What Mad Men Teaches Us About Blogging


This is a link to a blogpost by Darren Hoyt. He is an extraordinary designer (I use his design on the sidebar of aNetGain.com).

His article resonated for me because I got started in New York ad agencies back in the days of Mad Men. I spent the ’90’s in L.A. writing scripts. I read William Goldman’s book and attended a seminar he gave for professional women writers.

Darren says that “Setting them up with a WordPress theme, giving them the keys and waving goodbye just isn’t enough.” It is important to blog about things that will benefit our readers, not just articles that sell our expertise.

Google says that pages with original content are rewarded with higher page rank.

http://bit.ly/9ogBMA shortlink to Google’s policy on relevant and original content

Check out Darren’s blogpost and let us know what you do to keep your blog lively and readable — leave a comment!


Cutline Becomes Coraline

Cutline was the theme I used to build this site, but WordPress converted the Cutline sites to the new Coraline theme. Unfortunately, my sidebar customizations were wiped out. I got an Email for WordPress apologizing for the glitch, and a few days later all my customizations reappeared. Coraline, developed specifically for the new WordPress 3.0 framework has many nice features detailed here

WordPress and AdWords Classes in March

The SRJC WordPress class on Saturday, March 5 was a great success with 10 new WordPress blogs on the Class page. Saturday, March 12, is a lightning four-hour class in How To Get Started With Google Advertising. Learn how to put your new business blog to work for you with Google advertising!

Most Bloggers Are 21-35

According to Sysomos, a social media consulting firm, 53.3% of bloggers are 21- to 35 years old. Bloggers under 21 come in a distant second at 20.2% followed closely by 36 – 50 year olds with 19.4%. Only about 7.1% of bloggers are over 51.
Male and female bloggers are equally split and the U.S. has nearly one-third of all bloggers on the planet, more than four times the next closest country, Britain. This may be because mobile phones are more plentiful than PCs in most of the world.

Writing for Blogs

From WordCamp Ireland, 28 minute talk on how to write effectively for blogs. How to use bullet lists, punctuation, how to use tags and categories, search engine optimization (SEO).
Writing for Blogs

WordPress 3.0 TwentyTen

WordCampSF was great fun. I spent the day with other WordPress users and developers and saw a lot of people using iPads to follow the Twitter feed and check out the speakers’ websites.

The big news is the imminent release of WordPress 3.0 which will have many new features, see

Take a look at the new default theme “Twenty Ten”

Download the latest beta version http://wordpress.org/development/

There was a lot of talk about keeping your blog secure and safe from hackers. While all my students created blogs on WordPress.com which takes care of security, those with self-hosted blogs may be interested in making it secure.

Here is The WordPress.com story

Add a SlideShow

Its easy to add a slideshow to your WordPress.com website and blog. Add the slideshow to either a post or a page using the Flash uploader. See this tutorial:

Customizing Your Header

Short video on how to create a custom header.

Add an Image to a Post or Page

Tell your story with pictures! Here is a link to the WordPress.com support page for images which contains background information on what kind of image you should upload, what the various options mean, and that it is the same for a post (on the blog) or a page (on the navigation). The most important way is to simply upload the image from your computer.

On your WordPress.com blog, you can only post videos from YouTube and VideoPress ($60/year upgrade). No private videos on WordPress.com, only publicly posted videos.

How to move your .com blog to self-hosted .org

The blog you build on WordPress.com will be sufficient for many businesses. As you become more proficient with blogging and WordPress, you may want to create your own self-hosted blog using WordPress.org software which is free.

The software is free, but you have to install it on a hosting service that you select and pay for. There are many hosting choices, and cheap is not better (says the voice of sad experience). Building your own self-hosted WordPress.org website allows you to use any theme and any plugin, and expands other options like sources of video. Amit Agarwal wrote a detailed post on How to Migrate your Blog from WordPress.com to a Personal Domain. I endorse his recommendation that you buy your domain name DIRECTLY from a domain registrar. Don’t buy the “hosting with free domain name” combo. You will spend about $10/year more to register your domain name separately from your host but it will save you countless headaches down the road. It took me many hours of work to recapture my domain name from Sonic.net. Even if you choose to host with Sonic.net, register your domain name through a registrar like GoDaddy.com, NetworkSolutions.com, or Google Apps.

When Amit talks about “renting server space,” it means the same thing as signing up with a hosting service. The WordPress statistics that are built-in to your WordPress.com website are easier to find than Google analytics and may be sufficient. If you don’t plan to put “ads by Google” on your business website, the website you build on WordPress.com may be perfect for right now. You can attach your business domain name to your WordPress.com blog for a few dollars a year using the Upgrade tool. Amit’s blogpost shows you how.