I wanted to share the thought process behind the way I customized this blog. As with any web project that I’m involved with, I began by setting the goals of the blog (what do I want to accomplish?), then choosing the tactics I would focus on (of all the things I could do in order to advance my goals, which few things can I do really well?), and then articulating a theme that will help me make any tough tie-breaking decisions.
By starting with this outline, it was easy to optimize the blog without wasting time on enhancements that I was likely to change my mind about later. I created an “anchor” section that stays the same, whether you’re viewing the homepage of the blog or any of the blog posts. This anchor section includes two informational sections – an “About me” page and “My most popular posts,” both of which are important for new visitors to the blog.
The “anchor” section also includes three ways for readers to easily subscribe to the blog. You can subscribe to the blog by email, or through Posterous, or you can follow me on Twitter. These options are available to readers from the home page or from each individual blog post.
If I had started out with different goals (say, for example, the goal of maximizing monetization through advertising), I would have made different choices and ended up with a different blog. If I hadn’t started out with any goals, I have no idea what choices I would have made, and I have no idea what type of blog I would have ended up with.