Where to Find Good Paid Blogging Advice

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Blogging tips. Blogging has become a huge industry these days, not just in terms of design and development, but of blogging advice too. There are hundreds of blogs out there on all aspects of blogging, from writing content, to making money. There are even some on blog design! Imagine that.

Although all of that advice may be available for free, it isn’t readily available. It will take you many hours of trawling to find those few gems that make it all worthwhile. Rather than wasting time sorting out the signal from the noise, you have the option of paying for some solid guidance and advice.

Anyone can pose as a consultant though, so this post is about the places where I personally would spend my money if I wanted blogging advice (No affiliate links anywhere. Just honest opinion).

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Design Review: Starfeeder

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starfeeder2.jpg Starfeeder is a fan site for the massively popular StarCraft series of sci-fi strategy games. Naturally, Starfeeder sports a very modern, techy, design to suit the series. Has it pulled it off?

What Has Been Done Well?

  • Header image. Most blogs show their topic through a well-thought-up title, a good slogan, or some other sort of written message. Starfeeder however has chosen to use a striking image from the game itself. Very effective, and any long-time StarCraft fan will appreciate the joke!

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Why I’m Using a 3 Column Layout

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columns4.jpgThere are a few seemingly perpetual debates in web design. 800×600 vs 1024×768. Fixed vs fluid. Content on the right or left. The choice of using a 2 column layout or a 3 column one is another of these.

Advantages of a Two Column Layout

  • Forces minimalism. There tends to be less sidebar room in a 2 column layout. You simply don’t have the space for 100 different widgets without overstretching the page. This limit forces you to be a little more careful about choosing which widgets are installed.

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When Ajax Can Help Your Blog

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Magical ajax. Ajax is a great technology. It allows you to update various aspects of your page, without ever having to refresh.

The Trouble With Ajax

The trouble with Ajax is that it is overused and abused. Many people try to do too much with it. If you’re building a web-app, fantastic, use it all you like! If you’re just building a blog though, remember your restraint.

Good use of Ajax comes in small doses, and only when it helps you achieve your goals. Can it save you the hassle of reloading the same page? Will it let you accomplish simple tasks quickly? If so, then you’re using Ajax well.

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Separating Trackbacks from Comments

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Footsteps in the sand. Trackbacks are the messages displayed in the comments list whenever another blog links back to one of your posts. Many blogs disable trackbacks, but not all.

If you use trackbacks on your blog, it is best if they are not mixed with the comments. The comments are a conversation between between real people. Having machine-generated links in the middle of that will only serve to disrupt the conversations.

The method described here will lift out all of the trackbacks, and then display them as a numbered list after the list of comments is finished. Once you have this done, customizing the trackbacks to appear however you want them to is simple.

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Minimalist Blog Design

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The zen of minimalism. Minimalist blog design is all the rage these days. In the pursuit of usability and a better user experience, designers everywhere are stripping out the needless elements of their sites. The result? Clean, fast loading sites that a user can actually use.

As with any design trend, there are two questions you should ask yourself.

  1. Why should I adopt a minimalist design?
  2. How can I adopt a minimalist design?

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Design Review: Vikiworks

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vikiworks We’ve talked a fair bit about personal blog design this week. Conveniently I came across a fantastic personal blog yesterday, by Yichi from Beijing. The design of his blog, Vikiworks, is one that all personal bloggers could pick up tips from.

What Has Been Done Well?

  • Personal elements. The header and left hand side of the blog contain a wealth of information about Yichi, all wrapped up in the design. The PSP? Apple logo? Yankee’s hat? Even the date of his birthday! It all tells you a little more about who Yichi is, and what his interests are.

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