Essential Keystrokes is…

where I share my favorite tips, tools, reviews and commentary on web design, marketing, blogging, new media and related topics. For more about this site and the voice behind it, check out my About page.


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Archive for Web Marketing


Happy RSS Day

Posted by: Char | Comments (4)

May 1st is RSS Awareness Day! In celebration, let’s start off with the best explanation of RSS ever from the folks at Common Craft.

Once you understand what RSS is, you need to find your favorite aggregator. Personally, I prefer Google Reader, but I know many who swear by Netvibes, Pageflakes and Bloglines. (Here is a full list of feed aggregators). This allows you to stay up to date on your favorite sites from one convenient site.

More fun RSS tools:

  • A huge compilation of free RSS icons of all shapes and sizes for you to use on your site
  • Feedburner – the ultimate tool for managing, publishing and monetizing your feed.
  • Mashable has the ultimate list of 120 RSS Tools with everything from readers, plugins, hacks, and such to help you get the most of your feed.

Happy RSS Day! Don’t forget to hug your chicklet today!

Comments (4)

Links You Don’t Want to Miss

Posted by: Char | Comments (4)

There’s so much good information coming from talented bloggers that is sometimes hard to keep up with it all. Here are some posts worthy of sharing:

Thanks to all the web professionals who continue to share their knowledge, tips and insight so that we can all benefit!!

Comments (4)

DevDad We have a Guest Blogger today!  Mike, a.k.a DevDad, is a web designer and SEO specialist from Tampa Bay, Florida. Mike writes at DevDad as a way to document his life as a stay-at-home dad, as a new business owner, and as a guy who is trying to figure out how to juggle more than he is used to.


One of the things I have struggled with throughout my entire career, whether working for myself or someone else, is whether I should focus on the things that make “bringing home the bacon” exceptionally easy, or those that I legitimately enjoy. I have always done web design, but don’t consider myself particularly gifted when it comes to the actual creation process, and more importantly, I don’t really enjoy it. What I love, however, is the internet marketing field as a whole.

I love writing and turning the basic text people throw on their websites into optimized, sales-driven page copy. Yes, it’s geeky, but besides my daughter, I literally live for making websites successful. I do not, however, live for making websites. There is something magical about turning a side project into a self-sufficient driving force for a client’s business. While the actual design process is obviously an essential factor in terms of success, it just isn’t where I shine. When success is quantitative, you can quickly and easily measure whether or not you are doing your job, which, for me anyway, is extremely important.

There are literally thousands of web designers out there who consider themselves SEO specialists – I was one of them, only the opposite. I have become an internet marketing specialist that is also a designer. If we could all face the facts about what we are and are not, we’d all have businesses that produce higher quality products, and as a result, are much more profitable. It took years, but I have come to the realization that I am not a web designer. I have an eye for good design, but I lack the interest, workflow, and at times, the ability to take on large-scale design projects. Sure, I’ve completed dozens of websites, and have overwhelmingly happy clients. I just don’t love it.

So, to all you designers out there who pretend to be marketing people, and marketing people who pretend to be designers, why not focus on what gets you hot? If it’s design, focus on design! If it’s marketing, focus on marketing! If it’s both, more power to you! For those of you that realize that you really enjoy or excel at one aspect of the internet “game”, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would love to collaborate on projects to make sure everything is completed quickly, properly, and passionately. I can even think of one guy that would love to work something out with a designer who is tired of doing the marketing on client projects!


Char speaking now! I agree with Mike. There are so many aspects to working in Web design and it is difficult to be good at it all, especially if you are interested in taking on larger projects. One of the biggest benefits to blogging and social media is the ability to connect with others in your field who have complimentary skill sets to your own.

Here are a few more of my favorite posts on finding your passion and putting it into play in your business:


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