Sunday, August 15, 2010

31 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 28

Today's Task ~ Write a Review Post
I have not yet had the opportunity to write a review post, thought I have read many.  I like the idea of testing a product, service, or even just watching a movie and telling others what I have to say.  I do it in my everyday life when I come across something I like or dislike.  Why not put the pen to paper, or in this case fingers to the keyboard and give it a go.

31 Days to Build a Better Blog.  By: Darren Rowse

As many of your know I have been following an e-book by Darren Rowse.  This book is designed to take you step by step, in 31 days, to better blogging.  As of day 28 this book has delivered on it's promises. 

When I first started out with my blog I really did not know what direction I was going to take it.  I knew it would be a little about the family, a little about me, but mostly about our flower shop.  One night while surfing the web I came across a challenge.  I am always up for a new challenge so I decided to check it out.  The gals over at SITS were about to embark on a 31 day journey to better blogging.  I joined up with the group, grabbed my notebook, and a cup of coffee, and here I am on day 28.

What I have Loved: 
     I love the fact that it is broken up into daily challenges.  I have wanted to improve my blog but had no idea where to start and always felt overwhelmed when learning about it.  This was a one day at a time stadegey and I could see the results at day 1.  When you have a family, own your own business, and so much more you need daily tasks.  This really did help me keep it all in perspective.
     I also loved that each day he told you not only what you were doing but why you were doing it.  Whenever I train someone I always explain to them why what they are doing is important.  There is nothing like telling someone "cut flowers under water" and walking away.  When they go to do it next time it may just seem silly and they could skip it.  If I take the time to explain why they are doing it then they will be more likely to remember it and do it on their own next time.
     He kept the tech speak to a minimum.  I am a novice at blogging and I have dabbled with HTML in the past.  I will be the first to admit, if it sounds hard I will not even attempt, it will go back on my list.  Some of the tasks were a little more advanced then others, but once I understood why I was doing it I took the time to learn.  
    I also loved that it was not specific to one type of blog.  I did not feel like I was reading a book dedicated to making money on my blog or blogging to a mass of readers.  This let me feel like I was growing at my own pace.  I could concentrate more on tasks that I felt would help me the most.  Two that I use the most, and plan to for a long time, are days 11 and 12.  Coming up with post ideas and writing a schedule for them.

A few things I did not Love:  
     We all have them, and here are mine.
     There were a few days that I thought maybe too much information was given for a single day, an example of that would be day 6.  This day was a list of 21 must read tips.  Well on day 6 I did not have time to read 21 tips, and I must say that I have not been back to do this.  I understand though that the information is right there waiting for me and I should go back and read them all, one day at a time.  
     I also was not a big fan of Day 15 ~ Find a Blog Buddy.  This is not because I am anti-social.  It is because finding a florist blogger with an active blog is just HARD.  I have looked and only found a handful.  I am also aware that the life of a small business owner is fast paced and full of things to do.  I am still a little hesetant at reaching out to the few that I have found.  Again this is not a bad mark on the book by any means.  Plenty of fellow challenge users have found a buddy and it looks like it is working well for them.

Well as you saw this is my first review.  Since I am a florist I think I will use a flower scale to show how much I like things I review.  We will say 1 to 5 flowers to keep it simple.  

I give "31 Days to Build a Better Blog" by Darren Rowse 4 Flowers out of 5.

I would recommend this book to:  A
nyone who wants to improve their blog, learn about blogging, or just wants a good challenge.  

You can pick up a copy of this e-book at : Problogger and while you are there take a look around their site.  It has page after page of useful information.  

By the way, thank you Darren for writing this guide that helped me to build a better blog and for all my friends at SITS for cheering me on along the way.  I may not have stayed this motivated without all of you.  

And this post proves that I paid attention on Day 7!

You can see all the days of this journey here.

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