Friday, January 16, 2009

2009 Blog Improvement Project

I stumbled upon the 2009 Blog Improvement Project while browsing Deb's blog. The project is the brain child of Kim and the aim is to have an improved blog by 31st December 2009. To facilitate this, Kim will set two tasks a month to help towards improving your blog with different tasks focusing on goal setting, writing better content, building community with readers, getting more readers, and blog layout and design. Participants can choose which tasks they want to complete and are encouraged to blog about the tasks they do, linking their posts back to the BIP site.

My first thought when reading about the project was 'What a good idea.' My second thought was 'I won't sign up, I'm happy with the way the Inkpot Files is.' However, the more I thought about it the more I thought the Files could do with some improvement. It is good to want to improve things, after all, and I'm all for having a better blog come 31st December (whatever that might mean). So I signed up.

The first task is Setting Goals.

If you had asked me last week what my goals for my blog were I would have said:-
1. To post everyday and
2. To get more readers.

However, after reading the very useful articles Kim linked to on BIP, I now have more lofty aspirations. So lofty, in fact, that they fill up pages and pages of A4 paper. I won't post them here because they would take up too much room and bore you, but I will list some of the projects I plan to implement to improve my blog.
1. Design a personalised banner for the Inkpot Files.
2. Do research into blog promotion.
3. Introduce guest blogging.
4. Write more about my writing, the writing process, agents and publishing.
5. Review works by up and coming authors.
6. Showcase the work of and/or interview up and coming writers and people in the writing industry.
7. Do more vblogging with book trailers, interviews and sketches to amuse, entertain and inform.
These are some of my ideas for improvement. Now I want to know what you think. Is there anything you would like to see on The Inkpot Files? Anything you want to stop seeing? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.


Shadowthorne said...

Well.... I think your blog is rather nice, while sometimes you seem to talk all by yourself. (lol and cats, dog , insert your fav pet here).
Maybe you can add larger pictures because the child in me said so. And if you wanna write longer, I suggest you choose the stretch theme, so the space to blog is wider.

Don't kill me yet with your pot, Missus Ink! :)

Anonymous said...

I like your blog- its well laid out and has pictures. I don't know if I would really favour very long entries as, while nice once in a while- I see a blog as something short and entertaining focusing on one thought or theme at a time.
I like reading other people's comments and I like the interactive element- maybe a poll once in a while.
I do like pictures- and I think more graphics would be nice (but possiblely a pain to do)
I don't really know about the guest element- yes it could be interesting and introduce people to someone else's blog but isn't a blog somewhat personal?
I think showcasing other people's work could be good. and maybe links to good sites or forums.
But I have to say I think your blog is good

G. Coppard said...

#5 would be good, or might be good for me, since my book is on your way.

Seriously, great list. A personalized banner sounds terrific!

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say- like the vblogging idea

SSQuo said...

I really like your blog actually and everything you write. Its real, you (Iseult) feel real and simple, but very sharp and a fantastic writer.

From your list:

#5 is great. I think coming from a writer’s perspective it would be very interesting to read. Also, there is a whole other blog community with people who do that, so you also increase your traffic.
#3: I think this might be good actually, it also increases visitor traffic (you get the crowd that reads your guests blogs), but I do agree, YOUR blog is personal, so if I were you, I would start a separate blog for that purpose. (#6 would also be good for this blog).

Two thoughts:

- You write so wonderfully on PPP for example, perhaps you can add highlight your contributions to that blog or others (that I do now know of) from time to time?
- Font color: I think that the headings on the side panel of your blog can get lost in the background, for e.g. Your Published Stories, Submission Record Jan etc. maybe a shade or two lighter so it pops? And showcase your published stories as a blogpost from time to time, if you are allwoed that is. Just my opinion, I am in no away an expert!!!

I’ll continue reading with or without the additions! : )

Catherine J Gardner said...

Good luck with the blog improvement. :_

Dorte H said...

As a new visitor I have nothing to compare with, but I like goals no 3 + 4.
- and your colours! Blue is so nice & calm to look at.

Valinora Troy said...

I think they are good ideas. I have to say I enjoy your blog very much at the moment, but I look forward to seeing what more you can do with it.

Aizan Suhaira said...

Okay. I like your first list. The second one, while good, is as you yourself said it... a bit lofty.

But hey, whatever makes you happy. I enjoy your blog as it is. But now that you have undertaken this project, I bet it'll get better.

grayskyeyes said...

I'm glad the articles helped you think of better goals -- they certainly helped me!

Thanks for joining the BIP :)

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

Inkpot said...

*sees Shadowthorne, picks up pot, then shakes head and puts it down* I don't think I'll kill you this time. :) Thanks for your nice comments and the suggestions. They have been logged in my blog improvement file.

Hi Anon. Thanks for the long detailed comment. You thoughts have been added to the file.

Hi G.C. I think you will be my first #5! :D I hope to get the banner up soon. I have it in my head, I just have to photograph it (not my head, of course)

Wow SSQuo, you made me blush! Thank you for your lovely and insightful comments. You have given me much food for thought and some very helpful suggestions. :)

Thanks Catherine.

Thanks for stopping by Dorte and for your comments. Glad you like the colour blue.

Thanks V.T

A bit too lofty all right Aizan, but I hope you will stay around for the journey. :)

HI Kim, thanks for stopping by and for setting up the BIP! I can't wait for the next task. :)