I recently pulled out an e-book that I first read back in 2008, when I started blogging regularly. It’s titled The Simple Web: A web philosophy for getting what you want, by Skellie. I find that it’s every bit as relevant now as when I first discovered it and I’m happy to be able to share it here. You may download it, with the author’s gracious permission, by clicking on the link above.
In a concise 27 pages, Skellie asks and answers the following question:
How can I get visitors, subscribers, comments, inbound links, and people saying good things about what I do?
Evaluate every action, every possible change, and every existing feature of your blog or website, and ask: Is it gripping? Can the reader resonate with it? Does it make it easy (and rewarding) to interact? And most importantly: is it easy (or rewarding) to talk about? That’s all you need to know. Do these things, and you’ll get everything you want.
The remainder of the e-book is devoted to each of these four elements: Gripping, resonating, interacting and talking. Each section includes concrete suggestions for things to try on your website or blog and strategies for evaluating a site you may already have.
The Simple Web philosophy suggests that we simplify our websites by doing and adding things only if they help us to achieve our goals. Skellie suggests that we qualify every action or element of our sites as either +1 or -1. It either grips or distracts, resonates or bores, interacts or preaches, talks or is apathetic. There is little or no neutral ground.
The belief in zero, in certain things being neither one nor the other, and therefore acceptable, causes us to waste time and visitor attention on actions and elements that simply don’t contribute to the growth of your site.
Try evaluating your current site, or the one you are about to build, in this light and you may find it becoming much smaller, simpler and more effective.
Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Cross-posted on webdancers.com.