Subscribe via: Email RSS

Back to School for Bloggers

apple and booksWelcome to Back to School for my new weekly ProBlogger Review. I will be reviewing both “First Week of Blogging” & 31 Days to build a better blog. Some of you might be total newbies, some of you might be starting a second or third blog, some of you might be starting a business blog, starting a vlog, and some of you like me might like to review with the “scholar” of blogging to perfect your own site. In any event I am thrilled as punch to happy to have you join me. I will be posting here on Thursdays and occasionally will be hosting Tweet Up to discuss things a little further.

I will discuss the weekly lessons as well as put up a weekly task. OK, with that said, “Did anyone bring me an apple?”

Today we are starting from the beginning… Let’s take a look at the first week of blogging… As I said, even if you are not a newbie, this is such a great lesson for all of us!

Planning, planning and some more planning..

1. Set up an ideas folder. This is the brain behind your blog; this is where you will store your info to create quality content.

  • You can use old standard office files and label them; I find these useful for magazine or newspaper articles that I save that bring an idea for a post to mind, and those little pieces of paper I jot on with an idea when I am doing something completely different.
  •  Or set up files on your desktop.
  • Set up a main “idea” file and then secondary files within that or idea text documents. *This is where you run in the middle of the night if you get that “great idea” you want to write about but are afraid you will forget about until morning.
  • Each text file is a different idea for a blog post.
  • Write a topic in the subject and leave until later to come back to.
  • Some text files might have 2-3 key points which will help you start to write your content.
  • Others might be full drafts which when reviewed you can move over to schedule to post. (That might be another folder-ready to edit.)

If you are like me you have a hundred ideas going through your head and this will help you keep things organized from the start, and will also help you when you have “writers block” and need something to fill in fast.

2. Brainstorm posts i.e. Mind Mapping. This is key to coming up with great content for future use. Darren explains this in great detail.  The main thing to remember is to sit down with an open mind, doing this 5 minutes before your kids get home from school, or just before it’s time to make dinner is not the time to do this.

  • However you may choose a different method of brainstorming but the key is to set aside specific times to simply come up with ideas to write about. *I now do this the weekend before the beginning of a new month.
  • Mind mapping is also a great way to come up with categories for your new blog on topics which you would like to cover.

3. Set a posting rhythm. After doing your mind mapping you should have a handful of great post ideas to put into your ideas folder. Now is the time to sit down and “realistically” think about your life, do you have a business, children, demanding husband, now is the time to think about all of this and how am I going to fit writing into your blog, don’t fret it can be done! You just have to be organized and come up with a plan.

  • Schedule a time to write your content.
  • Establish a time/day to edit.
  • Decide what days you are going to post on a Calendar. *I do this on my Google calendar.
4. Plan your first week of content. Now that you have both a mind map and an ideas folder of great post topics, and you have set up times to make this happen it is time to pull this all in place. If you have done your mind mapping and sit up the posting rhythm you should be set to work well beyond your first week of blogging.

5. Create a launch post. It’s Show Time!! Now is the time to sit down and take the first idea, the one that sparked your interest in why you wanted to write this blog and put your pencil to paper or fingers to keys and type away…

  • Within your first post I would introduce yourself and let people know why you are writing and creating this site.
  • Let people know how reading your site might help them.
  • Set up an RSS feed through Google and point people to subscribe to it.
  • It is always good to have someone look at your launch post before hitting the publish button, PLEASE make sure all of your spelling and grammar are correct.


Now, after taking the time to go through each of these tasks let’s  create a post; either a launch post, a re-launch post or an About Me Page and link up! Take a moment to stop by the blogger just before you and leave some love.


I’m so glad to have you with me!




About shelley

Shelley Kramm is the founder and editor of I'm Still Standing and The DC Ladies. Learn more about her and her inspirational family here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and on

Other places to find shelley


  1. Thanks for taking the initiative for running these challenges :) Great info for bloggers new and old.

  2. I agree, Shelley, this is a good exercise for new and “old” bloggers. I’ve been blogging for over 3 years but still found a lot of great content in 31 days to a better blog. Keeping an ideas folder is crucial — I just wish I had the discipline to write down every thought I have. I know I’ve let some brilliance slip away!

    • Jennifer, I hope you will come and join us weekly on Thursdays, I’m really hoping to get a great group together to review :)

  3. Hey Shelley-

    Saw your shout out on Twitter. I’d be happy to rejoin you. I thought the Problogger thing was only the first week because it seemed like after that time, nothing else was posted.

    Should I just check in here on Thursdays?


    • Hi Michelle,
      Yes, we will be going over everything from first week through the 31 days to build a better blog, but not in that order and i’m thinking of adding his business assignments too! love to have you come here on Thursdays where we will be linking up the weekly assignment! :)

  4. Hi Shelley, looking forward to getting back to 31DBBB

  5. Hey all….time for me to get to work. Been wanting to do a re-Launch post, this gives me a no-excuses reason to start….I’ll be back with a link to the new one. Until then here is the old.

  6. Hi Shelley ~ I just hired someone to re-work my blog so it’s very own brand/logo … very exciting … and always want to learn more about how to make my blog better and better. So glad you’ll be doing this.

    • Hi Patricia, I’m so glad you are working on branding your site! I spent a great deal of time this year working on that on both of my sites, so glad you will be continuing on with me here, look forward to following the dolls! :)

  7. I would love to jump in! I can’t wait! :-)

  8. I’m all game & thank you for doing this! :)

    • I’m so glad you will be joining me Ellie, I hope we get a great group to help each other build our sites! :)

  9. Great post! I have been enjoying EverNote for brainstorm storage. I love that I can use it on the web, my desktop, or iTouch and all the notes sync up. =D

  10. Hi Shelley, I’m super excited to give this another go! I just decided to start a new blog last weekend, and I think this will really help. I’ll get caught up over the next couple days and see y’all on Thursday!

  11. I see I have a bit of catching up to do after being AWOL most of September.

    I’m glad you hunted me down, Shelley! Just this morning I was thinking that I needed to find a challenge again! :)

  12. Shelley, so glad that you’re starting this up. It’ll be good to revisit these blogging ideas.
    Thanks for letting me know about it.
    Can you send out a tweet on thursday mornings? That way I’ll be sure not to miss your post.

    • Hi Ann,
      I def will next week i will make up a new twitterlist with everyone’s urls… so glad you will be joining in again! :)

  13. Sign me up! I am looking forward to it!

    • Hi Natalia,
      So glad that you will be joining in our Thursday fun here! Looking into a great group here :)

  14. Ok ok, I’m here :)

    and I’m excited!!! Change is GOOD!

  15. Shelley, your blog design looks absolutely FANTASTIC! I just love it! I look forward to keeping in touch regularly again. I’ve been having a hard time catching up with the social networking portion of things, but I’ll be back @ SITS before you know it. I hope you’re doing great! xoxoxo

    • Hi Krissy,
      I am SOOO happy to hear from you! Thanks so much for the compliments on the site, it has been a true labor of love! We will be working on the ProBlogger series here on my site on Thursdays! Look forward to seeing your little “face” soon!

  16. I love the “bite sized chunks” approach this post took! I think it’ll help me be less overwhelmed with blogging, even moreso than the 31 Days to a better blog approach. I feel so neglectful of my little blog lately, this just might get me in gear!!

  17. Love, Love, Love!

    Since we just moved I have my whole life in a giant unorganized mess! I need my blogging life to get back in gear so at least one of my personas can have her crap together! Sign me up chica!

    • yay! i’m so with you on that one! my life can be falling apart around me but if i can keep one thing together i’m doing A-ok! lol Look forward to seeing your little “face!” :)

  18. Hey Shelley,
    Can’t wait to do the back to school for bloggers. I know I’ve worked through the ProBlogger and 31 days before but I still love doing them. I learn so much when I revisit these techniques and I feel like it’s honestly helped me revive my very old blog. I may start a new one just to get fresh ideas out there. Love it! Thanks for hosting!

  19. Sounds good Shelley … looking forward to it!!

  20. Thanks for inviting me, Shelley. I bought the 31BBB and I have been blogging for awhile now. Loving every minute of it!

  21. Thank you for the invite, My blogging habits really do need a kick in the pants right about now. And I LOVE your new pics and layout!!!

    • hi sonia, thanks for the compliments, the site has been a labor of love lol, so glad i can give you the right kick in the pants lol

  22. I am also looking forward to revisiting these techniques! Thanks for the tips! Love your idea of setting up an idea folder! I have a notebook but a folder would be better for newspaper and magazine articles. I will be putting it together this weekend. Thanks!

    Here is my about page:

    • you should see my “idea” folder it is overflowing and i need to organize lol… look forward to having you join us!

  23. Hi everyone; looking forward to participating in this again. I’m going to Probloggers blogging event next week – so very excited!

    BTW, where do we post our links etc? Here? Or will you be providing a link to where we post our information?


    • hi annemarie,
      i will be putting up a mclinky each week for posts under the lesson which everyone will have the week to do and visit each others posts too! you will need to give us a recap of the zen master!

  24. Seriously, am I always late?

    Thank you so much for the invite and I love to be part of your “schooling” again. I’ve been dragging my blogging behind last few months and this will help (I hope) to start my engine again.

  25. Wee more challenges. I love these because they always teach you something new even if you are a repeat “student.”

  26. Kacey says:

    I’ll be joining in. Thanks for providing the blog help!

  27. Hi (waves!!) Glad to be here. I will definitely be back next week for more tips. Thanks for helping us all out!

    • Glad to have you with us! Don’t forget to work on your About me page and come back and link up in the next few days! :)

  28. Sound like a great idea. I’d love to join in. I actually just started a new blog and it needs a lot of work, so this is just what I need.

  29. I am in the process of re-doing my blog! This will be a great way to stream line!