This is the first blog post in a series of six or seven that will look at practical tips for writing a successful blog, using WordPress. These posts are designed to get you started on the right foot with an introduction to common blogging lingo, writing tips and information on how to market your blog.

While blogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, there are common features to all that define the blog as a communication medium. These features enable larger virtual conversations to take place between bloggers, readers and subscribers.

Content

“Content is king,” an often repeated adage in the blogosphere, speaks to arguably the most important component of your blog. In the form of individual articles, entries, or posts, the main content of the blog is arranged in reverse chronological order with the newest entry closest to the top and identified by date, time, and author.

Post Title (Headline)

Identifying the content and/or themes of an individual blog post, titles act as an important indicator for blog readers and subscribers. Quality titles grab reader’s attention and include relevant keywords that can lead to better improved search engine rankings, increased linking by readers and distribution in popular social networks such as Digg and del.icio.us.

Here’s a few articles that should help you optimize your blog titles:

Comments

In a section following each post, readers can write responses and share feedback. Depending on the information shared by the commenter, each comment can have a name, web site, date and time associated with it. The names of readers will be hyperlinked if they have their own web site. This section can also contain Trackbacks and Pingbacks.

Archives

Each post is stored and cataloged by date in a searchable blog history, or archive. The archive is usually visible on the sidebar, though it may be contained within a separate page.

Categories

Another form of archival system for blog posts. Each time a post is published you can label, often referred to as tagging, it with one or more categories that describe its content. Categories are displayed on the sidebar and, when clicked, display all corresponding posts.

Search

As you publish posts on your blog, they are automatically indexed by WordPress and made searchable. A search field is a typical component to any blog that allows the reader to find specific content according to chosen keywords.

Blogroll

A list of the the author’s favorite blogs or web sites.

Widgets

Embedded into the sidebar or footer of a blog, widgets are accessory panels that provide extra information for blog readers. The blogroll is actually used as a widget in WordPress, while other popular widgets include Recent Comments, Top Commenters, and Popular Posts. There’s hundreds if not thousands of Widgets that you can add to your blog.

RSS Feed

Often symbolized by a large orange button, RSS is an acronym that stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. By clicking on the RSS button, readers can subscribe to your blog using an RSS reader like Google reader and receive notification each time you publish a new blog entry.

Here’s an excellent explanation video of RSS by the guys over at Common Craft:

Up next, Blogging 101: Blogging Lingo