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Challenge Idea, Thoughts?

Like I mentioned yesterday in my post about NaBloPoMo, I’m pondering the idea of hosting a challenge for 2009.  My idea is “A New Year, A New Blog,” a year-long blog improvement project with a series of activities to improve your blog.

I read a few blogs on blogging — ProBlogger and Copyblogger, and more recently Write To Done.  I like a lot of the ideas they post about improving your blog, and I’ve tried to implement some of them myself.  A lot of what they write is focused on how to develop a blog that makes money or persuades people.  While there’s nothing wrong with that, it means some of the posts don’t always apply to people who just blog casually.

However, I do think it’s important to think about how to make blogs better, even if you’re just doing it for fun.  The Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2008 report earlier this year found that there are more than 1.5 million regularly updated blogs, and more than 900,000 blog posts per day.  That’s a lot of information going out there, and I think it’s important that whatever individuals contribute to the blogosphere is good and always trying to get better.

So, what I’m thinking for the challenge is that every other week I’d post a blog improvement activity for people to work on for the next two weeks.  Some ideas I have are goal setting, writing better content, developing readers, improving your blog layout, or using html more effectively.  A  lot of them will be based on things I’ve read at those blogging websites, with obvious attribution and links to appropriate articles and such.  I haven’t thought of all of the activities yet — I’d like to develop them based on the different goals people set for their blog.  At the end of the year we’d look back at our blog goals and see how we did.

I’ve read a lot of blog posts from people trying to set goals or make changes to improve their blog.  I think a challenge to sign up for might be the support system we need to get going on it.  This is not a formal challenge sign up, just some musings I have to see if people are interested.  If I get even a few positive responses I’ll formalize this a little bit, set up a a page, and get a sign up going.

So what do you think?  How does a 2009 blog improvement project sound?  Any ideas for a better challenge name than “A New Year, A New Blog”?

Photo by flickr user Annie Mole

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • sharon December 5, 2008, 8:55 am

    I’d love to work at improving my blog.

  • bermudaonion December 5, 2008, 9:24 am

    Sounds good, but what about those of us who can’t write html and css?

  • belleofthebooks December 5, 2008, 9:44 am

    I agree with bermudaonion, it sounds like a lot of fun and really helpful, but keep it simple for those of us who really don’t know what we’re doing? (we’re probably the ones who need the most help!) great idea!

  • Kim December 5, 2008, 5:50 pm

    sharon: Cool!

    bermudaonion: Good point, I’ll have to think about that. Wordpress lets you do some basic html in blog posts, but I don’t know about other sites.

    belleofthebooks: Of course, simple is always best. I think the html think would be minor, if at all. I’ll have to think more about it.

  • monnibo December 5, 2008, 11:12 pm

    I’d be interested in improving my blog! I’m always rearranging it and trying to organize better.

  • monnibo December 5, 2008, 11:13 pm

    P.S. I’d be willing to help out with HTML & CSS stuff (lessons as part of the challenge? banner designs as prizes?) if that is something people would be interested in.

  • Kim December 6, 2008, 1:06 pm

    monnibo: Awesome. I’m not sure if there would be lessons or prizes or what, but once I think about it more I’ll let you know!

  • Kathleen Peacock December 7, 2008, 9:52 pm

    (just stumbled in)

    I think it’s a very cool idea. I’ve been checking out author blogs over the past couple of days and I’m a bit amazed at how many people overlook simple things that can improve their blogs both in regards to content and format (leaving the about pages blank, not tagging entries, etc).

  • Kim December 8, 2008, 8:33 pm

    Kathleen: Yeah, me too. I read a lot my blogs in Google Reader, but most people go right to the sites. There are lots of easy ways to make blog better, but you have to spend time thinking about it. I think this challenge/activity might be a fun, group-building way to do that.

  • Callista December 9, 2008, 7:33 pm

    That sounds like a good idea and I’d like to participate. I don’t know about the name though, it’s not a new blog we’ll have, just an improved blog. Not sure what else to call it though.

  • Kim December 10, 2008, 8:26 am

    Callista: Yes, I don’t like the name either. I’m working on a couple other ideas right now… we’ll see.

  • Jackie (Farm Lane Books) December 10, 2008, 2:29 pm

    I think that’s a great idea! I’m one of those new bloggers, so would like to get off to a good start. Any tips would be really helpful.

  • Michelle December 13, 2008, 11:22 pm

    I would love to participate in this one! Great idea. Sounds like a challenge!