This is Day 26 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers.
Today’s task is to improve someone else’s blog. We’ve already taken the time to review other blogs for the purpose of improving our own. Now we get utilize our growing expertise by paying it forward to another blogger.
As always, the article on 31dbbb has great suggestions on how you could be of help. Darren says, “The key is to ask yourself what their needs might be and attempt to fulfill those needs in some way.”
I’d like to add three key points to this assignment.
1) Consider the TALENTS you bring to blogging.
This project could be daunting if you try to give out of something you don’t have; instead, share the expertise that you do.
- If you are great at layout offer that type of advice.
- If you can offer some content ideas, provide those.
- If you have faithful readers, point them to a blog article that will benefit them and the blogs author.
- If you have good editing skills, offer them to someone who may need them.
- Bottom line, bring what you have!
Recently a friend of mine offered to do some illustrations for some upcoming articles I plan to write. He is a talented artist, but since he doesn’t write much himself, he doesn’t have an outlet for his creativity. His offer is fantastic for me, especially since even my stick figures are amateur.
2) Consider your MOTIVATION.
Darren mentions that the motivation to help another blogger achieve their goals is pretty obvious. He’s right. At the same time I’d like to suggest helping someone even when it might not be an investment for your own interests.
- A real gift doesn’t expect something in return.
- People can tell the difference between self-promotion and true goodwill.
- It is worth making investments in people and seeing them be successful.
3) Consider your FEEDBACK.
Compliments are great; they can let a blogger know what you like about his blog. This kind of feedback can be motivation to continue to produce more of the same. However, what many bloggers need is honest, constructive feedback about the things that could be holding their blog back. Doing this constructively is a little tricky so I’m going to add some suggested scenarios.
- Don’t tell bloggers what they already know, help them see what they may be missing.
Recently I shared with a blogger that I had a hard time finding the link to the comment section with his new WordPress style. He thanked me and was able to go into the settings and make it larger.
- Don’t let your criticism sound critical. Share the feedback a positive way.
Instead of saying, “Your blog is too angry.” Consider something like the following. “You always have such intriguing viewpoints, yet sometimes I think the very people you are hoping to be your audience are turned off by the tone. Can I offer a suggestion? Write the first draft of your post just like it is now, especially since it is how you are used to writing. But then before posting it try re-writing it with your desired audience in mind. I bet you will reap more conversations and your desired results this way.”
It is always more helpful to let someone know what their blind spot may be keeping them from; it keeps the criticism constructive, and gives them the motivation to change.
- Don’t give this sort of feedback without an established friendship.
The point here is not to be an unknown critic; you usually need relationship in order to speak the truth in love. At the same time, if you aren’t providing real, helpful feedback, what kind of a friend are you?
- What have people done to help you with your blog?
- What ways have you been able to help others with their blog?
- How do you typically give feedback? What could you do to improve in this area?
The extra mile…
- Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.
- When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
- Please review Erica Mullenix’s blog, Free Fringes, and give her some feedback.