Blogging Glossary, A Helpful Guide for Beginners: Part 3 of 3

A.S. Chung B&WPosted 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 3 OF 3
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Blog Wooden TilesIn part 1, I talked through the step by step fundamentals for blogging to help you get started and show you that it’s not as daunting as it looks. In part 2, I dug a little deeper and identified slightly more difficult terminologies that I believe are essential for taking your blog from amateur to professional.

In part 3, I am going to introduce you to some seriously boring and dry terms. Not that I am trying to get you to opt out of reading this post altogether but a little fore warning didn’t hurt anyone! This glossary page introduces you to some blogging terms that will help you in the long run. For the seasoned blogger, perhaps this may help you understand blogging in greater depth or perhaps give you some ideas of how to further improve your blog’s functionality and features.

ATOM
Atom is a machine-readable xml-based web syndication format which allows users to subscribe to blogs and allow your readers to get up to date content as you post them.

AUTOCASTING
This is an automated form of podcasting which allows your followers to have access to audio versions of your text only posts.

BLAUDIENCE
The audience of a blog.

BLOG CARNIVAL
A blog carnival is essentially a blog post that contains permalinks to other articles or blogs which cover a specific topic. It operates somewhat like a magazine which has an editor-in-chief, writers and readers. The editor-in-chief or owner of the carnival is responsible for soliciting submissions and inviting contributors.

BLOG HOPPING
Blog hopping is about following links from one blog to another. You may be invited by an organiser to participate. How it works is essentially all bloggers would post about an agreed topic or genre at one given time. The organiser would distribute all the permalinks to all bloggers so it is available on everyone’s post.

BLOGOSPHERE
This refers to the collective community of all blogs and bloggers.

BLOGROLL
This is a list of blogs a blogger either follows or recommends. It usually resides on the sidebar and is an excellent way to get to know the blogger and their affiliations. A blogroll may also be used as a means of advertising or cross promotion in support of the blogging community.

CAPTCHA
This stand for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers And Humans Apart. For security purposes, have you ever had to type in a verification based on numbers and letters? That is CAPTCHA. It helps to minimise spam.

CMS
CMS stands for Content Management System. It is a software program that allows you to add content to a website more easily.

CSS OR STYLESHEET
This is short for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is written in HTML and is used to style your blog or website. This is required should you decide your blog needs to move onto the next level as the basic template no longer meets your needs.

EVENT BLOG
A blog that contains content specific to an event.

FEED
Much like all social media platform, particularly Facebook, a feed provides readers with frequently updated posts. They may be updated either via email or through an RSS reader.

IMPRESSION
This refers to the number of times your post has been viewed.

JPG
Stands for Joint Photographic Expert’s Group and is the most common file format for images.

MEME
This is about an idea that has been passed from one blogger to another.

META DESCRIPTION
This is a short and succinct description of your page or post. The description should be about 150 characters in length with strategic usage of keywords for search engine optimisation.

PAGERANK
Used by Google to rank websites in their returned results.

PHOTOBLOG
A blog that is built predominantly on images rather than words.

PING
A ping is an alert in the trackback system that informs the blogger that another blogger has submitted an entry that is about the original post.

PODCASTING
Podcasting are digital audio or video files which are produced in a series.

RECIPROCAL LINK
When one blogger exchanges links on its blogroll with another blogger’s blogroll.

THREAD
A series of posts on a specific topic.

TRACKBACK
A trackback is the ability for a blogger to let another blogger know you are talking about them. It is like cc mail. It allows a blogger to link to a post on other blogs.

TRACKBACK PING
A ping that notifies a blog’s server that a post on that blog has been commented upon.

WEBINAR
This is an online seminar, presentation or workshop.

Well, that’s it for the 3 part series on blogging glossary. If you missed the first two parts, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

It would be an opportune time for me to note that majority of everything I have mentioned over the last 3 days, WordPress.com does it all automatically. I don’t build anything, download anything nor do I worry about RSS, Atom, PHP coding or CSS. In saying that however, I can’t customise my blog by purchasing different themes or plugins. But I work with what I have and live with no complications or hassles!

I hope this has helped you on your blogging journey!

Blogging Glossary, A Helpful Guide for Beginners: Part 2 of 3

A.S. ChungPosted 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
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BloggingLast 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.

AVATAR
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
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.

PERMALINK
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/

BIT.LY
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!

COMMENTS
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.

FAVICON
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.

HEADER
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.

HYPERLINK
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.

HTML
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
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!

POST SCHEDULING
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.

PLUGIN
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
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.

SITEMAP
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.

SUBSCRIBE
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.

SIDEBAR
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.

TAG
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.

TAG CLOUD
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.

TAGLINE
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.

How To Build A Mailing List And Why It’s So Important

imageedit_2_4172062803Guest Posting by C.J. Anaya.
C.J. Anaya is the author of The Healer Series and Double Booked. She is also an avid book blogger, an obsessed fan of The Mindy Project, and an accomplished binge eater of any and all things chocolate.

HOW TO BUILD A MAILING LIST AND WHY ITS SO IMPORTANT
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Diary Planning

Business Planning by abductit

I want to thank A.S. Chung for letting me jump on her blog and post about a topic that will hopefully help other authors who are struggling with the ins and outs of marketing. Rather than talk about several marketing strategies at once, I think it best to learn one thing at a time.

Let’s talk about a mailing list, what it is, and how to get started.

Amazon offers a great venue for selling your products and getting noticed, but Amazon doesn’t offer you a way to keep in contact with all of the people who have purchased your products. How are you going to let those purchasers know about new releases or exciting news concerning your author journey?

You have them subscribe to your mailing list. Anytime you need to let your fans know about important information concerning your books you can use your mailing list to broadcast that info to all of your subscribers at once.

If you haven’t built that list yet, get started immediately. It will be one of the most important things you ever do. More important than all of the time you spend on various social media sites combined.

Yeah. I said it.

More important than social media!

It is the best tool to implement in order to build a following and spread news fast.

So how do you get started?

You need to find a great marketing program that can oversee the distribution of your information to all of the subscribers on your list.

There are many programs to choose from. Research the one that’s best for you. The one I work with is called AWeber. I am not a graphic designer so AWeber is very user friendly. They give you templates where you can create opt-in forms and copy and paste the html codes for those forms onto your website. You can offer people incentives for subscribing, and then use AWeber to redirect them to their online incentive once they have confirmed their subscription.

Aweber Mailing List

Aweber Mailing List

For example, I offer a free chapter of The Healer for my subscribers. Then I send a follow-up email with a link to my free short story, My Fair Assassin, to thank them for subscribing. You do not have to be tech savvy to do this because AWeber walks you through it with tutorials and customer support. Another bonus to this is linking your blog feed to your emails. If you want your subscribers to receive your blog posts this is a very effective way to manage that option.

Let’s recap. An email list is good for authors. AWeber is just one of the many programs out there that can help you manage your list. Feel free to research other programs. Start building your list as soon as possible. As an author you simply cannot be without it.

For those of you who already have a list and an opt-in form, these tips will help you drive more traffic to your blog or website and facilitate more subscribers.

  • Put your opt-in form on the top of your side bar next to your blog page, on top of your other web pages, and on top of your “about” page. Seriously, do it
  • Offer subscription opportunities within your posts. In other words, put in a little opt-in form or a link to your subscribe page at the bottom of your posts
  • Create a subscribe page if you don’t have one. Here is an example of a great subscribe page. Okay, I’m super biased because it is my subscribe page. Ha!
  • Put a link to your subscribe page next to your opt-in form so that people can read all of the reasons why they should subscribe to your blog or webpage
  • Encourage followers to forward your posts to others who might be interested in the material you’ve posted.

I hope you found this information helpful. Good luck to all of you wonderful authors out there!

How To Keep Track Of Your Twitter Followers With Crowdfire

Susan DayGuest Posting by Susan Day.
Susan Day is a children’s author of over 20 print and eBooks. She has been working her social media presence for over five years and feels her head is just bursting with tips and advice. To alleviate this condition she has decided to blog a non-fiction book one post at a time entitled How to Publish a Children’s Book at Little or No Cost.

HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TWITTER FOLLOWERS WITH CROWDFIRE
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Follow Me on Twitter

Sexy Tweet: Follow Me @DianaGavrilita by Seattle Clouds

Not everyone you follow on Twitter will follow you back. It’s not because there is something wrong with you or because they are mean. Some people don’t manage their Twitter account properly and don’t understand how important building followers can be. That’s their loss!

Remember you need to keep your numbers balanced so you are going to have to unfollow some people. The best way to determine who to unfollow is to use a twitter evaluation platform. There are a few available but I find Crowdfire works best for me.

Crowdfire has a free option that I use twice a week. You’ll need to sign up and then download the app on your phone or tablet or you can visit the website and log on. You will be able to unfollow or follow up to 200 people a day using the free account.

Once you have set up your account look on the menu. The two options we are really interested in for now are Non Followers and Recent Unfollowers.

Once you’ve been adding followers to your Twitter account for a few days go to the Recent Unfollowers tab. These are people who followed you once but are not following you anymore. You’ll see a red stop sign image next to the people who have unfollowed you. Click on this and you’ll be able to remove them from your list.

Then go to the Non Followers list on the menu. These are people who you follow but who have never followed you back. You’ll need to keep this list in check so that you can continue to grow your following with people who want to support you.

Crowdfire will display your non-followers in date order of the oldest to the newest. It’s important to give people time to follow you back. Some experts say 30 days, however, I believe if someone is interested in building their Twitter followers, as you are, then they should respond with a few days. I like to give people a week but I know some people who only wait 24 hours. Again, it’s up to you and what you feel comfortable doing.

I don’t use Crowdfire to follow people because it will eat into my 200 daily limit.

Once you have gotten into the routine of following and unfollowing people it will become second nature. Like I mentioned earlier, it should only take you 5 to 10 minutes a day. If Twitter is an important social media platform for you as an author, Crowdfire is a great way to manage your account.

10 Ways To Improve SEO Ranking

A.S. ChungPosted 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.

10 WAYS TO IMPROVE SEO RANKINGS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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SEO Keyboard

How to Search Engine Optimization by SEOPlanter

In yesterday’s blog post, I defined what a search engine was and the importance of Search Engine Optimisation. Today, I would like to highlight how we, as indie authors, can improve our SEO ranking.

1) CONTENT
Content is key. This does not mean however that mentioning the words “children’s picture book” a million times is enough to get to page 1. I can assure you, that is not the case. New, relevant and fresh content on a regular basis is the key driver. Ensure the content is original, free of errors and well organised.

2) URL
Ensure your prime product or keyword is in your URL. E.g. http://www.books.com/childrens-picture-books.

3) SOCIAL MEDIA
Ensure you have social media sharing buttons on your website or blog. The more places the book you have written appears on the Internet, the better. Sharing also means you and those kind enough to share, are spruiking the same message and thus inevitably using the same keywords.

4) TITLE TAGS
Create effective title tags that include your keywords. Hence all of my posting begin with “Online Book Marketing Tips”. These words will consistently appear on URLs.

5) CORRECT TARGET
When creating new content, write for your followers and readers, not for search engines. Otherwise, you won’t be naturally creating the kind of content search engines are looking for.

6) JOIN GOOGLE
Google rewards those who are part of the family. Join Google+ to get a shot at improving your rankings. Listing your business on Google Maps makes a difference too!

7) SITE MAPS
Create a site map for your website so one can see where everything on your website is located. You would be surprised how many people actually use site maps and search engines seem to like this extra piece of information.

8) HEADERS
Use your headers! Write a description under your website name.

9) BACKLINKS
Getting other websites or blogs to produce a link back to your own website is one of the best ways to increase ranking. It shows credibility and is to be encouraged. Be careful however not to spam other blogs by providing your own back link through comments. Google frowns upon this and can be more detrimental than anything else.

10) RESEARCH
Google autofills the most popular search terms. Find out what they are and incorporate those phrases onto your pages. Do it every so often to see what is trending.

Don’t underestimate what SEO can do for you! Its an imperative part of online marketing for any product or service. Some of the strategies above are not to difficult execute and with enough practise, will become a natural part of your work. Now, go get ’em!

Mid Year Resolution: Online Book Marketing Tips!

A.S. ChungPosted 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.

Old Typerwiter

Just My Type – A Word or Two to Writers by Lex McKee

As I fumble my way across the big bad world of self-publishing, I am constantly looking for ideas and tips for online book marketing. Like most self-publishers, I have a tight leash on my purse strings and don’t have 24 hours in a day to avail myself personally to market my books. I do however know that the internet is powerful and I can hone in on a myriad of different strategies to suit my needs and propel my books towards increased sales and recognition.

The greatest challenge I face with online marketing is simply that there is too much information! How could I possibly activate every strategy I come across and to be honest, not all mediums suit me personally, as a writer and marketer. Filtering the gathered information is in itself, a time consuming task. Therefore, I have decided to create a new segment for this blog:

ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIPS!

Why?

  • Writing a book is the easiest part of self-publishing. Marketing a book on the other hand, is a beast we all have to conquer. It takes tenacity and commitment. I want to help you as I learn along the way.
  • This will help me gather my thoughts and instead of creating external documents and diary notes to capture all the points I have in my head, blog posts will not only help me retain that information but will do so in a succinct manner.
  • This is my mid-year resolution. I think it’s too hard commencing a new goal or objective at the start of the year after a period of festivities and holidays. We need to start resolutions when we have the momentum to move forward. Also, the end of the year allows us to rest, which is the perfect half way mark for any venture. So July 1, here I come!
  • This challenge will help me filter information and select the tactics that I can work with. This will also include some basic dos and don’ts as well as strategies I believe will work but don’t have the time or courage to go for it.
  • For the love of blogging! This makes for the perfect excuse to satisfy my cravings…
  • To help other indie authors out there that is instigating their journey of self-publishing and to give them easy and workable tips to get them started or to help them discover new strategies that they may work for them.
  • This is one form of online book marketing – blogging!

I am certainly no expert and I continue to learn each and every day. However I am enjoying the journey immensely and it would be best to capitalise on that energy whilst it’s still there! The world of online marketing is ever changing and unless we continue to keep up with the times, we will be left behind. I will not be imparting statistical information but rather simple pieces of information, just to plant that seed in your head. I am not about bombarding you with industry jargon which frankly only makes me stop reading potentially valuable information.

You can then decide for yourself if it’s an avenue you wish to pursue and if it would be beneficial to you and your end goals.