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WordPress For Writers: WordPress Author Sites

In this part of my series on WordPress For Writers, I’ll cover the basic things to consider when using WordPress on site promoting the work of writers and authors. For more on the subject, see other articles in the WordPress for Writers and Authors series. This article assumes you have some basic familiarity with WordPress […]

Blog Exercises: Where You Came From

Inspired by these blog exercises, Janet Williams of Janet’s Notebook has been taking her readers on a journey back through time and space, exploring her family’s Chinese heritage from her little corner of the south of England. Her “Letters from China” have evolved from a few posts to an entire series, and eventually, I hope, […]

The Loss a Great Man: Nelson Mandela

The news has arrived. It is true that the world has lost a great hero, Nelson Mandela. A couple years ago I wrote an extensive tribute and reference article on Nelson Mandela when rumors of his death flooded the web. He lived long past the rumors, but today, the rumors come to an end. Whether […]

Blog Exercises: Thinking About Next Year’s Plans

In “Blog Exercises: Intentional Blogging” I encouraged you to review the first exercises in this blog exercise series, putting emphasis on the intentions behind your blogging. I’d like to check in on your editorial calendar today. In “Blog Exercises: The Editorial Calendar” I discussed the importance of adhering to a schedule with your blogging, planning […]

Blog Exercises: Ingredients of a Professional Site

Two questions on the same day triggered this blog exercise. I was asked by a student in my WordPress class recently what defined a “professional blog.” I told him it was one that met all the criteria for a well-designed, well-formed site that met web standards. This is a good definition, but lacked specifics. A […]

Blog Exercises: Make a List of Everything on Your Site

Today’s blog exercise will require a little time, magnifier, and a score card. Well, maybe not one of those items. I want you to grab a piece of paper and load up the front page of your site in a browser. Zoom in so you can really see it up close and personal. Start counting. […]

Blog Exercises: To Comment or Not to Comment

In the September 20, 2013, issue of the New York Times, an article caught my eye called “No Comments.” It is also available on Umano via mobile app or desktop for a listen. The article by Michael Erard discusses comments on the web, including a long look back at the history of interactivity on the […]

Blog Exercises: Choose an Appropriate Gravatar for Your Readers

All WordPress sites have Gravatars integrated into the core. Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars, images that represent you in blog posts comments, featured author images (integrated with Gravatars), author images, BuddyPress, and other Gravatar-enabled features. Near the beginning of this year of blog exercises, you were asked to add or update your Gravatar to represent […]

Blog Exercises: The Secret Sauce

In “Letters to Laurali” on Laurali Star Diaries, author Larauli responded to her first “letter to the editor” on her site. The request was from a fellow blogger asking for help blogging. Blogging has changed her, she admits. Laurali has soared, stretching her wings with glory and radiating in the new connections she is building […]

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: You Shouldn’t Have Started with a Question If You Didn’t Want it Answered

In the movie, Big Fish, the son tries to describe to his father how little he knows him. Will Bloom: You know about icebergs, dad? Senior Ed Bloom: Do I? I saw an iceberg once. They were hauling it down to Texas for drinking water. They didn’t count on there being an elephant frozen inside. […]

Blog Exercises: The Daily Social Meme

Did you know that there are specific memes for each day of the week in the blogosphere and social web? Today is your chance to play around with some of these themed days of the week in this blog exercise. A themed day, or meme, is a tradition of sorts. It involves publishing and sharing […]

Blog Exercises: The Outsider

During a writer’s convention this weekend, someone familiar with my site and these Blog Exercises asked me why I was handing our all this information to help others blog better, use WordPress better, and migrate their site from personal to professional. I had a pat answer then, but today, I have another. …Assumptions like these […]

Blog Exercises: Self-Control and Distractions

During a recent WordPress Meetup in Portland, Oregon, I was on the panel of three WordPress experts answering questions from the audience on how to use WordPress. In response to one of the questions dealing with a recommendation that WordPress restrict what a user can and cannot do to protect themselves from doing something “stupid,” […]

Blog Exercises: Organize Your Content – The Sequel

In the previous blog exercise, “Blog Exercises: Organize Your Content,” you were to create a giant lists of all the posts you have published in a link list organized by topic. If you have been blogging for a while, that exercise may have taken some time and work. If you’ve been blogging a short time, […]

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