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Day 29: Develop a Plan to Boost Your Blog’s Profile and Readership Online

Wow, two more days left, I’m a little sad! Actually a lot sad, I really have enjoyed our time together. We’ve been building our blog’s profile all along whether we realize it or not. Commenting on other blogs, discussing issues on forums, Tweeting, responding to emails, you name it! Any way in which you interact publicly or privately with your blog readers is a small step in the larger goal of building your blog’s profile.

Key points:

Set an amount of time per day or week to build your blog’s profile. (Don’t ignore your blog to do this!)

Take 10-15 minutes to describe your desired reader.

Ask yourself, “Where are my potential readers gathering online?” Flickr, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Blogs, Forums?

What opportunities do you have to build your presence on these sites? Guest posts, leaving useful comments, signatures, advertising?

Questions:

1.) How does the way you build your blog’s profile change after reading this task?

2.) Give us an example from your strategy! For one site: how much time will you spend there? What are you going to do? When’s the site most active?

Update: *I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of SITS whose site hosted our Problogger Winter 31 Day Challenge. At the completion of our challenge we had 25 posts on this day’s task on the SITS site’s forum.

If you are just joining us “welcome” and feel free to answer the questions here and leave a link to your post if you wrote one and we can keep the party going!

Day 28: Write a Review Post

The web is used as a resource for gaining advice. As such, ProBlogger recommends writing a review post. A review increases the likelihood that readers will see you as an authority.

Key Concepts:

There are many different ways in which you can write a review post. The most important points are to:

1. Give an opinion

2. Give a rating

3. Be balanced

4. Think about keywords

5. Make comparisons

6. Use an affiliate link

7. Say who it’s good for

8. Be personal

9. Add visuals

10. Give details on how to obtain items

Questions:

1) Have you written a review post in the past and if so how was it received?

2) For this challenge, what kinds of things could you see yourself reviewing?

Update: *I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of SITS whose site hosted our Problogger Winter 31 Day Challenge. At the completion of our challenge we had 34 posts on this day’s task on the SITS site’s forum.

If you are just joining us “welcome” and feel free to answer the questions here and leave a link to your post if you wrote one and we can keep the party going!

Day 27: Hunt For Dead Links

Happy Tuesday everyone. I am hoping you all are finding lots of great info in Darren’s challenge and it is helping you improve all of your sites.

Today’s task is to spend some time hunting for dead links and either deleting them or updating them on your blog.

Keypoints:

When a link becomes dead it can cost your blog:

• Readability=error pages, not good

• SEO= not looked upon greatly by search engines

Daren lists a bunch of link checking tools to help with this chore.
When you find a dead link:

• Fix or update the link

• Delete the link

• Sometimes it might mean deleting the whole post.

While you are checking for dead links it might be a good time to check for spelling and grammar errors too and if you have done any site changes perhaps your formatting could be off to so just take an overall look around.

Questions:

1.) If you’ve used a dead link finder on your blog before, what were the results?

2.) What tool did you use to do this? Did you find it useful?

3.) How will you manage dead links on your blog going forward?

Update: *I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of SITS whose site hosted our Problogger Winter 31 Day Challenge. At the completion of our challenge we had 36 posts on this day’s task on the SITS site’s forum.

If you are just joining us “welcome” and feel free to answer the questions here and leave a link to your post if you wrote one and we can keep the party going!

Day 26: Improve Another Blog

Ahhh sorry ladies day light savings time got me! I can’t believe we are nearing the home stretch. There were so many great things that I have learned from this 31day challenge at the same time I have enjoyed meeting so many new bloggy buddies. I have really loved reading all of your blogs. We have so many great ladies here with so many wonderful stories.

I know this has been a challenge just keeping up, believe me there have been weeks that I struggled to keep up too. I know there are some ladies a little behind but just keep going forward you will make it to the end, I know you will be thankful you did!

Key Concepts:

You can make a MAJOR impression on another blogger by helping them achieve their goals for their blog. The key is to ask yourself what their needs might be and attempt to fulfill those needs in some way.

A few ideas are:

Write a high quality guest post that will be useful to another blog’s readers

Leave helpful and insightful comments

Link to the blog and share your readers with them

Promote the blog in social media and start a social bookmarking campaign for them

Recommend to your readers to subscribe to their blog

Email the blogger with some suggested topics you’d love to see them cover

Introduce them to a potential advertiser

Share with them an affiliate program that has worked for you

Write an email telling the blogger how you found one of their posts helpful.

Perform a significant action for another blog. Don’t just leave a comment on 50 blogs; focus your energy on one other blog in your niche.

Questions:

1. Which blog did you choose to support for this task? Why did you choose this blog?

2. Which actions did you take to support the blog? Were they acknowledged by the blogger?

Update: *I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of SITS whose site hosted our Problogger Winter 31 Day Challenge. At the completion of our challenge we had 19 posts on this day’s task on the SITS site’s forum.

If you are just joining us “welcome” and feel free to answer the questions here and leave a link to your post if you wrote one and we can keep the party going!

Time is flying by

pocket watch swinging
photo credit: Gabriela P93

My goodness it is so hard to believe that February flew by and we are already into the second week of March and on the 25th day of our Winter ProBlogger Challenge. If you are a little late in the game it’s OK the party is still going strong you can stop over here to see what you missed in week two, week three, and week four.

Only one more week to go which is a little sad because I will miss checking in on a daily basis with you, however I hope you will continue on with me weekly to review and work on new challenges from the Zen Mister ProBlogger, but that is for next week’s post.

This week we “breathed life into an old post,” paid special attention to a reader, called our readers to action, used a magazine to improve our blogs and today asked a question…. Let’s take a look at some of the work of week number five!

Here are a few of posts that were written from daily tasks:

Jillian rewrote a weeks’ worth of post titles. Here is one:
changed “sense of touch walk”. . . “explore sense of touch with a SENSORY WALK

Poppy re-vamped this post.

Stacey revamped this post that was from 2008 and she felt it told the story fairly well but thought it was long and needed some editing for grammar & appearance.

Sarita revamped an article she wrote called My 6 Fathers.

Caren shared this redone post that she felt she was originally a bit too emotional Emotional Infidelity in Disguise.

Kristy added links and updated her key words and meta description to get more page views on this redone post Dining at Disney World on a Budget

Mama Muro started a reader involvement “game”… Who Are You?

Brenna: loves a good call to action! She loves bringing information to people, but also like them to do something about that new information. Do my words represent my ideals, my dreams?

SuzRocks: wrote a post calling people to action- at least calling their attention Some Don’t Get to Celebrate International Women’s Day

A few Tweets from the week:

@Modern_Gypsy Thx 2 da ladies who reviewed my blog for Day 17 of #sitsgirls31dbbb, I updated my home page http://peddlerofdreams.wordpress.com thoughts?

@haglerhappening Yay! I’ve gotten *almost* caught up on #SitsGirls31DBBB

@riverand I was just reading the SITS forum – how did I graduate to “Member”? #sitsgirls31dbbb #progress

Comments and thoughts from the daily challenge threads:

Polly: I answer questions as an “Expert” at Education.com, so I took one of my answers from there and turned it into a blog post. Is Four Too Early For Sight Words? It was the same concept, and I’m happy I did it. I’m going to try to do that weekly for one of my blog posts. Thanks for the inspiration!

Mrs. Bibi to becomingbianca: This was a great remix

Charise realized she needs to include interactivity much more often! Even if she just asks a question at the end of her post requiring feedback in the comments, it is something that I haven’t done enough of.

Jen shared that she really started to see an increase in comments now that she tries to end posts with open-ended questions. She thinks it helps get the readers who don’t feel like they have anything worthwhile to contribute into the conversations a little better.

Amy shared: I feel like I have been gone for too long, but I love the fact I can get caught back up, and I think I can! My posts have been as sporadic as my participation, but that is about to be rectified as well.

Rachel: How has this task changed the way you look at making your blog more interactive? It’s really making me think about what I want my readers taking away from reading my blog. When I started it was simply about me. I was just looking for an outlet. This blog challenge is making me consider what I really want to accomplish as a blogger with an actual audience.

CaribbeanPrincess: The way the blog looks is important. I get drawn into magazines based on the front cover. Then I go to the content. It is no different with blogging.

Miranda: Did using a magazine inspire you to try anything new with your own blog? Yes- I am trying to learn how to take better pictures, lighting, angles, etc. I can use some magazine photos as inspiration. Also I came up with some new post ideas.

Nicole: Did using a magazine inspire you to try anything new with your own blog? I learned that I am drawn to simple formats which has led me to keeping my heading the way it is. The second and more important thing I learned was that the advertising was, of course, in line with the topic(s) of the magazine. This led me to minimizing my adsense ads and, instead going on a quest for ads that are more in line with mine and my blog’s philosophy.

And now onto my weekly thank you party gift giveaway for everyone who has been working so hard at keeping up, and I know it is a chore! How about a $25 Visa Gift Card; “it’s everywhere you want to be…”

To enter please make sure you leave your email in your comment, no email, no entrance, sorry! And you must be a US resident.

• Let me know what your favorite post which was inspired by the 31 challenge has been to date and leave the link.

• By now I’m hoping you are following my site here but if not please follow along and let me know if you are following via RSS!

• Have a “weight” issue why not “like” my Wellness Makeover on facebook for tips from my nutritionist, trainer and musings from me, a whole program for free LOL

• Follow me on twitter and send out a following tweet!
I’m really enjoying @shelleyellen and the #sitsgirls31dbbb program. Come join the party!

The Fine Print: Contest ends at midnight on March 13, 2011. Winner will be drawn using a random number generator and notified by email.

Update: And the winner of the $25 VISA Gift Card is…

The winner of your drawing is…

1st ithoughtiknewmama@gmail.com

Congratulations on the drawing! It was completed on Monday, 14 March 2011 at 10:12:49US/Eastern Time The winner was drawn from a list of 17 entrants using true randomness, which for many purposes is better than the pseudo-random number algorithms typically used in computer programs. You will find the permanent record of the drawing here:

http://www.random.org/draws/details/?draw=5370

Day 25: Ask a Question

Wow, can you believe it’s Day 25 already? Less than a week is left of the challenge, and it’s been a whirlwind, but an amazing one. I have loved reading everyone’s blog posts and seeing all the support here on the forum. I think a LOT of people have improved their blogs over the last few weeks, and I feel like I’ve learned so much!

Today’s task is to ask a question of your readers. In the e-book, Darren gives us 10
reasons this is a good idea as well as 12 tips for asking questions of your readers.

Keypoints:

Asking readers questions can increase their sense of community and participation.

Question posts can rank high in search engines and generate incoming traffic.

Ask questions that are relevant to your blog’s type and actually have answers.

Consider following up your question post with summaries of answers.

Questions:

1) Have you written a question post in the past? How was the response? (include links!)

2) Have you seen a question post on another blog that got you involved or drew your interest? What about the post got you interested?

Update: *I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of SITS whose site hosted our Problogger Winter 31 Day Challenge. At the completion of our challenge we had 30 posts on this day’s task on the SITS site’s forum.

If you are just joining us “welcome” and feel free to answer the questions here and leave a link to your post if you wrote one and we can keep the party going!

Can I get you a mimosa?

mimosa
photo credit: Qwrrty

Last night I joined my friends at SITS who began holding; a Comment Cocktail Hour. *However you really needed a strong cup of java to keep up with these ladies.

This was a great way to find new blogs to read (however if you are following our 31day challenge there are over 200 ladies there, which is enough to keep me up all night!)

Anyhow for those of you who don’t understand what this is, it is a twitter party (*hmmm that is a new idea for a post for my twitter tutorial)where 3 ladies tweet out links to a number of blogs and then everyone hustles and as I said hustles to check out that site in um, 2 minutes… the challenge to go to 30 blogs in 60 minutes… You think that is easy? Ha! So here I am this morning, remember I said I needed my java to get my mind and fingers working simultaneously…

I was so excited because my site was chosen as one of the honored 30 picked… I felt like I was back at one of Sarah’s pageants waiting for the results of the “top 10” to be called… fingers crossed… please pick me… pick me… as I was trying to “keep up” and hop to the 60 second blog hop.

But… just in case you are like me and didn’t get to everyone’s sites last night… I wanted to write a little intro page to me and let you know my love for the SITS community and everyone there, especially the beautiful Tiffany and the very helpful Francesca who “sticky’s” the WinterProblogger 31day challenge everyday!

If this is your first time visiting “I’m Still Standing” let me give you a little house tour:

“I’m Still Standing” is a place to find comfort and support like home. Stop by to be inspired by stories about overcoming adversity, realizing that we’re all “able”, and to find healthy recipes.

My name is Shelley known to many as a “Playground Fairy,” Special Needs Advocate, Speaker, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Wife and Mom to three wonderful people who have helped change the world.

I am a creative person by nature and ready to jump into things with both feet, sometimes not really sure what I am getting myself into but always with an open heart. In 1996 I had the dream to create the first fully inclusive playground in the state of Maryland. Only having my design background, and my love for children, and passion to bring this project to fruition I jumped in full force. Not only did we (I formed a nonprofit organization) raise the needed one million dollars to create this playground, which is known throughout the region as “Hadley’s Park.” Our organization went on to build many more in the area, and helped hundreds of more in the country. If you’d like to find out more about me check, stop over here.

And..

while I was doing this my husband Kenny founded a company to enhance the lives of children by taking the “yuck” out of their medicine… Yes, it’s the stuff that the pharmacist asks you “do you want to add flavoring in that” for your children’s medicine.

And..

while we were both doing that my oldest daughter Sarah took being a disability advocate into her own hands after winning Miss Maryland Teen America 2005 and then the title of Miss Continental Teen America and raising awareness that we are all “ABLE”.

And we all did this as a way to give back; to change the world in honor of, our daughter/sister, Hadley who was brought into the world a beautiful little bundle of joy and whose life drastically altered on her 10th day when she suffered a grade 2 bilateral intracranial bleed. It is through Hadley’s life that so many other children’s lives have been changed…

In 2010 I realized I am an “Emotional Eater” and stared a Wellness Makeover. I love to cook and entertain; I can be found a lot of times reading my many cookbooks or magazines on cooking. Shout out to my two favorite ladies Ina Garten and Ellie Krieger! I also love to scrapbook from wonderful pictures I have taken and read a little here and there, and hopefully someday I will get to Italy.

Thanks for stopping by today especially if you are popping in from last night’s #commenthour! Please take a look around and hopefully you’ll find something interesting today that makes you want to come back and visit again!

I invite you to subscribe to “I’m Still Standing” RSS feed.

If you tweet, follow me on twitter or if you are interested in learning about my “wellness makeover” on facebook check out this page or you can always contact me!

Day 24: How to Use a Magazine to Improve Your Blog

Good Morning Ladies, Thursday here! Let’s keep up the pace and keep our great group strong!! Here we are with another offline activity and excuse to go to Barnes & Noble and relax for an hour or two! LoL

Today’s task is to take some sticky notes, a notebook, pen and magazine and analyze it for marketing, design and post ideas along with tips on writing, monetizing your blog and engaging your readers. It’s also a great way to study up on your niche!

Questions:

1) Did this exercise inspire you to try anything new with your own blog?

2) What magazine did you choose to analyze?

Update: *I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of SITS whose site hosted our Problogger Winter 31 Day Challenge. At the completion of our challenge we had 21 posts on this day’s task on the SITS site’s forum.

If you are just joining us “welcome” and feel free to answer the questions here and leave a link to your post if you wrote one and we can keep the party going!

Day 23: Call Your Readers To Action

Today’s task has us write a post in which we ask our readers to do more than just be passive participants in our blogs. By getting readers to do things like comment, participate in a poll, buy a recommended product or visit another site, we are creating a more interactive experience that will hopefully encourage people to come back.

ProBlogger recommends reading 12 Tips To SNAP Readers Out Of Passivity to gain more insight into calling readers into action.

Questions:

1. Have you written a post in the past that has encouraged readers to do something other than just comment on your blog?

2. How has this task changed the way you look at making your blog more interactive?

Update: *I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of SITS whose site hosted our Problogger Winter 31 Day Challenge. At the completion of our challenge we had 34 posts on this day’s task on the SITS site’s forum.

If you are just joining us “welcome” and feel free to answer the questions here and leave a link to your post if you wrote one and we can keep the party going!

Day 22: Pay Special Attention To A Reader

Today’s task is to Choose one (or more) of your current readers and do anything out of the blue that acknowledges them, shows them that you value them.

Key concepts:

• Many bloggers who have great blogs go out of their way to make their readers more famous.

• Having someone go out of their way makes an impression.

• Gives the blogger a sense of being valuable and belonging.

• By doing this you are helping them achieve their own goals.

• This shows your readers you have an interest in them and therefore you value all of them.

Questions:

Share a link to a post where you paid special attention to a reader. Show us how you did it!

How do you think paying special attention to a reader will help you become a better blogger?

Update: *I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of SITS whose site hosted our Problogger Winter 31 Day Challenge. At the completion of our challenge we had 45 posts on this day’s task on the SITS site’s forum.

If you are just joining us “welcome” and feel free to answer the questions here and leave a link to your post if you wrote one and we can keep the party going!