Archive for Blog Design – Page 3

Why Serious Bloggers Should Transition From Blogger to WordPress

A prospective client recently asked me about transitioning from a Blogger-hosted blog to a WordPress one …

Here’s the number one reason I think all serious bloggers should transition from Blogger to a WordPress blog, hosted on your own custom domain name: OWNERSHIP, FLEXIBILITY AND CONTROL

Ok, so that’s three … but since I think they are intertwined into one big reason, I’ll explain them as one …

One of the biggest reasons I push serious bloggers to transition to WordPress is because you don’t own the domain name, Blogger does (on blogs that have URLs like this:

Yes, Blogger has a custom domain name feature, but that’s where flexibility comes in …

You don’t have FTP access on their BlogSpot-hosted blogs, meaning you can only blog and not do a bunch of other important features with your domain name.

But back to ownership for a second … I would much prefer building up a domain name that I own … with the flexibility and control in my hands, not in someone else’s.

The tradeoff is of course you have to actually pay for your hosting. But the costs of servers and bandwidth has dramatically decreased that you could buy your domain name and one year of web hosting for as little as $60.

And if you’re worried about transferring your posts, don’t worry — WP has an importer function where we can import all your blog posts.

If you do transfer your blog, you may have some Google “downtime” but I think this is the best long-term strategy for any blogger wanting to build a great online reputation.

So in the end, I realize there are a lot of issues associated with the whole “transition to Blogger” question … but I think for any serious blogger with long-term goals and strategies, GO WITH WORDPRESS! You won’t be sorry.

How to Paste Text From Microsoft Word Into WordPress Blog

If you’ve been using WordPress for long, you know that if you try to simply copy and paste something from Microsoft Word into WordPress, you’ll get a big mess … your theme (aka template) will get messed up … if you’ve used colors or different fonts in the Word document, you’ll see all shades of wierdness in WordPress.

In the process of helping out a client, I think I’ve found a solution to this problem … it’s called the WordPress Plain Text Plugin.

paste from microsoft word

Here how it works:
After you install it, you copy your text from your Microsoft Word document, then toggle over to your WordPress window and “Write Post” … in the WYIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor located underneath the Title box, you’ll see a couple new icons … with your mouse, hover over then to the “Paste from Word” one … click that … then paste your text into there and click “Insert.”

I’m Featured in Penelope Trunk’s Coachology

One of my clients – Yahoo! Columnist Penelope Trunk – recently featured me in her regular Coachology post section.

As part of the post, I offered to help redesign the blog of one of her readers …

The winner was Sheryl Sisk Schelin of The Inspired Solo.

Sheryl, who is an attorney, seeks to offer “guidance, support, and assistance to solo lawyers and those who’d like to make the leap, by providing productivity tips, software and book reviews, blogging advice, and marketing tips” through her blog.

We’ve already chatted and I’m excited about her redesign … stay tuned for the unveiling in the next two weeks or so.

Design or Content: What’s More Important

Daniel’s got Mark Goush of Weblog Tools Collection (an outstanding site for WordPress stuff) and EngTech facing off over at Daily Blog Tips today. One of the questions he asked them was: “What is more important, the content or the design?”

Mark’s answer was:

Both. Design and content are both responsible for bringing users back to your blog. A beautifully designed blog without any content is useless and vice versa

Engtech’s answer was:

Design can get attention, but only content will keep it.

My answer is … ditto!

Design is the packaging for content. And great packaging helps sell content. But in terms of priority, I think great content has to come first. Followed closely by an effecient, functional package or design.

As a designer, there are times I’ve had to make hard decisions … I’ve had to ditch design elements I cherished. But it had to be done.

Although I am a designer, I’m also a marketing person. If the design doesn’t do what you want it to do, then all you’ve done is create a nice piece of eye candy.

We call those things art galleries.

Here are six quick thoughts on what great design is:

  • Great design showcases content.
  • Great design doesn’t distract from content.
  • Great design steers readers in the path you want them to follow.
  • Great design is birthed from great strategy and objectives.
  • Great design takes a tremendous amount of thought and time.
  • Great design is often expensive, but worth every penny.

What do you think?

On Creating Blog Spillover Success

It’s been neat over the last year to watch my traffic on my various blogs … including the most trafficked blogs and how, as I have interlinked them, the traffic spills over to the others.

Of course, spillover traffic on each blog isn’t 100 percent … not even close. But there is a smaller, but healthy percentage that jump off to each blog.

The high traffic days are the ones I like to watch the spillover effect as the greater numbers are revealing … 1. of how well my links are placed … and 2. what people are actually interested in.

When I created my first blog, I naively thought I could translate all the momentum from that first blog to other niche blogs. But that of course isn’t always the case.

I wonder though about huge blogs like TechCrunch … and how they create, and with what results, spillover success to their other newer sister blogs, like CrunchNotes or MobileCrunch.

One observation I’ve made through my spillover efforts is that you can rally some momentum from existing, popular blogs … but the key is … producing consistent, great, niche content for a targeted audience.

The power is in the content!