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Earlier I wrote about profanity in blogs, today, I’ll discuss language of another kind.

Today’s Lesson

Do you think visitors to your blog know what a “post” is? Unless your audience is other bloggers, chances are, you are confusing them.

Let’s look at a sentence that is commonly used.

“In tomorrow’s post, I will discuss this issue further”.

If I wasn’t a blogger, I would shake my head, and say “What ?!?” Then I would try to analyze what is meant by that statement, and assume I can maybe/possibly find more about this subject tomorrow. Unfortunately, others won’t have a clue, and won’t return tomorrow.

Blogging language has many words that are not typically understood by non-bloggers.

Plugins, addons, tags, HTML, CSS, theme, blogroll, bounce rate, SEO (search engine optimization), SERPs (search engine results pages), etc….

Using blogging language in a post that is intended to be read by non bloggers, will only confuse the reader.

Remember to consider you audience, and write in a language they will understand.

Today’s Assignment

Who are you writing for?

Would your audience understand blogging language?

Is it time to make some changes?

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  1. this is funny, i just left a comment on another post of yours that i don’t curse on my blog, nor do i allow comments from people who curse. i clean them up.

    Who are you writing for? Probably for myself and people with personal blogs.

    Would your audience understand blogging language? Yes they do. I’ve been a public speaker for over 20 years and that’s one of the first things we learned: know your audience.

    Is it time to make some changes? I’m always making some change, but my blog has to satisfy me first and then my readers.

    look forward to your next post!

    Natural Woman’s last blog post..Five Little Bits Meme

  2. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I think we should avoid jargon. It’s too easy to get caught up in a world of our own.

    Yes, it is time to make changes. The world, from my own experience is not blogging anywhere near as much as those who do think.

    For me, I never realised that I was reading blogs – and I probably was without knowing for a while. The concept of commenting on a web-site was completely alien.

    I now find I prefer sites that have a blog so I can see what people are saying. Dare I say it, I would probably choose a company with a blog over one that didn’t. Particularly if it was unmoderated. I would then know I had a very public channel through should I need it (although if I had a complaint, I wouldn’t first post it in a comment until I had exhausted other channels).

    It’s easy to target blogger with jargon – and that’s probably appropriate in some cases. But imagine someone arriving on your blog (and there are hundreds of millions yet to land!) who has only heard the term in everyday language but never really understood.

    My understanding was it’s a personal diary. I’d have felt uncomfortable if I’d found one of those, let alone read in depth or commented upon one.

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Ordinary People Taste Ubericious Small Business Success: My 3 Tips

  3. DebNo Gravatar says:

    I consider the “post” term often, but I don’t know what else to call it. I try to keep my posts (there it is again) jargon free. Of course, that’s not very difficult for me because I don’t know much of it. I think the bigger problem for me is staying away with text messaging abbreviations. Again, I don’t know many, but it can be confusing. I use some when leaving a comment on someone else’s blog but I write things out on my blog. I think most of the people reading my blog know that jargon so it’s not too confusing for them.

    Deb’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – The Demise of Frosty

  4. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I think your blog was down earlier. I couldn’t access it at all.

    This is an interesting post. I try to avoid words that people won’t understand. But, we use some words so frequently that we forget others won’t understand. And I’m definitely guilty of using the word post a lot on my blog.

    I’ll remember this in the future though. And I’ll be checking the words I’ve used in that guest post carefully – to make sure I don’t make the same mistake.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..Success: Are You On The Wrong Path?

  5. This is a tough issue. We’re all bound to use words that some people consider jargon at some point. I’ve seen blogging tutorials refer to posts as “articles,” I guess because they think that’s a word more people will understand. However, to me an article is something suitable for publication in a magazine, which is very different from a post.

    I’m just thinking about how newbies might feel when they’ve been “dugg” or “stumbled.” That sounds a little painful if you don’t know what it means!

    Of course, “subscribe to my RSS feed” is awfully confusing for people who haven’t done it before. Thankfully, most bloggers have a “subscribe by email” option which is much easier to understand.

    I try to keep things simple, but I’m sure I use words all the time that some people will consider jargon. I recently used the term “quantum leap,” but I knew I had to define it or I’d lose everyone.

    British English is always fun. The first time I was told that something was a doddle, I had no idea what to think!

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Free Ebook: The Zen Of Blogging

  6. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural Woman,

    That make me happy to hear you don’t allow cursing on your blog either.

    I like the way you take these lessons seriously and answer all of the questions. You aced this one too. :)

    Hi Ian,

    I think you have come to realize how important a blog can be to a business. Clients love to have their say, and it great for you as it gives you ideas how to better serve your customer base.

    And yes, even the word “blog” is still foreign to some.

    Hi Deb,

    I struggled with this on my other blog, (who’s audience is probably not bloggers), and at first used “post”, but have now switched it to “article”. On this blog, I use the word “post” as the majority of my audience is bloggers.

    That’s a good point about texting abbreviations. That, is a totally different “language”. Personally, I do not text, (I rarely use my cell phone), but if I saw a lot of text messaging in a blog post, I wouldn’t take the time to try and figure it out.

    Hi Catherine,

    My server may have been down for awhile in the middle of the night.

    Yes, it is difficult not to use what is now common blogging language in posts. With you having a business blog, it’s easy to assume people know these words, but they don’t.

    It was only when I stated researching blogging, did I find out what a “post” was. Even now if I tell family or friends I’m going to post on my blog, they say “what????”

    Hi Hunter,

    Like I said earlier, I use the word “article” on my OM blog. I think in time the internet will replace a lot of newspapers and magazines, and the word “article” will follow. We’re publishing in cyberspace.

    When I was a new blogger, I was totally confused. Blogging, like most industries, has a definite language of its own.

    And yes, if you use a word that you think others may not understand, it’s very wise to provide a definition, instead of assuming. We need to remember our blogs are being read world wide.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogging? Watch Your Language

  7. I agree with Hunter. When I tell my non-blogging friends and family about subscribing via rss, they don’t know how.

    Since my blog is a business blog, I created an article on how to use iGoogle to handle feeds so my clients and other visitors new to blogging will be able to subscribe. So for the first time eve, I’m caught up on Barbara’s daily assignment. :-)

    sterling | bizlift’s last blog post..Fishing With David Lynch: Creating Value From Nothing

  8. NezNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I was definitely guilty of this in my D&D post, when I failed to properly explain exactly what Dungeons and Dragons is.

    In the end, writing a blog post is much like making a movie based on a book. One should tailor the screenplay to appeal to both readers of the book and those who’ve never read it before, in order to reach the widest audience (at least if that’s the intention.)

    Certainly, one can also write for a specific audience, and use all sorts of acronyms and insider references. So whom you’re writing for is also an important consideration when choosing language.

    Nez’s last blog post..PLR Articles, the Microstock of Written Content

  9. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Nez,

    Not being a “gamer” I had no idea what D&D and RPG (sp ?) was even though you had Dungeons and Dragon in the title. Once I figured out what you were talking about, the post made sense. :)

    Our niche (or non niche) definitely determines how we need to write.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogging? Watch Your Language

  10. I am definitely writing for bloggers and nonbloggers alike. Amazingly (I say this bc I’m often happily submerged into the internet) My friends and family don’t know what a blog is. In fact, those who have a clue mention MySpace. Its to the point I just say – hey have you read my website today yet? For some, trying to explain is a fruitless task :)

    I am actually going to be using this weekend to put a couple of little tips and fyi’s on my site to help along the non bloggers that check me out :) It’s so nice getting emails from them – I shall introduce them to the world of commenting O:-)

    ______

    oh and barbara? I really like your blog :) thanks for finding me!

    JEMi @ InMyHeels’s last blog post..Uninhibited: 10 Ways to Set Yourself Free (Part 1)

  11. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi JEMi,

    Like you, only a few of my family/friends understand blogging. I tell the kids it’s similar to MySpace but on a global level.

    There are lots of people who do not understand the difference between a website and a blog, so your tips will definitely be useful.

    It’s been my pleasure showcasing your blog. I’m so happy Natural Woman told me about you. JEMI, I love your writings and am going to enjoy following your progress as you gain recognition in cyberspace.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Do You Walk Your Talk Or Are You Just Blowing Smoke

  12. Wow, that really got me thinking.
    I am pretty new to blogging and already I have forgotten that a few months ago I wouldn’t really understand the words I use in my blog as standard.

    How quickly we forget.

    On the topic of foul language this is just a heads up. I recently made a post and in the title I used a string of random symbols ( such as $£%&*#) instead of a swear word and it totally wrecked my feed. Feedburner stopped sending my posts to subscribers because to them it was an error. Be careful if you ever do this as depending on the symbold used a lot of people may not get the latest posts from your blog.

    Such a weird thing but hey, who said any of this was supposed to make sense anyway!

    the three dog blogger´s last blog post..Feed Problems