Friday, February 18, 2011

How Darren Rowse Has Forever Changed My Life in 10 Days

I am in my 10th Day of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog program by Problogger Darren Rowse along with a bunch of ladies over in the SITS community. I have been working on it through my food blog, Searching for Sustenance, but have aspirations of bringing everything I learn there to this blog as well. The hostess of our group, Shelley, of the I'm Still Standing blog has challenged us to put to use what we have learned in one little post. I know I can't capture it all, so I will limit myself to one lesson per day... !0 Days, 10 Lessons, 10 (Blogging) Life Changers...

1. I will never ride the elevator with a stranger the same way again. I will constantly be thinking of how I can pitch them my idea and whether or not I can sell them on coming to my blog. I think every time I am in the elevator for the rest of my life, I will be rewriting a pitch!

2. I now think of the line, "The list is life," from Schindler's List in a completely different way. The list post is the life-line of my blog!

3. I am horribly and irrevocably addicted to StumbleUpon. I got on SU to help promote my own blog, but I really spend every day promoting the heck out of everyone and everything else. It keeps me up late at night stifling giggles like I am in Church in order to keep me from waking my husband. (My SU profile is NRivera9 if you would like to see how much stumbling I have done in such a short amount of time!).

4. I understand that I have a niche. Every blog has a niche. Whether we want to think so or not, the outside world is putting us into little categories, so pick one already and hope you see what the world does. Once you find your right niche, you will find your people.

5. I have come to the final conclusion that e-mail is still king. As wide as this web is and although it may seem that everyone loves the anonymity afforded them by mere screen to screen contact everyone seems to like the extra personal connection of an e-mail.

6. THERE IS NO WAY TO READ EVERYTHING ON DAY 6 ON DAY 6. If you are planning on someday doing 31DBBB, start reading now. Don't skip Day 6 (I did that my first go around), there is some incredibly invaluable information in there. (I am pretty sure I "stumbled" every post I read!)

7. I don't remember what Whitney Houston was singing about in the "Greatest Love of All" song, but I'll tell you one thing - I now know that linky-love is the greatest love of all of the Internet. If you write the right link post, aimed at the right audience, promoted the right way, you will see a traffic spike like NO OTHER. My link post Changing the Way We Eat: 1 Link At A Time written for day 7 was (and continues to be) INSANE.

8. I try to remember everything, because I understand my readers won't. It's not their fault - they might have only showed up last Tuesday, so I have to link back to the stuff I wrote last month, last week, last year. I am an interlinking fool now and it has been working!

9. I am Forum friendly and find myself commenting on articles in really big publications now leaving my name and website. I am pretty shy in real life, but out in the Internet I'm all up in everyone's business all of the time - offering advice, giving my opinions, and asking big questions. Whoa. Who am I?

10. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are no longer the only alerts in my life. I have tons of columns opened up on my TweetDeck, I get daily e-mails on all types of subjects and I just keep geting inundated with more and more information. How did I ever struggle for a topic to write on?

That's it... for now. I've got 21 more days of this! I think my brain might implode!!


  1. Sounds like you are such a fun person, Nicole! I can't wait to check out your food blog! I like to eat which is why I am on Weight Watchers! Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking me out. Thank you for the helpful hints! I love the background on your blog!

  2. Thanks Sarita, and CONGRATULATIONS on being my first EVER follower on this blog!! It's still a baby blog, but I have high hopes for it :)

    I hope you enjoy Searching for Sustenance!!

  3. Thanks for the reminder...when I started the 31dbbb challenge last time, I was so inspired...but I didn't make it very far. I need to keep working through it cause its an amazing resource! amber :)

  4. Amber, you definitely should! If you aren't ready to take any actions yet, you should just read some stuff. Read through some tasks, or just start reading the day 6 stuff (I wasn't kidding about that - I don't know if you went through that on your first run!). However, I think once you start reading, you will start thinking about little changes you can make here and there.

    Even if you don't do it all in order, I don't think anyone will mind!!

  5. Hi Nicole
    I follow Pro-Blogger on Twitter and was inspired by your post to check out the 31 Days book. I went on to buy the Kindle version of Secrets for Blogging Your Way... via Amazon, but couldn't do that via the site as I have my account on the uk site. I think this means that you won't make anything from my purchase, which seems unfair! I don't know if there is anything you can do to make sure that when people in other countries are inspired by you to purchase,it still somehow counts as having gone through you? Hope this makes sense! Kim

  6. Wow Kim, I am just so touched that you were inspired by my post! I'll look into seeing what I can do on this end for global customers, but thank you SO much for comment!!

  7. Nicole-
    I've started following Darren on Twitter and as things in blogging happen, here I am. I am encouraged by your "testimonial" as I too am learning and blogging. Best to you on your adventure.

  8. I'm so glad you are getting a lot out of this. I helped moderate the first challenge for SITS on Blog Frog. It was a blast. I did all the challenges but it's easy to get on overload and skim as you go. I still go back to some of the key ideas. I'm really trying to boost the readership on my blog these days and have been incorporating some of the basics, like commenting and following up with people. At the end of the day, it's all about the connections and keeping those strong.

  9. This is a really great post! My list of things I learned is somewhat lacking because it came after a few fruity drinks! : )

  10. Tom,
    This is my second time going through the 31dbbb, but the first time I am able to devote 100% of my time to it. It has been completely invaluable and I look forward to completing the entire 31 days in this fashion. Keep following problogger on Twitter - I continue to get great info from there every week!

    When Pigs Fly,
    I think so many people forget how rich online connections can be when done right. I have been on medical leave from my full time teaching job this entire year. On any given day I was surrounded with and dealing with at least 150 different personalities in person. Without that job, being home with two dogs, I was beginning to feel numb. For that reason alone, I think, I truly understand the value of the connections made with one's readers. Had I not been in this situation, I wonder if I would have "gotten" this peice of the puzzle!

    Thanks so much. Fruity drinks are the yummiest!! I think your post was great - completely honest and to the point! I had no idea this post would become such a big deal... I was just trying to win an iTunes card so I could read some more books :) That's what is so hilarious to me!

    All the Best to You All! Thank you for your comments,

    Nicole :)

  11. Wow, sounds like you're getting a lot out of the challenge already. I'm going thru it the first time and with a new blog so I'm still trying to figure everything out. Glad to see it's worth doing the challenge more than once.

  12. BraCraft,
    It was DEFINITELY worth it for me. My blog is not even one year old yet. When I went through this the 1st time I didn't know what half of the terms were talking about!!
    So, for me, the first run was mostly about figuring out what the "big ideas" in blogging are (I am still trying to figure out the big bad world of SEO), this time I can really READ the book with a greater understanding and go through each of the tasks with full comprehension of what the goal is! :)
    Enjoy it, do what you can the first time and just promise yourself you'll do it again!
    ~Nicole :)

  13. This is a fabulous list. I always love when I am nodding along as I read. :) I am doing the challenge for the first time on SITS, but I am thinking that going through again might be a good idea. I think I am only just scratching the surface of what this challenge and Darren's ideas have to offer.

  14. Brenna,

    I am so glad you like it! Believe it or not, I could see myself going through this for a THIRD TIME! There are still some things I need to work on and gain greater understanding of. Any time stuff comes up about searches and working with the searches within my niche, I am still a little foggy as to what the best actions to take are!

    What I love about this program is that it is what you make of it
    - if you are just able to skim through it, you'll learn something,
    -if you have the time (and energy!) to go through it day by day you'll learn even more (that grows exponentially, if you have a group going along with you, of course),
    and, I do believe, that
    -if you have the time to truly DELVE into the project, I think there are many "DAYS" that you can spend a week on just exploring and perfecting and getting to know really well.

    So I am right with you - I think I, too, am only just scratching the surface of what this challenge has to offer!