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! 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!
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. 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. 🙂
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 score here, 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 hosting here.
Facebook – This can be very hard to grow. You should have a facebook page 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 relevant 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. This brilliant post by Life With Baby Kicks and Toby and Roo will tell you all you need to know!
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. For Instagram you want to use all 30 of your available hashtags. Look for tags relevant to your photo e.g. #playoutdoors and type it into the search bar, that will throw up other related tags across the top and tell you how many photos there are in there. Ideally you want a mix of big and small ones. Bear in mind that a hashtag with 500,000 photos in will need a photo with an awful lot of engagement to get in the top 9. Plus it will move very quickly and so your photo will vanish. You can also use #pblogger #mblogger #lblogger #fblogger #tblogger, #bblogger, #dblogger (parenting, mummy, lifestyle, fashion, travel, beauty, dad), which will help you find your fellow bloggers in the same field as you. You’re also more then welcome to join our #pinklinker community, we’re very friendly and pick feature photos that we post to our accounts and tag the poster in.
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 add 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! 🙂
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’!! 😉
Disclaimer: I was sent a cushion cover from Funky Cushion for review purposes. The other I bought myself because I genuinely love them!