Recently I wrote that I’m having a lot more fun blogging now that I’m on WordPress. I’ve been putting more time and energy into my blog, including researching the 2009 Blog Improvement Project archive. When I learned there would be a Blog Improvement Project in 2010, I decided to jump in.
The most important thing you need to do before starting any project is to decide what you aim to achieve by taking part. Everyone will have a different idea about how this project will benefit them, but it is important to set realistic goals, so that you are motivated to reach them and feel proud when they are completed. … Once you’ve decided which areas of your blog would benefit most from improvement, write a post setting out all the things you’d like to do. … items on a to-do list should be single, specific actions. .
Once you’ve done this, find blogs which already excel in the areas you’ve chosen to improve and highlight what it is that you love about their site.
I’ve given a lot of thought to “why I blog,” and what I want to get out of the 2010 Blog Improvement Project. When I began blogging in 2007, I had no aim other than to keep a reading journal. I quickly discovered reading challenges, and an entire community of “challenge addicts.” I enjoyed the social aspect of blogging. Then a lot of my blogging buddies began reading and reviewing ARCs, which didn’t interest me as much. I still enjoy keeping up with their reading, but my reading is going in different directions. And the social side of my blogging has fallen off a bit. This year I’d like to expand my readership, and develop more connections with other bloggers. Here are some of the blogs I admire, that have great content and social connections:
Chris Brogan’s post 50 Ways to Take Your Blog to the Next Level was helpful in creating my to do list. And here it is. I love crossing things off my list, so I’ve already completed a couple of “quick hits” 🙂
Revised 3/16/2010 to identify completed items & items in progress
- Use a social bookmarking plug-in (AddThis)
- Add “subscribe by email” option
- Add blog URL to my email signature.
- List blog in Yahoo!, Google, DMOZ, and claim it in Technorati.com.
- Learn about StumbleUpon.
- Add ability to contact me by email.
In Progress (most of these are ongoing practices, vs. specific tasks)
- Identify other blogs that are connecting with a similar audience.
- Comment on other well-known blogs to help others “discover” my blog.
- Engage my audience by inviting comments.
- Develop a writing and posting schedule.
- Use links often and effectively.
- Learn about search engine optimization.
- Consider moving to a hosted blog with my own domain name.
Let’s get started!