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31DBBB – Week 1 Recap and Update

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of April 2009 ProBlogger Site News 0 Comments

31-days-build-better-blog.pngWeek 1 in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is over and we’re almost a quarter of the way through the challenge. 11,029 people are subscribed participants and the feedback has been very positive so far – thanks to everyone for your participation.

I just wanted to update readers on a few aspects of the project:

Links from the Weekend – firstly I know a lot of you had a long weekend for Easter and may have missed the last few days tasks. Here’s a quick recap on the last four days:

Forums – before launching this challenge I mentioned a forum area for registered members to interact. We had a few challenges in setting this up but I’m happy to say that those registered for email notifications will get an invite to join the forums in the next 36 hours.

Workbook – one of the frequently asked questions that I’ve been getting about 31DBBB is whether I can produce a workbook at the end of the challenge that people can use to continue working through the tasks after the 31 days are over. While I’d not previously considered this there does seem to be some demand for it. I’m willing to put it together for sale at a small price (I want to be able to cover the time I put into it – I’m thinking around $10) IF people are interested.

Here’s a poll to gauge whether people are interested.



It’s Going Too Fast! – one of the other pieces of feedback I’ve had is people saying that they feel like they are falling behind. My response has been for people not to stress too much. While I’m going to keep pushing out tasks and challenges each day for the 31 days there’s nothing to stop you slowing down and tackling tasks at your own pace. Quite a few people have been saving the emails that I’m sending and are doing 2-3 tasks a week instead of 7. The workbook idea is also emerging out of this desire for people to move at their own pace. Also – I’m going to try to mix in a few smaller tasks (Day 8’s will be a 5-10 minute one for example) for those of you needing a breather.

Is it too late to Join? – lastly, I’m hearing a few people saying that they missed the start. While the main group of participants are up to Day #7 of the challenge, the way I’ve designed it is that people can start at any time they like. The day you enter your email and first name on the signup page you’ll be taken to the start of the process. You’ll be a bit behind the main group but not alone as hundreds of people are signing up each day.

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.
  • So far so good. I have enjoyed every task in this week, the only ones that remain are reading those articles on that HUGE list and a list post.

    I hope to learn a lot more in the future. I read blogs of some of the participants too and many of them are so very interesting.

    Am looking forward to feature a lot of them on my blog.

    Also, I was also thinking of asking you for a pdf version of all 31 days of teaching including all the external material and extra posts that you sometimes link to(if that is possible)…

    And 10$ is a decent amount to pay, count me in…



  • Great job on this series. I have my wife and I both following the information and applying what we are learning. I started a blog last fall and then automated it and haven’t really done much with it other than the automation. I’m starting to get back into it and want to really start using your techniques. I would definitely purchase a book on the steps you are outlining. I thought the Problogger book was going to be this content, and felt disappointed when we discovered it wasn’t as well laid out as what you are doing now. We look forward to your upcoming posts.

    Steve & Sherry

  • Not to cut into your potential sales, but I’ve been copy-pasting each day’s lesson into my own “workbook” since I want to be sure I don’t miss anything.

  • I am not so into a workbook but, I could see where some people would love it.

    My 14 y/o daughter is also doing the 31DBBB and she is a ‘paper person’. She likes to have her to do list and take notes the old fashion way with paper and pen so, a book would be something she would use. She has 2 blogs and is trying to keep up with the challenges on both and is a bit behind but, she will catch up in her own time.

    As far as falling behind – I think it is better to understand the lesson and the reason for the action before just jumping in and rushing through just to keep up. I figure the lessons will be posted here for along time (don’t see you all just deciding you no longer want a blog). ;)

    Thanks for all you are doing here!

  • Thank you for sharing your expertise.

  • Firstly, I’ve had a great time with the exercises and have done as many as I can (although finding it hard to keep up!).

    I definitely think that a workbook would be a good idea.

    As a suggestion (might use this myself for future ebooks) perhaps it could be some sort of online tool:

    1) A section for each of the 31 steps that has a repository for all of the work so that people could fill in the relevant articles in each section of the tool i.e. a section for the Elevator Pitches, for the List Posts etc. (and there could be room for more than one of each – because I’ve developed more than one list post). This would make it easier to keep track of where things are done.

    2) A dashboard section which shows overall progress.

    3) A shared area where the overall group participating could share suggestions and their work for feedback.

    I’m sure that the other posters will have other suggestions.
    But make sure you include me for the credits!!

  • Although I am getting a lot of good tips and ideas with this challenge, I would not buy the workbook. Why?

    Because I think a blog needs a quick pace, ready reactions, updated information and a book could not uphold the level of feedback and improved ideas, tools or news that a website, a newsletter or a blog sustains. I would prefer to pay a fee in exchange for the blog challenge online, rather than buy a book.This challenge is really helping me a lot: my site is but a month old and I have doubled the traffic (which is still in nanofigures :) but I feel very happy about it!

    My two cents, anyway :)

    • Hi Claudia – I think the workbook would be in conjunction with the entire series… not as a replacement, if that makes sense. Since Darren already gives the 31DBBB series for free, the workbook would just be something you could use to work with that I think could only help the process along even more.

      Glad to read that you’re doing well with the blog now, too! Very cool, and quite exciting, isn’t it? :)

  • I am loving the challenge. Thank you.

    I don’t think it is going too fast because, being online, we can complete it at our own pace. Life will get in the way sometimes!

    The key will be to complete it whenever we can. The learning will come by completing the challenge, not by completing it in the 31days.

  • I certainly would pay $10 for a “workbook” of this series of posts. I’ve been impressed by how much time and effort you’ve clearly put into them, and would like to have the opportunity to give you a monetary “thanks”.

  • This has been a lot of work, and I have enjoyed all of it. There is always something to learn. Once again, thanks for the advice and direction. I’m behind, but then, so what? I’ll catch up eventually.

  • Thanks again Darren! My blog has only been up a couple months. I don’t see the traffic like others doe, but I only have about 30 posts/pages combined. So I’m taking the positive approach to follow your program and give the public some quality information irregardless of the monetary value. I’m sure it will come.

  • I thought I was an on to it blogger until this challenge came along. Keep up the good work Darren.

  • Ooh yeah…it doesn’t get better than this!…great post Darren!

  • I am one of those people who is reading all the emails, absorbing the information and then picking and choosing what to do. And who knows, I might come back to some of the bits I skipped later on and do those too.

    I’m loving it so far, and finding tons of cool new blogs to read — as if I didn’t have enough in my Favourites. ;)

  • I have so enjoyed this first week. I have seen an increase in traffic, some days more than others. I am waiting for comments from local people, which as a realtor is what I need. But I have to think that it will come, and this has really been a great learning experience so far. I am very grateful for this experience, and look forward to the next 20 days!

  • I do not understand the need for a workbook unless you will be giving more info than what we are now getting. Why pay extra for something that is already there? What am I missing? I understand this is a lot of work for you but you probably benefit from the adds you have placed? I am not quite sure how this all works!

  • Bridget, speaking for myself I’m making notes in text files for each of the days of the challenge, and sometimes that means writing out little section headers etc (eg the activity where we analysed a successful blog in our niche produced a lot of notes to answer each of the analysis points Darren wrote).

    So from that view a workbook that brought all of the content together along with spaces to make notes in (eg print out and work through the whole thing) would be worth a few bucks. I could make it myself I guess, but why not just pay the $10 (think of it like outsourcing to Darren, the cheapest you’ll ever get him for!)

    Aside from that, its fairly common in blogs to bring together lots of good content into one easily digested, coherent workbook/ebook etc and sell it cheap.

  • I just have to thank you for this.

    In answer to Bridget’s question; for me I would buy the wookbook just to give something back.

    Also I hope it has a nice progression of the 31DC without having to open and close loads of old e-mails.

    Further it then becomes a tool that you can revisit time and time again.

    That’s my two penneth worth (old english saying).

    Anyone not keeping up (me included), sometimes you have to shove hard at something to make room. I have a post about making time to write on a daily basis, it might help some of the time challenged bloggers.

    Thanks again.

  • This is a great idea. Although, lot of us must be making notes in text file or word files but it will be worthy to spend 10$ to buy Darren’s Workbook.

  • I think the pace has been great. I DID need to be pushed as I was getting complaisant with my blogging.

    Agree workbook would be great for people who want to work at a slower pace (or who may be a way for a few days)

    Darren is a legend!

  • First week was great and very helpful. Thanks!

  • Thank you for a great week one! Afer reading many comments, I saw the light and I do see a need for the book, especially with additional notes and tips. $10.00 is a real bargain.

    Let me know when it is available!

    I really like the photos I have been posting and the links I have been adding. I still new more traffic though!

  • The book would be a great idea: would be cool if you could add also not only the daily posts, but also the main “other” posts you link to. I know it will be tough to get other bloggers’ posts, but should not be a problem.
    And, I hope you are considering to make a e-book as well… I’d be willing to pay the same sum, but since I’m in Italy, shipping from AU to Italy would cost more than the actual price of the book.
    Keep up the great work.
    And thank you for the Easter weekend recap.. now I’ve keep up with days 4 to 8.

  • I don’t think I need a workbook, but I definately think the information you have given us is worth $. I would happily pay the $10 just to provide you with some compensation for the incredible information you have shared already!

  • Regarding the pace – I think it depends on who you’re wanting to reach. I’m a newbie and don’t typically have huge amounts of time to spend at my blog but am halfway reluctantly learning to enjoy blogging. Given that this year, my job that pays the bills has me working with online educations – I thought this course would be a good experience for me given that I’ve never done online education before

    So, if you’re targeting newbies like me – a slower pace might be appreciated. But if you’re targeting people who’ve been around but could become much better – the pace should be fine (I think).

  • It’s never too late! Don’t ask, just jump in and enjoy the experience. :) The best to all!


  • I agree I would order a workbook just to say thanks for this, but also because I do like to make notes on paper, my brain just works better this way. I am behind on tasks, I don’t usually get online at all over the weekends. I am enjoying the teachings, though! Thanks for all of this!

  • One week down the road.. And boy… learned alot of useful new things already. Some old, some new, some great, some good… Nothing bad though ;-) Looking forward to what will come next!

  • It’s been fun following the posts. Also, I’m not implementing most of your suggestions but instead saving them, as I plan to start a new blog in a while when I get more time.

    I found all the Tasks self-explanatory, and I guess even those who don’t have a blog yet or can’t complete everything should still keep saving/bookmarking the posts as they can always be referred to later.

    Excellent job!

  • Its OK to charge, but I have saved all the emails :)

  • Thanks for this recap. I have found your tasks and insights very helpful.

    I have also been finding ways that your tasks can overlap. For instance, promoting your own post and creating a link post can easily overlap if you find fellow bloggers and create a blog carnival. Several of us have already did that and found it beneficial. We are working on making it a regular thing.

  • Enjoying catching up and the recap. Life sometimes gets in the way…

    The eBook is a good idea. Just another product for those who might want it.

    I find that usually the synergy of doing a program with others is a great motivator while an eBook isn’t the same.

    Both great tools but each serves a different purpose in my house.


  • The real estate group that is following along on ActiveRain is loving what we’re getting out of this. We’ve got quite a few people that came “late to the party” but are diving in regardless.

  • what if you missed a few days, can I get those resent?
    Day 2 & day 6 somehow got deleted before I read them.

  • Very well recapped. As you mentioned I am also following it in my own pace. Its so interesting to do task each day and see results.


  • Darren,

    I think a workbook is a very sound idea. That is one problem I have with buying into a lot of products that are supposed to instruct how to do whatever it is the person is trying to get people to do is that a lot of times I see people don’t include a physical workbook with the products they are promoting so it makes it hard to keep going with the process as there are people who are a pen and paper kind of person like myself.

    I am willing to pay for the work book if you put one together.

    Thanks for this option.

  • Thank you so much for your workshop. It is excellent. Pressure of work has stopped me from completing at this point, but I am saving each one, and will complete them when I have move time.

    I have recommended the workshop to a number of people. I am not sure what the answer is for busy people. Perhaps, a paying online course that is offered at a slower place. Most people are extremely busy. A book would probably get tossed to one side, an online course at this pace is too fast, but if it were paid and passworded, people could move at their own pace. You could offer some type of certificate to those who finish.

  • Greetings – work had me crashing every day (on the sofa when I got home), so I got behind. However I am still going through this series and plan on going through it several times.

    It is great! Thank you so much Darren – look forward to the workbook – mm I am a bit out of the loop. Will check your emails, perhaps it is already out.

    I am presently in NZ visiting my sister, so have more time to work on this right now. Certainly taking advantage of the time.

    So much appreciate having this series to work through. There is nothing like a systematic guide to help you get your blog to where it needs to be.


    Jill (kiwichamp)

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