Online Marketing Terms and Definitions: What do they mean?
If you’re starting an online business and finding a new language that you don’t really understand, you’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place. This post provides an overview of the online marketing terms and definitions and affiliate marketing terminology I encountered when I started working online.
Not sure about the difference between a blog and a website? Do website builders and content management systems do the same things?
When I started, I found the online marketing terms confusing. After reading this post you’ll know if you need a blog, a website, a content management system (CMS) or all three for your online business.
Google Search: Not Always Helpful?
My first online business Google search was overwhelming. Many terms I had never heard before and I didn’t know what many of them meant.
I looked at product reviews and saw there were differences in what each product could do but I wasn’t sure about the differences. Because I didn’t understand the online marketing terms I didn’t know what I needed, what was included in the basic packages offered, and what would cost extra. I had a lot to learn.
In this post I’ll provide a through and thoughtful explanation to help you understand the online marketing terms so you’ll know what you need to reach your work online goals without promoting any product or try to sell you anything. I promise!
I hope you’ll like this post enough to read some of my product reviews and become more familiar with my work.
A Blog Platform: To Blog or Not To Blog?
What is a blog? In December 1997 Jorn Bargerhe created the term “weblog”. A weblog is on online journal.
Many of us remember keeping a journal of day-to-day events, a record of experiences or reflections for personal use. A “weblog” just moved the pen and paper journal online where it was accessible for others to read on the Internet.
In April or May 1999 Peter Merholz coined the term “blog”, when he broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog.
The term blog is an abbreviated version of word weblog. Funny how some of these terms come to exist.
Today blogs are used as information and product sales platforms often including links to other articles or websites on the same or similar topics.
All blogs have some common elements:
- A main content area with the newest article on top.
- Articles are often organized into categories.
- Pictures, videos, and audio files can be included with the blog text.
- Older articles are archived on the site.
- People can leave comments about the articles.
- Links to other related sites are provided.
- A series of blogs is called a blog roll.
Definition: a blogging platform is software or a service that is used to publish writing on the Internet. One such blog product is Google’s Blogger.
Website Builders- All-inclusive Solutions
In 1980 physicist Tim Berners-Leea proposed and developed a coding language called Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) as a way to share documents on the Internet. To this day the HTML language is the way web browsers compose text, images, and other material into visual or audible web pages.
Website builders are tools that allow anyone to construct websites without manual HTML coding.
Website Builders fall into two categories:
- Online tools living in the cloud provided by web hosting companies intended for non-technical people to build websites sites without knowing or using HTML coding.
- Offline software running on a computer used by professional web designers to create pages which can then be published somewhere else. This is often called “website design software”.
Online website builders are quick and easy to use. They often use a visual drag & drop approach with ready-to-use templates for site creation by users without prior website building experience. No HTML coding knowledge is required to use a website builder.
Online website tools make it possible to build and have a site up and running live on the Internet quickly. Website builders make it possible for anyone to have a professional website for a fraction of what professional web designers charge.
For a 2 minute YouTube video titled “What is a website builder and how does it work” click here.
Definition: a website builder is an easy to use software tool that creates a website without the need to know HTML coding. WIX and Weebly are examples of popular website building software products.
Content Management Systems – Adding Structure to Your Website
Content Management Systems (CMSs) provide a way to manage website content. The idea is that with a CMS, you focus on what you want to write and the CMS tool takes care of the rest.
CMS tools can make publishing on the Internet as simple as writing an article, giving it a title, and organizing it under one or more categories. The CMS takes care of all that goes into curating the website content.
CMS programs differ from one another. Many provide sophisticated features to handle the logistics of making writing presentable and publicly available.
But this is where it can get confusing.
There are some blogging software programs which are considered to be a specific type of CMS because they include content management tools. Some website builder programs also include content management tools.
But some CMSs provide only management tools and no writing (blogging) or website creation tools.
Several of the CMS programs available are open source (free) software designed to support multiple users in a collaborative environment and require technical expertise to use.
For a 3 minute YouTube video titled “Web Content Management Explained” click here.
Definition: a content management system provides document or blog text format management, editing history, version control, indexing, and search and retrieval tools often at the code level requiring technical expertise. Joomla and Drupal are both open source CMS products.
Affiliate Marketing Terminology – Making Money Online
Affiliate marketing is selling someone else’s products or services and earning a commission for the sale.
By signing up with a company to be an affiliate you receive the right to advertise that company’s products or services. The product or service is advertised in a blog that you write or ad placed on your website.
When someone goes from your website to another website and buys a product or service you advertise, you receive a commission for the sale.
For a 3 minute YouTube video titled “What is Affiliate Marketing? Click here.
People in affiliate marketing use two important terms:
- Niche – a product or service that is targeted to a small or specialized group of people.
- Keyword – the word or term someone types into a search engine (Google, Yahoo, or Bing) to find information.
Definition: affiliate marketing is having the right to advertise products or services created or sold by someone else on your website and earn commissions for the sale of that product. Wealthy Affiliate is an example of an affiliate marketing learning platform.
Let’s Complete the Puzzle
- To have an online presence you need a website.
- On the website one way to present information is to write a blog.
- The blog can be about your experiences with a product or service, a review of a product or service, or a comparison of two or more products or services.
- One way to make money online is to sell another company’s products or services and receive a commission for the sale. This is called affiliate marketing.
- To create the sale and earn commissions you use your website to advertise the company’s products often by writing content called a blog.
- A series of blogs that you write and publish is called a blog roll.
- The blogs or content you write is managed by the website software often called a content management system.
That’s it! That’s how the pieces fit together.
To build successful online presence and grow a business there is much to learn.
I hope in this blog post I have answered some of your questions about online marketing terms and affiliate marketing terminology.
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The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and are based on a combination of personal experience, published product reviews and users’ ratings.