I’m a passionate birder – an activity known for fanatics and strong obsessions… sort of like blogging. Of course, there are many kinds of birders. Within the birding communities there are those who take part in birding events. These events are usually called “Birding Big Days“.
Usually a team of three or four people running around trying to see as many different species of birds within a 24 hour period as they can. There are a special group who take it even further and do birding “Big Years”. A whole year of fanatical birding.
A birding big day lasts 24 consecutive hours – you go out in the night and trying to find night birds, bird right through the day, and into the night until midnight. It’s crazy. It’s also competitive and once you’ve done a few, it gets very intense. You tend to remember these events forever.
Blogging Big Day
I’m also a passionate blogger. And, with thoughts of Birding Big Days (we usually do them in November, I’m not sure why), I thought the idea of a blogging big day might be fun as an exercises.
What if you set aside one day of mad intensity to get your blog up to a new level – however you want to measure that, be it new readers, better design or lots of new good content.
What might you do on a day like that?
Well, here are some ideas…
One Intensive Day Of Blog Work
You’ll need to plan for it. Even an intense day is limited and you want to make sure that you get through a few really useful thing. Don’t try to write 24 posts of 1000 words each, you’ll burn out.
Here are my ideas for such a day. I’m going to give them roughly in order of importance.
Start A New Blog
Have you got an idea for a blog you’re dying to start up, but haven’t got around to yet. Perhaps a day of intensity like this could be just the right time to get it all set up and running.
Analyze Your Blog
Understand what’s happening with your traffic. Make sure you’ve got something like Google Analytics set up. Study the metrics to see what’s happening on your site. Ask questions like “Which of my posts got a lot of views” or “Which days do most people visit my site”. Make notes – make a serious study of what’s going on. You could go a step further and use tools like Google Web Optimizer to actually test different things.
For example, if you have two ideas for a header, set up two pages, one with each of the headers and test it with Optimizer to see which one is going to get your users to do what you want them to do on the site. Of course, you could set up a simple questionnaire asking people what they’re interested in and generally learning more about your visitors.
Note: Unless you’re getting a bucket load of traffic, you’ll need to leave the test for some time to give meaningful results.
Work On Your SEO
I’m not going to say to much here – there’s been plenty of info about SEO right here on FB already.
Tune Up Your Blog’s Design
If you use a pro, leave it to them, but if you design your own site, there are always lots of things you could improve.
You could take your entire CSS file, as I did the other day, and start from scratch, giving your site a totally new look. Or you could tweak away at little things. If your blog is a bit slow or too cluttered, why not do some widget/animation shedding?
If you do use widgets, I certainly suggest going through your site and asking yourself very carefully, “does this help my readers in some way?” Or bluntly, “Is this widget just here to show I’m cool… or has it got value?”
Assuming one or more people actually read your blog, you’ve got a voice. On your blogging big day, why not give something back. You could write a post promoting your favorite cause, or add links in the sidebar to organizations doing good work to change the world. Not everything in a blog needs to be about money and prestige – give a little as well.
Promote Your Site
If you want to contribute and/or if you want to role around in money made on your blog – either way, you need one simple recourse – eyeballs on your site! Traffic – we all want traffic and you can do a lot over the course of a day to get more. If you dedicate a whole day just to promoting your stuff, I’ll give you two warnings:
- Firstly, don’t spam or appear to spam.
- Don’t just go to every A-list blogger and hit their comment box with dribble.
Secondly, don’t get distracted and just spend a day surfing the wild wild web. It is so easy to get sucked in. Have a plan.
Promote Off Site
One of the best ways to promote your site, I believe, is to write guest posts. You build relationships, get exposure and get some nice traffic. You could also join forums and spend time engaging in social media. You could build a great Facebook Fan Page or be daring and explore a new social media site you think could take off (nothing like being in early).
Visit other blogs and leave some good comments, but with a focus on building a relationship with other bloggers.
Promote On Site
On your own site you could do lost of thing – create a writing challenge or put strategic links to older posts in your sidebar or below your posts. Ad some social media bookmarking buttons.
Produce A Bucket Load Of Good Content
There isn’t much to say here – if you’re a blogger, this is your medium. Write a few blockbuster posts to push out over the next few weeks or fix up some older posts that were a bit thin. You could create an editorial calendar (something I’ve started recently and have found immensely helpful), or brainstorm 100 post ideas to use in the future. This is the easy part, you know what to do – the trouble is discipline. If you want to be an awesome blogger, with a blog people talk about, you need rocking content, and spending a day getting into better shape in this department will server your blog very well.
What would you do if you could hammer away at your blog for a whole day?
I challenge you to set aside a day like this – if you’re a full time blogger perhaps you need a day like this each month. It’s fun. Go for it!
BTW – If you are interested in learning more about the fanatical birders who do birding big years, I recommend reading a brilliant book – “The Big Year” by Mark Obmascik. It follows the story of three guys taking part in one of the most intense birding big years on record.
[Image by anoldent |License]