The Basics of Blog Language

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The world of blogging can be a confusing place. There have been times in this journey that I feel on top of it all and others where I seem to be decades behind the train. Thinking of how far I have come in the process makes it seem intimidating, even somewhat daunting, to start over at square one.

To those who are just starting out with blogging and have big aspirations, let's be friends. I know it is challenging and I remember many of the emotions and thoughts you are going through. What is SEO? What are sponsors and why would people spend money for that? Will I ever understand this lingo? Starting a blog is not for the faint of heart, but it is a beautiful endeavor to share your voice, creativity, and passions. This post is to encourage you, get you on your feet, and rundown the basics of blog language one step at a time.

Platform One of the first decisions you will need to make in starting a blog is how you will create your website. There are several key platforms that you can choose from. My blog is hosted through Blogger although WordPress and Squarespace are also popular options. Do your research and find what will be best for your blogging needs.

Branding When you create a blog and get serious about it, you are essentially branding yourself. Maintaining a consistent and clear brand for your website is essential. This includes high quality photos, a user friendly site, and a way to effectively promote your brand. This post of Madison's is my favorite when it comes to the ins and outs of branding.

HTML is the coding that makes up your blog. Most novice bloggers are not educated in HTML although there are many resources online that can teach you the basics.

CSS is the twin sister to HTML. They go hand in hand and work together. While HTML is the code itself, CSS is the styling of a website.

Disqus Building a blogging community is one of the most valuable things a blogger can do. Commenting on blogs and responding to comments is part of this. Disqus is a commenting system that many bloggers have transitioned to over the past year or so. It allows bloggers and guests to comment in an organized fashion and hold better dialogue between comments.

SEO Search Engine Optimization has become more and more relevant lately to the blogging community. This determines how accessible your blog posts are from search engines like Google or Bing. The better keywords and searchable phrases you use, the more traffic is drawn to your blog through search engines.

Affiliates Some businesses offer bloggers the opportunity to partner as an affiliate. They typically include links or buttons that are personalized and track traffic from your site to theirs. When someone makes a purchase from their business, directed from your site, you earn money or credit.

Sponsors Many blogs have sponsor opportunities that can help you grow and build a larger blogging community by paying for an ad space. The most common sponsor sites that bloggers use to host their ads are Passionfruit and Adproval. Every blogger hosts sponsors differently with personalized perks for spaces. Be sure to explore advertising pages and evaluate what is most needed for your site in sponsorship opportunities.

What terms were confusing to you as a baby blogger?
What questions do you still have about the basics of blogging?

Week's End Wrap-Up

Monday, March 2, 2015

Follow along with the adventures on Instagram

1. It's all about keeping the lips happy in the thick of winter. Mine chap so easily and most chapsticks do more harm than good. Imagine that. It is also a bummer blindly spending money on pricey lipsticks that I use once or twice and decide I don't like. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter has been my go too and I would highly recommend it.

2. This woman is a gem and I wish you knew her too. Amanda was our admissions counselor at Northwestern College when we were high school seniors. She is a significant part of the reason Jacob and I both came here, started dating, and now work in the same position she did. Our time together is always so sweet even if it is few and far between.

3. I am a planner at heart. I like making lists, checking things off, and planning out everything from my meals to my next three years. I know, I know a bit excessive especially for those who are especially free at spirit. The Passion Planner has been a great way to balance my love for planning with dreaming.

4. I saw this photo while scrolling through my IG feed this week and was instantly inspired. I don't know if it is the cold weather or what has gotten me in a rut, but it was time to do something creative. I am in the process of making my own and love how it is turning out so far.

-A reminder that living with fear is human and a journey of courage
-There will always someone skinnier - work hard but give yourself grace
-5 signs you should invest in a new blog design
-Do you follow Samantha on IG? One of my faves out there.
-I have enjoyed pinning everyday moments lately
-These gold mercury votives are perfect

Welcome officially to March!
What is something you are looking forward to this month?

Coffee Mug Giveaway

Friday, February 27, 2015

Coffee is not my thing. As I have shared before, my dad and Jacob have a longstanding bet that I will be drinking coffee by age thirty. They need all the luck they can get to win this one as I stand adamant. Even though I don't like coffee, mugs are still a favorite of mine. Sipping tea, hot chocolate, or cider out of something pretty always puts me in a happy mood.

Today Summer and I are collaborating to share some favorite mugs with you. I love getting together with friends for warm drinks and wholesome conversation. Coffee mugs symbolize a significant sense of community to me. Laughter, tears, and memories are shared time and again over mugs. Their contents soothe sore throats and provide energy in the morning.

Summer and I both have a passion for these special moments that a cup of coffee or tea often times bring together. They are beautiful, vulnerable, and sacred moments that are to be cherished. To celebrate the art of coffee mugs and what they bring to everyday life, we have each chosen out a mug special to us to giveaway to two lucky followers.

The mug I am giving away is from Anthropolgie, a store I continually gawk over their hot trends and delicate decorations. I love pastels and floral patterns and this mug brings the two together. These long winter days are giving me a spell of cabin fever and this mug also serves as a reminder that spring is right around the corner.

This is what Summer has to say about her mug - the mug I am giving away is from Target, because who has ever heard of a lady who doesn't love Target? Am I right? Every time I go on a Target run, I find myself looking at the mugs to see if there's something new that catches the eye. Well, I have been eyeing this one up for awhile now because it's minimalistic and straight to the point. Never mess with a woman who loves (and needs) her coffee. I will also be including some milk chocolate-covered coffee beans, as an extra perk.

Join in the giveaway by using the Rafflecopter below with several ways to enter. The giveaway will close in one week and the two winners will be drawn at random with all entries being verified. Best of luck, friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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