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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 […]

Update to WordPress 3.6.1 Now

It is upgrade time again. Time to upgrade your WordPress. WordPress 3.6.1 Maintenance and Security Release was announced today. It includes fixes to WordPress 3.6 and some security issues, so this is a mandatory update. WordPress.com users are automatically updated, as are all those on managed WordPress hosting like WP Engine. This update applies to […]

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: The Domino Effect

I recently created a domino effect on one of my sites. The Domino Effect is based upon the traditional game of domino pieces stacked standing upright in rows, typically in a straight or curved path carefully spaced close together. Knock over the first one and it falls against the second, and third, knocking down each […]

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: 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: Site Goals

Early on in these Blog Exercises I asked you to clarify what you do and how you share your purpose on your site, what your target audience is, and review the why of why you blog and self-publish on the web. Hopefully you’ve had time over the past few months to digest those thoughts, evaluate […]

Blog Exercises: Sharing Without Context

I got a trackback to one of my posts yeseterday. I was so excited that someone thought what I wrote was worth sharing. Eager to read what they wrote about my article, I paused in my busy schedule to race to their site to find out if I’d changed a life, influenced them in some […]

Blog Exercise: Take Yourself on a Bloggy Vacation

Writer’s block is a tool — use it. When asked why you haven’t produced anything lately, just say, “I’m blocked.” Since most people think that writing is some mystical process where characters “talk to you” and you can hear their voices in your head, being blocked is the perfect cover for when you just don’t […]

Blog Exercises: Dissecting Post Categories

In a recent article, Noah Weiss shared his struggle to figure out categories and tags on his personal site. I know many of you following these Blog Exercises have also struggled to figure out your categories, so I thought Noah’s site would be a perfect example, He has gratefully given me permission to rip his […]

Blog Exercises: Battling Self-Doubt

Self-doubt happens to everyone, even bloggers. You are blogging away, full of inspiration, motivation, and energy, then wham! Something happens in your personal or professional life or you get hit upside the head by some bloggy or social media incident and your confidence is sucked away. Self-doubt moves in, and it doesn’t move in pretty. […]

Blog Exercises: Site Policies and Bloggers Code of Ethics

It’s time to start working on all of your site policies, one by one. So far, we’ve touched on some of these in Blog Exercises: The Don’ts of Blogging, Blog Exercise: Taking a Risk With What You Blog About, Blog Exercises: Comments and The Blog Bullies, and Blog Exercises: Quoting and Blockquotes. The basic policies […]

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