Cirquedumot is returning to the blogging basics starting today. I was always upset with the first design that I created for this website. I’ve talked about the need for responsive design all over the place.You can look here, or here, or maybe even here. Yet, I wasn’t following my advice
Now I want to correct a notion here. You don’t all need to have responsive design. I read an amazing post the other day about a company that reverted to a desktop only supported website.
Tracking data is crucial for success. Don’t fix what ain’t broke and don’t slow down your website by trying to support everything out there.
Make informed choices!
Lets talk about how I am going to be making more informed choices in my future.
Getting Smart about Blogging
1. Cleaning Up a Mess
I did a pretty desperate thing, I completely re-installed WordPress. Do Not Do This Ever (Unless You Know What You are Doing). I did this because my RSS Feed was gone at this point. RSS feeds function as the heart of your online presence. It sends information everywhere it needs to go. This re-install fixed things, but means that all my original content is gone.
Solution: I will be publishing an Ebook with my Top 20 posts and republishing a few greatest hits.
If you were a subscriber please visit this page and choose the subscription option that is best for you.
2. Clearing up Attribution
While building this theme I was able to create a special template for my attachments! Yes, most of us will never look at these pages. Attachments are created when you add media to a WordPress post. When you use the media uploader the image is hyperlinked to an attachment page.
Most plugins, like Yoast’s WordPress SEO, redirect attachment pages and it is not a problem. I think these pages are much more useful when you add in information about the media. I will do a tutorial on how I achieved this on my Div into Design blog.
Solution: Use custom fields to add information to image attachment pages. You can see that I turned this screenshot of the Bones Theme into a download page with proper attribution.
3. Grabbing the Data
Well, I wasn’t as clever as I could have been about tracking the data. That is why the first thing I did was set up my analytics properly. I am using something called Segment.io. This service helps your website download faster by loading the analytics tracking code via a special script. It is a good thing and most of the big (and small) analytic solutions are supported.
Solution: Learn how to set up goals and funnels in your analytic program. Make sure that you are using the right solution for your needs. For example, I signed up with Quantcast because I want to have ads on this blog someday. The information they collect will help me with ad sales.
4. Designing Responsively
I made the personal choice to use a responsive design that was simple. I relied on some great pre-built frameworks to get the job done. I see this design as the crown jewel in my portfolio. The theme was designed to highlight the written content across devices.
I expect most of my traffic to come from Twitter and Facebook mobile. This made responsive design a good choice for my blog.
Solution: Find the theme that fits the needs of your users and hire a professional designer if you can. Otherwise DIY it using the best tools available.
Bright Future for Cirquedumot
I am going back to a daily schedule with some new ideas for content. Again, I want to challenge myself to break down the depth of my knowledge to the essentials. The new tag line sums it best, “Social Media Marketing from Beginner’s Mind”.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”
There are no social media experts. Let’s not approach it that way. The basics are enough to keep me interested in this medium every day. I am truly happy with the career I have chosen.
Cirquedumot will change, but only because I am growing as a person and a professional.
Photo credit: Vicente Villamón [CC By-SA 2.0]