Thursday, May 30, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 15: Find A Blog Buddy

There are so many ways that a blogging buddy can improve your blog! Let us count the ways!

1. Feedback
Before publishing get that other opinion! Heck, even spelling mistakes can happen. Get your buddy to help!

2. Link Backs
Share link love! Awwww! Link posts with your buddy.
3. Motivation
Buddies help you stay focused, motivated, and special too! Sometimes, it just takes that one person that reads your blog to really make it worth while. Knowing you write for an audience, even an audience of 1, can help you keep going! Trust me--you're comments/emails make me realize I'm doing good. Thank you for that!

4. Mutual Projects
Take advantage and work in tandem. Get more done. Brain storm with each other for topics. Direct readers to each other's blogs. 
5. Sharing
Double team Facebook and twitter or any other social media. Tag me in Travis! I can update PAK's FB! Also, the synnergy can be amazing! You fire each other up which brings you back to #3--motivation.

Of course Darren says this and more in his book: How To Build A Better Blog. I highly recommend it! 

Talk about a blog book!
ACTION ITEM: I'll be your huckleberry! Message me and will talk blog!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 14: Update A Key Page On Your Blog

We are so busy writing blogs, that we forget about things like--updating our BIO, the About Page, References, etc. 

Now if you like to keep all your posts relevant, you'll need to go back and update those older posts. Or you can be like me and enjoy laughing at myself way back when. A moment in history when I thought big hair looked good. 

Once a year I'll look back at the past and it will inspire a new post. 

So here are a few key pages to go over and make sure things are fresh and up to date!

  1. Home Page
  2. Sidebar
  3. Headers
  4. Logos
  5. Site objectives
  6. Calls to action
  7. About page
  8. Landing page
  9. Contact page
  10. High traffic page
  11. Other misc. key pages...
If you want to find out more suggestions get Darren's book!
Build A Better Blog with Darren Rowe
ACTION ITEM: Identify key posts & pages and give them an update!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Hug A Vet Day...Memorial Day Rememberance

It's not my unusual blog day, but it is the blog about my life and to ignore this day, for me, would not be possible. 

This is my one day where I can stop and cry for those faithful, those still living, long past, and yet to come. 

Those who give their lives for a purpose greater than themselves. Greater than us all. 

There will always be conflict. And these men and women will be there for it. 

You are my heroes. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 13: Take A Trip To The Mall And Improve Your Blog

Photo Credit: isayx3 via Compfight cc

First thing Darren said was "You probably think I've lost my mind".

I DON'T! That's BRILLIANT! I get to shop and improve my blog?! Wow, Darren, do you know your target audience or what! I know where your going with this.

People watching gets you understanding...people. Not only that but shops have great ways to get customer attention. Study it! As Darren says...Malls are great because they're places in which marketers employ all kinds of strategies that can be useful to learn. Study from the best! RETAIL! 

This weekend, when you're out and about doing chores, stop and sit for a while. Eat a snack and observe the people. What are they buying? How are shops getting customers in the door? Where are lookey-loo's lingering--do you think they are actually interested in the item or is it just Oh shiny! 

After you've been home for a while, think back to what you learned about people from your observations. Write them down. Maybe you'll get more fodder subjects to blog about! 

The most awesome book about blogging! Click and buy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 12: Develop An Editorial Calendar For Your Blog

Be like MegaMind! Think!
Today's ACTION ITEM includes follow through from Day #11. 

1. Calculate how many posts you want to schedule for the week/month - whatever.

2. Whip out your calendar/excel spreadsheet/Google calendar - whatever - and plug in titles of the posts you want to write for each of your ideas from Day #11 on the specific days you want them.

3. Write a sentence on what you want to bring up. Describe the subject or points you want to make.

I have an excellent template from HubSpot HERE for you. They've done all the heavy lifting of creating a template. You can start using this one and see if you like it.

This gives you the chance to work on your blog for a block of time most convenient for you. Blogs tend to be best for scheduling. Other social media I try to be authentic and post when I think of it. Now I'm assuming you know what to do with this, but as usual, you can find great examples in Darren's book! Which is here!  

Buy the BOOK! With great advice!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 11: Come Up With 10 Post Ideas

My 10 post ideas I came up with!
Awesome! We finally get to a topic that I really can sink my teeth into!

This is an exercise that I will use every month! You want to plan your blogs or most of them so you can:

* Keep up blog momentum.
* Never run out of blog topics.
*Make efficent use of your time.

I've been told by Hubsopt that businesses with a blog get 55% more traffic than those without. but does that translate to sales? Well, it's 55% more people that will gain exposure to you. I believe in the rule of the one-fourth. One-fourth of your estimated numbers will be the real numbers for your ads. One-fourth of those people will become your customers. So if you expect 100 people to respond to an ad, 25 will respond and 1 will become your customer.

When you blog once a week is okay. Quality is better than quantity. Remember, if you're trying to become an authority what you say is so important. You want to be know for saying things good enough to come from the mouth of Seth Godin.  

But on to the exercise...

Darrin says, "One of the biggest challenges facing bloggers with blogs that have been around for longer than a few months is to come up with fresh content on a regular basis."

And then he gives us a task that obliterated ever running out of things to say.

Come up with 10 future topics you want to write about. I started with what my blog is about. SNMcKibben is about love, sex and relationships revolving around social taboos. I used Picktochart to make my topics beautiful! You can see them above!

Oh, wait...Keep your feelings out of relationships, why all emotion comes from love...

Once I started, ideas came forth! It's a great exercise!

Now, if you still scratching your head here's what you can do...

Take your last 5 post titles and expand on them using the same technique. brainstorm. Explore the subject to the fullest. 

ACTION ITEM: Brain storm until you have a month's worth of ideas!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 10: Setup Alerts To Monitor What's Happening In Your Niche

Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc
This is all about the Google Alerts! Here's why you want alerts:

1) Ideas for posts.
2) Be aware of things if you're looked upon as an industry leader.
3) There might be info you to link to for your readers. 

Remember Day 4? Where you analyze a competitors blog. Or Day 9 where you join a forum? 

You want alerts so you can do this.

It's great for networking. Put an alert when someone talks about your blog, product or brand. Thank them -- give them a link to your free story (if your a writer) -- 

I consider it a way to come up to people at a party and introducing yourself.


Let's set up an alert at Google Alerts or Hootsuite, or any analytic site you have like SumAll.

What type of alert? We can start with Industry words that are relevant to you and vanity alerts like the name of your company, blog, product. 

Darren offers a warning: Don't become obsessed. Just monitor and look for ways to connect with your audience. 

For those with a book 
*keywords from your elevator pitch
*book name

Sometimes it takes a while to find the right keywords. tweak and keep searching!
Buy the book HERE!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 9: Join A Forum and Start Participating

Photo Credit: mallix via Compfight cc
I grumbled about this, but then I found some awesome blogs of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I joined a community not because I had to find someone to follow and comment on, but someone who inspired me. One of them was Wendy McCance and her blog Searching for the Happiness. Wendy is inspirational in many ways and she just wants to help others, so she's now part of my daily life.

My other thoughts on this is how forums and social media are different. I could see where this really does get you to people who are focused on your subject. If you apply yourself, give good information, supply yourself as an authority on the subject those people will come see your blog. 

Another place to collect fans! So here's what I think--Goodreads, LinkedIn, even facebook has fan pages dedicated to certain themes. Twitter has hash tags. Anyone care to guide me on what Google+ has? "Circles" maybe? Anyway...

Goodreads has forums for your genre. Facebook has pages. Twitter hashtags. LinkedIn fits this platform really well with groups. I would suggest finding smaller forums to gain the most visabiltiy. 

Darren also confesses one of the tactics I use...getting blog fodder from these forums. Or you can have a groupie boyfriend that sends content your way. If you answer a question that is asked over and over, you'll be seen as an authority. You become a resource for people and they go to your blog thus gaining a follower. Orginization tip: Bookmark the fourms you participate in and put them under one folder in your browser. That way you can just click the "open all". Spend 15-20 minutes riffling through them and do it daily. LinkedIn's daily email is great for that.

Darren gives great examples in his book and further reading for all these tips...
Click HERE to buy the book!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 8: Choose A Social Media Space To Focus On

Darren says it best: "The days task is taking a logical, thoughtful approach to your blog's social media presence."

Here are my thoughts:

I use Facebook for friends, family and my author platform for reaching readers and connecting in a visceral way.

I use LinkedIn for my company and sometimes my author platform for connecting to contractors and peers. 

Twitter is my main promotion engine.

Google+ I'm still flailing about with. Perhaps 3 social media sites are enough. Perhaps I'll be able to do more in the future. 

I use 3 platforms but in different ways. 

You have to ask, where are your readers? Darren gives the usual BS about polls and asking your readers, but again--cricket blog gets no respect. If you're in the same boat as me here's your ACTION ITEM:

Check out 5 of your competitors blogs. See where they are reaching the most readers. See how much interaction they get on Facebook, twitter or whatever. See what they are posting, when and what kind of reaction they get. Then, choose based on your findings.
Darren says it WAY better in his book


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 7: Write A Link Post

Click HERE for Darren's Book!
Wait, wait, wait. Darren, didn't we already cover this? isn't about interlinking posts from your own blog. This is about linking to other blogs! Got it! 

What we're doing is out bound linking today. I do this all the time, where I see great information and I link to another article because it's cool! I like to give credit and when I find a blog or post worth while, I in turn link to it. Some might think you're driving traffic away from your site, but some bloggers become known for bringing awesome information to their site. 

Most of today's outbound linking is Facebook, twitter, Google + and others. There is sooo much more in Darren's book that helps you out so check it out!

Today's ACTION ITEM is:
Remember Task 4? Did you do it? If you did, this will be easier for you. Go to your competitor site and link to one of their posts that you are interested in. Now, give your own take on the subject explaining why you linked to the site or why someone should check it out. 

Now I had an idea about this and it's for Book Planning 101 my business blog. I've put up links for writer resources and you could do the same for your blog. But I have a feeling Darren will have a day to this in the near future. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 6: Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly

Don't assume your provider has it handled. I do know Blogger has it handled because I look at my website through my phone all the time. But this is a great excuse to check your plug-ins, access your site through your phone and check out other sites as well. See what they have! Which is the ACTION ITEM for today.

Photo Credit: h.andras_xms via Compfight cc

Click HERE to buy from the master!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 5: Email A Blog Reader

Okay, here's the thing...I have crickets, except for my mom and my boyfriend, on my blog.

Now, when I guest post, I respond to every comment. But that's not the same as emailing. I also hold back because I don't want to be creepy girl. Yep...
So I don't want to be stalker girl, but Darren says it's I went ahead and emailed--myself. Dear self, thanks for listening!

Fortunately, ProBlogger gave me a mini task for my cricket blog. I'm to go to other blogs and comment. I totally do, but only when I have relevant things to say. I don't comment to get my name out there, I comment to give good info. 

No blah, blah, blah. I do that enough on this blog. Some might see this tactic as outdated, but it still works for me. If you have valuable info to give, then people will respond. When you serve and stop promoting, you get more readers.


Click HERE to buy the book!

So depending on your blog your ACTION ITEM is to do either/ a blog reader or comment on a competitors blog.