10 Basic HTML Tags Every Blogger Should Know

Posted by Adam Pieniazek | Blogging Tips | April 15th, 2009

Lately, I’ve been helping a lot of people who are new to the blogging scene get theirs up and running and optimized. Since I found myself sharing a lot of the same blog tips with multiple parties, I’ve decided to publish some of it here to help others while saving me time. To that effect, here are ten basic HTML tags every blogger should know.

  1. Text Links
  2. This piece of code generates hyperlinks, the foundation of the internet.

    <a href="http://www.adampieniazek.com/">Adam's Site</a>

    Adam’s Site

    The above piece of code is a normal link.

  3. Nofollow links
  4. An additional tag that’s good to know about is the nofollow tag. It is placed within a regular link and notifies Google and other search engines not to utilize the link for ranking purposes.

    <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.adampieniazek.com/">Adam's Site</a>

    Adam’s Site

  5. Headings
  6. Headings help structure your blog post and make your copy scannable. They range from 1, the largest heading, down to 6, the smallest heading.

    <h3>This size works best for use within your blog post</h3>
    <h4>This size is good for subheadings</h4>

    This size works best for use within your blog post

    This size is good for subheadings

  7. Ordered Lists
  8. Ordered lists are numbered lists.

    <li>List item 1</li>
    <li>List item 2</li>
    <li>List item 3</li>
    1. List item 1
    2. List item 2
    3. List item 3

  9. Unordered lists
  10. Unordered lists are bullet point lists.

    <li>Bullet point 1</li>
    <li>Bullet point 2</li>
    <li>Bullet point 3</li>
    • Bullet point 1
    • Bullet point 2
    • Bullet point 3

  11. Strong a.k.a. bold
  12. Making part of your text bold is a good way to draw readers’ attention to a particular phrase.

    <strong>This sentence will be bold.</strong>

    This sentence will be bold.

  13. Italics/Emphasis
  14. <em>This sentence will be italicized</em>

    This sentence will be italicized

  15. Blockquote
  16. <blockquote>
    Here is a block of text. When quoting more than one to two sentences, you should use blockquotes to seperate out the large quote from the regular flow of your text. It will make your copy much more readable and help readers scan your text quickly.

    Here is a block of text. When quoting more than one to two sentences, you should use blockquotes to seperate out the large quote from the regular flow of your text. It will make your copy much more readable and help readers scan your text quickly.

  17. Image links
  18. <img src="http://www.the42ndestate.com/images/adamp-125x125.png" />

    That above piece of code simply places the image in your post. To make it a clickable link, simply surround it with the link tag.

    <a href="http://www.adampieniazek.com"><img src="http://www.the42ndestate.com/images/adamp-125x125.png" /></a>

    Now you can click that logo to head over to my personal blog, but wait! There’s one more tag for you to learn, well actually two but I’ve combined them.

  19. Paragraphs and line breaks
  20. <p>
    <br />
    <br />
    <br />
    <br />

    Many bloggers use a content management system that automatically puts in these paragraph and line break tags, but sometimes the space just won’t stick. In those moments, use a paragraph tag to define the beginning and end of a paragraph and a line break when you just want a line break without defining a paragraph. Yes, the p stands for paragraph and the br for line break.

    Sometimes, you’ll need to hack together some code like the one shown about to just get a simple clean line break to show up. This post was such an instance as no matter what I did the end of section 3 fell right on top of section 4 above. Finally, I put in the code above which forced a single line break to show.

Did you find this list useful? Let me know what other blogging tips you’d like to hear about in the comments below.

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8 Responses to “10 Basic HTML Tags Every Blogger Should Know”

  1. Great tips, Adam. I have a question about the No Follow tip. Can you explain why you would not want a search engine to follow a link, and what types of links you would use that on?

    I guess HTML isn’t too hard once you get a few basics down. My challenge lately has been understanding CSS and XHTML. I have been trying to learn the ropes this weekend but it’s like trying to teach me math…I just look at it and get overwhelmed!

  2. Nope, a key component of HTML and CSS is that the basic foundation of both are relatively simple. Of course to become a true HTML/CSS ninja takes years of experience but all of us can quickly learn and use the basics.

    As for the nofollow, you would not want a search engine to follow a link mostly for SEO purposes. For instance, anytime I link to my twitter or facebook profiles I nofollow the link since I want to keep the link juice within my site and not pass it to my social media profiles. Another place I add the nofollow attribute is to my feedburner URL, as I don’t want Google to index both my RSS feed and my blog (in order to avoid duplicate content penalties). This seems like a great topic for its own post so check back in a few days and I might go into a bit more detail about the topic.

  3. I will be looking forward to hearing more on the subject. Thanks for clearing things up a bit, now I am wondering if I am losing link juice…I’ll have to go back and check it out!

  4. You pretty much nailed it on the head here. These are all the tags I use when putting together posts. And I know exactly what your talking about when it comes to WordPress eating up some of your line breaks. It gets really annoying!

  5. very helpfull tips.Thanks for sharing

  6. Hi Adam
    thx for d info. i just have 1 query when bots prefer text links as compared to image links why do we still need them?

  7. Well, image links are useful to make an image a link. Bots can still read them, especially if you place an alt tag within the link.

    More importantly, images are nice for humans to look at and your site will do best if you aim to make it look good for humans rather than bots. The bots will find ways to read your content, as long as it’s minimally optimized but humans won’t come back if it looks terrible and even worse is difficult to read.

  8. Thanx m8, I almost aware with all tags just one that “nofollow” i didnt know about that but thanx for sharing..

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