Posted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.
BLOGGING GLOSSARY, A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS: PART 2 OF 3
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
Last week we explored the basic step by step guide of how to start a blog and understanding some fundamental definitions. Today, we will delve into more technical terms which are necessary for you to advance to the next level of blogging. These are important and you should learn to use them if you intend to blog on a regular basis and is an essential tool for you to market your book. They may seem daunting at first and no doubt you will have a few laptop throwing moments, but I assure you that a little persistence will pay off. I won’t be going into how to actually do it but rather just introduce you to these concepts.
An avatar is a photo, graphic or image that represents you. Select a suitable image that you can use across all your social networking sites, blogs and websites. It’s not required but it will provide you with a unified look and streamlines your platforms. When commenting on other blogs, you avatar will also appear so it doesn’t hurt to have one. Make sure the image represents you as an author as well as your books.
URL is short for uniform resource locator. This is the address of a piece of information that can be found on the web such as a page, image or document.
This is the unique URL of a single blog post. This is used when a readers wishes to link specifically to a post instead of a page. Example, the permalink for this post is https://pigeonholebooks.com/2015/07/31/online-marketi…-jargon-part-2/
This is your new best friend. Bit.ly is a website that allows you to shorten your URLs. Have you ever copied a URL and its 3-4 lines long? Not only is it unsightly and messy, it would never fit on your social networking platforms where there is a character limit. Bit.ly shortens the links to an acceptable length. Example, the shorten bit.ly URL for the URL for this post is http://bit.ly/1eMmb80. So much more user friendly!
Your readers have the opportunity to make comment on your blog post. Your blog may have the capability to moderate these comments prior to posting but it is suggested that disable this function to allow for immediate posting. Readers like seeing their comments appear immediately. If you encounter offensive comments, mark it as spam and trash them. Take negative comments on board and respond back positively in the hope of showcasing you as an author and your work.
This is the small graphic, typically your logo or other representation your website that appears in a browser’s address bar, favorites or bookmark lists. It certainly gives your blog a more professional look.
The header appears on the top part of the blog. They generally include items such as logos, taglines, and navigation menus, which are meant to set the tone or theme of your blog.
A hyperlink is when we link specific content in your blog post to another website, blog, page or even something within the same page. The text (known as the anchor text) is usually underlined, appears in a different colour and/or is in italics. This allows the reader to know they can click on the text and be taken to another page with more information.
This is short for hypertext markup language, the language used to write web pages. Most html elements are written with a start tag and an end tag, with content in between. This is important to understand as on occasion, your blog template or theme may not allow you to format your post in the manner you wish. You can then use html coding to give you what you want. I use Google to find the coding I need and it always works. It literally is a whole different language but unless you are writing a whole different piece of software, it’s not that difficult to use. Example, this is the HTML code to italicise the text <em> A Brand New Day</em>
PHP is hypertext preprocessor. It is also a computer language designed to create dynamic pages alongside HTML. This is difficult to create so I don’t try! My contact form is scripted in PHP but is already created by WordPress and I just place it where I need it with a click of a button!
You can schedule your blog posts anytime. Particularly useful if you know you are physically unable to do so at any given time, you’re blogging in a different time zone or if away on vacation.
In WordPress.org, they offer plugin capabilities which essentially give your blog additional functionality. As you continue to blog over time and you become savvier, you may wish to add more features to your site. There are a plethora of plugins to select from that can give your blog that extra oomph!
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. This allows your readers to subscribe to your content so that when you update your blog, it will appear on their feed. As an example, if I followed 20 blogs, rather than going to 20 separate blogs one at a time, I have them on my reader feed so I can see posts from all 20 blogs on one screen. If you want your followers to have access to your posts, you must have this set up.
A sitemap is a map of your blog. It enables readers to see your key pages and is in an outline format. This allows for easier navigation of your content. A sitemap is important because Google deems it important and it helps readers find you through search engines.
SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING
Social media sharing is an integral part of blogging. There is a high reliance on your readers to share your posts with the world! Ensure that you have all you icons under every post so that it can be shared on your readers’ Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr accounts and even via email.
For your blog posts to appear on your reader’s radar, you must give them the means to subscribe to your blog either via email or RSS.
This is usually one or more columns on the side of the blog that contains more static information that perhaps didn’t fit on the main menu bar. This could include sub-menus, images, categories etc. The side bar remains static so will appear on all pages.
A tag is used on every post to highlight the keywords of that post. It helps to identify the content and gives the reader a more succinct picture or summary of that post.
This is a visual representation of the tags you have used on your posts. It acts as a form of content categorising and the more popular tags are represented by large texts to highlight frequency. You will notice my tag cloud on the right sidebar.
A tagline can best be described as the slogan for your blog and would appear right under the name of your blog. Example, here is my tagline: Children’s picture books by award-winning author A.S. Chung about divorced, blended, multicultural and same-sex families.
These terminologies are essential and it would do you great justice if you learnt to master them one by one. Yes, I agree, it looks overwhelming but that’s because you are not familiar with them and what it can do for you. Work through the list one by one and I assure you it will become second nature and you’ll wonder why you ever thought it was too difficult! If you missed part 1 of this series, click here.