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Become the Blogging Expert in Your Own Niche by Running a Blogging Course

Posted By Darren Rowse 18th of June 2010 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

One of the most exciting things to happen to me in the last couple of months is to see a group of bloggers come together to do the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook together.

In this post I’d like to share the story of how one blogger got a group of bloggers collaborating together using the workbook and in doing so grew in his leadership within the niche.

A few months back I was approached by Paul Steinbrueck from Ourchurch.com with an interesting request. He wanted to take a group of bloggers from within his niche (Church/Christian bloggers) through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook. They were going to tackle it over 6 weeks rather than just 31 days (to give people weekends off) and had set up a forum area for bloggers participating to interact. They were also offering some rewards for those participating, held some reviews of blogs taking part etc.

I was really excited by the idea – while I’ve run live versions of 31DBBB here on ProBlogger before this was one of the first times I’d seen a group of bloggers from a single niche work through it together. The potential for collaboration and encouragement from a group of bloggers all working in the same niche was powerful so I gave it my blessing and offered all those participating 25% off the workbook.

What happened over the next 6 weeks was great to watch. You can see Paul’s announcement post calling people to join here. I’m not sure of the exact numbers of those who participated (I heard early on that it was at least 23 but know that another network of bloggers joined in so there were more than that – and based on those who bought the eBook with the discount code it was around 40).

Over the coming weeks I had emails from quite a few participants feeding back how much they had gotten out of it. Most commented on how much more powerful it was doing it as a group. Not everyone made it to the end (6 weeks is a long time to commit) but it seems that those who did saw some tangible benefit. Paul surveyed bloggers at the start and end of the project to measure the results and here’s what he reported:

For those who read at least half the lessons and did at least half the assignments the results were stunning:

  • Pageviews increased 97%
  • Visits increased 48%
  • Unique visitors increased 67%
  • Comments increased 152%
  • RSS subscribers increased 13%

Paul went on to report:

“While some of this growth is probably a temporary bump due to the project itself, the most remarkable improvement came in an area that is certain to have a long lasting impact – how participants rated themselves as bloggers.

Those who read at least half the lessons and did at least half the assignments prior to the 31DBBB project rated themselves on average at 3.0 out of a possible 10.  After completing the project, they gave themselves a 6.9 rating, almost a 4 point jump. Wow!

Clearly these folks feel they learned a lot and gained a lot of confidence through their participation in this project.”

You can read more about the results of the project in Paul’s post here.

Run Your Own Niche focused 31DBBB Challenge

In the coming months you’ll see another live version of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog here on ProBlogger. It’s going to be bigger and better than ever before – however it strikes me that what Paul did in this niche focused project could be beneficial to others too.

The idea of joining with other bloggers within your niche is a powerful thing. Not only did Paul’s challenge help bloggers improve their blogs in isolation, it helped them come together and network, collaborate and strengthen their whole niche.

Paul was already fairly established in his niche but in pulling them together Paul also build credibility, trust and authority as a leader within his niche. The project really helped grow his own blog as well as genuinely helping others in his niche.

So while I prepare to release the next live version of 31DBBB later in the year here on ProBlogger – if you’d like to lead a group of bloggers in your own niche through 31DBBB I’d love to hear from you.

As most of you know – the 31DBBB workbook is a process of 31 sets of teaching combined with 31 action items to help any blog improve. It covers a variety of topics which will apply in almost any niche – but they work best when you’re sharing the journey with others (particularly others in a similar niche).

For any group of more than 5 bloggers wanting to work through the workbook together I’m happy to set up a 25% off discount code to help you get started and I’d be happy to tweet out to my own network that you’re running a group and are looking for other bloggers in whatever niche it is that you’re running it for.

You’ll need to coordinate and manage the project yourself by gathering people together and setting up some way for everyone to collaborate (perhaps setting up a private WordPress.com blog or using a social networking tool like Ning) but I’m happy to help out with a discount and by giving it some Tweet-Love.

If you’re interested in this – try to gather together 5 bloggers and then shoot me an email via the contact form here at ProBlogger with your details and the niche you’re running it for and I’ll get it set up for you.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Unfortunately I can not commit to lead a group but I would like to be a part of group in niche of food blogs. Is it possible to get some kind of notice if anyone suggest to lead foodblogers through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook? Thank you in advance for your replay!

  2. Hi Darren,
    Right away when I started to read your posting and how people working together makes a difference I thought of the coaching concept of accountablity.
    As you most likely know when people are working along side each other and supporting each other whether it is in business development or personal development we are more motivated and focused to achieve our goals.
    Like the tools I have offer at http://www.TheWonderTechnique.com to assist people, your book 31 days to build a better blog gives people guidelines they can follow and then when people work together to work on the steps the magic starts to really work.

    It is great the power of working together, isn’t?


  3. Looks like a great initiative and idea.

    We can see the power of collaboration, as seen by the improved results.

  4. Hey Darren,

    Thanks for sharing this story. This is a fantastic idea that I’d like to try with my own blog – the goal wouldn’t be the same (ie. building a blog), but the idea of putting a group together to help them obtain a specific goal sounds really powerful.

  5. Hey Darren,

    There is so much power when a group of people work together with no hidden agendas. That is great that you are offering this discount.

  6. Great idea, Darren. Definitely thinking about getting a group together to start this up soon!

  7. Hey Darren,

    Fantastic idea. Creating a group has so much benefits.
    Thanks for sharing this awesome story.

  8. I’m more then interested in this.

    I actually have a group of guys that meet once a month to talk about Internet Business. We’re all in different niches, but we all have blogs. Is that OK?

    It would be a fun 30 days, if we each attempted to go through the 30 day challenge and recorded our results.

  9. It’s a great idea to work in a group, especially if you’re in the same niche.

    I’m sure it’s fine to do it on your own, but it’s so much easier to get motivated when you share the process with others…

    Inspiring post!

  10. Hey Darren, thanks for writing about our project. It was a great learning experience made even better by the collaboration and relationship building that happened in the process.

    Not that I’m an expert or anything after doing this once, but if anyone here decides to lead a 31DBBB project and has any questions, feel free to contact me.

  11. Hi Darren,
    Sounds like a fantastic idea! I know personally by following the info in the 31DBBB my Alexa ranking from almost 700,000 to now just below 400,000. This may not sound like a big deal at first glance, but it proves to me that I’m heading in the correct direction. Thanks for the great tips in the 31DBBB.

  12. There are some confounding variables. First, maybe the traffic stats were going to increase naturally in 6 weeks due to word of mouth. Second, everyone in the group was checking out each others blog thus increasing their traffic stats.

    And it depends how much traffic they had in the first place as to how impressive those numbers can be. Increasing 1,000,000 visitors by 67% is very impressive :)

  13. if you’re the little guy in your niche it’s good to network with others but the 500 pound gorilla in the niche will probably laugh you off and then eat you.

  14. Yes i agree in getting together with co-bloggers. That is what I do to become more expert on the field I do.

  15. Kudos on a totally original, positive idea. I agree that while some of the increased traffic must be attributed to the project, the greatest, lasting acheivement, is clearly the improvement in each blogger’s self-image.

  16. This definitely proves that working with others has so much benefits. I’d like to add that we can also consider encouraging people who are very new to blogging to get into it.

  17. Great idea, Darren. Definitely thinking about getting a group together to start this up soon

  18. Darren… As a representative from that “other network of bloggers” that joined Paul in this project, I can say that it was an AMAZING experience. Paul did a great job engaging people as guest bloggers, and keep us all involved at a high level.

    I know that others from our network (highcallingblogs.com) who didn’t even participate directly still gleaned lots of great stuff.

    Thanks for putting together such a great resource! You rock dude!

  19. Hi Darren,

    Excellent timing as I have been making an effort to focus on developing an inter-industry connection with fellow bloggers. Not sure if I will jump in with 31DBBB but I am definitely starting along the trail. As always, your help and encouragement is much appreciated.

  20. You have made me the happiest blogger on my side of town! I was contemplating a blog workshop and got this message. Not only help me move forward in what I need to do, your book will be used once I get a location and a schedule. Thanks so much!!!!

  21. Hi Darren,

    I popped over from a friends blog that has mentioned this post. Gwen Tanner. She wants to put a group together and do your course and challenge. It sounds like a fantastic idea and a great way to learn.

    I am looking forward to it if we can get it happening.


    Jacinta :D

  22. If anyone is thinking of starting a group in the antiques or vintage or jewellery area I would love to join in. Dont think I have the time to run such a group but it would be great to be part of one.

  23. Hi Darren,

    This is really a great way to improve our blogging skills. I would like to be a part of group in niche of ‘making money online’ blogs. Is it possible to get some kind of notice if anyone suggest to lead through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook?

    Awaiting your replay

  24. This is something I’ve been thinking of doing, but not really sure how to get it all together. My idea was to do it for sports bloggers. I really do think there is a market in mens and womens sports. If anyone who reads this and would like to contact me please do!

  25. Darren! I would definitely like to lead a group in the personal/professional growth niche. This would likely include therapists/life coaches, and other can-do kinds of would-be bloggers. I have already purchased the book…but haven’t really worked through it to the fullest extent, so it would be a great motivator/opportunity for me as well. So, is the first step gathering 5 or more people…or what is it you would suggest? Also, do you really think it’s critical to limit a group to a specific niche…or….might it work leading a group for various niches as well? Just a thought.

    I am finishing up my first ebook and I would love the group leadership to be my next project….


    [email protected]

  26. I have been looking for a new gift for my son for a while now. This would be absolutely perfect. How much does it cost?

  27. Good stuff. this is why i love reading blogs other than my full time career as a dentist.

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