I decided to start a new trend for blog posts on my website, I will try and do at least one or two “Challenge Accepted” blog style posts a month. Basically I will find different challenges on the Internet and try and complete them, most involving blogging, but not necessarily limited to it.
I will always share my success and failures, although I hope I will mostly be successful.
And for the How I Met Your Mother fans out there, yes I got the idea and term “Challenge Accepted” from Barney Stinson, a character played by Neil Patrick Harris.
Today is my first ever challenge, and it will be a blogging challenge. I will try and complete “21 Quick Actions You Can Do Today to Set Your Blog Up for Massive Success” written by Corbett Barr over at Think Traffic, I came across this post over at Momekh Life ETC blog.
Quick Action #1 – Start Building an Email List
The choice was basically between MailChimp and aWeber, and I decided to go with MailChimp since I could get it started for free. I put the sign up form in my sidebar and footer, I already has some users signed up through FeedBurner, so I entered their information into my new list so that I don’t lose them.
Quick Action #2 – Start a Post Ideas Journal
I already kind of had a few of these going, I have a bunch of emails with post ideas, but now I actually set up a Google Docs spreadsheet with all my ideas in one and organized spot. Including a few “Challenge Accepted” style posts with the links they relate to.
Quick Action #3 – Add Facebook “Like” Buttons
I was lucky on this one as the theme I used for my website already has the Facebook Like buttons integrated on all my posts.
Quick Action #4 – Add Twitter Retweet Buttons
Again, I had the Twitter Retweet buttons included in the theme’s design.
Quick Action #5 – Make a List of Every Blogger in Your Niche
I use Google Contacts to organize my lists for each of my websites, and try and reach out and touch base with the regulars every once in a while, but this is something I definitely thing I should do more of but, as for making the list, I’ve already got that covered.
Quick Action #6 – Add Social Proof to Your Blog
I don’t think my numbers for subscribers is really high enough to accomplish this, but I could display my Twitter followers count, I’m actually testing different social profile and RSS links now on the sidebar to see which works best. I worked on this last night for over an hour, and wasn’t satisfied with any of the results, I think I will hire a designer to design a professional looking widget that will integrate the about me snippet, the newsletter signup and the social buttons with counts.
Quick Action #7 – Refine and Explain Your Blog’s Unique Selling Proposition
Hmm tough one, here’s what I’ve come up with: If you’re on my blog, chances are you are in the same boat as me, you are a blogger or internet marketeer trying to improve and make more money online, well my blog is here to help you in any way possible by sharing the steps I take to reach my desired goals, which usually coincide with your goals.
Quick Action #8 – Learn SEO Basics
I know the basics, the problem for me isn’t learning them, but actually taking the time to apply what I know, so I will need to step it up a notch, I checked out Traffic Travis (Affiliate Link) software that Corbett recommended and will play around with it and see how that goes, if it goes well then I may go to a paying version.
Quick Action #9 – Implement a Call to Action
Again, I know I should always do this, but I don’t. I have a checklist for blogging in the works, this will be in there for sure, so once I get that done I’ll be able to make sure I always remember to do it. I’ll also make sure I do it at the bottom of this post.
Quick Action #10 – Show People Your Best Stuff
I have hand picked featured content on the front page, and in the slider as well.
Quick Action #11 – Take Down the Ads
I actually just put ads up on this website, as I no longer considerate it small, but I agree when starting out it’s better not to have ads all over the place. Also important to have relevant ads, this is good for both you and your visitors.
Quick Action #12 – Develop a Facebook Fan Page
I’m on the fence about this, and have been for a while, I have one for my company Deuce Group, but I use my profile for myself, but I’m thinking since you aren’t suppose to do that and the 5000 friend limit, maybe I should be doing the Fan Page instead. I just created it, but not sure I will go through with it.
Quick Action #13 – Commit to Updating Your Outposts Regularly
I use Buffer and Timely to post scattered updates to Twitter each day, but not Facebook yet, but I will as soon as I decide if I really want a Fan Page in my own name. There are rumors out there that on Facebook when you use a third party program to post updates that they aren’t as visible or don’t have as much authority, but not sure if that’s true or not.
Quick Action #14 – Try a New Content Format
I’m working on both an eBook and a Workbook, maybe video and audio down the line but I’m not sure that’s for me. Even if video is proven to work, if it’s not something I enjoy doing then I won’t do it, the goal is to make money but also enjoy doing it.
Quick Action #15 – Check Your Mindset
All the topics I blog about are things I care about, or else I wouldn’t do it, you have to enjoy it. I’ve unofficially been a web consultant for over 15 years now, and the reason I do it is not just because it makes good money, but because I love it.
Quick Action #16 – Write a Rant
I like this idea, and thought of a few ideas for posts, and wrote them in my Google Docs Spreadsheet to expand on at a later time.
Quick Action #17 – Interview Someone Influential
I did this a few times for one of my blogs, it’s a great thing to do and usually provides great content, I will definitely do more of this, maybe this is a way I can get some video going without being in front of the camera.
Quick Action #18 – Set Aside Weekly Content Planning Time
I take time every day before I go to sleep, to plan my upcoming days, weeks and months, I use Google Calendars to plan everything out, one calendar per website, that way I can’t forget anything. I also have calendars for non-website events and tasks.
Quick Action #19 – Ask for an Outside Point of View
This one is going on the checklist of things to do after each post, but not always the same person obviously, this is good to get more exposure and get some tips. One this blog is fully up and running, I may just get a professional to critique it and see if I get any change suggestions I really like.
Quick Action #20 – Ask Your Readers
I usually end blog posts asking for my readers thoughts, or shoot them a question relating to the post.
Quick Action #21 – Get Some Accountability
I’m already part of a small group for a couple websites I have, but not this one, but I’m looking at forming that soon, so if you’re interested in being part of my blogging group make sure you drop me a line.
I think this blogging challenge was a success, it helped me organize a lot of things for this website/blog which were still on the fence since it has just been redesigned, and also got me to make a list of things I need to get done on here.
How about you, shouldn’t you try these 21 quick actions for your blog?
If you do, let me know how it went, either in the comments, or by any other way you can contact me.