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WordPress For Writers

I will be speaking this year at several workshops and conferences on the subject of “WordPress for Writers.” The workshop covers the basic elements of WordPress content structure and organization, then adds the complexities of a site for writers and authors. This is one of a series of articles on WordPress for Writers and Authors. […]

Blog Exercises: Volunteer

I’ve spent years contributing in many ways to WordPress including on the WordPress Support Forums, WordPress.com Forums, and WordPress Codex. The other day I was cleaning out tabs in my browser and stumbled upon an open WordPress.com forum post. I wondered if the user’s question was answered. It was, but not well. I added a […]

Blog Exercises: Creating Influential Connections

In “Why a Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party,” my friend Jan of Circular Communication described it this way. Imagine you are at a party. You mingle and meet someone you know. You do not know her well, but well enough to appreciate her. You also have an idea what interests her, […]

Blog Exercises: If You Don’t Make Mistakes, You’ll Never Learn

I’ve long believed that if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t learning. That philosophy is part of what these blog exercises are about. I want you to stumble. I want you to destroy your site. I want you to make a mess of everything because that is how you learn. How did I learn what […]

Blog Exercises: What Story Would You Want to Hear Told?

I’m in a local writer’s group that meets once a week to test our mettle in creative writing. I have to share with you a prompt from last week that haunts me still. A prompt is a topic used to inspire creative writing. Anything can be a prompt, but a well-formed prompt in the right […]

Blog Exercises: How Does Your Blog Make You Money?

In an interview with Daniel Scocco of DailyBlogTips, he asked me how long a blogger should wait to monetize their blog. Ha! Forever! I do not think bloggers should monetize their blogs. I think that people who want to get into the business of blogging must make a business plan on how they will use […]

Blog Exercises: FAQs

A FAQ is a web page featuring “Frequently Asked Questions.” Does your site need a FAQ? Most sites do not need a FAQ Page. Yours might. How do you know if your website needs a FAQ? If your site offers products and services, a FAQ may be necessary to answer frequently asked questions about the […]

Blog Exercises: Comments Policy

We started with the Bloggers Code of Ethics in our blog exercises on site policies, starting you off on the right foot by knowing where you will draw your lines in the sand when it comes to your rights and responsibilities as a blogger. In this Blog Exercise, we are going to tackle the next […]

Blog Exercises: Does Your Site Look Spammy?

Does your site look spammy? How would you know whether or not your site looks spammy? It’s time for a spam check. Web design is hard, especially if you aren’t an expert. Yet, in many ways you are an expert if you are a fan of the web. You’ve seen enough sites to know the […]

Blog Exercises: Quoting and Blockquotes

In “Copyright: How to Quote and Cite Sources,” I explain all the details you need to know about how to quote and cite other sources. Let’s review for this Blog Exercise. According to International Copyright Law, you are allowed to quote from original sources without violating copyright law if you copy content in accordance with […]

Blog Exercises: The Editorial Calendar

Throughout these Blog Exercises you will be building your own editorial calendar, a schedule for content. Consider these as blog planners and self-deadlines. There are many calendar types, traditional and electronic. I recommend starting simple by printing out a 12-18 month calendar, one month per page, right from a free template in your word processing […]

Evaluating What Makes a Shopping Cart Work Best

Before you check out your next WordPress shopping cart or ecommerce WordPress Plugin, you need to read this. In April 2011, Smashing Magazine published “Fundamental Guidelines Of E-Commerce Checkout Design” in their UX (User Experience) column exploring what they called the “harsh reality” of e-commerce websites. According to recent e-commerce studies, at least 59.8% of […]

What You Most Need to Know About WordPress

At the recent WordCamp Portland 2012, I was asked by several attendees to cover the basics of WordPress and we came up with What You Most Need to Know About WordPress. Here are the “notes” from that unconference presentation. The Difference Between Categories and Tags I hear this question at WordCamps, from readers, students, and […]

Browser Wars: Internet Explorer Falls, Firefox Tables, and Chrome Soars

Preparing to teach the HTML Fundamentals class at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, this summer, I did a quick bit of research on web browsers to check the current status of the browser marketplace. While not surprised, I was rather taken aback at the downfall of Internet Explorer and fast rise of Chrome. According to […]

Prove It: Defining Your Avenues of and Communication Marketing

A news story came out today that specifically served a client of mine. It was a national news story that could help them support their current clients with helpful information, and help convert potential clients with persuasive, current event information. Unfortunately, this client has been adamant against blogs, interactive websites, and social media. In my […]

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