Here's what's up for April's part of the year-long challenge:
"April is going to be focused on comments. The interaction between bloggers and readers via comments is, to me, one of the best things about blogging, so I think this month will be fun.
Week #7 is going to be all about making your blog more comment friendly. I think it’s vital that once you get a new reader at your blog, it’s easy for them to engage with you by commenting on your posts.
Take an inventory of your blog comments. Write down how many comments you have as of today, then track how many comments you get per day over the next two weeks.
Pick 3-4 of the techniques from the articles (on ways to improve commenting at your blog) to implement over the next two weeks.
Spend these weeks trying to make your posts more comment friendly."
- Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness
Here are several of the article ideas I'll be exploring in the coming weeks:
"Only 1 out of every 100 readers comment on your blog. Jakob Nielsen’s study finds that 90% of online community users are lurkers (read or observe without contributing) with only 9% of users contributing ‘a little’ and 1% actively contributing. The vast majority of readers leave a blog without leaving a comment or contributing to it in any way.
I find that when I include questions in my headings that it is a particularly effective way of getting a response from readers as you set a question in their mind from the first moments of your post. If someone leaves a comment interact with them. This gets harder as your blog grows but it’s particularly important in the early days of your blog as it shows your readers that their comments are valued."
- Darren Rowse, Problogger
"Berkeley Economist Brad DeLong was one of the first to use the term hoisting to describe highlighting user comments. His hoisted comments often inspire users to comment even more, and hoisting comments is another strong community building technique. Kent Fischer, education blogger for The Dallas Morning news, hoists comments to the level of their own posts. He looks for comments that deserve more attention, then makes a separate post for those strong comments that users can comment on, furthering the discussion."
- Patrick Thornton, BeatBlogging.org
In looking back at my two years of blogging, here are my highest-comments posts:
* the first time I received comments that went above 10 was my 3rd Thursday Thirteen post
* 30 comments for 13 Things For Which I Am Grateful
* 32 comments for 13 Favorite Things About Halifax
* 32 comments for 13 Reasons to Read Julianne MacLean
* 32 comments for 13 of My Favorite Peace Globes From Last Week's Blogblast For Peace
* 33 comments for 13 Works by Nova Scotia Artist Holly Carr
* 33 comments for 13 Ways to Enjoy Gerard Butler in Honor of His Birthday, Nov. 13th
* 36 comments for 13 Ways to Celebrate My Grandmother's 93rd Birthday
* 37 comments for 13 of Heath Ledger's Films
* 40 comments for 13 Paintings By My Sister-in-Law, Anna Baccin
* 42 comments for Introducing 13 of My Ancestors
* 43 comments for My Very First Contest
* 47 comments for 13 of My Mom's Paintings
* 56 comments for Rhian's Blogiversary
* 83 comments for My Second Contest
What can I see straight away?
2 of the highest amounts of comments came from contests.
1 came from a party, which generated a lot of back-and-forth conversation.
2 came from posts featuring actors - Gerard Butler and Heath Ledger.
4 came from art shows.
9 came from posts where the subject matter was very personal to me.
Nearly all of the highest-comment posts were Thursday Thirteen posts. The power of the popular meme!
All good to know. I have made it a basic part of my blogging routine to return the visit to everyone who comments here, and leave my own comment there. Recently I've begun responding to comments in my own comments section, which has been recommended for the April assignment.
Something new I'm going to do is the comment hoist. Claudia from On a Limb With Claudia does this regularly. Also, I'm going to try asking questions to stimulate discussion. This is what I love about the Blog Improvement Project - the constant pushing past my comfort levels.
And now - onto the Tag! You're it!
VaBookworm from Confessions of a Bookworm nabbed me for this one earlier in the week. Ever the honourable blogger, I answered her challenge - and had my husband immediately take my picture as-is, as soon as I read the tag.
Keepin' it Real
Here are the rules:
Take a picture of yourself right now.
No primping or preparing.
Just snap a picture.
Load the picture onto your blog.
Tag some people to play.
Okay. Here's my picture, taken a few days ago after work, in my comfies ready for blogging.
And now, a-tagging I will go, a-tagging I will go...
Ladies...I throw down the glove.
Leah Braemel is trying to read the titles on the spines of those books. *squinting*
Travis says before I started my own blog, I lurked quite a bit.
Ryan Ashley Scott is amazed at the 1 in 100 visitors percentage.
Akelamalu says if I comment on someone's blog a few times and get no response I stop visiting that blog as I feel I am just wasting my time. Definitely with you on that one.
Dorothy and Dorte H took up the challenge!