Friday, August 6, 2010

#31DBBB Challenge: 31 Days to a better blog - Days 17-19 Auditing, Sneezing, and giving an Opinion

Problogger 31 Day Challenge to a better blog

This is my seventh post in the series for the Problogger 31 Day Challenge with the SITS Girls Community.  This challenge gives bloggers 31 activities to do that will improve their blogs based on the e-book by Darren Rowse.

Day one's challenge was to write an Elevator Pitch for my blog.

The challenges for day two through day four were to Write a List Post, Promote a blog post, and Analyze a top blog in my field.

The challenges for day five through day seven were to Email a blog reader, read the Problogger 27 must read tips and tutorials for bloggers, and Write a Link Post.

The challenges for day eight through day ten were to Link to old blog posts, Join a Forum and Start Participating, Set up Monitor Alerts for your Blog's Niche.

The challenges for day eleven through day thirteen were to come up with 10 new post ideas, create an editorial calendar, and take a trip to the mall.

The challenges for day fourteen through day fifteen were to update key pages, find a blog buddy, and solve a problem for a reader.

Day seventeen's challenge was to do a First Time Reader Audit.  You think your blog is perfect, after all, you created it.  So you really need someone to tell you the truth on how a reader sees your blog.  I found out from readers that they could not find things that I thought were easy to find.  So I added additional buttons under my logo to aid with website navigation.  I added navigation buttons to contests that are about to end so that readers can easily know about it.  And a few months ago, I added a monthly event page so that readers could see all the posts for events in the current month.  I also updated my ABOUT PAGE when people who wanted to work with me had questions that I thought were answered on the website.

I read a lot of websites and I love the ones that load quickly, are easy to read and don't have tons of "things" on the sidebar.  By "things" I mean badges.  Ads are fine.  Who does not want a blogger to earn money?  But please don't take up valuable real estate on your website with tons of badges for the websites of your friends and badges for every organization to which you are a member.  I put the badges for the websites that I love on a separate blogroll page so I can add as many as a like without impacting the entire website.  A website is always a work in progress and no website is perfect.  So use Darren Rowse's suggestions and get some feedback so you can have the best website possible.

Day eighteen's challenge was to Create a Sneeze Page for Your Blog. The Sneeze Page is a page that contains organized links to older posts on your website. Think about all the great posts that you have written. They were read for a few days and then forgotten as you posted new material. A Sneeze Page helps visitors find those older posts that are still relevant. Even though I blog about freebies, there are tons of posts on my website where the information does not expire. I have repackaged some of that material (i.e. The Best Travel Posts of FREEISMYLIFE), but most of it I have not had the time to tackle. So I just created my own Sneeze Page and the exercise helped me find posts that I had totally forgotten about. Now it will be easier for me to do an few more BEST OF posts.

Today is day nineteen and the challenge is to Write an Opinion Post. Since I do reviews on my blog, giving my opinion to readers is an easy thing for me to do. I love getting to evaluate a new product or service and then telling my opinion on if a reader should buy it. My last movie review was for Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.  I thought the movie was OK at best and said so. The hardest review that I wrote was for the movie Sex and City 2.  I really wanted to like the movie, but I did not so I had to tell it like I saw it.   But I love when I get to review a wonderful product like the cupcakes at Just Baked bakery in Royal Oak, MI. I had such a wonderful time there that the review really wrote itself.

So that's it for this blog post. Come back on Monday to check out the following challenges:

Day 20 - Leave Comments on Other Blogs
Day 21 - Breathe Like into an Old Post
Day 22 - Make a Reader FAMOUS!

Follow the Twitter hashtag #31DBBB if you want to see how the 500+ woman bloggers are doing that are part of this challenge.


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