Here are some reasons why I’m glad I bought the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog WorkBook, by Darren Rowse:
- Darren Rowse is a natural teacher. His workbook, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, provides valuable background information, describing the theory behind each day’s activity. The theory represents blogging best practices and a process which, if followed beyond the 31 days, sets you on the same path as those who have found blogging success.
- The workbook provides a hands-on task for each day over a month, which you can complete on a day-by-day basis, as originally intended, or just as effectively, at your own pace.
- A notes section following each exercise lets you capture any thoughts or questions, as you complete each task. (This section is a perfect place to capture your own commentary on each exercise. There’s 31 potential blog posts of your own, reporting your lessons learned. Having 31 topic ideas in reserve for your own blog may be nice for some rainy day, when you need some blogging inspiration.)
- The workbook provides a link to subscribe to the 31DBBB Newsletter, where you’ll receive additional exercises to improve your blog, staggered over time. These occasional updates on “the most important blogging developments in terms of tools and resources” are a helpful bonus.
- The workbook is well-designed (kudos to Design by Reese) and easy to use.
- The style of writing and formatting of each post is a perfect model to follow, especially if you are not used to writing online (using navigational aids such as headings, subheadings, bulleted lists, and so on).
- Would you pay $19.95 for a consultation with an expert blogger, on ways to promote your own blog? Without promotion, even the best content will languish, often unread. “Day 3: Promote a Blog Post” alone is worth the price of the workbook.
- Another excellent exercise is “Day 6: 27 Must-Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers.” There, Darren Rowse provides links to posts from all over the blogosphere, on ways to build a successful blog. These links are helpful in their own right and may introduce you to other bloggers whose posts you should regularly read.
- “Day 11: Come up With 10 Post Ideas” provides especially useful brainstorming tips for generating content or extending previous content.
- Attention Shoppers: The exercise for Day 13 encourages you to “Take a Trip to the Mall and Improve Your Blog.” Need I say more, especially to those who like to shop?
- The workbook links to many related posts, which often expand on the exercises’ themes, from Darren Rowse’s own highly successful ProBlogger site.
- Darren Rowse provides bonus tips and additional reflections for each exercise that weren’t included in the original challenge and related posts, which he generously still makes available here: 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge.
- The exercises link to related posts in the community forum, where you can gather further blogging inspiration from the many bloggers who participated in the 31 Day challenge, as well as current workbook participants, who post to the forum. Participating in the forum is a good way to find potential blogging buddies, who can share your future blogging challenges as well as become mutual readers and possible commenters.
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