Reading a blog post recently, I saw the acronym CMS and had no idea what the author was talking about…
Computer Monitoring System?
Coal Mining Services?
Crusty Munchy Sandwich?
I had to look it up.
Turns out CMS stands for Content Management Software and is something like WordPress.
*Blankly stares at computer*
I’VE BEEN USING WORDPRESS FOR LIKE 5+ YEARS AND DIDN’T KNOW THAT ISH… WHY DO I FEEL SO DUMB!?
So, first it got me thinking. Then it got Lauren and I both thinking… I bet a lot of our blogging fam here at Create and Go runs into this problem too.
Especially our newbie bloggers.
Whether you have been blogging five minutes, five months, or five years, there are certain blogging terms you simply need to know.
To help you out, you will find practically every blogging term under the sun we could think of below.
We’ll start out with the basics so you can get your feet wet. Then, we’ll do a deep dive into a giant A-Z list of additional blogging terms that will be almost guaranteed to come up at some point in a blogger’s life.
Basic Blogging Terms
If you’re thinking about starting your own blog or have already started one, odds are you know what a blogger is. Still, defining even the most basic of terms never hurt anyone.
Who knows? You may learn you’ve been using a term incorrectly or didn’t fully know what it was in the first place.
Let’s stop the guessing game and break it down, shall we?
About Page/Bio Page
These terms are often used interchangeably to describe the page on your blog that contains a short biography about you. The about page will also usually give a general overview of the type of blog content a reader can expect to find on your site.
In some cases, if there are multiple bloggers blogging on one page, there will be multiple bios and headshots to showcase each person contributing to the site.
These terms are used interchangeably to describe a single post on a blog.
Related: How to Write a WordPress Blog Post
The name of the person attributed with writing a blog post. When there are multiple contributors to a blog, listing the author is often beneficial so that a reader can find all posts by a single author if they choose to. It also gives proper credit for guest posting.
A blog is the shortened word for web log or weblog. A blog can consist of a series of online journal entries or articles published by one person or several people. Some blogs only feature posts of text, whereas others may add media such as images, videos, audio or a combination of text and media as well.
Individuals can create blogs for a variety of reasons and in a variety of niches. However, companies and organizations also create them to promote their brands.
Blog content can be both private or public. Private blog content often requires a special link or password to view the material.
Related: What is a Blog?
A blogger can be a person who writes for their own blog, contributes to other people’s blogs, or does both. They can use their own name, or a pen name to do their writing.
To create new material that can be added to a blog – yours or someone else’s.
The world of blogging, aka the collective group of bloggers, and the blogs themselves found online. It’s your community of people.
You can join our blogosphere (online community) if you’re in need of one: Honest Bloggers Community
A blogging category is a subsection of a blog. For example, let’s say you’re blogging about farming. Your categories might include things like supplies needed to grow crops, how to instructions for tilling the land, and general advice on things like soil and fertilization.
Here are ours for our weight loss blog:
Some blogging platforms refer to categories as labels or tags. They each mean the same thing. And, when a reader clicks the label, tag, or category name on your blog, they are often redirected to a page that shows them all related blog posts for that subsection name.
A comment on a blog post is a response from a reader. Some bloggers choose to not allow comments, but the comment box is where your readers can interact and engage with you about how they feel about your posts.
This is also where they can ask questions for clarification on subjects that may have not been completely clear.
Later, when you’re getting into the intermediate and advanced stages of blogging, you can use the comment sections to learn what your readers want more of.
This will help you decide on future blog post topics and can help you in product and service creation for things you can sell to your readers in the future.
When you first log into your blogging platform of choice, this is the area where you can create and delete blog posts, view comments, create and delete pages, update plugins and themes, and more.
A draft on your blog is simply an unpublished piece of content. Once you publish it, it becomes a published blog post.
A plugin is typically defined as a piece of software used on WordPress that adds additional functions to a blog.
If you’ve been using the internet in the past 10 or 20 years, you probably already know what a pop-up is. It’s a smaller window that literally pops up when you visit a site. Sometimes it’s triggered simply by visiting a page. Other times the trigger is a visitor trying to leave a page, or clicking a link/button.
Anyone who uses email knows that spam is an unsolicited and often unwanted message that is sent to them. In the blogging world, spam is typically referring to undesired comments that spammers post on a blog post’s comment section.
However, it can also be used to describe overly commercialized blog content.
When a blogger has too many sponsored posts or inundates their blog with advertisements, that blog is sometimes referred to as a spam blog or spammy blog.
This refers to your blog’s front end style. It can mean the colors and fonts used on your website, the way your links appear, your page layouts, and where your widgets appear.
Intermediate and Advanced Blogging Terms
Before we go any further, you should know that the blogging terms mentioned below may not always seem like they are blogger specific. The truth is, they are and they aren’t. Let me explain.
As you start getting into intermediate and advanced blogging, you need to know more than just blogging terms.
After all, if you make it to the intermediate and advanced levels, by this point you will most likely be a professional blogger, with an online business, making money from your blog.
That is why in this list of blogging terms you will find some marketing and online business terms as well.
An A/B test involves splitting the population viewing your message. You give group A one message or piece of media, and group B a different one. Then, you compare the response of each message to learn which one resonated more with your audience.
For example, you could give group A 50% off your eBooks, and give group B a 2 for 1 special. Though they may be getting a similar discount, by testing both sale offers, you can gauge which deal your audience prefers.
This is also a common test for paid advertising and email opt-ins to see what provides better conversions (subscribers, sales, etc.).
Above the Fold
This is the section on a blog that a viewer can read when the page loads before they have to scroll down.
The content “above the fold” is what grabs the readers’ attention first, so you generally want to at least have a good headline above the fold.
Our email newsletter opt-ins always have the call-to-action above the fold:
An affiliate is a blogger that earns a kickback/referral fee when they sell someone else’s products or services. This referral fee is also called a commission and allows a blogger to make money selling products they don’t have to create themselves, and at no additional cost to the purchaser.
Alexa Ranking/Alexa Score
When someone asks what a blog’s Alexa ranking or score is, they are essentially asking how popular it is. It is based on the last 90 days or your site’s traffic, and the lower your score is, the better.
Alt text is also called an “alt description” or “alt tag,” and it refers to the words or phrases you can add to an image that tells your audience what the nature of your image is.
It’s critical you add alt text to images on your blog because it tells search engines what the content of the image is, which can help boost your SEO.
When a visitor comes to your blog and clicks a hyperlink, this is the clickable text of the link. For example, for the link Create and Go, the words “Create and Go” are the anchor text that becomes clickable by adding a hyperlink to the phrase.
Atom or Atom Feed
The Atom feed was developed as an alternative to RSS feeds. It’s a machine-readable syndication format that is XML-based and allows users to subscribe to websites and blogs so they can easily see the latest updates as they become available.
Autocasting automatically converts text from a website or blog into speech so that it can be downloaded as a podcast/audio file.
When you automate something, it means you’re using a machine, tool, or software to do it for you.
A cartoon or graphical image or picture that represents you or another contributor on your blog.
When a link points to one website from a different website.
Backlinks can help improve your Google SEO score and help your content get found more in search.
Badbot or Spam Bot
Believe it or not, a lot of the web’s traffic is bots, and some bots are designed to crawl the web adding spam comments to blogs. In some cases, these bots also will collect data such as email addresses from the internet to send unsolicited emails, and viruses.
When something is still in the testing stage, and not yet available for general use. A person who tests or reads material during this stage is referred to as a beta tester, beta reader, or a beta user.
Black Hat SEO
This is considered an unethical practice of trying to rank higher in search results. Tactics used in Black Hat SEO include stuffing a blog post with keywords, using private link networks sometimes referred to as private blog networks (PBNs), and cloaking.
A common Black Hat SEO tactic is to fill a meta description or alt text with popular keywords that actually have nothing to do with the content in the post or images.
Blogs caught engaging in the practice of Black Hat SEO can be de-indexed and blacklisted from search results.
When a blog is removed from search engine results. This can occur due to engaging in Black Hat SEO, the appearance of malware on your site, and other suspicious activity on your blog. It can be extremely difficult to remove a site from the blacklist once it’s there.
Also known as blog hopping, blinking is when you bounce from blog to blog as a result of clicking links on a page. These links are often found on the sidebar of a blog.
Sometimes referred to a linky party or a roundup, a blog carnival is a single blog post that links to several other posts within or outside of the blog. Blog carnivals generally have a single theme as well.
When a blogger maintains someone else’s blog while they take a break. Commonly happens when bloggers go on vacation or take maternity leave.
A blogroll is a list of blogs that a blogger likes to read or support.
The birthday or anniversary of the launch of your blog.
When a viewer leaves your blog, it’s called a bounce. The more visitors come to and bounce away from your blog, the higher your bounce rate is.
High bounce rates can negatively impact your SEO because it tells search engines that viewers don’t like or don’t want the content on your blog.
You can check your bounce rates in Google Analytics:
The personality of your blog. It’s your logo, your slogan, and the way your blog makes people feel.
Call to Action/CTA
A prompt for your blog readers to take action. Something like “sign up for our newsletter,” or “click here to learn more,” is a call to action, because it asks your readers to do something.
This is a security feature that usually presents an image consisting of letters and numbers that then requires a user to type in those characters into a text box accurately. The purpose of a CAPTCHA is to prevent or minimize spam.
When your headline doesn’t match the content your blogging about. It’s an unethical tactic used to lure readers to your blog.
Click Through Rate/CTR
Your click-through rate is the number of people that clicked a link on your blog, or that clicked through a link in an email. For example, if you send 100 emails with a link in it, and 10 people click through, your CTR is 10%.
Controlling and regulating comments on your blog. You can do this by using a CAPTCHA or by filtering comments for language and content. Content moderation can also mean holding comments in a queue for approval, which allows you to view them and approve or deny them to go live on your blog.
The text, images, information, and other media found in your blog posts.
Content Management System/CMS
A content management system is a software program that helps you manage and add content such as landing pages, blog posts and blog pages on a website or blog more easily.
Essentially, this is a sales funnel. It’s when you create content and market that content but usually with a specific purpose of selling a product or service.
Taking a piece of content, be it a snippet, link, thumbnail or even an entire article, and publishing it to another website. A common example of this is crossposting an article to both Medium.com or Quora as well as your own blog.
Content Upgrade/Lead Magnet/Opt-in
An incentive you give a blog reader in exchange for their email address. It’s the freebie aka freemium content, you give someone as a thank you for becoming a blog/email subscriber.
Related: How to Build an Email List
The percentage of people who take the desired action when reading a blog post, email, or sales page. i.e. If 100 people visit your sales page and of that 100, 10 people purchase your product, your conversion rate is 10%.
The legal rights to physical and intellectual property. In most cases, the person who created the physical or intellectual property owns the copyright. However, if they sell the rights of the property, the purchaser then retains ownership of the copyright.
In the blogging world, if you write original content on your blog, you own the copyrights to that content.
This is a public copyright license that allows for free distribution of an otherwise “copyrighted” work. Commonly used on photo-sharing websites, a creative commons license generally allows other people to distribute, build upon, modify, or share intellectual or physical property.
CSS or Stylesheet
Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is written in HTML and is commonly used to style web pages. CSS can be used to style page layouts, fonts, and colors among other things.
Content curation is the process of gathering content that has a focus on a themed topic of interest.
Generally specific to WordPress, this is the theme your WordPress blog starts with until you choose a new/customized one.
The term to describe visitors who come to your site by typing your blog’s domain into their browser.
Just like it sounds, a blog directory is literally a directory of blogs. Depending on who put the directory together, the list of blogs can be sorted by niche, relevance, Alexa ranking, or a wide variety of other categories.
Bloggers often add their blog name and domain to blog directories as a means to generate traffic and backlinks to their site.
A link on a website or blog that can be crawled by search engines on a blog. A dofollow link will help a blog’s search engine rankings.
Based on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being the best and 1 being the worst, Domain Authority is measured on age, popularity and traffic size. It is one of many factors used in determining your blog’s search engine ranking.
The string of numbers, letters, and sometimes hyphens, typed into a browser to bring you to a particular website.
A direct marketing technique used to acquire customers through lead generation and nurturing. It typically involves sending marketing messages to prospective customers over a period of time to walk them through a sales funnel with the hope of transitioning them from prospect to paying customers.
A calendar designed to help you organize when you will publish content to your blog. It’s a great way to get an overview of themes and topics you would like to post and avoid publishing the same messages over and over again. An editorial calendar can help with brainstorming new blogging ideas as well.
We use Asana to keep track of our editorial calendar and other blogging tasks. I highly recommend it if you aren’t yet using a project management software!
Electronic mail messages you can send to your readers. This is one of those important blogging terms you need to get really comfortable with because at the end of the day, unlike any social media platform you may promote your blog on, only an email list is something you own.
Our favorite email marketing platform: ConvertKit
Placing content from another website into your own blog post or page. For example, embedding a YouTube video or Instagram post into your content like this:
Interacting with your blog readers on your website, via email, and on social media.
On most social and search platforms, the better the engagement you have on your content, the more likely it will be shared and found by others.
This is material posted to your blog that remains relevant all year long. In fact, some evergreen content can be relevant for several years.
Expert Interview/Expert Roundup
An expert interview or expert roundup typically consists of asking several experts the same question and posting all of their answers. An expert interview can also mean asking one expert several questions, and posting all of their responses to your inquiries.
This is a small graphic, which can be your logo, representing your website that appears in an internet tab/address bar, and in bookmark/favorites lists.
When someone posts a hostile comment directed towards a blogger or another commenter. The comment is usually insulting or inflammatory with malicious intent.
Follow for Follow
Typically used on social media, it’s the act of following someone who follows you.
Follow for follow is generally considered to be a bad practice for gaining followers and it can lead to gaining an audience of people who aren’t actually interested or engaged with your content.
Found at the bottom of your blog, this is generally where you’ll place a copyright notice, links to contact pages, about pages, disclosures, privacy policies, terms of service, and more.
A blog forum is similar to a chat room in that it’s a place where visitors can come together for a discussion on one topic or theme.
A gallery is a collection of multiple images attached to a post. It allows you to display several images with less space so your blog post can look clean, and professional.
Delivering content based on a reader’s geographic location. This is most commonly used in advertising such as on Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
An image that serves as a visual representation of your blog content.
When a user comments on a blog or posts an article to a blog, there is an image that shows up beside their name. That image is called their gravatar, and it represents the user.
When you write and publish a blog post to a blog owned by someone else. Guest posts can be great for building backlinks and generating new traffic.
Heading Tags (i.e. H1, H2, H3, H4)
Heading tag text appears in different sizes on your blog. H1 is typically where the title of your post appears, and H2 is the subhead. H3, H4, and subsequent heading tags are used for introducing various subsections of your blog post.
They are great for structuring your page and helping readers browse content quickly. They should contain your keyword for maximum impact.
This is the top portion of your blog that appears before your post links or pages. It typically consists of an image, a tagline, and a navigation menu.
A company that literally hosts your blog on their web servers. All the data related to your blog (i.e. images, text, audio files, etc…) is hosted on these servers.
Our recommended hosting company: Bluehost
Short for Hypertext Markup Language, HTML is the language used to write web pages, and create effects that you see on them.
This is clickable text that will usually bring the reader to another website, another part of the same page, to a different page on your blog, or open a piece of media.
An inbound link is found on someone else’s blog that points a reader to your blog. Also called a backlink.
Attracting potential customers to your blog via content creation before they are ready to buy. It’s generally more cost effective than direct/paid advertising and makes it easier to capture the attention of your prospects.
The process of adding your website and its content to search results.
A person who can impact the purchasing decisions of others.
A diagram, chart, or another image that visually represents data or information.
A link on your own blog that connects a reader to another page or blog post on your blog.
Including internal links is a great way to keep the reader engaged and on your blog, thereby decreasing your bounce rate.
A keyword or keyword phrase is what someone types into a search engine, that they are seeking information on. When your blog’s content matches their search query, your website is more likely to come up in their search results.
The practice of finding relevant and highly searched keywords people are searching for on search engines. These words are then used to improve a blog’s SEO rankings by creating content around popular and relevant keywords.
Related: Keyword Research Tools for Bloggers
Like for Like
Similar to a follow for follow, it’s the act of liking something someone posts in exchange for them liking something you have posted on social media.
A method of link building that encourages other content creators to link to your material.
The act of getting content creators to link to your blog.
Long Tail Keywords
These are the longer and more specific phrases, at least four words in length, people are searching for on search engines.
Content that is 750 words in length or longer. Good long-form content can boost SEO and lower bounce rates.
Consider this your curriculum vitae or resume as a blogger. It tells the world your experience, stats, awards, and accolades.
The explanation of what is on your blog post or page. Should be short, sweet and to the point. Your meta description should also contain the keyword or phrase you are trying to rank for.
Every piece of content you write should have a good, descriptive meta description with your keyword to help boost your content rankings in Google SEO.
Using a social media platform such as Twitter to make shorter, but more frequent posts.
Making money from your blog. Common monetization techniques include affiliate marketing, selling products or services, displaying ads, and writing sponsored posts.
Etiquette on the Internet. The phrase “do unto others” comes to mind. A lot of people feel high and mighty when they’re hiding behind their computers.
Don’t be a jerk online.
A person who is new to blogging.
A direct line of communication with your readers, typically done via email.
The topic of your blog.
Related: Successful Blog Niches
A type of link that is prevented from being crawled by search engines. (See also dofollow links)
Things you do outside of your site, such as guest posting or getting in the media, to generate interest in your blog.
The things you do on your blog, such as using relevant keywords and phrases, to show up in search engine results.
Traffic to your blog from search engines that you didn’t pay for.
A link on your blog that points to an external blog or website.
A page on your blog that is static, and doesn’t update automatically such as your About Page, Legal Pages, etc.
The value assigned to your blog that measures its importance or popularity on search engines.
The number of times a visitor comes to your blog.
Visitors come to your website by way of display ads or pay per click (PPC) ads.
The reason a reader is coming to a page – it’s the problem they want to be solved.
If you can both highlight your readers’ pain point(s) as well as solve their problem(s), they will be more likely to take an action – read more content, sign up for an email list, buy a product, etc.
The URL or address of a particular post within a blog.
i.e. The URL for this post is https://createandgo.com/blogging-terms/
A blog that largely consists of photos, and has little to no text content.
Also called a trackback, a pingback is what happens when a person posts something to their blog and references another person’s blog with a link to the post they are talking about.
You will often get notified of these in your comments section if you have the setting turned on.
Taking someone else’s ideas and/or content and publishing it as your own.
It’s also against copyright laws and you can have your content removed if the owner files a DMCA against you.
Please don’t do this.
Preparing and distributing audio files for download to multimedia players.
Exchanging links on a blogroll, roundup, or blog post with another blogger, or several bloggers.
Sending a blog reader to a different location than the one they clicked or typed into an address bar.
You have to set up redirects if you change your domain or delete old posts so that those old URLs don’t cause 404 errors, which you will get penalized in Google rankings for.
You can identify these pages via Google Search Console:
Traffic to your blog that came as a result of someone clicking a link on another website.
Filed as robots.txt, robots provide information about a blog or page to help a search engine in categorizing it correctly.
Return on Investment/ROI
The measurement of whether or not what you are putting in is worth what you are getting out of an action or financial investment.
i.e. If you run an add for $100 and the traffic from that ad results in 1 sale for $150, you have a positive ROI of 1.5 (and you should keep running your ad!).
It has been called both Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary. Either way, an RSS feed is a simple way to allow readers to subscribe to your blog content.
Stay at Home Mom
Shoutout to all of our mom bloggers out there!
Search Engine Optimization/SEO
The act of affecting your blog’s online visibility via a search engine’s unpaid results.
When a blogger owns the domain and the website.
Related: Self-Hosted vs. Free Blogs
I’m just going to go ahead and leave this definition from Moz here:
“Through concept matching, synonyms, and natural language algorithms, semantic search provides more interactive search results through transforming structured and unstructured data into an intuitive and responsive database. A semantic search brings about an enhanced understanding of searcher intent, the ability to extract answers, and delivers more personalized results.”
Search Engine Results Page
You’ll come across this term mostly in your keyword research efforts.
The narrow and vertical column on the side of a blog that bloggers add widgets, popular links, and other information to.
A list of pages on your website that is used in ranking your website on search engines.
Customized fonts, images, and layouts that form a pre-designed template for a blog.
The short, abbreviated title in a blog post’s URL.
i.e. This post’s slug is /blogging-terms/
Social Proof/Social Influence
A bandwagon effect of people acting based on the actions of others.
Using a social media platform to find user-generated content.
An advertorial, it’s a blog post that a blogger is paid to produce for their blog.
Related: Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
Stop words are common words in the slug, such as the, is, at, which, and on, that can hurt your SEO.
The short phrase that explains what your blog is about.
Target Reader/Target Audience
Your ideal audience, and the people you want reading your blog. The people who have the problems you can solve.
It’s important to identify your target audience as early as possible so that you know who you’re writing to and create your content specifically for that person.
You can get some demographic information on your current traffic via Google Analytics:
A blog that doesn’t contain any valuable information. Its main purpose is to generate traffic but offers nothing new to readers.
A collection of blog posts on a specific topic.
A new visitor, that has never been to your blog before.
You’ll often see “views” and “unique views” in your traffic stats (like on Google Analytics).
The end result that someone searching online is trying to get to. In other words, the solution someone with a problem is looking for.
A VA’s job can vary greatly but some common tasks include email management, customer service, and social media management.
When someone lands on your blog, it’s counted as a visit. No matter how many times they have visited your site, each time they return is called a visit.
A video blog
Work at Home Mom
Contains software for hosting or serving websites written in HTML.
An online seminar or class.
White Hat SEO
Ethical strategies for boosting search engine rankings such as guest posting, and expert roundups.
A widget is a small block, typically in the sidebar of a blog, that is there to perform a specific function. For example, you can add an email newsletter signup widget, a calendar, a search box, or even a popular posts widget.
Did we miss the one you’re looking for on here?
Put it in the comments below and we will add it to the list. As well as if you found this article helpful we’d love to hear from you.
We hope this helps with your blogging journey!