Learn How to Blog {Better} with ProBlogger

By May 23, 2011May 16th, 201260 Comments

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It’s that time of year again! We’re making a jump back into the ProBlogger 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge with Shelley from I’m Still Standing. If you’re interested in improving your blog, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about what we’ve got up our sleeve this summer…

Hello from Shelley!

probloggerGood morning to all of our SITStahs and welcome! I am so excited to be kicking off our next 31 Days to Build a Better Blog program.

I started blogging in 2009 at I’m Still Standing and jumped onto the bandwagon with the help of Darren Rowse, who is the Zen Master behind the 31 Days program. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but going through the program gave me a good push. (Like a shot of espresso!)

During the winter of 2010, I reviewed my site and thought it was time to “look back” and see where I could improve. I know everyone can improve on something, so I pulled out Darren’s book and lead the Winter session of the ProBlogger challenge in the SITS Forum. We had a great group of bloggers who worked with me for the month to improve their sites. It was a real pleasure to read everyone’s posts and understand how the program helped them.

Darren’s program works, which is exactly why you should join us for the month of June for our summer ProBlogger Challenge!


This time around, we’ll be approaching Darren’s program a bit differently. We’ve SITStah-fied his challenge, giving participants two ways to participate.

Starting in June, you can choose between two options:

Option 1:

Work through each of Darren’s assigned tasks Monday through Friday in The SITS Girls discussion forum.  Because we will not be working on weekends, you’ll be done with the program about mid-July.

This option is for those of you who really want to work through everything the ProBlogger program has to offer. Starting June 1 under the 31DBBB June group, we’ll publish key points to discuss, a task to work on and questions to answer daily. Rest assured that your blog will improve. And Shelley will be with you every step of the way to answer any questions you might have and even keep you going with a giveaway or two.

Option 2:

Focus on only a handful of the 31 activities.  Our plan is to slow down the program more than ever. On Mondays and Thursdays, we will publish a post in the Education channel here on SITS, bringing you some of our favorite ProBlogger tasks.  While we won’t be working through all 31 activities, we’ll be focusing on a handful of activities in detail and ensuring that everyone has a chance to complete them.  What’s more, because we plan to run the 31 Day Challenge several times a year, you can join us again and again as we work through different sections of Problogger’s book.

The choice is yours!  Summer is a busy time for all of us.  Our goal is to work through the Problogger program in a way that works best for everyone.

Here is a bit more about what you can expect during the month of June…

  • On Mondays and Thursdays in the Education channel on SITS, we will publish an overview of the activity we’ll be focusing on, a quick and easy “homework assignment”, and a handout.
  • For those interested, we will be assigning participants into small groups.  Our goal is to provide a great networking opportunity and a way for you to receive feedback on your blog. Check out the Sign-Up section below to learn more.
  • At the end of each week, we’ll send out an e-mail to the group with highlights and a recap.

31 days to build a better blog

Why you should participate:

When the ProBlogger challenge is over, you will have:

  • Written a variety of different types and styles of posts
  • Learned techniques for coming up with new post ideas
  • Promoted your blog in a variety of ways
  • Built relationships with readers
  • Reached out to and developed working relationships with other bloggers
  • Developed an editorial calendar for your blog going forward
  • Discovered ways to be more connected to your niche/topic
  • Designed a plan for the next month of your blogging

31 days to build a better blog

How to Get Involved

We hope you will join us! You can come dressed as you are; pj’s, slippers, curlers, sweats… bring coffee, tea or a mimosa, if that’s your early morning routine…

To get started, here is what you need to do:

  1. Buy the eBook: You can purchase ProBlogger’s e-book, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, here. Darren has generously offered us a coupon code that reduces the cost of the book by 33%! Simply enter the code, SITS33, at check-out and save big!
  2. Join The SITS Girls Discussion Forum: If you are not a member of The SITS Girls discussion forum, consider joining. It is super easy and just takes a minute. You can find the forum here and step-by-step instructions here.
  3. Get Connected on Twitter: During the upcoming months, we’ll be using the hashtag, #SITS31DBBB.  If you are new to Twitter, don’t worry! We have plenty of tips and tutorials to get you up to speed.  Check out Don’t Be Afraid: A Twitter How To from The SITS Girls and What’s With All the Twittering from Shelley.
  4. Check out Shelley’s SITSGirls31DBBB list on Twitter: If you are on Twitter, follow @SITSGirls & @shelleyellen.  You can also get added to Shelley’s participant list on Twitter.  It is a great way to stay connected during the challenge months. I will be sending out many tweets!
  5. Add the badge: Tell the world that you are working to improve your blog by hosting the official button on your site. You can find it here.

31 days to build a better blog

Sign Up!

Sign ups for the small groups are now closed.  Final group assignments will be e-mailed to participants on Thursday morning.

If you missed the opportunity to sign up for a small group, never fear!  You can still find bloggers to work through the challenge with.  Simply send out a tweet using the hashtag, #SITS31DBBB, and ask if anyone is interested in connecting.  Another option is to check out the active groups in the forum and request to join one.

Please note that participating in a small group is completely optional. You are welcome to simply read and follow along at own pace too.


Since this is the third time we’ve run Darren’s program, we thought it might be helpful to answer some of our most commonly asked questions up front…

Do I absolutely have to buy the ProBlogger book?

No, but we strongly encourage it. You can follow along with the class without the book. However, you will increase your experience during this program by about 1000% by having the book by your side. Plus, Darren is offering 33% off of the normal price using the code, SITS33, through the end of June!

Am I required to sign up for a group?

Nope. We are offering group assignments only to those interested. If you do not have the time to dedicate to working in a group, no problem! Simply follow along by reading the posts in the Education channel on SITS and keeping up with the posts in The SITS Girls discussion forum.

Will you e-mail me daily to remind me to participate?

In order not to overwhelm anyone in e-mail, we’re opting to send out weekly summaries of what’s happening during the June Challenge. To receive these e-mails, you’ll need to submit your info in the Google form in this post. If you would like to receive daily e-mails from us, try subscribing!

Oh no! I can’t participate during June. Will you offer this program again?

Absolutely! We are now running the ProBlogger challenge once a quarter on SITS. To read more about when the next challenge will happen, go here.

I signed up for a group, but none of my group members are participating in the forum. What should I do?

Don’t worry about a thing! Simply find another group and get back on track. To connect with another tribe, check out which groups seem to be active and ask to join. Another option is to send out a request using the #SITS31DBBB hashtag on Twitter. It is a great way to connect with other bloggers. You’ll be amazed how fast others respond.

I am having such a difficult time with the forum. My profile picture isn’t showing up, I can’t update my user profile, HELP!

Everything you need to know about the forum can be found on our FAQs page for #SITS31DBBB in the forum. Head over here to learn more.

Looking forward to another great month of learning and improving our blogs with ProBlogger!

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.