The Internet provides us the great advantage of accessing huge databases of valuable information with minimal efforts. Tons of written paper could go on a few DVDs, this being another capital vantage of the Internet. It is true that reading poems without the warm touch of a page it is unsentimental, that the state and the feelings created aren’t the same but always remember that a book represents a part of a tree that was cut.
The fight between environmentalists and book lovers isn’t the subject of this post, what is desired to be highlighted is that, without PC, CDs, DVDs and the Internet, nobody could have so many informational resources at hand, with a minimum effort. The richness of the information born has allowed for the evolution of a new category of intellectuals and specialists: the ones who learn their skill by themselves.
You will remain totally surprised to find out that many specialists or titans in their field don’t have any studies or degrees in the respective domain. The good news isn’t finished here: nowadays it is easier to become a real pro without any diploma or higher schools courses. To be more specific, there are a lot of successful designers and developers that do not have any professional training. You shouldn’t be attracted by this “miracle” because it’s easy to stay at home, watching TV everyday for 4-5 years and finally declare to yourself- “I am a web designer”. Behind the success of these persons, there is a lot of work and many hours of self preparation; unfortunately, there is no secret recipe of success.
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The blog is the most used online resources by designers and developers. On these websites, anyone can find the needed information, but also many another additional posts that treat similar subjects. The negative side of the information provided by blogs is the fact that, sometimes, the content of the posts aren’t relevant or could contain some mistakes. This perspective reveals to us that, posting any news, consideration or article on any blog implies a responsibility; if everyone is aware of this, then the Internet becomes the best teacher with the most accurate and complete encyclopedia; but, there is a long way to the fulfilling this dream.
Before turning into reality this dream, it is a lot better to have a complete and helpful analysis of a quality post-from the birth of the idea to the final appreciation of the readers.
It is good to know that writing articles, tutorials or rounds-up or being active in the blogosphere isn’t only an activity to fill your spare time, as there are a lot of obvious or less obvious advantages which deserve to be mentioned.
Almost all the blogs that contain sections of web design or web development allow the writers of the posts to present themselves. I don’t believe that there is someone who hasn’t noticed a short bio of the author at the end of the posts; usually, the admin of the blog allows for a link to the website of the contributor. Here comes in the commercial part – some use the author bio only to offer the readers basic information about the author, but many use this facility to attract more visitors to the owned websites. The exposure is in direct relationship with the traffic obtained; a blog that has a great number of visitors guarantees a better exposure than the one with fewer visitors.
It is always recommended to bring new ideas or concepts to the community; somehow it can be regarded as an “online exchange”- a guy reads some cool posts on a blog and, from gratitude, he posts an article that could be useful for other visitors. Probably, many designers and developers agree with this statement because the blogs and the number of posts grow on a continuous basis –quite a beneficial situation for both the readers and authors.
I honestly believe that it is not an ethical problem to write a post with commercial purpose. Take the example of a post that presents logos with hidden sense; between many well known logos collected from various websites, it’s not a shame to use your own logos which respect the idea of the post. This modality makes the existence of a post an element of self publicity.
On the other hand, posting an article that treats the same theoretical aspects could impress a customer and made him/her ask for your services.
Not only potential customers read your blog, but also people who have the same occupation as you. A great feature of a blog is the fact that it allows for a dialog between the author and the readers by using social media or by simply leaving a comment. In this way, anyone can become a friend of anyone and it facilitates the collaboration and exchanging the information. For example, I am from Romania, the country of Dracula, located in Eastern Europe, but I have strong friendships with a lot of designers from various places and countries such as Pakistan, India, Australia, Singapore, SUA, and Scotland and so on. As a small extension of this article, the situation above is a real good example of what modern communication means and why the Internet fully deserves the nominalization for the Nobel Prize.
Being a blogger surely can’t be an excessively profitable affair, but it can be a good source of income. Do you want evidence? Please see how many blogs related to design or development have a section “write for us”- surely there are many. Unfortunately not all are paying, although there are enough that offer financial compensation. In the past few years, the methods of making money over the Internet have increased in efficiency and number. The big companies involved in online world have proposed very interesting systems of transforming the traffic received into money; these are at first sight quite elaborate and hard to determine if one can make some profit. It could take a person few days to really uptake this system, but afterwards everything becomes more clearly.
Even if we don’t like, the financial aspect is very important, maybe decisive. The entire process of creating a good post is strenuous, it requires a lot of time and resources; plus, all these should be rewarded and, of course, money is a good modality.
How can one create a quality post? Nobody can guarantee that he/she has found the perfect solution or a magic formula; usually, there are few steps to follow.
As I previously said, the Internet is full of blogs on web design and development; so, to be easily remarked, your post should have an inspired title, eye-catching, reflecting the core idea of the content. Some bloggers consider the title not so important – in fact, the numbers of words in the title can be neglected compared to the whole article; perhaps they are right, but we can’t ignore that we are living in a superficial and commercial world. Anyway, an original idea and an intelligent title are more than a must.
The worst scenario for every blogger is to find an interesting idea, but when he/she is searching on Google to see that were written twelve good posts about the subject in question. The documentation part is the most important because :
There are two different types of articles: the ones posted by regular authors who write on the basis of a contract with the admin or the owner of the blog (the parity between admin and owner is not excluded) and the ones written by somebody with various purposes, usually a single presence on the blog, called guest post.
Any of these categories of bloggers should be aware (especially the regular ones) that a blog needs articles and not the posts need a blog. This is a capital problem: the style of the post should be similar to the style of the blog. Think of these situations: on the Internet, there are many web design or development oriented blogs that are based on a friendly style, with a first person narration – something like “I believe”, “I really love it” and probably usual readers enjoy it.
On the other hand, any of us can easily find more “serious” blogs that presents the subject similar to a high school course and most likely this style has its adepts. It will be a severe mistake to post a more personalized post on such a blog: the readers will consider this to be amateur work and nobody will win; the vice-versa situation presents the same problem. As a conclusion to this judgment, I strongly advise any blogger to read many posts of the blog before submitting an article or tutorial. Keep in mind that in these circumstances even a work of high quality could be considered as not worthy to be read.
The job of the blogger is not only to write a post, usually he should handle it in Word Press or any CMS and this also requires the necessity of inserting images. For many of us, an inserted image isn’t important, but thinking deeper the situation is quite different. First, a cool image could attract the eyes of an irresolute surfer and, second, by inserting appropriate ones, it makes the reading of the whole text an easy task. From my experience, I have noticed that inserting an image after or before a new paragraph is the best choice (if someone has a different opinion, let me know).
I am very malicious on my PC because it has a very constant, not to mention effective power and I need breaks during my work day. Unfortunately or not, we are human and we can’t work as a perpetual mobile. It is highly recommended to take small pauses and this is not the advice of a lazy person. The report between the length of breaks and the best effective power depends on the character of each person so it is very subjective and none can present a specific ratio. In fact, the loss of a superior ability is linked to boredom, the lack of concentration and inspiration, all cumulating with fatigue. To avoid these, there is a simple method (only in theory!): sleep enough to feel fresh, work on multiple projects, in this way you can fight against boredom and remain very optimistic, so the concentration and inspiration become your strong points.
In my personal opinion, I recommend working on multiple projects, because boredom is the worst enemy when it comes to having a successful day. You have to give your full attention to one project and make its finalization a priority, but, after three or four hours of work, it is for the best to try other projects, that are not so urgent.
The best solution is to write in your native language, but the huge majority of blogs (related to web design and development) are written in English. There is a strong dilemma regarding this situation: should people who aren’t native English speakers write posts, or should this be only the duty of English speakers? My personal answer is categorical: anyone with experience and who has something important to emphasize has the moral duty of showing it to the ones who need it. I prefer a post that presents a very interesting subject with good resources, but written in English with small mistakes than one that is perfectly written without having anything to say. The perfect solution is to have the text well written and valuable; surely, this is impossible. A step to perfection is the use of a proofreader, this is good even for native speakers; a small mistake is almost imperceptible for the author and for some readers it could be a real catastrophe. It is true that a proofreader needs to be paid but he is a guarantee that the text is grammatically correct.
Without any doubt, the help of a proofreader is very precious, but he cannot check the value of the content on a regular basis. A needed step in the overall process of writing a quality post is to have it reviewed by someone who knows the subject you approach. By far, I am not the best example, but I use the services of some good proofreaders (thanks again for their help), but usually I ask my web designers or bloggers friends to read the text and express a brief opinion. With the passing of time, this step can be replaced by a great experience but for the moment things are the way they are.
The final moment has come; here, your work is judged, it could turn you into a real star, but at the same time it all could become hell, the visitors of the blog are the ones who decide. A beneficial fact for both the author and the readers is the possibility of creating a strong relationship between the two. It could work in two situations :
This tip is somehow too universal to be used here and some people will consider this to be a paragraph that is not necessary, but please read it carefully. A good atmosphere, a lot of calm and maybe a little cold blood to handle less pleasing situations – these are the ingredients of an optimistic behavior. It is better to avoid writing or working when you are upset; in most of the cases, the inner state has a great and bad influence at the same time. A remedy of the worst states (which works better for me) is to listen to your favorite music, I am almost sure it could work for any of us.
As for an artist the best reward are the applauses, for a blogger we are talking about the traffic and the comments received. All bloggers want more and more positive comments, but it shouldn’t be a competition; it could happen to do a quality work but to choose the wrong blog, the target readers enjoying other kinds of posts. Anyway, try to be the best; life or God help only the ones who are constantly trying.
Please feel free to share any other fact that you think would be a great addition in above article and that has not been told already.