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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: 5,127 Tries

In his native UK, Sir James Dyson is known as much for his quirky looking, superior-functioning vacuum cleaners as for his long embattled path to commercial success. He gave Brits their first bagless vacuum in 1993 after 13 tough years tinkering in the tool shed. He slogged through 5,127 prototypes, a couple of lawsuits and […]

Blog Exercises: Patterns in the Stats

As we proceed through this year of blogging tips and exercises, we’ll talk more about statistics and web analytics to help you check in with yourself that you are on the right track. Today’s blog exercise is to familiarize yourself with tracking your site’s stats, learning the key numbers and data to watch. I introduced […]

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 […]

WordPress 3.6 Released – Update Now

The long awaited WordPress 3.6 is out and ready for download for self-hosted WordPress users. Those on WordPress.com or managed WordPress installs, you should not have to do anything. WordPress.com has been using many of the new features of WordPress 3.6 already and is automatically updated. Managed WordPress hosts will advise you as to a […]

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: How to Respond to a Copyright Violation

While I know that you would never violate anyone’s copyright and publish other people’s content without proper citation or permission, there are hundreds of thousands who think that if it is on the web, it’s free to use and abuse. Accusations of copyright violations are big deals. Some top journalists, writers, photographers, musicians, software developers, […]

Blog Exercises: Statistics and Web Analytics

If you have been following these Blog Exercises for the past six months, your site should be rocking. I asked you early on to define what you do clearly as it helped to clarify your site purpose and goals and your reason for blogging. You were to define your specific audience, part of identifying like […]

Blog Exercises: What If You Knew You Could Not Fail

I helped a writer set up her first blog today, encouraging her to share her stories as part of the process moving towards becoming a published author. We talked about how a site will help her, not just with marketing, promotion, and community building, but also by rethinking how she writes, what she writes, and […]

Blog Exercises: Are You Setting an Example for Others?

A milestone in personal rights seemed to have been achieved recently when US basketball player, Jason Collins declared publicly he was gay, hopefully setting an example for others that it is now “safe” to come out of the closet. The news in and around his announcement has me thinking about heroes, mentors, and risk-takers, those […]

Blog Exercises: Page and Post Abuse

If you are on WordPress, you are familiar with the concept of Pages and Posts. If you are on another Content Management System (CMS), it is likely you have similar content with a different name. In WordPress, Pages, with a capital P, are pseudo-static web pages on your site. They exist outside of the reverse […]

Blog Exercises: How Long Are Your Paragraphs?

How long are your paragraphs? Have you measured them lately? One of the telling differences between traditional writing and writing for the web is the length of the paragraph. Look at the example below. Which is easier to read? On the left, the paragraphs are huge, long blocks of text. On the right, the paragraphs […]

Blog Exercises: When Will You Not Link?

There are few people I hate in this world. I think I can count them on one hand, mostly on two fingers. We all have them, people who did us wrong and taught us to disrespect, dread, dislike, and even hate them. As tolerant as we wish we all were, that’s just the way of […]

Blog Exercises: Taking a Risk With What You Blog About

In 2006, I spent three months thrashing, not sleeping at night, agonizing over what I had written and desired to publish. I knew it would be received with resistance at the least, revenge at the worst. I had already tested the waters and found out that the subject could get me in very hot water […]

Blog Exercises: Define Your Target Audience

The phrase “target audience” is an advertising and marketing phrase designed to help you aim your content at a specific group of people. Do you know your target audience? As a crafter, you may offer a wide range of craft ideas and projects, so your audience might be all crafters and do-it-yourself folks. If you […]

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