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  1. #1
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I'm developing a blog to talk about being a freelance web designer. I decided to make one to share all the ideas and experiences I've had since becoming a freelance web designer just over a year ago.

    The audience
    This isn't a niche blog, so I'm expecting a wide array of visitors. I plan to write about legal matters and taxes for self-employed/independent contractors/freelancers and also to write about design principles in web design. I will also add some basic tutorials, for example, how to resize a photo, because I can then refer my clients to the article instead of explaining it to them. I also plan to write about useful tools that make my work life easier (for example, software, coworking office, etc).

    The design
    I started the entire design using a barebones template called Bones. I don't plan on spicing up the design anymore because I want it to stay simple. I also want to spend time on writing articles and not perfecting design.

    Features
    Blog, Wordpress, flex-responsive, Bones starter theme for Wordpress.

    Issues
    One thing I haven't thought about is how I'm going to incorporating my regular website to this blog. At the moment, they are 2 different entities.

    The blog is a flex-responsive design, which is cool, but it also means some things will look awkward at certain widths and will need a media query break point.

    Any suggestions are welcome, especially if you do a lot of blogging yourself. Design, layout, SEO, organization, audience, whatever. Thanks guys.

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Right off the top, be careful with tax forms and legal advice. Make sure you have a disclaimer saying if someone follows it (or misinterprets it) and shoots him/herself in the foot, it's "as-is" advice. That's the kind of thing people sue for. Jonathan Bailey has a really good disclaimer over at www.plagiarismtoday.com . He makes it quite clear that he's not a lawyer. It's also a good site to study since he does a lot of what you're trying to do, has been doing it for years, and goes into a lot more detail on some things that you try to cover (e.g. copyright).

    I guess my other big problem with it is that you're giving advice that isn't really based on your experiences. It's based on "so and so wrote an article about" or "a survey says". What about your testing? What about your experiences? If I want to know about Mary's study, I'll go read Mary's site. That's the one thing that will make this whole site/exercise worthwhile (or not).
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Thanks Game. I'm always thinking of CYA. And I'm always looking for good legal blogs, cause lord knows, there are too many web design blogs already.

    As for your second comment, yes, that's something I need to work on. I have a problem with writing sometimes. I tend to start writing a story or essay, rather than retelling from my own experience. I think I've been reading too many blogs. It's like I'm getting brainwashed as to how I should write a blog.

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's why I generally avoid reading web design blogs...so many of them run together after a while that they all start looking the same.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  6. #5
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    What he said... And actually, you should try to find an "angle", that will make yourself different from the masses... You're a quick study ( from what I can tell from your time here ), you grasp concepts and can apply them easily ( compared to many that come here )...

    I'm just wondering about the actual "reason" behind it. For some sites a blog can draw in an audience to what the main sites purpose it... It can and has been proven to help a site get better search engine placement. The biggest fallback concerning blogs... Commit yourself now before you get started to write at least one to two postings a week that will actually fit the scope and context of the reason.

    What happens to so many, the write 5 to 6 post a week, for a couple weeks, life gets in the way... Cut back to 2-3 short post say sing something like... Sorry I just go real busy.. Blah blah blah... Then you get back in the groove... After a while it becomes difficult to just sit down and write... So you put it off... Next thing you know ... Been 6 months... Content goes stagnant...

    If you even remotely think this will happen to you... Don't bother, it can and will hurt your search placement... A static site where the content hasn't been updated in months is seen completely different than a blog that hasn't had a post in months... Search engines want to see content... If they don't see regular change... Any benefit you got from the beginning is quickly lost.

    I've had numerous clients in the past that wanted a blog for their site... I explained that they needed to post at least on a minimum 1 post a week, to get and keep followers... They were always gangbusters to start out with... Most people really don't realize the "creative juice" needed to run and maintain a blog on anything other than "personal observation"... Those seem to be fairly popular.. And for the creator usually fairly easy to provide content because its personal opinion.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Btw... Of the 30-40 blogs I've setup for people over the years... Not a single one has lasted over a year... That's ok though ... They pay me to set them up and take them down.

  8. #7
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I've been in the same boat. I've set up 4 blogs for people, and they've all come down within a year. Too much maintenance just to write posts and they couldn't handle dealing with all the spam commenters since they all wanted Turdpress.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  9. #8
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webzarus, post: 250110, member: 27723
    What he said... And actually, you should try to find an "angle", that will make yourself different from the masses... You're a quick study ( from what I can tell from your time here ), you grasp concepts and can apply them easily ( compared to many that come here )...

    I'm just wondering about the actual "reason" behind it. For some sites a blog can draw in an audience to what the main sites purpose it... It can and has been proven to help a site get better search engine placement. The biggest fallback concerning blogs... Commit yourself now before you get started to write at least one to two postings a week that will actually fit the scope and context of the reason.

    ...

    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Good advice. For me, I don't really need a lot of SEO value (at the moment) for my domain. I'm actually a long-time blogger - I have a ultra-personal blog that I have been writing personal things into for over 10 years. However, sometimes I have economic concepts or epiphanies about human behavior or I find some useful tidbit about doing business that should be made known to the public and I want to write about it to help cement the idea into my mind. They don't belong on my personal blog nor do they belong Facebook, nor do they belong hidden in a notebook somewhere.

    I don't intend to post more than I need to. I just want to have a blog with an archive of useful information. So when a client says "hey can I just grab pictures off the internet to use for my website?" I'll just point them to a blog I wrote about where to get free images. I just a very powerful, long term benefit to getting info down on paper. It's kind of like how you have your collection of frameworks that you've amassed over your career to help save you time.

  10. #9
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGAME1264, post: 250112, member: 428
    I've been in the same boat. I've set up 4 blogs for people, and they've all come down within a year. Too much maintenance just to write posts and they couldn't handle dealing with all the spam commenters since they all wanted Turdpress.
    Lol. Wordpress is indeed a juicy target for spam. By allowing comments on a WP site, it's like opening Pandora's Box. I suggest the Spam Free Wordpress plugin. Disqus also seems to do a good job of weeding out random spam bots.

    As for client blogs, I honestly have never set up a blog for a client. The marginal knowledge needed to run a blog vs using WP as a CMS is enormous. I've only suggested that they use the blogging tool as a news/update tool for their small business. I've only had one guy ask about blogging and he just wanted a couple hours of tutoring.


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