A blogger’s guide

Ok, so when I started out as a blogger, I could have really done with a guide, or dictionary, of blogging terms that everyone seemed to know and I thought I should know so didn’t want to ask! Β I shall try my best to outline my interpretation of a lot of the terms you hear in blogging. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful!

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Add photos to posts, people like something to look at amongst all the words! (Cushions from Funky Cushion, click the picture to visit their site)

Self-hosted – This is where you go from a free site with WordPress, Blogger, Wix etc to a site that is your own. You buy the web address that you want*, and organise your own hosting through a web hosting company. You can then transfer the site over. This is tricky though, and a lot of hosting companies can actually help with this. (Or do it for you if you ask really nicely!) There is a fair bit of work involved in this move, however, there are equally a lot of benefits. You get your own site name and email, you have far more control over the way your blog looks and you can still use wordpress if you like, so everything looks the same.Β Also, a lot of brands won’t work with bloggers that are not self hosted and you don’t have your own ranking for a lot of things if you don’t own your own web address. I.e. Not ending in wordpress.com

*Edit: The important bit is owning your own domain name, (web address), then it is possible to have a DA. You can then re-direct it to your existing blog. Apparently this is only possible to do if you are redirecting to a blogger site though, if you are on wordpress and you want to start earning from your blog, you will need to go self-hosted. Β πŸ™‚

So what is a DA? – Your DA is a number you get which tells you how high you rank in a google search. A lot of brands and PRs are looking to work with someone whose web address scores over 20. You can find your DA scoreΒ here,Β if you are on any facebook groups, you may hear everyone getting very excited about the ‘Moz updates’ and this is because they are anxious to know where they have placed that month. (Obviously, not all brands and PRs base their choices solely on this number, social media stats, unique monthly views and many other factors come in to play too, they look at you as a package so a low, or no DA doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get offered work.)

(Thank you to the lovely Mrs Tubbs at Someplace Strange for helping me with the edits!)

Tots 100 – Similar to above, you may hear lots of talk about ‘Tots update’. Tots ranks parenting blogs, you need to sign up and put their badge on your site to be counted. There are also versions for Travel and Food blogs, and I’m sure a myriad of different companies doing this ranking.

SEO – This is basically how ‘findable’ you are for google. If I had written a post on giant tomatoes for example, I would want to put all the relevant key words in that relate to the post so that my post would be visible when people search for anything similar. There is a lot more to it then that, but it is very technical and complicated, (to my mind!), there are lots of more detailed SEO posts out there if you want to learn more though. If you are on wordpress self-hosted, you can get plug ins that hold your hand through it.

Plug-ins – You can only get these if you are self-hosted. I spent a long time looking for them on my wordpress site before I realised this!! There are millions out there, be careful not to overload because some can not work smoothly with others and also if one goes wrong and creates a problem on your site, it can be difficult to find it if you have a lot of them.

GA – Google Analytics. A way of tracking traffic, (visitors), to your site and basically analysing how you are doing. You need to create a GA account and put something on your site so Google can monitor. I have a plug in that does it.

Twitter – For me, twitter is the hub of everything bloggy. There is a wonderful community on there and it’s where you find out about link-ups etc.

Link-ups or Linkys – So a linky party is basically where one, (or two), bloggers ‘host’ a party. You bring your post to the party, you then add the badge to your post to show that you’ve been to the party, (bit like a handstamp in a club!), and follow the requirements to be at the party, usually a comment on the host post/posts as a thank you for hosting, then a comment or two on some of the other party-goers posts and you should then get the same in return. You can read my detailed guide to linky hostingΒ here.

Facebook – This can be very hard to grow. You should have a facebook pageΒ if you want to be on facebook, as facebook can shut down profiles with business names in the title with no warning. e.g. Mary ‘Funtime Blog’ Jones

Instagram – One of my favourite places! Share photos and use relevent hashtags to join in. There are hashtags for everything. Big accounts such as parent photo ones often have ‘daily themes’ that you can join in with. Then you have the possibility of being ‘featured’ and they share your photo and account details with all of their followers. I’m sure there is this option for just about anything you can think to photograph!

Hashtags – This is another form of keywords really. If you think about the billions of tweets and photos posted on social media, (SM), each day, how will anyone ever find yours unless it flags up in a particular search. So going back to my previous example, I would want to hashtag #giant #veg #gardening #enormous #huge etc. Also, #pblogger #mblogger #lblogger #fblogger #tblogger, #bblogger, #dblogger (parenting, mummy, lifestyle, fashion, travel, beauty, dad), will help you find your fellow bloggers in the same field as you.

Guest Post– Often bloggers will write a guest post series and ask you if you would like to take part. This is a lovely way of getting to know others in the blogging community, making friends, sharing your writing with a wider and maybe new audience, getting back links to your site, (good for DA), and also for getting you writing again if you’ve been struggling to think of new material as they are often in the form of a Q&A.

Badges or Buttons – This is usually used in link ups, a blogger will create a picture, usually with some text on with their blog name and the name of the linky and turn it into some code that, when placed in your post or on your site somewhere, links back to their site. This is their reward for the hard work of hosting the link up!

Widgets – Another feature of a self hosted site are widgets. These are things that you can use to customize your website beyond just changing the theme. You can add things to the side bars, (strips at either side of the posts), like boxes showing your activity on twitter and facebook, text boxes to add badge codes into, search bars, email sign up boxes etc.

Netmums, Mumsnet, Tots, Huff Po – These are all places that you can sign up to and have your blog post featured as ‘post of the day’ if you addΒ them into your tweets and they like the post. It’s a big honour to be featured and very exciting.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and I am now suffering from ‘Blogger’s Guilt’* so I need to go, but don’t hesitate to ask, if the comments or on twitter if there is anything else you’d like to know and I’ll try and help, also if there is anything you feel needs amended, do shout, I’d rather give out the correct info! πŸ™‚

Blogger’s Guilt – My own personal favourite. This is the feeling you get when you have spent far too much of your precious precious child free time making a post look really pretty in rainbow colours, ignoring the piles of laundry and washing up that are waiting for you. You feel so much guilt because you think that other people think ‘blogging isn’t a proper job’!! πŸ˜‰

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Put Pinnable Images into posts so people can pin you on their pinterest board.

Disclaimer: I was sent a cushion cover from Funky Cushion for review purposes. The other I bought myself because I genuinely love them!

112 Comments

  1. I loved this post, mainly because for the first time in three months since starting blogging I understood it all!!!
    Woohoo I must have grown a brain cell or two in the blogging world πŸ™‚

    My only question is how do I create a badge if I was to do a linky party? Also what program do I use to host a linky party ?

  2. Argh! This has answered a lot of questions! Thank you! Xxx

  3. Really wish there had been a list like this when I started! All the blogging terms can be super confusing when your starting out. I think the one that scares me a little is the idea of going self hosted but I know it’s something I’ll probably want to consider in the future Going to be pointing new bloggers in the direction of this post, will be so helpful and beneficial for them to read X

  4. Well I have no idea what the hell I’m doing, so this sort of post is always handy, thank you! I didn’t know what self-hosted meant, now I do πŸ™‚
    X

  5. Thank you so much for this post! I found it so helpful. It is so lovely when other bloggers help newbies like myself. x

  6. This is really helpful. I find it really scary to try and drum up followers and do publicity stuff. It feels so much more comfortable to just do my thing and let the universe take care of whether anyone finds me or not. But I with all the effort I put in I should try a bit harder for a proper payoff.

    (P.S. I don’t comment as much now you’re not a wordpress.com blog because I have to enter all these email details and such, but don’t worry, I’m still around)

    • Ahhhh that is nice to know!! I shall look into finding an easier comment box. It should save your details for future comments. Also, yes you totally should!! Your blog is brilliant!! Xx

  7. This is really Fab. So many posts like this around but this one is eye-catching and simples for the newbie blogger.

  8. Thank you. As a new blogger when you start it all feels like an exclusive club with secret code and you don’t think you’ll ever get in if you were stupid enough to ask! So posts like this are generous and much needed.

  9. In many ways I still feel like a newbie to blogging especially when it comes to terminology. I think because I almost treat it like a diary, I just kind of get on and write and forget about rankings or stats. Really informative post though! Thanks for such an awesome linky xx #bigpinklink

  10. Don’t think I will ever get all the techy stuff πŸ™ #bigpinklink

  11. So could have done with this a year ago! Great dictionary… Also love the way you subtly included a product review without losing the value of the post. Slick work πŸ˜‰
    Xx
    #bigpinklink

  12. This is a great post and I think especially anyone new to blogging will find it super helpful. Thank you for sharing! #bigpinklink

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  13. Haha, love how you end this! I have a big case of bloggers guilt right now because the pile of laundry is eyeballing me as I type this. Loads of useful information here, especially the DA score. I never knew that companies like you to be over 20! SEO is something that I am trying to get my head round πŸ™‚ #bigpinklink

    • It’s not all companies, it’s just that I’ve that an awful lot of the opps posted on the FB groups I’m on ask for that, a lot of it depends on other stats too I’m sure, social media, unique monthly views etc.

  14. Thanks so much for putting this list together. I’ve never heard of DA (am a bit scared to look at it to be honest as my ranking is probably rubbish, which will make me want to slink off and hide under the duvet). I know what you mean about bloggers guilt though. Tiddler is currently asking me to help build a Lego model as I type this – I’m rubbish at building Lego, especially when I’m trying to type coherent thoughts… #bigpinklink

    • DA isn’t the be or end all though, lots of companies look at you as a package. You may be surprised!! πŸ™‚

  15. This is a great post hun really helpful – thank you so much for sharing xx #bigpinklink

  16. And to think…some idiots think it’s just about writing, copying and pasting! Really appreciated this post. Thanks for sharing your experience. #bigpinklink

  17. This is great! Really useful and a lot of new info I didn’t know. Glad I clicked. Thanks for hosting my favourite way to start the week! #bigpinklink

  18. I wish I had had this post to refer to a year ago, would have saved me lots of time! Very nice concise explanations, thanks! x #bigpinklink

  19. Fantastic post ! I only wish I had had this to refer to when I first started. I remember frantically trying to work out why I couldn’t add plugins to my wordpress.com site and then being told I needed to be self-hosted and wondering what the hell that meant! This will be a great post for new bloggers #BigPinkLink

  20. This is really helpful, thanks for sharing #bigpinklink

  21. This is a fab list…seems quite thorough to me. Ah yes bloggers guilt…to add to the parenting guilt too! #bigpinklink

  22. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!! Such a helpful post for a newbie like myself. I’m a bit stuck with DA if you aren’t self hosted do you have a DA? When I look mine up it says 74 but that’s the DA of blogger? Confused!?!

    • I’m just looking into this. I’ve edited my post, you can have your own address and redirect to a free blog site as far as I can work out, then I think you build a DA. If your address is just the free one that you got when you set up with blogger, you’ll be looking at their DA. 74 is very very high so I imagine it would be blogger’s DA. πŸ™‚

      • It is πŸ™‚ If you’ve got a blogspot blog, then the DA you’re seeing is Blogger’s. If you don’t want to move from Blogger, buy a vanity URL from somewhere like IWantMyName and set up a redirect in Blogger’s control panel. Then you get to start creating your own DA. It took me a year to get from O to where I am now.

        Or you can look into self hosting … Which I will cheerfully admit I have no clue about!

  23. My DA is 16…so close! Not self-hosted yet, but would love to be by the end of the week if I can find a theme/good hosting company that can do it quickly!! Eek! #bigpinklink

    • I’ve edited my post, you own your name don’t you? So do you just do a redirect to your wordpress/blogger site? I didn’t realise that you can still build a DA that way. If I’d known I would have stuck with that! πŸ˜‰ Self-hosted wasn’t too painful with TSO Host. I really rate them actually.

  24. Oh wow this post is so useful for newbies and technically challenged people like me! I took ages before I realised my WordPress site couldn’t have a plug in because I wasn’t self hosted. When I have time to get more techy I will definitely come back to this post pinkpearbear. Also bloggers guilt – getting it right now. It’s Monday I really should be doing something more constructive – shouldn’t I?! #bigpinklink

  25. This is great and very helpful!! It took me ages to work it all out, 12 months later I am just about getting to grips with it! Thanks for hosting! #bigpinklink

  26. All this is so helpful to new and old bloggers alike! #bigpinklink

  27. It is so great to have all the information in one post like this. I wish I’d seen this when I started blogging. It needs to go in a blogging manual somewhere xx

  28. oh thank you so much for taking the time to write this – invaluable for me – still feel so new to the blogging scene and you’ve highlighted some areas that I need to get to grips with which will hopefully boost my blog! #bigpinklink ps i’m so sorry but i really can’t make myself brave enough to read your other blog on here xx

  29. Ah, brilliant post – simple and informative! Took me ages to get to grips with all of this stuff! I just hit 20 DA last month – beyond chuffed!! #bigpinklink

  30. What a brilliant post, full of really useful advice. I agree re: Facebook, I have a page but haven’t done much to grow it. To be honest, I am still grappling with the basics of WordPress (well, I am only young πŸ˜‰ ) so this was a very timely insight. x #bigpinklink

  31. It doesn’t seem to matter how long one has been blogging for there is always something new to learn or investigate. Thanks so much for this post…I have just added another 5 things to my to-do list x #bigpinklink

  32. This is just brilliant, so helpful. I’ve learnt a lot so thank you x #bigpinklink

  33. We are still new to the blogging world (since Jan) so this post has been genuinely really helpful! The only part I feel I am over qualified in is Blogger’s Guilt – experienced plenty of that in abundance! Thanks so much for all the info!! x

  34. Great post, very helpful to have a list explaining all the terms in a clear, simple way.
    #BigPinkLink

  35. Great post! There is so much yet to learn! Thanks for sharing the information. I still do not know a lot of the technical stuff yet….*sigh*…will get there. I went on the DA page but there was still so much technical bits there that I am not really sure of. #bigpinklink

  36. I’ve only been blogging for 3 months and there is still so much I don’t know so I found this really useful, thanks! #bigpinklink

  37. This is brilliant πŸ™‚ Pinned so I can share it as and when πŸ™‚

    One thing, which I tried to tweet you about and think I mucked up sending the tweet was this: “Also, a lot of brands won’t work with bloggers that are not self hosted and you don’t have your own ranking for a lot of things” isn’t entirely correct.

    Brands like blogs with their own domain name. You only get that if you go self hosted (WordPress) or purchase a vanity URL (Blogger). The ranking – and hopefully the brand work if that’s what you want – comes with the domain.

    Hope you don’t mind me pointing this out. (Feel free to delete / send angry tweets to me if you do).

  38. Brilliant Post, I have noted down lots of tips. Thankyou so much for helping.
    #bigpinklink

  39. This is great. Thanks for compiling this list. I think the term I’m most aquatinted with it ‘bloggers guilt’ πŸ˜‰ I shall be referring back to this post every time I’m lost which is a lot of times.

    #bigpinklink

  40. I’ve been blogging a year but I feel like I’ve just learnt something new
    Going to go check out my DA now. Fab post hun, especially for newbies xx #bigpinklink

  41. Thank you very helpful! I remember you mentioned DA on one of my blogs and I had no idea!! I’m still toying with going self hosted but scared of the move / upheaval / in case I mess it up consequences!! Thanks for hosting #Bigpinklink X

    • Oh did I? I’m glad I’ve explained myself now! πŸ˜€ Don’t be scared, it’s honestly honestly not so bad!

  42. hahahaha! So there is even a recognised term for the guilt I feel! Thanks for this, very handy. #bigpinklink x x

  43. I currently suffering from Blogger’s Guilt whilst reading this, ha!! Great guide, I’m going to save for future reference, particularly in relation to self hosting. Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink πŸ™‚

  44. Love this although makes me feel like a blogging fraud. I know nothing about DA and have yet to find out all about Google analytics. Brilliant help for us newbies. #bigpinklink lifeinthemumslane

  45. I hate Blogger’s Guilt. Like right now, it’s almost noon here where I am. My kids are on spring break and it’s the first real warm day we’ve had since April started but here I am sitting in front of my computer. Yep, after I ‘m done here I’m going outside to enjoy the sunshine, Yay! Thanks so much for hosting #bigpinklinky

  46. I liked blogger’s guilt – not something I suffer from…yet. Good list. #bigpinklink

  47. great great post. So informative and easy to follow.I am new to blogging. Only a baby really to the whole blogging world so i found this incredibly useful. thanks Louise.

  48. Such a helpful post thank you – have book marked it so I can come back and use it as a reference! #bigpinklink

  49. Thanks for this. I have a friend who has just started blogging so I will direct her to this post as it will be so useful to her πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  50. Haha! I still didn’t know some of this. Very useful work. Off to go and sort out some of the extra stuff I should be doing… here comes the blogger guilt! Great list and very helpful #bigpinklink

  51. I love this post! Helps me understand a couple of things better and you’ve written it in such a friendly way. Thank you! Thanks too for the invite to link up again πŸ™‚ #bigpinklink

  52. Great post, very useful! I love the hand stamp from a club analogy! #bigpinklink

  53. I so wish that I had seen this when I first began…but, then, like most things I’ve learned since beginning, I probably would have run for the hills with this overloading my brain. LOL! This is a fantastic post, and I learned some new things, too! Thank you so much for sharing. I had no idea about DA, but I’m hip now. #bigpinklink

  54. Brilliant! Thanks for this- I had absolutely no idea what DA was! #bigpinklink

  55. Hey great post. I started blogging about a year ago and it’s been a huge learning curve. I think articles like this keep others blogging so keep up the good work.

  56. THANK YOU – really helpful an informative! I’ll be referring back to this post again πŸ™‚ How long were you blogging before you made the decision to go self hosted? #bigpinklink

  57. I had to google search most of these terms! DA was the hardest to figure out as google apparently doesn’t know the slang for domain authority. Widget, permalink…all been googled. The blogger guilt is definitely one I wasn’t expecting but know all about now! #bigpinklink x

  58. I love the breakdown so straightforward and easy to understand. X #bigpinklink

  59. Oh this is a fab list, wish I knew these things a few months back, that being said the DA section was something I’ve been meaning to get to the bottom of and now I have so thank you. #bigpinklink xx

  60. Brilliant and just perfect for me as a relative newbie! I’m still trying to decide where to self-host.
    The other thing I struggle with is commenting on posts, it’s a bit like texting when do you stop? If I comment on a post then that blogger comments back, do i then comment back? ha ha it feels rude if I don’t but if I did I would feel like a stalker!
    #bigpinklink

    • I think you can just reply if there is a question. It’s so hard. My main struggle is being unable to reply to every comment I get! I wish I could but I’m so busy commenting on everyone else’s posts! πŸ™‚

  61. Needed this big time so going to save it, thanks got sharing. And hello! Now I understand plugins … thanks for answering my question before I even asked Google I’ll just have to get over that I can’t ‘do’ them just yet.
    Ive only written three posts yet I undertand a little about ‘blog guilt’ … not giving it up though, I’m alrwdy so glad I’ve joined this wee community.
    Thanks again #bigpinklink

  62. this was really helpful, especially to a technophobe like me! #bigpinklink

  63. This is great advice. I need to get myself on Tots etc (my keyboard wanted Tits then). It’s on my to do list, I’m just enjoying doing all the other stuff to make time yet! I’ve been having Housework Guilt today… On my 4 wash load and no time to blog! Tee Hee, I’m blogging now! LOL!

    • Sounds like you have a good balance! I find I get through a whole room full of washing but then get waylaid before I get to put it away and it mixes back in with the washing waiting to go in. D’oh! Tits100, now I think that’s a while different site! πŸ˜‰

  64. Thanks for all the info… Am I the only one looking forward to your next post – the one about the giant tomatoes?!
    #massiveplums would be a good hashtag, no? πŸ˜‰
    x Alice
    #bigpinklink

  65. Brilliant post Louise, I have learnt a lot from reading this as a newbie blogger. I had no idea that you couldn’t add plug-ins to the free WordPress, that’ll be why they don’t work for me – DOH! Great advice on going self-hosted, I really need to do that, have been toying with it in the back of my mind on a daily basis, it’s just finding the time, and the bloggers guilt kicks in plus a bathroom that needs cleaning. I think Linky backlog should also be added your list too, this makes me a feel a little stressed. Claire x

    • Yes!! Linky backlog is a big problem for me! Stresses me right out! Going SH is genuinely not too bad. Promise!

  66. Love it – I can confirm I suffer from permanent blogger guilt! Thanks for explaining DA. I knew what my score was but didn’t know what DA actually was lol!!
    #bigpinklink

    • I think it’s a very simplistic description, I find it all so complicated that I have to try and find simple analogies for web and computer things! πŸ˜€

  67. Thanks for the link to the DA score. I am not self hosted but was still able to look up my score. I tried going to self hosted but once they said there could be a chance of me losing all that I had done it scared me and I decided to just stick with what I have. I bought my domain name and a WordPress package and for now it works for me. These were all great insights to blogging. I too started blogging not knowing a single thing. Trial and error has gotten me this far. Thanks so much for hostessing #bigpinklink!

    • I think fear is a massive thing in blogging! The thought that you could lose a few posts or squash your side bar or heaven forbid, wipe out your site! Eep!!!

  68. Excellent advice! I actually wasn’t sure what the DA score was so that is super helpful! I also have Blogger’s Guilt, it’s just so addicting!!! bath #BigPinkLink

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