Just after I redesigned my blog last March, Cory Miller sent an email to me giving me some suggestions on how to tweak the layout to get more traffic.
My first instinct was to delete the mail because I had just spent $3000 on a blog design and I didn't want to hear it was already out of date. But I have learned my lesson about ignoring reader advice, so I gave some of his suggestions a try.
It's because of Cory that there is suggested reading at the end of every post. The suggested posts are supposed to be related to the post at hand, but in fact, I find they are seldom related. That doesn't seem to matter, though. As soon as I implemented this feature, my traffic went up.
Cory also told me that I could put search toward the bottom of the page. I was shocked to hear that most people don't search blogs. But when I looked at the record of recent searches on Brazen Careerist, it was true: Almost every search was one I had done myself, looking for a specific post to link to.
It was around this time that my book publicity was heating up, and I was launching a home site to promote the book, and I needed to hire someone to help me. When Cory saw that I implemented his changes, he offered to do work for me for free.
That would have been great. But I know myself. I make lots of little changes and I work really late at night, and I overreact to problems like the day I accidentally turned my whole blog bold and I couldn't figure out where the missing HTML tag was. I need to pay someone to make it worth putting up with me.
So I hired Cory at his regular rate. And it was worth every penny. But hold it. You know what I did first? I read his blog a little more carefully because he is an evangelical Christian.
As a liberal Jew, I have never really come into contact with someone like him. And, now that I think about it, I have managed to live among a heavily gay population in New York City and Los Angeles, and in a bastion of atheist academics in Boston, and the most conservative place I have ever lived is in the spot in Chicago where tourists go to bars “? not outright liberal, but I certainly didn't meet any evangelists there.
After reading his blog, I decided that hiring Cory would broaden my world. And it has. For one thing, Cory is smart about search engine optimization and how it relates to design, so I am getting smarter. And he is an ace with WordPress to the point that he's made me love it. But he has also taught me about living ones values at work.
Of course I asked him about all the religion stuff. He was shocked to hear I was Jewish, and I was shocked that he didn't know. But maybe Jewish radar is like gay radar and straight men don't have any. Anyway, the final thing I have learned from Cory is about living life according to one's values. He does it in a more extreme way than I could. I cherish my moments of hypocrisy. But I really admire him for believing in something. I think that's important. I want to live life according to my values, too. I am just less certain than he is about what they are.
But I digress. This is Coachology, right? Cory is offering to create a new blog design (and implement it) for someone for free. It's gotta be in WordPress, (technically called a WordPress Theme) and he's going to give you six hours of his time. If you are high maintenance, indecisive and difficult, you are going to find that six hours is a tight limit. (But maybe you can change. Here are instructions on how to be a good client during the design process.)
Cory's expertise is creating blog designs that boost traffic, so the people who will benefit the most from this offer are not brand-new bloggers, but people who have established some sort of an audience already.
If you'd like this chance to spruce up your blog, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with three sentences about why you'd be a good candidate for the award. The deadline for submitting an email is Sunday, and Cory will pick a winner next week.