2009 Blog Improvement Project – Week One Setting Goals

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NOTE: This will be long. If you want to skip directly to the actual goals, scroll down till you see GOALS.

I mentioned before that I’m participating in this project to help improve this blog (and one of my other ones.)

So before we start setting goals, we are encouraged to reflect back on our blog in the past. Kim suggests we check out ProBlogger’s 69 questions to ask yourself on this very subject.

So using some of those questions, here’s what I’ve been thinking about.

I started this blog technically at the end of 2004 but I didn’t start actively blogging as a book blogger until July 2007. In 2008 I didn’t set any specific goals but I was hoping to increase readership and look at ways I could possibly make money with this blog, not because that’s my main goal, but because I don’t have a job, blogging is my job and we could REALLY use some more income, even if it’s just a little bit.

I did succeed in increasing readership although not by much. In fact my readership was down during the summer months. I January 2008 I had 1184 visits/month and in December 2008 I had 1721. However August 2008 was all the way down to 625 visits/month. However many of those visits didn’t stay, logging in 0:00 as the length of visit.

I added my blog to some blog search engines and other groups and joined StumbleUpon, Book Blogs Ning, Twitter and just recently, Technorati. My site statistics show a few people came in through StumbleUpon and Twitter but not a large portion.

With the exception of giveaways, my reviews get the most traffic which makes sense. Mostly my challenge posts (which are now no longer on this blog) were the posts linked to by other blogs. A few people have linked so some of my reviews as they have reviewed the same book. I haven’t written much on books and reading in general, or literacy.

I don’t get many comments and have been struggling with how to get more and what the best way is to respond to them, in email or in the comments section. There isn’t much community on this blog.

I changed around my blog design many times this year. I’m happy with what I have except that I’d like 3 columns but then I don’t think I can use the backgrounds I am. I want to find a design that works well and stick with it. I think it’s pretty obvious that my site is about book reviews when you click over to my site

I’ve also been struggling with whether to switch over to wordpress or not. There are things you can do there that you can’t here but it’s more complicated to work. I moved my challenge posts over to a new blog on wordpress so I’m getting some practice with using it. I still don’t know what to do though.


So here are my goals for 2009:
  • I want to write more than just book reviews. I want to write more on books, reading and literacy in general.
  • I want to get my reviews up shortly after finishing a book instead of having a back log of reviews.
  • I want to decide whether to move my blog to wordpress or not and either way, to find a blog design that works for me.
  • I want to participate more with StumbleUpon and Technorati and include a link to follow me on twitter from my blog. I’d like to have way for readers to Stumble my posts too.
  • I’d like to advertise my blog in places other than book places to encourage visitors other than those with book blogs of their own.
  • I’d like to add an easy way for readers to subscribe to my blog.
  • I’d like to join the amazon associates and get links to buy books through them on my review posts.
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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.