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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.”
  5. Technorati: How to Get Traffic
    Lucia at Big Bucks Blogger shows you how to use Technorati to send you traffic. Clever girl!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 10 Tips for Making Your Blog Posts More del.icio.us
    Steven at Vandelay Website Design–Vandelay, people!—helps us be more sociable.
  10. 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.

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16 Responses to “I Am Working My Way through 31 Days of Blogging Tips”

  1. 1 van

    Here’s a thought…. Press SUBMIT only once when submitting to DIGG…

  2. 2 JD

    Oops. Thanks. Another helpful tip, everyone!

  3. 3 Michael from Pro Blog Design

    Thanks for the link JD! I’m glad you found my article helpful. :)

    I’ve really enjoyed this series of Darren’s as well. There have been hundreds of tips though! At the start, I went through every single page. I still go through most of them now, but I have to cut out a few, based on their headlines, because it’s just so much to read. xD

  4. 4 Steven Snell

    Thanks for the link. Like you and Michael I’ve gotten a lot out of Darren’s project. (and the traffic to my site from his links has been nice too.)

  5. 5 Trevor

    Hi there – thanks for the link and that you found my post useful.

    All the best as you keep working through those hundreds of posts on improving your blog. It can be a little overwhelming with all that great advice out there.

    I think your idea of getting on with doing rather than just reading about blogging is a good one.

  6. 6 JD

    Michael, Steven, and Trevor:

    Thanks so much for the comments and you’re more than welcome. I definitely got some good advice from your sites and look forward to more.

  7. 7 Rory

    Thank you so much for the link. I’m so pleased you found the encouraging articles, umm, encouraging. I’m still getting a lot from them.

    It’s a great shortlist you have here.

  8. 8 JD

    You’re most welcome, Rory! Encouragement is hard to come by in this cold world. I’m glad you liked my little list. Of course, it could’ve been WAY longer, but that would’ve defeated the purpose!

  9. 9 Benivolent

    Great information for all those keen bloggers out there, well done!!! I must emphasise the point about getting links to your blogs too. I look forword more from your site. Keep up the good work….

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