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31 Days to Building a Better Blog – 2007

Do You want to Improve Your Blog with Some Daily blogging Tips? Read on to Find Out How

Two years ago today I launched a month long project here at ProBlogger that I still get feedback about today. For the month of August in 2005 I ran something called – 31 Days to Building a Better Blog.

When I started out on this project I wasn’t quite sure how it would end up – but it ended up being largely two things:

1. A month long series of my own blog tips covering a wide array of topics
2. A month long Group Writing Project – where readers were encouraged to write and submit their own blog tips (written on their own blog but linked to from ProBlogger)

You can see the results of the project at the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Summary Page where I list both my posts and those written by readers.

Building-A-Better-Blog

August is here again and after many requests to run something similar I’ve been planning another 31 day project and have decided to declare August 2007 another Build a Better Blog Month.

This time there will be a few changes – but the basics will remain the same (ie that I’ll be writing a tip per day for the whole month and that I’ll be linking to tips written by readers over the month).

The details:

My Posts

This year my posts will have a slightly different focus than last time we ran this project. Over this time I want to post 31 simple and practical tips – each with a task associated with them (homework). The tips will not be massive posts that will take you hours to reader and apply – rather they’ll be short, sharp tips that hopefully you’ll be able to spend a few minutes reading and then 10 or so minutes doing something about.

The Tips will not be about writing content (If you want a similar thing but with a writing content focus check out my very recent 7 Days to Rediscovering Your Blogging Groove project).

While writing content is absolutely central in creating a successful blog – I want to focus this next month more upon some tips around:

  • finding readers
  • building community/keeping readers
  • monetizing a blog

My hope is that each day you’ll have something to read but then have an achievable task to do that over time will help improve your blog. Some of these tasks will be one off things and others will hopefully be skills and practices that you can revisit over the weeks and months that follow.

The tips that will come over the coming month will be basic enough for beginners to follow but also solid tips that should help any blog to grow.

To keep up to date with these posts you’ll need to either subscribe to ProBlogger using our RSS feed or subscribe via Email for daily updates.

Your Posts

I want to put a call out for readers to write their own blog tips and to post them on their own blogs. Once you’ve written your post (note – I’m only accepting new posts, not previously written ones) please let me know via this submission form where you’ll be asked for your blog tip’s title/post name, the URL of the tip on your own blog as well as your own name (all of this will be published). You’ll also be asked for your email (not to be published) so that we can contact you if there’s a problem with the submission.

At least twice per week over the next month I’ll post a list of the blog tips that you have submitted so that everyone can learn from your experience and expertise. Do you have to link back to ProBlogger with your post? No – but you’re more than welcome to if you would like your readers to find out what you’re participating in.

I will endeavor to find a prize for one lucky participant between now and the end of August – although the point of this isn’t really about competition or prizes – but is about us learning about blogging together.

Your posts can be on any topic that is relevant to helping other bloggers improve any aspect of their blogging (but please keep them to the theme of improving a blog). It could be on writing content, finding readers, SEO, blog design, monetizing a blog, blog marketing etc – as long as it’s a genuine tip I’ll include it. My hope is that you’ll particularly feel inspired to write practical tips that readers can apply to their blogging – to help them actually improve their blogs.

Please feel free to submit multiple tips – however please don’t go overboard (one per day as an absolute maximum). Please also keep them to being NEW POSTS.

Other Ways to Participate

If you don’t want to submit a post (or it’s not appropriate to write one on your blog) you can still participate in a few ways:

  1. ask a question that you’d like someone to write about in comments below this post
  2. submit a quick blog tip in the comments of this post (I’ll put together a compilation post of them later in the month)
  3. follow along with my tips and do the homework – let us know how you apply it in the comments of the posts that I write
  4. comment on the posts written (both here at ProBlogger and those who submit posts) – leave your own suggestions and tips on the topics covered and share with us what you’re learning
  5. link up to the posts that you enjoy that are submitted by others

My hope with this project is that readers will not only come away from it having read some good blogging tips – but that they’ll come away with it with better blogs. If you’re anything like me you probably read a lot of great tips and theory about how to blog better – but only apply a small amount of it. This project is actually about building better blogs. The more you commit to apply what you read the better.

Remember that to keep up to date with these posts you’ll need to either subscribe to ProBlogger using our RSS feed or subscribe via Email for daily updates.

The Project So Far

If you are looking for all of the posts so far then check out this page which has a good summary of it all.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Mason Hipp says:

    Excellent Darren!

    I will be writing and submitting a tip today, provided I can finish the article.

    This project works out really well for everyone, I think. Lots of group involvement, lots of traffic sharing, and a lot of good tips for bloggers. I’m looking forward to this month-long project.

    – Mason

  2. Jeremy says:

    I’d like to see some tips on the best ways of cultivating useful & mutually beneficial relationships with bloggers in your same niche – and some ideas of things that both (or all) parties would benefit almost equally.

  3. Henry Zeng says:

    Very helpful Darren.

    Keep up your great work and all of the best in everythings you do!

    - Henry

  4. Matt Jones says:

    Great I can’t wait to get started! Given that my blog is about blogging, I’ll making the most of this project, submitting lots of tips and posts.

  5. Mine is going to be “How to double your blog traffic in 30 days using advanced SEO”, looking forward to it.

    Patrick

  6. Binh Zientek says:

    For SEO/SEM purposes, how often should I blog? I can’t blog every day otherwise I will end up not working at all. What is your advice.

    Binh
    Quality London Apartments.co.uk

  7. Yes, and more specifically from Jeremy’s question~how do you approach other businesses about selling their products as an affiliate if they have no affiliate products set-up? Is it difficult to set up commission sales and how do I help them?

  8. My blog isn’t about blogging, so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to write a post in that regard. However, I am all about maximizing the success of my blog, and one tip that I have is to use graphics in your blog posts that can potentially make you money.

    Using services such as Share-a-Pic or AllPosters.com, you can get revenue whenever your pictures or graphics are clicked on, taking the user to a page with monetization options such as advertising revenue, product purchases, etc.

    I especially like AllPosters.com because as Darren pointed out in his post about sending people to Amazon.com, even if people go to the site and don’t buy the product that they clicked on, they may still buy something else.

    Also, even if you don’t make a dime from this strategy, it can save you HOURS of searching the ‘net for royalty free pictures and graphics to use for your blog, and it doesn’t cost you anything to use them if you are an affiliate.

  9. Mike Goad says:

    Interesting project!

    Unfortunately, it’s going to be a little difficult for me to keep up with as we will be traveling to Montana and then Wyoming and Colorado. We’re leaving in a week or so and will be gone until the end of September.

    Tips related to our trip:

    1) If you’re going to be blogging about an ongoing activity that spans a period of time, try to make a plan in advance and set time aside to keep up with it.
    2) If you’re going to be away from internet access, write blog posts in advance for the period you’re not available or keep a journal, electronic or otherwise, and publish soon after you get back on line.

    On our last trip I didn’t do any of this on Haw Creek Out ‘n About and I didn’t publish near what I wanted to about the trip.

    I’ll be reading when I can. Have fun!

  10. Sarah says:

    Excellent stuff – can’t wait for this series to start rolling. I’ve been looking into techniques to tweak my blog and increase readers over the past few months, so really looking forward to this one!

  11. I’d be interested in finding out what to do to grow if you are the only one in your niché.

    My year old blog is about helping recreational cricketers improve their game. There are plenty of cricket blogs, but most of them are discussion about the professional game. There are a few isolated ‘pay for service’ sites too.

  12. Maurice says:

    Hi

    Formating sems a bit screwey on IE6 loads of white space making the page very long.

    Rgds maurice

  13. Maurice says:

    Oh and your date is off its not the 1st of aug 2007 where we are

  14. I hope this isn’t off topic, but I thought you’d be the best person to ask this. In going through archives I’ve realized that some of the posts I wrote in the beginning stages of my blogging hobby (no serious funds earned yet, so it’s still just a hobby, lol) are horribly written, I’ve rewritten my pages and tweaked my mission, may retweak it again.

    My question is this, should you rewrite old posts, or let them stand as a testament to how you’ve grown?

  15. BeingParents says:

    I have tried stumble and digg but still get very little traffic. I am looking forward to this series. Our blog (2.5 months old) has unique and useful content for parents and everyone else as well.

    Does any one have any suggestion how the blog could be improved to get more traffic? Thanks

  16. Jaime says:

    Darren, nice project. I will try to participate with some tips.
    Thanks,
    Jaime

  17. Jenn Vargas says:

    Oh wow! This sounds really great! And it couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m really looking forward to the “assignments”! I would be particularly interested in how keep a personal blog going and how to bring in more readers!

    Thanks!!!

  18. Shine says:

    Hurray! Can’t wait to see your tips and those from the others.

    What coincidence that I’m writing about the lessons I learnt from blogging so far just today. Clicked into your site and found your call for subsission… Done.

  19. Howard says:

    Thanks for that – I suppose the tip I’m looking for is advice on how to get to exactly what it is your blog’s about when it covers a few things and whether, if that’s too diverse, it’s better to start again in a new blog or to try to change what you’ve got and hope you don’t lose the readership you’ve built up.

  20. Adnan says:

    So glad to see you’re doing another one of these Darren – can’t wait to see the first posts, I’ll definitely try and submit mine!

  21. Brown Baron says:

    Sounds like a great project. It will be interesting to see everyone’s submission. As soon as I get enough sleep, I’ll try to join in.

  22. Jeremy David says:

    Hey there,

    I thought I’d post a question.

    Can you do an overview of how to get the word out about your blogs / projects without spending money on advertising?

    Cheers,

  23. Emad Ibrahim says:

    I would like some feedback about SEO software. Do they really work? For example I found SEO Elite and I wanted to know if these things are for real… Most of the reviews I saw seem “fake”.
    Thanks.

  24. Emad Ibrahim says:

    How come I can’t subscribe to this posts comments? Is that by design or am I missing something?

    Thanks.

  25. Genesis says:

    This sounds great! I desperately need to get my blogs in better shape, especially since my main one is heading for the Technorati top 10,000, so this should be a big help. Thanks. :D

  26. Paul says:

    I can’t wait for this :). I missed the boat last time around. I will try my hardest to participate as well!

  27. Quick blog tip: if the only description of your blog is a poem or an obscure quote, rewrite it as clear and concise prose.

  28. I have taken your advice and already have developed 1 solid reader. I thank you for the advice. I will continue to do this over the rest of my career.

    I think this is the best education that anyone can get. I will definitely accept this challenge and do what I can to submit quality information in regards to tips.

    Thank you

  29. Mark says:

    I’ve read parts of your last 31 day project, Darren. It was informative and at times, entertaining. I must say I am really looking forward to this new 31 day project. It will be fun, entertaining, informative and educational for everyone.
    Get Ready…….Set……….BLOG!!!

  30. This sounds great Darren, thanks!

    Unfortunately, I don’t know if I’ll be able to actually post anything on my blog, because I’m currently writing about health, weight loss, and the mind/body connection involved. It would be completely off-topic for me to start writing blog tips, and I bet would be counter productive to growing my blog. ;)

    I will certainly comment on your posts, though, and will do the homework you give us. I’m more than interested in improving my blog. :)

  31. Jason says:

    Sweet.

  32. Jason says:

    That hammer is freaking awesome by the way.

  33. Mark says:

    Fantastic Darren! Looking forward to it!

    –Mark

  34. Nikki Katz says:

    Thanks Darren! I emailed two people from each blog. We’ll see what happens!

  35. kathryn says:

    This is another great idea, thanks Darren. Writing a post on blogging tips isn’t relevant to my blog – which is all about food and health. Instead you’ve inspired me to do my own 31 days project: 31 Days to Better Energy. I’ve linked back and fully credited you for the idea, so I hope this isn’t too cheeky? I’m going to follow through on the Problogger tips as well. Thanks again for this excellent idea.

  36. Wonderful series you have here, Darren. I am definitely on-board, and I really look forward to all that this month has to hold.

    I am planning on putting your ideas into practice as soon as I read them. I have two blogs (Ruleof5, and Takuin.com) and I’ll be using your tips for both.

    BTW, I am a long time reader, but first time commentor from Japan.

    I am in the same situation as Aaron Potts (who commented above); my blog is not really about making money online, but I am certain your tips will only increase my readership and monetization skills.

    I’ll let you all know how it goes!

    Takuin

  37. It’s just I thought fellow bloggers will be interested to know. It’s about 100+ moneymaking tools and resources online. Here it is: http://mashable.com/2007/07/30/make-money-online/.

    Several of these have already been covered by Darren.

  38. KimC says:

    Create a useful tool that will help spread your name around the web and will require anyone who wants it to come to you.
    Michelle at Scribbit created a Google Search Box esp. for mommy bloggers: the box searches over 1500 mommy blogs rather than the entire web. I suspect she also had the smarts to include her own adsense code and is making beaucoups bucks off all the people that installed the search box on their websites.
    I just put together two free java scripts that will show random quotes from very old Bible versions. This will complement our family business selling framed pages from 400 year old Bibles, and (hopefully) appeal to my heavily Christian blog readers as well.
    Anybody who wants the free script can just mozy on over and visit my blog. :)

  39. Chase Roper says:

    This is freakin awesome.

    I will definitely be participating by reading the posts and tips, and completing the homework. Posts about blogging tips doesn’t really fit my blog’s niche, so I’ll contribute in the comment sections and plan linking up and/or subscribing to those that do post helpful tips.

    Thanks again for such a great resource!

    Chase

  40. Nancy Clark says:

    I just subscribed and am looking forward to an informative month! Looks like I stumbled upon you just in time. I am relatively new to blogging; a few months ago I started my first blog for writing and sharing my family history with friends and family. I have found it to be a life-changing experience, and am now in the throes of major decisions on how to use my newfound passion for blogging: how to focus my blog, whether to start new topic-specific blogs, monetizing, freelance writing, etc. I am glad I stumbled onto your blog, as it has already provided me with great, practical tips and advice. Thanks!

  41. What a great idea! I cannot tell you how excited I am about this series. I started my blog less than a week ago, so this is a perfect timing for me to make sure that I get it off to a good start. Thank you!

  42. Myg says:

    I’m in for building a better blog in 31 days!

    I have a question that maybe someone can answer or can be answered over the 31 days.

    I really am a writer at heart, not a blog manager. But I want to make my blog financially successful (or at least paying for its own hosting) and I’d be happy to invest in consultation for someone to analyze my blog and just tell me what kinds of tweaks it needs in terms of monetization, placement and types of ads, etc.

    In other words, I’d like to see my blog bring in money, but I want to focus on writing – not managing.

    Are there any companies or consultants out there who do this, and how do you judge their ability to get results?

  43. Doris says:

    I’m quite a newbie in blogging but I am working towards building better blogs like you suggest. Personally, one of the ways is to join blog carnivals relevant to your blog topic or join other group writing projects. It’s an opportunity to build quality content and in return, you receive more web traffic and your new readers may also spread a word about your blogs.

  44. Amy says:

    Better by whose standards?

  45. I have a question about the timing of blog posts. At the moment I’m a bit random and mostly just publish a post once I’ve finished it. However I notice here at Problogger, you have a pretty regular posting schedule – most of which is in the middle of the Australian night. I’m just wondering if you can give some insights into the rationale behind this schedule?

  46. What about Facebook and blogging applications. Do you have feedback about it?

  47. Christopher says:

    http://plseducation.com/wordpress is my blog while the other link is my main page.

    I haven’t yet written my blog post yet, but I want to mention that it is important that your blog and the rest of your site has a similar if not a matching color scheme and that the advertisements blend well.

    If an advertisement doesn’t blend at all then it should be put in some corner, or in the footer so that it won’t bother the reader very much. The blended ads should be above or in the content or to the left of the content above the fold.
    They’ll have the best visibility without being displeasing.

  48. Darren,
    I’ve been reading your blog for six months or so. I really appreciate your fresh, honest, unjaded voice and the thoroughness of your blog. I’ve finally taken the plunge and started a theatre blog, http://www.maninchair.com , and now that I’m in the thick of it, everything your say makes ten times more sense. I’ll keep up with your new 31 days project, but I’m going to go back and make it through the first one as well. Thanks again!

  49. Wild Bill says:

    This is such a great opportunity Darren. I just started my second blog and this gives me a chance to share some of my posts with readers in my new niche. I’m also looking forward to all the great submission by your readers. I could really use some more tips on how to make my blogging better.

    I just submitted my first post to this project. I have my fingers crossed.

  50. Vijay says:

    Well Darren!
    A good project to participate in. I have a good experience that participating in Darren’s project will definitely bring some juice for my blog.

    Also this will inspire me to continue my writing daily on my blog!