A Facebook friend wrote recently:
I hope all is well on your side. I enjoy reading your blog, as I once worked in [the print] sector. I am more interested now in becoming an interactive producer.
I was interested in starting a blog on all that is digital: written, social networking and broadcasting — things that interest me. I was just looking for tips on making a decent blog and also tips on doing it on a regular [schedule].
Y’know, In all the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never posted blogging tips. So perhaps it’s time I did.
Frankly, I didn’t know how to blog myself, when I started. For the longest time, I pretty much stumbled my way around.
Let’s start with a little backgroundâ€¦
HOW I GOT STARTED BLOGGING
Way back in 2003, the American Press Institute hired me to keep a blog during the land war in Iraq. They wanted me to write about running a graphics department during wartime and to touch on some of the resources that other graphics departments might find useful.
First thing I had to do — seriously — was to look up the definition of the word “blog.” I wasn’t familiar with the term.
Best I could tell, a “blog” was basically what we print folks think of as a column. I had written a weekly column for my college newspaper — way back in the early 1980s — so I had a pretty good idea of how grueling it can be to constantly be coming up with ideas and having to hit a deadline.
But I agreed to write the “blog” and I did muddle through it, somehow. In fact, I received quite a few compliments on my work for API. I had to admit, though, I was relieved when the gig was over.
For what it’s worth, those blog entries — amazingly enough — are still online at API:
So a couple of years later, my pal Robb Montgomery suggested I take all the articles I was posting on the old VisualEditors.com bulletin board and put them into blog format instead, where they’d be easier for my audience to find and probably easier for me to write. For the longest time, I resisted — I simply didn’t want to invest the kind of time it’d take to do a blog well, and I also had no real interest in being associated with what was becoming known as the “blogosphere.”
Eventually, though — in February 2007 — Robb talked me into it. And it worked out OK.
Well, more than OK, actually. Readership is a lot higher than I would have thought and it just keeps going up. Even when I changed platforms this summer — from VizEds to ACES — I thought it’d take a long, long time for my audience to build up again. That didn’t happen. My webmaster — Dan Hunt of the Orange County Register – tells me my numbers are insanely high and that my hosts are excited about the traffic I’m bringing their way.
I’m glad they’re delighted with my work. And I’m delighted with the response I get from my readers. Although I have to admit, much of the time I find myself wondering why so many people are interested in what I have to say.
I never really set out to become a spokesperson or anything for visual journalism. It just kind of evolved.
Now that I’m here and I have a track record, however, I’d like to make sure I use this newfound super-power for good and not for evil, y’know?
So that’s my background. Now, on with some tipsâ€¦
1. HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY
The No. 1 most important thing a blogger should have? Something worthwhile to say.
Sure, you need a topic: In my case, visual journalism. In your case, that might be interactive journalism. Or — to cite some of my favorite blogs — sports uniforms. Or insider observations of the entertainment business. Or astronomy. Or journalism itself.
In addition to expertise in your field — an obvious enough of a requirement — you’ll also need contacts. You’ll want to write about notable work being done in your field. It’s a lot easier to get info out of these folks if they know you or your work.
But again, it’s not enough to simply report that stuff happens in your field. You have to have something to say about it.
Here in my blog, for example, I have a number of threads that run beneath the surface of many of my posts. For example:
- Visual journalism is more than just decorating pages. It’s important we understand content, that we contribute and report content whenever we can. Content is the most important aspect of everything we do.
- On a big breaking news day when you have fabulous photos, run them big and get the hell out of their way.
- Small papers can do great work, too. It’s not always about who has the most resources. It’s about who has the best ideas.
- It’s important to occasionally have some fun on our pages. Readers like to be caught off-guard; to be surprised and delighted — as well as informed — on some days.
- Downsizing of newsroom staffs is a bad thing. We need to be investing in more journalism and in better journalism, not cutting back in ways that diminish the quality of the product we lay before our readers.
- Visual ethics are important. Our products mean nothing if the public can’t trust us.
Stuff like that. That’s really what my blog is about. While not every post touches on all those bases, I’d like to think I’ve been fairly successful in sticking to these points over the years.
So before you begin blogging, you might want to put some thought into coming up with, say, three (or five or eight) basic principles. And then, over time — as you write in your blog — try to honor those principles. You’ll find you make a greater impact on your field and on your colleagues that way.
a) Don’t list too many principles. The longer your list, the less likely you are to service each item.
b) Consider coming up with tags or categories on your homepage that allow readers to quickly access each post that falls under that topic. You see mine, there, on the left side of my homepage.
2. POST OFTEN. AND STICK WITH IT.
New blogs are being created all the time, all over the world. Most, however, don’t make them into their second or third month before they’re abandoned and left to die. The bloggers simply run out of steam.
Blogging is hard work. It’s just like working for a newspaper — or, yes, like writing a column. You have to post and post often. If you don’t, then you’ll never attract an audience.
Some bloggers post every day. Some post weekly. Either is fine. But it’s important to find a rhythm that works for you — and for your audience — and then stick to it.
When I started out, I felt great if I posted three or four times a week. Now, I try to post that many times a day. For example: Over the first 15 days of this month, I posted 68 separate items. That’s an average of 4.53 items a day.
A pace like that is unsustainable. And, in fact, over the five days since then, I’ve posted only six items in total, not counting this one. But hey, for a while there, news was breaking and I had the time to blog. So I did.
Generally speaking, though, the more you post, the more often folks will come back to see what new stuff you’ve posted.
Of course, the material has to be good. But you know that already. More about that in a moment.
I have a friend who has a great message and a great angle for a blog. His problem? He posts maybe once every other month. Folks might see his blog and enjoy his article. But they’ll come back a few days later for a fresh post and they won’t find one. A few days later, they might check again and again, they’ll come away disappointed.
Maybe they’ll keep the bookmark and maybe they’ll check it periodically. But maybe they won’t.
So then — two or three months later — my friend posts a new article and he might wonder why his blog traffic is so dismal. He’d have a lot more success in bringing readers back if he were posting with some degree of frequency — some degree of regularity.
If you wanted to, you could turn this a scheduled thing. For example:
- You might post a roundup of interesting events in your field on Mondays.
- On Wednesdays, you might post a Q&A with an industry professional or examine a nice piece of work done recently. Or you might write an essay on a topic of interest in your field.
- Fridays, you could post something fun: A photo essay or something more personal. Call it Phun Phriday or something silly like that.
That way, your readers would understand there’s a pattern to what you’re doing and they’d know to check in with you three times a week. At least.
What you don’t want to do, however, is post three times one week and then take a month off. And then post, say, five times over two weeks. And then post nothing at all for two weeks. And so on. If you do this — and most blogs do this, I’m afraid — then I can almost guarantee you won’t attract much of an online following.
So regularity and frequency. Important qualities for a blogger.
a) You know those infamous birthday posts I’ve posted over the years? Here’s the story behind them: Those started out as filler!
Yes, I began fretting when I didn’t have any content at all on some days. I’ve always maintained a list of birthdays of my closest friends and colleagues. Somehow, I hit on the idea of expanding on that list.
At the time, there was a tool on VizEds that allowed me to look up birthdays. I started out with the most frequent VizEds bulletin board users and went from there. Next thing I knew, I had a sizable list.
And then Facebook came along. And — zoom! — the birthdays thing kind of took off. And very nearly got out of hand.
Every once in a while, I’d think about throttling these back. But then I’d get a quick note — typically from Richard Curtis — telling me how much he loves the birthday posts. And I’d keep them alive a little longer.
I write my birthday posts in batches, and sometimes as much as three or four weeks in advance. (And sometimes, I have to perform major surgery on them right after I post them!) Here’s what was stacked up in my advance que, as of last night.
Now, they’ve kind of become a tradition. Plus, I keep running across people who tell me they’ve made a contact with someone as a result of a birthday post. So if nothing else, I’d argue they’ve become a networking resource for the visual journalism industry.
But admittedly, that wasn’t by design. They came about simply because I was a little paranoid about not getting fresh content each day.
b) By the way, have you ever wondered why your birthday isn’t listed in the blog? It’s only because I don’t know when your birthday is. Believe me, if you’re a visual journalist — or a copy editor or a journalism professor or in any number of related fields — then I’d be happy to add you to my list. Drop me an e-mail or “friend” me on Facebook.
c) Occasionally, you’ll be reading a blog and you’ll come across a sentence like this: Well, it’s been a while since my last post! Things have been crazy around here!
If you find yourself posting that sentence — or a variation of it — time and time again, then do your readers a favor and consider not blogging.
Hey, there’s no shame in being too busy to blog. If you don’t have the time to do it right, though, consider not doing it at all. A blogger who spreads his links around but doesn’t contribute any content is just a part of the deafening roar of background noise on the web.
3. SHOW A LITTLE PERSONALITY
My regular readers know I do a lot of teaching, consulting and free-lance work. But they also know:
- I’ve been hunting for a visual management job for a while, now.
- They know I have a wife — not just a wife, but a “long-suffering” wife — and a teenaged daughter.
- They know I’m a science fiction fan in general and a Star Trek fan in particular.
- They know I collect action figures. In particular, Star Trek action figures.
- They know I travel a lot and that I’ve acquired a number of “travel mishap” stories over the years.
If you’re writing a professional blog, you don’t want to write about yourself all the time. But occasionally, you should put yourself into your blog.
Folks come back to read your blog because they enjoy reading — or are enlightened by — your take on things. Over the course of months and years, this repeated exposure to your brain causes your regular readers begin to understand a little about how that brain works (and in the case of my brain, that’s a frightening thought for you all).
Therefore, it’s a nice change of pace to occasionally show yourself at work. Or talk about something that happened on your way to work or to school today. Or just something that caught your fancy. Especially if there is some lesson about your industry that can be drawn from the story.
A warning, though: This can be overdone. If you do too much of this, you’re no longer entertaining and congenial, you’re just self-aggrandizing.
I often worry that I’m overdoing this in my own blog. Folks I respect assure me I’m doing OK. But I do worry about it. A lot.
a) Jim Hopkins of the Gannett Blog used to humanize his work by posting video of himself, once a week or so. That help put a face on his byline. Think of it as Branding 2.0.
b) Make sure you include a mug shot of yourself, a link to your e-mail address and a link to a page where your readers can find a detailed biography.
c) If you have hobbies or interests — and who doesn’t? — don’t be afraid to set up a page somewhere with links specifically geared to your hobbies.
d) I used to get so much feedback on my various trips around the U.S. that I began posting “travelogue” items — they didn’t have anything to do with visual journalism; they were just quick glimpses of the cities and towns I’d pass through.
The response to those pieces was pretty decent, so I began making them more and more elaborate. Until the ultimate last year: A large series of posts on South Africa, during my extended stay there. I had a hard time believing that most of my readers cared anything about South Africa. But they did.
The lesson here: You never know what will catch the eye of your readers. So touch on anything that seems interesting, concentrate on telling your stories well — no matter what the stories may be — and be flexible enough to shift gears if your audience responds with enthusiasm.
4. INTERACT WITH YOUR READERS
One thing I don’t like about a blog is that it’s an awful lot like old-school technology: I’m up here on my mountain and I’m preaching to all you folks, sitting there in a circle at my feet. Just like the Sermon on the Mount. Or like broadcasting from behind a desk on national TV. Or like writing a column.
This doesn’t seem to honor the principle of Web 2.0, in which there is more interaction and more discussion than what we, as an industry, fostered in the past. And for which a lot of journalism futurists tell us we should be striving.
A bulletin board or social networking format would seem better suited for this sort of thing. However — as we found on the old VisualEditors message boards — a great many readers prefer a more passive experience. For some reason I don’t fully understand, many folks would rather read than participate.
Yet, it’s important to draw participation out of your audience. Ask them questions. Encourage comments. Embed polls into your posts (something I have yet to try).
Me, blogging in: (clockwise, from upper left) Orlando,
Aug. 2006; Manila, March 2007; Boston, Oct. 2007;
Johannesburg, Oct. 2009. And YES, that shirt WAS
washed — at LEAST once — between March and
October of 2007.
For years, I made the mistake of not replying to comments. My feeling was: I said my piece in my blog post and now, in the comments, I’ll shut up and give my readers a chance to speak out.
However, it’s more important you answer questions that come up in the comments of your posts. Thank folks for their observations or participation. If someone makes a point, ask them a follow-up question.
It took me the longest time to figure this out myself. And I still don’t quite do it enough.
a) Here in the blog, any first-time commenter must have his comment approved by me. Once you’ve had two or three comments approved, my blogging software assumes I trust you and your comments go up directly. An automatically-generated e-mail containing your comment comes my way, however, just to keep me posted.
Some bloggers prefer to put all comments on moderation. Depending on your work load and the number of comments you get — and the nature of those comments — that might be the way to go. The system I use currently is what works best for me right now.
b) I wish more readers would comment and participate. But some readers prefer not to appear in your comments — they prefer to comment via e-mail or Facebook or Twitter or even LinkedIn. I’ve received comments via each of those.
It’s your job as a blogger to accommodate your readers, regardless of where they might be — or from what platform they prefer to use. More about that shortly.
c) At my old blog at VizEds, there was a little section — at the bottom right of my home page — where you could see just the comments. In three-plus years, I never heard much buzz about that tool. So when Dan put together this new blog page, I had him leave out that feature.
Did any of you longtime blog readers use that tool? Do any of you miss it? If so, please speak up.
d) One of the most common questions I get in my new blog is something along the lines of: Why do you let HIM comment?
Yes, I let “him” comment: Robert Knilands — or “Wenalway,” he calls himself here in the blog. Robert has made a huge name for himself, over the years, complaining — often quite bitterly — about news design and, in particular, newspaper designers.
Frankly, I was curious to see what Robert would say once he got past some of the kinds of comments that I considered out-of-bounds: Personal attacks and so on. So rather than simply ban all his comments from my blog — which I had done in the past — I set him up for permanent comment moderation.
Every comment he posts, I read first. Anything I consider uncool, I spike. My pledge: I’ll never attempt to edit his comments. Either I spike them or approve them. That’s the deal.
And it seems to me — perhaps this is the case or perhaps it’s just my imagination — that, over time, Robert has moderated his language just a bit. I’m finding that I rarely have to spike his comments any more.
Yes, I still think Robert is awfully negative at times. But I’m finding more and more of his comments not only interesting, but sometimes downright fascinating. And occasionally funny as hell.
I’m grateful he’s participating here in the new blog.
e) One of the things Robert is great about pointing out are typos in the blog.
Although my host site — ACES — is a copy-editing web site, I am not a copy editor, nor would anyone in their right mind hire me to be one. Yeah, I suck at copy editing — and especially at copy-editing my own work.
If you spot a typo — or any other kind of error, for that matter — in my blog, please let me know. If you’re feeling generous, make it a private e-mail. If not, then post a comment. Either way, I’ll fix it as soon as I can.
I loved all the copy editors who took such good care of me over the past 25 years. Not having a copy desk to keep me from looking stupid is one of the big drawbacks of being a blogger.
5. LINK AND AGGREGATE
Way too many bloggers spend way too much time worrying about search engine optimization and page views.
I say phooey to that. Worry first about serving your target audience with great content. Let the page views and the SEO take care of themselves. Or, at the least, take care of them later on.
Within reason, I mean. There are some things you can do to to help these things.
For example, you may have noticed that I maintain a lengthy list of links in my “blogroll,” on the right side of my page. If you link to good, healthy sites — and if they link to you — then this might help your SEO.
That’s not why I provide these links, however. I do it as a public service. I truly want to have the most thorough and complete listing of notable web sites and Twitter feeds in the visual journalism business. The SEO thing is just a happy accident for me.
Same thing with aggregation. Hey, I love to break news in my blog. But if someone else has it first, I don’t mind that, either. As long as the news gets out. I can always write just one or two sentences about what happened, give my quick take on it — or not — and then link to the site that broke the news. You’ve seen me do this a number of times, over the years, with SportsDesigner, Mark Evanier‘s blog and the SND web site.
This way, you make your blog the No. 1 site to visit for news in your business. If it’s news, then you have it. If you don’t have it, then you still have it — because you’re letting folks know it happened and then you’re sending them to where they can read the whole story.
Don’t let any big story happen in your field without noting it and linking to it. Whether or not you want to offer your opinion is beside the point. Write it and link it. Aggregate.
And if you happen to find a fresh angle for a comment for your blog, then that’s just gravy.
a) SEO numbers scare me. And for good reason: They often tell me stuff about my blog — or my blog audience — that I might prefer not to know.
b) Having said this, I’m treated very, very well by the search engines. Probably better than I deserve.
I have Google Alerts posted on a variety of key words and phrases — just one of my many newsgathering tools. One of those phrases happens to be my name: Just so I can keep up with folks who repost my stories or when I get mention in a prominent blog or web site.
However, it happens once a week or so, that I’ll post something new in the blog and — just ten minutes or so later — I’ll receive a Google Alert containing my own nameâ€¦ and showing me my brand new post.
c) There’s a whole science to SEO. And I question worrying too much about it.
I’m not saying that SEO is bad or that the science involved is invalid. I’m simply saying that I’ve gone out of my way to not worry about SEO. Yet, the search engines have found me anyway.
6. REACT TO THE NEWS
Again: When news breaks in your field, write about it immediately. Aggregate it and link to it. Immediately.
And then try to come up with some clever follow.
The best example I can cite was when the Rocky Mountain News shut down last year. This came on the heels of a big bunch of layoffs. I had compiled a number of tips and links that I was sending out to my friends who suddenly found themselves out of work.
I was freshening up the links in order to e-mail them to my pals in Denver when it suddenly occurred to me: Hey, dumbass: Why don’t you just put this in your blog?
So I spent a lot of time pulling together a much, much larger version of my e-mail. I fired off urgent requests to certain folks for tips on coping with layoffs and I asked them to rush their replies back to me. I spent an all-nighter on this.
The result was something that was perhaps my finest moment as a blogger: My guide for laid-off journalists.
This piece has been linked to frequently, cited by a number of papers and trade organizations. The Society for News Design even asked me to create a print version for its quarterly magazine, Design. Which I was glad to do, of course.
So if something happens in your field, aggregate and link. And then ask someone who used to work there for their reaction. Go back and ask folks involved in whatever happened for a Q&A. You can follow a day or two later with a fresh take.
Basically, this is the same sort of thing we do in our “real” journalism jobs. Why not bring the technique to your blog?
a) Don’t feel bad about linking. This is just a facet of our medium. Go for it.
b) Likewise, don’t feel bad when you actually break news and then everyone else links to you. Sometimes you’ll get credit for breaking the news and sometimes you’ll feel like you’ve been ripped off.
Don’t feel bad about that, either. If this never happens to you, then you’re not doing it right.
c) Having said that: I always get a charge when Jim Romenesko links to me. I’ll go months between appearances in Jim’s blog at Poynter.org, but then he’ll turn around and link to me twice in one week.
Everyone has their gold standard. Romenesko is mine.
d) These days, being linked to from a blog might not result in nearly as much traffic as a Twitter link going viral. Which brings up my next tip…
7. USE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES WISELY
I dislike Twitter. One-hundred-and-forty characters just doesn’t leave enough space for a long-winded guy like me to express myself.
But man, Twitter is one powerful device. It took me a good year or so to fully understand how to use it.
I signed up for Twitter in early 2009 began tweeting my blog headlines and links. It generated a bit of traffic. Not a lot, though. I began to wonder if it was worth the time I was putting into it.
Over time — as I gradually added to the list of people I follow — I noticed something interesting. I’d see stories and web pages and blog posts popping up via Twitter — and here’s the important part — hours or days before I saw them elsewhere.
My mistake was that I was using it only as a tool to get the word out. It hadn’t occurred to me that its real value was in bringing the word in. In the form of leads for stories or blog posts.
Once upon a time, I got a lot of information from Jim Romenesko’s blog at Poynter. Wanting to give credit where credit was due, I’d mention him in my posts and link back to him.
But these days, you don’t seem me mention Jim anymore. It’s not that I don’t give him credit. It’s that Jim — as much as I love him — is simply no longer the first thing I read every morning. The first thing I do every morning is go through my Twitter feed.
Folks who live and breathe Twitter are almost cult-like in their devotion to the speedy dissemination of information. So I find tips on Twitter, I follow the link and I write it up. I’ll sometimes get my blog post up before Romenesko gets his posted and sometimes not. But often, it won’t be for hours, yet, that I’ll discover Jim even blogged about it.
This goes for cool articles about visual journalism. This goes for interesting front pages and links to multimedia graphics or videos. Sometimes, I even get tips about job changes on Twitter — although most of those tips tend to come via Facebook.
Many of the folks who use Twitter are what we call “early adopters” — the kids who were always a step or two quicker to jump on the next big thing. So if you want your blog to be ahead of the curve — as opposed to behind it — seek out the very best and brightest and fastest Twitter users and the most compulsive story-linkers and follow them. Religiously.
And make sure you give them a tip of the hat when you write about something they tweeted. Readers love seeing their own name in your blog.
All this applies to Facebook as well. I tend to get more breaking news stuff from Twitter and more featurey, off-beat stuff from Facebook. A good blog, of course, will contain a mix of each.
And yes, this also applies to LinkedIn. If you’re not getting an occasional story tip or two via LinkedIn, then you’re probably not linked in to quite enough people yet. Expand your network. That’s what it’s there for.
a) Once you get your blog cranked up, you’ll want to create a fan page for your blog on Facebook. My hope was to use mine to pull in more feedback from my readers and to give readers a tiny “behind the scenes” look at my work — kind of like the commentary on a DVD, perhaps, except not quite as elaborate.
However, I’ve not been very successful in actually doing much of this. I’ve asked my Facebook blog fans what I should be doing differently and, without fail, they say: We like what you’re doing now.
That’s a good thing, I suppose. But not quite what I was expecting.
My blog’s Facebook fan page is still a work in progress, I suppose. Find it here.
b) One thing I’ve noticed Twitter users hate is hearing folks say they hate Twitter. So if you dislike that medium as much as I, please don’t make the same mistake I’ve done. Kiss Twitter‘s ass. Whatever. Just don’t talk as much trash as I have about it.
c) Post links and info linking back to your blog on Twitter and Facebook. But be careful how much original material you post at either of those. Both platforms have, at times, claimed ownership or copyrights of photos or text posted to them.
Your blog content is your content, not Mark Zuckerberg‘s or Evan Williams‘. The tools they built should be used for your benefit, not theirs. Don’t let either of those gasbags forget it, either.
d) By the way, feel free to link or follow me via any of these social media:
8. HAVE SOME FUN WITH IT
Make no mistake, writing a good blog is a lot of work. But still, you need to find ways to have some fun. Drop in a little humor now and then (along with the personality we spoke about in No. 3).
Or, in my case, drop in a lot of humor. Really bad humor, if that’s all you have.
We’re in the serious business of mass communications. We need to use a little more humor in our work, too. But especially here — in our trade discussions — we can perhaps use just a tad more humor than we do in our “real” jobs.
Don’t be a buffoon. But try to keep things light and positive whenever you can. This might offset all those times when you have to write about layoffs and shutdowns.
a) A while back, a longtime blog reader complained to me about my series of “You know they need a copy editor” posts. I had to point out to this reader — a good friend — that I had been posting similar items in my old blog, too, long before I moved my blog to the ACES copy-editing web site. The only thing that changed? The way I phrased the headline.
Funny, though, how perceptions can fool us.
9. KEEP YOUR SITE CLEAN
One of my beefs with so much of the blogosphere: Way too many blog home pages have too damn much happening on them.
Dancing logos. Big, ugly advertisements that suddenly drop down over top of whatever you’re reading. Commercials you have to sit through before you can read what you came for.
And one my biggest pet peeves: Automatically-playing music and video. Especially when the music or video is a commercial.
The simple fact is: Many of the readers of a professional blog will be reading that blog while they’re at work. During breaks and between deadlines, of course. But at work, at their desks. On company equipment. With the boss nearby.
And maybe even behind the boss’ back. We hope not. But possibly.
Having video or audio play immediately upon pulling up your site automatically “outs” these folks whenever they click on your bookmark. Before long, you’d think, they’d learn to mute the sound on their computers before they visit your site. However, it’s much more likely that they’ll simply stop visiting.
Keep the navigation clean and simple. Don’t make the text too difficult to read. Don’t ever — Ever! — push obstacles like “drop-down” advertising between your content and your reader’s eyeballs.
And keep the mouseovers and the crap like that to a bare minimum — especially if you want folks to read you on their iPads, of course.Â It amazes me how much Flash-powered work there is out there, while our audience increasingly is peering at our stuff via a Flashless iPad.
Stay focused on content. Let the content drive the design of your blog. And never ever let the design get in the way of the content.
a) Does any of this sound familiar? It’s pretty much the same thing I teach in my print design classes. It’s funny, sometimes, how the medium changes but the lessons can stay amazingly similar.
b) My webmaster — the aforementioned Daniel Hunt — did a fabulous job designing this web site for me. It’s clean, it’s crisp and (I hope you agree) it’s very, very functional. I’ve resisted adding more features to my home page in hopes of keeping the home page as clean as possible.
If you happen to have any suggestions, however, please feel free to pass them along. I’m always open to suggestions. I might not always follow them. But I’m open to them.
10. DO THE UNEXPECTED
It’s the same thing I tell print designers: Look for ways to surprise and delight your readers.
For example, why publish a list of Top 10 blogging tips? Wouldn’t it be more amusing to instead publish a list of nine tips? Or 11 tips?
Or instead of finishing with a very important high-point, close instead with a couple of dumb jokes. A couple that are barely amusing, perhaps.