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How To Boost Your Blog By Going ‘Under the Hood’

What to do so your site can handle that next Instalanche and your writing can stay up permanently.

Kathy Shaidle


March 12, 2013 - 7:00 am
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If you’re sick of me bragging about my twelve years as a blogger, good news:

I’m now in year #13.

Pretty much everything I know about blogging, I picked up via trial and error.

I taught myself HTML Rosetta Stone-style, by peeking at other sites’ source code to see how they achieved particular effects.

I also noted the way popular sites “hat-tipped” other sites when they found something juicy there, and how they thanked other blogs that linked to them.

I still strongly recommend trial and error as a learning method, especially the “error” part: there are few things more indelible than our own embarrassing mistakes.

(Even better, learn from other people’s mistakes to avoid making your own in the first place.)

However, I’m happy to pass along a few blogging tips.

These ones take you “under the hood” to make changes your readers won’t see — but will definitely notice…

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All Comments   (6)
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Great stuff. I'm confused on one point: You say to stay away from hosted sites such as WordPress but then recommend the WordPress software. What am I missing here?

Also, some of us want to remain anonymous in a blog because of the nature of our day jobs. Can you tell us how to do that?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A nice article, although it didn't go nearly far enough. As a quick example, he should have stressed dumping the crappy stock WordPress editor for the vastly-superior CKEditor. And there are a bunch of very valuable plugins I'm surprised he didn't list. His point about hosting your own site with your own domain, however, was spot on.

If you've ever thought of firing up a blog or web site, I highly recommend you start here:

The site is geared toward newbies so the setup instructions are as clear as they can be. The WordPress download package also contains a number of themes and plugins to spare you the hassle of spending hours trying to track them down.

And, if you want a web site rather than a blog site, there's a whole section on how to tweak WordPress to get rid of the things that give it that bloggy look, like "Author", "Category", the comments section, etc.

I say, go for it!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you, Kathy
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've been doing freelance site design from my own domain for 17+ years and here is what I've learned.

Expert's advice and SEO are similar to visiting Holiday Inns. No matter when you go, where you go or how much you pay for your room, the lobbies all use the same plastic plants they have since day one and the odds of bedbug bites keep going higher.

The simple truth is, if you have a good product then one, straight forward, simple, never changing web page is enough.

For example, the entire world has been studying Drudge Report for many years now. They're trying to figure out how one guy, with a cat and hat in a room can make himself rich and famous peddling other people's trash for free.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for the informative blog writing how-to. Also, congratulations on your 13th anniversary. Maybe someone knows if there is an effective counter plug-in. There are some gaudy ones and ineffective ones I wouldn't use.

For me it would be nice to have a sense of the general geography of readers, so I know what accent will work and most importantly what jokes to employ.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Feedjit widget will tell you the locations of your site's visitors.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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