How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog? (2020 Update)

So you want to start a blog…. but first things first, how much does it cost to start a blog?

Good question.

Some people think blogging is free while others assume it costs thousands of dollars. So which is it?

Before you start any business (including a blog), you want to be fully aware of expenses. So this blog post is all about the cost of starting a blog so you know exactly what to expect.



Remember, we’re not talking about a personal diary type blog here. We’re talking about a blog that actually makes money – one that can potentially become your full-time income.

Your costs will obviously vary depending on the kind of blog you want but let’s just be upfront and say, there are expenses. It’s not free. But in our opinion, these are expenses that are 100% worth it and you should consider them as an investment in your business.

To help you understand exactly how much to start a blog, here’s a simple rundown of the cost you can expect to incur when getting started.

*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something we get a small percentage of the sale. More info here*

Related posts:


Have a Business Mindset for Your Blog

When starting a blog, It’s important to have the right mindset. That mindset is thinking about your blog as a business.

With any business, you need the right tools to help you achieve success. Blogging is no different.

It’s not realistic to use free software, free hosting and expect to make money from your blog. In fact, it’s only going to set you back and limit your ability to make money.

This means if you want to make a business out of blogging you will need to spend some money in order to get the right tools for your blog.

So stop focusing on the costs of starting a blog. Treat it as a business from the start and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of success.

Now let’s have a look at the costs of starting a blog.


Must-Haves for a Blog

First, we are going to go through the must-haves for a blog. If you want to make money from your blog you need to have these.

Hosting

Hosting is a necessity if you want to be a successful blogger.

What is hosting?

Hosting is like paying to occupy your own space on the internet. It is where you can store all your store all your data and files safely.

Yes, there are free blogging platforms like blogger that don’t require you to pay for hosting, but your capabilities are limited.

This will affect how far you can go to monetise your blog. For instance, you can’t add ads to your blog, you can’t add custom themes, you’re limited to the kind of plugins you can use and so much more.

If you’re really interested in making money blogging you will need to invest in a paid hosting solution. There are no two ways about it.

For hosting we recommend Bluehost. If you are interested you can take advantage of the special discount we got for readers which start as little as $2.95 per month.

You can choose a plan from 12-36 months. The longer you pay upfront the cheaper it is.

The cost of a hosting you blog works out to be around $106 for 3 years.

Which is really cheap compared with other hosting companies.



Domain name

A domain name is the website address that people will type in the browser URL bar to be able to visit your website e.g. www.yoursite.com.

Obviously, this is on the must-have list. How else are people going to find you?

Now the cost of a domain name for your blog is around $15 a year.

However, Bluehost gives you a free domain name of your choice when you sign up for their hosting.

You can find your domain name here:

WordPress

What about platforms?

WordPress.org, (which is different from WordPress.com) is a free open source platform that you can use to build, design, and manage your blog.

Yes, that’s right it is free.

So why do you need WordPress?

You need WordPress to write content, upload images, design your homepage and everything else that comes with running a blog. It’s basically the backend of your website.

It’s by far the most popular blogging platform because it is easy to use, very flexible and has a ton of technical support.

With a Bluehost account, you can easily get WordPress setup on your new blog. When you sign up for an account it will automatically install WordPress for you.

WordPress Theme

A WordPress theme is a template that changes the design and functionality of your website.

A theme will also allow you to customise your blog the way you want it.

When it comes to themes you really are spoilt for choice. There are thousands of WordPress themes available – both free and paid.

Should you get free or paid themes?

Our recommendation is to go with paid themes because they allow you to do more with your blog design and customise it in a way that will be most appealing to your readers.

Additionally, free themes generally lack technical support and updates. Because there is no monetary incentive for the people who build these themes, it can be difficult to get any support or help if something happens to your theme or website.

My favourite premium theme is:

  1. Elegant Themes – The Divi theme by Elegant will give you a beautifully designed site with lots of cool new features. We use this theme on Fulltime Nomad and on a number of our client’s sites. The site has 80+ themes that you can access with a paid subscription.

A premium theme will cost you around $60-90. This is a one-off payment.

If you can’t afford a premium theme just yet and are happy to go with a free one then you can check out some of the free themes here.



Logo

A logo is one of the most overlooked aspects of a blog. A logo is quite significant because it allows you to create a brand and personality for your blog.

A logo lets you stand out from the crowd and also adds reputation to your blog.

How much will a logo add to the cost to start a blog?

Not much at all.

You don’t need to spend so much on a logo. Check out Fiverr.com where you can get a professional logo designed for as little as $5. If you want to spend a little more head over to 99designs.com where you can set up a design contest and have a number of people work on your design.

Social Media Tools

Social media is a great way of promoting your blog and increase traffic to the blog. Generating traffic and building an audience is the most important aspect of blogging. So you need all the love you can get and social media has lots of it to offer.

To add social media icons to your posts, so people can share, like and pin your content, we recommend sumo.me or the social warfare plugin. These can be used for free.

While it isn’t a must-have, another tool we use and recommend is Tailwind. This is great for scheduling posts on Instagram and Pinterest.

Email Marketing

We strongly recommend that every blogger start building an email list from the start. Every visitor that comes to your site should be viewed as an opportunity to capture their email.

Email is important for your blog because it helps you build relationships and trust with your fans. The more your fans trust you, the more they will read your blog.

Email is also a great way to generate income through affiliate offers or selling your own products.

Simply put, email is the number 1 promotional tool for bloggers.

Now to start with you can use something like Mailchimp which has a free option to get you up and running.

However, for the long run, we do not recommend MailChimp.

We recommend using an email platform like Convertkit. Convertkit is specifically made for bloggers and in our opinion is the number blogging email platform.



ConvertKit has plans starting from $29 a month. However, if you want to give it a try first, ConvertKit offers a free 16-day trial.

The above tools are a MUST have to start a successful money making blog.

Let’s quickly recap and do a summary of costs

  • Hosting: $2.95 a month with Bluehost.
  • Domain: $16 a year or free with a Bluehost account.
  • Premium Theme: Elegant Themes $89. You can get away with a free theme if you are tight on budget.
  • Logo design: Starting at $5 on Fiverr. Or if you have money to splash check out 99designs.com
  • Social media tools: Check out the free tools at sumo.me.
  • Email marketing: From $29 per month with ConvertKit or free for first 1000 subscribers on MailChimp.

Now let’s go through a couple of other costs

Other Costs of Starting a Blog

Courses

You don’t need to be a pro blogger to make money from your blog.

If you are a newbie and have never blogged to save your life, you can take online blogging courses to help you improve your blogging skills.

We have a Free 5 day blogging course on Fulltime Nomad that will teach you everything you need to know about blogging.

Time Investment

Time is definitely something to consider when trying to figure out how much does it cost to start a blog.

And as we know, time is money. It really is.

If you want to be successful with blogging then you need to be committed to spending time on your blog.

This includes creating content, promoting your blog, engaging with your audience, and of course carrying all that money to the bank ?. But seriously, you need to work consistently on your blog to make it work and that is honestly a lot of man/woman hours.

To begin with, you won’t see a return on that time spent. It might be months before you start making money with your blog.

So this is something that needs to be taken into consideration.

So there you go. Hopefully, this article answered any questions you have about the costs of starting a blog.

Remember if you are serious about blogging you will need to spend a bit of money upfront to get the right tools and software.

If you have any questions please hit us up in the comments section.

ConvertKit Review for Bloggers – Why We Switched from Active Campaign

“The money is in the list.” At least that is what all the top marketers say.  

As I look back on my history as an entrepreneur, I have to admit that a significant portion of the revenue from my businesses can be tied back to my email list. And the longer I keep my list, the bigger it grows, the more money I make from it.

So, in this ConvertKit review today, I’ll not only share the pros and cons of this email autoresponder tool, I’ll also share some of my own email strategies along the way.

As you read this review of Convertkit, please keep in mind that I am current customer.  I use this email marketing software on a daily basis right now, but I’ve also used other email tools over the years, so I have a point of reference to compare.  I’ll share the pros and cons of the features, the pricing, how to effectively use it and more.

And in full disclosure, I’ve met the founder Nathan Barry a few times in person and I think he’s a great guy!  However, I don’t plan on holding back any punches when I share a couple of areas that the tool could be improved.

Overall, it’s a great email marketing tool for bloggers and small business owners.

Try ConvertKit for 16 Days Free Right Here



Summary

Overall, ConvertKit is a great email marketing tool.  It’s SUPER easy to use and has a great design.  In addition, it has all the features it needs for a serious blogger or a digital product seller.  Try ConvertKit for 16 Days Free Here.

Pros

  • Super easy to use. 
  • Great design.  
  • Unlimited lead magnets for one campaign.  
  • Free migration.  
  • A/B testing of email broadcast headlines.  

Cons

  • Sequence Layout isn’t ideal. 
  • No A/B testing for headlines in automated series.
  • Limited ability to deal with cold subscribers.

WHAT IS CONVERTKIT ALL ABOUT?

ConvertKit is an autoresponder email tool that allows you to grow your email list and then either automatically email those new subscribers over time or to send a “blast” email whenever you want to get a message out.

If your blog or business is growing and you want to be able to send updates to your readers or customers, then you really need to have an email marketing tool in place.  Your list may only be a few hundred people now, but when you get to 10,000, 50,000, or 100,000 you really need to have the right tools in place to manage your business effectively.

I think ConvertKit does a great job of defining their target market.  They exist to help out bloggers and online “creators”.  This could be course creators or other digital product creators.  So, if you own an affiliate website, are a blogger, have created an online course, or have other digital products, then ConvertKit could potentially be a great fit for your business.



PROS OF CONVERTKIT – WHAT DOES IT DO WELL?

Of all the things that Convert Kit does well, the best is the ease of use.  I can honestly say that the number one reason I moved away from Active Campaign, was due to how difficult Active Campaign was to use.  ConvertKit has just a simple, clean design that is easy to navigate around and use.

Without any tutorial, I was able to dive in after just a few minutes and start creating my first auto-responder series and opt-in forms.  However, there’s more to ConvertKit than just good looks and being easy to use.  

  • Super easy to use. Rather than hundreds of menu items (like a previous tool I’ve used), you get 5 simple options.  If you don’t like wasting your time trying to figure out how something works, this is a great tool.
  • Great design.  I know this is related to being easy to use, but the design also LOOKS good.  The color scheme and tone make it easy on the eyes, and doesn’t distract from the work you have to do when writing your money making emails!
  • Unlimited offers for one campaign.  You can offer as many different downloads or freebie offers as you want and have them all funnel into one campaign.  And it’s easy to make this happen.
  • Free migration.  If you have over 5,000 subscribers that you are bringing from a previous email provider, then their migrations team will do it for free.  This includes swapping out all your opt in forms on your website, moving drip email series, and anything else that needs to be moved from your previous software tool.
  • A/B testing of email broadcast headlines.  This was another big reason for me to move.  You couldn’t do any headline testing in Active Campaign(not sure if that’s changed now).  Being able to test what headlines work can dramatically improve your open rates, which can directly translate to your bottom line.
  • Auto-insert first name with fallback of no name (if they never filled out their first name).  Again, it’s the little details like this that I like.

Finally, you are not forced to use a visual editor.  Some tools require you to do a drag and drop and actually draw lines between 1 email and the next…I hate that kind of stuff.  I’m not a graphic designer, I just want to write my emails and have them go out in the right order.  ConvertKit allows that simple format as shown below.


THE CONS OF CONVERTKIT: WHAT DOESN’T IT DO WELL?

No tool in the world in perfect, and neither is ConvertKit.  I see a few areas of improvement that could be made.  Overall, I don’t think these are deal killers, but for others they might be a bigger deal, so I want to lay them out on the table.

  • Sequence Layout.  I wish the list of sequences were in a grid format, not a huge box format.  If laid out properly, I could easily find which sequence I want to edit without having to scroll a ton, but the way that it’s laid out right now (and because I have several dozen sequences), I spend time hunting things down.  See screenshot:

  • No A/B testing for headlines in automated series.  I CAN A/B test headlines for broadcast emails; however, the same ability does not exist for my drip campaigns.  Why not?  I really wish I had a way to A/B headlines for the sequences, but many other email providers don’t offer this either…
  • Limited ability to deal with cold subscribers.  It’s important to “clean” your email list as much as possible.  ConvertKit does give an automated tag of “cold” subscribers for anyone that hasn’t opened an email in the last 90 days.  But your ability to define who is considered a cold subscriber or a way to easily remove them from your list doesn’t really exist.  You can do it all manually, I just want to be spoiled a bit more! :).

If you don’t need all the bells and whistles and just want an effective, simple, attractive email marketing tool, I think that ConvertKit is a great option for you.

(I find myself in this camp too)

You can click here to try ConvertKit free for 16 days

RUN YOUR EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS WITH CONVERTKIT



CONVERTKIT PRO TIPS AND TUTORIAL

If you are reading this, you are likely already convinced that sending out drip campaigns to your email subscribers really is critical to your business.  

I know that one question a lot of people have is “how often should I be emailing my subscribers?”  The answer is… probably more often than you do.  

I was recently talking with an email marketing expert, and he told me that through vigorous testing, they found that their unsubscribe and unopen rates didn’t drop unless they emailed more than 5 times a week.  In other words, he found no negative impact from emailing up to 5 times a week.  (And the positive impact is huge, because each email is often associated with a way to make more money).

I don’t personally email 5 times a week, but a couple times a week is definitely not too much.

When someone first signs up to your list through an opt-in form, I usually like to email them immediately and welcome them to the list and deliver whatever they signed up for (a free download, information, or something else).

I might email each 24 hours after that for a couple of days, but then will go into a rhythm of every 3 days or so.  You can build out these email campaigns to last for many months if you want.

ConvertKit and other tools make it extremely hands off once you have it all set up.  You can be drip emailing your subscribers for several months without doing anything!

CREATING A NEW EMAIL SEQUENCE

ConvertKit makes it really easy to create your first email sequence.

Then you are immediately taken to the screen to create your first email.

I love that I can just immediately get started writing the email copy!  I don’t have to mess with a visual editor (like Active Campaign) that forces you to drag around boxes and draw arrows and add timers before you can start writing anything.  This is WAY easier.

Then you can adjust settings of an individual sequence if you want.  I don’t usually, but the option is there.

CREATING A NEW OPT-IN FORM

I personally use 3rd party tools like Opt-in Monster or Thrive Leads to create my lead magnets and capture forms for my websites.  Then I just connect my website and those forms using the ConvertKit API and all those leads get automatically added to ConvertKit.  (I literally just hit copy and paste on an API text…takes 2 seconds to do this).

However, you do have the ability to create your own forms right in ConvertKit.  Here’s how:

First, you can select either a Lead Form or a Landing Page for your lead magnet. 

Here’s a Form example…(as I’m doing this, I’m learning there are more options in ConvertKit than I realized!):

I’ll create an Inline form and show the result below.

After selecting the “Minimal” form in this example…

Now after editing the form. Super easy point and click editing.

 

(Please note I didn’t make this form live, this is just an example).

You can then go and set automation rules within the tool so that as soon as people get added, they can get certain tags and automated email follow ups.

Overall, creating a form or a landing page is REALLY easy and doesn’t take a tech genius to figure out.  You could definitely get away with not using any other 3rd party tools like I do, ConvertKit is probably good enough for form creation.

If you want to get started with one of the easiest email marketing platforms alive (and the one I use), you can click here to get a 16 day free trial of ConvertKit

MAKE EMAIL EASIER AND MORE PROFITABLE THAN EVER WITH CONVERTKIT

CONVERTKIT PRICING AND AND INTEGRATIONS

The pricing on ConvertKit is pretty clear, until you get to over 7,500 users. At the time of this writing, here’s the pricing:

INTEGRATIONS

ConvertKit is established enough that they automatically integrate with lots of tools.  This basically means that you can use the ConvertKit API and plug it into a 3rd party tool and the leads will get pulled in “magically” to your account and you can start drip campaigns without your involvement.

For example, I currently integrate ConvertKit with Clickfunnels, Opt-in Monster, Thrive Leads, and possibly one or two others that are coming to mind right now.

Here’s a few other popular ConvertKit integrations that people use:

  • Zapier
  • Gleam.io
  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • Webinar Ninja
  • WebinarJam
  • Thinkific
  • Whishlist Member
  • Sumo
  • SamCart
  • Easy Digital Downloads
  • and many others.

You can get a full list of integrations available directly from ConvertKit right here.

And because they integrate with Zapier, that means there are lots of other combinations that you can use even if there isn’t a directly integration.



CONVERTKIT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS – FAQS

I can’t possible consider all the questions that you might ask before deciding to buy Convert Kit; however, here’s a few questions that I might anticipate.

How good is the customer support?

The customer support is really good.  They offer a live chat option that I’ve used.  If they are not available via live chat, you can email them and they usually get back in a pretty timely manner.  I haven’t had any big issues with the support.

Will they help me migrate from my old provider?

Yes, they will move all of your subscribers for you, but they will also create all the forms you need and place on your website (as needed) to make sure your transition over is really smooth.  They will also move any campaigns that you had on your old provider so that you don’t manually have to recreate them.

How does the price compare to other email tools?

The pricing is pretty comparable.  There are hundreds of options out there, so some may be cheaper, but there are definitely much more expensive options.

How many lead magnets can I create and deliver through ConvertKit?

You can create unlimited number of lead magnets or downloads that ConvertKit will deliver seamlessly to your customers.  The way they have everything set up makes it really easy to have dozens (or more) of freebies that lead to the exact same list if you want.  This makes it really convenient to do special content upgrades, etc.

Does ConvertKit have options for single or double opt-in?

Yes, when you create your opt-in forms you have the option to require that the subscriber get a verification email first before they are added to your list.  Single opt-in is likely to lead to more overall subscribers, but double opt-in is likely to lead to more verified subscribers.

Is ConvertKit worth the cost?

I’ve been using email automation tools since about 2006, and I’m a happy customer of ConvertKit.  I think the cost of an email marketing tool is a necessary expense for an online business, and ConvertKit is a great option at a fair price.



CONVERTKIT’S HISTORY

ConvertKit was started by my friend Nathan Barry. He decided that he wanted to build a SaaS product that would help him get $5,000 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR) in six months. He saw a need in the email marketing space since other competitors were just way too complex or not powerful enough.

No one was simple, beautiful, and strong.

Six months came and went. He didn’t hit his goal of $5,000 MRR. But he did hit $2,000 MRR.

He kept working.

And the revenue started to decline.

Nathan wasn’t giving ConvertKit his full attention and he started running into some resistance. The product was cool, but no one wanted to migrate their users from other platforms. What they had was working and they were more or less content with it.

So Nathan started offering free migrations. His revenue started climbing again.

And after 22 months, Nathan hit his goal of $5,000 MRR. And with that money, he decided to go all in. He hired a full time developer, started expanding into direct sales, and opened his affiliate program not long after.

His whole business was built on one concept: no upsells, just simplicity. All of his ConvertKit plans scaled based on subscribers. Someone paying $29/month gets the same features as the person paying $290 per month (or more, if you’re like me).

And with his increased effort, ConvertKit took off. Now he has his financials public at convertkit.baremetrics.com so you can see how they’re doing. At time of writing, ConvertKit is bringing him about $1.5M in MRR.

It wasn’t easy. It took him years.

But building a business was worth it.

You can build your business with ConvertKit

OVERALL SUMMARY

At the end of the day, ConvertKit is a great email and marketing automation tool that has all the features that a serious blogger and business owner would need to help automate their business.

With an unlimited amount of campaigns and lead forms that you can create and an easy to use interface, you can spend more time growing your business than worrying about how to make your email provider “work”.

The best part is that you can start a 16 day free trial (with no credit card required) so you can check out what ConvertKit looks like on the inside.

Go ahead and try ConvertKit out for 16 days free right here.

GET A 16 DAY FREE TRIAL OF CONVERTKIT HERE

Have questions or comments?  Please leave your thoughts below.

How To Make Money Blogging Without Blogging About Blogging

Let’s chat for a second, shall we?

How often are you in a blogging-related Facebook group and see a post like this pop up:

“Why does it seem like the only bloggers making money are those that are blogging about blogging or teaching people how to blog?”

I see threads pop up like this almost daily.



Listen, I understand.

When I first started blogging, it was solely for fun. Like an online diary. So I was AMAZED to learn (a couple of years down the road) that people could actually make money by blogging. Whaaaaat?!

So, of course, I started reading a LOT of blogs about blogging. They were super helpful and I am very happy that they exist.

But the fact of the matter is that blogging about blogging isn’t for everyone. More importantly, though, it’s far from the only way to make money on the interwebs.

Listen… The key to earning money online is to find a niche that you love and that other people love to read about and then monetize THAT. For some people, it happens to be blogging. That’s their jam. So it becomes their bread and butter (oh my gosh, I’m getting hungry, lol).

But it doesn’t have to be YOUR thing.

So here’s what we’re gonna do. Let’s talk about some successful bloggers who make money blogging without blogging about blogging, and then talk about some tips that you can use to be successful in whatever your own niche may be.


BLOGGERS WHO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING WITHOUT BLOGGING ABOUT BLOGGING


FIT LIFE CREATIVE

First up, because I love my friends, let’s talk about Danielle Stewart, who is the creative genius behind Fit Life Creative (formerly Fitness Fashionista) and Oh So Paper. Over the six or so years that I have known her, Danielle has been a HUGE inspiration for me. Not just because she is a fellow single mom, but because she is soooo fricking creative and hardworking. She is one of those people who has a ton of ideas, but then actually implements them. She spends a lot of time doing research about whatever it is that she wants to get into, figuring out the best practices (as well as what doesn’t work) then she creates a strategy and implements it. In that way, she is able to cut out anything that doesn’t get results, tweak the things that could be better, and hone in on the things that really work.

Whether she is teaching people how to live healthier lives, creating fitness printable to help them achieve their weight loss goals, or creating gorgeous products (both digital and physical) to help people get organized, she does it in a way that makes me (and many other bloggers) excited to figure out what OUR next big thing can be and to work hard at it. Here is a quick interview with Danielle to shed some light on how she has earned a living with her blog.

When did you start blogging? 2009 (but not serious just getting my feet wet)

When did you start Fitness Fashionista? 2013 after leaving the Coast Guard.

When did you make the switch to Fit Life Creative? 2016 I made the switch away from fitness blogging to more of a design/printable site.

When did you launch Oh So Paper? Nov. 2016

What are you various streams of income? Etsy shop, Printable Shop on Fit Life Creative, sponsored posts (but I am slowing down on that), ad revenue on FLC, Oh So Paper shop, YouTube Ad Revenue, and affiliate income on FLC.

Can you give a ballpark figure of how much you earn or how much you have earned over the entire period of time as a professional blogger? According to my PayPal $75,460.98 (2016-2017) however I also make money that goes directly into a bank account, so this figure is actually a bit higher overall.



PINCH OF YUM

When it comes to food bloggers, Lindsay and Bjork from Pinch of Yum are pretty much the stuff of legends. Lindsay is a self-proclaimed food enthusiast who started the blog back in the summer of 2011 as part of an experiment. She (and her techy husband) wanted to see if it was possible to create real income with a blog that was all about food. The answer was a resounding “YES!” Just three years later, they were earning enough for Lindsay to make the leap to full-time blogging. They documented their progress the entire time with a series of monthly income and traffic reports.


GOOD FINANCIAL CENTS

If you have ever looked for the top blogs about personal finance, chances are you have come across Good Financial Cents. The blogger behind this popular site is Jeff Rose, a self-proclaimed numbers geek. Like many industrious online entrepreneurs, he used his passion and knowledge to generate income while helping others.

Jeff’s goal is to help other people achieve financial independence. In the process, he has more than shown that it is possible to earn a living online. According to an August 2016 income report, Jeff earned well over $48k from his blog in ONE MONTH. How? Affiliate earnings made up most of that income (just under $40k). The remaining 40K came from ad networks. Like me, when Jeff started his blog, he had no clue you could make real money online and it wasn’t a goal. However, since starting his blog in 2008, he has earned more than $1,000,000 through his blog. How amazing is that?


SO SEW EASY

Deby of So Sew Easy has an interesting “Why I Started Blogging” story. In 2012, she suffered a brain injury that affected her life dramatically. She lost many of her physical abilities, developed memory issues, and (not surprisingly) lost her job. She started sewing as a hobby that she hoped would help her rehabilitate and she also decided to start a sewing blog, with the hopes of earning a little extra money from advertising. As her blog grew, so did her income. She now sells her own sewing pattern designs, has a paid membership program called the “Pattern of the Month Club” and has ads in the sidebar of her site.


HIP 2 SAVE

Collin Morgan started her blog, Hip 2 Save, as a way to hold herself accountable on her journey toward frugality. Over time, she started having more and more fun saving money and she became excited about teaching others how to save in order to reach their financial goals. In addition to saving money through being frugal, Collin earns money from her blog primarily through ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts.



CUPCAKES AND CASHMERE

Created by Emily Schuman, Cupcakes and Cashmere is a blog that discusses beauty, fashion, food, and interior design. Emily started her blog as a way to document the things that she loves and has worked so hard on it that it has become her career. Emily has a very impressive resume of brands she has worked with, including Coach, Juicy Couture, and Estée Lauder. Though she does not share any blog income reports, she is open about the fact that she earns income through display ads, affiliate links, and marketing consultations/collaborations. 


ORGANIZE YOURSELF SKINNY

Formerly called “Skinny Mom’s Kitchen,” Organize Yourself Skinny is the brainchild of a blogger named Tammy Zielinski Kresge. Tammy uses her fitness and nutrition blog to generate income through sponsored posts, being an Amazon affiliate and by using Google AdSense. She also sells her own product, which is an Organize Yourself Skinny ebook plus a 4-week make-ahead meal plan. It is safe to assume that she makes a generous amount of money since she has been able to hire a team of at least three writers to help create content for the blog.


SO, HOW DO THEY DO IT?

As you can see, it is definitely possible to make good money from your blog WITHOUT talking about blogging. When you study the bloggers that have successfully monetized their blogs there is, however, an underlying theme.

They treat their blogs like a business.

”BloggersClick To Tweet

It’s both easy and challenging at the same time. Bloggers who make a significant income from their blogs aren’t the ones who don’t have a clue why they are blogging. They aren’t the ones who have no clue who they are talking to when they write OR what those people want to read. They don’t just blog for fun – they blog as a passion (even if it was an accidental passion). They certainly don’t blog every now and then.

The bloggers that are making full-time incomes from their blogs are serious about what they’re doing. They have a game plan.  They know the type of content that will resonate with their readers. They promote their work.

These bloggers keep their nose to the grindstone and focus on creating content based around the topics that have made them successful. They’re not telling you how much money they’re making because they’re too busy making money. They aren’t trying to sell you a blogging course. Instead, they’re raking in advertising dollars, affiliate income, and getting paid by their partners. Just because someone doesn’t tell you how much money they’re making – or how to make money yourself – doesn’t mean they’re not making money themselves.

There’s nothing wrong with blogging about blogging. It’s one blogging niche and it can be lucrative. But every single blogging niche can be just as lucrative if you follow the golden rule already mentioned above: Treat your blog like a business.

None of the bloggers listed above achieved overnight success. Few do. It’s a hustle and it’s a grind, but I’m guessing nearly every blogger would say the hustle, long hours, and late nights have been more than worthwhile since they’re making good money doing what they love.

TIPS FOR MAKING MONEY IN ANY BLOGGING NICHE


TIP #1: BECOME AN EXPERT

You should be an expert on your audience, your niche, and blogging in general. Always seek more knowledge and strive to learn new skills. Learn as much as you can about making your blog more effective and then IMPLEMENT what you learn. There are so many resources out there that it would be more difficult NOT to find information than it would be to find information. Search for “blogging” on Pinterest. Read books. Read blogs. Talk to people who are doing what you want to do. Talk to successful people outside of your niche. Watch webinars. Take courses. Ask questions. Talk to your audience.

Do whatever you need to do to become the expert that you want to be.


TIP #2: BLOG REGULARLY

If you are not blogging regularly, you are doing your audience a disservice. You have something to offer them. Possibly something that could make their lives better or easier in some way. That “something” that you have to offer isn’t going to help anyone if it is just wasting away in your brain, on a sheet of paper, in your editorial calendar, or in your drafts.

Figure out what your audience wants and needs from you and then make a conscious effort to provide it to them on a regular basis. Regular may mean every day for one person and every week for another. Or perhaps you work hard to put out one amazing piece of content each month. Just make sure there is not so much time in between each piece of content for your audience to forget why they love you. And if you make a promise to them – keep it. Don’t tell them you will post every day if you know that once a week is more viable.



TIP #3: PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE!

Whenever you put out a new piece of content, you need to do the work to make sure it gets seen by the people who need it. You should have a detailed marketing strategy in place so that you know what the next steps are before you even hit publish on your shiny new content.

Your marketing strategy should include things like posting your content on social media with a clear call-to-action, scheduling future promotion, sharing your posts in groups when applicable, and sending out a newsletter to your email list letting them know about your amazing content (plus whatever else you have going on).

Essentially, you want as many eyes as possible on your content. Without this step of the process, it won’t matter how great your content is. If no one knows about it, you might as well have not written anything.


TIP #4: DEVELOP A UNIQUE MONETIZATION PLAN

Read this post about how bloggers make money and think about what strategies you can use to monetize your own blog. Just because one blogger makes money in one way doesn’t mean that you need to follow suit. There are myriad ways that bloggers can make money, and it’s your job to develop a unique monetization plan that works for you.

You’ll notice that none of the bloggers mentioned above have just one way that they make money from their blogs. Instead, it’s imperative that you diversify your blogging income. Successful bloggers regularly talk about having multiple revenue streams, and I can’t stress how important this is. While we’re not fans of blogging income reports, nearly all of the good ones will show that the site makes money in many different ways. Don’t rely on just one source of income because you never know when that source will dry up.


IT’S TIME TO GET DOWN TO BUSINESS

Regardless of your niche, if you want your blog to be your business, you need to treat it like a business. Stop thinking about whether or not you can make money blogging without blogging about blogging and get down to business. This means that you need to become an expert and constantly work to hone your skills, set up regular office hours (aka set up a regular posting schedule so that your readers know when to find you online), and market yourself and your services.

There is no one guideline that successful bloggers follow, but one thing is for certain: Any blogger who makes a living from their blog works their butt off. Whether they’re writing about frugality, cooking, fashion, or blogging about blogging, the most successful bloggers are constantly hustling.

How to Build an Email List from Scratch Fast (Top Tips From an Expert)

I always prefer to get information directly from experts. If I can eliminate some of the guesswork before I start a new marketing campaign, I’m already ahead of the curve. That includes information on topics like how to build an email list.

Geoff Roberts, marketing expert and the founder of Outset, agreed to answer some of the questions I know you’re asking about your own businesses.

I’m excited to share with you the answers he gave to my queries about email marketing, list building mistakes, advanced email marketing tactics, and more.

First, though, I want to cover some of the basics so we’re all on the same page.




What are the Benefits of Building an Email List?

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An email list is a database of email subscribers who have opted-in to receive promotional messages from your company.

Some people use deceptive practices to build an email list — such as buying email subscribers — but it’s best to collect emails from people who really want to hear from you.

Geoff Roberts says, “The best email list building strategies really boil down to two common denominators: Creating a relevant user experience with conversion in mind, and providing as much value as possible to your website visitors.”

What are the positive results companies have seen from investing in this marketing strategy?

He goes on to say: “If you use these concepts as your compass when you begin building your email list, you’ll realize better results than you will by focusing on any one particular hack or deceptive form of email capture trickery.”

How do you put those ideas into motion? First, don’t buy email subscribers or spam people who haven’t specifically requested to hear from you. Second, use the best strategies to build an email list from scratch.

Let’s look at some of Geoff Roberts’s most effective tips for achieving those goals.

How to Build an Email List from Scratch (Top Tips From an Expert)

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Geoff Roberts has a long history in digital marketing. He advises companies about how to improve their digital marketing game, co-founded Outseta, and served as the VP of marketing for Bizness Apps and Roambi. His consultancy, SaaS Growth Strategy, specifically targets companies in the SaaS space.

What would you tell marketers who are just learning how to build an email list?

When you’re first learning how to build an email list, the process can seem intimidating. You might not know exactly where to start.

Geoff offers three main suggestions for new marketers who need to build an email list from scratch. You can use these strategies to create strong relationships with your audience and to accelerate your list-building campaign.



“Set email list-building expectations up front”

Consumers are careful with their contact information. They won’t opt in to receive marketing messages unless they perceive clear value.

Geoff advises entrepreneurs to “make it crystal clear to visitors why they should subscribe to your email list and what they’ll get if they do.” He says, “A simple ‘Sign-up for our email list’ call-to-action is destined to fall flat on its face.”

I couldn’t agree more. People don’t just want to sign up for your email list. They want to get special offers, get insider information, and learn from your expertise.

Geoff uses his own lead-capture form from his website as an example of how to set clear expectations for your visitors.

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This lead-capture form tells subscribers exactly what they get. They know how frequently they’ll hear from Outseta and what each email will contain.

You can do the same thing with your own lead-capture form. You might have a different email marketing strategy — sending just one email per month, for instance — and different incentives, but you have to be clear about your value proposition.

“Deliver as much value as you possibly can.”

According to Geoff, value is the machine that drives any email marketing campaign.

“Churn kills SaaS businesses, and the same is true when building your email list  — the fastest way to grow is to make sure that, when you do get a new subscriber, they stick around and don’t unsubscribe.”

Geoff makes an excellent point that learning how to build an email list isn’t just about acquiring new subscribers. That’s just the beginning of the battle.

Once you have a subscriber, you must keep him or her happy. Follow through on the expectations you set forth when convincing subscribers to sign up.

Geoff goes on to say, “The good news is [that] the fastest way to get new email subscribers and to keep them around is to provide enormous value. Whether you are offering free tools, e-books, or blog posts — it really doesn’t matter. What matters is the quality of your offering.”

We’ve talked about lead magnets and value-driven email marketing before here on the Crazy Egg blog. When you generously give value to your subscribers, they’ll look forward to your emails, open them, and interact with them.

Geoff stresses the importance of solving specific problems and helping your subscribers achieve their goals. Figure out what your audience wants, then deliver.

“Don’t interrupt the visitor’s experience with irrelevant offers.”

Perfecting user experience is an important part of conversion rate optimization (CRO). You don’t want to interrupt or distract visitors when they land on your site. Instead, you want to serve up a fantastic experience that guides them to the action you want them to take.

For instance, Geoff points out popups as potentially distracting elements on a website. He recommends their use on e-commerce sites, but less so on SaaS sites. He says, “You won’t see any pop-ups on our website. While we may miss out on some emails as a result, my argument is [that] this benefits our brand [and] our credibility, and keeps the bounce rate of our site visitors down.”

When you interrupt the user experience, you risk bounces. Consumers don’t have much patience these days, so they’ll exit a site if they get annoyed.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use tools to help capture more emails. Geoff says, “I’d encourage you to use persistent bars at the top or bottom of your page for these offers, as they are less disruptive than pop-ups. Hello Bar is an easy-to-use tool that can help with this.”

What are the top one or two mistakes marketers make that turn off readers from subscribing?

Building on that last point, I asked Geoff about common mistakes marketers make when figuring out how to build an email list from scratch. He responded concisely with two major errors that can result in fewer subscribers:

“The top one that comes to mind is scraping emails off the web and entering them into an email list they didn’t sign up for. The second would simply be over-communicating with your list. Both hurt your credibility and result in your subscribers tuning you out or unsubscribing altogether.”

I feel the exact same way. My own email list is one of my most important marketing assets, so I don’t abuse it. People sign up for my list, and those are the only people who receive my emails. Additionally, I don’t send out an email unless I have something important to say.

More importantly, every email contains value. I genuinely want to help my subscribers, so I’m cognizant of their needs and expectations.

Advanced Email Subscriber Building Tactics to Grow Your List Fast

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While it’s important to understand the basics of building an email list, there’s no reason to put off learning more advanced techniques. The faster you learn, the more effective you become as an email marketer.

Unsurprisingly, Geoff takes a data-focused approach to determining what tweaks to make to offers and email content.

He says, “Look at your most trafficked blog posts or other content offers. You can then use Google Search Console to see the actual search queries that have resulted in people landing on those pages. Is there a common theme or objective behind the search queries that have brought visitors to that page? If so, build a content offer that directly addresses the theme or question behind the search queries.”

In other words, Geoff recommends considering search and user intent to figure out what your audience wants. You might discover that there’s a pain point you can address through your offer or a particular goal your audience wants to achieve.

By addressing those issues directly in your offer, you increase your chances of getting more subscribers.

Geoff also says:

“Another interesting advanced tip is adding email capture forms in the middle of video content. Tools like Wistia make it easy. While this can be disruptive, there are times where it can be effective and help you capture emails from really high value potential customers.

“For example, if you have a very detailed, 10-minute product demo video available on your website and throw in one of these forms 6 minutes into the video, there’s a pretty good chance you can collect some emails this way. Any prospect [who’s] already watched 6 minutes of your video is likely pretty engaged/interested in your product.

“You can either make it a requirement that they share their email in order to continue with the video (not my favorite approach), or make the email capture form optional but promise a follow-up of additional valuable materials that will help the prospect better understand your product offering via email.”

I’m particularly intrigued by this strategy because I’ve dived into video marketing on YouTube and on my own site, and I think that using video for lead capture can open up new opportunities, especially for SaaS companies.



Is it Possible to Build a Good Email List Without a Website?

If you’re familiar with my work, you know that I’m a huge proponent of content marketing. I have websites for all my companies as well as a personal blog, so I advocate getting your own website if you want to succeed in business — and if you want to build a good email list.

Geoff concurs. He told me, “In the context of a SaaS business, build a website. I don’t know why you wouldn’t. This is how SaaS products are evaluated and bought.

“Other businesses, like brick-and-mortar retailers, can absolutely build a quality email list by capturing emails from customers in their physical locations, for example. But having a website is a good idea for most businesses these days.”

Common Email List Building Mistakes that SaaS Companies Make

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As an expert in SaaS, I wanted Geoff to provide some insight specifically into SaaS email marketing. If you’re in this space, you can benefit from his strategies and avoid some of the most common email marketing mistakes in this industry.

For one thing, Geoff cautions against using “email list building trickery/tactics.” In other words, you don’t want to collect email addresses through subterfuge. Be real with your audience.

He says, “You need to earn the right to enter someone’s inbox, and with everyone’s inboxes inundated with unwanted messages these days, it takes more than ever before for someone to invite you in.

“There’s often an “if we build it, they will come” mindset in SaaS companies, where the expectation is if you launch a product and share some content, your list will automatically begin to grow. If your list isn’t growing, you’re simply not providing enough value.”

Again, data is your friend. Track your subscribe rates meticulously. If you’re only getting a couple signups a week, or if your growth rate stagnates, you need to up the value quotient.

That starts with your offer. Provide an incentive to sign up that your target audience — people who are most likely and qualified to buy your product — can’t refuse.

Geoff also says, “The second [mistake] would be littering your website with email sign-up forms and offers that benefit you, rather than those that benefit your site visitor.”

In the SaaS world, you have to focus on the consumer 100 percent. Yes, you want to collect subscribers, convert leads, and generate sales, but you can’t do that if you’re always marketing from a me-me-me perspective.

One strategy I’ve found is that writing in the second person always shifts the perspective. Instead of using the word “I” in your offer, use “you.” That way, you know you’re focused on the consumer instead of yourself.

A Real List Building Example that Worked [Case Study]

When asked about a real-world example that has benefited Geoff, he cited poll-taking as a reliable way to increase value and better understand your audience.

“Poll your audience about the type of content that would be most useful to them. What are their burning questions, fears, desires? How do they get promoted? Then cover those topics. At Outseta, we’ve really dug into to understand these things for other SaaS founders, then have covered the resulting topics.”

This can work for both email marketing and content marketing — and ideally both. For instance, a common email marketing strategy is to link to your best blog content in your emails. Deliver a fantastic piece that provides insane value for readers.

Geoff learned through polling that his audience really wanted to know how to build links and improve their SEO. And since Outseta’s customers are primarily in the SaaS industry, he knew to focus on them specifically.

Based on this new insight, Geoff produced an in-depth article on link building and keyword research. He generously included me among the three experts whose brains he picked for the article, so his audience got to hear from more than one perspective.

This same strategy allowed him to produce articles on topics like startup life cyclescold email marketing, and business financing.

Using this strategy can not only help you boost value for your email subscribers, but it can also help with SEO.



Conclusion

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It’s clear that there are many ways to build an email list from scratch. Geoff Roberts graciously provided expert insight that can help you grow your list faster, more effectively, and without resorting to trickery.

Bookmark this article so you can return to it often as your email list grows. When you get more activity, you can employ Geoff’s advanced tactics to make your email list even stronger.

Remember, though, that value is key. If you’re not providing value, you can’t expect people to hand over their contact information.

You can find Geoff Roberts at Outseta.com, at his SaaS growth consultancy, and on Twitter at @GeoffTRoberts.

43 Essential Blogging Terms to Know If You’re Serious About Making Money

To become a professional blogger who actually makes money blogging, do you really have to know the “lingo”?

What do you think?

If you played professional baseball, do you think the “6-4-3” would be a mystery?

I don’t think so!

It’s the same in professional blogging – you need to be familiar with some of the important blogging vocabulary if you really want to take your blog to the next level.




Thanks to WordPress.org, I’ve compiled some of the most important blogging terms you really need to be aware of if you’re just getting started.

Notice that the phrases FAMILIAR and BE AWARE OF are italicized. This is to make a simple point – there will not be a quiz on these terms, I won’t be requiring word for word definitions of all the terms, and some of them may not really even be THAT essential in the long run. However, they are terms you will hear and see if you really get into blogging so I recommend you get acquainted.

I look forward to comments from other bloggers regarding what phrases I’ve left out.

43 Essential Blogging Terms To Know


I’ll admit, some of these phrases are not terms you need to “lose sleep over”. However, it’s really going to help if you’re semi-familiar with the following blogging terms.

1. Avatar

An avatar is a graphic image or picture that represents a user.

2. Blog

blog, or weblog, is an online journal, diary, or serial published by a person or group of people.

Blogs are typically used by individuals or peer groups, but are occasionally used by companies or organizations as well. In the corporate arena, the only adopters of the blog format so far have tended to be design firms, web media companies, and other “bleeding edge” tech firms.

Blogs often contain public as well as private content. Depending on the functionality of the CMS software that is used, some authors may restrict access — through the use of accounts or passwords — to content that is too personal to be published publicly.

3. Blogging

Blogging is the act of writing in one’s blog. To blog something is to write about something in one’s blog. This sometimes involves linking to something the author finds interesting on the internet.

4. Blogosphere

The blogosphere is the subset of internet web sites which are, or relate to, blogs.

5. Blogroll

blogroll is a list of links to various blogs or news sites. Often a blogroll is “rolled” by a service which tracks updates (using feeds) to each site in the list, and provides the list in a form which aggregates update information.

6. Category

Each post in WordPress is filed under a category. Thoughtful categorization allows posts to be grouped with others of similar content and aids in the navigation of a site. Please note, the post category should not be confused with the Link Categories used to classify and manage Links.

7. Comments

Comments are a feature of blogs which allow readers to respond to posts. Typically readers simply provide their own thoughts regarding the content of the post, but users may also provide links to other resources, generate discussion, or simply compliment the author for a well-written post.

You can control and regulate comments by filters for language and content. Comments can be queued for approval before they are visible on the web site. This is useful in dealing with comment spam.



8. Content

Content consists of text, images, or other information shared in posts. This is separate from the structural design of a web site, which provides a framework into which the content is inserted, and the presentation of a site, which involves graphic design. A Content Management System changes and updates content, rather than the structural or graphic design of a web site.

9. Content Management System

Content Management System, or CMS, is software for facilitating the maintenance of content, but not design, on a web site. A blogging tool is an example of a Content Management System.

10. cPanel

cPanel is a popular web-based administration tool that many hosting providers provide to allow users to configure their own accounts using an easy-to-use interface.

11. CSS

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a W3C open standards programming language for specifying how a web page is presented. It allows web site designers to create formatting and layout for a web site independently of its content.

12. Default theme

Every installation of WordPress has a default theme. The default theme is sometimes called the fallback theme, because if the active theme is for some reason lost or deleted, WordPress will fallback to using the default theme.

Up to Version 2.9.2 the default theme was the WordPress Default theme (sometimes call Kubrick) and was housed in the wp-content/themes/default folder. Starting with Version 3.0, the Twenty Ten theme became the default (and fallback) theme.

13. Draft

The draft post status is for WordPress posts which are saved, but as yet unpublished. A draft post can only be edited through the Administration Panel, Write Post SubPanel by users of equal or greater User Level than the post’s author.

16. Feed

feed is a function of special software that allows “Feedreaders” to access a site automatically looking for new content and then posting the information about new content and updates to another site. This provides a way for users to keep up with the latest and hottest information posted on different blogging sites. Some Feeds include RSS (alternately defined as “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”), Atom or RDF files. Dave Shea, author of the web design weblog Mezzoblue has written a comprehensive summary of feeds. Feeds generally are based on XML technology.

15. FTP

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is rather predictably, a client-server protocol for transferring files. It is one way to download files, and the most common way to upload files to a server.

An FTP client is a program which can download files from, or upload files to, an FTP server.

You may need to use an FTP client to upload your WordPress files to your web server, particularly if you use a hosting provider.

16. Gallery

As defined by Andy Skelton, Gallery, introduced with WordPress 2.5, is specifically an exposition of images attached to a post. In that same vein, an upload is “attached to a post” when you upload it while editing a post.

In the uploader there is a “Gallery” tab that shows all the uploads attached to the post you are editing. When you have more than one attachment in a post, you should see at the bottom of the Gallery tab a button marked “Insert gallery into post”. That button inserts a shortcode into the post. WordPress replaces that shortcode with an exposition of all images attached to that post. Non-image file types are excluded from the gallery.

Note: If you don’t see the “Insert galley into post” button, it may be because you have not attached two images to the post.

The pretty URLs for attachments are made only after you have published the post and should be composed as the post permalink plus the attachment slug.

17. Gravatar

gravatar is a globally recognized avatar (a graphic image or picture that represents a user). Typically a user’s gravatar is associated with their email address, and using a service such as Gravatar.com, a blog owner to can configure their blog so that a user’s gravatar is displayed along with their comments.



18. Hosting provider

hosting provider is a company or organization which provides, usually for a fee, infrastructure for making information accessible via the web. This involves the use of a web server (including web server software such as Apache), and may involve one or more related technologies, such as FTP, PHP, MySQL, and operating system software such as Linux or Unix.

19. HTML

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the W3C standard language with which all web pages are built. It is the predecessor to XHTML, but HTML is often still used to describe either one. It is often used in conjunction with CSS and/or JavaScript.

WordPress strives to conform to the XHTML standard.

20. IP address

An IP address is a unique number (e.g. 70.84.29.168) assigned to a computer (or other internet-capable information appliance, such as a network printer) to enable it to communicate with other devices using the Internet Protocol. It is a computer’s identity on the internet, and every computer connected to the internet is assigned at least one — although the methods of assigning these addresses, and the permanence and duration of their assignment, differ according to the use of the computer and the circumstances of its internet use.

Every web server is assigned an IP address as well, but often times hosting providers will assign multiple IP addresses to one computer, in the event that multiple web sites reside on the same physical server. This is the case with most inexpensive ‘managed’ or ‘group’ hosting packages.

Domain names were created to provide an easier means of accessing internet resources than IP addresses, which are cumbersome to type and difficult to remember. Every domain name has at least one corresponding IP address, but only a small number of IP addresses have a domain name associated with them, since only computers that are web servers require domain names. The Domain Name System (DNS) is what maps Domain names to IP addresses.

21. Meta

Meta has several meanings, but generally means information about. In WordPress, meta usually refers to administrative type information. As described in Meta Tags in WordPress, meta is the HTML tag used to describe and define a web page to the outside world (search engines). In the article Post Meta Data, meta refers to information associated with each post, such as the author’s name and the date posted. Meta Rules define the general protocol to follow in using the Codex. Also, many WordPress based sites offer a Meta section, usually found in the sidebar, with links to login or register at that site. Finally, Meta is a MediaWiki namespace that refers to administrative functions within Codex.

22. News reader

news aggregator or news (feed) reader is a computer program which tracks syndicated information feeds, via RSS, RDF, or Atom. Most news aggregators allow one to ‘subscribe’ to a feed, and automatically keep track of the articles one has read, similar to an email client tracking read emails.

Many blogs make their content available in feed form for the convenience of readers using news aggregators. WordPress can generate feeds in RSS and/or Atom formats.

23. Open Source

Open source is simply programming code that can be read, viewed, modified, and distributed, by anyone who desires. WordPress is distributed under an open source GNU General Public License (GPL).

24. Page

Page is often used to present “static” information about yourself or your site. A good example of a Page is information you would place on an About Page. A Page should not be confused with the time-oriented objects called posts. Pages are typically “timeless” in nature and live “outside” your blog.

The word “page” has long been used to describe any HTML document on the web. In WordPress, however, “Page” refers to a very specific feature first introduced in WordPress version 1.5.



25. Permalink

permalink is a URL at which a resource or article will be permanently stored. Many pages driven by Content Management Systems contain excerpts of content which is frequently rotated, making linking to bits of information within them a game of chance. Permalinks allow users to bookmark full articles at a URL they know will never change, and will always present the same content.

Permalinks are optional in WordPress, but are highly recommended as they greatly increase the cleanliness of URL. WordPress uses the Apache module mod_rewrite to implement its permalink system.

26. PHP

PHP is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a popular server-side scripting language designed specifically for integration with HTML, and is used (often in conjunction with MySQL) in Content Management Systems and other web applications. It is available on many platforms, including Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac OS X, and is open source software.

WordPress is written using PHP and requires it for operation.

27. Ping

Within the WordPress interface, “ping” is sometimes used to refer to Pingbacks and Trackbacks.

In general computer terms, “ping” is a common utility used in a TCP/IP environment to determine if a given IP Address exists or is reachable. Typically, Ping is used to diagnose a network connection problem. Many times you will be asked, “Can you ping that address?”. That means, does the Ping utility return a success message trying to reach the “problem” IP Address?

28. Pingback

Pingback lets you notify the author of an article if you link to his article (article on a blog, of course). If the links you include in an article you write on a blog lead to a blog which is pingback-enabled, then the author of that blog gets a notification in the form of a pingback that you linked to his article.

 

29. Plugin

Plugin is a group of php functions that can extend the functionality present in a standard WordPress weblog. These functions may all be defined in one php file, or maybe spread among more than one file. Usually, a plugin is a php file that can be uploaded to the “wp-content/plugins” directory on your webserver, where you have installed WordPress. Once you have uploaded the plugin file, you should be able to “turn it on” or Enable it from the “Plugins” page in the administration interface of your weblog. The WordPress source code contains hooks that can be used by plugins.

30. Post Slug

A word or two describing an entry, for use in permalinks (replaces the %posttitle% field therein), especially useful if titles tend to be long or they change frequently.

31. RSS

Really Simple Syndication“: a format for syndicating many types of content, including blog entries, torrent files, video clips on news-like sites; specifically frequently updated content on a Web site, and is also known as a type of “feed” or “aggregator”. An RSS feed can contain a summary of content or the full text, and makes it easier for people to keep up to date with sites they like in an automated manner (much like e-mail).

The content of the feed can be read by using software called an RSS or Feed reader. Feed readers display hyperlinks, and include other metadata (information about information) that helps you decide whether they want to read more, follow a link, or move on.

The original intent of RSS is to make information come to you (via the feed reader) instead of you going out to look for it (via the Web).

Programs called news aggregators permit users to view many feeds at once, providing ‘push’ content constantly. See Category:Feeds for Codex resources about bringing RSS feeds into WordPress. See also RDF Site Summary.

32. Sidebar

The sidebar, sometimes called the menu, is a narrow vertical column often jam-packed with lots of information about a website. Found on most WordPress sites, the sidebar is usually placed on the right or left-hand side of the web page, though in some cases, a site will feature two sidebars, one on each side of the main content where your posts are found. A sidebar is also referred to as a Theme Template file and is typically called sidebar.php.

33. Slug

slug is a few words that describe a post or a page. Slugs are usually a URL friendly version of the post title (which has been automatically generated by WordPress), but a slug can be anything you like. Slugs are meant to be used with permalinks as they help describe what the content at the URL is.

Example post permalink: http://wordpress.org/development/2006/06/wordpress-203/

The slug for that post is “wordpress-203“.



34. Spam

Once upon a time, SPAM was an animal by-product that came in a can and was fodder for many Monty Python sketches, but since the world-wide adoption of the internet as an integral part of daily life, Spam has become synonymous with what is wrong with the internet. Spam, in general terms, is an email or other forms of unsolicited advertising. Spam is very easy to spread throughout the internet, and works on the principle that if you send out thousands, or hundreds of thousands of unsolicited advertisements, scams, or other questionable methods of making money, that you only need a very small percentage of people to be fooled and you will make lots of money.

Common spam these days comes from online gambling sites and those trying to sell drugs for “male enhancement.” Lately, web logs, or blogs, as we call them, have been targeted by spammers to try to increase their site ratings in the search engines. Spammers use various methods to distribute their electronic junk mail, and employ bots, or computer programs to quickly and easily send email or comments to millions of addresses and IPs all over the world.

Spammers can be difficult to track down as they often hijack peoples’ email and IP addresses. When this happens, it may appear a friend sent you the spam, but in fact, the spammer’s bot grabbed your friend’s email address and used it to hide the true source of the spam. WordPress developers and community members are constantly working on more and better ways to combat these annoying spammers as they clog the internet with their garbage. You can help by offering your talents, ideas, suggestions, or just by being vigilant and installing any of the currently-available spam combating tools.

35. Tag

A tag is a keyword which describes all or part of a Post. Think of it like a Category, but smaller in scope. A post may have several tags, many of which relate to it only peripherally. Like Categories, Tags are usually linked to a page which shows all posts having the same tag. Unlike Categories, Tags can be created on-the-fly, by simply typing them into the tag field.

Tags can also be displayed in “clouds” which show large numbers of Tags in various sizes, colors, etc. This allows for a sort of total perspective on the blog, allowing people to see the sort of things your blog is about most.

Many people confuse Tags and Categories, but the difference is easy: Categories generally don’t change often, while your Tags usually change with every Post.

36. Tagline

A tagline is a catchy phrase that describes the character or the attributes of the blog in a brief, concise manner. Think of it as the slogan, or catchline for a weblog.

37. Task Based Documentation

Task based, or task oriented documentation is writing that takes you through a process/task step-by-step; it is succinct, lacks jargon, is easily understood, and structured entirely around performing specific tasks.

To order to get to Z, you need to:

  1. Step x
  2. Step y
  3. Step z

Keep in mind that people who need to know how to perform a task usually need answers quick!

38. Theme

A theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. A theme modifies the way the weblog is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. Essentially, the WordPress theme system is a way to skin your weblog.

39. Trackback

Trackback helps you to notify another author that you wrote something related to what he had written on his blog, even if you don’t have an explicit link to his article. This improves the chances of the other author sitting up and noticing that you gave him credit for something, or that you improved upon something he wrote, or something similar. With pingback and trackback, blogs are interconnected. Think of them as the equivalents of acknowledgements and references at the end of an academic paper, or a chapter in a textbook.

40. Web server

web server is a computer containing software for, and connected to infrastructure for, hosting, or serving, web sites written in HTML. The most common web server software on the internet is Apache, which is frequently used in conjunction with PHP, Perl, and other scripting languages.

It is possible to create one’s own web server, hosted on any speed of internet connection, but many people choose to purchase packages from hosting providers, who have the capacity and facilities to provide adequate bandwidth, uptime, hardware, and maintenance for frequently-visited web sites.

41. XHTML

XHTML, or Extensible HyperText Markup Language, is the successor to HTML as the W3C standard language with which all web pages are created. It is often used in conjunction with CSS and JavaScript.

WordPress strives to conform to the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standard.



42. XML

XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is written in Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) and essentially allows you to define your own markup language. XML is extremely useful in describing, sharing, and transmitting data across the Internet. Typically used in conjunction with HTML, XML defines data and HTML displays that data.

43. Blogging Articles to Read

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