Tag Archives: Blogging

How Often Should You Post?

Posting frequency is something you should think about whenever you start a blog. How much time do you have, and just as importantly, how many post ideas do you have? What length will most of your posts be, and how easy will they be to write? Consider these questions, and think about your posting frequency.

Decide how many days you should post in a week. Currently, I post daily here on Webmaster-Source, and there are some bloggers who take weekends off. Posts on Pro Blog Design tend to come out once a week, which plenty of blogs are doing now.

Posting less often gives you more time to work on posts, and it lets your posts collect more comments before they’re “not new anymore.” On the other hand, some people are online everyday and like to see new posts from their favorite blogs all the time.

Start Using Polls on Your Blog

Polls are a great way to solicit opinions, and add some community to your site.

With a poll, a user can just click a button to give you their two cents. Meanwhile, it takes a lot more effort to leave a comment. Which do you think your readers prefer? While comments allow them to say anything they want, polls enable a quick multiple-choice response (which can be very useful). Also, I’ve found that blog posts with attached polls tend to generate more comments.

Once you decide you need a poll, you need to actually add one. You have plenty of choices for implementing your poll. Here are a few of the better services/scripts:

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2007: Best Blogs About Blogging

I’ve read a lot of blogs in 2007. More than any other year probably. 2007 is the year I really got into blogging, and discovered social media sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. As a result, my list of subscribed RSS feeds has exploded and evolved.

My favorite blogs are about blogging, web design, and really anything about the internet. I also read some non-tech blogs (e.g. Harry Potter / fantasy blogs), but not as many as internet-blogs.

So what blogs about blogging did I enjoy the most this year?

Keep up the good work, everyone!

How Many Images is Too Many?

It depends. Theoretically, the less images on a page the better, as your pages will load faster (and put less strain on your server).

There are two types of images. There are template-level images and post-level images. Template-level images exist in your blog’s header/footer/sidebar template, and therefore appear on every page on your site. Post-level images are part of your content, and they belong to an individual posts.

In your template, you should have as little images as possible. When you create a design, you want to keep the essential images to a minimum. Use tiles, well-optimized image blocks, etc. As of this writing, this blog’s design consists of two images (the logo and the tiled edge image). Once you have your mock-up of the design, figure out the best way to break it up. You want as little images as possible, and you want to keep them as small (as in kilobytes) as you can.

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Permalink Optimization

If you’re reading this, you probably know what a permalink is. This article is about optimizing your permalinks for both search engines and your readers. That said, do not change your permalink structure if you can help it. If you’re starting a new blog, put a bit of thought into your permalink structure of choice. Otherwise, you should probably leave them alone. By changing your permalink structure, you’re basically killing off all of your search rankings and incoming links (kind of defeats the purpose). However, if you are an .htaccess expert (and feel like setting up a complex redirection scheme), you could update your permalink structure (though I’d still advise against it).

Some of the More Common Permalink Structures

WordPress’s default format for permalinks is http://www.yourdomain.com/?p=456. The number “456” is the numerical id for the post. If your permalinks look like this, then change them immediately. They’re not very user-friendly, and they won’t rank well in search engines. Even if you’ve been blogging for awhile, you can go ahead and change them. Doesn’t that contradict what I said earlier? No, because the default permalinks always work, and will just redirect people to the updated URL.

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I Read Your Post… Now What?

After I finish reading a post on your blog, you optimally want me to do at least one of the following:

  • Subscribe to your RSS feed.
  • Submit your post to a social bookmarking site.
  • Leave a comment.
  • Read another post.

It’s most likely that I won’t subscribe to your feed unless I find more than one good post on your site. Just reading one post isn’t going to get me to subscribe. I may Digg or Stumble the current post if it’s good, but you’ll have to shove more posts in my face if you want to get a new RSS subscriber.

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Renaming Your Blog

What if you decide to go in a different direction with your blog? It happens. What if everyone hates your blog’s name? Is your blog’s name too long?

It’s okay to rename your blog, but be sure to think it through. First of all, why would you want to rename it? Do you have valid reasons…or are you just bored with your blog? Don’t go through the hassle unless you have a need. For example:

  • You’re going in a different direction than when you started your blog, and the name doesn’t quite fit.
  • People are complaining about your domain being too long. If that’s the case, consider just getting an add-on domain and redirecting it to the normal one.
  • Your old domain has a bad reputation with search engines (which is common with “previously owned” domains).

There are plenty of reasons why you don’t want to change the name:

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WordPress as an Online Magazine

WordPress is more than a blog engine. It’s an easy-to-use CMS (Content Management System) perfect for running a “webzine.” I’m not a big fan of most CMS systems, though I’m a huge fan of WordPress. Joomla is too convoluted and Drupal isn’t that great either. I’m not going to go around the web bashing other CMSes right and left, but I do like to point out WordPress as a viable option for “non-blog” sites.

The Main Page

The main difference between a blog an a webzine is the index page. While the typical blog just shows the most recent posts, a webzine goes beyond that. There are a lot of ways to display content on the main page. Here are some examples of webzines:

Look around the internet. You’ll find no shortage of different “non-blog” index styles. Do you see how they are all similar? They highlight different types of content. “Featured” posts, “normal” posts, “news,” etc. Before you get into developing your webzine too much, map out the main page on paper. Decide what types of content you will have, and how you will display them on the main page.

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Schedule Your Posts

How do you blog currently? Do you just enter your post and hit publish? Sure, that works fine, but there’s a better way.

Most blog software includes a Time Stamp feature that allows you to write your post ahead of time and have it appear on your blog at a pre-scheduled time. Using this feature you can make blogging easier.

How often do you post something to your blog? Every day? Every other day? For simplicity, I’ll assume you post to your blog every day. What if you were unable to blog for a day (for whatever reason)? Some your readers wouldn’t like that too much. You can avoid that using the Time Stamp option.

At the beginning of the week, write a few posts and set them to post on the following days. Now you can do other things over the rest of the week. You can write more posts for the next week, you can work on some linkbait, or you could play Pirates of the Caribbean Online. :D

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Is it Time to Redesign Your Blog?

What is the current state of your blog’s design? Is it looking a bit old? Is your template full of junk you’ve added over the months? No matter how good a design is, it will age over time and possibly become stuffed full of cool widgets you found. That’s when redesigning comes in, whether it’s a drastic revamp or a simple clean-up of your existing design.

It might be time for a redesign if:

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