Congratulations for making it to day 31 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. If you’re new to the series – check out previous episodes here.

How to Plan Your Next Month of Blogging

Today’s episode is about how you can plan the next steps for your blog. Great blogs are built upon many small but consistent useful actions over time. We look at how you can use the last 31 days of challenges to set up healthy blog habits and make them stick. Photograph Street of the Valley of Fire by Andi Hofstetter on 500px

Street of the Valley of Fire by Andi Hofstetter on 500px

In this Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). Today we talk about:

  • How to make healthy blog habits stick
  • How to create content on a regular basis
  • How to promote your blog
  • How to grow your blog community
  • How to keep up with blog admin tasks

How did you go with today’s challenge?

What are the next steps for your blog? What habits will you try to establish for the health of your blog?

I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

Want more activities?

There are 7 bonus days in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog workbook.

Also keep your eye open for future episodes of the ProBlogger podcast. We’re moving to a 2 episodes a week schedule as of next week. Subscribe to us on iTunes or via our newsletter to get notified of future episodes coming out.

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Welcome to day 31 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and the 31st episode of the ProBlogger podcast. Congratulations on making it to the end of our 31-day challenge. Those of you who’ve been doing it on a daily basis have achieved an amazing feat by getting through this month and those of you who are still catching up, that’s totally fine as well. You hopefully will have seen some real benefits from your blog.

In today’s episode ongoing to talk about planning the next steps, particularly looking at the next month, and trying to build some habits based upon some of the things that we’ve covered over the last 31 days. You can find today’s show notes at Let’s get into today’s episode.

Hi, this is Darren from ProBlogger and welcome to 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, day 31. Congratulations on making it to day 31. Hopefully, you’ve found some of the challenges that we’ve done over the last 31 days to be useful. I know I’ve really enjoyed putting this podcast together. It’s got me back to some of the basic tasks that I’ve been talking about for many years that I’ve started to do a little bit more myself over the last 31 days and have seen some real improvements in my own blogging over this period. I hope it’s been true for you.

Since I created the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog program a number of years ago now, tens of thousands of bloggers have walked through it, both in the workbook but also on the blog and I guess now in the podcast. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with many bloggers who’ve been through the process and I’ve heard all kinds of stories about how it’s helped people to improve their blogs. I’d love to hear your stories as well if you’d like to shoot them to me on Twitter or Facebook. There’s one observation that I’ve made of those bloggers who’ve had the most success with this program and I wanted to share that today.

The people who seem to have benefited the most have gone beyond the 31 days. They’ve taken these challenges, or at least some of the challenges, into the rest of their blogging. Now, not every challenge that we’ve covered over the last 31 days is going to be completely relevant to you, your blog, your niche, and the stage that your blog is at. That’s totally fine, leave some of them behind. But some of them could be quite useful if you incorporate them into your regular blogging workflow at different intervals. You might want to do some of them on a daily basis, but I suspect most of them will be things that you could incorporate on a weekly, even a monthly, or even a quarterly basis. The key is to keep doing them.

Most of the things that we’ve talked about over the last 31 days will have some benefit if you do them once but many of them have an accumulation of benefits that come to. For example, building a presence in a forum or on another blog in the comments section. These things will have some benefit if you do them once but they’ll have much more benefit if you build a presence in those places over time. So, the key today is to make them habits, to build them into your workflow in some way.

To help you to do that, what I want to highly recommend that you do today is to build yourself a bit of a plan or a calendar. Habits don’t just happen, you actually have to be intentional about them especially in the early days. Over time, they become a natural part of what you do. But today, I want to encourage you to get out a calendar, create a calendar perhaps, to help you to get into the rhythm of some of these key activities that are going to help you to build a better blog.

Depending on what sort of calendar you normally use, set up one. Whether it being Google, Google’s calendars, iCal or whether it be a paper calendar, whatever suits you, whatever you will be checking on a regular basis. Then, just go back over the last 31 days of activities and begin to slot some of those activities, some of the ones that resonated with you the most into that calendar. It’s probably a few different areas that you want to think about this in.

Firstly, there are activities that revolve around content creation. You might take the brainstorming or idea generation challenge and you put that in either on a monthly or even a weekly basis. For me, I actually do it every Friday morning. I spend time by myself thinking about ideas for future blog posts and then, when I get together with my team, we also talk about it as well.

Another important challenge is setting up your editorial calendar. Again, you could do that on a monthly or weekly basis. For me, it was always a Friday afternoon activity. Mornings were for generating ideas and then Friday afternoons were times where I would slot into next week’s calendar the posts that I needed to create.

Another task is the writing of content. We’ve covered a number of different types of posts over the last 31 days. One thing that many people who’ve been through this process do is to assign a different type of post for each day of the week. Mondays might be list post days, Tuesdays might be opinion post days, Wednesdays might be review posts, Thursdays might be a how-to-post, Friday might be a link post, Saturday might be a reader question post, and Sunday might be a day off. Now, you don’t have to have six posts a week, you might have three. Choose the posts that resonate best with you and that your readers respond to best, or you might want to just mix it up and change it every week.

The other thing that you might want to start to put into your calendar are times for writing content, times for editing content, times for the task of scheduling content as well. Really, it’s up to you but do slot into your next month’s calendar. Time challenges and activities that are based on the creation of content.

Another area you might want to think about is the promotion of your content. We’ve done a number of challenges on this as well about getting off your blog and building a presence in other places, whether they be other blogs, forums, or social media. You could slot these things in a number of different ways. You could assign different days for different activities. Tuesdays might be comment-on-other-blogs day, Wednesdays might be interact-in-forums day, Thursdays might be write-a-guest-post day.

You might want to mix it up and put these different activities into different times of the day; 9:00–9:15 every day might be Twitter time, Facebook time might be at 8:00 PM as you shared your post for the next day. Really, it’s completely up to you but slotting things in and setting yourself reminders, set making appointments with yourself to do these types of things means that you’ll build it into your natural workflow.

Another area you might want to slot in tasks is building community and we’ve got a number of challenges that we’ve been through over the last month that are all about engaging with your readers—emailing readers, making readers famous. There is a whole heap of activities and some of the social media activities are community-based as well. Slot some of these things into your next month’s calendar.

The last area that we’ve been talking about is some of those more administrative tasks. Analyzing your statistics that we talked about yesterday, that might be good to slot in on the last day of the month so you can look back. Going on a dead link hunt, updating an old post—these types of activities can be really useful to do at certain intervals. So, you might want to build some of those in as well.

Your plan needs to reflect a number of things that really need to reflect the amount of time that you have, the level you’re at as a blogger, but also the goals that you have as well. Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve seen all kinds of people with 10 things every day and then I’ve seen others say I’m going to do one thing per day and just spend 15 or 20 minutes per day on my blog. It’s totally up to you but the key is to keep active. One thing I’ve learned about bloggers who have success, it’s that they are active people.

Great blogs are built upon many small, consistent, useful actions over time. Great blogs are not built on a single post, they’re built on lots of different things over time and many of the things that they’re built on are quite small things. They mainly center around creating useful content, putting yourself out there and building a presence where your readers are gathering, building community, and deepening the engagement you have with your blogs.

Outside of that, there are some administrative-type things and monetizing your blog if that’s a priority too but really, it comes down to creating great content, finding readers, and building community. If most of what you do focuses on those three things—content, finding readers, building community—you’re going to be on the right track.

So, this comes to the end of our 31-day challenge. Some of you will be asking where to go from here. As I said in yesterday’s podcast, there are more podcasts to come. I’ve really enjoyed this process and I want to commit at least for the next few months, to continue to create podcasts on a weekly or maybe twice a week basis. These podcasts will continue to have a teaching focus. I also want them to be actionable so that they’re things that can go away, try and do on your blog as we’ve done for the last 31 days. I also want to begin to feature some case studies and interview some bloggers—both big and small—so that we can learn from them together.

The last thing I say is that those of you who’ve got the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook that came with seven bonus days of activities, you’ve got another week to go if you want to continue to get deeper into some of these sorts of activities and I encourage you to dig into that. If you haven’t got the workbook it’s still available at 50% off so do pick that up if you want those extra seven days.

I really hope that you found this last 31 days to be as useful as it has been for me. As I said, I’ve really enjoyed engaging in these challenges myself over the last month and really hope to hear your story of how these challenges have helped you improve your blog over the last month. I look forward to talking to you, not tomorrow but over the next week, as we continue to publish these podcasts that I’ve got planned for you. I look forward to talking to you, then.

Today’s show notes can be found at where you’re invited to leave us a comment. Now, you’ve got to the end of the 31 days, tell us how you found the experience. I’m really interested in your feedback. You can also participate in a little survey that I’ve got set up there on those show notes as well which will help us to plan the next episodes in this series. We will be going to one to two post episodes per week so you can relax a little and enjoy some other podcasts as well but we would love to hear your feedback.

Also, if you could drop us a review now you’ve got the end of the month on iTunes or Stitcher, that’s going to help us a lot to draw others into this podcast. I really appreciate those reviews that you can leave. Look forward to chatting with you in the next few days for the next episode of the ProBlogger Podcast.

Pick up the 31DBBB eBook at 50% Off

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Finally, if you have a moment we’d love to get your feedback on the ProBlogger Podcast with this short survey which will help us plan future episodes.


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