31 Days to Build a Better Blog–Days 15-19

31 Days to Build a Better Blog–Days 15-19

Day 19 into our Chocolate Challenge of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Energy levels feeling low, Berroccas (a vitamin supplement) maybe needed. But like the 2 girls getting through 24 hours on Berroccas we are going well and gaining from this challenge. Check out Darren’s 31 Day project page for the detailed information on the daily tasks we have to complete.

Day 7 – Plan Your Next Week’s Posting Schedule

Last week I did take Darren’s advice about planning a week’s worth of posts. It was hard work – because most days I was posting on the blogging challenge and write a new post on my niche area.

The hard work was extremely worthwhile because it forced me to actually post on my niche area which resulted in new readers. The original purpose of my sites was to document use of mobile technology in mlearning (mobile learning) however over time I made the decision to broaden to include both elearning and Web2.0. By posting on mobile technology it increased people’s awareness that I am actually into mobile technology and mlearning = new readers visiting my site – my post on UMPCs was very popular probably because not many people have posted on the use of UMPCs in mlearning (mobile learning).

Progress = Completed 🙂

Day 11 – Dig into Your Blog’s Statistics

Statistics are important for tracking what is happening on your site. I still can’t believe I didn’t add Google Analytics sooner.

Progress = ongoing 🙂

Day 14 – Analyse your Blog Competition

Still working on this task from my last update. Why – because when doing this task I have discovered there were issues with how blog search engines handle my posts. I have spent considerable time researching this topic because:

  • many of my favourite bloggers prefer to read posts by subscribing to technorati tags than to blogs
  • people use blog search engines to locate blogs worth reading

Check out the changes I needed to make for Technorati. Many bloggers are now preferring to use Google Blog Search which works differently from Technorati however when searching post on topics both blog search engines rely heavily on the search term being in the post.

To optimise post visibility in blog search engines:

  • Insert technorati tags (but if there are variations on tag terms people use then you will need to use all e.g. m-learning, mlearning, mobile learning)
  • Use the terms within your actual post, but somehow you will need to use all variations e.g. m-learning, mlearning, mobile learning

Make sure you do an audit of your blog using both Technorati and Google Blog Search; with Technorati search tag terms and blog directory (read my post on technorati to see how). Also subscribe to tag feeds from both Technorati and Google Blog Search to make sure your post looks good when viewed in their feeds.

Progress = Ongoing 🙂

Day 15 – Make Your Most Popular Posts Sticky

Michelle’s did this by adding at the bottom of a few key posts an RSS icon and then added the words“If you liked this article, you may want to sign up to be automatically updated the next time I post new content. Learn more Here (the Learn more Here links to her page on RSS).

sticky

So I finally got around to creating my page on RSS – tried to think of a term that new Readers could relate to so have gone with New Posts Notification (if you can think of a better phrase let me know). I also checked out some ideas from Michelle’s RSS page to get ideas on how to write – thanks Michelle.

Looks like I will need to manually add If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! because this plugin is not available for Edublogs but if you are using WordPress check out the plugin recommended by the Indian Blogger!

Progress = Ongoing 🙂

Day 16 – Create a Heatmap of Where Readers Click on Your Blog

Unfortunately I am unable to create a Heatmap because Edublogs does not support the Java Script required. Check out Laura’s post to see how a Heatmap works.

Progress = task completed! 🙂

Day 17 – Run a StumbleUpon Campaign for Your Blog

Michelle said the following about StumbleUpon:

“My observation with StumbleUpon is that a lot of those people are looking to be entertained, not educated–at least not on the types of things I write about. If I had funny videos or awesome photography, then I’d do it, but my topic area isn’t really designed for StumbleUpon users.”

Michelle and her husband are self confessed StumbleUpon addicts, so she would know the value of her site to StumbleUpon users. If her topic area isn’t really designed for StumbleUpon users than there is no way my topic area is = no point me doing this task!

Progress = task completed! 🙂

Day 18 – Create a Sneeze Page and Propel Readers Deep Within Your Blog

Oh boy – just when I thought I had finally caught up – here is a new task that is going to take time. All good (where are those Berroccas) it has been on “my to-do-list” to create an easier, faster method for my readers to locate the information they want on my site.

Progress = ongoing 🙂

Day 19 – Respond to Reader Comments

I feel like Michelle says “Finally! A task that I already do exactly as Darren suggests. I live for reader comments, so I always try to respond, usually in the comments thread as well as via email.”

Well – lets be honest – I really sucked at this before starting this blogging challenge, but this challenge has made me more efficient, and made it second nature now to do this and Cammy gave me the mechanism by telling me about co-mment to manage effectively how I comment and engage in conversation on other people’s blogs.

But I have not being doing this important tip of Darren’s

“Click the links of those who leave comments on your blog. When you do this you’ll find that some of those who leave comments on your blog who check their own blog’s referral statistics will notice your visit and come back to see if their comments have been responded to.” Good point Darren not everyone knows how to track comments on other peoples blogs – I didn’t so you need to let them know you have commented back!

PARTICIPANT UPDATE

We now have another new participant, Evil Sue, if you get a chance please go past and welcome her to the team! She is definitely one who will need the Berrocas because no doubt she will attempt to do from day 1-19 in 24 hours.

18 thoughts on “31 Days to Build a Better Blog–Days 15-19

  1. Wow! What a post! Makes my summaries of the days bit by bit look far too long and exploratory. I’m off to get my Berocca’s out of the cupboard to try and see if they help my writing! I like the short punchy updates. I need to learn how to do that! It’s consise, neat and friendly.

    Laura!

  2. Actually I thought this post was way too long but I was so determined to catch up that I made myself complete it. I am limiting my number of daily posts on the competition so I can post on my niche topics.

    I grabbed the concept from the Indian Blogger – because I like how he did it.

    Understand the bit about the writing – I really struggle – that post I wrote yesterday on policies Alex followed up with a great post of her own. Her post was so much better. I suppose we all have to accept that we have unique voices.

    BTW loved your post on the HeatMap (and off course the Audiospeak). Wish I could use Heatmaps.

    Sue

  3. I’m jealous of the checklist where you know what is finished and what is ongoing. Everything is mushing together for me….maybe I need this mystery supplement? Is this some Aussie/UK thing, or called something else in the US?

    I don’t want any of you to change anything about your style. The differences are what is making this so rich. Watching how you each engage with the activities is some of the most valuable material. Especially since you are able to reflect and articulate what is happening for you. It’s so hard as learning designers to get around our own blind spots. The challenge is making them all obvious. It’s going to affect how I design into the future.

  4. Hi Christine

    Looks like USA is one of the few countries in the world that does not sell berocca (wikipedia article on berocca. It is a vitamin supplement – although people often use it for hangover cure.

    There is an ad campaign in Australia that shows 2 girls fly across the different times zone, spending 24 hours in sunlight to get the most out of the day, and berocca keeps them going.

    I would like to be a better writer – but I do agree with Michelle I think the greatest gain we have all had in this challenge is working as a team because each individual sees the tasks from a different view. We have all gained so much from being a team than being individuals – so any use of this for professional development should be wherever possible done as part of a team. This is the classic example of the benefits of collective intelligence and mass collaboration.

    Thank the Indian Blogger for teaching me to sign off learnt it from him.

    Sue

  5. Alex

    Tis all cool … message from the wise…never try to keep up with Sue Waters…she can not even keep up with herself. The key is to do it your way, enjoy and gain in your own time. I never expect anyone to keep up with me – remember I have been doing it for awhile.

    Besides why need to keep up with me when your posts rock compared to mine – wish I could write that well!

    And the good point is I have done most of the work with Technorati so now you just need to make the changes.

    Sue

  6. Hi Sue waters,
    I have my own blog can you find it my name is Phoebe it is in minis blogs on the top of all of our things on the blog. And guess who I am you will be able to find me because it you just put your mouse on it and it said peoples names. My name is spelt PHOEBE thanks for the chat.
    Cheers Phoebe

  7. Hi Sue Iam Jordan from the miniLegands.I really like your blog.Thank you making up the choclate chalenge.Plese go onto my blog by cliking on the minis blog page.

    cheres

  8. Hi Sue I am one of the miniLegands.My name is Alan.You have a great blog.I think you have a good chance of winning the chocalate challange so I give you good luck.

    Cheers.

  9. Hi I’m one of the miniLegions.
    Do you think you can make a story whith six words.And if you come to our blog we will have more red dot’s our cluster map.We also want to connect with the whole world.
    And I’m also exited about the chocolate challenge.And whole class has there own blog’s and my blog is realy cool.

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