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WordPress Workshop for Writers in Salem, Oregon

Are you a writer? Author? Thinking about it? Live in the Salem, Oregon, or nearby areas? I’ll be leading a workshop in Salem, Oregon, specifically designed for writers and authors using WordPress. The event is part of the great work the Salem Chapter of the Willamette Writer’s Group, a regional group of writers and authors […]

Blog Exercises: When You Assume…

One of the class projects for my WordPress college course involved the students working together on a single broken post to find all the errors in the content. Typically, this is a quick test of their basic coding skills, but this quarter’s students are not typical. They are exceptional. The goal was to identify and […]

Blog Exercises: Ingredients of a Professional Site

Two questions on the same day triggered this blog exercise. I was asked by a student in my WordPress class recently what defined a “professional blog.” I told him it was one that met all the criteria for a well-designed, well-formed site that met web standards. This is a good definition, but lacked specifics. A […]

Blog Exercises: Make a List of Everything on Your Site

Today’s blog exercise will require a little time, magnifier, and a score card. Well, maybe not one of those items. I want you to grab a piece of paper and load up the front page of your site in a browser. Zoom in so you can really see it up close and personal. Start counting. […]

Blog Exercises: Site Models

In “WordPress Site Models” I describe the three main formats for a site layout. They are static, blog, and hybrid. Each site model works for a variety of content and presentation of that content, though some work better for specific types of sites. A static site model, even in WordPress, uses Pages and not posts […]

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: Patterns in the Stats

As we proceed through this year of blogging tips and exercises, we’ll talk more about statistics and web analytics to help you check in with yourself that you are on the right track. Today’s blog exercise is to familiarize yourself with tracking your site’s stats, learning the key numbers and data to watch. I introduced […]

Blog Exersices: I Can Wish It Away But…

“I can wish it away but I can’t change it.” Those words jumped out of the radio. This was a politician talking about international trade regulations and laws in my state. It’s true that any governing body is ruled by other governing bodies in this bureaucratic world. It got me thinking about what I could […]

Blog Exercises: The Daily Social Meme

Did you know that there are specific memes for each day of the week in the blogosphere and social web? Today is your chance to play around with some of these themed days of the week in this blog exercise. A themed day, or meme, is a tradition of sorts. It involves publishing and sharing […]

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: Collect Your Quotes

I was sitting in a business conference listening to a speaker expound upon the many reasons why we must blog, and choked on my hot tea when I heard her say to the two hundred people in the audience, “Blog comments are mini resumes. Let them speak well of you.” In 2006, I wrote those […]

WordPress 3.6 Released – Update Now

The long awaited WordPress 3.6 is out and ready for download for self-hosted WordPress users. Those on WordPress.com or managed WordPress installs, you should not have to do anything. WordPress.com has been using many of the new features of WordPress 3.6 already and is automatically updated. Managed WordPress hosts will advise you as to a […]

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 […]

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