Blogging: The Definitions, The Lingo, The 411

by Julie on May 28, 2009

Tags, header, categories, post, page…what does it all mean!!! Here’s a quick primer:

1. Header. The header lives at the top of the blog site – no matter what page you’re on. It displays the name of the site, the logo if there is one, oftentimes a tagline and sometimes a big action button – like ‘Buy this book!’


2. Tagline. Your tagline sets the context for your blog – so people know where they are and what kind of information they’ll receive. The Soc Media 101 tagline is, “Social media tips and how-to’s for beginners.’ It defines the blog.


3. Post. A post is an article that you put on your blog. They typically live on the home page, though many blogs allow you to choose which page you’d like to live on the opening page of the site (maybe you want about to be the first page folks see). On your blog, the most recent post will be at the top of the page, the oldest will be all the way at the bottom. If you click on the title of an individual post, you will go to a page with just that post showing – as opposed to all of your posts – and you’ll see the comments for that post as well.


4. Page. You can have static pages on your blog, just like on any website. Usually, these are: About, Services, Contact – the standard info pages that you want visitors to have constant access to. Depending on the blog theme or software you choose, these pages may be displayed in a navigation bar and/or on your sidebar.


5. Sidebars. Blogs typically have 1, 2 or 3 sidebars. They can live on the left, right or left and right of the main blog column that holds your posts. Sidebars can display just about anything, but usually offer: Subscription access, social networking invites, category lists, blogrolls, calendars, search bars, ebooks, widgets, ads and more. The beauty of the blog sidebar is that it is always visible – no matter what page or post the reader is viewing, making it very valuable real estate.


6. Post Title. Each post has its own headline or title. It should be an attention grabber and, for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, include important key words.


7. Tags. You just wrote a post. Now imagine walking up to that giant web filing cabinet in the sky. Ask yourself: 1) What files does it make sense to put my post in? 2) What files would a reader look in, find my post and feel totally satisfied? Those are your tags. For instance, this post will be tagged with: social media, blogging, blog definitions, blog terminology, tags, headers, sidebars, etc….get the point? Tags are unique to each post and important for search engine optimization. Sometimes there are 2 tags, sometimes 15. Also, each tag is a live link that takes you to other posts on that blog that were tagged with that word or phrase.


8. Categories. Often confused with tags, categories are the main groups your posts fall under – as a whole. If your blog were a cookbook, your categories would be: appetizers, soups & salads, main course and dessert.  If your blog were about dogs, your categories would be: training, health, breeds and puppies. Every post you write is listed under one of those categories. If a reader clicks on one of your categories, they’ll see all of the posts that you’ve placed there.


9. Comments. Comments land at the end of each post. They give the reader a chance to join the conversation, ask questions or add their two cents. It’s a great idea for bloggers to engage their readers by asking questions in a post and by responding to comments by adding comments themselves.


Voila, the basics of blogging terminology. Looking for more definitions? Leave questions in the comments below and I’ll answer them right away…

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