Classroom Assignment 4 Example - Inspiration From Others - Themes, Signatures, and Profile Pages

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Craig's Classroom - Virtual Course Graphics for Bloggers 101 is underway. (course information page, pre-recorded videos, watch at your own pace, enrollment is still OPEN!) We have a nice group signed up! :) I am creating a series of classroom assignments for the students to complete the course. This post is to illustrate a report on Assignment #4 - Inspiration from Others - Themes, Signatures, and Profile Pages

Choose two examples of blog page themes that you like. Theme in this case is in reference to the banner graphic at the top of the page and the background selection (solid color, pattern, or image). Give the URL to the two specific posts where we can see the theme. Give a short narrative about why you like it.

Chose one example of a good blog signature at the bottom of the post. It should have good use of graphics such as a photo, social media buttons, and/or calls to action buttons. Specify the URL of the post so we can see it. Give a short narrative about why you like it.

Chose one example of a good profile page. It should have good use of graphics and not just be a wall of words. Specify the URL of the page so we can see it. Give a short narrative about why you like it.

the following post is an example of what the students need to create
note to students: you do not need to do screenshots, that is just my little addition to my own post :) 

(I'm including this post in my own regular blog feed as well as you all might enjoy seeing some good examples for inspiration)

Assignment #4 -
Inspiration from Others -  The
mes, Signatures, and Profile Pages

page themeThe banner of a post should give some basic information about the purpose of your blog. Who are you? Where are you? What is this blog going to be about? Richard Weisser shows that simple is effective. His banner has two images along with text on a solid background. It DOES tell us what his blog is about and it does give us an unmistakable way to contact him. The background of the page also matches and it frames in the blog content. We are NOT distracted by the background as is easily the case and we see with many bloggers!

themeThe second theme that I have chosen for show and tell is that of Judy Jennings. Her banner is a collage of many little squares of local imagery. The intensity level is turned down so it is not overpowering and she has put her blog title text right over the top of it that way. She has a nice secondary tagline text on her banner. Her background is a tiled image, subtle not overpowering.

Moving on to blog signatures... Let's take a look at two (even though the assignment only calls for one). Unfortunately, I have real trouble finding blog signatures that I can give gold stars too. You've written a fantastic blog post, somebody has found you for the first time via a google search, now what! You leave them empty handed!!? Or you give them a page full of keyword stuffed text that nobody reads (is that REALLY helping then?). Signatures should be short and to the point. Is the "footer" of your post taller than the actual blog post? These are things to think about.

signatureMeanwhile, let me show you first Melissa McKinney. The top of her blog signature on the left and right are two call to action buttons. Search for homes and Homes by Email are two things that are relevant to the prospective home buyer. Then she gives links to her website and how to call her. She concludes with ways to connect with her on social media so that interested ones can get to know her better. And YouTube you say? People love videos! What does your YouTube channel look like?

signatureNext, let me show you Todd Clark. If you know Todd, you know he likes baseball. Giving a little of our personal interests in our blogs is a great way to really connect with somebody of similar interest. We don't want to overdo so as not to turn anybody off either, but Todd has a great balance as you read his blogs. He is ready with the "what's next?" question but offering links (as baseball buttons) to his website, a page to search for homes, and his main website.

Are you linking to your IDX in your blog signature? If you have 10 niche domains, please don't link to every one of them. They only confuse everybody. What is your MAIN website?

Finally, we move on to profile pages. When somebody clicks your photo or when you make a great comment and they come over to visit your page what do they see? Is it like when you buy a photo frame and the default photo is still in there? Make it your own! The problem with profile pages is that people fill in their stock text when they first get an account and then never come back to edit. Most leave their pages as walls of words. If you wouldn't do that with a blog post, why is it ok for your profile page? People want images! The other problem is that profile pages are (in my opinion) often way too long. How much time do you think people have these days!! I know I'm always short of time, how about you?

profileSo let's look at the one good example that I picked out which is Ginny Gorman. She has a nice mix a information about her, about her area, and about the real estate locally. She mixes in graphics to make the page much more interesting. She includes testimonials and even includes a video testimonial.

Profile pages need calls to action too. Buttons are good, they are very hard to miss! Give them actions of things they will actually want to click. Think like a consumer!

I have a feeling (I'm hoping) that after all of you finish my class, I'll have lots more good examples of themes, signatures and profile pages to point to and give out more gold stars! :)

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Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

HI Craig,

Okay okay, we know we are falling behind on the assignment, thanks for the reminders, and the assignments, we will catch up over the next week or so, keep up the great work.

Feb 19, 2012 02:32 AM #1
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Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
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hello Pfanns - don't worry that I'm pushing out a wave of assignments here these past couple of days - I'm just trying to get a big head start! You all will catch up to me soon enough (when you can). I really look forward to your posts! :)

Feb 19, 2012 02:35 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,543,065
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I'm sure your class will be terrific. You should have said something about having 8" or more for a blog signature. It's getting a little out of hand. Short & sweet, neat & complete.

Feb 19, 2012 03:28 AM #3
Rainmaker
798,169
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Hi Craig....

Ha ha, I've been crazy trying to catch up on the first 3 assignments (which I've completed) then I see #4..  Well, this one looks a little easier, so I'll probably start playing around with it tomorrow.  Learning for me is really, DOING.  So this has been great for me.  

Feb 19, 2012 06:13 AM #4
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442,659
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC
Realtor/Broker

I'm not in your class this time so I really appreciate your posting your advice and examples.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do on my blog signature ..

Feb 19, 2012 07:40 AM #5
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Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Lyn - there's a clue if you have to scroll just to see the height of the signature! maybe my soap box work will pay off someday! :)

Cindy - hello star pupil - nice work on the assignments. I'm glad that by doing you are learning all the better. That's exactly as I had hoped.

Dianne - I figured the narratives for those even not in class might have a spark here or there - have fun with your signature! :)

Feb 19, 2012 08:14 AM #6
Rainmaker
798,169
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Hi Craig,

I want to learn how do to graphs and charts.  Any chance you will be doing a class on that???  If not, can you direct me to where I can learn this information.  Thanks for all your help, I'm enjoying your class.   

Feb 21, 2012 09:17 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Craig, I need to work on my profile page. This is a great nudge to remind me to put that back on the list!

Sharon

Feb 21, 2012 09:42 AM #8
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Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Cindy - module 10 gets just a little into creating charts, it will be a good start anyway - you and Carolyn are going to cross the finish line first so it appears! :)

Sharon - I think it is time well spent! thanks for visiting :)

Feb 22, 2012 01:56 AM #9
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Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Hi Craig! Thanks for following me on Pinterest and your ocassional advice for my Google needs. Jerry Newman says great things about you. I suppose I should come by here more often. Good stuff. I just feel like I'm always one step behind my intentions.

Feb 22, 2012 04:44 AM #10
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