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Develop a Plan to Boost Your Blog’s Profile and Readership Online [Day 29 31DBBB]

Posted By Darren Rowse 4th of May 2009 Blog Promotion, Social Media 0 Comments

Today your task in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is one that should help you think a little strategically about where you spend time online building your online profile.

One of the ways that many successful blogs build a readership and profile is by spending significant time and energy building up a presence on other websites. Whether this be forums, social bookmarking sites (like Digg or StumbleUpon), social messaging sites (like Twitter), other blogs or any other type of site – time invested in other websites can be a great way to build your own brand.

However…. spending time on other sites can also be a complete waste of time.

A trap that I see many bloggers falling into (and have fallen into myself) is sinking significant time into building a presence on sites without having really thought through two things:

  1. Whether it’s the right site to build a presence on
  2. What their strategy and purpose is for being on the site

Perhaps I’m describing myself more than you here – but many of us as bloggers tend to DRIFT around the web from site to site without any real direction or purpose.

20 minutes onTwitter, 5 minutes on MySpace, 20 minutes reading other blogs on Google Reader, 30 minutes checking out photos of friends on Facebook, 20 minutes checking out the latest threads on our favorite forums, back to Twitter for 20 minutes, 15 minutes following links we found on Digg……..

It’s easy to get to the end of the day and wonder what it was that we really achieved. We aimlessly drift around the web and have very little to show for the time we spend.

Can you relate?

It is a pity that so many of us struggle with this problem because spending time on other websites has the potential to really build our blogs…. however for so many people it can end up being largely a waste of time.

Your Task Today

Today your task is to do something that some of us (yes I’m talking to myself here) will find difficult. Depending upon our personality type it could feel a little too rigid – however I ask that you humor me and see where the exercise takes you.

1. How Much Time Do You Have?

Work out how much time you have each day (or week) for spending time on other websites to build the profile of your blog. Remember that you need to also have put aside significant time to spend on your own blog (writing, interacting with readers etc).

2. Describe Your Desired Reader

Spend 10-15 minutes describing the type of person that you want to read your blog. For some of you this will include very specific things like demographics (age, gender, location) but for others of you it will be less specific. Your potential readers might be defined more as ‘beginner photographers’ or ‘people interested in learning the latest patch working techniques’ (ie a description based more upon people’s needs or behaviors).

3. Ask yourself this Question

Where are my potential readers gathering online?” This is a key question be asking yourself regularly. If your goal is to build your blog you need to know what type of people you want to attract and to be on the look out for other sites where this type of people are gathering.

Of course this question is not easy to answer and it can take a lot of time to identify these types of sites. Let me give you some examples of how I’ve answered this question:

  • Flickr – for me a site dedicated to photo sharing was an obvious place for me to have a presence when starting my photography site.
  • Lifehacker – a blog with an audience with a techie interest but that was all about helping people with ‘hacks’ or tips. A logical place for me with all three of my blogs which hare ‘tips’ related blogs.
  • Twitter – until recently Twitter has been mainly used by social media buffs – it’s a logical place for me to have a presence for ProBlogger and especially TwiTip.
  • Forums – when launching ProBlogger I spent a lot of time on webmaster related forums like DigitalPoint and Webmaster World. When starting out with my photography blog I spent time on a lot of photography forums.
  • Blogs – I still hang out on a lot of blogs related to my niches but particularly in the early days of my photography blog I was a daily commenter and occasionally guest poster on quite a few.
  • StumbleUpon – image based posts tend to do really well on StumbleUpon – as a result it was a logical place for me to build a presence for my photography blog.

These were some of the places that related to my own blogs – for your niche/topic it’ll probably look quite different. Perhaps there are other social media sites (for example Facebook often has strong ‘groups’ on different topics or LinkedIn might be a more appropriate place to interact) or other types of sites that seem to attract your kinds of readers.

Keep in mind that you’re not just looking for other sites with your exact same niche/topic. For example, Lifehacker is not a blog about photography but it has a readership that overlaps with the type of people I want to read my photography blog. The Webmaster forums were not forums about blogging specifically – but they had a user group which would have had a % of people who operate blogs.

So don’t just identify sites in your own niche – look at related topics and whether there might be some kind of overlap between the readers that they have and what you’re looking to attract.

As I mention above – learning where your potential readers gather online is a long term search – but try to come up with at least a couple for the purpose of this activity.

4. What Opportunities are there to Build a Presence?

Once you’ve identified at least a couple of places that your potential readers are already gathering spend some time looking at what opportunities you might have on these sites to build your own blog’s profile.

The opportunities will again vary quite a bit from site to site. Some of them we’ve touched on earlier in the 31DBBB challenge and include:

I. Guest Posts – if it is a blog do they accept guest posts? Some blogs actively seek contributors (look for ‘write for us’ pages) while others don’t advertise it but do use reader contributions.

If you’re accepted as a guest poster pay particular attention to what types of posts work well on the site you’re writing for. Look at comment numbers and try to find out what types of articles might have done well previously on social media sites. Quite often the blogger will be willing to help you and give you examples of what has previously worked on their blog.

II. Submit Tips/News – similarly – some blogs rely heavily upon readers for story ideas and will give credit for the source. For example in the early days of my photography blog I was regularly emailing Engadget and Gizmodo when new cameras were released. I’d send them not only the news of new cameras but images that they could use. They didn’t always use my stories and link back but when they did it was a boost both to traffic, profile and SEO.

Quite a few blogs have links in their navigation areas inviting these types of tips and ideas for stories so don’t be afraid to use them.

III. Leaving Super Useful Comments – if there’s no way to share tips or write guest posts the comments section of another blog is a place that you can really build a profile. Don’t just leave quick pointless comments – go to some effort. I was speaking with one blogger recently whose strategy was to leave at least one post length comment on another blog each day.

By ‘post length’ comment they meant that they aimed to write at least one in depth comment of 500 words or more every day on another blog in their niche. The comment would extend the ideas in the posts they were commenting upon, share examples that made the posts deeper, added resources etc (not just with links back to their own blog. The strategy was to add comments that were attention grabbing by their usefulness.

The result was that the blogger was regularly asked by other bloggers to guest blog on their blog and that other readers began to visit their blog even though they rarely linked to it in their comments.

This same strategy can be used in forums. Start a new thread that is a tutorial or highly useful resources – people will want to know more about you if you do (more on this strategy of using Forums to promote your blog here).

IV. Making Connections/Building Your Network – if the site you’ve identified is more of a social networking or social bookmarking site then one strategy you’ll want to work on is making connections with others on the site. Set up an account and start making ‘friends’. Pay particular interest to making friends with other active users and people with shared interests.

It can also be well worth identifying key players or influential members on the site. Watch how they operate and look for opportunities to build relationships with them.

The key is to be a genuine participant on the site. To add value, to become a key member of the community. As you do this opportunities will arise that will allow you to promote yourself and your blog a little more.

V. Profile pages – Does the site have an opportunity to set up a profile page or have any ability to promote yourself in any way? On most social media sites and forums there is the ability to say something about yourself, share a link back to your blog, customize your presence with an avatar and/or background image and nominate some keywords as tags.

Try to keep your brand consistent across the different sites that you are building a presence on where you can. Also think about using a ‘landing page’ as the page that you link to rather than just the front page of your blog (read more on how I do this with a Twitter Landing Page).

VI. Signatures – If it’s a forum (or some other community site) you might have an opportunity to add a signature. My only tip with this is that sometimes less is more. Long, flashing or bright signatures can look quite spammy – so go for something tasteful and descriptive.

Other opportunities to promote your work exist on other sites. For example on Facebook you can promote your blog using a variety of applications that allow you to pull in your latest posts or list your blogs. See what other bloggers are doing and test to see if their strategies work for you too.

VII. Advertising – this won’t be for everyone but many sites will have opportunities to engage their readers with advertising. While this might sound very expensive there are quite a few sites that allow you to start ad campaigns that are quite affordable and with a small budget.

For example social media sites likeMySpace (disclosure: they are currently an advertiser on ProBlogger), StumbleUpon and Facebook all have advertising options that allow you to target specific demographics and even people with certain interests. They all allow you to set up campaigns with quite small budgets too.

Other types of sites might not have quite the same sort of ad opportunities but might be open to other types of advertising. If it’s another blog of a similar size to yours you might even approach the bloggers to do an ad swap – you put an ad on their blog and they put an ad on yours.

Further Reading: Run a StumbleUpon Campaign on your Blog (from the last 31DBBB challenge)

VIII. Volunteer to Help – if it’s a forum site that you’re wanting to spend time on there are often opportunities to help out by becoming a moderator. Most sites won’t take you on as a moderator straight away but contribute genuinely over time and there may be opportunity in this area. While you don’t want to abuse the privilege it – moderation status gives you a certain level of authority and profile on a forum.

5. Plan a Strategy

OK – so you’ve identified some sites where your potential readers are gathering, you’ve assessed some of the opportunities that exist to build your profile on these sites – the task now is to think a little strategically about what you’re going to do on these sites.

Don’t feel you need to have a highly developed plan or strategy – but jot down some of the following:

  • How much time will you spend there? (prioritize which sites you want to spend more time on than others)
  • What times of the week would be best to be active on this site? (sites have their own rhythms and some will be more active on some days/times than others).
  • What types of things am I going to do on this site (which of the opportunities that you’ve identified in step #4 will you pursue?)
  • Set yourself some goals. Again – they need not be highly formal but could include things like getting a guest post published, becoming a moderator, posting X number of comments a week, getting to know the owner of the site etc.

You can extend this step by actually planning out what an average day or week will look like for you as you go about your blogging. I know of a few bloggers who’ve gone as far as setting up a spreadsheet with each day and the hours on that day outlined. They then block out times for each day for certain activities. They fill up their most productive times of day with the most important activities (like writing content on their own blog) and then set aside time each day/week for spending time on other sites.

While this type of schedule might not work for everyone – I personally have used it at times where I’ve felt particularly ‘aimless’ with my time. Even doing it for a week or two can help you to develop more healthy habits online.

6. Analyze Your Current Activity

The last step in this task is to take a little tie to analyze what you’re currently doing with your time online.

  • What sites do you spend time on already?
  • Do these sites actually help to build your profile or could you be more effectively use your time elsewhere?
  • Are you being effective with the time you spend on these sites?

I did some analysis on this 12 or so months ago. At the time I was sinking a lot of time into two main social media sites – Twitter and Plurk. While I enjoyed both I realized that it was Twitter that was a more effective place for me to be interacting. While I’d become a top 10 user on Plurk it wasn’t really as effective use of time for me so I decided to stop interacting there and focus my energies upon Twitter.

Note: I’m not arguing that everything you do online has to be productive and building your profile. Some of you use Twitter more as a social thing than to build your blogs and that is legitimate – however it is worth asking yourself the question and doing a little analysis of your online habits.

Lastly – Keep Balance

My last words of advice are to not become obsessed with building your profile on other people’s sites. I’ve seen a number of bloggers spend so much time building their presence on sites like Twitter that they fail to actually build up and develop their own blogs. Identify key sites to spend time on – but put your own blog at the top of the list and set aside as much (if not more) time for working specifically upon it.

6 Posts for Suggested Further Reading:

Feel free to discuss here in the comments, or over at the forum post for this task.

Want More?

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.

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. Wonderful post Darren. I have been following couple of tricks to improve my readership – leaving super useful comments on blogs/forums related to my niche and making connections/building my network. They have helped me a great deal in improving my readership (RSS subscribers jumped to 1100 from 300).

    I will surely take up this assignment to improve http://techpp.com even further. Thanks again.

  2. I can relate very well to the beginning of this post – I waste an awful lot of time drifting around the internet, achieving very little of meaningful value.

    I guess one of the bigger problems I’ve had is that when I do find like-minded individuals or sites I have been unable to build relationships with them.

    I’ve lost count of the number of sites where I have left long and (hopefully) worthwhile comments only to later discover that the blogger hasn’t even taken the time to reply.

    After a couple of years that has become quite demoralising for me, especially as I find it fairly easy to connect with people outside of my niche.

    I’m at the point now where I had run out of ideas for further promoting my site and that’s why this series is proving valuable to me.

  3. This post is so true Darren! This kind of mistake is often seen with new bloggers when they try to comment as much as possible because they heard that it was a good way to generate traffic and build image.

    However often they fail to see that where they spend their time commenting is not productive or useful.

    Targeting your audience and optimizing your effort in that direction is definitely the way to go!

  4. Thanks for the post Darren. You don’t know how I value it!

  5. True enough, you should onsider first if:
    1. it’s the right site to build a presence on
    2. and what their strategy and purpose is for being on the site.
    However, I do think that commenting on other sites an help you generate traffic especially if your post was of sense and fun to read. I agree that focusing yourself on your target audience is quite useful when you are trying to boost your blog’s profile, though I would also like to say that it will indeed take a lot of your time so planning is really necessary and so is crossing out your procrastinations.

  6. This is really awesome post,still unable to decide how time to spent on other websites ans social sites.Planning is the key thing .With a perfecct stratergy we can build perfect online profile.

  7. love the synergy that’s occurring… a life design course i’m taking assigns me to make a list of the steps how i’m going to achieve a world wide rave (an online viral marketing campaign) for my next book, a Twitter poster this morning offers a book marketing to develop relationships wtih the top 30 websites where my potential readers are already going, and now problogger suggests I describe my desired reader, where they’re gathering online and identify my opportunities to build my blog’s profile on those sites.

    jeez now i just have to do it.

    thanks darren!

  8. Wow, this is one of the most information-packed posts of them all! I hope the last few days are all like this!

    I like scheduling the time just like you would a meeting is important. Decide how much time you are wiling to spend on the activities? One hour… Two? And then simply focus on them during that time span.

    This keeps them from being a constant time-suck all day long and allows you to focus your energy on the task at hand. This has work on a limited basis so far. I need to do a much better job of being consistent!

  9. Good plan and good strategy always help you to succeed. Doing same for blogging would definetly provide the same outcome. For my blog I created a time management, which helps me tackle more tasks.

  10. The more I blog, the more I have had to focus my efforts on the places that provide the most reward. That reward isn’t financial, but relates more to interaction and community building. Twitter is a key one for me, though it is becoming more difficult to keep up with everyone, especially on the business Twitter account I run. Apart from that there are forums, but I find I don’t set aside enough time for forum participation. Commenting and guest posts are strategies I use often, but this post has given me some more food for thought.

  11. Oh, Darren, thank you so much for these concrete tips! As a mother of three, my time is so limited. I knew I needed a better strategy and some structure for putting myself out there. Your tips have really helped to focus my mind. Thanks again!

  12. Nice plan of action. Also agree with Tyrone about planning the site: navigation and navigation layout, but those are more inside the site or blog.

    I wish I did this more: Document changes(inside the site and activities(outside the site) and measure the changes.

  13. Maybe it’s just me but a lot of these tactics hint at a manipulative nature.

    For me it goes back to the main reason for having a blog in the first place… To add VALUE to the niche. As a result I find myself gravitating towards blogs/forums etc because I WANT to… If I get some readers as a side-result then that’s fine but I would be there anyway for my own enjoyment and because I like offering advice.

    If you are there purely for marketing purposes then I’d have to question your purpose and ethics surrounding your blog in the first place.


  14. HI Darren,

    what is different with you. I really don`t understand. I spent quiet a lot of time on social media pages. And after a few hours or days I forget about them. You have no my attention since almost 1 year!! Only Yaro got this attention from me too.

    So I ask myself what is different about you??? Hmm, maybe because you are a christlian like me? Doesn`t really matter in social medai. Better tips? Hmm, not really, I also read good hints on other sites.

    Maybe it is your consistency like in these last 31 articles to build a blog. So congratulation that somehow you are able to make a difference.

  15. thats what im currently doing.Its a big task but im sorting things out. Organization is the key for everything to go smooth.

  16. forum is dangerous, mosty wasting my time there, i cant help it. LOL

  17. Darren,

    This is your best post of the series.

    IMHO, I might recommend that you move it up to the middle of the program – I think there’s a lot that can be applied to other stages in terms of community building and such.

    Thanks again for putting this on.


  18. Darren,

    I agree with Mike as well, one of the best posts in the series, this would be a great post to feature for a while.

    Although, I have to say the value you have provided over these last few weeks is priceless. Thank you for that.

  19. Karenne says: 05/04/2009 at 11:47 pm

    Thank you very much Darren. I’m definitely one of the people worrying about how to cull my online time spent away from my blog ;-) or at least concentrate on the ‘right’ places.

    Some of the things I have learned to do are:
    * develop an ‘editorial’ calendar for these activities – going to different sites on different days

    * keep track of where the hits come back in from and how many, then concentrate on those.

    Hope useful,

  20. Planning is important for making anything perfect in life. For business, planning is more important, this lays the basement of various activities involved in your business.

    Cooking a perfect plan helps you to take the right steps in the right way. I gives a road map for your business.

    Of course, blogging too needs a plan, to lay down your day-to-day activities, to achieve the goal of yours.


  21. It’s easy to drift on the internet, without having anything to show for it. (A little harder, when you have a 6, 5, and 4 year old like I do, though)

    So I think being purposeful is key. Thanks for the good points to consider.


  22. Great post. Looks like this is going to wrap up very good. 31DBB is really helping me out! Thanks Darren!


  23. Often times you can feel this sort of drift because so many people exist on so many of the various social platforms that you are bound to bump into your audience sooner or later.

  24. Another marketing effort that works pretty well is writing articles. My friend has been doing this for about 6 months now and she ended up with a bunch of freelance work because of it. Writing articles (for sites like Suite101 or Helium.com) may seem like a waste of time, but these sites rank high in the search engines, so when someone Googles your name, it will come up over and over again if you are writing and posting articles each week. So it helps establish you as an expert, esp. if you’re writing articles about your blog topic.

    My goal is to write 5 articles a week and post them to other blogs, sites, etc. And since they’re short articles (about 250-300 words), it’s not so difficult to do.

  25. At the risk of inviting thousands of emails, I’m looking for guest writers :) My main idea is “day in the life” articles. So if you have an interesting occupation, you might be a good fit.

    Drop by http://www.observingcasually.com/ and see if you might be interested. We cover a lot of topics (more like a magazine than a blog). You can find my email address at the bottom of articles.

    I plan to have guest articles once a week.

  26. Interestingly, I decided on Friday that I was going to try a new schedule this week to manage my time better online.

    You are absolutely right that social media is distracting, and it can drag out how long it takes to write a post or moderate comments. Things can take forever to get done if you’re not careful.

    You’ll be happy to know that I put off commenting here until I finished my work for this morning =)

  27. Your best article this series!

    Boosting your readership is what it is all about. Obviously your posts to this point have led us here, but I really enjoyed your article. Too often we as bloggers get mixed up and confused with our priorities. This is a great way to focus back on what really matters.

    This is an essential article to your series and should be featured!

  28. At the end of the day, this is what we come down to: Which is the most efficient strategy that works for our blogs?

    Bloggers are all around the places. What I learnt from my experience is I can’t have them all. The committment & consistency in participating, just as similar to our own blog postings. It took quite awhile for me to realize it’s OK not to be all around the places, all the time. If there are few places that I may capture my potential audiences, or allowing me to have better input, so be it. But eventually, our main focus will still be our blog content.

    It’s all about balance. I think that’s one of the best quotes I got from this lesson. And it works in many ways.

    Social Media/Blogging

  29. Thanks for this great post Darren, i find my self drifting a lost these days maybe less on social sites but more on SEO forums learning but not going for my main goal which is to increase my sites web presence or promoting it in other ways….

  30. Hi Darren,

    This is really important stuff. It reminds me of the 20/80 “rule”. To find out, what has the biggest effect, and do that, and do less of the stuff that doesn’t bring you closer toward your goals.

    They say, that 20% of what you do, gives you 80% of your results…

    I will have to plan more, because the trap of ending up surfing around with no end, I know that from myself!!

    Thank you once again!


  31. I was reading a post on SEOMoz.com about the effectiveness of social sites like Twitter: “The majority of marketers who engage in social media do so NOT because it produces greater ROI (professionally), but because the metrics are more immediately tangible and emotionally rewarding”. Link: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/getting-honest-about-social-media-marketing

    While using sites like Twitter for boosting you online sales or “ROI” could be disputable, I think they are excellent tools to boost your blog’s profile and actually they are very helpful options for the branding tactics of a blog. And that will impact your “ROI” sooner or later.

  32. I hope soon you will also find Hiburrito.com as a great tool for building a bloggers profile.

  33. When I realized the was twiddling my thumbs virtually, I decided to schedule my time in 1.5 hr blocks. Each one is devoted to a different task: blog, book, website, discovery.

    The goal is for me to accomplish something in each segment very day depending on what’s most critical. Of course, doing the challenge meant that most days blog extended well into website time, but well worth it since I’ve grown tremendously from this experience and met great bloggers.

    Also, checking my referrer logs in GA helps me determine which sites send me traffic, which is naturally where I spend my time.


  34. As a photo blogger I have written down my daily web time spent, and have found a great target base. Thanks for awakening my senses once more. Feel free to look at my blog, and subscribe as well. This is all about that stuff, right? Any comments always welcome!

  35. Most of us bloggers tend to do what you have written in your post. But the funniest part is that we don’t realize how much time we have wasted unnecessarily surfing from here to there.
    Initially I was one of these victims but after about a month I read a post from a blog titled, “What did you do?”. That was when I decided that enough was enough and that I need to spend some quality time doing stuff that is important.
    So here is how I do it –
    Every week, on a Sunday I make a time-table for the next week. I would write down the time available each day and divide it into each activity that I want to do in that available time. I set priority to each activity so that in case I happen to miss out on any one, I know what is it that I need to postpone. Finally I stick the time-table just next to my Computer on a wall-board in such a way that I can see it clearly.
    Planning my activity this way helps me do things that are relevant – the 20% as mentioned by Claus in a comment above, and am able to manage my job and my online business.
    After I started the above practice, I saw a sudden rise in the readership of my original blog and am also making some decent revenue selling affiliate products.

  36. I look at the numbers of referrals from different places on the net where I’ve participated and see little trickles of traffic from most places.

    After reading your article there are a couple of locations that I think I can try that would result in more traffic but since my time is limited I’ve spent more time blogging and working on projects rather than reaching out these days.

    I do establish relationships with my readers and subscribers and am asking them to reach out for me…

    I have a good source for looking at demographics and will post it in the forum.

  37. I very much agree. It is so easy to “drift” online. Sometimes in our desire to earn online, we get amazed by the many things we see or hear of and it really that easy to loose track of time and wasting our time in a tool or strategy that really isnt working for us. But thank you for the detailed reminders for us to use as checklist. I follow most of them, maybe I should try doing them all this time.

    thanks again

  38. This post came at a perfect time for me I just enrolled into college and have to restructure my online time. I easily get distracted and jump from link to link so I think this task is not too rigid but gives me hope I can keep up with my blog despite a busy schedule.

    Thanks so much for this series although I don’t want it to end!

  39. Aloha Darren!
    This is just what the Dr ordered!

    I am currently Laid Off and have thought I have been focusing on my blog and CN counseling promotion and now 6 weeks later I am wondering what I have done???

    So much time whittled away not on meaning less things but there are only so many hours a day and I am seeking to actually accomplish something during my days.

    Twitter can become the water cooler of my corporate days :) and with no scary boss to give me funny looks I can lose and entire afternoon sipping with twitter.

    Mahalo for the post I fell my self getting on track TODAY!


  40. Wonderful job, Darren:

    Mind you, I was ready for this one; I had written a book in 1982 publish by AMACOM – Division of the American Management Association. It’s title? “Marketing and Strategic Planning for Professional Service Firms”.

    Thank you for reminding me that this applies to all of us. Incorporating all of your ideas, and more, over the past month, here is what I have come up with:

    Thank you, as well, to the other forum members who have acknowledged the amount of work that I have put in here. I actually started this particular project, in 2003. But, it was kept rather ‘secret’ until now. And, thank you to those of you who have already given me feedback and support.

    Your children might like, particularly, the most popular YouTube Video posted at Stan At Large.org© – ‘Personal Web Page / Photographic Journal’, in February, 2008 [ http://www.stanwebb.org/2009/02/diving-with-sea-lions-february-2008.html ].  It is directly linked to YouTube here: Diving with the Sea Lions – February, 2008, at Hornby Island, near Courtney, on Vancouver Island, Canada.*

    In this computer age young people, indeed all of us, will find Webb2u© – ‘Computer and Internet Tips’ of value and interest. [ http://www.webb2u.com/ ]

    Of course, I am hoping that Modern Life – “Sometimes On The Edge” vs. The Olden Days© – Keep it frugal, green, happy and simple will appeal to a wider audience. [ http://www.sometimesontheedge.com/ ]

    Of course, I’ve emailed my family. friends and relatives:

    “1.If you like some, or indeed, all of this stuff, please forward the links on to your contacts.  After six years of hard work, I’d like people to be following.
    2.If you would like to keep up-to-date, you can subscribe to the posts and/or comments by clicking on the links at the top of the page.
    3.If you have any comments, queries, or recommendations in general, please let me know by commenting on this particular post. (see link to comments in 6., below.)
    4.If you can suggest topics that would have wide appeal, and that you think I should write about, please let me know.  Of course, they would need to fit into the various themes.
    5.If you would like to write a guest post, please let me know. And, yes, we can keep your name anonymous, if you wish.
    6.There is a comment section at the bottom of each and every post.  Please click there, and comment away (sometimes the best and/or only way to get to all of 100s, if not 1,000s of posts is by clicking on the Index items).  And, yes, you can make your comments anonymously.  Keep it ‘polite and clean’, I don’t want to monitor every post – and I do not want to turn that feature off.   You’re comments will be invaluable in helping me improve the web sites.
    7.Finally, please update your Bookmarks / Favorites and Links to these sites.
    *PS: I’ve given that Diving with the Sea Lions Video – February, 2008 a 5 star rating.

    Stan Webb [ http://www.google.com/profiles/stanwebb#about ]

  41. Aloha Darren!

    Your timing is uncanny!!

    I am currently Laid Off and have thought I have been focusing on my blog and CN counseling promotion and now 6 weeks later I am wondering what I have done???

    So much time whittled away not on meaning less things but there are only so many hours a day and I am seeking to actually accomplish something during my days.

    Twitter can become the water cooler of my corporate days :) and with no scary boss to give me funny looks I can lose and entire afternoon sipping with twitter.

    Mahalo for the post I feel my self getting on track TODAY!


  42. Darren,

    I have a photoshop/photography blog (and have guest blogged for you a few times before on DPS). I am on many forums and visit and help others as I have time. And I do many of the other things on your list too – this is a great list by the way.

    My readers are LOYAL and I get new ones all of the time. BUT… They do not DIGG and they do not STUMBLE UPON, etc. I have tried to educate them subtly that I would like them to try these things. I get tons of comments to certain posts and on those I want them to share with others more in that way.

    Any ideas for me (or others besides Darren too) – do you have ideas for me on how to get people to take that next step? I have all the icons below each post – but it as if they are invisible.

    MCP Actions

  43. I made a strategy yesterday itself and today you post this, Super. Firstly I need to stop reading and start implementing. Enough said and done, I spend most of the time clearing up my inbox and leaving comments that I don’t get time in other things. I unsubscribed from all newsletters and stuff and plan to read my inbox and check out the bookmarks I have done. Your post on how to go from 0 – 10000 emails in a day will surely be useful for me.

    I have stayed subscribed to Problogger because this is the only blog which talks about blogging rather than just pinching out affiliate links down my throat with every second email. Thanks Darren for your wonderful posts and please continue with the good work.

    My strategy for today was outlined by keeping in mind to setup a few sites and get the designing done by June. Ya, sounds like a lotta time but I need to sort out alot of issues and at the current pace I will never make it.

  44. Unfortunately, you are completely right on the time management part. I seem to drift aimlessly at time all over the net, in an attempt to actually doing something. Then I setup something similiar to your Step 5. Plan a Strategy – And just made a schedule. Productivity is way up now. Thanks!

  45. Aren’t we getting a little away from the real purpose of blogs, namely to write your thoughts down and send them to the world?

    I mean this 31 day challenge is a great thing and I learn a lot, but especially with this post I feel a little bit of a cold wind blowing.

    Blogs should not be transformed into visitor magnets, SEO playgrounds, ads holders, and just perfect number one pages.

    They should stay personal, individual, unique, with flaws and errors, like all human beings.

    What do you think Darren?

  46. Darren,

    My plan to boost my blog’s profile and readership was to participate in social media and other blogs once a week. During the 31DBBB challenge, I’ve learned that the plan is going to have to change if I want to be more effective in promoting my blog.

    I have also found that it’s easy for me to get lost in the blogosphere and social media so much that when I finally look up, I’ve already spent like 3 or 4 hours online with not much productivity to promote my blog or add content to my blog.

    One comment on a blog or website leads to reading another site or participating in social media which then leads to other blogs and the process seems to never end.

    Following links that are related to my niche is the behavior that usually gets me in trouble when it comes to time management. I follow one link to a site and if it’s unfamiliar to me, I check out more content on that site and then check out what the site is also linking to.

    The plan that I had to comment and read blogs and post social media content once a week will not be as efficient in my niche as I thought. I realized that of the blogs that I read often posts updates a few times each day. That’s anywhere from two to eight posts daily, and if I don’t stay on top of their news and comments, there will be a lot of information that I miss and my readers may be affected by that, as I get some of my news from this blog.

    This 31DBBB task will be very useful.

  47. Great post Darren. Lately I’ve been spending about 7 hours a day promoting my blog and building up profiles in forums and on other blogs. It definitely helps out a LOT!

  48. Michael Godawski – I think it depends upon your goals for your blog. If you want to write the kind of blog that you describe then there’s nothing at all wrong with that – but this is a site that is more focused upon helping people to build blogs that have an entrepreneurial aspect to them – ie that make money and build readership to help the blogger build their own profile etc.

    As a result we look at things like SEO, building traffic etc AS WELL as some of the things you describe (being personal for example). I don’t think what you describe is impossible to do along side some of the tactics in this blog but really I guess it comes down to why someone blogs.

  49. Jodi – tough one. I find some blogs just seem to attract social bookmarking readers and others don’t – although on your topic I think you might have an advantage with the right kind of content.

    The only thing I can really suggest is to try some kind of educating of readers if you can – ie perhaps a post on how StumbleUpon is a great tool to find photos or photography tutorials….

    The other thing I do is occassionally insert a digg button onto my blog when I write a post that I think will particularly appeal to that community.

    Other than that – it’s about hanging in there for the long haul, trying to develop a network of people who you can ask to help you with campaigns (occassionally) etc.

  50. Hey Darren

    Great post. I have been noticing some traffic to my blog as a result of the comments I have been leaving on the blogs I follow.
    I do need to perhaps target a little better the blogs I am using to do this as I am probably using the ones that I like to follow rather than the ones that relate to my customers.
    Thanks for the food for thought.

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