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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: 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: Where is Your Audience?

In this ongoing series, Blog Exercises, you’ve been exploring your site stats to determine where your audience is coming from and why. Now is the time to explore the where. Using whichever as stats or web analytics program you wish as discussed in the post introducing you to blog stats and analytics, check out the […]

Blog Exercises: Protect Your Privacy

The web world thinks my birthday is January 1. Does the web know your birthday? Among the many Blog Exercises so far this year, I’ve mostly focused on your blog. Today, I want to talk about something related to your blog but mostly to your exposure and presence on the web: your private and personal […]

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: Become Your Own Fan Blogger

Fan blogging is one of the most challenging types of blogging. Fan blogging is blogging about a celebrity, television show, movie, sports team, sports player, criminals, or other groupie subject. Today’s blog exercise examines the art of fan blogging and how to learn from fan blogging to create your own fan club around your blog. […]

Blog Exercises: How Long Are Your Paragraphs?

How long are your paragraphs? Have you measured them lately? One of the telling differences between traditional writing and writing for the web is the length of the paragraph. Look at the example below. Which is easier to read? On the left, the paragraphs are huge, long blocks of text. On the right, the paragraphs […]

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: Do You Teach or Lecture?

Do you teach or lecture on your site? We all write with a specific “voice” and “style,” representing our perspective on the information we are presenting. On this site, I’m a teacher, sharing with you lessons to help you blog, use WordPress, and publishing on the web. You may share your expertise or your experiences […]

Blog Exercises: When Will You Not Link?

There are few people I hate in this world. I think I can count them on one hand, mostly on two fingers. We all have them, people who did us wrong and taught us to disrespect, dread, dislike, and even hate them. As tolerant as we wish we all were, that’s just the way of […]

WordPress Anniversary: WordPress and Evil

As I look back on the ten years of WordPress, there is a dark side to blogging. While many blamed WordPress for the evil, like guns, WordPress doesn’t cause evil, people cause evil. In fact, WordPress, Automattic, and the WordPress Community has fought longer and harder against the evil doers in the world than most […]

Blog Exercises: Feed Readers

Without the feed reader, my blogging life would be seriously hard work. Feed, commonly misidentified as RSS, is the proper name for the contextual version of your site as distributed through various feed types such as RSS, Atom, XML, etc. They are basically your posts stripped of your website design, read like articles in a […]

Blog Exercises: Category Counting

Think of categories and tags this way: Categories are your site’s table of contents. Tags are your index words. In general, most sites should have 5-12 categories max. Each category should represent a “body of work,” a collection of posts related to a focused topic. When you find a blog with dozens of categories, what […]

Blog Exercises: Honor the Past with Anniversaries and Birthdays

Every year I celebrate January 11, the birthday of WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg. The first week in April, I celebrate CSS Naked Day, a day to turn off the CSS designs on your websites world-wide to pay tribute to web designers. Later in April is the Day of Blog Silence, honoring the victims of violence […]

Blog Exercises: Taking a Risk With What You Blog About

In 2006, I spent three months thrashing, not sleeping at night, agonizing over what I had written and desired to publish. I knew it would be received with resistance at the least, revenge at the worst. I had already tested the waters and found out that the subject could get me in very hot water […]

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