31 Days to Building a Better Blog--Back to Day 22 and then through Day 27

As I stumble to the finish line of the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog challenge, I've apparently begun to block out assignments in a vain attempt to get closer to the end. Here, I'll try to backtrack and catch up. Back to Day 22--Catching New Readers Up on Your Blog As Sue Waters pointed out to me via comments and email, I skipped over the Day 22 assignment,... Read more →

31 Days to a Better Blog--Days 22 & 23: Dead Links and SEO

I'm in the homestretch of the 31 Day Challenge and I think that I can now officially say that blogging has taken over about 40% of my conscious brain capacity. I now eat, sleep and breathe blogging. . . But on through the next tasks. Day 22: Go on a Dead Link Hunt If you've been blogging for awhile, it's safe to say that you're going to have some dead... Read more →

31 Days to a Better Blog--Days 20-21: Reader Surveys and Shout-Outs

I will now be taking multi-purpose blog posting to a new level as I make this post serve three purposes-- as an update on my progress in the Building a Better Blog challenge, a way to accomplish one of my Challenge tasks and a meaningful post on my normal blogging topics. Let's see if I can manage all three. (And I see as write this that another task has been... Read more →

31 Days to a Better Blog--Days 18 & 19: Sneeze Pages and Responding to Comments

First, let me say that today I'm feeling a little better about the whole challenge. Maybe it's because it's Saturday and we're having gorgeous weather. Who knows? At least I'm less crabby than I've been about it. Day 18--Create a "Sneeze Page" to Propel Readers Deeper into Your Blog--I can see that two key lessons in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project are to: Drive your readers... Read more →

31 Days to a Better Blog--Days 16 & 17: Heatmaps and Stumble Ads

Day 16 of the 31 Day Challenge: Create a Heatmap of Where Users Click on Your Blog--OK, this challenge is starting to kick my butt. It's like the day in your new exercise plan when you SERIOUSLY reconsider your whole commitment to getting fit. Anyway. . . for Day 16 I'm creating a heatmap. The goal of a heatmap is to see exactly where on a page your users click.... Read more →

31 Days to a Better Blog--Day 15: Stickify Your Blog

Yesterday's task in the 31 Day Project was to "stickify" my blog--that is, to turn one-time readers into RSS subscribers by either driving them deeper into other blog posts so they get hooked and want to subscribe or by getting them to subscribe on the basis of a strong post. To do this, I headed back into Google Analytics to take a look at my most popular pages. Many of... Read more →

Our 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge Group Just Got Bigger (and Cuter!)

Lured by the chocolate, Al Upton's class of 9-year old miniLegends have just joined the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog challenge. No offense to the other participants, but this group wins the "cutest bloggers" contest, hands down! Not surprisingly, it was the dynamic duo of Sue Waters and Frances McLean who talked Al and his class into joining. These new bloggers will be picking from Darren's list of... Read more →

31 Days to a Better Blog--Day 14: Analyze the Competition

Day 14 of the 31 Days Project (almost halfway there!) and it's time to analyze my blogging "competition." Not, says Darren, so that I can actually compete with them, but so I can see if there are niches to be filled by my own blog. Makes sense. Darren suggests getting together a list of 10 blogs in my niche, plugging their feeds into my reader and committing myself to reading... Read more →

31 Days to a Better Blog--Days 12 & 13: Introduce Yourself to Another Blogger and Find An Affiliate Program

This is the day when I begin to wonder what I got myself into with this whole 31 Day Challenge thing. I'm beginning to feel absolutely obsessed by what I should write, what I should tweak, etc. to the point where I'm waking up thinking about my blog! And now with all my redesign futzing around, I'm two days behind on the challenge and have yet to decide what I'll... Read more →

31 Days to a Better Blog--Day 11: Dig Into Your Stats

Day 11 of the 31 Day project and it's time to dig into my site stats. According to Darren, I should be looking at: My most popular posts--This will not only give me some clues about writing topics, it will also show me where I can try to drive readers deeper into my blog by optimizing those pages. Referral stats--what sites are sending me the most traffic? What questions are... Read more →