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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: 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: 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: 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: Editorial Calendar Check-in for September

It’s time to check in on your editorial calendar for September. This means not just checking in on the holidays and events for September but also for October, November, and December. For those living in the “Western Civilization” and tied to the Christian Calendar, as well as those tied to Jewish and Muslim calendars, we’re […]

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: 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 […]

Blog Exercises: Making Drafts Work For You Not Against

During a year of teaching WordPress in college and at workshops and training events, I may help a minimum of 300 people set up WordPress.com sites annually. As they add content to their site, filling in all the blanks, they often publish content not quite ready for prime time, capped with a note-to-self to “fix […]

Blog Exercises: August Random Editing Day

Today it is 8 posts to edit on our monthly Random Editing Day. Each month in the Blog Exercises series, I challenge you to edit random published posts on your blog, adding one for every month of the year. This month is eight posts. Are you ready? It was easier in January and February if […]

Blog Exercises: July Summary

July is over. Seven months of Blog Exercises and you would think I’d be sick of these. Yet, I’ve got hundreds more. I fear my ability to fit it into one year. I might just have to keep going. The response has been amazing. I’ve looked at hundreds and hundreds of websites and given feedback […]

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 […]

WPEngine Offers Special Discount for WordPress Hosting and WordCamp San Francisco

Rarely will you find me promoting anything commercial here on my site, but I have to give a big round of applause about my incredible, life-saving and life-changing experience working with the amazing team at WPEngine web hosting. I’ll tell the full story later, and it’s one of love, hate, passion, murder, and espionage, but […]

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: Blog Your Mistakes

Some say that Dr. Brian Goldman helped to change the medical industry with his Ted Talk about how doctors make mistakes, taking a huge risk exposing one of the most known and rarely discussed topics: how doctors make mistakes and kill patients. When was the last time you heard somebody talk about failure after failure […]

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