Now that I am a fully-fledged member (survivor) of the 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge team, I am ready to build a blog based on what I have learned since August 1. I thought that this could be a good personal challenge for me. The last few blogs I’ve built were from the ground up, and I thought were not too bad at all. That all changed as the days of August rolled by.
So what advice am I giving myself as I start a new ‘niche interest’ blog which I’ll use as a resource for my students? First, get a platform that works for me. I’ve been struggling with Edublogs out of WordPress and have felt like a dope because of it. I’m a Blogger kind of gal, and it’s worked like a treat for me … even though it doesn’t have the pages facility which I’d like to incorporate into the new blog. Still, I’m persisting with Edublogs … part of the personal challenge to learn another platform.
Second, will be to go through the 31 Days to a Better Blog check-list and incorporate the relevant tasks. These are the days and their tasks which seem most relevant during the build phase:
- Day 3: Search for and join a forum (ok already in a discussion list so a good source of contacts and themes there)
- Day 7: Plan and write a series of posts before it’s released into the great out there, and then plan a week ahead
- Day 8: Comment on a blog I’ve never commented on before (find one in the niche)
- Day 10: Make sure I have an uncluttered side bar and keep it that way
- Day 12: Get out there and introduce myself to another blogger in my niche area
- Day 14: Check out the ‘competition’ and build on their strengths
- Day 22: Make sure new readers understand the basics of my blog and how to use it
- Day 24: Make sure my titles and other bloggy tags and so on are optimised for search-engine use (hadn’t thought of this in former blogs)
- Day 26: When I find one, link up to a competitor-colleague.
- Day 28: Get a mission statement out there at the outset
- Day 31: The SWOT analysis task … keep this in mind as the build progresses. What would I like the blog’s strengths to be? What weaknesses should I attempt to avoid? What are the opportunities a smart build can provide? Does this mean dipping a toe into advertising, sponsorship and all of those areas I am not inclined to consider?
Third, stay in touch with the ‘originals’ from the challenge and get them to check out the blog’s birth and development. We’ve come together again in a network ‘Building a Better Blog.’