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Blog Exercise: Inspired by Photography

We are all inspired by photography, a picture that motivates and inspires, that moves us, sometimes to the point of changing our perspective on a subject or on our life. With all of the power found in photography, over the next few weeks I will be offering Blog Exercises with the emphasis on getting you […]

Research on the WordPress, Web Development, and Web Design Job Market

In 2012 and 2013, I did extensive research for the grant program to develop and rewrite the Web Developer degree program at Clark College. This research included an analysis of current and future job opportunities for students graduating with that degree with a solid understanding of WordPress. Now that the program has completed its first […]

Blog Exercises: Leave Room for the Reader

“You must leave room for the viewer to rest and breath as they look at your photograph.” These wise words were told to me by a long-time professional photographer, gone these many years. As I studied with her and others saying similar things, I began to understand what they meant and applied it eventually to […]

Blog Exercises: Why Oh Why Ask Why?

Why? Why ask why? Because it is there. Why is probably the first question out of many children’s mouths. Why does it do that? Why do you do that? Why is it that color? Why does it make that noise? Why, oh, why, oh, why? Why say why? Because it is there. We want to […]

Annual Thanksgiving Orphan Party

You’re invited to the VanFossen Annual Thanksgiving Orphan Party Saturday, November 30, 2013 For many years we’ve gathered together anyone missing home, left out of Thanksgiving celebrations, or eager for more social during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. You are invited to join the craziness. It starts around 2PM. We eat about 6PM, if things go […]

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: Marketing Yourself as an Artist

A friend forwarded “99 Ways to Market Your Art” from Copyblogger. While it is targeted towards artists, it applies universally to bloggers – no matter what you are blogging about. You’re an artist — a writer, musician, illustrator, or dancer. Maybe you’re into doll sculpting, keepsake jewelry making, fashion photography, plain air painting, or composing […]

Blog Exercises: The Welcome Page

One of the many things I’d like to see gone on the web is the Welcome front page. Think about it this way. You invite friends over for a party. You greet everyone at the door with a full self-introduction, welcoming them to your place, instructing them on how to visit your home, telling them […]

Blog Exersices: I Can Wish It Away But…

“I can wish it away but I can’t change it.” Those words jumped out of the radio. This was a politician talking about international trade regulations and laws in my state. It’s true that any governing body is ruled by other governing bodies in this bureaucratic world. It got me thinking about what I could […]

Blog Exercises: Before the Blog

While researching memes for one of these blog exercises, I discovered a fascinating meme called Before the Blog. Started by YA Litwit, and not updated by the author since 2011, it is a meme designed for writers inviting them to review and recommend books from their past, “books you’ve read and loved BEFORE you started […]

Blog Exercises: When Your Site Design Owns You

Yesterday a long-time client called me up in tears saying, “I can’t do this any more. My site design owns me, I don’t own it. It’s too confusing. It’s too much work!” Several years ago, she’d chosen a Magazine-style WordPress Theme. The structure was based upon the standard magazine-style, sticky posts for the slider/carousel at […]

Blog Exercises: The Art of List Making

Today’s blog exercise is part two on how to make a list. In “Weekly Link Roundups” and “Making Lists” blog exercises I covered some basics of how to make a list. This blog exercise will take these exercises further to help you create interesting lists in your blog posts that pull the reader through your […]

Blog Exercises: Don’t Let Your Content Compete With Itself

I fear for what I’m about to say. Colored fonts are evil. I’m not talking about colored fonts in the website design, nor colored fonts in headings within your content. I’m talking about colorizing the words you are reading as you read, just because, and the because usually isn’t a good enough reason to make […]

The Giant Blog Exercise Check List Part 1

July is the midway point of these Blog Exercises and time for a Giant Blog Exercise Checklist to help you keep score of the exercises you’ve done, and what’s left undone. I’ve arranged the blog exercises by similarity, tasks related to each other, rather than chronologically. If you are playing catch up, you might wish […]

Blog Exercises: A Few of My Favorite Things

Like the song says, “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…these are a few of my favorite things.” In this blog exercise, you challenge is to write a “favorite things” post. We all have favorite things. For a reader, it is one or more books, a series, or an author. For a knitter, it could […]

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