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The Key to Successful Blogging: Do Something!

Frustration (was: threesixtyfive | day 244)
Frustration (was: threesixtyfive | day 244) (Photo credit: Sybren A. Stüvel)

Over the last month several hundred bloggers in the SitsGirls and TheBlogFrog communities have come together to tackle 31 Days to Build a Better Blog together. The 31 days are coming to an end this week and I’ve been so excited to see how working through the workbook as a large group has helped so many bloggers.
Almost every day since the challenge started I’ve had participants tell me that their blogs have been growing as a result of participating.
I’ve chatted to a number of participants in the last few days to get their feedback on the workbook and to try to get to the bottom of why it has helped them (or how it could be better) and there has been one consistent piece of feedback that I think is so valuable that I just need to share it.
Image by sevenphonecalls
Here’s the thing:
Almost every person I’ve talked to has said most of the teaching and exercises in the workbook are things that they already knew that they should be doing. The problem was that while they knew it – they were not doing it.

For example – Day 5:

Day 5 of the challenge is to email one of your readers. The idea is to give someone a little unexpected personal attention, to get to know them and to help them in some way beyond what they might expect.
The principle is simple and the concept wouldn’t be foreign to any blogger. It’s something most of us know that would be a worthwhile experience but yet its something that so many bloggers would write off as not important enough to really do.
The reality is that if you did this once a day over a year that you’d have 365 readers (each with their own network) who you’ll have made an impression on.
The impact could be significant, particularly for a new blog, yet for some reason many bloggers are content just to have the knowledge that looking after readers and giving them some personal attention could help their blog – but never take action on it.

Example #2

This same theme came up as a result of the ProBlogger Training Day here in Melbourne two weeks back. Much of what we covered on the day was not particularly new or revolutionary (although for some it was). However this week I’ve had 3 emails from attendees saying talking about how they’ve already grown their blogging business (two doubled their readership and one told me that they’ve just started experimenting with affiliate marketing and are making over $150 a day!).
In each case I asked the blogger what it was that helped them and in every case they told me that they started doing something that they’d always said that they’d start doing.
This post is not a pseudo sales page for my workbook or training days (although sometimes when you pay for something you feel more accountable to take action) – the principle applies whether you use one of my products, read the free posts on ProBlogger or work on your blog alone. The key is to not be satisfied to KNOW how to improve your blog but to move beyond theory and do something.

What should you DO?

There are many things that help to grow a successful blog. In the 31 Days workbook I covered 31 of them but the list is almost endless.
One exercise that you might like to do today is to grab a notebook and pen and jot down as many things that you already know to do to improve a blog. Don’t go looking for ideas or reading more theory today – but make a list of things that you already know that could improve your blog and identify some that you will implement today.
For you it might be increasing your content creation (for those of you who’ve let your posting levels slip), for others it might be paying some more attention to current readers, for others it could be reaching out to other bloggers in your niche, for some it might be about developing that eBook that you’ve been saying you’ll do one day…. the key is to move beyond the theory and do something.
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