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Building a Better Blog in 2012

Building Our Blogs 2012

Join Me in Building a Better Blog in 2012!

I’ve partnered with a group of bloggers to follow the advice from the super duper amazing guys at Problogger, to follow the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog book together – And I am SUPER excited to take on this challenge! I started my blogging journey in late February of 2011, and what a fun {and sleepless!} year it’s been so far! Now that I feel like I’ve got my feet planted pretty firmly here on my little patch of the web, I’m ready to take things up a notch. I think that the 31 days of ideas, tasks, projects, and posts is going to be pretty darn cool. I’m also participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month too – And again, I’m a day behind – {I’ve got a sick baby, so I’m lucky to get anything done at all!} – so this is my post for Day 2 – share a resource that’s been super useful to you.

Getting Started

I bought the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog ebook to use for this challenge – Then learned that some of the ladies in the group wanted to also get a jump start on our big Blog Improvement project by starting out with ProBlogger’s Guide to your First Week of Blogging. I didn’t buy this one, and wasn’t planning to join in on this – But have had a last minute change of mind after reading a few of their posts. While the information in the ‘First Week’ book is geared towards beginners, it’s always helpful to get back to basics, to make sure that you’re still on track and headed the direction you intended to go.

probloggers first week of blogging ebook

Chapter One

Since I didn’t buy this first book, I’m following along by reading the notes and main points from the book that the totally amazing Misty has been posting over in CEO of Me, Inc. – Read Day 1 of Building a Better Blog here. {Sign up for her email updates if you’d like to follow along too!} You can start this at any time too – each days info will be linked up at the bottom of this post as we go, so if you are finding this after we’ve completed the First Week, you can still learn the material!

CEO of Me, Inc = Rock Star

Since Misty already covered the key points from the chapter really well, I won’t share it all again. But I’d like to add my thoughts and tips to some of the points that she covered. These are things that are super helpful to me – and I hope that some of my tricks can help YOU this year too!

Build an Idea Folder

This is an idea that you simply MUST act on! At first, you find yourself with a million and one ideas that you want to post about – how could you ever run out of things to say! You finally have your own website! Hooray! …. But eventually, like any new adventure, reality sets in. Sometimes you lose a bit of the excitement, and struggle to create new content. If you build up a collection of inspiration and fun ideas, you always have something to come back to. Here a few ways you can do this:

  • 1. Paper and Pen – Keep a notebook on your desk, in your purse, next to the bed, everywhere. Whenever someone asks a great question that you could answer with a blog post, write it down. Funny story you’d love to share? Write it down. Totally world changing great idea? Write it down, so you can share it on your blog. Trust me, if you don’t capture it – odd’s are that you’ll never remember it again.
  • 2. Press This – This deserves it’s own blog post, coming soon. Press This is a super duper amazing little gadget that you simply add to your toolbar – then you use it to collect little shiny tidbits you find around the web, like a Magpie! {Yes, my name is Meagan. Sparkle is my favorite color – everyone knows that. So I’ve of course been nicknamed Magpie many times, lol} If you get distracted easily when online the way that I do, this is a total must have, since it helps you organize all of those cool ideas you come up with while surfin’ around.
  • 3. Pinterest – I also use Pinterest to help me organize my ideas. I have tons of boards, and am always adding more. Instead of filing all of those helpful articles, fun tips, and creative ideas into email folders, I can Pin them to different boards – which makes it SO much easier to find post inspiration! If I’m looking for fun holiday ideas – I’m building boards for each holiday! If I want to write about kids crafts – there’s a board for that. Blogging tips? Yep, I have a new board for that too! If you’re a Pinterest addict too, come and visit me!

Get into a Posting Rhythm

This is very important – and there is no “Right” answer. You have to find what works best for you, and stick to it. This is important for you, so that you can plan your weekly schedule. It’s also important for your readers, so they know what to expect. Here are a few ideas:

  • 1. 10+ times per day: This is a necessary part of the game if you’re a deal blogger: sales, coupons, and freebies expire quickly, they’ve got to post the hottest finds as they come across them. Don’t judge yourself because you post less often – The majority of deal or coupon posts are short and sweet, making them easy to pop out a bunch real quick. I know this, because during big shopping seasons, I post like this too!
  • 2. Once a Week:  If you blog is mostly crafts or cool DIY projects, it might work best to post just once a week. It takes some time to complete those amazing projects, take pictures, edit them, put together tutorials, and the make it all work together in an informative post. Try posting on the same day each week, so that your readers know when to come visit and find your latest creation.
  • 3. Post Daily: This one is a little tougher. It takes a lot more planning and organization to post daily. If you’re trying to come up with original content every single day, if you have to find new ideas to write about every day – you need to do some prep work. And that’s what the these two books are all about!

Build on the Basics

Before I started Sunshine and Sippy Cups, I bought a few books to help me get an idea of how to get started. I was {and still am!} totally tech-challenged. I read a lot of blogs, I felt like I had a ton of great info to share, but I had no idea where to start. The first two books that I read are still my VERY favorite – ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, and Using WordPress, which now comes with a DVD – awesome. In Using WordPress, Tris Hussey has such an easy to read, funny way of explaining all of the tech stuff – I was totally encouraged, and realized that I could do this whole blogging thing. Then I read Darren’s ProBlogger book – and ohmyheck! I was so excited to get started. It is seriously a must-read. So I am totally excited to get back to basics like this – The First Week of Blogging book reminds me to make sure I have a good foundation, to get more organized, and ensure that I’m moving in the right direction. I’m positive that this challenge is going to set me up for a great 2012!

What do YOU think?

Have you read any of the books? Excited to check them out? I’d love for you to share your goals or challenges in the comments here – I learn so much from other bloggers! And, If you are participating in our Building a Better Blog Group, please add your blog to the linky below, so I can read your posts too.  Who’s ready to Build a Better Blog in 2012??

Read More:

Building a Better Blog – Day 2, Finding Systems and Building Presence

Building a Better Blog – Day 3, Concentrate on Content

Building a Better Blog – Day 4, Understanding Your Blog as a Product

Building a Better Blog – Day 5, Putting Yourself Out There

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Comments

  1. Hi Meagan,
    Some really useful information here. Thanks for sharing that. This is only my first week at blogging and I have lots to learn.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Meagan! It’s been great getting to know you & growing our blogs together! :)

  3. It is great to be worrking with you all. It is great getting to know you all and work and grow together. I do recommend other bloggers both new and old to partcipate. oh and btw. i have offers for discounts and free stuff.

  4. Thanks for all the great info, off to check out some of the other posts about blogging you linked to!

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