Oh, I just don’t know where to begin . . . *
Just when I thought my “BLOG!” folder was already overstuffed with subfolders titled Ads, Design, Cool Stuff, Examples, Help, How To, Ideas, Inspiration, Monetization, Photo Stuff, SEO, Sites I Like, Submit Blog, Tools, Widgets and Plugins, and WordPress, here comes Darren at ProBlogger with his 31 Days to Building a Better Blog.
In this 31 days, Darren and his readers provide helpful tips on bettering your blog. It’s really quite cool. There’s a ton of information—good information—pertaining to every kind of blog subject.
I wanted to participate, but as a very green blogger, I wasn’t sure what I could contribute. But then I thought way back to, oh, about 3 months ago, when I first started out. There was so much information out there, it was easy to get b(l)ogged down in all the advice, tips, how-tos. While it’s good—and necessary—to spend time reading and researching, there comes a point where you have to stop reading and DO.
This is not to say that you should ever stop reading, learning, finding new sources of information and inspiration. But with all the great resources available, you can easily spend all your time planning, thinking, what-if-ing. These are all helpful components to blogging. You learn not only how to blog but how you want—or don’t want—to blog.
But you gotta jump in and start at some point.
So when the tips from experienced and knowledgeable bloggers started pouring in on ProBlogger, I felt a mixture of excitement and fear. Too much information! How to sift through it all! I don’t have this kind of time! Did you read my latest post? It’s like twenty billion words!
But of course it’s well worth going through these posts and zeroing in on what’s most pertinent to your needs. Some articles you may skip, some you may save for later, some you may read immediately and use to make instant improvements to your blog and blogging life.
I’ve been picking my way through and have come up with a few favorites.
JD’s Top Ten Most Helpful Tips (in no particular order)
- How to Participate in Blog Carnivals
Trevor at Trevor’s Writings offers a how-to on participating in blog carnivals. I relentlessly submit articles to carnivals and had my Zumba article printed at FitBuff, my review of Last House on the Left accepted at Carnival of Cinema, and Carnival of Family Life published my story of scattering my dad’s ashes.
- Simply Said . . . How to Blog
This is a great, straightforward article from Jay at Dumb Little Man, who offers a lot of good tips on blogging while working a full-time job.
- Building Search Engine Friendly Permalinks
Bryan at One Man’s Goal shows you how to use a simple WordPress option to make your permalinks more attractive to search engines. And don’t we all want pretty permalinks?
- 7 Encouraging Must-Read Articles for the Blogger Just Starting Out
Rory at Clean Cut Blog points us toward articles with reassuring titles like “Everything Is Beta” and “Don’t Despise the Sound of Your Own Voice.”
- Technorati: How to Get Traffic
Lucia at Big Bucks Blogger shows you how to use Technorati to send you traffic. Clever girl!
- 47 CSS Tutorials, Techniques, and Resources
I haven’t begun to dig through this comprehensive list from Matt at Webmaster Source, but it looks great. A must for those like me who are still using html and wondering why they have 2,158 validation errors.
- Full Posts vs. Partial Posts on the Front Page
Michael at Pro Blog Design looks at both sides of this issue. Good advice for us wordy bastards.
- Use the Power of the Slug to Increase Search Engine Traffic
Chris at Blog-Op shows us another sneaky little WordPress tool—use the slug box on the Write Post page for a more SEO-friendly URL.
- 10 Tips for Making Your Blog Posts More del.icio.us
Steven at Vandelay Website Design–Vandelay, people!—helps us be more sociable.
- Results Only Blogging Environment
Ryan at Daily Blog Tips shows you how to apply the policy of analyzing results not hours logged in. Be more efficient and effective!
Oh, yeah. Darren’s got a few good ideas too. Here are some of my faves:
If you want to work your way through the 31 Days:
- Figure out your priorities. Do you need help with content? SEO? Ads?
- Be selective. Save links to look at later; save others for immediate review.
- Don’t dismiss a topic because it sounds boring. It could be a life-saver.
* Today’s lyrics are courtesy of Elvis Costello.