Here is a very short list of key terms you’ll come across when you’re new to blogging. Needless to say there are hundreds if not thousands more, but these get into the realms of blog innards which when you writing your blog posts, you don’t really need to worry about much.
Article – basically, but arguably, a blog post. Some so-called experts still rant on about there being a difference between an article and a blog post, but the short answer is there isn’t one. If there is a difference at all, it’s that a blog post can get away with being a lot shorter than, say, a magazine article: blog posts should never really be longer than 1,000 words max, whereas a print magazine article can be twice that length. Here’s where I took an irreverent look at it, and there are a few more definitions in there, too…
Blog – (originally “web log”) Many people use the word as a noun or a verb to describe just about anything to do with blogs but let’s get a bit picky here and make some sense out of it. A blog is a section of your website – or a mini-website in its own right – in which you share content (see below) including short articles known as blog posts. Lots of people try to differentiate between articles and written blog posts but nowadays essentially they’re the same.
Blogging – the act of using and working on your blog … not necessarily writing, though
Blog post – an entry that you compose and include on your blog. Can be any kind of content – text, video, audio, an infographic, etc.
Blogroll – a list you see on some blogs, usually on a sidebar, giving links to other blogs the bog owner thinks are worth sharing. Not to be confused with bogroll, English slang for toilet paper.
Blogsite – my own term for internet locations like this one, i.e. HowToWriteBetter.net, which started out as a blog but has grown to well over the size of many website. Feel free to
Blog writing – the act of writing text to be used as a post on your blog
Comments – what you want to people to write on your blog posts, and what you need to write on other people’s blogs to share your views and your brand. Check this article for guidance.
Content – the information (using all types of media) expressed on a website or blog. I hate this word because I think it’s flippant and derogatory, considering all the hard work we put into creating “content,” but then I’m biased…
Guest post – what it says on the label. Someone who you and your readers/customers respect sharing an article on your site. When this happens it’s only a courtesy to include a short biography of the guest and include a link to his/her own site.
HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language. This is the internet-speak version of your ordinary text, showing all the little instructions needed to make it look OK in the final version. May take you a while to understand how it works (Google it for lessons if you’re keen) but in actual fact knowing its basics is very handy to make your blog posts look prettier, especially if you have a WordPress site.
Keywords – the magic word of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and one which people drooled over in the earlier days of Google because if you got your keywords right, you got ranked high up in Google’s search pages. Now not quite so important given that Google is seeing the light and focusing on what really matters, i.e. good, fresh, original and worthwhile content. If you’re keen though, take a look at this article.
Sidebar – bit of a no-brainer when you think about it: it’s the narrower column of information running down one side of a blog site’s main content. Especially (but not exclusively) if you’re using a WordPress site, it’s very easy to add and subtract information from here and use it to promote events, activities, etc.
Widget – no, not a breed of duck, but a name for the bits and pieces you put in your site’s sidebar.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this list were all there is to it! But it’s a start. What other blog writing terms do you think we should look at? Are there any important ones I have missed out? Please share!
While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family (don’t forget the Holiday Season is coming soon)…