for desktop, tablet, and mobile when staging. Trust us, your blog will look great.
The Search Engine Results Page. The ambition for any successful blog will be to show up near the top of the SERP when people search for topics relevant to their content. This way, more readers can discover and visit their blogs, driving traffic and expanding their audience. However, the truth is that 75% of searchers never look beyond the first page of results.
You’ll need a dress rehearsal before you go live. Staging is that dress rehearsal. A preview. A Staging Website is a duplicate that allows you to test changes before you publish. There are plenty of benefits. Some of the main ones include:
✓ Avoiding Downtime and errors. You can test new features, updates, or changes before making them live. This ensures that any errors or issues are resolved before publishing, mitigating the risk of downtime and errors.
✓ Better Performance: A staging site can be used to test new plugins, themes, or updates before implementing them on the live site.
✓ Better Collaboration: With a Staging Environment, you and your team members can work together on updates and changes without disrupting the live site.
A Session is a period of user interaction with a website. This usually begins when a user accesses the site and ends when there is no further activity. Sessions are a good metric of user engagement and interactions. See also: Engagement, Estimated Reading Time
Social Media, Social Sharing
When readers share your blog posts on Social Media platforms it increases your content’s visibility and drives more traffic to your blog. Engaging with your audience through social can also help to build a loyal following. This feedback loop improves your content and can boost your blog’s popularity.
And the world is more connected than ever. An estimated 4.89 billion of us are actively engaged in social media in 2023. Moreover, the average user now checks out 7 different social networks each month, while the average amount of time users spend on social has grown to a staggering 151 minutes per day.
Even LinkedIn is getting in on the game, with a drive towards long-form articles and content, in contrast with
So, if you want your blog to thrive, never underestimate the power of Social Sharing. By the way, it’s easy to add Social Sharing Widgets on WordPress. See also: Widgets
Subscribing lets users to stay informed about new content, promotions, or announcements from their preferred sources. Email Newsletters might be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Subscriptions. They’re a direct line to your audience and a great way to reach your whole audience.
But when it comes to blogs, Subscribers may encompass various different types of followers or regular visitors. You may have followers on social media platforms or RSS feed subscribers, for instance. See also: Followers
Tags are the labels or sticky notes of internet content. On blog posts, but also images and videos, these labels help sort and organise everything, making it simpler for users to locate what they need.
Whereas categories are like the chapters of a book, providing a structure for the blogs overall, tags are like the index or keywords of that book, giving more specific details about what’s inside. Posts can have multiple tags, making it easier to connect and find related content, regardless of the category. See also: Category
The number of people who visit. Traffic includes those who find your blog on their own (Organic Traffic), those who directly search for the blog (Direct Traffic), referrals from other blogs (Referral Traffic), and those who arrive from Pay-Per-Click links or other advertisements (Paid Traffic).
Understanding your blog’s Target Audience can be a good first step towards success. There a lots of different expressions for this in business jargon: target market, market segment, target demographic. Think about who your readers are, their interests, and what they’re looking for. Once you’ve got that down, create content that speaks to their needs and passions.
From visitors, to loyal subscribers. Offer value through your content and provide a clear path for readers to subscribe to your blog. Actively promote your blog through social media, email newsletters, and watch your audience grow.
Unique Visitors represent the number of individual people who visit a website during a specific period, typically measured by their IP addresses or browser cookies. This metric helps assess the reach and audience size of a website. See also: Bounce Rate
Material like articles, videos, or memes, that spreads rapidly and widely across the internet due to their compelling, shareable, or often sensationalist nature. Viral Content can gain massive popularity through social media sharing. But is that always a good thing?
Widgets are small, self-contained applications or features that can be embedded on a website to provide specific functionality or information. From adding a map to quickly direct visitors to your location to including photo galleries that help present your business in the best possible light — there’s a widget that can do it for you. Common examples include weather widgets, social media feeds, and calendars.
WordPress Widgets are powerful tools for bloggers. You can use the ‘Categories’ widget to simplify content navigation, helping readers find their favourite topics. To keep readers engaged, there’s the ‘Recent Posts’ widget, or you could opt for the ‘Social Media Icons’ widget to connect with your audience across platforms. The ‘Popular Posts’ widget does can highlight your most popular content, increasing reader engagement and driving traffic to your top articles. See also: Plugins
A Webinar is a live, web-based seminar or presentation conducted over the internet. Webinars allow speakers to interact with an online audience, share information, and often include features like Q&A sessions or polls.
Bloggers can use webinars as powerful tools to engage their audience, share valuable insights, and promote affiliate products or services effectively. Hosting a webinar allows bloggers to demonstrate their expertise, which can enhance their authority within their niche and build trust with their readers. You may choose to use a Webinar to encourage your audience to click on Magnet Links and/or purchase items or services.
WordPress is one of the most user-friendly and versatile platforms for bloggers, making it a top choice for both beginners and experienced content creators. As they say so themselves: “WordPress is designed to get you up and running and fully functional in no longer than five minutes.” And it really is that simple to use. It’s the most popular CMS in the world — used by an incredible 43% of the internet by some estimates.
WordPress boasts a really user-friendly interface, a wide range of themes and plugins, and is widely adopted for its flexibility and scalability. It’s resources are almost limitless. The more advanced things under the bonnet aren’t too difficult either thanks to a host of plug-ins, themes and help across the internet. Read more about WordPress Hosting, here.
Really into the nitty-gritty now, the XML Sitemap is a sort of file that lists all the pages and content on your website, with the goal being to make it easy for search engines to crawl (search around) and index the pages within. This helps a website’s visibility in search results.
Embedding a YouTube video is a great way to make your blog more exciting and interactive. Youtube Integration can bring a little something extra when demonstrating things, trying out products, or sharing personal stories on your blog. It’s quite simple to do on WordPress – just copy the video’s web address and paste it into your blog post. WordPress does the rest, showing the video to your readers.
Z is for… Zooming Out. No, really: from time to time, step back to assess your overall blogging strategy, your long-term goals, and future ambitions.