What Is A Blog All About? – Blogging Terms (Part 1)
Welcome to the second article of the series which aims to teach how to start a blog. After reading this article, you’ll get the answer to your ‘what is a blog’ question and understand frequently used blogging terminology.)
The single article became super long, so I have divided it into two parts. This is part one of the two.
There are a lot of terms that you’ll frequently encounter while reading anything about blogging. Considering the difficulties that I faced, I’m going to include simple and understandable definitions of blogging related terms in this article.
Important! These terms will be used again and again so take some time out to consume this useful information.
For ease of understanding for beginners, I’ve grouped similar terms together in broad headings as you can see below (A to Z is random and not as much beneficial for learning).
This categorization will help you read this article in well defined parts.
Let’s see what the heck this blogging thing is! Here’s the most common blogging jargon.
What Is A Blog?
The term ‘blog’ came from the original term weblog which earlier bloggers used in nascent days of blogging. As the term weblog suggests, a blog is an online journal in which articles are listed chronologically, and it is regularly updated.
In simple words, a blog is a website run by a person or a group of individuals which contains information on particular or a variety of topics in chronological order.
Blogging is the act of managing a blog. Blogger is a person who does blogging on a blog. The world of blogging is called the blogosphere. Blogging and blogs will be discussed in detail in a dedicated post.
A blog hosted by free blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr, etc. is called a Free or Hosted Blog. The web address of a free blog contains the name of the blogging platform.
For example, exampleblog.wordpress.com will be a free blog hosted on WordPress. Check my step by step tutorial to know how to start a blog free of cost using WordPress in just 30 minutes.
I strongly recommend the free blog for absolute beginners. Stay tuned for more or just subscribe to stay connected.
Self Hosted Blog
A self-hosted blog is a blog for which you purchase a domain name of your choice and then host that domain name on web hosting, which too is purchased by you. (both terms explained below)
Domain & Hosting
Domain and hosting are two key properties of any blog. Former is an identity whereas latter is the house of your blog.
A valuable online property, the domain name is the unique identity of website/blog. No two domain names can be same. For example, facebook.com domain name of the most popular (and populated with original and fake accounts) social media site.
A domain name is registered with/bought from domain providing companies like GoDaddy or NameCheap (there are more as well) after paying an initial fee. A domain is generally renewed annually by paying the renewal fees which are nearly or exactly same as initial cost.
As happened with me, domain and hosting can be purchased from the web hosting company you buy your hosting from. Some web hosting companies offer free domain names as a promotional tool.
Web hosting or hosting space is purchased from a web hosting company. It is the service and storage space that you get on that company’s servers to host (store) everything that you post on your blog include the media. For example, I purchased unlimited hosting space for this blog for $3/month from PawnHost. Hosting is also generally priced per month but purchased and renewed on an annual basis.
When you buy hosting, almost all hosting provide you with a Control Panel (mine is called cPanel) which you can use to manage your website’s various settings and functions.
Control Panel contains several softwares that you can use for different purposes (Beginners should only use the absolutely required features lest they disturb any setting).
One of the most useful softwares in Control Panel is an auto installer, a software that installs WordPress or any other script on your website automatically in a matter of few minutes.
I used Softaculous Auto Installer from my cPanel to install WordPress. Thanks to these installers, you and I don’t need programming knowledge or skills to get started (I have no programming skills except pretty basic familiarization with HTML).
Once you buy hosting, you’ll have an account on a Control Panel which you should remember and secure.
Traffic & SEO Related Terms
Traffic is what you would love to have and SEO is what you will need to do for free and sustainable traffic.
Niche is basically a biological term, but it is extensively used in blogging. In blogging terms, a niche is a particular topic that has a specific and well-defined audience.
A niche can be a broad topic as well as a narrowed down subtopic. For example, ‘weight loss’ is a broad niche in which a lot of people are interested. It can further be specified like ‘weight loss exercises.’ We can still be more targeted by focusing on ‘weight loss exercises without any equipment.’
I wrote a separate article to explain what niche means in blogging.
The concept of traffic is similar to the road traffic. Just like people use roads to move from one place to another, internet surfers use websites to surf from one website to another.
Traffic is the number of individuals visiting your blog. Using some analytical tools, you can see how many people visited your blog for a day, week or month.
The people coming to your website from various sources, like social media or web searches, are called visitors. Good blogs have good traffic. But it’s important to have the right kind of traffic (described in upcoming articles).
This is one of the most frequently used terms in the blogosphere. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is considered to be one the greatest sources of traffic.
SEO brings organic (natural) traffic to your from search engines. The process of helping search engines crawl (discover) your website and blog posts through keywords, tags, and backlinks, etc. (the terms are explained in this article) is called SEO.
Read further to understand SEO in 15 minutes.
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, etc. are called search engines which people use to search for their queries. The job of search engines is to show search results to users in order of relevance.
You may be already knowing that Google is the greatest search engine on planet Earth. Number two is YouTube. Yes, YouTube, though known as the number one video search engine, is the number two search engine after Google.
SEO revolves around keywords. Also called key phrase, a keyword is a word or collection of words that people use while searching for answers/solutions to their queries, on the search engines.
Whenever they type and enter their query in the search bar, search engines crawl websites to find the best matches. The most relevant and credible links appear on the first page, with the highest match on the top.
It means that whoever used those keywords has a good chance to feature in the results, not necessarily the first page, though. Search ‘keyword’ on Google and analyze the results.
See where your query keyword is mentioned in the title, URL, and meta description (terms explained later in the article). Search for ‘weight loss techniques’ and analyze the results again. You can play with it as long as you want.
Long Tail Keyword
When I said a keyword could be a collection of words in the above paragraph, I meant a long tail keyword. A long tail keyword is a keyword, basically a phrase, containing 3 to 4 words, based on most popular and specific search queries performed on search engines.
For example, free Udemy coupons, making money on youtube, and how to make pizza are long tail keywords. If you analyze your searches on Google carefully, you’ll realize that you use long tail keywords most of the time to find what you need.
Keyword research is one of the most valuable skills that you should know before starting a blog. It’s the process of seeing value and demand of a keyword using online tools like Google AdWords and many more.
The keyword research helps you know what number of people are interested in your topic and how much competition there is in your topic or niche. Knowing the number of concerned people (for example how many people search for your keyword), and the competition (other people blogging about it) is essential for selecting your niche.
Do this before starting a blog and choosing a topic. Make a list of keyword and blog post headlines to get a head start. Read more on keyword research and how to do it.
Understanding linking or hyperlinking is important to comprehend backlinks (see below). Linking means inserting a hyperlink or link (same thing) in the content of a blog. When clicked, links send a visitor from one blog to another.
Links make the blogosphere well connected, and that is why search engines easily crawl from one website to another finding relevant content for users. There’s a reason for naming World Wide Web.
Another term that remained unknown to me before I finally knew about it. It’s an important terminology because SEO and traffic depend on backlinks a lot.
A backlink is an incoming link to your blog. It happens when another blogger links to content within your blog, mainly because linking it helps him explain something.
If you write an article about your blogging journey and, finding it interesting or useful, I link to that article in one of my blog posts; it will mean that your blog has a backlink from my blog. Click and see how I created a backlink to an article about Backlinks on WPBeginner.
Content Related Terms
Content is the foundation of any blog. By the way, content is everything you write and post on your blog.
An article is synonymous with a blog post which contains text and other media like pictures, videos, links, etc. When a blogger blogs, it means he writes articles regularly on his blog.
The title of your article (or blog post) which appears on top of the browser when someone opens it. It also appears before beginning of the first paragraph of an article. Or if you have used a featured image (you’ll know what it is), it shows before that image on your site.
URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. It is the web address of a web page. For example, www.ilyastarar.com is URL of my blog. Anyone who types that in the browser will locate my blog. Every blog post has a unique URL of its own. Your Facebook profile has it’s unique URL too.
Permalink is the part of URL (of a post or page) which comes after your domain name. Quoting an example from this post, the bold part in www.ilyastarar.com/what-is-a-blog-blogging-terms is a permalink.
You can change the structure of your permalinks from Dashboard>Settings>Permalinks. A permalink is editable while creating a post just below the post title, as shown in the picture below.
Categories help segregate different content on the same blog. Bloggers create and use categories to group together the articles written about the same broad topic.
In simple words, categories are the topics that your blog covers and every article you write belongs to one of the categories.
Tags are somewhat subcategories. If a category is a broad topic, a tag will be a subtopic of it. For example, if a post is about weight loss exercises then category can be fitness and tag can be weight loss‘.
If you’re sharing a recipe for chicken, then category can be cooking, and tag can be chicken. Tags, in combination with categories, help identify what the article is all about.
Part one ends here. I hope you enjoyed learning from part 1 of blogging terms. I hope you got some answer to your ‘what is a blog’ question by now. Did you find this article useful or not? Please record your feedback in the comments below because I write for you and your feedback is important to me.
Next article, the part two, will continue this post but will focus more on using WordPress and the absolutely essential tools that you should have on your blog to make it successful.
For beginners who are serious about learning how to start a blog, I recommend subscribing because I’m very serious about making creating and starting part of blog incredibly easy.
Next Article: – Blogging Terms For Beginners (Part 2)