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How is the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Project Going for You?

Posted By Darren Rowse 18th of August 2007 ProBlogger Site News 0 Comments

Building-A-Better-Blog-2We’ve passed the halfway point in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project and so I thought it might be worth taking a few moments out from the daily tasks to ask how readers are finding it.

I’ve been getting some wonderful feedback via email and comments but thought that a little storytelling (both on the positives and negatives) might be good for everyone participating in it.

Which of them have you found most helpful (what are your top ones)? Which had immediate results? What were those results? Which were not as relevant for you?

The way I’ve designed the project is that you can start it at any time. I know many of you are still back in the earlier days of the task but here’s the full list of the first 18 days tasks as a reminder.

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

Also don’t forget the reader submitted tips. You can see the hundreds of those submitted at the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog central page (I’ll be posting the next batch of reader tips over the weekend).

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.
  • As a new blogger I’ve gone back through the archives and found this information to be very useful, so I’d say things are going well.

    I’ve been working hard with the info about making my posts ‘sticky’

    Not a part of the 31 days, but using some of the info in your StumbleUpon articles, too, I got 800+ new views today, a huge jump from before since I’m just starting out.

  • The whole exercise has so far been very interesting with many great tips on improving one’s blog. I haven’t implemented all of them but the list is a great resource to refer back to from time to time.

    I have had a pleasing and steady increase in traffic as a direct result of participating. It was interesting to see a sudden spike in traffic after one hint I submitted -mainly because of its provocative title. It also generated far more comments than usual.

    Keep on setting the pace Darren.

  • Darren,
    I’ve been getting a lot out of it. It has been a bit difficult to keep up with, partially because the topics are jumping around. I would have found it a bit easier to have them clustered so I could focus on one area for a few days before working on another. Overall, has been a great experience.

  • Josh – wow – that’s fantastic to know. 800 extra page views is massive for a new blog – you must be doing something right!

    Trevor – great to hear that submitting a tip helped with traffic. Titles are so key in these sorts of projects!

  • Christine – I hear you on the topics jumping around thing. When I started this project I toyed with the idea of clustering posts around bigger topics (eg, blog promotion, monetization etc) however decided not to do it because 3-4 days on a topic that some bloggers are not interested in might have meant they lost interest (eg – monetization is something that only a portion of readers are into).

    Of course the cost of mixing things up means that the momentum has been a little more difficult to achieve in terms of building one post on top of another.

    Good to hear that feedback – I appreciate it and am glad that despite the problem you’re still enjoying it.

  • Darren, in the last two weeks I have increased my visitors by over 5,000. I started Stumbling, but I also have used your suggestions. Additionally, the “how to” links that you have posted have given me about 312 new visitors by itself. My subscribers also doubled.

    Thanks! I appreciate all you do.

  • Real advice, such posts huge to write! I shall write down in bookmarks, I shall read tomorrow thoughtfully .

    Andrzej Filipowicz

  • Honestly? I’ve so far only had time to run the first tip. It did work out well though :)

    I have everything else marked as ‘unread’ in my rss reader to take advantage of when I get much less busy at the end of the month.

  • Great results Melissa.

  • Tom

    I actually did the sneeze page idea before you mentioned it on your blog, but it’s already paying dividends. My average pageviews has gone from 1.6-1.7 to 2.3-2.4 almost instantaneously as I promoted my “sneeze page” — in my case it’s a collection of 22 fantasy football articles, arranged as you might read them in a print magazine.

    Great stuff all month, though!

  • I accidentally set my blog on fire; but other than that, things are going great!

  • Tom – yeah they are a powerful technique those sneeze pages. 1.6 to 2.3 is a fairly significant jump – well done.

  • Darren,

    I have been putting up updates on the MySpace Post.

    I have not made use of myspace as I do now all thanks to Kelvin’s tip. I am now getting massive result on MySpace. I have developed relationship with the top dogs in my niche and I am planning to take the relationship to another level soon.

    One of them is even keen at establishing a business in Nigeria all because she liked what she saw about me. If I had not read that article, I am sure all these wouldn’t have been possible.

    The next phase I want to start is Stumbling. Will definitely get a positive result from that too.

    Thanks Darren for the GREAT work you’re doing.

    You’re Da Man!


  • Darren..thanks a lot for these….this really helps. Great job.

    I will stop by often…

    best~GL HOFFMAN
    What Would Dad Say

    My tip? Myabe worthless but i do get people saying they like is to leave my address, Minneapolis, in the comment as well as my own blog address…must be easier?

  • It’s going great for me, too. I have actually not done each thing on the day it was posted, but I refer back to them when I have time.

    I’ve lowered my bounce rate from 87% to 74% in a week, and have increased my subscribers by a few. Hopefully more in the next weeks. I revamped my “about page,” and I love it now!

    I, too, got so many clicks from the tips I posted. Thanks, Darren! (you are actually one of my “readers of the week,” even though you’re not really a reader, because of the referrals from the group writing.) Credit where credit is due.

    I’m also thinking of beginning a new carnival. It’s been inspiring to have a plan for growing instead of just hoping I get more readers. To go from seeing the successful bloggers and wishing I knew how, to moving in the right direction. Thanks again.

  • As Melissa I have increased my visitors by over 1,500 and growing. :)


  • I echo what [email protected] said that it’s great to have a plan rather than just hope in building my blog.

    Darren, this is an awesome project that you’ve got going! Thanks so much. So far, I’ve concentrated on the days 3, 4, 7, 11, and 14. I figure I’ll work within blog itself before branching out with the other tips. And, I’ve also seen great results in subscriptions and page views.

    Now that I have a plan to follow, and know what I’m doing, I’m working harder on my blog and seeing that hard work pay off.

    I look forward to the upcoming days in the project, as well as discovering the ones I’ve yet to read.

    Thanks for the in-depth help and advice!

  • I’ll have to be honest that I skimmed through a lot of the posts, but still got a lot out of them. The latest one about the sneeze page I think will help a whole lot.

  • Darren: This 31 days thing is a great idea! I’ve learned so much already and I can’t wait to see what the next few days have in store. My blog is getting more hits than ever thanks to the tips I’ve found on this site! Thank you so much!!!

  • Your idea is great. My execution does not seem to be working out well. If nothing else my traffic is going down not up.

  • I haven’t been keeping up with it daily like I had wanted to, however the exercises that I have done so far have been very helpful. This reminds me that I need to check back with my crazy egg account and see what else I can learn from my heat maps!

  • Jon

    I think these are great tips, but I can’t say that my blog has caught fire quite yet. Maybe it will take the full 31 days to get me moving…

  • I am now at the top of my Blog nich! Thank you.