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Building a Better Blog in 2012 – Day 2: Finding Systems and Building Presence

Building a Better Blog Series

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am very excited to be a part of a great group of bloggers as we challenge ourselves to “Build a Better Blog in 2012!” Today is Day 2 & we will be going over Chapter 2 in ProBlogger’s “Guide to your First Week of Blogging”.  I highly recommend purchasing and reading this e-book {and subscribing for email or RSS updates from Problogger.net too!} Click here to view more details on how to get a copy of the ProBlogger’s ebook. {And if you missed Chapter 1, read more – Build a Better Blog in 2012 Intro Post.}

Chapter 2 – Publish and Build Presence

Since I didn’t get the copy of this first book, I’m following along by using the notes on CEO of Me, Inc – So if you’d like the full run down of all of the key points from Chapter 2, read her post first. She covers everything really well – So I’ll just add some of my thoughts to the points that she covers.

Reviewing Your Posts

This is SO important. Errors happen to the best of us – and if you’re blogging full time like I am, plus keeping up with the house and family, you sometimes write posts in a rush, which leads to mistakes. But – Spelling and grammar errors make your blog look unprofessional, so do your best to avoid them! A few tips:

  • 1. Spell check! This is such a simple tool, it only takes a moment, and there is no reason not to use it. I use Google Chrome as my browser, and it has a built-in spelling and grammar check – Love that!
  • 2. Proof read. I admit, I don’t always have time for this. I sit down with an idea, and I write until I’m done. 90% of the time I go back through and read my post again, and usually find a few spots to change up – so I’m sure that mistakes are getting through on the other 10% of the time. If you can’t proof read every post – that’s ok. The most important posts to double check are the ones that are “Evergreen” content – This means, a post that won’t get outdated. A post about a sale at Macy’s = Not Evergreen. A post about tips on cleaning your kitchen = Evergreen.
  • 3. Effective closing. Make sure that you close with a call to action. This can be as simple as saying – “Like this post? Use the buttons below to share it to your favorite networks!” I guarantee you’ll see a jump in sharing, just for asking. Or close your post with an open-ended question, to encourage comments and discussion. Are you selling a product or service? Then remind them why and how to buy. Whatever you want a reader to do with the information you’re sharing – remind them of it at the end of the post.
  • 4. Set up a Post Checklist. This is great for beginners, and can even be a great activity for advanced bloggers too – Sit down and make a list of what you should be doing on every single post. After awhile, you won’t need your list – it will become a habit.

What should be in a Post Checklist?

The following are just some ideas that you can use – Add your own too, print out a list of them all, and add it to your blogging binder, planner, desktop calendar, or just pin it to the wall above your desk! {And watch for a post next week on how I set up my blogging binder to stay organized…}

  • Make sure your title is not too long, and has loads of keywords.
  • Include an image that’s relevant and high quality.
  • Spell check!
  • Does your closing encourage interaction and sharing?
  • Did you cross link to other related content on your site, if possible?
  • SEO – are you optimizing your post to be found in search engines? {Hint, get a Plug-in like Yoast for WP!}
  • Are you adding the right categories and tags to each post?
  • And are you sharing posts to social media?

Building a Presence on the Web

The more addresses you have on the web, the more likely people are to find you. Some people ask – “Why should I get a Twitter account? I already share everything to Facebook – can’t they check it out there?” But it’s important to remember that everyone has a favorite network, make sure your readers can follow you where THEY want to follow you! Here are a few places where you can find me – some networks I’ve had for a long time, and have built a large fan base. Some are brand new, with few followers. Some of them I use daily, and some I have only used a couple of times. A goal for 2012 is to get them all built into fun communities, where I can interact with some new faces. If you’d like to join me, I’d love to “meet” you too!

  • Facebook – My favorite social media site!
  • Twitter – I’m new to Twitter {8 months} – and finally “get” it.
  • LinkedIn – Great networking site.
  • Google+ – I’m excited to see what happens here.
  • Pinterest – I am a total Pinterest junkie – LOVE it!
  • YouTube – Very new, but video reviews will be rolling out in February!
  • Tumblr – Brand new, and ready to have some fun setting it up.

Closing Notes – Day 2

The main lesson of Chapter 2 is to get into good habits, and find systems that will work for you. {I talked a little about how to stay organized in yesterdays post too – Building a Better Blog Day 1} Setting up some great systems will make you MORE efficient, and make you LESS stressed. My big goal for this month is to take on very few new projects, so that I can really get organized again, set very ambitious goals for the new year – with monthly steps to achieve them! – and find some new systems, apps, sites, and gadgets to help me work smarter – so that I actually have time to live a life worth blogging about! Lol.

What do YOU Think?

What are your biggest challenges to staying organized in your blogging? What solutions have you found that work best for you? Share them in the comments – they might be just what another reader has been looking for!

We’re starting the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge next week! If you’d like to join us, just purchase the book from ProBlogger so you can follow along {Click here to view more details} and then add your link below!



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Comments

  1. Personally, I hate to see spelling and grammar errors in a blogger’s post regardless of its evergreen status. To me, bloggers want to be considered writers and therefore they should put care into what goes on their site. The lack of concern about proper writing techniques is what keeps some folks from refusing to acknowledge bloggers as “real” writers.

    • Sunshine and Sippy Cups says

      I totally agree. I didn’t mean that the evergreen posts are the ONLY time that you should proof read your posts – Just that if you don’t have time spell check 100% of your posts, then PLEASE at least make those ones a priority, since they’re more likely to get traffic into the future. It totally frustrates me when people don’t consider bloggers “real” writers, and I think that this is partly due to the fact that it’s more independent. When there is no editor or boss to look over your shoulder, find and correct mistakes, or push you to perfection – it just doesn’t always happen the same way that it does in a newspaper or magazine. NOT because those people are always better writers, but because there is a team behind them to fix their mistakes.

      As bloggers we have to remember that WE are the boss, and it’s our job to push OURSELVES to perfection :) That said, it’s not always easy to be perfect, lol. And don’t ever get into a habit of comparing yourself to others, either.

      Here’s my best blogging advice – If there was no one else to compare yourself to, would you be proud of your work? If so, then you’re doing things right :)

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