Skip navigation

Category Archives: Blog Exercises

Formerly “Blog Challenges,” this is an ongoing collection of exercises to flex your blogging muscles. You can tackle these from the beginning or in any order. The rules are simple.

1) Have fun but work hard. These are called exercises for a reason.

2) If the exercise calls for publishing a post, create a “hat tip” link to the exercise post on my site. This causes a trackback, which invites people to check out your article. If your blogging platform does not support trackbacks, get a new one or post the link in a comment.

3) These blog exercises, tips, tricks, and techniques are offered for free. If you’d like me to check out your site, consider hiring me for a site review as I do this for a living and I need to pay the mortgage. :D

4) Suggestions are always welcome. Leave a comment on one of the posts or use my Contact form.

Enjoy!

Blog Exercises: Ingredients of a Well-Designed Site

I was asked by a student in my WordPress class recently what defined a “professional blog,” one that met all the criteria for a well-designed, well-formed site that met web standards. What a marvelous question! We brainstormed all the elements that make up a web standard site, and mixed in personal preferences of the students […]

Blog Exercises: I Don’t Have Any Comments

I hear this complaint frequently from new and long time bloggers. “I don’t have any comments. How can I get more comments?” First of all, let me explain something. You don’t want comments. Yes, that’s right. You do not want comments. At least not comments from anyone. If you just want comments, be content with […]

Blog Exercises: Unfinished Business

In this ongoing series called Blog Exercises, let’s tackle your UFOs. In quilting and sewing, UFO stands for Unfinished Objects. We all have them, in our work, our personal lives, and on our blog. Do you have a to do list hanging around your desk or locked in your phone regarding your blog? It’s time […]

Blog Exercises: Life Happens While Making Other Plans

“Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans.” In this ongoing series of Blog Exercises, I’ve covered much about the philosophy of blogging, and the challenges that come with blogging over time. One of the most common excuses to pause or stop blogging is “life happens.” Examples include: Blog Exercises: Self-Control […]

Blog Exercises: Define Your Community

In this Blog Exercise, it is time to start building a community around your blog. If you have one, it’s time to re-evaluate it to ensure you keep it. We will start with defining your community. Your blog topic should give you a clear indication about demographics of your online community, but it might not […]

Blog Exercises: Why We Dig

In the October issue of The Christian Science Monitor, I found this from John Yemma, Monitor Editor: Why we dig, and what we may find Sometimes a portal opens into the world of legend. A stone is rolled away from an Egyptian tomb revealing a 3,300 year old Pharaoh’s power and wealth. A Roman city […]

Blog Exercises: Where You Came From

Inspired by these blog exercises, Janet Williams of Janet’s Notebook has been taking her readers on a journey back through time and space, exploring her family’s Chinese heritage from her little corner of the south of England. Her “Letters from China” have evolved from a few posts to an entire series, and eventually, I hope, […]

Blog Exercises: I Don’t Trust That Site

I recommended an article to a student and they said they didn’t trust that site, thus shed doubt on my personal integrity. I asked why. “Because it’s on Blogspot.” Wow. I have to say that wasn’t the answer I expected. I didn’t expect someone, not web savvy in the least, would associate a blogger on […]

Blog Exercises: How to Create a Blogger Identity

A rebroadcast of “How Much Does Your Name Matter?” from Freakonomics Radio looked at the impact of a name on society, perception, prejudice, and ability to succeed. Indeed, there is some evidence that a name can influence how a child performs in school and even her career opportunities. There’s also the fact that different groups […]

Blog Exercises: Why Oh Why Ask Why?

Why? Why ask why? Because it is there. Why is probably the first question out of many children’s mouths. Why does it do that? Why do you do that? Why is it that color? Why does it make that noise? Why, oh, why, oh, why? Why say why? Because it is there. We want to […]

Blog Exercises: Making Notifications and Alerts Work for You

In the blog exercise on eliminating noisy distractions from your computer, mobile phone, and other areas around your working environment, I wanted you to remove the things that interfere with your blogging time and space, with your creative energies. I wanted you to identify what is getting in your way that you might not be […]

Blog Exercises: Eliminate Distracting Notifications and Alerts

I don’t know how it happened but my new smartphone decided to change my notification settings and now my day is punctuated constantly with peeps, gongs, pings, and beeps. Such noises might not be blogging related, nor appropriate for these blogging exercises – they are alerts to the business of blogging and tremendous distractions. These […]

Blog Exercises: Time Management for Professional Bloggers

My friend, timethief, has done it again with “12 Time Management Tips for Top Blogging Performance,” the inspiration for this blog exercise. Scheduling enough time for creating original content, promoting it, answering comments, reading and leaving comments on other blogs is not an easy feat. Few bloggers I know are able to blog full time. […]

Blog Exercises: If You Wouldn’t Do It In Public, Would You Do It Online?

If you wouldn’t do it in public, would you do it online? Unfortunately for many, the answer is a resounding YES! However, most of us have some…whatever you call it…oh, yeah, class, ethics, moral fiber, manners – etiquette. I’m not the Dear Abby of social norms, but I’m first in line to tell you that […]

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 […]