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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: Marketing Yourself as an Artist

A friend forwarded “99 Ways to Market Your Art” from Copyblogger. While it is targeted towards artists, it applies universally to bloggers – no matter what you are blogging about. You’re an artist — a writer, musician, illustrator, or dancer. Maybe you’re into doll sculpting, keepsake jewelry making, fashion photography, plain air painting, or composing […]

Blog Exercises: The Welcome Page

One of the many things I’d like to see gone on the web is the Welcome front page. Think about it this way. You invite friends over for a party. You greet everyone at the door with a full self-introduction, welcoming them to your place, instructing them on how to visit your home, telling them […]

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: Before the Blog

While researching memes for one of these blog exercises, I discovered a fascinating meme called Before the Blog. Started by YA Litwit, and not updated by the author since 2011, it is a meme designed for writers inviting them to review and recommend books from their past, “books you’ve read and loved BEFORE you started […]

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: Don’t Let Your Content Compete With Itself

I fear for what I’m about to say. Colored fonts are evil. I’m not talking about colored fonts in the website design, nor colored fonts in headings within your content. I’m talking about colorizing the words you are reading as you read, just because, and the because usually isn’t a good enough reason to make […]

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: 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 Exercise: When Was the Last Time You Got Personal

I walked into a friend’s home and found the fridge covered with refrigerator art from her seven year old. The traditional home often features such childhood artwork but this was extremely precious as the child has learning disabilities and drawing. The artwork was beautiful. I stood there transfixed at the crude scribbles, trying to find […]

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 […]

Blog Exercises: May Summary

Is is June already? Where did May go? If you joined us for these Blog Exercises in the month of May, we were a pretty busy lot. Time was spent on blog policies and security at the start of the month. I gave you assignments with tips on how to protect yourself by owning your […]

Blog Exercises: What Are You Missing?

Frogs redefine my thoughts about amphibians annually. As a child, spring was for tadpoles and summers were for frogs in the swamps, ponds, and ditches around my country ranch in the Pacific Northwest. Moving to Oregon’s Coastal Mountain range west of Portland, my winters are spent driving up the foothills like a crazy person, avoiding […]

Blog Exercises: Prepare for Summer

It’s Editorial Calender check-in and check up time. May is the shift from spring to summer. From blossoming flowers to green leafed trees casting shade, the weather is changing, bringing warmer days to the northern hemisphere and colder temperatures down under. For those of us living in the Pacific Northwestern United States, we are experiencing […]

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