Let’s Build Together!
I was inspired by this post on Ourchurch.com to start a Build a Better Blog Challenge for other Children and Youth Ministers out there.
Many of us have started our Ministry blogs to help those in the ministry alongside us. We share ideas, stories, curriculum reviews, lesson ideas, and more. But, what if we could make it BETTER? What if we could take blogging to the next level and continue to serve in a professional and meaningful way?
That’s why I’m excited to announce that on October 1st we are going to start a project to help bloggers take their blogs and their blogging skills to whole new levels.
31 Days to Build a Better Blog
Darren Rowse is one of the most successful bloggers on the planet. He authors theProBlogger blog which boasts 136,000 RSS subscribers and has helped thousands of people earn a living blogging.
Several years ago Darren did a 31 Days to Build a Better Blog project. Thousands of bloggers participated as each day for 31 days Darren posted a blogging lesson & gave a homework assignment.
I want to do 31DBBB with a group of people who are as passionate about blogging and the ministry as I am. Your level of experience is irrelevant. I hope the group includes some people who have been blogging for years as well as some who are just starting their first blog. Far more important than experience is passion and a willingness to commit to about an hour a week for 31 straight weeks. Normally, the challenge lasts for a month, with a different challenge each day. However, when I went through this challenge with the SITS girls, one challenge a day was pretty overwhelming, and by day 12, I had given up.
Instead, I’d like us to focus on one challenge a week. I know, that means half a year of commitment, but most of us are blogging the whole year anyway, and this will give you renewed vision each Friday (now moved to Mondays).
31DBBB Curriculum. 31 Days to Build a Better Blog has a lesson and some homework for each of the 31 days (weeks for us!). I want this to be an enjoyable rather than stressful experience & I want to include as many people as possible. So, we’re going to stretch it out and do one task a week. This way you can catch up if you have a super busy Monday, and not feel like you’re failing!
Blog Posts. Each of the 31 weeks, we will publish a post about that day’s lesson/assignment on your own blog. I am also open to anyone doing a guest post on my blog if you’d like.
Blog Comments. Each participant is expected to post at least one comment each week, either on this blog or at the forums on Ministry to Children. First, it will give us an idea of who is really participating. Second, it’s a form of accountability. I know when I have to contribute I read and think about a topic more thoroughly. Third, it reinforces the value that none of us are just takers but we’re all givers in this project as well. We all contribute insight in addition to receiving others insight.
- Starting on Week 11, I’ll select 1 blog each day for all of us to review and provide feedback on.
- I’ll select the blog that’s up for review randomly from the comments received throughout the challenge. Each week after that I’ll select another random blogger who hasn’t yet received a review.
- I’ll notify you in advance of when you’re blog is to be reviewed. I’d like you to publish your review post the night before & then send me the URL so I can include it in the next day’s post. Then other participants will be able to post their feedback in the comments of your post immediately.
The benefits of becoming a better blogger and building relationships with other bloggers through this project will far exceed any Ipods we might giveaway (which we are not, just so we’re clear )
However, we also expect real, tangible improvements in your blog. When you sign-up we are going to ask you for a few statistics about your blog. Then when the project is complete, we’ll ask you for those same statistics again. That will enable you to see how much your blog specifically has improved. It will also give all of us the opportunity to see on average how far we’ve come as a group.
These are the things we’ll be asking for:
- RSS subscribers
- Average pageviews per day
- Average visits per day
- Average # comments
To sign-up, post a comment and let me know you’re in! (Update 1/13/2011 Comments and Sign ups are closed. Feel free to join us though! Check each Monday for a new task)
I contacted Mr. Darren Rowse, aka ProBlogger, author of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and he has generously offered to give everyone who participates in this project 25% off the 31DBBB e-book if we get more than 5 participants. You’ll be able to purchase it for $14.95 instead of $19.95. After you sign-up, I’ll send you a link with a coupon code to get the discount. You must purchase the 31DBBB e-book to participate.
You will also need to have a blog set-up, before you sign up.
I’m also excited to announce we’ll be partnering with Ministry to Children website so we can use their forums to chat back and forth. The specific folder will be announced later, but it will either be 31DBBB or under the Technology folder. Be sure to stop in and see what others are learning!
Looking forward to this Challenge!
* Special Thanks to OurChurch Blog who formatted much of the set-up and rules for their original challenge *