Blogging, portfolio, personal website tips and how-to

How-Tos

A post, about posting.

Someone recently asked me for tips on personal, public blogging. Here’s what Iwrote in 10 minutes. I’ll update as I think of more.

My short answer for public (Google searchable) WordPress type blogs is:

  • Most important: Make your site usable by humans. Blogs are a visual medium that is usually experienced alone, find out what users are experiencing. Test with friends and family, on computers and phones, and listen to patterns of agreement from testers.
  • Make good links, and lots of them. Never make a link that is “Click here” and never “http://…” but instead Descriptive links that tell the user where they are going such as here’s my blog calebclark.org which is in constant disarray. Or if you must use (link) like Boing Boing sometimes does.
  • Study a few top-ranked blogs in your area. http://technorati.com/blogs/directory/
  • Design should not overshadow your content, unless you are a designer.
  • Write original short posts, with fact and typo checked content.
  • Use more bullet and numbered lists, and shorter paragraphs, then you would for print.
  • In a long post, use headers and/or bold, but sparingly.
  • Study CRAP design principals (Book | Deck). Colors, design and navigation choices send messages! Know what they are.
  • Include graphics, photos and embedded videos whenever possible.
  • Save posts as Drafts. Schedule ahead of time for publication. This enables you to have regular posts over breaks and lapses in creativity and motivation.
  • Fill in Tags with the same key words about your over all blog, and a few words about that specific blog post.
  • Fill in all “Alt” spaces on graphics for blind people, ADA compliance, and SEO
  • Only use clear, well sized graphics and photos that are not breaking copyright, and sourced when needed.
  • Own your words
  • Support the Creative Commons
  • Answer comments
  • And remember, blogging is like exercise – It’s easy to do conceptually and technically. Very few actually do it consistently. Many try in fits and starts. Almost everyone will tell you they don’t do enough.

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