How-To Helper
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Baby it’s YOU!

me cufflinks
photo credit: Etsy

First I have to say “hi!” And let you all know I am so happy that you are here to review ProBlogger’s lessons that we worked on in both his books 31 Days to build a Better Blog and The First Week of Blogging I think there is so much that we can learn and take this one step further with each of the lessons.

So, let’s start at the beginning. Why did you start your blog? Was it to raise awareness of something you feel passionate about, or about your business or your hobbies, or children? We all have our own reasons for wanting to share our “stories” with the world. And one of the most important pieces on our site is about each of us- Who are you?

This is an important piece of information and EVERY blog should have one! Your About Me page should be one of your best written pieces. It is a page that a lot of first time readers might check out after enjoying a first post as well as those wanting to know if they should invest time in building a relationship with you: potential partners, advertisers, collaborators, journalists, and people in the PR industry that we all hope “discover” us. It should be written in the same tone that you carry on through your site, are you funny, informative, controversial, or write from the heart. I know a lot of you are thinking “I already have an about me page” but this is a page that evolves as your story evolves, this page should be reviewed and kept current.

Here are a few ideas that you should include in a great About you page.

  1. Your elevator speech– This is your chance to shine in one or two lines and it is important that people can walk away and remember who you are after that brief description.
  2. A Picture is worth a thousand words-so the song goes, but it is true, people like to see “who” it is that is writing. Also make it a picture with some kind of personality.
  3. Who are you and what are you selling?– You want to be as clear as possible why you are writing this. Sharing your beliefs on your About Me page can both inspire readers and gain their trust.
  4. Toot your own horn– Do you have a few posts you are proud of, highlight them here. This is the place to really try and reel them in and have them want to read more and more.
  5. And following up on horn tooting-do you have any testimonials from others that you’d like to share?
  6. Make it personal-don’t forget people love to hear “the story” as I said we all have a reason for starting our blogs so this is the place to open your front door and say “come on in” and let me share my story with you. However, remember this is not the place to write the whole long story of your life, make it brief and understandable.
  7. Make it about THEM-  Everyone likes to feel wanted
  8. Make sure they know how to “keep in touch”.-Leave links to just about every way you want to be contacted and make sure you add a subscribe via RSS somewhere to the page.

Share your reworked About Me page with us!  We’d love to see what’s happening on your blog.  Just leave a link to your page below. I will be tweeting out the URLs this week on Twitter using the hashtag #shelleypbreview
 

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!

 

 

 

Sixty minutes 27 posts and 5 questions, Phew!

twitter birds cushion
photo credit: Abigail Silvester

I’d like to thank all of our SISTA’s who came over from our SITS 31dbbb for our Tweet Up last night. It was a great night to share questions and answers about the good the bad and the ugly of ProBloggers 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. I have listed all of the links we visited in descending order and the questions that we discussed. Feel free to pop by and leave some love for each of these posts. Some are actual tasks from the challenge, some are inspirational, some are great resources and some are just plain funny, because I think sometimes you just need to laugh.

27. i just had to add my little post last, well what kind of hostess would i be… Join me http://tinyurl.com/5vmky3f

26. great post from @cherriegrace http://tinyurl.com/6xxq8h8

25. check out how motherhood changed @QueenJazie http://tinyurl.com/622odqo

24. check out @boilerchick about page http://tinyurl.com/5w9vbsd what do you think?

23. just because @INhousewifey this is so cute! http://tinyurl.com/6784jps

22. @TheButterflyMom is looking for help with her sneeze page http://tinyurl.com/633mjcx thoughts?

21. check out @SweetMJ About me page! http://tinyurl.com/3ox5zlq

20. If you have teens you do NOT want to miss @ziggy1962 post http://tinyurl.com/44f2rev

19. check out @RockStarMomLV guest post on extreme couponing! http://tinyurl.com/6x3uooa I need to learn this!

18. Have you tried to make a video on your site? check out @thecrabbycook ‘s How to boil a perfect egg http://tinyurl.com/63uvz63

17. @aejohnson3131 Review of the 31dbbb program so far! have you written one? http://tinyurl.com/43axu8a

16. Just because @Tottums got an adorable facelift http://tinyurl.com/429n8ns take a look!

15. check out @@HomeMomDotCom about page! http://tinyurl.com/3ftmr8p

14. @dashingly about me page, what do you all think? http://tinyurl.com/3mkxg3y

13. 10 tips for busy moms from @Mommyposh http://tinyurl.com/439tqrv

12. @LCcindee searches for her niche http://tinyurl.com/3ksyvb3

11. @AddingtonMom 5 great resources for moms http://tinyurl.com/3fy83kf

10. Commenting tips from @AKnLAbird http://tinyurl.com/3quh678

9. great list post @inspirucoocoo Finding inspirational music http://tinyurl.com/3rnz3wn

8. @cirquedumot SEO site structure tip http://tinyurl.com/3m852vq

7. And now some @advinthekitchen with kids! what fun! http://tinyurl.com/3pewbko

6. @osvme blogging tips http://tinyurl.com/3nl72w9

5. Are you on @eileenludwig blog buddy list? http://tinyurl.com/44c8ngu

4. Help out a @topperarnold what do you think her “niche” is? http://tinyurl.com/4ytdtvm

3.@jewelsbytrish cuz ya gotta have some humor in here! 10 steps to crazy shopping http://tinyurl.com/3cr6v8a

2. MarcyTooTimid great sneeze page! http://tinyurl.com/6chvyuw 101 things in 1001 days! give this girl a Woot Woot!

1. From @n0ellee should you write an e-book! http://tinyurl.com/43vwwtu

and now a few discussion questions:

Question 5: •What would you like to see from future online classes?

Question 4: •Which tasks do you still have questions about?

Question 3: •Which tasks were easy?

Question 2: •What task isn’t working for you? or did you find difficult?

Question 1: •Which activities have you enjoyed most so far during 31 Days

Do you have a post from the challenge you would like to share with us?

Where is my party list you ask?

rsvp card
photo credit: dan hodgett

Here I am doing what I really enjoy doing… again… What is that you ask? Helping people… I get real pleasure out of helping someone out, I don’t know what it is but I know I was born with this need to want to “help.”

When I was little I was always thinking of ways to help out and fund a “Ronald McDonald” carnival, OK, I guess I am dating myself because this was wayyyy before the Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities was what it is today, but I always wanted to think of ways to get a little money together so I could have a carnival in my backyard to help out and send money to help sick children.

Then when I was older I seriously thought about starting a camp for children with cancer so they could experience a fun summer like I was fortunate to have. And then my life changed when I gave birth to a beautiful daughter whose disability would not only change my life but the worlds and I saw “play” or the lack of through her eyes and I opened the world eyes to the need to build fully inclusive playgrounds.

Now, I’m writing about all of this and working on improving and once again “helping out” by supporting a wonderful group of ladies and leading a forum to Build Better Blogs. I look at this like a party; it is festive, there is music, (I always have music!) and sometimes there is coffee, food, or even an occasional glass of wine but there is always a lot fun! And of course with a party there MUST be party favors…

So what I am asking all of our fine Sits June 31DBBB ladies to do is please join my Party List so that we have a Master Blogroll for our summer group. And by doing so you will be entered into my first “party favor” giveaway… Which will be…. A $25 Gift Certificate to Victoria’s Secret…

All you have to do is join up with the linky love…

It’s that time… again! ProBlogger 31DBBB

lecture hall
photo credit: sidewalk flying

I’m doing it again!

In January you might remember I had a small “meltdown” because I thought that “you” didn’t like me. Well, maybe not “you”, rather cyber world according to Google and my so called Analytics. After I was finished having a little “pity me party” I felt perhaps it was time to “go back”… back to the beginning and analyze what was going on.

How did I do this you ask, well I stepped up and thought I would go through the ProBlogger 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge, and no, I didn’t think that I would just try and do it myself by myself again (I had initially done this when I started blogging) I volunteered to bring along a lot of my SISTA’s with me.

In February I kicked off the Winter ProBlogger 31DBBB Challenge and we had a great time writing, reading and reading and reading some more and about 250 ladies worked through the program with me Monday through Friday, weekends off; come on you can’t “party” everyday can you?

I received some wonderful feedback after the 31 days were over and promised to continue to work on this challenge and review on Thursdays. I know there is a ton of material and we thought it would be a good opportunity to once again review the 31DBBB on the SITS Forum. If you were part of our wonderful group I’d love to have you come on by once again and take another look, as you know there is a wealth of information in the program. And if you are new to the idea this is a great challenge for anyone with a blog.

This time around, we’ll be approaching Darren’s program a bit differently. Since I’m doing this with the SITS Girls we have SITStah-fied his challenge, giving participants two ways to participate.

Starting in June, you can choose between two options:

Option 1:
Work through each of Darren’s assigned tasks Monday through Friday in The SITS Girls discussion forum. Because we will not be working on weekends, you’ll be done with the program about mid-July.

This option is for those of you who really want to work through everything the ProBlogger program has to offer. Starting June 1 under the 31DBBB June group, we’ll publish key points to discuss, a task to work on and questions to answer daily. Rest assured that your blog will improve. And you know I will be with you every step of the way to answer any questions you might have and even keep you going with a giveaway or two.

Option 2:
Focus on only a handful of the 31 activities. The plan is to slow down the program more than ever. On Mondays and Thursdays, we will publish a post in the Education channel on SITS, bringing you some of our favorite ProBlogger tasks. While we won’t be working through all 31 activities, we’ll be focusing on a handful of activities in detail and ensuring that everyone has a chance to complete them. What’s more, because the SITS Girls plan to run the 31 Day Challenge several times a year, you can join again and again as we work through different sections of ProBlogger’s book.

The choice is yours! Summer is a busy time for all of us. The goal is to work through the ProBlogger program in a way that works best for everyone.

Here is a bit more about what you can expect during the month of June…

On Mondays and Thursdays in the Education channel on SITS, we will publish an overview of the activity we’ll be focusing on, a quick and easy “homework assignment”, and a handout. We have a few other ladies who will be helping out here with the tasks.

For those interested, we will be assigning participants into small groups. Our goal is to provide a great networking opportunity and a way for you to receive feedback on your blog.

For those of you who would like to join in the “party”

Buy the eBook: You can purchase ProBlogger’s e-book, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, here. Darren has generously offered us a coupon code that reduces the cost of the book by 33%! Simply enter the code, SITS33, at check-out and save big!

Get with the Twitter: Check out my SITSGirls31DBBB list on Twitter: If you are on Twitter, follow @SITSGirls & @shelleyellen. You can also get added to my participant list on Twitter. It is a great way to stay connected during the challenge months. I will be sending out many tweets.

If you are new to Twitter, don’t worry! We have plenty of tips and tutorials to get you up to speed. Check out What’s With All the Twittering.

Put up this adorable badge on your site to show you are “working it:”
Tell the world that you are working to improve your blog by hosting the official button on your site. You can find it here.

Like last time I will recap the weeks highlights here on my site. I’m busily getting ready for the next 31 days at present so it’ll be a few days before you hear from me again – but rest assured we’re going to have a great month ahead.

Thanks for being a part of it!

In the mean time –you can check out February’s Winter ProBlogger Challenge Wrap Up post and make sure you follow my Twitter stream at @shelleyellen to keep up to date with what I’m working on.

While you are workin’ it with me please stay in touch with one of my subscription methods. Also feel free to connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn and join my Wellnesss Makeover on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you!

A List is a List is a List…

list
photo credit: the italian voice

Happy Thursday, you know what that means to me; “Hello to all of our ProBlogger 31dbbb participants!” and those of you who want to review the program in a more leisurely manner…

Today we are going back… way back… to the beginning of the ProBlogger challenge and to Day 2: Write a List Post.

The purpose of a list post is to provide your readers with information that is easy to read and spread. And after going through the challenge we all learned that people like to read these… So let’s take a few moments to discuss why…

• Lists can be serious or fun

• List posts are often amongst a blog’s most popular posts

Let’s take a look at the 10 Steps to build the perfect list via ProBlogger

1. Decide on the number of items in the list

2. Keep each item in the list similar

3. Brainstorm more items than you need

4. Order the list logically

5. Break very long lists into sections

6. Consider making your list a series

7. Be consistent in how you write each item

8. Always number the items

9. Invite readers to add to the list

10. Choose a great title

If you would like to go back and review the original Day 2 in the challenge I have linked it here

Remember that if your head is running on empty at the moment you can always hop over to Digg or Delicious for popular stories which might inspire you to write a list post.

Questions:

Do you have a great tip for writing list posts?

Have you had any hugely successful lists on your blog?

Homework for this week:

Answer the above questions below in comments

Write a list post this week and come back and put the link here.

If you missed last week’s review lesson it’s OK, just pop by and check it out! Day 14: Update a Key Page on Your Blog and remember to leave a link to your updated page!

Let’s all remember to take a few moments to leave a comment on everyone who leaves a link here!

Top 10 Bloggy Secrets From Some Pretty Good Experts

finger to lips showing secret
photo credit: steven depolo

For my friends who followed me as we went through the ProBlogger 31 days to build a better blog challenge; we know some days were more writing then reading. However I believe Day 6 was probably the most reading…

I know it was practically impossible to read all of this in one sitting and none the less in 15 minutes (ha-ha Darren) so I would like to take today to go back to Day 6: 27-Must-Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers and take a few hours and see if you can read all 27 tutorials.

Key points:

1. Build a brand, you are building a brand with everything you do online (even comments on other peoples blogs).

2. Be consistent and focused on your brand and topic in all your posts, have foundation, cornerstone articles/eBook/training course/how to etc. (your brand again!) around which everything is built.

3. Generously share your expertise freely and add your value (i.e. your brand) to other blogs.

4. Use large creative commons images, they look better than paid for stock photos.

5. Be the expert or be unique in your niche and give, give give.

6. Post consistently i.e. fulfill the expectations you have set. Setup an editorial calendar and record all your past post topics in it (we will def rework this one!).

7. Include links to your blog in all your outside social media profiles (e.g. twitter, LinkedIn, facebook etc).

8. Build trust with privacy policy and contact details etc.

9. Have a long term strategy. How does this article improve my blog as a whole and my brand.

10. Make sure your titles are SEO friendly (include keywords) and at the same time catchy and attention grabbing.

Questions:

• Did you read all 27 posts?

• Which of these posts and authors resonated with you the most?

• List one nugget of bloggy wisdom you learned that you want to share with the group?

In case you missed last week’s review challenge: Day 14: Update a Key Page.

And in case you haven’t seen our little grad button over on the forum here it is!

When you are finished with your reading leave a commenthere answering the questions and if you wrote a post today link it here so the lady before you can come and visit and leave you some bloggy love!

Key Pages through the looking glass

the looking glass
photo credit: lilivanili

In reviewing everyone’s comments last week about which day’s they would like to review it was unanimous that most people would like to review; all! I sat and was a bit surprised, but then I thought about it and the time I spent working on the challenge and thought: “Ya know, I completely understand how everyone wants to review it all again.” There is so much wonderful information in the 31 Day Challenge and the way Darren presents it is easy to read but as I said before it is almost like a spider web where he links and interlinks, *which “hello!” is what he is telling us to do, and you can see it “does” work if it is done properly. So I took a look at the list of days and thought about what everyone said they were looking for and came up with Day 14: Update a Key Page on Your Blog as our first-Redo.

Take the time to read what Darren has to say and then sit down and take a look at your site and all of your posts.

If you would like to review the original Day 14 in the challenge I have it linked here.

What are your 10 pages or post that you found the most important?

• Can you do this right off the bat? Or like me do you need to go and check this out.

• Obviously our Front Page is a no brainer, I would hope people took this seriously when we began the challenge but for one reason or another which I can completely understand might not have happened.

• Look at your header or logo does it need an update?

• Does it work with what your elevator speech has to say?

• Can someone sum up your site by looking at your Home Page?

The second Page that I recently received may hits on is my “About Page” which I worked on during our last go round.

• Did you work on your About Page?

• What changes did you make?

I have a little confession to make now to our wonderful group, on Friday’s when I ran my contests I tried very very hard to find people’s email addresses. I decided if someone didn’t leave their email address I would “attempt” to find it and if I could I would enter them but I was really surprised at how many people did not have a Contact Page with their email information. I then understood the importance of having a Contact Page; what if I was a Book Agent, or a PR Agent? Anyone who I couldn’t have gotten in touch with might have missed that “one time call” that could have changed their life.

That reminds me of the time that Oprah called my husband and he missed her call! He had been waiting a longgg time to get that call, understandably. However, that was it; he tried to get back in touch with “her people” but when you miss that one call sometimes it is harder to get a second chance. True story, just put it into bloggy perspective. Don’t miss the call or in our case could be e-mail. Contact Page people!

High Traffic Pages: Google Analytics has become my new found friend. I try very hard not to take it so personal with the bounce rate but now understand these a bit better and really take to heart where people are coming from to my site and what posts they go to and leave from.

• So what are the highest traffic pages on your site?

• Do you know how people get there?

Other Key Pages: Advertise with us, Recommended Readings, or Subscribe Pages. Take the time to review these if you have them and if you don’t and think they will help people navigate through your site and spend more time there write one!

Remember; Key Pages could bring you the call that changes your life; don’t miss it by not having one!

Homework for the week:

1. Update a page or two

2. Leave a comment here with the link(s) to the page(s).

3. Review the link to the person who commented before you here and leave a comment for them on how you think this helped you navigate through their site.

Annie Leibovitz I’m not… but I’d like to be!

Ohh, a mere 27 years ago I graduated from college with a BS in Interior Design and a minor in Landscape Architecture, my goodness 27 years, where did the time go? OK, that is not the reason for this post… Photography is!

I do enjoy photography, I loved taking it in college “back in the day” when we actually learned to develop film for our projects and loved my trusted Canon AE1 but recently it has become impossible to “find” film. I think it is practically extinct! So sad!! But times have moved on and so have I; finally last year for my birthday I broke down and purchased a new update. I couldn’t stray away from my Canon so I chose the Rebel T1i; pretty much the same as my old Rebel X but now “digital” so no more hunts for film, and so much lighter!

I have photography envoy! I admit it! I love looking at people’s photos and wishhhh I could take expressive pictures like others… Great collages… such feelings… Oh stop it Shelley I know you can do it *say’s little voice in my head! So you have to know how happy I was when I got wind that my friends at SITS were going to start a photography series in the forum. I was so there, hand up! If you are a SITS girl, you know my hand is always up for these amazing women! So I’m here to tell you “GO!” “Go to the SITS site” and join in… if you like me have photography envoy. I promise you it will be rewarding… Have I ever let a SITS girl down?

sits springphotobadge Join the SITS Spring into Action Photo Challenge!

The series is going to be for two weeks, from April 4th –our good old tax day the 15th. Lynda will be heading the series and will have a daily lesson for everyone on the site along with a few challenges prompting you to try a technique that we discussed. If you just want to focus on improving your photography, that’s fine too as you can share your photos on the forums, Flickr, Twitter or Facebook.

These are some key points from Lynda’s intro post so you have an idea of what this is all about:

Photography:

Basic photography techniques which rely more on you holding any device that can capture images than knowing what aperture, ISO, RAW, SLR, f-stop, shutter speed or any other number of photography terms. (This post might just be the only place in the series where those words appear at all!) Instead, we’ll focus on:

Composition

Perspective

Lighting

Lines

Repetition

Color and Black & White

Blogging with Photos:

Tools and photo tips to help you better incorporate original photographs into your blog and social networking presence, such as:

Free Online Photo Editing Tools

Making a Collage

Photo Sharing via Social Networking

Styling Your Photos in Your Articles

Image SEO

Protecting Your Photos

Six Reasons why you should join Lynda and Participate!

1. You do not need a fancy camera. This series will feature photos taken on cell phones and archaic pen cams. No special equipment is needed other than any device that can take pictures!

2. You do not need to know anything about photography. We’re not going to get too technical.

3. Professional and Amateur photographers are welcome to participate! If you do know a thing or two about photography, your knowledge and feedback will be invaluable. We hope you’ll participate, join in the discussion and refer us to articles you’ve written.

4. Taking pictures is fun and creative!

5. Social networking is enhanced and expanded with the addition of photography.

6. Readers are more engaged by original photography on a blog.

And joining in is soo easy and somehow I keep forgetting to mention it’s FREE!

How to Get Involved!

There are a number of ways to get involved, promote your site and find some new, great reads! This is not a time sensitive challenge and you may join in at any time!

Sign up on the SITS Forums! If you plan on participating, visit this thread to sign-up so we can follow along together! There will be daily discussions, additional questions, prompts and exercises in our discussion forums. You can also upload pictures there and post links to your blog entries related to the topic!

Twitter. Use the hashtag #SITSPics on Twitter! You can join in the conversation and follow along using our hashtag! If you need help getting set up on Twitter, check out this post I wrote What’s with all the Tweetering?

Flickr. Join the SITS Spring into Action Photo Challenge Group to share photos or screenshots of your blog entries related to the topics! (If you’re not sure what Flickr is or how to use it, we’ll be covering that in-depth on Day 4!)

So come on join in the fun, I am so excited about being a part of this group. Let’s go and learn together… and then maybe Annie Leibovitz will let me be her assistant or maybe just “hold” her camera! LOL

Who says a good thing has to end?

love and smiles heart shaped candyphoto credit: Ella Marie

Good Morning Ladies! Happy Thursday, I’m so happy to have all of you here today. I am hoping we have some new friends mixed into our group who have not completed the 31 day challenge, I know that writing a blog, running a family, keeping a job and keeping up with the 31 day challenge is more like a marathon and a few ladies fell off the bandwagon just because of “life” so I welcome back everyone!!

Hmm, I just realized that we never had an official graduation of some kind… Maybe we ought to do that somehow, I’ll put my thinking cap on but in the mean time I did want to share with you that I have Renee from Studio Bold who redesigned the SITS site working on a “grad” button for all of us to shine on our sites. When she is done I will let all of you know for sure and I will have it “premier” on the SITS Forum.

It is my hope here to review our key days in the program, what worked, find out what didn’t work so well for some and great for others and just help each other build our sites to be the best they can be.

OK then here is how we are going to continue this party:

1. First grab your e-copy of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and your morning java and we are ready to rock and roll!

2. Every Thursday I will post a discussion based on one of the 31 Days. This is where all of you come in today, I need to hear from YOU! What days are key to YOU? What days would YOU like to review? And I will be mixing in some new things that I have picked up from the ProBloggers site for our alums.*As always I will try and keep it educational to help all of us mixed in with a little humor, because ya gotta smile!

3. Share the cute little button below on your challenge posts and also to put on your sidebars to show you are “continuing the challenge”

What I’m asking of each of you:

Please come! You have no idea how much I have enjoyed “meeting” this group we formed there are some real warm women here with great stories to tell. And as I said back in February at the beginning of the challenge; “You can come dressed as you are; pj’s, slippers, curlers, sweats… bring coffee, tea or vodka if that’s your early morning thing… however, just please continue to come or I will get a complex and will start to cry and well we don’t want that to happen now, do we?”

I’m pretty sure most of you are but for those new ladies, please follow me on Twitter as I will be putting updates and little inspirations there for the group. I have set up a new my tutorial on how to set one up, I will be doing a follow up this week on how to actually use it once you set it up.

• Re-Read the daily lesson in the e-book and take the time to check out as many links that he has included as possible. *this is where I got caught up in time! Darren said 15 minutes.. i say phewey on that!

• Come here and post the answer the questions each Thursday and leave a link to your post that day. • As in the forum if you would visit the lady who posts right before you and leave her some comment love that would be great! *we had some fabulous commenting going back and forth and I would love to keep that going.

• Spread the Word! Invite your friends and followers to join in the challenge! You can grab our new button below to share on your blog!

href=”http://www.im-stillstanding.com/”> src=”http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z104/danielle982/2011/shelleybutton.png”/>

 

How will this party continue to help you?

As in the original challenge you will gain some new knowledge from the Zen master (aka Mr. ProBlogger-Darren Rowse) and will spend time with some wonderful and fun women just like yourself who each have things we can learn from.

I will be posting a monthly wrap up if you miss anything along the way… And speaking of missing anything… I posted all 31 day’s challenges yesterday, sooo if you missed a day you just have to hop back there and it will give you each day. And to keep the party festive I will continue with the Giveaways in my monthly wrap up.

I’m so excited to be continuing this with all of you. And I thank all of you for “keepin” the faith in me! *cheers!

Questions:

1. I know a lot of you kept stats during the month and I’d love to know the changes you had over the five weeks.

2. What improved the most?

3. What weeks did you find the most challenging? 4. What weeks would you like to review? Please be sure to leave a link to your latest post so that others can visit and comment today.