Today's post is about the elements and features of a blog. We will be covering several of these topics later is the series including the blogging software I recommend - Wordpress, Typepad or Blogger. I use Typepad for this blog.
Most of the blogging platforms have a variety of template designs and format options. After deciding on a theme, you’ll want to decide if you want the 1, 2 , or 3 column format. I prefer the 3 column format. So, let’s use my blog as the example to describe the various elements. Starting at the top, you see the header which contains the blog name and tagline. TIP: The title and subtitle should tell the reader what to expect in your blog.
Next, the middle or main section contains the blog posts. The most recent at the top and then listed in reverse chronological order. The posts are your content for the blog – mini-articles, commentary, information, etc. Each post has a specific title and date. My page is set for a maximum of 10 posts on the front page.
Other features of the main section:
Categories – relevant keywords or tags for the post. Categories are a critical navigational and organization tool for your blog. Choosing the right categories will help readers find your content later. Note that there is a CATEGORY area in the sidebar for quick navigation to all posts on a specific topic. You can have multiple categories for a specific post.
Permalink - A permanent link (or URL – webpage address) to the specific post. This allows other bloggers to link to your post on their blog. It is also a link to the permanent location of the blog post for future reference or use.
Comments – A key distinguinshing feature of a blog vs. a traditional website. This is where a reader can post their comments to your individual post. Your blogging software will have options for approving and even allowing comments.
Trackback – A way of tracking a thread of comments/conversation on a particular post. For example, I write a post on my blog. You write a post on your blog and include my trackback URL. My blog will now update the original post with a link to every blog that has tracked back to me, allowing me and my readers to see who has commented on the post and what they have said.