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Plan the Next Steps for Your Blog [Day 31 - 31DBBB]

Today is Day 31 in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge.

Congratulations to those who have made it through to this point – I hope you’ve found it to be a helpful experience.

To those just starting, part way through or who are yet to start (you can sign up at any time) hang in there!

Your Last Task – Plan Your Next Steps

Today for your last task in 31DBBB I’d like to encourage you to take step back from the last month of activity and learning and to plan your next steps.

I’ve said this numerous times over the last month but while most bloggers tend to drift aimlessly along in their blogging I find that those who grow successful blogs often set aside time to think a little strategically about their blogs every now and again.

This doesn’t mean you need a highly developed strategy – it just means putting aside a little time every now and again to think about what you want to achieve and how you want to do it.

Develop a Plan for Your Next Month

If you’re a blogger who is struggling with discipline or routine (you know who you are) I would highly recommend setting aside a little time to develop some kind of a plan for the next month.

Get a calendar (whether it be a real physical one or your computer based one) and map out specific tasks that you want to achieve over the next month.

Let me show you what this might look like with a calendar that I’ve whipped up below in Google Calendars (click to enlarge).

blog-plan.png

The calendar above is based upon some of the activities we’ve covered over the last month. You can see that this plan includes:

  • 6 posts a week (Sundays are a day off from posting)
  • Each Post day has it’s own ‘type/style’ of post
  • Sundays are for determining specifics of what each post will be (topics/titles etc)
  • An Admin type task each Monday
  • A promotional activity on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • A day on Fridays for ‘readers’ (emailing them, answering questions etc)
  • A day on the last day for stats analysis
  • A brainstorming day on the first day of the month

The daily tasks of course will vary from blog to blog and I would not recommend you just adopt this plan.

You might not want to do a weekly cycle of types of posts, you might have a different frequency of posting, you might want to include other activities or or not do others – the key isn’t what you include but rather to layout a plan of the main things you feel are important to your blogging..

Of course the above calendar looks very ‘neat’ – you’ll find that there will be daily tasks to do also (comment moderation, email, social media presence etc) and that other opportunities and challenges arise from day to day that will take you off course – but with a main task or two identified for each day it means you know you’ll achieve a good balance of activity over a month.

With this in set up you don’t have to work out what to do each day when you start blogging – you just have to do the task outlined for the day.

Over the last 31 Days we’ve covered a lot of ground. By no means have I touched on every aspect of blogging but my hope is that out of the 31 days there are at least a few practical things that you can build into your regular blogging routine.

One last thing that I’d recommend that you do at this point is simply look back over the last 31 days of tasks (you can see them all listed in the daily task area of the forum) and identify which of the tasks you might want to take on board as something you regularly do on your blog. The reason that I selected the topics and tasks that I did was simply that these are things that I do regularly myself (most of them on at least a monthly basis). You don’t need to replicate them all for yourself but please don’t simply end 31DBBB today and ‘shelve’ what you’ve learned – pick two or three things you’ve found helpful and plan to do them more and extend them further.

Tell Someone Your Plan

A quick tip once you’ve worked out what you’re doing next with your blog – tell someone.

Plans often remain plans and don’t become reality – but one way to take help them to happen is to share them with others. Share it with your blog buddy, tell us about it in comments below or over in our forum or find another friend or family member to share it with.

31DBBB – Where to from here?

Quite a few readers have asked me what happens now with 31DBBB? Many have enjoyed the tasks, the teaching and the community around this project and it does seem a pity to simply end it here. As a result there are few ways that we’ll extend things in a less intense kind of way:

1. 31DBBB Workbook

Many of you want your own copy of the daily tasks. We’re currently working on putting them together into an e-book/pdf workbook which will enable you to go through the tasks again at your own pace as many times as you like. There will be a small cost associated with this for those who want to grab a copy. I’ll share more on how you can get it in the coming week or so via the email list and here on the blog.

2. More Tasks

Over the coming weeks and months I will continue to use the email list to send the occasional task to participants. By no means will it be daily (I’m suspecting it’ll be every couple of weeks at the most).

3. Special Offer

In the next couple of days I’ll be sending an email out with a special offer to get a great blog training resources at a very reduced price. There’s no pressure to take it up

4. Forums to Remain Open

The 31DBBB forums have been an amazing little community for many of the participants of this challenge. In fact they’ve extended well beyond 31DBBB and there’s great discussion on there relevant to all bloggers. They will remain open indefinitely. In fact stay tuned because my hope is to expand them in the coming month to be an even broader community site for bloggers. ProBlogger.COM is going to be ProBlogger.COMMUNITY (more of this soon).

Lastly – let me thank you all for participating in the last 31 Days. While it has been a lot of work it has been a fun ride for me and I have learned a lot. A special thanks to Lara Kulpa who has helped managed the admin side of things particularly in the forum area and a thanks to all who have given feedback and support along the way.

Want More?

This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.

Join over 14,000 other bloggers and Get your Copy Today.

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. Darren,

    I just wanted to thank you for doing this great problogger challenge!!! It was SOOO helpful for me! I was unable to participate in every challenge but have your posts neatly filed so that I can go back through at anytime. What I did participate in changed my way of thinking, and enhanced my blog for my readers in some way. My presentation is more professional. The elevator pitch alone changed my world! In fact I was mentioned in a CNN.com article about giving up credit cards for good. I am still overwhelmed with emails in my in box that I need to respond to. What you do is a blessing to many people!!

    Thanks Darren, and blessings to you my trusted blogger professor! :) I learned a lot!

  2. Hi Darren,
    A BIG Thank you to you for this amazing course! I’ve learned a lot over the past month and I’ve had various successes based on the things I learned here.

    Thank you once again! You’re a star!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  3. R Kumar says:

    The 31DBBB course was a very informative one and has helped all of us improve on our blogs.
    Thanks a lot Darren.

    Just wanted to raise a point here. With the experience you have, you might be able to help.

    With the growing competition on a particular niche and the amount of blogs on the blogosphere, doing just normal things would not help a blog gain attention or, traffic. The strategy has to be different and unique. So the normal ways of commenting on a few posts, on in a forum is insufficient to gain readers or, visitors. A blog marketing strategy would for sure have changed from what it used to be about 3-4 years back. I have seen this in a blog that I started about 4 years back as a comparison to one that I started about 6 months back.

    Do you have a different opinion on this? If there are different strategies, would you help all of us new bloggers with a post on strategy to strategy comparison?

  4. Sexorcism says:

    Thanks so much! My blog looks better than ever and traffic is way up.

  5. Sam sall says:

    Hi
    Thank you Darren for everything, i couldn’t imagine that in only 31 days my Alexa blog rank improved by 10,000,000
    as for my plane i will keep on doing the task you gave us in this 31D challenge WITH SOME MODIFICATION LIKE 3 POST /Week
    i will also rolle in course to update my self in some stuff in my niche .
    thanks again

  6. A Dawn says:

    This course is very informative. Thank you for sharing! I will sit later and plan the next step. In everything, planning is definitely important.

  7. I’ve long known about the power of planning. Believe it or not, after years, I’m finally starting to get there. Your encouragement and the positive feedback along those lines has really helped provide that motivation.

    It doesn’t mean the content generates its self, the tasks do something for me automatically or any such hooha. It does mean that I could actually get ahead of the game for a change, improve the consistency of the blog and content, and actually capture the continued interest of the readers.

    Great wrap up post.

  8. I haven’t quite gotten to this point, but so far I’m getting a lot of good ideas and information that I’m using on my brand new blog. It will be interesting to see if this information accelerates the growth of the blog I just launched yesterday – even if it doesn’t, some of the ideas for types of posts, etc are going to be great for keeping me busy with new posts over the coming weeks.

  9. This challenge has been so great!

    On of my plans for the future is to write posts that relate to earlier posts.

    Or to plan a series of posts on the same subject.

    I have today published a new post related to my review post from this challenge.

    How I used The Attractor Factor for creating music for The Sleep Secret Audio:

    http://www.clausdjensen.com/how-i-created-the-music-for-the-sleep-secret-audio.html/

    Hope to see some of you there! :-D

  10. Darren,

    Awesome stuff! Thanks so much. I feel like I have a much better focus and direction for my blog and plan to put into place all the information that you’ve provided over the last 31 days.

    Thanks again!
    Kimberley Payne
    http://www.fitforfaith.blogspot.com

  11. I recently started reading your blog, and I really appreciate the great tips you gave about improving my blog. I like the idea of using a calendar to better organize my ideas and trying to keep a more regular schedule. Glad that there is someone like you who wants to pass his knowledge to those with new blogs. Thanks again!