Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blog Improvement Project # 1

Yep. I'm late doing this. There will be a new BIP-post up tomorrow, but since the first one is about creating a Blog Improvement to-do-list, I feel like I should do that first of all, and then hopefully stick to it throughout the year.

Anyone can join The Blog Improvement Project. I participated whenever I had the time last year, and this year I will try to do as many of the "tasks" as possible. I do think it is a good idea, and I know for sure that my blog can use improvement.

Its not that the blog doesn't work fine as it is, because it does. But that doesn't mean that I cannot make improvements, since there are some things which I've wanted to change for some time now
  • Fix labels/categories so that I do not have so many, many of which only used once.
  • Find out how to get tabs into a Blogger-blog
  • Find a more professional looking template*
  • Make bookish links to stores, libraries, publishers etc
  • Participate in the book blogger community more. This means more commenting and more time spend on replying to peoples comments
  • Try to write some posts that are not just book reviews, but still about books/literature/bookish things
  • Mix short and long reviews (actually, I think I am already doing this)
  • Link to others reviewing and reading the same books as myself
  • Look into social media
  • Categorize reviews
*By professional I don't mean in that I am going to make the blog a business. It is and has always been a hobby for me to blog. I am not a book professional, and I am not here to sell stuff.

I am right now going to clean up the categories and maybe find some new ones which will fit better. So, the Blog Improvement Project has begun :-) Thanks to Kim and Jackie for the work in doing this.


Dorte H said...

Fine goals. I especially like the one about looking at your labels. When you have done that, I will come back and see how you did so I can copy you ;)

farmlanebooks said...

It is great to see that you've decided to join the blog improvement project!

I love seeing non-review bookish posts, so that is the goal I'd most like to see you complete.

You have a nice list of acheivable goals there. Good luck with completing them all!

Aarti said...

It's actually now quite easy to get tabs in Blogger! You just go to where you edit posts, and next to that should be a tab that says "Edit Pages" and there you can do the permanent pages. I have them set up on my blog now.

Louise said...

@Dorte, I've just spent the past hours fixing my labels. I have cut them down to a few (though there are still many) like fiction, non-fiction, chit chat, mystery etc. It took a while, and I am still not quite done, but I'm getting there. I didn't like all those gazillion different labels I had. Could never remember which I should label what book/post with. Now I've made it a bit easier.

@Jackie, thanks a lot. I enjoyed BIP all the times I participated last year, and you wrap up post for this first task inspired me.

@Aarti, Yes, I actually noticed that there was something new, when I began fixing my labels :-) I will have to look into that, but am really excited. Those tabs will make the whole look of the blog simpler. Or so I hope.

Suzanne said...

Looks like some great goals! I can't wait to see how your tabs look. I think my particular template does some weird things with them, and I'm not too happy, which brings me to one of your other goals to find a more professional looking template... when I get a chance to take a big deep breathe, I am going to try and get some help in that respect too. Although I do like YOUR template!

Good luck! Can't wait to read more about your project, which helps us all!

Dorte H said...

In fact I took a look at my own some months ago so I know what you mean. I removed a few and trie a more systematic approach, but as I think the authors of the review I write are very important, the labels will just grow interminably. I have reviewed 130 books now, and most of them by different authors. I can´t (or won´t) change that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise,

You have some good choices here. The social media stuff can be particularly fun - as well as useful, and I see you are already using twitter, that works a treat! :)

Good luck with the new task! :)

Thanks for paying me a visit, too.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I like your list a lot. Had I not been lazy and actually done this, mine would look pretty similar I think. I want to write better non-review posts too.

Beth F said...

Great goals -- and I'm glad to see that you hope be around a bit more. I know you've had a rough time of it lately.

GChen said...

I'm a mom, a blogger, and a Ph.D. student, and I need your help. I'm doing a study about why women blog, and you have been selected at random to participate in a short survey about what motivates you to blog and what you get out of blogging.

Here is the link:

Thanks in advance for your help. Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.

Gina Chen
Ph.D. student
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Syracuse University

Julia Smith said...

I'm so happy for this BIP to continue! I'm even more late than you for my first post - haven't even given it a thought yet. But your list sounds very practical. I agree - any blogger can challenge herself to improve. One doesn't have to be paid to exhibit professionalism.