Creating a Blog that is User-friendly

I’ve learned a lot about blogging since January 2011, when this blog came to life. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it and completed major renovations countless times. Sometimes I made these changes because I was bored with the site; other times I learnt how to improve the appearance and ‘saleability’ of it.

Along the way, I have strived to make the blog design user-friendly. After all, if visitors can’t find what they want and what I want them to find, it frustrates both parties. I’ve been on blogs and websites where information was difficult to locate. I usually give up and search for another site with the same information.

I hope my blog is user-friendly and things are easy to find, but I’m always looking for ways to improve the experience. So when D. Wallace Peach made a post entitled 7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog, I had to see if there were any tips I could use.

There were, so if you have a blog, I suggest reading her post. Visually, it might not improve your page, but the behind-the-scenes technical stuff will improve a visitor’s experience.

El Camino

hiking shoesAfter watching the movie The Way, I’ve decided to walk El Camino in spirit first while I wait for the opportunity to go to Spain. My trek of 880 kilometres will be tracked on my El Camino page. I’ve been walking since the end of May, but I didn’t start keeping track of the distance until July 1st.

So far, I’ve walked 95 km. I just left Puente la Reina, and I am on my way to Mañeru. So far, my feet feel great–especially with the new hiking shoes. However, my tendinitis is not improving. On the bright side, it’s not getting any worse.

WordPress is Junk to New Users

If I was new on the scene and looking for a host for my first blog, I’d run from WordPress as fast as my feet would carry me. It’s junk today compared to what it was when I first started in January 2011. Back then, it was easy to navigate, everything was right there in the left margin and I could conveniently find my way with the drop-down menus.

If I had trouble performing a task, a quick google search for the information cleared the fog instantly.

My philosophy is, if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it. However, in this tech world, companies are always updating and changing things usually for the worse. It’s as if it’s a competition: how many things can I change this week?

Because I’m grandfathered into WordPress, I can use the old-style menu of 2011. So, I’ll stick around with WordPress for the unforeseeable future.

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Adding Twitter to Your Blog Posts

Throught of the DayIn the past few months, I’ve visited a lot of blogs, more so than usual. I’m trying to be more social because for a while there, I wasn’t getting out much.

When I read a good post, I like to inform the writer that I liked it. LIKE buttons allow me to do this with little effort.

Sometimes I like to comment on the post, so I do. But I’ll tell you, some blogs make me jump through hoops to get that comment added. A few make me do it twice. There’s one blog I never comment on anymore because I have no idea how to get it right the first time. It is frustrating to write a comment only to have it disappear without a trace while I am answering math questions or figuring out those wavy letters to let the host know I am not a robot.

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Don’t Get Burned with Copyright Misuse

New FlashDo you know where all the photos come from that you use to spice up your blogs?

Some of you may have noticed my sparse visits around blogtown and social media these past few days. That was because I’ve been a busy beaver, trying to protect myself from FURTHER copyright infringement. Yes, you read correctly – further.

We’ve all read enough articles on the perils of copyright infringement, but do we understand the rules completely when it comes to adding photos to our blogs?

Apparently, I thought I was adhering to the rules, but Thursday morning I woke up to an email sent to me from Creative Commons, telling me that I was being fined for unlawfully having used a photo which was posted on one of my blogs.

…to continue reading this post by D. G. Kaye, go to her post Listen Up! – #5 Tips to Protect Yourself from #Copyright #Infringement.

Monthly Roundup of Accomplishments

Monthly Roundup of AccomplishmentsAs I mentioned on the last day of January, at the end of each month I will make a note of everything I’ve accomplished during the previous four weeks. February held only 28 days as opposed to January’s awesome 31 days, so I had three less days to work with. Still, because of my Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days challenge, I feel I have accomplished a lot.

So what did I accomplish in February?

I wrote 17 posts for this blog; that’s 6 more than January. The majority of them—15 blogs—were written for the Publishing 101 challenge. In case you missed one, the list of posts with links can be found on the Publishing101 page.

One post in February was an off-the-cuff take on the philosophy of some English teachers that “Said is Dead?” Obviously said is not dead, but alive and well and should be thoroughly put through its paces.

The other post not involving Publishing 101 paid tribute to a wonder singer and song writer we lost in 2013: National Stompin’ Tom Connors Day. Every February 9th (Tom’s birthday), I’ll mark this special occasion.

I wrote and edited four Roots to the Past Genealogy columns. Besides the usual Tuesday snippet of the current week’s newspaper column, I added one post written by me to Roots to the Past Blog and reblogged a few posts written by others. My Diane Tibert blog kept me busy in February, so this blog was slightly neglected. Whoops, no negative remarks on the Monthly Roundup.

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My Other Venues…er interests

5x5duckinbucketlunes marzo 11, 2013

This blog—Diane Tibert, dreamer—doesn’t get updated as much as it used to. That doesn’t mean I’m not working behind the scenes, writing posts, reading, writing fiction and nonfiction or doing other things. It simply means this blog doesn’t get the attention it usually received, back when I was writing the marathon.

There was a time when I’d post two or three times a week to this blog, twice to my Roots to the Past blog and once each to Diane Lynn McGyver and Moon Meadow (the blog about my homestead).

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Making the Biggest Impact in the Shortest Amount of Time

Social networksA friend of mine is a little overwhelmed by all the things writers need to do to market a book in this ever-expanding, ever-changing publishing world. To be honest, I am too most days. It seems each month there is a new social media being toted as the next best place to…to find readers who will buy your book. Blogging, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Shelfari…and the list goes on

My advice to her was to choose two social media platforms and do a great job on them, instead of exhausting her time and energy promoting herself poorly through six different venues. Aim for quality not quantity. This is particularly important if you have never used a social medium before. Start small and slowly build a web presence.

When writers feel comfortable on two networks, they can branch out into a third if they feel it’s right for them.

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