The world of blogging can be a confusing place. There have been times in this journey that I feel on top of it all and others where I seem to be decades behind the train. Thinking of how far I have come in the process makes it seem intimidating, even somewhat daunting, to start over at square one.
To those who are just starting out with blogging and have big aspirations, let's be friends. I know it is challenging and I remember many of the emotions and thoughts you are going through. What is SEO? What are sponsors and why would people spend money for that? Will I ever understand this lingo? Starting a blog is not for the faint of heart, but it is a beautiful endeavor to share your voice, creativity, and passions. This post is to encourage you, get you on your feet, and rundown the basics of blog language one step at a time.
Platform One of the first decisions you will need to make in starting a blog is how you will create your website. There are several key platforms that you can choose from. My blog is hosted through Blogger although WordPress and Squarespace are also popular options. Do your research and find what will be best for your blogging needs.
Branding When you create a blog and get serious about it, you are essentially branding yourself. Maintaining a consistent and clear brand for your website is essential. This includes high quality photos, a user friendly site, and a way to effectively promote your brand. This post of Madison's is my favorite when it comes to the ins and outs of branding.
HTML is the coding that makes up your blog. Most novice bloggers are not educated in HTML although there are many resources online that can teach you the basics.
CSS is the twin sister to HTML. They go hand in hand and work together. While HTML is the code itself, CSS is the styling of a website.
Disqus Building a blogging community is one of the most valuable things a blogger can do. Commenting on blogs and responding to comments is part of this. Disqus is a commenting system that many bloggers have transitioned to over the past year or so. It allows bloggers and guests to comment in an organized fashion and hold better dialogue between comments.
SEO Search Engine Optimization has become more and more relevant lately to the blogging community. This determines how accessible your blog posts are from search engines like Google or Bing. The better keywords and searchable phrases you use, the more traffic is drawn to your blog through search engines.
Affiliates Some businesses offer bloggers the opportunity to partner as an affiliate. They typically include links or buttons that are personalized and track traffic from your site to theirs. When someone makes a purchase from their business, directed from your site, you earn money or credit.
Sponsors Many blogs have sponsor opportunities that can help you grow and build a larger blogging community by paying for an ad space. The most common sponsor sites that bloggers use to host their ads are Passionfruit and Adproval. Every blogger hosts sponsors differently with personalized perks for spaces. Be sure to explore advertising pages and evaluate what is most needed for your site in sponsorship opportunities.
What terms were confusing to you as a baby blogger?
What questions do you still have about the basics of blogging?