Thursday, August 12, 2010

#31DBBB Challenge: 31 Days to a better blog - Days 23-25 Acting, Reading Magazines, and Asking Questions

Problogger 31 Day Challenge to a better blog

This is my ninth 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.  To be honest, I cannot believe that I have made it this far into the challenge!

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.

The challenges for day seventeen through day nineteen were to perform a First Tim Reader Audit, Create a Sneeze Page, and Write an Opinion Post.

The challenges for day twenty through day twenty-two were to leave comments on other blogs, breathe life into an old post, and make a reader famous.

Day twenty-three's challenge is a Call to Action. A "Call to Action" is when you write a post where you ask the reader to do something. During the last holiday season, I wrote a post asking readers to be someone's Santa and donate to a charity. Recently, I asked readers to vote for me in the BlogHer BlogLuxe awards in the category "Blogs I have Learned the Most From". Although I did not win in my category, I heard from a lot of readers that they voted for me.  So decide what you want your Call to Action to be and get to posting.

Day twenty-four's challenge is to Read a Magazine and Improve Your Blog. This challenge is a lot like the one from day thirteen where you took a trip to the mall to find marketing ideas that could be incorporated into your blog. Now you are looking at printed material to pick out the factors that make you look twice at an article or advertisement. Some of those same creative marketing ideas can be used by blogs to help make them more visually appealing to readers. I love reading magazines and my eye is usually drawn to the use of color and page setup. Order and neatness also appeal to me - and sometimes things that look a little out of place.  Darren also suggests reading magazines that are in your niche to see the kinds of articles that are popular.  So get out those old Kiplinger Personal Finance, Shape, People, Essence, Vogue, and GQ magazines and see what you can take away to use in your blog.

Today is day twenty-five and the challenge is to Ask Your Readers a Question.  This is something that I find hard to do since I am usually afraid that no one will care to answer my question.  But I did write a post recently asking "Is Detroit the Next Hollywood?".  Since I blog about Detroit and employment, I felt the question was fair to ask on my blog. I did get some responses, but that post also ended up being one of the most read posts on my blog - ever!  I am sure the photo of Courtney Cox in the article helped people want to read what it was about. So sometimes a good question is worth asking.

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

Day 27: Dead Link Hunt
Day 28: Write a Review Post
Day 29: Develop a Plan to Build Your Blog's Profile and Readership

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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