Building a New Blog

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.’

Fourth, do the 31 Day Challenge thing again in a year or so. It will probably take a year to incorporate all of the above, forget it, and then have to refresh.





3 responses to “Building a New Blog”

  1. Christine Martell Avatar
    Christine Martell

    I’m working on a new design also, and wondering if it’s easier or harder to do it this way. I think it depends on the time of day…. It’s so easy to create a basic blog, and so hard to create a great one.

    In the long haul, I think you’ll like to be on WordPress since there are so many ways to add more functions.

    I like your approach of isolating the important things to think about in the redesign. Look forward to seeing the new blog.

  2. Sue Waters Avatar
    Sue Waters

    Hi Kate

    Hang in there. Definitely more functionality with Edublogs than blogger.

    Using WordPress it is almost like a right of passage, and you can spend time trying to figure it out. Remember that James has created some good how to videos that you can refer to. If you really get stuck we can always open up a live classroom session with you, and application share to get you going.


  3. Michele Martin Avatar
    Michele Martin

    Kate, I think this is such a good list. I’m also considering starting up a new blog and this is a good reminder for me of the posts I should go back to in setting it up. Thanks.

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