It was 2 1/2 weeks since my previous post when I accepted the #AprilBlogaDay challenge.
I needed a jump-start. What did I get?
Reviewing my 30 tweets in 30 days, here is what I concentrated on…
I started #AprilBlogaDay by opening up many, many “Drafts” I had started but not yet finished (later I read this great article about this strategy). This did give me momentum which carried me through the challenge. It also gave me an eclectic range of topics, which has to help readership; no one had to suffer my current soapbox. Although the challenge provided suggested prompts I really only identified with four of them, but it was a nice safety net to know they were there for me! Eight of my April posts were first “Drafts” before being completed and published for this challenge. If you ask how many Drafts I have for future use now – I’d tell you 21 – honest!
By the 20th day of the challenge I re-employed the Calendar feature within WordPress.It helped me to move around the drafts I had started, position the ones which were nearly finished the day before a day which might be hectic and might be a chance to break the blogging streak.
It is a common practice of mine to leave a post in “Draft” status as long as I can stand it. I do not trust myself to see all my errors until I go away and come back to a text. I tend to do a good bit of revision… as you have already noticed on the right.
I also used this blog post title generator twice. This gave me a fresh perspective on some of my thoughts below the surface and helped me fill out my calendar to the end of the month. I plan on returning to this blog post generator in the future.
I would write on any of the topics in my calendar even if they were not the “next” in line for publication. I did this for two reasons: I could always move post ideas around to be next, but also once I started writing in one post that usually translated in to another post – it turned out to be more about momentum for me than set time on one task.
Post Content Items
(AKA Superficial Tasks)
SEO, or search engine optimization, just got real this month. I had added the WordPress plugin Yoast for SEO, but had not concentrated on using it until this month. The purpose is for longer range “findability” via Google. So as a person searches for a keyword the better I have optimized my post the more likely it is that they will find it. Stop yawning.
There were three things I needed to learn to do:
1. Focus on selecting the right Keyword. I suggest writing the content first and then go back and look through your content to see what word or words you use repeatedly – it is probably your topic anyway. Then, can tweak the title to also include that Keyword?
2. The URL, or the web address, needed to include the Keyword. That was already to go as I had changed from a page number in my URL to title words some time ago. In the case of this post the “#” is not represented so “page URL’ says NO – see how it tried to help you (left)?
3. You should not only name the images you include with the post something which includes the keyword, but you need to copy that name to the “alt image name” as well.
Branding my original images – oh how I forget to do this! I often make most of the featured images for my posts. I use Picmonkey, Google Draw, or Canva typically. But what I forget to do – usually until I post it on Pinterest – is to add my URL to the image. Looking back at images I created this month ONLY 8 have my URL. I know, I know….
Share the content: I concentrated on outlets I already had, such as my membership to an EdTech Bloggers PInterest board. And I also developed my understanding and use of StumbleUpon. And I folded in my 30 Day Challenge group on Facebook into the mix, sharing the posts I thought might interest that group as well.
Following the hashtag the list of participants that Chris Crouch maintained I was introduced me to some kindred spirits. #Aprilblogaday also held a Twitter Chat 4/25 and luckily the group consensus was to continue the blogging into May, sign up now!
Top #AprilBlogaDay Posts
My top posts for the month were:
- 5 Wrong Beliefs holding Teachers Back
- Literacies to Develop
- The Professional Learning Treadmill – and How to Step Off!
I had my best month this year in total visits and average visits per day:
This challenge edged out my 30 Day Blog Challenge in January with three days left in the month.
eLearning Feeds up to 34 from in the 150s prior to April. They claim to rate (70%) on the value of the blog posts, so I am pleased by that positive trajectory. However….
Teach 100 is a mess, while my blog posting has become more regular the ranking seems to be more volatile. 4/27 saw my ranking plummet:
And by the end of the month I have only risen to 661. I give up on them. I emailed them to reconsider my Authority score of 0 one week prior, not sure if that had any impact or not. There are only six blogs ranked higher than me which also have an Authority score of 0. Since most of my referrals come from Twitter and Pinterest I thought that would be what they were looking for. However, after concentrating on my SEO this month maybe I will realize some long-term improvement.
I definitely have to consider the very next #EdBlogaDay challenge – and you should too.
But I also have conquered the once-a-day blog post – I might need to look for less frequency and greater quality.