Putting theory into practice

When managing editor Erica M. imagined this year’s summer series, she was adamant that we offer practical advice that a blogger of any genre could use to improve their writing and package it up into a worthy presentation.  So far at yeah write’s 31 dbbb we’ve:

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We also continue to learn from author and writing instructor Chad Simpson about creating content for our blogs. We are set for success and it’s time to take our efforts out for a test flight. 

Double-checking  for a friend

You know that thing you do when you read an email after you’ve sent it? You’re trying to get a feel for it not as the compiler of those words, but the recipient of them. You read and reread to be sure the spirit of your words is clear and the missive generally makes sense.

my blog

Today’s challenge is to watch a first-time reader use your blog via your stats analyser and to record the user’s impressions. You could go one step further with this 31 dbbb activity and act as your own first guinea pig, if you have enough imagination to put yourself in readers’ shoes. Too often we see what we’ve intended instead of what is actually present. Pretend you are a first-time visitor to your own blog and make no assumptions as you navigate. If you find anything awkward or tricky to use, make adjustments before proceeding with this exercise. Review Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Blog’s Usability, then get going.

A change is as good as a rest

If you’ve kept up with the 31 dbbb exercises to date, you’ve made some changes that do indeed require a second set of eyes to determine the efficacy of those changes and where improvements can be made elsewhere. This portion of our month requires a thicker skin than writers are sometimes used to keeping, so just stay confident that the criticism you’ll get is a benefit to your blog. As your first time readers (ProBlogger author Darren Rowse recommends a friend, family member, work colleague, or fellow blogger. I’m also available if you need me. Hit me up.) discover what they like and dislike about your blog’s ease of use, ask them to be specific. General words about how a page looks nice or how commenting is difficult is too narrow. You want to know exactly what works and what doesn’t so you can make adjustments. If you’ve been asked to help someone out for this task, be kind but honest. Be clear about what is clunky or messy. There are recommended, open-ended questions in the workbook that will help to give and get good answers.

Your little spot on the Internet is similar to your little spot on the planet. You want your place to be tidy, welcoming and comfortable. Today’s work will helps to ensure that people feel their investment of time at your place is worth it. 

challenge118The yeah write #118 weekly challenge grid is still open for submissions: giving away a premium WP theme from Elegant Themes

If you’re on self-hosted WordPress or are planning to move to self-hosted soon, you’re invited to browse the Elegant Themes web site for a new theme and, if you’re on the challenge grid this week following our submission guidelines, we’ll add you to a random drawing for a new premium theme. Just let us know you want in in the comments.

Think we’ll hit 30 or more entries on the challenge grid again this week?  Just a few more submissions to go; please continue spreading the word. The jury prize winner will receive a copy of Chad Simpson’s Tell Everyone I Said Hi and the other two books Chad mentioned in his opening post.

Questions, moral support and prize drawings in comments…