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Blogging for Beginners: How Blogging Software Works

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Do you know how your blogging software works? Many people are interested in the idea of blogging when they first come to realize that it is its own thing separate from “standard” types of websites and that it’s an easy thing to get started in. And although there is a lot of great information available to beginners, I find that there isn’t much that explains something that’s really important: how blogging software works. This is important because it’s an incredible differentiator between “normal” websites and blogs. Understanding this difference can often help a person decide if having a blog is the right decision. Also, some of you may have just begun blogging, but you don’t really know how your blog works under the hood. You may not need to be an expert mechanic to drive your car, but we all know it helps to know a thing or two.

How Standard Websites Work

Standard (non-blog) websites are often a collection of web pages that have been created and are stored on a web server as individual files. Somewhat like how loose pages in a physical folder might exist, except they are electronic documents in a virtual folder. But in may respects, they can be treated like word processing documents or spreadsheets: each page or document is a self-contained and distinct object or file. When you click on a link to pages in a standard site, that page already exists in its entirety, and it’s sent to your web browser.

To create or edit such pages, you need to know XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript, or, you need software such as Dreamweaver. The main point is you need specialized training and knowledge to be able to do even the simplest task. Some companies and services are attempting to level the playing field with this and make it easy for anyone to create and edit websites, such as Google Pages, but even these are still far more complicated than setting up and running a blog, especially if you use a free blogging service such as Blogger or WordPress.com.

How Blogs Work

With a blog, the setup and the structure are complex, but the use of the end result is quite easy. Blogs and blog software consist of 3 major components:

  1. Database
  2. Scripting/Programming
  3. Style and appearance information

Database

The database holds all the information about and in your blog. Every post you write, all the comments, all the categories, all the settings are all stored in a database. Even the administration and authoring information. This keeps everything very organized and allows certain information to be reused over and over again, which saves time and bandwidth.

Programming

The scripting and programming component is what pulls information out of the database, turns it into a web page, and sends it to a visitor’s web browser. The programming component also allows you to write a post and send it into the database or add links to your blogroll. The programming controls all of your blog’s functionality. Your blog is actually a software application that is running on a web server, in the same way that Microsoft Word is software that runs on your computer. But instead of using a software program’s interface, we use an interface that is in an administration web page.

Styles

The information entered into or pulled out of the database has to be made into web pages which are sent to the browser. The scripting/programming component does a lot of this, but there is a third component that tells that information how it should be formatted and arranged on a web page. That third component is the style sheet. The style sheet has rules and information for how everything is supposed to look and where it’s supposed to go in a web page layout.

Putting it all Together: Alphabet Soup

Okay, here is the part where I start to get a little technical. If the database is the information storehouse for a blog, and that’s important, then what database should you use or how do you get one? One database that is extremely popular in blogging software is called MySQL (pronounced My-S-Q-L). SQL stands for Structured Query Language. This is the language that “runs” a database. When you get a hosting account for your blog, most standard service packages will include a number of MySQL databases that you may create and use.

The programming component for blogs often is a programming language called PHP, which stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (a recursive acronym — how’s that for geeky?) The PHP language is used to write scripts or programming code that interacts with the database. If you use the WordPress blog software, a great many of your files end in the .php file extension. As with MySQL databases, the capability to work with PHP probably is standard in any web hosting package you buy.

When the PHP scripts get information out of the database, it sends it to the visitor’s web browser as XHTML, which stands for eXtensible Hypertext Markup Language. This is the language that web pages are written in. However, XHTML doesn’t tell the information how it should look, or where it should be on the page. That is handled by yet another language! This language is the language of style: CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets. By simply changing the CSS information for a blog, you can change the entire appearance of its content. This is how you can have the ability to choose a template or theme for your blog with the click of a button.

So, when you log in to your blog, write a post, and click that Publish button, you’re filling out a web form written in XHTML, styled in CSS, and sent to a MySQL database via the PHP scripting language. When visitors view the blog, PHP extracts the requested information from the database, makes it into an XHTML page, and sends it to the browser, where styles in a CSS style sheet provide information about how the content is supposed to formatted and arranged on the page. And that’s how blogging software works!

Michael Martine has been involved in web design and internet marketing since the late 90's. He is a blog coach and consultant at Remarkablogger. He lives in beautiful Vermont, U.S.A., with his wife, step-daughter, and grandchild.

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Why Does It Take Time to Be a Successful Blogger?

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Successful bloggers implore you: it takes time to succeed.

I advise following your fun, helping people generously, trusting the process and seeing the blogging journey through. I mention in my eBook how time saving tips make your journey easier.  But in the same regard, this journey takes time. Impatient bloggers weed themselves out. Generous, patient, persistent bloggers succeed. Sometimes, successful bloggers realize not the time element and how it works, and never explain in detail why it takes time to succeed. Why do you need to be patient? Why does it take time to succeed? I uncovered 3 reasons why it takes time to be a successful blogger.

1: It Takes Time to Practice a Skill So You Become Really Good At It

Today, I can write 10 to 20 blog posts daily if I so desired. I could easily create 20 videos daily.

10 years ago, I could write 1 blog post weekly and feared doing videos, to where, I never recorded videos as a newbie blogger.

Generous practice plus time made me prolific. Nobody gains skills in 1 day. Humans gain skills practicing 1 craft daily for months, then years. I love basketball. A handful of NBA players disclose how terrible they played after picking up a ball for the first time, 5 or 10 years, prior. Patient, persistent practice and time polished their skills to the point they became successful enough to go pro. Blogging is no different. Successful bloggers practice daily for years before being skilled enough to become a pro.

2: It Takes Time to Gain Big Exposure

Gaining big exposure for success takes time. Every creative act expands your presence a little bit more but those little bits add up over time. New bloggers blind themselves to this concept, believing 1 day and 1 blog post gives them successful exposure enough to make money and gain clout. Nope. Time reveals persistently generous bloggers because getting massive exposure requires months to years of generous, patient, persistent service.

No human can begin blogging at 8 AM as a new blogger and land a Forbes appearance by 12 noon. Nobody knows you. You have no exposure. Humans require time to create and connect in enough spots to gain success promoting exposure. Relax. You are on the way. But allow for time and generosity to leverage your presence. Time is required to be seen in many places.

3: It Takes Time to Uncover and Feel and Release Fears

Do you want to know why I wrote this post? I uncovered this reason a few moments ago. I noticed one income stream yield lesser amounts over the 2 days prior and felt a tiny but palpable surge of fear. Aha! I got you. Feeling fear, I released it and proceeded. I blogged for 10 years. I still feel tiny fears if an income stream yields less money, day to day, based on my expectations. But I needed to face this fear to make more money. New bloggers generally have deep fears concerning money, success and freedom. It takes time to feel and release fears concerning making more than $1 a day until you vibe at the $100, $1000 or $10,000 monthly – or more – level of blogging income.

Time unearths fears for feeling and releasing, to reach the next level of blogging success.

Be patient.

Time is a great blogging ally.

All you need flows to you over time.

Generously create, connect, follow your fun and nudge into fears.

Success is yours.

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What Does Your Blogging Network Look Like?

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I do nothing on my own.

Everything is a team effort.

As I teach in my blogger networking eBook, the way to increased, ever-expanding blogging success is to look for, grow and tap into a huge, loyal network of blogging friends through the power of generosity. Be generous. Help people. Shout out fellow bloggers. Release expectations. Get super connected. Most of us understand this is how to succeed online; be generous and get connected because 100 is better than 1. 100 friend efforts are far better than your effort alone.

One basic problem arises for most new or struggling bloggers: overcoming the deep fear of networking. For odd reasons, humans cling to pulsating fears concerning reaching out to other human beings. Bloggers fear being rejected, failing, being criticized or giving up credit for their blogging success. Honor that fear. See how far you get on your own steam. Not only that, the agony of micro-managing makes you sick, broke and quite dumb, if you are honest with yourself. How silly of you! Why do everything on your own today? Why not comment genuinely on a few blogs, retweet a few blogger blog posts and mention a few bloggers on your blog? Begin networking. Build a network. Succeed online.

What’s It Look Like?

Be honest, my blogging sweet robbins. What does your network look like? Is it even there? Do you even have a network? Many bloggers publish a post, share it to Twitter and Facebook and sit there, dumbfounded. Do you honestly believe your network just materializes out of thin air? Nope. But if you buy my eBook, follow my 13 steps and build your blogger buddy network by being generous, you can land on famous blogs, earn coin and drive traffic to your blog, too. Everything hinges on your honesty. Admit having only 1, 3 or zero blogging buddies. Truths set you free to network generously and successfully.

How to Grow Your Network

Simple. Be generous. Begin now. Publish a thoughtful, personalized comment below. Be seen. I cannot read all comments but the thousands of people who read blogging tips tend to read comments. Somebody eventually reads your blog comment if you comment genuinely and generously every day on Blogging Tips after reading posts. Someone clicks your link because they love your comment and want to meet you. One visit to your blog later, you may have a blogging buddy, or even a client or customer. Or maybe you have a loyal reader. This is networking 101; be generous, engage people and you build your network.

But do not stop after commenting on Blogging Tips. Branch out. Go wide. Read and comment genuinely on other blogs in your niche. Make more friends. Life gets easier and easier if you have more blogging friends in your corner because these folks inspire you to keep going, plus your friends amplify your presence exponentially.

Be generous and genuine. Reach out to more bloggers every day. Networking is a bit uncomfortable sometimes if you look for immediate returns but gliding through these temporary feelings helps you tap into something special with your blog. Connected bloggers have no issues growing their blogging business because 100 is better than 1. Remember that they next time you try to go lone wolf with your blogging campaign.

 

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Are You Leveling Up with Your Blog?

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Play up.

Every time I reach a new level with my blog, I notice another level invites me. I do not work harder. I never work longer. I love what I do and keep generously helping people but think of how to go wide as I level up. Think of that one for a moment: consider how to go wide, and what it means.

I write and publish multiple posts to my blog. Each post gains views. Going wide. 4 quality posts beats 1 quality post. But I go even wider by writing and publishing multiple guest posts daily. I speak to 2 or 3 or more different blogging audiences, going wider and wider, increasing my exposure and expanding my presence online. But I go even wider as I level up; I contribute on Quora and on the Warrior Forum daily. Leveling up is uncomfortable sometimes but always freeing. Leveling up helps you see greater success versus hitting blogging ceilings.

Be More Generous to Make More Money and to Avoid Lulls

I speak to bloggers who suffer lulls. One client signed up 4 months ago but no clients signed up since. The appearance of a 4 month client drought, or lull, simply indicates a lack of leveling up and a lack of generosity. Even if no clients signed up during your 4 months of leveling up, your eBook sales would triple. Audio book sales would jump, too. Plus you would open 2 new income streams. This just happens. Be generous and blogging will be generous to you.

Being more generous by helping more folks across multiple platforms feels uncomfortable sometimes. Who wants to go wide when doing so means leaving your comfort zone on a daily basis? I love blogging. But I feel uncomfortable writing my third post on a  train ride to Connecticut. I will go super wide when I reach the destination though, publishing a combo of posts and guest posts to level up effectively, reaching more people in less time.

Most Bloggers Never Level Up

Most bloggers write and publish a post to their blog weekly. Struggles ensue because they never level up after publishing weekly for 3-6 months. Be more. Serve people generously. Go wide. Publish blog posts and guest posts more frequently to expand your reach. Increase blogging traffic and profits.

Why do you think most bloggers never make $100 during their careers? Few bloggers regularly level up, playing small to be comfortable, dodging their fears. Of course, their fears manifest as 0 dollars and 6 blog visitors daily for the next 12 months UNTIL they level up, go wide, be generous, leave their comfort zones and face their fears. This is not a fluffy, pleasant process but we all pay a fear tax to level up and to become successful bloggers.

Pay Up to Level Up and to Play Up

Pay up by spending time and generous energy reaching as many people as possible through blogging. Guest post. Publish more frequently to your blog. See increased blogging responsibility as more fun and freedom and service. I enjoy freedom offline because I level up online. I pay up, level up and play up in higher blogging circles because all top bloggers paid the same dues to reach the top. Why do top bloggers hobnob with one another? Top bloggers respect how other top bloggers pay their dues on this blogging journey and connect deeply with one another, co-promoting each other’s success.

The fun and freedom you experience through blogging is well worth the effort and discomfort of leveling up.

If you need a guide for facing blogging fears, grab my blogging mindset eBook on the way out.

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