Hey there and welcome to episode 277 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the founder of ProBlogger, which is a site for bloggers and prebloggers designed to help them to start and grow profitable blogs. You can learn more about ProBlogger and all we do over at problogger.com.
In today’s episode number 277, we’re going to talk a little bit of our secret of growing your blog. In fact, I think it’s the number one way to grow a blog and this ties into a promotion that we’ve got on at the moment on our 31 Days To Build A Better Blog course. I know many of you have gone through our Start A Blog course over the last couple of months and to continue the good work that you’ve done, we’ve decided to make 31 Days To Build A Better Blog 50% off for the next week or so until the end of February.
Also in the month of March, we’re going to sprint through it. We are doing it as a group where we can support you and get bloggers interacting together. I’ll tell you a little bit more about that later in the episode. But if you do want to check out 31 Days To Build A Better Blog and grab it at 50% off, head over at problogger.com/31days. You can also find it through our courses tab over at problogger.com and in today’s show notes.
Let’s get into today’s show where I do want to talk about the number one thing that is going to help you to grow your blog. In preparation for our 31 day sprint, I want to talk about why we had so much success with the 31 day program. I want to talk about the reason that they’ve been built into that course that I’ve seen help many bloggers over the years and I’ve seen help me as well.
Over the years, I think it was back in 2007, I started 31 Days To Build A Better Blog and it’s been in many forms since then. In fact, I’ve counted seven different ways we’ve presented this program. Originally, it started off as a series of blog posts in I think it was in 2006–2007, and then I did that same series that evolved that every time, three times on the blog. It was completely for free. It was just a series of blog posts. At the end of the third series, I turned it into an ebook and then I updated the ebook into a second version. I think second version came out in 2012. Later on, I did it again on the podcast for free and then more recently, we’ve turned it into a course in the last year or so.
There’ve been these seven different versions of 31 Days To Build A Better Blog and every time we changed the medium, we’ve also updated it to make it more relevant, to add more teaching, to get rid of bits that aren’t relevant for today and add in new pieces of information as well.
Those of you who’ve done one of those early versions will find that the course we have today is quite different. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed and it is, in my opinion, the number one reason that successful blogs become successful. The one thing that hasn’t changed in the course and that the number one thing that I think is behind most successful blogs, if not all successful blogs, is that it’s all about action.
A lot of people come to ProBlogger looking for teaching, for information. They want to learn how to do something, or they want to see a review of a product or tool, or they want to hear about the latest strategy, or they want to hear a story to inspire them. Information. Most of our content is focused around these things, but information and teaching and story-telling isn’t the reason that successful blogs grow. It’s part of it, but most successful bloggers can’t build a blog based upon just information.
Blogs grow when you take action. Blogs grow when you develop good habits as a blogger. What habits, what action do you need to develop? Well, I’ll give it to you for free. You don’t have to do the course. Most of the actions that you need to take as a blogger focus around four main areas. You’ve heard me talk about these before. They’re the pillars of blogging that we talk about. Creating great content is number one. Number two is promoting that content. Number three, deepening relationships with your readers. And number four is monetizing your blog.
These four things is the accumulation of action in these four areas that are going to help to grow your blog and if you want to become profitable, to become more profitable as well. Let me just say them again. Number one, create great content. Number two, promote that content. Number three, deepening relationships with your readers, building community. And number four, monetizing your blog if monetizing is a goal for you.
Now, this isn’t rocket science. Most of us instinctively know this stuff when we start our blog. On day one, we need to create content. That’s what makes it a blog. We know that no one’s going to see that content if we don’t tell them about it so we know instinctively we need to promote, even if it’s to our friends. Number three, we know that we need to engage with those readers. They’re much more likely to come back again the next day. If I feel like we noticed them, if we’ve engaged them in some way. We know we can’t make money unless we do something to monetize our blogs.
So we know instinctively these four things that we need to do yet so often as bloggers we let these basic things slide and we get distracted by other things. One of the times we get distracted is by the search for information or the secret strategies and we actually don’t take action in these four things. This is why 31 Days To Build A Better Blog has been so popular over the years and why every time we offer it we get so many people thanking us for it.
Now, you don’t need to do the course to become an action-orientated blogger. But if you need some help at the moment to get yourself going and you want to give your blog an intense burst of love and get it back on track perhaps, I do invite you to join us over this next 31 days.
31 Days To Build A Better Blog isn’t just a teaching course. There’s certainly teaching in it but more importantly, it’s a course that takes you through a series of challenges to do, 31 challenges to do. Each day you get a little bit of teaching. There’s a video, some audio, some worksheets that help you to learn, but more importantly, everyday you get at least one thing that you can go away and do.
We try to give you more than one thing on some days because I know some of you are beginners, some of you are in the first month of blogging, and some of you are a little bit more advanced. You’ll see some days there’s something there that you could do for the first time or if you’ve been doing that thing already, it gives you some ideas for things that you can do to improve what you’ve done as well. The idea is that you take at least 31 pieces of action by the end of this month.
Most of the things that we talk about are actually habits that you can grow and if you take these actions over and over again, you’re blog will grow. At the end of the 31 days, you have set some objectives and goals for your blog, and important actions. Something that you should be really revisiting from time to time. It’s a habit you should get into. By the end of the 31 days, you have created an editorial calendar for your blog. Again, that is something that you need to do on a regular basis.
You’ve created a social media and email strategy for your blog. You’ve created pillar content for your blog. You’ve gotten your blog optimized for search engine optimization. You’ve identified and dug in to try and understand your readers better. You’ve learnt some techniques for coming out with new post ideas and you’ve actually come up with and generated ideas for you blog. You’ve promoted your blog in a variety of ways and found some new readers. You’ve deepen the engagement with its current rate. You’ve explored opportunities for monetizing your blog and you’ve clarified some next steps to build your blogging business.
That’s just some of what you will do during this course. Whether you do it or not, you can actually just take that list of things, go away, do them, and build them into your rhythm. There’s so many more things. I don’t have time to go through it today, but the key thing I want to get across today is that if you want to build a successful blog, these are the types of actions that you need to be taking.
Again, most of the things we cover in the course fit into the four pillars I talked about before, creating content, promoting your blog, building community and engagement, and monetizing your blog. There’s not as much on monetization but there’s certainly a couple of days that focus on it. The other three pillars are the main focus of this. Monetization really does come as a result of building your readership, building up your archives, and creating engagement with your readers as well.
Normally, our course is something that people enroll. They normally pay US$99 to do and they normally go through it individually but as I said at the top of the show, over the month of March, we’re going to do it as a group and we’re calling it our sprint. Normally, we say to people, “Take your time. Go through it at your own pace. You can do it over 31 weeks. You can do it over 31 months if you want. But we are going to provide a 31 day sprint for you.” That may mean that you only sort of dip into some of the activities or you may even skip over some of them over that month because it is a fairly intense month, but you get this course forever and you can come back to and repeat some of those activities as you like.
The reason we want to do it as a sprint is something we discovered really early on. That was in the first series of blog post that I did is that when bloggers go through this type of experience together, it almost supercharges the whole experience. We want to tap into that. When bloggers get together, they share what they’ve done, they show each other examples of what they’ve done, they get to ask each other questions, they get to actually go and look at what each other have done, they get to encourage each other. This really gives you energy as a blogger and can provide a lot of inspiration, and a lot of other ideas as well.
The other reason that we want to do it as a sprint together is that it’s going to help us as a team to guide you through the process a little bit more and to be involved in that process with you. Normally, we don’t have a lot of opportunity to answer your questions along the way. Over the 31 days, we are going to do more of that in this version of the course. We are doing some regular live videos, we’ll do some regular chats, and sort of ‘ask me anything’ type sessions in a small Facebook group that we’ve set up for the 31 Days To Build A Better Blog challenge. If you are interested in giving your blog that intense burst of love over the month of March, I encourage you to enroll in 31 Days To Build A Better Blog. Again, you can find it at problogger.com/31days.
The other thing I’ll say is if the month of March is too hard for you and you don’t think it’s realistic for you to go through that whole process in 31 days, that’s totally fine. You can still grab the course at 50% off. We’re offering it for US$49 up until the end of February. You can grab it and go through it at your own pace. This is a limited time offer. It ends at the end of February so we can go through it together. I encourage you to take action on that. Go to problogger.com/31days or just head to problogger.com, look for the courses tab at the top, and you will see our two courses there, our free Start A Blog course and 31 Days To Build A Better Blog.
I should also say that 31 Days To Build A Better Blog is designed for people who already have a blog. If you don’t have a blog yet, go back and do the Start A Blog course. It’s always available there. It’s always free. You might want to grab the 31 Days while it’s 50% off and then do that as a second course. We have designed 31 Days To Build A Better Blog for those of you in your first month of blogging, but as I also said earlier, we also include extension kind of challenges as well for those of you who’ve been blogging for a while.
We actually find a lot of the people who get the most benefit out of this course are in their first month or they’re bloggers who want to give their blog a reboot. They want to give it that extra boost to get things going, which is something I know a lot of you will probably be feeling this time of year. Whether you do the course or not is totally up to you. I’ll put it out there.
If it’s not the right time for you, that’s totally fine, but I do challenge you to take action on your blog. Action around creating great content. Action around promoting your blog, getting word out there, getting off your blog and promoting it. Action around deepening the engagement that you have with your readers. And action around monetizing your blog. It is the accumulation of action. It’s the good habits you develop in these four areas that I think build a successful blog.
Thanks for listening. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/277. Chat with you next week on the ProBlogger podcast.