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).
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.
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.