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Blog Exercises: Learning From a Mentor Makes You Better

“What One of the World’s Great Novelists Learned About Writing from David Ogilvy” on Copyblogger tells the story of how famous author Salman Rushdie learned copywriting and writing in general from another great copywriter, David Ogilvy. Imagine it’s your job to convey the taste of a chocolate bar in just one word. And by the […]

Blog Exercises: Bye Bye to Dumb Drafts

Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger wrote a brilliant article, “5 1/2 Reasons You Should Kill a Draft Blog Post. It’s today’s blog exercise. In summary, Demian’s tips are: The idea sounds bad to you days later. It’s likely to create controversy you don’t want. It looks like something you wrote last year. It looks like stolen […]

Blog Exercises: A Link List Post to Dazzle Readers

In blog exercises on making lists and making your lists pretty, we worked on the links, understanding how they work and formatting your styles. In this blog exercise, I want to focus on the content within those links, the real reason people love those link lists. I’d like to cite my friends at Daily Blog […]

Blog Exercises: Top X Tips – The Numbered Post

One of the traditions in blogging is the numbered list post. You’ve seen them. “The Top Ten Software Programs.” “9 Things to Do with Clay.” “The Best 99 WordPress Tips of All Time.” “Top 13 Cities to Attend a WordCamp.” “Seven Ways to Find Love.” Numbered post titles and topics work. Want proof? I did […]

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: 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: 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, […]

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: July Random Editing Day

Are you up for the challenge today? Today it is 7 posts to edit on our monthly Random Editing Day. As explained in previous month during the series of Blog Exercises, this month you will need to edit seven random posts, one for every month of this series so far. This monthly blog exercise can […]

Blog Exercises: Are Your Comments Open for Business?

Are your comments closed? Are they set to moderation? Are your comments wide open for all without question or challenge? Are you comments open for business? In “You Must Be Logged In To Comment” I wrote: Why do people turn off open, unregistered comments to require people to login in order to comment? I’m not […]

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: Blog Work Flows

In “A Sample Blogging Workflow” by my friend, Chris Brogan, he talks about the process of blogging with consistency and determination in mind. Your company has decided to launch a blog, and you’re the lucky blogger. Maybe you’ve even asked for this pleasure, suggested it to the boss yourself. Only now, you have to deliver, […]

Blog Exercises: I Thought You Would Appreciate This Gratuitous Picture

For many years it was thought that every post published on a blog had to feature a gratuitous image, some photograph that would lure people to click through and read the article. The myth perpetuated itself, which myths tend to do, and many still publish content with gratuitous imagery. A gratuitous image is one that […]

Blog Exercises: Under the Hood Spring Cleaning

One of my students in my Portland Community College WordPress class reminded me that clutter is clutter, no matter where you find it. Peter Smith reminds us that too many WordPress Themes is a waste of resources. Today, I feature his post to remind us all to clean up our sites under the hood. I […]

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