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Blog Improvement Project Week 4: Blog Basics

2009BIP 150x210I don’t know about you, but Blog Post Bingo was a lot harder for me than I expected!  I’m a little worn out, so this week’s Blog Improvement Project activity is going to be more low-key.

This week we’re going to focus on blog basics — when a new reader gets to your site, how easy is it for them to find out basic information about you and what your blog is about?  In retrospect, this is something that should have happened a lot earlier in the project. However, I got so excited about other ideas that something like blog basics slipped aside.

It was harder to find resources for this week than I expected.  The best article I found was “What is a Blog?” by Darren Rose at Problogger.com.  In it, Darren talks about some of the definitions of a blog and what are the basic parts of a blog.  Using that, along with some of my own developed knowledge, the activity this week is to update the basic parts of your blog.

Over the next two weeks, take on as many of these tasks as you like.  I know they are pretty general, but every blog is different and so what you might want to do with these particular pieces is up to you.

  • Write (or update) your “About Me” Page — Make sure you can see your About Me from the main page of your blog because someone just arriving at the site should be able to easily see a little information about you
  • Update your contact information
  • Add some sort of picture of yourself (if you’re comfortable with that)
  • Create a link to your Archives on your front page (there are a lot of widgets for this, or you can find other ways to do it — either way, it’s important to do so people who want your archives can find them to get a sense of what they can expect from your blog)
  • Add a link (or make sure a link is there) so readers can subscribe to your blog via RSS
  • Get to work on other basic blog maintenance you’ve been meaning to do

Clearly, these aren’t all the blog basic things we could talk about, I didn’t do a ton of searching and would welcome more suggestions.  If you have ideas for other maintenance activities that could be considered blog basics, leave a comment explaining, and I’ll do an update post sometime in the next couple weeks adding to our group consideration of what is a blog basic.

At the beginning or end of the next few weeks, sign the Mr. Linky below with a post about what maintenance you plan to do OR what maintenance you have done (or both, if you like to write posts and sign Mr. Linkys 🙂 )

Good luck!  And, just a heads up — March is going to be Social Media Month for the Blog Improvement Project, so start looking forward to that!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Elizabeth February 16, 2009, 7:35 pm

    OH, I just did a lot of that this weekend! I’m glad to have an easier 2 weeks this time, at least for me. I loved the Blog Bingo, but it really kept me thinking!

  • Jack February 16, 2009, 7:49 pm

    I’m constantly tweaking these things on my blog 🙂

  • Dorte H February 17, 2009, 8:02 am

    I have just posted a response of a kind.
    You will be so surprised Kim when you see that I have not quite followed your suggestions 😉
    If you don´t know already, I can assure you that teachers make hopeless pupils. They never do as they are told.

  • julia February 17, 2009, 8:27 am

    I worked hard at Bloggy Bingo for the past two weeks, but only managed 5 out of 10. But I enjoyed the change-ups immensely!

    Blog basics is a good challenge this time. I need to address my archives widgets – or lack of…

  • Sherrie February 17, 2009, 10:37 am

    Hi Kim,
    Mine is posted. And I left my info in Mr. Linky. I’m a little confused on the archives link. I don’t really understand what “my front page” is. Is this the dashboard at blogger or is this my Just Books page? I’m really confused about this. Have a great day!!


  • Care February 17, 2009, 11:33 am

    My favorite thing to see on a new-to-me blog that I’m falling in love with is a SEARCH box. I hate going to a blog and wondering if they have already read a book about ____ and I can’t find it. and archive list by dates just isn’t helpful, imo.

  • Kim February 17, 2009, 5:10 pm

    Sherrie: When someone goes to your blog address, the front page is the first page they would see. So, I think it would be your Just Books page?

    Care: Yes, that is a great idea! Archives by date aren’t super helpful, but a good search bar or well-defined categories (a future BIP project, I think), can be a big help.

  • Jodie February 17, 2009, 5:38 pm

    I am playing along with this I just missed Bingo. I have my goals mapped out, I just need to post them and have enlisted help for deciding on a regular feature (many ideas, no decision making skills). I’ll defimately be wokring on blog maintenance this week – started in on my blog roll and I need to sort out proper archives.

  • Eva February 18, 2009, 5:57 am

    I think I’m good with your list of blog basics! One thing I do need to update is my review directory; I’m not sure if that’s considered a basic or not, though (and it’s obviously not applicable to non-book blogs). I’ll try to think of some other maintanence to do soon, though. 🙂

  • Michelle February 18, 2009, 3:54 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve commented on BIP as yet. I’ve been reading these entries with interest but have never officially played along. I’m still working on the bingo post. I thought it was interesting to look at the types of posts I continually write and I’ve enjoyed writing more varied types of posts. I’ve just finished a long post for next week that I’m quite excited about and I spent most of my morning reworking my sidebar and writing a new ‘about me’. So thanks for hosting this.

  • belleofthebooks February 18, 2009, 10:55 pm

    I love the blog basics, especially because I struggled with the blog bingo (I’m making it a continual project). So, I have a question, how do you add that RSS feed button? I’ve been trying to figure it out!

  • Kim February 18, 2009, 11:06 pm

    Michelle: No problem, I’m glad you’re playing along! The biggest reason I include the Mr. Linky with each entry is because it’s a way for me to see who is participating and try to answer questions and whatnot when I can. In any case, I’m glad you commented so I know to add your blog to my reader of BIP blogs 🙂

    belleofthebooks: Wordpress doesn’t have a super easy way to subscribe via rss like Blogger does, but this short FAQ showed me how to do it (you can see the subscribe button just below my about me on my main page).

  • Corvus February 19, 2009, 8:54 am

    I’ve begun with a slow revising of my blogroll to more accurately represent the blogs I now read. I also hope to do a bit of work on my About Me page and to clean up my tags for the whole blog (gulp).

    I plan to hit up the blog bingo list in the future, but just didn’t have time last month what with this semester’s University classes. Alas!

  • Anastasia February 19, 2009, 12:24 pm

    Wahey, I’m always worried about those things, so this is a perfect project for me to do. 😀

  • monnibo February 21, 2009, 3:23 am

    It’s so weird that March is gonna be BIP’s Social Media month because I just scheduled a post about some of the updates I’ve done for my blog!!

  • D Dubs Reads February 21, 2009, 9:22 pm

    What a good focus for this week’s BIP. I’ve been meaning to do a lot of this stuff for a while. Specifically, creating a more effective blogroll. I also never got around to writing a real About Me page or including any contact information, so it felt good to get that out of the way too. And I had planned on creating a way for readers to search through my reviews by author, so I also created a page that lists reviews by author. Down the road, it may become important to list them by subject, but we’ll have to see. Thanks again Kim!


  • Dawn February 22, 2009, 8:38 am

    I’ve created my “to do” list. Now that it has been published on my blog, I feel accountable for it!

    >a href=”http://www.sheistoofondofbooks.com/2009/02/22/blog-improvement-project-week-4-blog-basics/”>here it is!

  • Lisa Flores (The Mental Mom) March 10, 2009, 10:02 am

    Hey, I posted my link. I did much of your suggestions and learned a lot. I still need to work on a blogroll, but will slowly work on that over time. I did try to change my long tag list to something more fun like the cloud you have Kim, but found the blogger tools to be impossible to use. I did try zoomclouds and that seems interesting, but having hard time getting an actual cloud!! I am hoping their website is having difficulties, so if I figure it out that is another item i plan to change/add.