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Plan the Next Steps for Your Blog [Day 31 – 31DBBB]

Posted By Darren Rowse 6th of May 2009 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Today is Day 31 in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge.

Congratulations to those who have made it through to this point – I hope you’ve found it to be a helpful experience.

To those just starting, part way through or who are yet to start (you can sign up at any time) hang in there!

Your Last Task – Plan Your Next Steps

Today for your last task in 31DBBB I’d like to encourage you to take step back from the last month of activity and learning and to plan your next steps.

I’ve said this numerous times over the last month but while most bloggers tend to drift aimlessly along in their blogging I find that those who grow successful blogs often set aside time to think a little strategically about their blogs every now and again.

This doesn’t mean you need a highly developed strategy – it just means putting aside a little time every now and again to think about what you want to achieve and how you want to do it.

Develop a Plan for Your Next Month

If you’re a blogger who is struggling with discipline or routine (you know who you are) I would highly recommend setting aside a little time to develop some kind of a plan for the next month.

Get a calendar (whether it be a real physical one or your computer based one) and map out specific tasks that you want to achieve over the next month.

Let me show you what this might look like with a calendar that I’ve whipped up below in Google Calendars (click to enlarge).

blog-plan.png

The calendar above is based upon some of the activities we’ve covered over the last month. You can see that this plan includes:

  • 6 posts a week (Sundays are a day off from posting)
  • Each Post day has it’s own ‘type/style’ of post
  • Sundays are for determining specifics of what each post will be (topics/titles etc)
  • An Admin type task each Monday
  • A promotional activity on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • A day on Fridays for ‘readers’ (emailing them, answering questions etc)
  • A day on the last day for stats analysis
  • A brainstorming day on the first day of the month

The daily tasks of course will vary from blog to blog and I would not recommend you just adopt this plan.

You might not want to do a weekly cycle of types of posts, you might have a different frequency of posting, you might want to include other activities or or not do others – the key isn’t what you include but rather to layout a plan of the main things you feel are important to your blogging..

Of course the above calendar looks very ‘neat’ – you’ll find that there will be daily tasks to do also (comment moderation, email, social media presence etc) and that other opportunities and challenges arise from day to day that will take you off course – but with a main task or two identified for each day it means you know you’ll achieve a good balance of activity over a month.

With this in set up you don’t have to work out what to do each day when you start blogging – you just have to do the task outlined for the day.

Over the last 31 Days we’ve covered a lot of ground. By no means have I touched on every aspect of blogging but my hope is that out of the 31 days there are at least a few practical things that you can build into your regular blogging routine.

One last thing that I’d recommend that you do at this point is simply look back over the last 31 days of tasks (you can see them all listed in the daily task area of the forum) and identify which of the tasks you might want to take on board as something you regularly do on your blog. The reason that I selected the topics and tasks that I did was simply that these are things that I do regularly myself (most of them on at least a monthly basis). You don’t need to replicate them all for yourself but please don’t simply end 31DBBB today and ‘shelve’ what you’ve learned – pick two or three things you’ve found helpful and plan to do them more and extend them further.

Tell Someone Your Plan

A quick tip once you’ve worked out what you’re doing next with your blog – tell someone.

Plans often remain plans and don’t become reality – but one way to take help them to happen is to share them with others. Share it with your blog buddy, tell us about it in comments below or over in our forum or find another friend or family member to share it with.

31DBBB – Where to from here?

Quite a few readers have asked me what happens now with 31DBBB? Many have enjoyed the tasks, the teaching and the community around this project and it does seem a pity to simply end it here. As a result there are few ways that we’ll extend things in a less intense kind of way:

1. 31DBBB Workbook

Many of you want your own copy of the daily tasks. We’re currently working on putting them together into an e-book/pdf workbook which will enable you to go through the tasks again at your own pace as many times as you like. There will be a small cost associated with this for those who want to grab a copy. I’ll share more on how you can get it in the coming week or so via the email list and here on the blog.

2. More Tasks

Over the coming weeks and months I will continue to use the email list to send the occasional task to participants. By no means will it be daily (I’m suspecting it’ll be every couple of weeks at the most).

3. Special Offer

In the next couple of days I’ll be sending an email out with a special offer to get a great blog training resources at a very reduced price. There’s no pressure to take it up

4. Forums to Remain Open

The 31DBBB forums have been an amazing little community for many of the participants of this challenge. In fact they’ve extended well beyond 31DBBB and there’s great discussion on there relevant to all bloggers. They will remain open indefinitely. In fact stay tuned because my hope is to expand them in the coming month to be an even broader community site for bloggers. ProBlogger.COM is going to be ProBlogger.COMMUNITY (more of this soon).

Lastly – let me thank you all for participating in the last 31 Days. While it has been a lot of work it has been a fun ride for me and I have learned a lot. A special thanks to Lara Kulpa who has helped managed the admin side of things particularly in the forum area and a thanks to all who have given feedback and support along the way.

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Nice project Darren. It helped us a lot. I hope you write a monitoring plan in the future.

  2. Thanks for doing the 31BBB Challenge, Darren. Over the last month, I have significantly improved my blogging–not just my blog itself, but also how I approach my blog. I now have an editorial calendar that I follow as well as am using guest posts. I’m excited to keep growing it!

    Can’t wait for the workbook so I can go thru the tasks again!

  3. Hi Darren,

    This was a great course! Thing is, I was not able to put these strategies into play, because I still have a SHTML web site. I am shooting by July 1st, 2009, to finally convert my web site into a blog. The one thing I have going for me, is that I have over 5,000 pages of content and I can estimate that I have over 15,000 readers through my mailing lists (according to my Aweber account, I have cover 20,000 readers, but quite a few of these readers are on multiple mailing lists).

    The one thing I have been doing over the years, is that once I upload my stories to my server, I point links from my blogger account to those specific pages, so when I convert my web site into a blog, I will have a nice list of archives.

    I can’t wait to implement your lessons from not only your 2009 version of 31DBBB, but also from 2007 & 2005. BTW, you should throw those two years into your e-book too! I am a big fan of your ProBlogger book and I will await the arrival of your affordable e-book. I like the fact, that you are not charging us an arm an a leg for your upcoming e-book (like other people). You are a great man Darren!

    One more thing, I want to applaud you for writing such awesome content over the years. Most MMO blogs, like to promote a product well over $50 to $100 every other week. You don’t do that. When you promote something, its like every two or three months. This is one of the MAIN REASONS why I read and/or check out your blog daily. For the record, there is nothing wrong with promoting products, I just feel some other bloggers can get a bit overbearing, and that is why I RARELY, IF EVER read their blogs.

    When I look at people to emulate for my blogging strategy, I look at you, MICHEAL ARRINGTON and NICK DENTON. Because I am not trying to be like every other blogger who is trying to promote MMO products. My goal is to build a blogging empire and within the next two months, that process will begin.

    Cheers Darren, for doing such a fabulous job with ProBlogger!

    Jeff

  4. Thanks Darren for 31DBBB.. Had fun enjoying your posts!

  5. Thanks a lot Darren for excellent show here. I would be patiently waiting for your e-book. Please count me in.

  6. Thanks for providing such a comprehensive way of working to get better at blogging. I am sure that i am not alone when i say that i have very little structure to my blogging at the moment. Hope to implement some of the tasks you have set us very soon. thanks.

  7. I am so proud to inform that I have followed you everyday until today for these thirty days. I mean more or less. Thank you for you service. Your posts have been timely.

  8. Thanks Darren & Lara for all your hard work.

    This month flew by and it’s been great learning along with other bloggers. I’m happy about the future workbook and am very excited that the forums are staying open.

    Problogger.Community sounds intriguing, can’t wait to find out what it’s all about.

  9. Thank you very much for this awesome course on blogging. I have learned a lot though i may have missed some days. So I intend to go back to them now before I make make “plan”.

    Looking forward to your next course!
    [email protected] http://www.stepbystepblueprints.com

  10. Dear Darren,I have used the inspiration of your 31 day seminar to build a blog and get started. I am not a computer savvy person and I really liked the simple, down to earth instructions. I really appreciate your generosity of sharing your expertise with so many people. Just because of that I would buy your e-book when it is available. Thank you so much!
    In case you are interested in Astrology my blog is an Astrological Signs Weather Report & Healing Gems, so really a niche project.
    Many blessings on your journey, aloha Shakti.

  11. Thank you Darren and Lara for creating this space and sharing your time, talent,and knowledge with us all

    I found you via http://www.twittip.com just as I was starting to research how to enter into the world of blogging. Since the beginning of 31DBBB, I’ve been writing down the daily tasks in a notebook and, although I fell behind some days, I do have a full notebook now and a sore wrist. :) You’ve helped me create a mental framework on how to be successful in blogging and most importantly, how to begin on the right foot an offer a nice and sticky first impression when my site launches at the end of May.

    Funny, I’ve been meeting so many cool Aussies in this past month as well! Looking forward to a continued relationship in this wonderful blogging community.

    Peace,

    Dan

  12. Darren-
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This has been an extremely helpful course and I appreciate you offering it to everyone! You rock!

  13. Thank you Darren for all the work and time you put into this.
    My blog has gone from 300 visitors in march to over 2000 in april.
    That is quite a success for me and I owe much of it to you and the 31DBBB challenge.

    I read you are not working as a minister anymore, but you know what? You’re still serving the people, just in a different way :-)

  14. The 31 day course was a great idea and has obviously been very helpful for a lot of people. I know putting it together would have been a lot of work. Thanks very much for providing such a great resource.

  15. Well – one step ahead of you Darren! Likely because you have trained me so well over the last month. The other night I mapped out the whole month’s worth of posts and felt so much less stress and disorganization about it that I created a post for our readers to let them know what to expect from us in the coming month. I decided to make it a monthly post to act as a type of newsletter – coming attractions – to give us extra incentive to follow through on our intentions and to provide a tease to keep our readers interested in checking back in. Here’s the post:

    http://thebumblesblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/on-blogging-may-days.html

  16. This was a great course I really enjoyed it and it really helped. As for todays task, I think planning is one of the most important ways to become successful. I plan a lot of the stuff I do and it helps.

    Great post!

  17. Heh. Looks like this campaign has given Darren more than a few ideas about how to milk his membership. Funny how that works out sometimes.

  18. Your Goggle Calendar is a great idea for listing out a plan for where I am going with my blog. I use the google calendar now to schedule my people in the office and it works great as everyone can access it at any time to see if they are working and what time.

    Thank you, I appreciate this tip!
    My travel blog will now have an organized plan thanks to this tip.
    http://www.traveltothewest.com
    Wayne

  19. Thanks Darren, for the mention… it’s definitely been a fun ride! :)

  20. This was a nice time. Some days were really challenging and refreshing. Sometimes I found that I hadn’t to do something ‘extra’ because the tasks involved things that I was already doing.

    I have to admit that sometimes I just let is slip and was more thinking out of the box. One example is the task about the statistics. I just put this on my to-let-list as I got tired from all this to-do-lists all over the place. Of course it is important to know the numbers and interpret them right. No doubt about that. I just noticed that I got a little statistic addicted and looked at them too much in the past weeks.

    There are some tasks that I will repeat over and over again.

    Thank you for the great work, Darren.

    Bless you,
    Mario

  21. Thanks Darren!! It s been a wonderful following the blogging lessons and every single day was special and something really important. Learn so much stuff and it improves the blog a lot. Best part is I can continue following it.

    Thanks Darren!!!

    Sjay

  22. Thanks so much for doing this! I got a lot out of it.

    Hopefully more people will be inspired to do Ironman Triathlons, and the whole blogging community will improve.

  23. Hi Darren, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Now that this is over I feel like I and hope others feel like they lost a friend. I have no idea how you do it, but keep it up. Not like I will stop coming on here just because this is over. I will miss those who came to visit my blog as well, not that it’s that exciting lol. Well that’s about it for me, Again THANK YOU!!

    Tony

    P.S. Good luck everyone, my some day we will be like Darren:)

  24. oops typo….sent too fast….good luck everyone, may some day we will be as good as Darren.

    Sorry about that, for double posting

  25. Denise says: 05/07/2009 at 12:50 pm

    I have truly enjoyed this 31 DBBB. However, I always check your blog on a daily basis, sometimes several times, looking for one answer or another. I know that I will get sincere and honest information; something I can trust. I have learned so much from you Darren with all that you share with us and I appreciate that. You have had a great hand in helping to change my life. I hope one day that I am able to share that story with you. Unfortunately, I am a bit behind at the moment, but it will happen. Again, thanks so much for putting your time, effort and energy into the past 31 days; and ProBlogger itself. It was helpful in seeing your example of the calendar in this post as a guide also. As always, I look forward to more of your writings of insights, advice and challenges. Great Work Darren!

  26. Thanks for your knowledge and expertise this past 31 days. You are truly appreciated. I will put my plan in action.

  27. Darren,

    Thank you so much for your commitment to post so great material and further to share it with us. I look forward to the ebook to have as a reference. I have learned alot in the last 31 days. A special thanks for the Sunday posts as I see that they are excluded in the calendar. I wish you continued success.
    God Bless,

    Matt

  28. Darren,

    Thanks for all the work you have put into this. It is a great resource and something that you could have charged a mint for. To give it away is unreal!

    Well done,

    James

  29. Thank you so much.

    By conincidence I started my blog at the time the course came out.

    It has helped me be more focussed about my own blogging. I shall go and buy your book and look forward to your ebook as well.

    I need a little more technical support (don’t know if it will be in there) so I can do all these wonderful things. Really appreciated your intelligent and warm approach, and am interested you have done all this in only two and a half years. Congratulations and many thanks for your generosity

    Jean

  30. Thanks for all your hard work over the past 31 days Darren. I forwarded every woman who writes on our blog. It helped so much to have an “expert” say what I have been trying to tell them. I also saw how I still had some bad blogging habits and just finished mapping a plan. Thank you for giving away so much of your great advise. It has made a difference in my blogging life =
    Catherine

  31. Hi Darren

    I would just like to say a big thanks for all your hard work and effort. You have been an inspirational mentor. I haven’t been able to complete all the tasks but I will definitely try to do them as soon as I can.

    The tasks have been challenging and practical. I will do my best to apply the tips to my blog, which has been going for just 6 months. I will be re-reading your helpful insights for a long time to come. I look forward to your e-book and workbook.

  32. Hi Darren

    I would just like to say a big thanks for all your hard work and effort. You have been an inspirational mentor. I haven’t been able to complete all the tasks but I will definitely try to do them as soon as I can.

    The tasks have been challenging and practical. I will do my best to apply the tips to my blog, which has been going for just 6 months. I will be re-reading your helpful insights for a long time to come. I look forward to your e-book and workbook.
    BTW I love your blog!

  33. Hello ,
    Thanks a lot for this amazing course Dareen . I started with no blog and now with this course i have my own website with a start flow of atleast 100 people vsiting the site .For me this is gr8 .I would be in touch with all the happenings and looking forward to be in touch.
    Thanks
    Regards
    Sudeep

  34. A month ago I had a relatively new blog – but I had no idea what I was doing with it. After doing the 31DBBB Challenge I can’t say I’m a newbie anymore because I’ve learnt SO much. Armed with knowledge from the course and with the support of my new blog-buddies, my little Aussie mummy blog is steadily gaining readers and evolving into something I really like.

    Thanks Darren for your generosity in sharing advice with us all. Please could you pass on my thanks to your wife also?! As a tech wife myself, I know that “work hours” sometimes need to happen outside of “work time” and I’m sure that running this course must have had an impact on your own family. -Blessings, Cath.

  35. The 31 Days to Build a Better Blog (31DB3) program has been the best blog-improving programs or lessons I have ever seen. This past month has seemed like a “best of” production that highlights all of Darren’s top work and ties it all together.

    Unfortunately, I’m still at day 20 (hectic schedule), so I have some catching-up to do.

    See you on the other side (and on the way through).

    j2s

  36. This has been great! I’m not at day 31, but I have learned sooooooo much. Some I’ve even done out of order, that I just couldn’t wait. Already, I can tell a change in the way I approach planning and writing for my blog.

    Thank you.

    lr

  37. Nicola says: 05/08/2009 at 1:55 am

    Any plans to produce this as a PDF? Have found out about it very late on and would love to read the whole thing as a document…

  38. This has been great, thanks Darren!

  39. Just wanted to say thanks to Darren and everyone who participated. While I have some catching up to do with regards to the tasks, the information presented and comments have been extremely valuable.

    I wish everyone out there who participated and is passionate about blogging the best of luck in your endeavors!

    All the best!
    Ryan

  40. The last day of 31DBB :-( This site has really helped me with my new site: http://www.ezfs.us

  41. Darren and all,

    I am very glad that I participated in this even though I could not keep up entirely with everything. I am planning, however, to start from the Day 31 task and use that to better plan my foray into this 31 step system. I wish that I had been able to find a blog buddy, but it didn’t happen. Nonetheless, I am determined to keep working on improving my weblog skills and habits.

    Thanks Darren and those of you with whom I interacted. This has been a valuable set of lessons and I am glad that I kept all the lesson emails.

    :)

  42. Darren,

    Kudos to you. It was a great challenge with a lot of important information covered. Much thanks to all those that I connected with. It’s good to know your not the only one experiencing certain issues or road blocks.

    I wish everyone continued success and perserverance.

    Best of Luck,
    Michael

  43. It has been a thrill. Thanks, Darren.

  44. Thanks, Darren!

    Your blog really helps me improve on my blogging, and the past 31 days have been amazingly gratifying.

  45. Thanks for the challenge. The most important lesson I learned was to plan my website for success. I have started to list different types of posts on my calendar. I have also made a list of posts that I will write about.

    Reading the comments and visiting other sites has also helped.

  46. Thanks Darren
    I have enjoyed the whole process and meet some really interesting people.
    It’s been great to see everyone sharing & caring and I am going to miss hanging with everyone.

    Thanks Darren, Laura & everyone for a great 31 days, I am now more confident in blogging and look forward to improving my blogg for the long term.

  47. Thank you Darren and Lara for a phenomenal 31 Day Challenge . It has been an amazing ride and I have learned a ton from the exercises and interactions with other bloggers here.
    I dislike endings and won’t say goodbye because, thankfully, you will keep us connected with the process we all started 31 days ago…
    I have recently embarked on a new and challenging career path that will demand superior time management skills and so the gift of the workshop is that I have gained enough insight into my own blogging habits to truly grasp what is realistically feasible for me to do. I am at peace with it.
    Another great gift I received from the workshop was to stay true to my vision and to make it a long term vision. I don’t want to be gimmicky and I don’t want to veer off course because some trendy approach shows up tomorrow or the new fangled whatchamacallit turns the corner beckoning me to try this, dip into that… nyet.
    The doors I walked through here have been both fascinating and encouraging. I will continue to visit other blogs when I can and support team members and also focus on my blogging plan.
    Yes, I now have a workable plan and topics that I have organized into a semi schedule. Some are partly written, some are completely written (need review) and others are in the developmental stage. I have also allowed room to write commentary on current events, social outings and other relevant activities.
    Thanks again for everything. It has been a smashing experience and I have always believed that … Those who give Freely…get Fully. Thank you!
    Kudos and see you all soon.
    Cheers!

  48. Hi, Darren. Thanks for offering this free workshop. The funny thing is… Day 1 and Day 31 were the main things we (as a few-months-old blog) hadn’t done yet. I was surprised by that, actually! Day 1 was the elevator pitch — it really helped to put that together. Day 31 — the calendar — will be helpful on an ongoing basis.

    Some constructive comments… this workshop was a little bit less “advanced” than I was hoping for. While I can see that it would be great for someone REALLY just getting started, it served a different purpose for us. As each new day came up, I thought, CHECK! We’re already doing that. However, I found myself wishing for something “meatier” at the end, and I’m not sure exactly what.

    This is to say that it was helpful, but I would’ve liked to go slightly deeper on some of the more challenging aspects of starting up a successful blog. For example, one thing we’ve been struggling with is getting enough people to see us in the first place. I know you’ve touched on this, but we’re not getting the numbers we’d like to see, and it’s the main thing we need help with. (In the meantime, we’re still focusing on content, doing some SEO work, working hard, and trying to remain patient.)

    Thanks again, Darren. I look forward to continued tips and helpful reading. If you ever want to do a “Next 30 Days” workshop, or a “6 Months In” workshop, count me in! : )

    –FairyBlogMother

  49. Your examples are really amazing, thanks a lot for putting these up and hope to hear another tutorial from you. Thanks A Lot Darrren.

  50. I have read, enjoyed and learned from each of the projects. It may take a few months rather than 31 days but I will do it. I’ll start with the visit to the shopping centre! I have to give a speech later this year on the importance of blogging in the field of home decorating and I will certainly be singing the praises of you, your team and your contributors. Thank you.

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