I’ve been writing my blog for six months now and I want to take things up a notch.
I’m pleased with how things have gone. I have posted steadily and consistently. Readership has grown week on week, month on month. I could stick with what I’ve been doing. It seems to be working, but I think there’s an opportunity to do more.
To date, the work I’ve done on the blog has been based on what I’ve learnt from reading articles and from following other bloggers. There is a lot of information out there, the majority of which is free. The challenge is to know which advice to follow and, more importantly, to put it into action.
The purpose of this series of posts is to recount my experience using a ‘blog improvement course’ (for want of a better term) that I’ve paid for.
My Blog Is Growing As It Is – Why Do I Want To Change What I’m Doing
I won’t be changing what I’m doing, I’ll be adding to it. I will maintain my twice a week posting schedule. I’ll continue to respond to comments and emails. I’ll continue to use Twitter in the sporadic way that I do currently (unless the course calls for some improvements in my approach, which I will of course implement).
My reason for mixing things up a little bit are twofold:
I want to follow a course that has a series of actionable steps that I can follow, without having to think about it
This seems an odd thing to say. Mindlessly following a series of instructions is not generally deemed the optimal route towards successful entrepreneurship.
However, one thing I’ve learnt with blogging so far is that most favourable results don’t occur immediately after the relevant action has been taken. A seemingly innocuous decision to write about a particular topic can lead to a traffic boost many weeks down the line.
Sometimes, you just have to take some action.
So, for the sake of a few dollars, and “31 days” of potentially-wasted effort (there is no risk that this will be wasted effort), I am prepared to put my trust in one of the most successful, and thoughtful, bloggers on the planet to tell me what actions to take.
I want to put ‘skin in the game’
By paying for a course, I have already made an investment in the success of the exercise. It is therefore more likely that I will also invest the time and effort necessary to follow the course to its conclusion.
I want to stop reading. I want to start doing.
Which Course Will I Follow?
I have purchased, and will be working through, ‘31 Days To Build A Better Blog’ by Darren Rowse (aka the Problogger). The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that this is an e-book rather than a true course. Bite me. I’ll be following the tasks sequentially, so I will be treating it as a course.
As the name suggests, the book is divided into 31 daily tasks, with associated teaching around each task, as well as further reading should I wish to know more. Clearly the idea is to complete the course in a month, but I’ll probably undertake it on a slightly slower schedule.
How Will I Record My Progress?
Why in this here series of posts, of course.
I haven’t decided exactly how I’ll do that. I might write about each task in turn or I might recount progress on, say, a weekly basis, with each week representing 4 or 5 completed tasks.
The aim of this exercise is to show the results of undertaking the course, rather than reveal explicitly what is contained within the book itself. I will therefore focus on what I did in response to each task and the results (however they might manifest themselves).
Clearly my account will give a sense of what each task is. If you’re persuaded as to the course’s value, I’m sure you’ll want to buy the book itself, to get the associated teaching and to interpret the information in the way that best suits your own blog’s requirements.
What Happens Next?
In my next post I’ll look at the current status of my blog: what I’ve done so far, both on and off the blog; traffic statistics; my objectives for the future.
With a baseline set, hopefully we’ll be able to judge the impact of the actions I take as I work through the ’31 Days To Build A Better Blog’ course.
In the meantime, happy blogging!