SITS 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge – Day 6

How to BlogToday’s Task:  27 Must-Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger fame compiles a list of “must-read tips and tutorials for bloggers” for Day 6 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge.  Yeah, that’s a heck of a lot of reading, but when it says must-read and tips and tutorials and blogger, you’re interest is kind of peaked.  I will not link to every tip and tutorial because I don’t think that’s fair to Darren, but I will link to my favorites:

How to Get Traffic to Your Blog

21 Tips to Earn Links and Tweets to Your Blog Post

25 Paths to an Insanely Popular Blog

The Art of Getting Things Wrong

Why Don’t Bloggers Understand Email Marketing?

10 Reasons Readers Don’t Leave Comments

43 Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid

How to Find Advertisers for Your Website:  The Ultimate Guide

50 Ways to Take Your Blog to the Next Level

40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content

27 Blogging Secrets to Power Your Community


SITS 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge – Day 5

How to BlogToday’s Task:  Email a Blog Reader

Finally, a bit of a “break.”

I have done this a couple of time and have received a mixed response.  One woman was very touched, and I never heard from a few.  Eh, no worries.

I do enjoy engaging with my readers here on the blog, though.

One thing that was brought up in the SITS forum was responding to readers’ comments on your blog in the comments section versus replying to them in an email.

I’ve always been a reply in the comments section person, but the discussion did bring up a valid point:  nobody ever really comes back to check for replies.  Of course, they have the option to subscribe on my blog {I do this whenever I can on other blogs I comment on}, but nobody really takes advantage of it.

So, replying via email sounds good.  But then, I worry that it looks as if I don’t engage my readers on the blog.  One woman suggested replying via email and then copying that into a reply in the comments section.  A bit more work, yes, but solves my problem nonetheless.  Still have to give this one more thought.

I think I’d like to set aside more regular time to go visit the blogs of my commenters.  I try to do that anyway, but it’s more of a “as I have time” thing, as opposed to scheduled time.  This will connect me with my readers as well as help support them and their blogs.

SITS 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge – Day 4

How to Blog Today’s Task:  Analyze Another Blog

Today’s 31DBBB task was to analyze another blog {one within my niche and one outside it}.  You might think this would be easy, since most of us who blog also read blogs.  Lemme tell you though, it wasn’t!

First, you have to pick one.  It feels like the whole picking your kickball team and inevitably somebody is left sad and lonely, waiting to be picked.  I’m sure given my small existence within cyberspace nobody would even know that I didn’t pick them, but still, it feels weird.

Then you have to sit there and try to analyze, without feeling like an utter failure on your own blog, and attempting to process without stealing.

So what blog did I analyze?

I used a series of tags to narrow down my search on Delicious.  Through this highly scientific process, I decided to analyze Simple Homeschool, a blog within my niche {homeschooling}.

First impressions…

First impressions are that Janice’s blog is clean looking, like a pretty crisp white sheet.  She incorporates a nice amount of color that seems to blend into the page without gouging your eyeballs.

Genius stuff…

I really like the way she has her categories/topics set up.  There are eight; easy to see at once and easy to sort through.  In addition, they change color and have a cute little graphic next to them when you hover over the link.

These are the most important topics I would think a homeschool parent would be interested in when they came to her blog.  She doesn’t blog just within these categories, as she has a tag cloud in her footer.

I also like the fact that her navigation bar is not cluttered with tons of options.  She has the most important up there:  Home, About, Contact, Advertise, Meet the Contributors, and Articles up top.

Everything else {tag cloud, mission statement, disclosure, press page, and the short about the blog blurb} is at the bottom.  She has incorporated all elements you need {archives, categories, press, disclosure, etc.} but has spaced them so there’s not a huge glob of stuff in a sidebar.

Simple Homeschool {well, the whole Simple Living Media conglomerate} has an uber media kit.  I think it’s one of my favorite ones to date.  When my blog grows up, it wants one of those.

These are the basics I took from my analysis.  I’m pretty sure there was more, but I got sidetracked with all the digging and didn’t have a chance to analyze a blog outside my niche.

SITS 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge: Day 3

How to Blog
Today’s Post: Promote a Blog Post

When you take the time to write a really great blog post, you shouldn’t just let it sit there and collect dust.  You should draw readers in!!

There are a number of ways to do this, but the favorites seem to be Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon.  I use all of these, and just today got signed up on Triberr, so we’ll see how that one goes.

In the spirit of promoting blog posts, here are the Day 2 list posts of my SITS 31DBBB group:

Sharing My June Sponsors

7 Reasons I Enjoy Living Between 3 Countries

Top 10 Things NOT to Say to a Pregnant Woman

5 Things People Assume About Theologians