In the 7+ years that Darren Rowse has been blogging professionally, he has been consistently growing as the icon of the blogging industry. While gimmicks and tricks, and blogs and bloggers, have come and gone... Darren has remained consistent and profitable.
When a man like this offers you a workbook for only $19.95, that includes things he has tried and tested and continues to use on his own blogs, you'd be crazy not to grab a copy and follow it step for step.
So that's exactly what I did, and in this post I'll give you a full review of what I found and thought while reading 31 Days to Build a Better Blog...
The workbook is a 94-page PDF file that you can download instantly. As I mentioned in my video, I have a great local printer that I email PDF files too, and she prints them for me and puts them in a 3-ring binder.
I took off to the park by the river this afternoon, and basically did a month's worth of reading in a single afternoon...
31 days of concentrated teaching and hands-on exercises that you can apply to your blog... one day at a time.
First, a bit of history - This 31 day challenge, referred to as 31 Days to Build a Better Blog or 31DBB for short, began as a blog series. Darren ran it on his blog at Problogger.net, and I also ran that series here at ClickNewz last year. It's an incredibly popular and productive series. In fact over 13,000 people participated live the last time Darren ran the series.
Is 31DBB a good pick for you?
If you have a blog, and you would like more traffic and more subscribers, and of course more sales, 31DBB is for you. If you do not have a blog set up yet, but would like to, you should start here instead.
I have been blogging consistently for 5 years now, and earn a full-time living at it, and I enjoyed the 31DBB workbook as much as I enjoyed running the series live here on ClickNewz. It is also great for new bloggers to start out with the right habits, learn the ropes, and get a much better head start at blogging successfully than I did.
Can't I just read the blog series instead?
Sure! You'll find the archived posts on Darren's blog at Problogger.net, and you can find the archived series here at ClickNewz as well. I tagged all of the posts in that series with BABB (build a better blog) in an effort to make the posts easier to find.
The problem is that other posts have made their way into that search query somehow, so you'll have to do a bit of hunting and clicking - and the posts appear in the wrong order, end to beginning. It's not ideal.
And I don't know about you, but as you can tell from the picture above - I prefer to do my reading offline. Particularly when I am studying something I want to make notes about, or would rather have on my desk in front of me then lost somewhere on my hard drive or in my bookmarks.
There's also the issue of distraction, which I avoid by reading offline. No banners, links, miles of comments to get lost in, or other "shiny objects". No searching, no sidetracking. That said, you can certainly read the online versions in our archives for free, and some people will prefer to do that. To each his own!
I will say that there were some new tips in this PDF version, and some fresh ideas I don't recall seeing in the original series. It is chock full of creative inspiration! There are also "extra bonus tips & reflections" included, plus a space for your notes.
The tips in the "Today's Notes" section at the end of each chapter are particularly useful. I'd be willing to bet that most people aren't doing even half of these super easy tasks to grow their blogs. I confess I haven't been...
Why Darren Rowse?
There are a lot of people on the scene trying to sell you one ebook or another about how to make money blogging. They come and go. Very few of those same people are actually earning a full-time living by blogging. Rather, they earn their living selling you ebooks about it.
Darren has built a glamorous image for Problogger over time, and for professional blogging as an industry, but he'll be the first to break it down into the most non-glamorous of terms: it takes work.
I love that he he doesnt use hype or promise the moon, but instead breaks it down into simple action steps and shows you how it's really done.
In a recent ustream broadcast, I had the opportunity to ask Darren a few questions - and I was impressed to learn that he answers his own email and manages his own twitter accounts. He is very realistic and down-to-earth, but also very successful at blogging. One word: Integrity.
If you follow Darren at Problogger.net, you'll see that he kicks out incredible content week after week (month after month, year after year), with seemingly little effort. What actually goes into that process, is exactly what he outlines - in detail - in the 31DBB workbook.
Highlights of 31DBB
I had a few personal favorites from the PDF version that I'll share with you real quick. Depending on where you are with blogging, your take-aways may be completely different, but these were mine:
- One Question Interviews -p.23
- What you can learn by studying Digg and Delicious -p.11
- How to engage new readers that enter your blog on older (dated) posts in your archives -p.26
- Solving readers' problems -p.46
- Example mind maps for brainstorming great topic ideas -p.33 (simple, but brilliant!!)
Blogging requires consistency. It shouldn't be hit or miss, but it also shouldn't be filled with unnecessary pressure and frustration.
If you're ready to get over the hump and take your blog to the next level, download the 31DBB Workbook and follow it daily. Until it becomes habit.
Download it instantly from:
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