Entries Tagged '31 DBB Project' ↓

31 Days to Build a Better Blog Project part 1

With blogging, as with anything I try, I picked it up toyed around with the idea for a moment, and jumped right in. Back in January, Problogger, Darren Rowse, offered his ebook / workbook 31 Days to Build a Better Blog at a decent discount. I picked it up, having no idea how overwhelming writing my own book while running Home Ec 101 solo would become.

Since that time, the pdf file lingered on my cluttered desktop, reminding me of money I threw away.

I’ll get to it, really. At least that’s what I’ve been telling the guilt inducing gif.

About a month ago Srini Rao of The Skool of Life and BlogcastFM mentioned he was looking for some partners to work through the program. As there’s nothing like accountability to get my butt in gear,  I jumped at the chance. Ami Kim of 40 Days to Change also joined in the project. Aside from the accountability, I thought it would be a great opportunity to work with people outside of my usual circle.

Life being what it is, Srini became busy with BlogcastFM, so Ami and I are joining in with Angela England for the Build a Better Blog Challenge.

There’s always room for improvement, right? Not every day is going to be relevant to my work on Home Ec 101 and some days are skills and tips I’ve already put into practice over the years. The project will still help me find areas I need to strengthen. My goal isn’t to turn Home Ec 101 into a cookie cutter site, rather it’s an exercise to determine where I need to focus.

Here’s the rundown of my first week with the project.

Day 1 – Elevator pitch

I worked on this a few months ago when I redesigned the header of the site. While “What you wish your mama taught you” captures the essence of what I’ve been doing, I feel like a fool saying it out loud. After mulling it over I came up with Real skills for real people with real lives. Repetitive? Of course, it emphasizes that I want Home Ec 101 to stay grounded and focus on people who have to worry about their budgets and can’t spend $14 lb on Wild Alaskan Salmon twice a week. Those people have Martha and those people can have set designers and food artists. I’ll continue to do the best I can with what is available.

Day 2 – Write a List Post

I write list posts all the time, I had a little fun with this one. There’s some twisted part of me that enjoys working in random geek culture references wherever possible. Let’s face it, home economics is not the most riveting of topics, if I get bored, I can’t expect anyone else to hang around and read it.

Day 3 – Promote a Post

I’ve installed YOURLS to create a url shortener with the my domain, but I’m having trouble getting it to work. Until that happens I have disabled automatic tweeting of posts upon publishing. Instead I’m doing it manually and trying to maintain that balance of promotion with actual conversation. I enjoy Twitter too much to only use it for self-promotion.

Day4 – Analyze a Top Blog

(or 2, ’cause that’s how I roll)
Did you know Smitten Kitchen and I have similar counters? From there I get a reminder to focus on the technical aspect of good photography. I’m learning. With every meal I learn a little more, even if it does become tedious. I could slow posting to increase interaction in the comments, but I’m not sure that’s a direction I want to take. My site isn’t solely focused on one topic. Perhaps, I should look into better content navigation through subdomains. It’s something I’m rolling around.
Lifehacker gives me the urge to jump all in, to go big or go home. It makes me want to bring on more writers, like Brian and grow through pure content creation. Is it doable? Yes, but the workload is hugely intimidating.

Day 5 – Email a Blog Reader

Easy peasy. Definitely a reminder that I need to do this more often. Heck, I just need to be more responsive period.

Day 6 – Learn from Top Bloggers

Excellent reading and a reminder to never stop learning.

Day 7 –  Write a Link Post

I will schedule one for later this week.