Se7en and Problogger’s 31-DBBB Part 5… And Moving On…

I have mentioned before that I was participating in the ProBlogger’s 31 DBBB. I cannot believe I made my way through it! Really I was a bit daunted to begin but the tasks set just got better and better, they turned out to be really fun and I learnt a lot – not least that its the little things that count. So here is a list of my learning process through the 31 days and the last couple of tasks that I ma finally blogging about.

Here is a list of what I have managed so far:

Here we go with the Problogger and the 31-DBBB Challenge:

Task 25: Ask a Question: 10 Reasons Why Questions Work & 12 Tips on How to Ask Them.

I need to think of a pertinent question! I just need to come up with one and my mind remains blank… I guess I am in the business of answering questions and I will have wait for a question post to pop into my mind! I do have a post that someone asked me about and I am trying to think of a way to throw the ball back into the readers court… You will know when you see it!

Task 26: Improve Another Blog.

Well I am getting better at this! I love linking through to other blogs because I genuinely love them but now I am hoping that I will send them some traffic as well! My Monday lists of “What’s up in the week ahead?” Is packed with links to other sites and I have a couple of se7en of the Best posts, like: Se7en of the Best Craft Blogs…

Task 27: Hunt for Dead Links.

This is a task for the father person thank goodness I married a tech-spret! The thought of doing this by hand freaked me out somewhat!!! 400 link-rich posts would be a bit of a nightmare to wade through looking for dead links.

Task 28: Write a ‘Review’ Post.

I love review posts and I write a lot of these – no original thought here!!! Just opinions and lots of them…oh hang on I have these!!! Many of our school posts are reviews of products we use or have found useful!

Task 29: Develop a Plan to Boost Your Blog’s Profile and Readership Online.

Hmmmm… A plan… This is where I thought I would come unstuck, in the home straight. Actually it wasn’t a general plan – more like a plan your time you spend blogging. Now I really need to do this and limit myself to “so many” comments and time spent browsing per day and so much time for actual blogging. I must say when I read this I realized that my time on-line is indeed aimless and not necessarily growing the old blog!!! I go to the blogs I like and comment there – I spend hours doing this, probably more time than I spend on blogging for our blog! This was a bit of an alarming discovery!!! And not only have I got more disciplined about when I blog (when kids are sleeping) and when I browse and comment – a morning session and an afternoon session – that’s it! I must say I still need to refine who our readers are and where to find them… but I at this stage I ma happy to have refined the hours I spend “blogging”

Task 30: 17 Statistics to Monitor on Your Blog.

When I started blogging I was an avid stat counter, and watched the stats roll past all day… I would be thrilled for a peak of visitors and gutted by a dip! And so I eventually stopped reading them. This task was brilliant because it gave a purpose to stats observing! I definitely have two types of visitor – those that zip around six different posts and those that look at a single post for six minutes. I used to watch where people were coming from obsessively and now I am more interested in what keyword they typed into google to find our site… there are a couple of words that just come up over and over again and I should post on these and fulfill the obvious gap – YAY more ideas to post on.

Task 31: Plan the Next Steps for Your Blog.

Well if this isn’t a bit intimidating! Plan – a plan, like plot out what you are going to post for the next month. The biggest reason I had for not getting blogging was I kept reading about having a month or more conservatively a weeks worth of posts written ahead of time, planning for days when you are just to busy to blog… TOO BUSY TO BLOG – NEVER!!! If I am too bust to blog then I shouldn’t be near my computer!!! I do like the idea of having a notebook: I use a moleskin diary that I pack with post ideas… as a new idea hits my head I just pop it into the the next available art task spot and so on. And I can see the value of a monthly plan – especially for the one topic that I have trouble thinking up ideas for – yup there is always one problem child, but I have just recently resolved that problem!

Moving on…

That’s it 31-DBBB – good grief that went by fast and I really enjoyed it! I learnt so much about interacting with other blogs and posting with a purpose and things like that. I had thought that I would learn more about monetizing our blog – I have one or two affiliates… but during the 31 days one of the tasks had this link in it: Reality check: You Are Not Going To Make Money Online from Brilliant post! So encouraging – there are so many blogs about blogging that are all about how you must make money – like that’s an indicator of readership – hellooo I don’t have 100 000 readers a day and so an affiliate that provides 1c a year isn’t going to really crack the big time for me!!! One of the first blogger questions I get is: “Oooh, do you make money from blogging” um no not a whole lot!… So “Why do you do it?” Because its fun! I love saying “read my blog” to folk who ask me questions I have already answered there. Not to mention that you get a surprise mention in a local paper on Mother’s Day – would you believe “Supermom!!!” They haven’t seen me putting out the garbage in the pre-dawn…

All that being said – I have done a few tweaks to our blog thanks to the 31-DBBB, and I am looking into ways of making my past posts more accessible to you. I have learnt that it isn’t just about blogging but there is a little bit of maintenance involved too!!!I still need a contact page – father person are you reading this? But I do have a couple of new buttons and goodies on our blog – not least of all the one at the top left… Christian Book Discounters… they provided the books for our first giveaway and they are going to provide us with many more – wooohooo – more giveaways coming your way. And I got organized… I located the envelopes and put a sharpie with them – so I can actually post the books on the day I get the winner… Isn’t that remarkable!

Otherwise I did approach two crafty material suppliers to offer them advertising on our spot: One was shocked that anyone would think of on-line marketing – like um I don’t have a whole lot of potential clients reading my blog everyday… And the other suppliers were very willing if they could “own the relevant posts.” No, this would be our blog and we are not about to give it away!!! So online marketing and sponsorship are not big here at the bottom of the world. Look at this: Talk about sponsorship… I could do with a fridge for review. More important as the weather gets colder and wetter… where is the leading shoe company offering us se7en pairs of shoes to review… I would even photograph them all in a row!!! Not to mention our white sieve, that other people might call a “people-mover-van-vehicle-bucket”. Hay, I would be quite prepared to splab a banner or two from a leading car manufacturer on our blog for the sake of a van with about a bazillion seat belts. What about an exotic holiday – we will put your holiday accommodation to the test… really we will!!!

I should just offer a provisor for all those desperate advertisers. I am only interested in ads for products that would be relevant to our family and our reader profile… There are a lot of “companies” that are quite willing to advertise on our site – loads of them in fact – but not exactly family orientated!!!

I have another gem of information but I will have to post later… There are some starving beasts roaming my habitat and they could quite literally tear the place to shreds looking for morsels… I am off to direct their energy to making beds and doing something useful with our last day off school, enough is enough and we want to get back to work now.

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