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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: Start Here Guides

Training for educators using online learning management systems for high schools and college recommend creating a “Start Here” page to guide the student through the process. If the process is complicated, this makes sense. The question I wanted to know from trainers is why don’t they provide training upon entrance to the school so each […]

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: 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: 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: Who Do Others Think You Are?

Today’s blog exercise was inspired by Kathy Holmes in her post, “Who are you today?“ Lorelle’s “What Makes You Special?” blog exercise links to “Who the Hell Are You?” and both got me to thinking, not only about who I am, but who I am today and who people perceive me to be. Some people […]

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: 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: 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: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started

“9 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started.” “6 Things You Need to Know Before You Begin.” “The 10 Lessons You Need to Know Before You Take that First Step.” “What I Wish I Knew Before I Knew.” These titles show up in my feed reader on a regular basis. In this blog exercise, […]

Blog Exercises: I Don’t Have Any Comments

I hear this complaint frequently from new and long time bloggers. “I don’t have any comments. How can I get more comments?” First of all, let me explain something and I want you to read closely. You don’t want comments. Yes, that’s right. You do not want comments. At least not comments from anyone. If […]

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: 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: 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 […]

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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