As a technology enthusiast and blogger, I invest a lot of my time in learning about new products, services and methodologies. Because I’m not a professional web designer or blogger, I have to find the most well crafted solutions and tools to help me accomplish my goals.
Recently, I was struggling with my brand identity and my blogging. I didn’t know how I wanted my posts to be perceived. I thought I needed an identity apart from myself, so I created yet another domain and started posting there. This time, instead of using WordPress, I gave Blogger a try.
I loved it, I really did. As a hardcore Google+ user, the benefits of having your ecosystem embedded into your Content Management System (CMS) are numerous. I had instant access to all of my AutoBackup photos, I could easily tag someone’s Google+ profile in a post and I could instantly share it to my page or profile once I was done with the post.
For server reliability, I had nothing to worry about. Google’s uptime is second to none and it was all 100% free.
However, free always comes with some strings attached. Because I am using Google’s platform, they have the right to change it at any time and without notice. You could have a plugin that works one day, and is a total trainwreck the next. The graphical user interface (GUI) could change at the drop of a hat, making it either easier or more difficult to complete routine tasks.
The bottom line though is that the site is over-simplified. It’s great for people that are just trying to get started in the blogging, or businesses that just want to “set it and forget it,” however it’s not the best choice for serious bloggers.
When I migrated back to WordPress I decided that I didn’t want to use a clunky “free” theme, but instead decided to invest it something with a proven track record. That’s when I decided on using the Genesis Framework and the Ambiance child theme.
The theme is a content-first design which means the focus isn’t on the website, but on the content presented within. As a blogger, nothing is more important that the easy consumption of text. I think this theme does a great job of it.
Now, I studied journalism for a few years and I know a thing or two about writing. However, I think I owe a hat tip to the careful design of the site. With a few tweaks and a small upfront investment, I was able to create something that I am proud to call mine.
Why am I telling you all of this?
I just had an experience that many bloggers only dream of. My latest post was just picked up by Mashable.
9 thoughts on “How a Simple, Responsive Web Design Can Get You Noticed”
And fun fact — one of the comments one of my colleagues made when I showed your post to him was “his site looks great.”
Haha, that’s awesome! Seriously, all credit goes to Dustin Stout. That guy is awesome at what he does and was the inspiration for my redesign.
Thanks for the compliment @PeterGMcDermott:disqus! Now… how in the heck did you get featured on Mashable?! I’ve just decided that is my next goal.
So I clicked on the #Moto360 hashtag to see if there was any update about the whole failure that was the Google+ Hangout (this was before the company had tweeted that it would send a new link out) and I saw Peter’s post because he was in a circle I had of other suggested users I think. Anyway, i read the post and thought it was great, showed it to my team, who agreed, and we asked Peter if we could syndicate it. Thankfully for us, he agreed!
Which, as a result, prompted an e-mail interview from the Evening Standard in London and an invitation to pitch a story to another large technology blog!
Let’s hope this lasts longer than 15 minutes… 😉
Thanks again, Christina! I think it’s an amazing story that Mashable, which has almost always kicked Google+ in the shin (how many Ghost Town stories?) found a story through its stream.
I know what you mean @PeterGMcDermott:disqus — I’m a big fan of Mashable but have had some serious “I want to punch that writer in the face” moments after reading some of the Google+ posts. I’ve even made an attempt to reach out to write about Google+ and never heard anything. Either they don’t recognize how well some of my articles do on Google+ or my request got caught in the spam filter.
I would think that a post with 5K shares – Anatomy of a Perfect Google+ Post – would get the attention of a news site like Mashable. And the fact that some of my infographics haven’t shown up keeps me humble. But hey– I can always use more humility in my life. 😀
My roller coaster on Google+ told me that nothing mattered unless I created something that was helpful or interesting to a broad audience.
Your post about the perfect Google+ post is great fodder for marketers, but it’s just the kind of thing that a large broadcaster wouldn’t want to share with the world.
The danger of writing about marketing is that you’re the magician that reveals how all of the magic tricks are done. There’s a great audience for that, but don’t expect to rub elbows with the other magicians.
On that note…
Very true @PeterGMcDermott:disqus. But even Social Media Active Users 2013 [Infographic] didn’t get picked up. And I submitted it directly thinking that Infographics are like crack for Mashable’s audience. lol
You know what @film_girl:disqus I knew I recognized your picture when I saw your comment here, but it didn’t click where I knew it from– I see it on Mashable all the time duh! lol
Well, that’s just awesome how it all came together. I’ll be actively thinking up a strategy that will land me into your next hashtag search! lol 😉