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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: Debate Ethics

A premie baby is causing debates and controversy about medical research projects. A debate on plant ethics questions over the humane treatment of plants opposes yet is related to the debate on ethical treatment of animals as food sources. Advanced research on stem cells and human cloning is debatable on all sides, especially when news […]

Blog Exercises: Creating Influential Connections

In “Why a Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party,” my friend Jan of Circular Communication described it this way. Imagine you are at a party. You mingle and meet someone you know. You do not know her well, but well enough to appreciate her. You also have an idea what interests her, […]

Blog Exercises: What’s the View Through Your Binoculars

One of my favorite things is a framed picture by Matt Mullenweg of an old set of mounted binoculars. The eye pieces are worn and the blue paint on the metal binoculars looks like it’s not the first coat of paint it has seen. It’s wonderful, and I find new meaning in it every time […]

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: What Makes You Special?

A client greeted me with an over-enthusiastic hug yesterday. “I’m so glad to be working with you! You made me find myself again.” “Were you lost?” “You have no idea how lost I was.” I was confused. He lives in my neighborhood, walking distance from my front door. “Here.” He handed me a huge stack […]

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: Blog Your Hobby

The following blog exercise is inspired by Janet Williams of Janet’s Notebook and her post on “Unique British post boxes: share your hobby.” Who would have thought that an article on UK post boxes would bring post box enthusiasts and historians out of the woodwork to her blog? My interaction with Ruby brings me to […]

Blog Exercises: A Few of My Favorite Things

Like the song says, “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…these are a few of my favorite things.” In this blog exercise, you challenge is to write a “favorite things” post. We all have favorite things. For a reader, it is one or more books, a series, or an author. For a knitter, it could […]

Blog Exercises: Trackbacks Come Again No More

The power of trackbacks is to track the discussion of articles on your site across the web. They are generated automatically by the post when it is published, sending a trackback response to your site. When the referring site owner moves their site, makes a domain name change, or does a total makeover that causes […]

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: Share Your Fear

When was the last time you blogged your fears? Well, not all of them but one of them? In 2006, popular tech blogger Robert Scoble changed directions and blogged about his mother in critical condition in the hospital. This is one of those times when I’m not sure what to write. The size of my […]

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 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 […]

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