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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 […]

Writing for the Web Course

February 18 – March 25, you will find me teaching “Writing for the Web” for Clark College Corporate and Continuing Education on Mondays from 1:30-4:30PM in the West Coast Bank Building in downtown Vancouver, Washington, just across the river from Portland, Oregon. Come join me! This is the first class of its kind at the […]

Blog Exercises: The Editorial Calendar

Throughout these Blog Exercises you will be building your own editorial calendar, a schedule for content. Consider these as blog planners and self-deadlines. There are many calendar types, traditional and electronic. I recommend starting simple by printing out a 12-18 month calendar, one month per page, right from a free template in your word processing […]

Welcome to the New Blog Exercises

Your doctor tells you to exercise. You tell yourself you need some exercise. You play Sudoku and other mind games to flex the brain. We all need exercise, even bloggers. In the past, my Blog Challenges have been well received but its time to update them. I used to call them challenges, then prompts, but […]

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