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Blog Exercises: Expanding Your Social Web Connections

“I’m following you because you are a Doctor Who fan.” I was stunned at those words. Yes, I’m a Doctor Who fan. I’m a fan of science fiction in general, but this year is an exceptional one for Doctor Who fans. It’s the 50th Anniversary of the first episode, a legendary event in television history. […]

Blog Exercises: Taking Inventory on What Keeps You Blogging

The recent major desktop computer crash has left me reeling. I thought I had all my data backed up. For the most part, I did. What I didn’t have backed up was my programs. Getting back up to speed fast, I’ve had to prioritize the programs I had download and install. Yes, download. Who gets […]

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: Learning From a Mentor Makes You Better

“What One of the World’s Great Novelists Learned About Writing from David Ogilvy” on Copyblogger tells the story of how famous author Salman Rushdie learned copywriting and writing in general from another great copywriter, David Ogilvy. Imagine it’s your job to convey the taste of a chocolate bar in just one word. And by the […]

Blog Exercises: Push Your Writing Forward

Blogging is about writing. Let’s not forget that. And now is the time to test your writing skills. The Tomorrow Project by The Society for Science and the Public is promoting contest for a science fiction story about the kind of future you want to live in when the future comes to call. They are […]

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: Choose an Appropriate Gravatar for Your Readers

All WordPress sites have Gravatars integrated into the core. Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars, images that represent you in blog posts comments, featured author images (integrated with Gravatars), author images, BuddyPress, and other Gravatar-enabled features. Near the beginning of this year of blog exercises, you were asked to add or update your Gravatar to represent […]

Blog Exercises: Blog Your Favorite Song

It all began the day I found That from my window I could only see A piece of sky. I stepped outside and looked around. I never dreamed it was so wide Or even half as high. The time had come to try my wings And even though it seemed at any moment I could […]

Blog Exercises: You Shouldn’t Have Started with a Question If You Didn’t Want it Answered

In the movie, Big Fish, the son tries to describe to his father how little he knows him. Will Bloom: You know about icebergs, dad? Senior Ed Bloom: Do I? I saw an iceberg once. They were hauling it down to Texas for drinking water. They didn’t count on there being an elephant frozen inside. […]

Blog Exercises: Who Do Others Think You Are?

Today’s blog exercise was inspired by Kathy Holmes in her post, “Who are you today?” Lorelle’s “What Makes You Special?” blog exercise links to “Who the Hell Are You?” and both got me to thinking, not only about who I am, but who I am today and who people perceive me to be. Some people […]

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: 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 […]

Blog Exercises: If You Don’t Make Mistakes, You’ll Never Learn

I’ve long believed that if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t learning. That philosophy is part of what these blog exercises are about. I want you to stumble. I want you to destroy your site. I want you to make a mess of everything because that is how you learn. How did I learn what […]

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 […]

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