The Vision and Focus of Site Sketch 101

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Amazing Content.
Brilliant Design.
Commanding Influence.

These three concepts are at the core of Site Sketch 101. They are the foundational pillars necessary to build a powerful and profitable blog.

I’m Nicholas Z. Cardot. I’m a husband, a father, a soldier in the United States Army, and an avid blogger and website developer. I love connecting with real people and helping others to develop their online skills.

For nearly a decade now, I have been scouring the internet searching for resources and practices that can be used to produce amazing websites and blogs.

I have searched for textures, graphics, icons, tutorials, themes, content management systems, and more. I’ve studied the psychology of design, colors, typography, and word selection.

After years of research, I now have hundreds of resources and best practices at my disposal which I fully intend on sharing with you here at Site Sketch 101.

Getting Started Can Be Hard…Let me Help

I remember what a depressing feeling it was when I was getting started. I was having so much difficulty finding tools that I could use to create websites that actually looked appealing to potential visitors.

I know first hand how difficult it can be to set up a site or to begin making connection on social media when you are just starting out in this line of work.

It’s those memories of working so hard that are my inspiration to create this website. I want to take my years of experience and pour them out so every one of you who has a desire to create amazing, appealing websites or blogs for your church, charity, business or self can get it done.

This site is all about taking you from the beginning stages of building your online presence and launching you into a realm of professionalism that will make you stand out on the internet.

So friends, welcome aboard Site Sketch 101. Your education is about to begin!


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38 Vibrant Comments

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  1. November 15, 2009

    Boni said:

    Yeah, I found it is difficult to start a new blog. I have run my bloG about one month and get nothing, i use many good wordpress plugin and got no visitor too. It is really difficult to make a good article that good enough to attract another people… But i will try the best and the really best..
    BTW how to get Pagerank or alexa rank… How long time to get about 3PR…?
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Hey, There is Water in the Moon … =-.

    • November 15, 2009

      David | said:

      Hi, Boni.

      My suggestions:

      – Enjoy the journey.
      – Write just about what you love, what make you feel comfortable.
      – Don’t worry too much about getting traffic.
      – Use Twitter and Stumble Upon
      – Meet some buddy bloggers and help your mates and they will help you.
      I will be glad to be your buddy and help you in what I can.

      As Nick always says: “let’s grow together”

    • November 16, 2009

      Renz said:

      I also just starting out my own hosted blog last nov 12, 2009. I too only know few techniques to create wonderful blog. I’ll also try my best to follow Nicholas’ guide.

      • November 16, 2009

        Nicholas Cardot said:

        Renz –> I’m here to do whatever I can to help you grow your site into something amazing. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and learn.

  2. November 15, 2009

    Chris said:

    Hi Nicholas. I didn’t know that you were full time Army. I am a former Army Guardsman and OIF vet myself. I served with the 119th MP Co. (now disbanded) out of RI in Iraq in 2002-2003. Have you been over? When I was there, I served with a lot of cool guys and gals from the 3rd ID, 3rd ACR and 1st Armored Cav. Although nobody likes a war, I look back on that time with fondness as I think of all of the great people I met and valuable friendships I developed. I know I’m off topic here, but just wanted to say thank-you and God bless.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: The Top 10 Gang Movies Of The 90’s =-.

  3. November 15, 2009

    Roschelle said:

    As often as I visit here, I think I’ve heard you mention that you’re a military man. Sorry I didn’t get by on Veterans Day to personally thank you for your service to our great country. But then again I can do that any day, right? So, Thank you Nick! Stay safe!!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Sunday Selects =-.

  4. November 15, 2009

    Chris said:

    Boni, I think I can answer some of those questions for you. I have been blogging for just about six months now and I am getting about 40-70 unique visitors a day, so I know how hard it is to get traffic. I recently achieved a page rank of 2, so that should give you an idea of the time frame. However, I have worked very hard to achieve backlinks to my blog, so I think page rank will differ for everybody depending on how much is put into it.

    It’s a good idea to submit or have others submit your articles to social sites. Personally, I try to get all of my articles submitted to Digg, Stumble Upon, Reddit and Yahoo Buzz. I also always tweet the link on Twitter. It’s a great idea to leave lots of comments on popular blogs. If you do, make sure they are worthwhile and not spam-like.

    I also got a lot of good info from free ebooks on traffic and blogging. Do a Google search for “free blogging ebooks”, and that should lead you to a few. Also, the Problogger book that Nicholas was talking about is a good investment. Also, join forums and leave interactive posts. A lot of them allow you to put a link to your website in your signature. Those can be valuable backlinks for traffic and page rank.

    Above all, try not to get down on yourself and try to stay positive. Don’t give up. Your writing and content will get better and better with time. Best of luck to you.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: The Top 10 Gang Movies Of The 90’s =-.

  5. November 15, 2009

    David | said:

    Hey Nick, I’m learning a lot from you, and I encourage everybody to follow your amazing tips and wisdom.

    You have a vision on what you want to achieve and how to do so, that’s the key.

    Lately I’ve been mulling over the idea of changing my design, but I want to do the right step, with a great design (simple, clean, and highly functional).
    But I’m not sure how to proceed.

    I’m thinking to buy the thesis theme, because I’ve heard it’s SEO optimized and really easy to use. But I’d like to customize it and make my own design.

    Thanks Nick for sharing your knowledge :).

    • November 15, 2009

      Robomaster said:

      I checked your blog, and you have a nice minimalistic theme going there. However, there seems to be a little too much whitespace. (If that’s even possible…) The retweet box seems to be taking up several whole columns after the “sharethis ” widget, and it looks a little bit strange.

      I would definitely consider buying the thesis theme, or even better, subscribing to ElegantThemes and using the Puretype theme:

      (No affiliate link there, in case you’re wondering. 😉 Not that it’d make much of a difference – affiliate links are good! Makes the buyer, the affiliate marketer, AND the company selling the product happy.)

      • November 15, 2009

        David | said:

        Hey Robomaster, thanks for your advice.

        About the retweet box I know what you mean, but I don’t know how to fix it. I think I would need to write some code, but as I’m planning to switch my current theme to another one…

        Can I ask you something: Why do you prefer the Prototype theme to Thesis?

        Thanks again Robomaster for your feedback 🙂

  6. November 15, 2009

    chandan said:

    Thank you Nick for share your nice thought, Just keep writing nice post, we are always ready to listen from you.

  7. November 15, 2009

    Chris said:

    I’ve heard that the Thesis theme for WordPress is the most customizable and flexible theme you can buy. Many real popular blogs swear by it. If I ever decide to go with WordPress, I think I’ll probably use Thesis. If you want to see a goos example of Thesis in use, visit a blog called Blogussion.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: The Top 10 Gang Movies Of The 90’s =-.

  8. November 15, 2009

    Robomaster said:

    That’s a very good focus you have set up for SS101. I can very easily see you up there with other probloggers very soon; right now, it seems that main breakthrough you could make would be to quit your job working in the military.

    That might sound a little forceful, but from what I can tell at the moment, you won’t be able to do much better than you are right now unless you have more time to work on this blog than Saturday and a few minutes between weekdays.

    Were you considering doing this from the beginning, or do you like your job at the military and would never want to leave it?

  9. November 15, 2009

    Dana @ Online Knowledge said:

    I am really thankful you start this blog because i learn many thing from it.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: WordPress Upgrading: 2.8.6. Version =-.

  10. November 15, 2009

    Ron Boracay said:

    Hey Nick, congrats again to your blog success. I can say that you help me a lot in terms of blogging and writing. Thanks again!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Two Seasons Boracay =-.

  11. November 16, 2009

    Reza Winandar said:

    Starting a blog is more difficult than managing a blog. Because you don’t have any readers yet and of course a community so it will be hard to promote a content, UNLESS you spend some money in Google Adwords or paid review.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: 100 Adsense Tips – Part 2 =-.

  12. May 18, 2010

    Mars Dorian said:

    Hey Nicholas,

    I’ve sent you a guest post a few weeks ago, and I haven’t gotten any feedback yet.

    “How to build a kick-ass online presence”

    Tell me what you think, and if you have criticism, awesome, I want to hear it

    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Internet Marketer VS. Digital Crusader – Who Wins ? =-.

  13. January 8, 2011

    Kars said:

    “This site is all about taking you from the beginning stages of web design or blogging and launching you into a realm of professionalism..”

    Nice to read this vision. I’m missing the webdesign part a bit in your recent posts, but I’ll digg through your older posts to see what I can find there.

  14. February 13, 2011

    Riley Harrison said:

    Hello Nicholas,
    First of all, I love the feel of your blog it’s such an aesthetic pleasure to visit. We are kindred spirits when it comes helping people tap their vast unrealized potential.I teach and write books on self empowerment and this is the point (unrealized potential) that is present in all my communications with those who wish to get unstuck and live life fully.Keep up the good work; it’s very inspirational.

  15. April 4, 2011

    ah hong said:

    SiteSketch 101 is no doubt one of the best resources for any newbie like me to start a site or blog. Good job for Nick and the guest writer who deliver new piece of social media related content to us. Keep it up!

  16. May 10, 2011

    Mila said:

    Hi Nick! This is my first time to your site. Thanks for all the cool stuff! I’m just starting a blog. I purchased the Elegant Theme and am really struggling to figure out how to make it work.

    One thing I’m working on is how to replace their header with my blog title. I heard I could hire someone at to do it, but I don’t even know how to tell someone what I need. Any thoughts for a total beginner who has wasted a mountain of time just trying to make the technical part work?

    Thanks very much! Mila

  17. June 18, 2011

    James said:

    Site Sketch 101 is awesome. Nicholas, you have done a smashing job and I will be linking to this site from my Facebook account!

    • July 10, 2011

      Ian Roberts said:

      Hi Nick – yes your’s is a great site with some cool folk coming by to get help and you seem to be a switched on very helpful guy. My problem is I have an active blog with around 400 unique visits a day and rising , am on twitter , facebook and I think I create compelling content but I get very little feedback or comments. My ambition is to get around 1000 visits a day by Christmas.

      With very kind regards


  18. September 9, 2011

    Jonathan Weatherhead said:

    A truly talented blogger and designer, you are a great inspiration to aspirant entrepreneurs seeking to make their mark on the internet.
    I take away something new with every visit to sitesketch101. Keep up the awesome work Nicholas!

  19. February 8, 2012

    Ajnabii said:

    Hello Nicholas Cardot,

    I’m new in blogging, i have just started a new blog would you please help me ?

    As a team member want to post on my blog and give me suggestions for making it better?

  20. March 28, 2012

    Wilson said:

    Hi Nicholas, I have just started to blog with a free wordpress site and looking for tips to grow as a blogger. Your websites design is incredible. Looking forward to go through your articles.

  21. April 20, 2012

    keretahitam said:

    hi nicholas,

    i`m from Malaysia just get here to look for “generate traffic for blog”
    and i like your wordpress design.

    Thanks man.

  22. June 8, 2012

    Faisal Rahim said:

    Hi Nicholas Cardot,
    Your all post are to much unique and i think that you are also unique person how is write and doing unique work. The them of your website is great. Love you….

  23. July 21, 2012

    eric hicks said:

    Thanks for doing this site Nick, it has been a real help to me as a new webmaster.

  24. January 6, 2014

    Michael Scott said:

    I’m curious about the fact that “The 15 Best SEO Tips for WordPress in 2011” is listed THREE times in the list, above.
    Is it some kind of SEO “trick” you’re performing? 🙂

    • January 20, 2014

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Ha ha. I think it may have been a trick I was using back in 2011. If you found the page, I guess it worked. lol

  25. January 19, 2014

    Michael Scott said:

    I guess you don’t ever respond to “comments” on your page………or, perhaps you had a death in your family recently, in which case I’m terribly sorry.