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113 Must Read Blogging Tips

Building-A-Better-Blog-2When I started this months 31 Days to Building a Better Blog and decided to invite readers to submit their own blog tips I’m not sure what I was really expecting – but the results have been fantastic.

I’ve just spent the last two hours surfing through the latest batch of 113 tips (that brings us up to a total of 359 reader tips on the central page) and am quite inspired. I come away from this list with new ideas, new knowledge and with another 20 or so blogs added to my out of control feed reader.

There are still 12 days left of the project so you’ve got time to submit a tip or so of your own. To do so see the rules on the intro to the 31 Day Project post.

Now grab a cup of your favorite beverage and get reading!

How to Draw StumbleUpon Users Into Your Blog

StumbleuponThis is a guest post on How to Draw StumbleUpon Users Into Your Blog is by Skellie who writes tips and tutorials on creating better content at her blog, Skelliewag.org.

The potential for StumbleUpon to send traffic is often under-estimated, particularly by new bloggers. Unlike digg and del.icio.us, an item doesn’t need to become popular before you see immediate results. One or two votes can bring a hundred or more readers — more than a new blog might see in a day.

StumbleUpon users are, however, notoriously fickle. The service describes itself as allowing you to ‘channel-surf the internet’ and I think it’s a very appropriate description. Users flick through websites like you might flick through channels, often making a decision on whether to stay or leave your site before it has even had time to finish loading.

In this post, I want to suggest some quick tips you can use to draw StumbleUpon users into your site before they stumble away.

Channel-surfing the internet

We’ve all flicked through TV channels back and forth, waiting for something to hold our attention. The decision to stay on a channel or surf elsewhere is usually made in a second or two, and the principle is the same for StumbleUpon users.

With so many other potentially great sites available to them at the click of a mouse, you need to make it immediately clear why your site is worth their time. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

1. Make your blog’s core mission-statement unmissable

A core mission-statement as I define it is a one or two sentence description encapsulating what your blog has to offer. A good core mission-statement describes the kind of content you provide and broadly what your blog is about. It should communicate a lot of information in only a few words.

If a stumbler can see straight away your blog is about something they’re interested in then they’re likely to stick around.

2. Insert powerful visual cues

When channel-surfing the decision to stick with a channel or move on is often largely determined by visual cues. Even with the sound off you can tell a drama from a news program, a travel show from a cartoon, because visual elements provide clues as to what kind of show you’re watching.

The same principle applies to blogs. If your blog’s header contains an image of a pile of cash, we can reasonably assume the blog is about money (or making it). That’s a lot of information communicated instantly by a single image.

3. Push your content above the fold

StumbleUpon users often judge a site by what is offered in the above the fold area — the area of your site which appears on screen before any scrolling occurs.

I think this blog is an example of how to do that well. Not only do headlines and the first few paragraphs of a post appear above the fold, but other content of interest is showcased in the header area. StumbleUpon users immediately see a site packed with value.

You can use the top part of your blog’s sidebar, its header area and the post area to showcase your content. In doing so, you’ll straight away show StumbleUpon visitors why they should stick around.

4. Be unique, be pretty

While it’s difficult to judge the quality of a blog’s content in just a few seconds, people are much more hasty with aesthetic judgments. A gorgeous or interesting blog design encourages a stumbler to stick around and see whether the content is great too.

Of course, a great design is a lot of work (or quite a bit of money). The next-best thing is a unique logo or header image, an interesting color scheme, and so on. There are a number of small changes you can make to create a blog that looks unique and sets you apart from the crowd.

What we’ve done

The emphasis in all the above tips is on instantly showing visitors who’ve stumbled across your blog what it has to offer. This should help you make the most of StumbleUpon traffic and turn more stumblers into readers.

Behold the Expertise of the ProBlogger Community – 95 Reader Tips

Building-A-Better-Blog-2It’s day 13 in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Project and this morning I woke up to four emails from readers reporting enjoying different aspects of the month’s activities.

  • The first had recruited 12 friends to do the project with them
  • The second told me about how they’d seen their new blog’s readership triple this month already by following the daily tips
  • The third told me how he’d had his biggest traffic day through the traffic from the last batch of reader submitted tips
  • The fourth told me that he’d added 20 new blogs to his feed reader after finding them from the reader tips in the first couple of batches of submissions.

I’m glad to hear people are enjoying the project so far.

Today’s batch of reader submitted tips total 95 in number which takes the total number of submissions to 246. Once again there is some quality reading in this lot. I’m still only about halfway through them but have really enjoyed the breadth of topics covered and the expertise in the wider community.

To Participate – to submit a link to be included in the next batch follow the instructions in the introductory post to the 31 Day Project

See the Full List - to see the 13 daily challenges written so far and the full 246 reader submissions see our 31 Day Project Main Page

Here’s the latest batch of reader tips! (warning – you might want to grab a coffee and make yourself comfortable before attempting to read it all!):

How to Blog Successfully – 70 Reader Blogging Tips

The 31 Day Blogging Project Rolls on (we’re at Day 8) and the last 3 days have seen another great bunch of 70 reader blog tips submitted. That brings the total of reader submitted tips to 151 with still 23 days in the project.

There is some seriously good reading in this lot on a huge variety of blogging related topics. Thanks to everyone for going to the effort of participating. Don’t forget that if you want to participate to follow the process outlined in the project’s introductory post. You can see the full list of all of my tips and reader tips at the central 31 Day Blogging Project page.

Here are the most recent batch of tips:

[Read more...]

More Great Reader Blog Tips

We’ve hit day 5 in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project and I’m hearing some great reports from bloggers who enjoying the daily tasks that I’ve set so far.

To help organize the project a little better and to help people keep track of both my tips and reader submitted tips I’ve created a central 31 Day Project page which lists all tips. This way you can start the project at any time and do it at your own pace.

Reader Blog Tips continued to roll in over the last three days with 56 more submissions added to the 25 from the first two days. Once again there are some great posts below and I encourage you to dig into them to see what you can learn about improving your blog. Please note – if you submitted a tip that isn’t in this list it will probably be in the next one. Enoy:

We’re only at day 5 in this project so stay tuned for plenty more great tips to improve your blog! To submit your own newly written tips just follow the simple steps outlined in the project’s introductory post.

31 Days to Building a Better Blog

UPDATE: This page is for the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog project that I ran in 2007. You can get a much more updated version of this challenge which I ran in 2009 here.

This is the central page of the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Project that I’m running here at ProBlogger.

What is the 31 Day Project About?

To put it most simply – it’s a month long series of posts here at ProBlogger designed to walk you through 31 tasks that you can do to make your blog better. You can read more about how the project works and how to participate in my introduction to the project.

The project is made up of two parts:

My Tips and Reader Tips

Below you’ll find a summary of both. To keep up to date with the project subscribe to ProBlogger’s RSS feed or to our daily email updates.

To participate with a tip of your own simply follow the steps outlined in this post.

The Posts So Far

Day 1 – Email a New Reader
Day 2 – Run a ‘First Time Reader Audit’ on your Blog
Day 3 – Search for and Join a Forum
Day 4 – Interlink Archived Posts
Day 5 – Conduct an ‘About Page Audit’
Day 6 – Email an Old Timer Reader
Day 7 – Plan Your Next Week’s Posting Schedule
Day 8 – Comment on a Blog You’ve Never Commented On Before
Day 9 – Run an Advertising Audit On Your Blog
Day 10 – Declutter Your Sidebar
Day 11 – Dig into Your Blog’s Statistics
Day 12 – Introduce Yourself to another Blogger
Day 13 – Search for an Affiliate Program that Fits Your Blog
Day 14 – Analyze Your Blog’s Competition
Day 15 – Make Your Most Popular Posts Sticky
Day 16 – Create a Heatmap of Where Readers Click on Your Blog
Day 17 – Run a StumbleUpon Campaign for Your Blog
Day 18 – Create a Sneeze Page and Propel Readers Deep Within Your Blog
Day 19 – Respond to Comments on Your Blog
Day 20 – Run a Reader Survey
Day 21 – Make a Reader Famous
Day 22 – Catch New Readers Up on the Basics of your Blog
Day 23 – Go on a Dead Link Hunt
Day 24 – Do a Search Engine Optimization Audit
Day 25 – Go Shopping and Improve Your blog
Day 26 – Link Up to a Competitor
Day 27 – Find a Sponsor for Your Blog
Day 28 – What is Your Blog’s Mission Statement
Day 29 – Email a Blogger that Linked to You to Say Thanks
Day 30 – Explore a Social Media Site
Day 31 – Run a SWOT Analysis on Your Blog

Reader Tips

Days 1-2

Days 3-5

Days 6-8

Days 9-13

Days 14-19

Days 20-23

Days 24-27

Days 28-31