Blog Homework: Day 6

I’m away from technology for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging. So for 14 days, I’m issuing you some homework. That’s right — you get to work while I get to relax. You can follow all of the assignments here. If you have questions, feel free to post in the comments…It may take me a while to respond, but I’ll be reading everything when I return!

Over the 14 days, I’m going to assign you some tasks that I think will help you streamline, organize, market and ENJOY your blog a little more. For the first five assignments, you’ll be asked to review your blog itself. You’ll get the weekend off, then five more assignments that are focused on helping you build your readership and social media community.

For the first 5 days, we worked on making your blog a great place to hang out.

Now, we’re going to look at ways to build your audience and community. Starting with…

Reading More Blogs

It may seem like a mercenary approach, but to bring more readers in, you need to do more reading yourself. The good news? This homework is not only fun, it can really help spark new ideas for posts, renew your love of writing, find people who can be resources and more.

But where can you find the right blogs?

First, start by identifying the topics that you’re interested in — not just for blogging about, but in general. Think:

  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Healthy
  • Special Diets
  • Fitness
  • Running
  • Strength Traning
  • Tennis
  • Health
  • Disease
  • Research
  • Family
  • Parenting
  • Marriage
  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Home Improvement/Design
  • Humor

There are hundreds — thousands! — of blogs in just about every niche, so I advise you to get focused so you can know exactly what to look for (of course, you can add any feeds you want, but approaching it this way can ensure that you have a well-rounded library of content).

Once you’ve brainstormed your categories, consider setting them up in your browser bookmarks with folders and subfolders, OR (easier) do so in your Google Reader.

Then, as you subscribe to various blogs, you can organize them into your categories, which makes it easier to jump to specific types of content while you’re reading.

Where can you find these blogs? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Twitter: people spend all day sharing links. Start making lists of people that interest you, and see what they’re sharing. When you see blogs you like, add them to your reader.
  • Blogrolls: many bloggers keep lists of other websites that they like, and it’s a great way to start exploring people in your niches.
  • Technorati: you can search for blogs or posts by keywords, so try typing in phrases that you’re interested in and see what pops up.
  • Alltop: same as Technorati.
  • Ask Friends: ask your Twitter and Facebook communities for suggestions.

I tend to subscribe quickly, and unsubscribe quickly. So, I give lots of blog a shot, but if they don’t catch my attention in a post or two, I get rid of them. Subscribing to blogs means that I’m constantly surrounded by other opinions, ideas, points of view and I also learn a lot about blogging techniques.

So, what are you waiting for? Homework is assigned!

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  1. says

    These blog homework posts are helping me more than you know! I still can’t figure out how to categorize in my reader. Haha, I think I’m just a nerd though because I’m guessing it’s just an easy click or two. Hope you had a great weekend Katy!

  2. says

    Wow! I subscribe and unsubscribe a lot too! I usually give the person up to 5 posts to keep me. I’m constantly updating my blogroll as well! Twitter #Fitblog and #Runchat hash tags have been a Godsend to me finding great blogs, including this one! Great homework!

  3. says

    Hi Katy!
    I have been reading your blog for a little while now (love it!), but this is my first time commenting. The blog homework has been really helpful for me! I have a lot to learn about WordPress and you have great tips. I went through and organized all my categories and decided to stop using tags (I’m not a fan of tag clouds either). And I finally wrote an about page. I also put all the blogs I read in folders in reader which I have been meaning to do for a long time.
    Thanks for your help. I hope you are enjoying your vacation!

  4. says

    I read way too many blogs. Do you ever feel bad unsubscribing? I do but then I waste time reading stuff that I’m not interested in.

    • says

      I do…because I know how hard it can be to build an audience, and how sad I am when my numbers go down! I tend to move iffy blogs to a special folder in my Greader called “review” and give them a few final chances before totally deleting.

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