Mar 25, 2011

Tips for New (and not so New) Bloggers #2: Content and Commenting

Hi everyone! *waves to new followers* 

This is the second installment of my Tips/Tutorials feature I started to help new bloggers out there. 
In three days, The Clock Monkey will turn two (yay!). I learned a few things along the way, tips I'd like to share with you. Because we all start somewhere, right?

Some of these tips are my own, some I learned elsewhere and am just sharing with you (you'll find the link to the source in the bottom of the post if that's the case).

So, today I'd like to talk about Content, Comments and Commenting to get more Readership. 

When we publish a new post, we all want to see if someone's commenting on it. We visit our blogs often to see if there's a new comment. Because we spent our time writing it, and we'd love to hear people's opinions on it. But when you're a new blogger, your follower base can be small, and maybe you don't get as many visits as you'd like. Even if you have as many followers as I do, that doesn't mean many of them will read your post. 
Let's say that out of ten followers, one reads your blog on a regular basis. So if you have twenty, thirty followers, chances are, only a small percentage will take the time to read your blog.

Because, let's be honest, we follow blogs because we're atractted to them, because of the layout, a contest, some content we liked. But we rarely go back to it until after quite a while. 

I follow a LOT of blogs, and I try to visit them as much as I can, but to tell the truth, I have a select few I go to more than anything. Perhaps you do too.

And then there's the thing about originality. Everyone's practically posting the same thing, so your followers are most likely to go to their preferred blog first, instead of yours, or maybe you are that preferred blog.

When I first started, all I cared about was posting what was the "It" topic at the moment, but then I came to realise, if you have a blog with good content, it doesn't matter if your follower count is small or if you don't get many comments. People will still read your post at some point (I get comments on older posts from time to time) and they'll like that you shared something original and yours, rather than something copied off of another blog.

So if you're reading a book that was published in 2008 and you want to review it, go ahead! It's your blog, isn't it? You might get a few comments from people who've read the book and want to tell you if they liked it or hated it.

Now, someone's commented on your post. Hooray! What I suggest is that you answer to the comment. I've just installed Intense Debate to do just that. Build a relationship with your readers. Let them know you care about their opinions too. Do that, and they might come back.

Also, comment on as many blogs as you can, and leave your blog's URL in the comment, asking politely if they'd be so kind as to stop by your blog. But don't be a pain in the butt. Just do it once on every blog, otherwise you'll scare the blogger away. When someone asks me to do that, I do and I sometimes follow too, if I liked the content of the blog. 

Be grateful for those ten, fifteen, 200 followers you have! Some bloggers spend years with as little as 30.

Another thing I wanted to talk about is Word Verification (we'll call it WV from here on). Don't you just hate that? I didn't know I had it on until just now, when I installed Intense Debate!

When you're a new blogger with a small readership, you really don't need WV. It just gets in the way and it can be annoying. Some people unfollow blogs because they're tired of having to decipher that little crooked word to leave you a short comment. You should only use WV when you get a lot of spam. Tell your followers that that is the case, and they'll understand. I did it for a while; I put a little message on the  Blogger Comment widget saying that I was using the WV because of that. Spammers rarely take the trouble of deciphering the WV.

I hope this helped, and that you slowly but steadily, build a larger readership.
xo,
Ella

3 monkey thought (s):

missrantsypants said...

This helped alot!
My blog is fairly new and struggling so I really enjoyed and will use your tips.



clarkmurdock.blogspot.com

Dana Wright said...

Love the post. It does work. The more comments, the more people notice you. :) thanks for he cool info!

Dana@ http://Danasyabookpile.blogspot.com/

Jamie @ Jamie's Bookshelf and Learning to be Frugal said...

Great information! I found your blog via your comment on The Story Siren's discussion post. I'm also a new follower of your blog.

http://jamielovesya.blogspot.com

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