Tag Archives: commenting

Beginning Blogging – Tips to Encourage Followers

After last weeks post where I asked for your input about the future of this series the general consensus was that I should continue but link it to the relevant pages from Learn.Wordpress. Brilliant (thanks danillajoe in  particular for this brain wave!)

Today I thought we would look at how to manage your comments and, would you believe it, I couldn’t find anything that substantial on the Learn.Wordpress sight. Still will keep it short if I can. 🙂

Encouraging followers:

When I first started blogging I honestly didn’t believe that anyone would want to read my ramblings. I was wrong (happily). Once I had a few followers I am afraid to say that I got a bit greedy and began to look at ways of encouraging others to join my little band of cheerleaders. I found the following two blogs useful:

1. Handmade Harbour

2. Craft blog UK

The tips that I found most useful are as follows:

  • Read and comment on other blogs along a similar theme. – One of my good friends calls me a blog tart because I always leave a comment. I figure that I have taken the time to read a blog post so I may as well leave a comment. It is nice for the writer to get some feedback and in return they may well come and visit your blog. A bit of blog loving goes a long way.
  • Make your comments relevant and specific: It shows that you do care, that you have read the post properly and that you are interested in the content.
  • Follow blogs along a similar theme: For similar reasons as above.
  • Engage with your readers: Ask questions of your readers encouraging them to leave their opinion, give a suggestion etc
  • Blog regularly:Being active helps with Google searches thus helping people to find you.
  • Write good quality and original content: Don’t write for the sake of it. You wouldn’t want to read a repetitive blog which is poorly written would you? Be yourself. People like to know about you. My friends that know me in real life always say that they can tell that I have written a post as the real me comes across in the post.
  • Always reply to comments people leave on your blog: It shows that you care. Where possible I always try to go and have a look at their blog in return and leave a comment for them too. Again I feel that it is common sense – if someone has taken the time to read and comment on my blog then I want to do the same for them.
  • Get listed on blog directories such as Craft blog UK and Hellocotton. If anything this is more important than ever now that Google is getting rid of Google reader.
  • Take part in relevant link parties such as Handmade Monday: To be successful at this you really need to take the time to visit and comment on the other blogs that have linked up.
  • Hold giveaways: This is not something that I have done much of but many people give something away and people enter by following the ‘rules’ e.g. follow my blog…. (Be warned that this tactic will get you more followers but they may not be that interested in your blog. Depends On what your goal is.

I think that the most important thing to remember is that this is a community. If you treat others the way you like to be treated yourself then you will reap the benefits. Be polite and kind to others and they will respond. I have ‘met’ a lot of wonderful people through blogging. People that I honestly share a connection with and care about what happens to them. From that point of view I treat them the same as I would my ‘normal’ friends.

The top bit of this link shows you how to use your reader to find other blogs to read.

If you have any more tips then I would love to hear them 🙂

 

Blogging for beginners

I apologise to many of you now – these posts are not at all useful to those of you with blogs already. I do, however, know that there are several people who read my blog and would like to start one themselves but are not that sure where to start. So I thought that I would share some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the last year (nearly).

There are a few things that I wish to make clear from the start:

1. I am no expert so I may not get everything right or have all the answers.

2. I only know how to use wordpress although there are other platforms to use (such as blogger).

Over the next few weeks I thought that I would share tips that I have picked up (mostly from other people), try to explain terms such as widgets as well as some basic know – hows. If anyone reading this has any questions then please do ask.

This brings me to my first ‘lesson’.

Commenting on blogs such as this:

At the end of most blog posts you will find a comments box looking something like this:

The labels you cannot read beside the smaller boxes are:  name (required), email (will not be published) (requires), website (optional). Firstly, to put your  mind at rest your email will not appear anywhere publicly. Secondly, although you have to put something in the name box it does not have to be your name if you do not wish to share it (although I am not totally sure I should be writing this!) It just has to be something that is recognisable as a name so it does not get mistaken as spam (unwanted comments by machines). As an example I usually comment as knitnrun4sanity although sometimes just knitnrun. Other people just use their first name. The website box does not have to be filled in at all.

So there you go – you can now ask questions and not worry about any unwanted consequences.

Sometimes you may get this instead:

This allows you log in via an existing WordPress, Twitter or Facebook account. If you wish to do this you can just click on the icon corresponding to the account you wish to use, type your comment and click on post comment box. Your identity on the platform you have chosen to use is the one that will be shown.

Naming Your Blog

The last thing I am going to write about today is your name. When I started blogging I was very nervous about  exposure online. As I know that I am not totally unusual in this – let me tell you that it is possible to have a complete presence online without ever having to disclose your real identity.  The first thing you need to do is to choose a name you like.  I came to my name because I knew that I was going to write about knitting, crochet and running on my blog. I tried to combine the words knitting and crochet but didn’t like what I came up with. I then hit upon knitnrun but found (though Google) that this already existed hence I then added the 4 sanity. (It is also very true!)

When creating a WordPress.com account (free I promise) you are asked for an e-mail. In order to keep my online identity cohesive I set up an e-mail account: knitnrun4sanity@…….. This meant that there is no link to my personal e-mail which involves my name. I also like that this side of my life is kept separate  from school e-mails etc. As well as using my chosen name on my blog I was also keen to use it for a Facebook page and Twitter account. It all links together nicely making it easier to be found.

So to summarise:

When thinking of a name – 1) think about what you will be writing about (it doesn’t have to be linked but is definitely a good starting point).

2) Check to see if the name is already in use through Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.

3) If you wish to keep your real identity a secret then consider opening an e-mail account under your chosen name.

4) It may also be a good idea to set up a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr account under the same name at the same time. It depends what you think you will use but it saves your name being taken by someone else in the meantime. You do not have to do anything with them to start with.

Next time I shall be talking about choosing themes and Gravatar’s. Hopefully a similar time next week. If you have any questions or subjects you would covered then do please let me know 🙂