Over and over year after year the “experts” will come out with predictions that tell us that content marketing is dead, blogging is a waste of time, and any smart business will abandon it right away. At the same time, businesses keep investing in content, and if they do things correctly, those businesses dominate their niche on Google. [Read more…]
There’s an interesting trend right now in online activities. Ever since the Internet came into its own, people have constantly declared that content is king.
But more and more, the web development framework around the content is playing a vital role as well. In fact, at some point, how well the web development is executed may come to mean more than the content. In other words, we have nearly achieved “the medium is the message” status on the web.
What does that mean to you as a web developer or content generator? The answer lies in the notion of a blog itself, inside premium WordPress plugins, and bundled up with the essence of new SEO methods.
We must also take into account the degree of specialization that some of this knowledge requires. That means you have to work in teams with people who have different skill sets from yours. This is forcing developers and generators to — gasp! — learn to communicate better.
Begin with the Idea of a Blog
When you’re setting out to create a blog, what mental steps do you go through? You have an idea, and you convert it to text, perhaps with some images inserted, and then post it.
But then what? How and where do you share it? Through social media channels? By individual messages to people? Through a subscription list?
Every question you ask about how to spread of the message relates directly to the concepts of web development. As a content generator, you have to know how to set of a framework of sharing and publicizing, or your idea will go exactly nowhere.
The simple blogging skill set is no longer enough for even a mild level of success.
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Further into the idea of web development, consider how much you can accomplish with free tools associated with the WordPress blog format. It’s amazing, really.
You can have a full-featured presence without spending any money. But … if you want to tweak the format; if you want to express yourself more professionally, more succinctly, in a more streamlined way; then that’s where further web development skills are going to come into play.
Because buying plugin licenses and learning to use them effectively is your fast track to standing out visually and technically.
Think About the Importance of SEO
To be a successful content generator of any sort, you now have to know the web development aspects of SEO. You can’t write the way you used to.
Certain stylistic changes are now required, both in terms of raw content and understanding how to put together headlines, titles, subheadings, and image captions.
Teamwork Becomes More Integral
Another thing you’ll quickly realize is that you can’t create a successful online presence on your own anymore. There’s a good chance you’ll need a graphic designer, a photographer, a web developer, a social media guru … all of these positions are necessary!
And though any person can double or triple up on these tasks, it’s nearly impossible to do them all yourself. Get a team, or get left in the digital dust.
Communication Skills Become More Important
Accompanying that team effort is going to come some communication frustration. Especially when you try to mix the creative and the technical together, serious cultural and language barriers exist.
A web designer won’t likely understand the drive of a blogger to use poetic words and phrases any more than a fiction writer understands why tiny adjustments in color scheme can any difference at all. But together, web development and content generation will create the perfect marriage of skills for online success.
A beautifully developed website doesn’t matter if no one ever sees it. Incorporating structured data markup, according to standards from the Schema.org project, makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site.
Although there’s no hard evidence that structured data markup directly improves search rankings, it can increase the number of referrals from search engines to your site, and it can help your search rankings by working hand-in-hand with Knowledge Graph. [Read more…]
Views about blogging differ depending on who is looking. Many see it as some form of online diary where they are free to write anything, at any time, at any place. While this is essentially true, it is not accurate to say that bloggers are free as well from the technical challenges of maintaining a site. Whether a site is for personal or commercial use, owners will realize soon enough that there is the technical side of blogging to think of.
There are actually many resources for writers easily available online. The subject of blogging is very much tackled by experts and newbies in the field mostly about the hits and misses that could help make professional bloggers out of aspiring writers. A blogger does not only write. He or she is expected to have reasonable basic technical skills and hopefully progress from there through time.
If you are seriously looking into long-term blogging, it would be advantageous to have a working knowledge of the following:
Writing to express thoughts or provide information in a blog requires some technical knowledge of the language being used. Technical knowledge in a human language such as English would pertain to grammar, syntax, structure, and the rules observed for its effective use. There is not much problem with this as the study of a language starts very early at childhood. Challenges may present themselves though if the language being used is not the mother language of the author. The remaining thing to do is to study for specific requirements such as in creative or highly technical writing, when it is necessary.
Computer language is an all-together different thing. Most would need to learn and understand this. Fortunately, most blogging platforms have made it possible for the least techie people to create and manage their own blogs. There are ready made templates to choose from. If a blogger is pretty set on what kind of blog to come up with, then everything can be set in a matter of hours.
Knowledge in web designing is a must for bloggers except if there is someone else paid to do it. The use of CSS and HTML as well as the ability to create graphic images are musts for those seeking to be professional bloggers. Other knowledge areas that should be considered include search engine optimization, social media participation and networking, and attracting traffic. There is so much to be learned about blogging especially because of its continually evolving nature. Experience is still the best teacher. It is impossible to blog without getting a trace of techiness in you.
Throughout the last two or so years there has been a major expansion on the sub-culture movement of planking. Primarily an online trend due to easy access to video and image sharing, you can find plenty of examples of teenagers laying flat in odd places all over the web.
I will admit that this is a hobby I find myself perplexed by. While the places that people plank might be a bit risky sometimes, this is possibly the laziest “extreme sport” in existence. But it might be my age that keeps me from getting it. There sure are plenty of younger people who go crazy for it. [Read more…]