Playing Monday Morning Quarterback

When I shared with my readers, fans, subscribers and all the generally awesome people like you that I’m connected with online that I was launching a new blog, the questions started pouring in.

  • Why a second blog?
  • How can I possibly blog twice a day (once at DailyBloggingIdeas.com, once at MichelleShaeffer.com)?
  • What if I run out of ideas?
  • How was I going to promote my new blog?
  • Was I getting traffic yet?
  • What about getting people to comment?
  • How’d I pick my theme?
  • Which plugins did I start with?
  • … and more.

I’ll work on answering all of those in blog posts over the new few weeks.  (I answered some of them in this post.)

But thought it’d be more fun to do a “Monday Morning Quarterback” post each week and share what I’d done during the past week — right and wrong.  I’ll also share my stats with you and just let you follow along as I build a new blog from scratch.

And I encourage YOU to take a few minutes today and play Monday Morning Quarterback with your own blog/business/website/projects.  Take a look at how much you’ve accomplished, and what else you could be doing.  You might be surprised how far you’ve come!

Here’s the review for Week 1: It’s Aliiiiiive!! 

Launched on August 1st.  That’s a good thing.  Launched without having CommentLuv installed.  Oops.  That’s a bad thing.  Couldn’t believe I forgot that one.  And I forgot Subscribe to Comments!  But on the positive side, I took action and got the blog live.  If I waited until I had everything perfect, it still wouldn’t be live yet.  Don’t get stuck in perpetual tweaking/planning mode.  Just go for it and fix whatever needs fixed along the way.

Other positive steps I’ve taken:

  • I setup Feedburner immediately and an RSS subscription as well as subscribe by email option.
  • I’ve verified that my Ping setup is working to notify when I’ve added a new post.
  • Found a nice free theme to start with (I can always upgrade later, and probably will move to Genesis Framework but I’m focusing on the whole “take action” and fix it later idea, plus I like this theme).
  • Identified how I’ll be monetizing this site later.  For now I’m focusing on building an audience.
  • Brainstormed how I can leverage what I’ve already got to build this site and then added an RSS feed of recent blogging ideas from this site to main site to drive traffic (see it over there in the sidebar?), send out an email to all of my subscribers that included info on this project, and put up a blog post announcing this one.  I’ve also been tweeting about it from my main account and sharing on Facebook.
  • Setup a Facebook fan page, told people about it on my own fan page and a couple of Facebook groups, got 78 fans.
  • Setup a Twitter account.  I need to get it hooked up to the blog and tweeting through HootSuite.

What I haven’t done yet that I need to be:

  • Setup an opt-in freebie gift to get you to subscribe.
  • Make the subscription options more obvious.
  • Start blogging commenting using this blog as my URL to get links coming in.
  • Do some article marketing and/or guest blogging.
  • I need to be doing more return blog commenting and visiting commenter’s blogs (I let personal life stuff really stop me this past couple of months and I need to get past that and focus.  Just do what has to be done.).
  • I’m sure there’s lots more, but we’ll stop with that for now.

It’s Engaging People

One of the reasons I wanted to create the DailyBloggingIdeas project is because it gives me somewhere to regularly feature other bloggers.  I’ve had close to 50 blogging idea prompts submitted already.  I can’t wait to get them scheduled to share.  And friends and bloggers are sharing the site and telling others about it.  And I’m getting a few comments here and there.  Thank you!

The Stats

  • 8/1 the Alexa rank for this domain was 11,005,387 (yes, that’s 11 Million).  By 8/7 it had dropped to 414,296 for the one month traffic rank (since this is a brand new blog the 1 month stat is what I’m watching most closely for now).
  • As of today I’ve got 38 subscribers to the feed.  It took me MUCH longer than a week to reach that with my first blog so I’m happy.  It’ll grow if I provide helpful content.
  • So far in August it’s had just about 500 unique visitors, 1,000 visits and 4,000 page views.

My Vision

I want this blog to become an inspirational playground for bloggers.  Somewhere to come when you’re hit with writer’s block (or even when you aren’t) and just surf for a creative idea.  I’d love to see comments where bloggers promote the posts they wrote using the idea in the post they’re commenting on so we can see how many different directions a blogging idea can go, and meet more fascinating bloggers.

Your Turn to Play Monday Morning Quarterback

What do you think?  Is this type of information helpful for you?  Is it something you’d like to see me share weekly so you can watch the new blog grow and see what I’m doing to promote it?

Got any tips for me on what you think I should or shouldn’t be doing with the new site?

Oh, and do get yourself over there to submit your own blogging idea prompt – you don’t have to be a blogger to get featured, just have a URL you want to promote!

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25 Comments

  1. Michelle, girl, I found this post right on time! I am launching a new blog myself (personal one) and keep thinking, how in heck am I going to manage it all (double the social networks now too!)…

    So I will definitely be staying tuned to your ideas and your process to help me along mine.

    I’ll be staying tuned! :-)

    1. Fun! Good luck on the new blog launch. I’m slowly figuring it out and I’ll just keep tweaking as I go until I get it together. :) Will share whatever tips I come up with.

  2. Hi Michelle. This is great information. I love checklists like this. A lot of bloggers are not willing to share the details like this. I am particularly interested in how you search for facebook groups to find fans in, and what do you do in those groups to entice the fans to press the like button?

    Is there any reason you use HootSuite over say LinksAlpha?
    Danny recently posted… Peak Performance Under Pressure The ZoneMy Profile

    1. I’m terrible at keeping secrets… (ha ha)

      I’m most active in Facebook groups for bloggers since that’s who I tend to write for and work with. I’ll have to do a post with some tips on that. Thank you for the idea.

      HootSuite is one of my favorite tools. I use it to manage multiple Twitter accounts and Facebook pages from one spot. It allows me to easily schedule tweets in advance, setup RSS feeds to tweet, things like that. I also use it on my iPod touch and like that it’s easy to switch between computers with it (web based, so nothing to install).

  3. I admire how much you can accomplish in one day. I heard about this awesome motivator Jonathan Budd and he has an awesome video you’d love, I did. I hope to follow in your foot prints and I pray you have the best success with Both your blogs. You have followers and that counts! Your fan,Jackie
    Jackie Paulson recently posted… A Story YOU want to write…My Profile

    1. I’ll have to see if I can find the video, motivation is a good thing. :) And some days I get more done than others, for sure. But just gotta keep going one thing at a time. Thanks, Jackie.

  4. Michelle, How do you find the time? I love checklists. They are so helpful to new bloggers and even old bloggers if we need to setup a new blog. I think you have a great idea and look forward to reading new blog ideas!

    1. Time… time… I gave up on finding time. LOL

  5. It seems that you have thought of everything, Michelle! I agree, finding a good theme is rather difficult, but surely CommentLuv plugin is such a nice thing, thank you for that Andy :).
    Anna recently posted… Dental veneers – what are they?My Profile

    1. Agreed. :) CommentLuv rocks!

  6. Thanks for the inspiring post Michelle. I have some ideas for a few new blogs that I want to start, but couldn’t find the time to start characterizing even one more … Now with your tips I hope I can start at least one more blog. Thank you!
    Steven recently posted… Look For Funny Stress Quotes to Fight Back Against StressMy Profile

    1. Part of my strategy for the second blog is to run a lot of visitor-contributed content. Depending on your topic/theme, something like that might be a way to go to get a new blog up without quite as much time involved.

      1. Web 2.0 kind of thing? And how do you make them put their input? What does your blog need to contain to make them post content. thanks!
        Steven recently posted… The Distinctions between Expectation and RealityMy Profile

  7. Thank you Michelle for this wonderful ideas you’ve been sharing with us. I follow you in networked blog.
    elpidio recently posted… How can I cope with feelings of loneliness?My Profile

    1. Thanks, Elpidio, and you’re welcome. :)

  8. Completely jealous that you have received those kinds of stats so quickly! :) Impressive. It helps when you start with a list – that’s for sure.

    And you forgot the 2 most important plugins! lol. Too funny. They are only recent plugins for me as I have just learned about them. I am not new to blogging, but new to blog commenting. And I realize how important those 2 are to have! :)
    Brock Blohm recently posted… How To Guest Comment On Blogs Like A ProMy Profile

    1. They are! And I mention them all the time so I felt pretty silly when I realized I’d forgotten to install them. :)

      It did help and it also helped to look at what connections I had that I could leverage outside of my own list and fan page — like comment tribes on Facebook and #hashtags on Twitter. Knowing more about promotion this time around has made a big difference.

  9. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments AND your mistakes! Those are the ones we learn from the most. I’m with you about starting something without it being “perfect” yet. Tweak as you go is one of my favorite motto’s
    Thanks!!
    Diana recently posted… Two Simple Tips To Improve Your Online Marketing AdvertisingMy Profile

    1. It took me years to really embrace that motto. And I’ve gotten more done since I did than in years before (of trying to get it perfect).
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 51 Ways to Explode Your Blog’s AwesomenessMy Profile

  10. Hi Michelle,

    Wow, you hit the ground running!

    I like your initiative. It takes us some time to start up a new blog the right way, but the preparation is worth it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    RB
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted… What Do You Believe About Your Home Based Opportunity?My Profile

    1. Definitely takes time to get it all setup. But I agree, totally worth it. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 51 Ways to Explode Your Blog’s AwesomenessMy Profile

  11. […] worked on graphics.  I was using a theme straight out of the box and it needed customized.  Like I said last week though, it’s better to GET IT DONE then to wait and GET IT PERFECT.  If you need to launch […]

  12. Hi Michelle,
    I like how you walked through everything you did… very helpful for people setting up a blog… I also like how you posted the questions people were asking you… Love your straight forward and fun approach to life.
    Warmest,
    Sheri

    1. Thanks, Sheri. I know I’ve wondered before what steps others were taking so I thought it’d be fun to share.

  13. A lot of bloggers are not willing to share the details like this. I think you have a great idea and look forward to reading new blog ideas! Thanks for the inspiring post Michelle. I’ll be staying tuned!

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