Bloggers: how long did it take you to get any comments/ followers? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Did it take a while? Is there some secret(s) to getting folks to comment or follow? My blog has been up a little while now, and I am feeling discouraged because every time I go there, I see "there are no followers yet" and I haven't gotten the first comment.
I am trying not to feel discouraged; thinking most blog readers probably do just read and not comment, but I would love to have a little interaction and feedback. Wondering what I can do to encourage readers to follow.
I was thinking about offering to send a packet of seeds to anyone who signs up to follow, but then I realized most folks probably won't want to give out their address.
I would love to hear about your experience with your blog; how long it took to generate comments and followers, and if you have discovered any tricks to encouraging participation.
Please and thank you.

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#2 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 05:50 AM
 
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I've had a cooking blog since August 2009 and still have very, very few comments - the comments I do have are pretty much solely from friends. Yes, they've tried my recipe and liked it or drooled over a picture, but they're still mostly already my friends yk?

I have plenty of visits and some of my posts are on the first page of google, if not the first result (leading the interweb! Woohoo!) - many of my hits come from people searching for specific recipes, but as I don't seem to get any feedback, I don't know whether it commands any loyalty.

I've added a star rating on the end of each post/recipe so that people can just rate it with a click as opposed to having to type a comment out, but that hasn't been used much either! There are few things as soul destroying as an announcement that you have a new, easy star rating feature which has zero comments and zero stars

I've seen on some blogs, when you reach the end of the post, it suggests other posts you may like - trying to get people to stay within the blog, I suppose.
So in short (shorter than that lot), I hear you sister! It's like standing on stage talking the audience but because the lights are down, you have no way of knowing whether there are 3000 people in the audience, or just your Mum, Dad and Auntie Joy.
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#3 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 08:13 AM
 
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I started a blog at blogger.com and after a month or so I got 1 follower.They noticed my link in my forum posts and checked me out.I have noticed that blogger will highlight blogs,so strangers will come across them.Also, if you put tags on your posts,someone doing a search for say chicks or grapes will get linked to you.
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#4 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 08:45 AM
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Can you find a blog carnival that matches your theme? That is where I got most of my comments and followers.
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#5 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 11:20 AM
 
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I've been blogging for a few years now, and I'm convinced that what works best for getting comments is commenting on other people's blogs. I used to make lots of comments on other blogs and I used to get many on my own, sometimes pretty surprising numbers given how small my blog has always been. For the past couple of years I haven't had the time to read and comment on lots of other blogs, and the number of comments on mine has significantly decreased. Personally, if someone new leaves a comment on my blog, I make an effort at least to visit theirs. I'm sure there are lots of other bloggers like me.

I've noticed that some bloggers ask questions at their ends of their posts, inviting their readers to comment. I don't know if it works but it feels so awkward to me that I never do it.
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#6 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your help, mamas. I am looking into "blog carnivals," which I had never heard of. And I have noticed other bloggers ending posts with questions, which I have thought about, but like you, I find it feels a bit awkward. And would be more awkward if no one answered the question....but I think I am going to try this. Ya'll are so sweet to have checked out my blog, too; I really appreciate it! Thanks again.

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#7 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Annamama, I want to see your cooking blog. It is not linked to your username. I was going to pm you for the url, but I am sure others want to see it too. I hope you will link to it, if not linking to it thru your username, then please pm it to me. I would love to see your recipes and pictures.

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#8 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms.shell View Post
Annamama, I want to see your cooking blog. It is not linked to your username. I was going to pm you for the url, but I am sure others want to see it too. I hope you will link to it, if not linking to it thru your username, then please pm it to me. I would love to see your recipes and pictures.
OK, I didn't realise you could link to your homepage from your username. Duh.
Have amended my details to show my homepage now - thanks for drawing it to my attention! That also means I can now check out all your homepages. Marvellous, this technology isn't it?
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#9 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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I've been to your blog I did not comment though, I suck at that

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#10 of 27 Old 06-20-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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Hi there! I'm sending this on over to the WAHM Well where our blogging mamas hang out and discuss building a following, etc.

Wife of 1. Mom of 3. Conquering disability challenges, one achievement at a time.
 

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#11 of 27 Old 06-21-2010, 01:39 PM
 
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Have you installed that commentluv plug-in? Basically when someone comments, it posts the link to that person's last blog post. That way it's a win for them too.

Mama to DS (6/07) h20homebirth.gif, DD (6/09) h20homebirth.gif, and DD (07/12) homebirth.jpg..

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#12 of 27 Old 06-22-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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I think I've gotten most of my hits from my facebook page and my etsy site. What's a blog carnival?

my toy shop on etsy.com: wooden baby keys, natural bathtub toys, wooden animals, little kitchens, waldorf dolls...also check out my blog about saving money, creating things, and natural living
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#13 of 27 Old 06-23-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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I tried to comment on your blog but it won't let me . Do you know why?

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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#14 of 27 Old 06-23-2010, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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on my blog, mittenskittens?
i just checked over there and tried to comment myself and the comment form seemed to be working fine.

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#15 of 27 Old 06-26-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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on my blog, mittenskittens?
i just checked over there and tried to comment myself and the comment form seemed to be working fine.
Perhaps because I am using a Mac? Macs can be funny like that .

Sorry I didn't reply to your message yet, I've been busy! Great your blog is doing well!

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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#16 of 27 Old 07-02-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Great tips! I bet commenting on other people's blogs is a good way to get comments, I noticed that the last time I was blogging regularly.

I just combined three of my blogs in one.. do you think that's a good idea? I got so tired of splitting things up between blogs.. so now I have very general tags for those who used to read my old blogs to filter out what they don't want. I used to have a general parenting blog, a homeschooling blog, and a diet blog. Now I'm focusing on dieting, parenting, and urban homesteading.

I tried doing a give-away of a reusable bowl cover I just made, and nobody's commented that they want it. That's a pretty sucky feeling..

-Rachel
Mommy to Colwyn, 10/03 ~ Lachlann, 8/05 ~ Fiona, 6/08 ~ Niall, 5/10
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#17 of 27 Old 07-04-2010, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well, I LOVE your bowl cover, colwynsmommy. That's a great idea- i get in trouble because i put plates over bowls before putting them in the fridge. I am about to try to get permission for a fabric store trip to buy some nylon ripstop so i can make some.

i still haven't looked into blog carnivals. i am not sure if they are the same thing as "link parties." But I wanted to mention these as something someone might want to look into. I have noticed TONS of these linky parties. I guess someone hosts it and then everyone puts up the link and it gets traffic moving through lots of sites. There are link parties to "show of your stuff" and "fabulous fridays" and all kinds of different things. I am not doing these, unless you count the Iron Crafter Challenge, mostly because it kinda confuses me and I don't want a ton of badges down my sidebars. But it seems like a whole lot of bloggers are doing these link parties. just thought i would mention it here, in case anyone is interested. I first became of aware of these when I visited this blog: http://www.firefliesandjellybeans.blogspot.com They have a lot of them, and then if you follow the links you find lots more.

i hope everyone here is doing well!

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#18 of 27 Old 07-04-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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i started a few months ago, and was disappointed too when even posting stuff my fb page didnt result in much...
one tip i do have though is registering with a bloggers association by the topic. mine is i guess mostly related to parenting, so i registered with a mommy blogger network, and even though i didnt explore what exactly that registration offers, i already got like 3 followers from there just coz someone saw my name come up in their listings and was interested ... im guessing...
great thread, thanks for posting!
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#19 of 27 Old 07-05-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Perhaps because I am using a Mac? Macs can be funny like that .

Sorry I didn't reply to your message yet, I've been busy! Great your blog is doing well!
I'm on a Mac as well and it seems to be fine for me. Are you clicking in far enough to see the form? It could be browser related too?

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#20 of 27 Old 07-05-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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I've been blogging since 2006 and don't know that I have any followers. I know I get a lot of people reading it but very few comments. I think its mostly because my content is nto somthing that everyone is going to enjoy, its geared towards WAHMs. My goal with the blog is to mainly drive SEO to my site though.

I found that my Twitter and Facebook do better and those are just posts getting pushed from my blog. I get more comments and followers there, even though they have to visit my site to actually read the stuff. I don't get hung up on comments as stuff, although I agree that it is a bit dissapointing when it seams like you are simply answering yourself, lol.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#21 of 27 Old 07-06-2010, 02:48 PM
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I have a few ideas. First, include a link to your blog in your signature. Make it easy for people to find you. Sure, they can click on your username if they happen to know it's available there but what if they don't? This isn't true in your case but I have to wonder about some people. They make it so difficult that their approach is closer to hosting an IQ test than marketing their site. I encourage everyone to read Steve Krug's book, Don't Make Me Think.

Mention the topic of your blog in your content. I went out of curiousity but would have gone more quickly if I'd known it was about sewing. I sew and fancy myself quite the authority so I have to -naturally- go see everyone else's sewing blogs .

Reconsider a site redesign. The text in the sidebars are lost in the leaf print. Again, do you want people to explore your content or are you testing visitor's pattern recognition abilities? This is particularly important on sites with project photography. The prints of fabrics are forced to compete for eyeball bandwidth and the comparison of the varying color schemes can be jarring. Your background should compliment anything you post, not compete with it. Less is more.

Outreach: connect with others in your niche. Like attracts like.

If you're going to do reviews, consider comparison reviews. Be careful to select worthy items, it's disingenous to select an inexpensive cheap machine of a different price category to compare with Janome in an attempt to make it look better by comparison. I'm not suggesting you do that, I didn't read enough to know but the point is, qualify your opinions. In asserting "that everyone knows Janome is the best quality machine on the market", what are your points of comparison? There are lots of excellent machines on the market made by varying brands. It's a matter of broadening your perspective. My favorite brands are not commonly known even among sewists. Fwiw, Adler is considered to be the best by professionals, then Juki/Brother, Merrow is great too and Reliable is quickly catching up. Siruba is an up and coming brand, my next purchase will be one of theirs. It's an exciting world out there. Find out about it and tell others on your site who don't have acccess to this information.

Your site is written conversationally, it's friendly, generous and companionable. You cite your sources (good show!) and link to them. Yours is the perfect grounding for building a growing site. And that is what matters most.
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#22 of 27 Old 07-06-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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Excellent suggestions!

On adding links to signatures ~ those require a Paid Membership. Detailed information on those is in My MDC FAQ for anyone interested. I also have quick links to the signature rules, etc if they'll help!

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#23 of 27 Old 07-06-2010, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your suggestions, Kathleen.
I did have some stuff in there specifically comparing Janome to other machies I have used. I said some stuff about the craptastic brand I started with and also about Singer, who has a strong reputation and used to make good machines, but does not anymore. Then I read some stuff about defamation suits and felt bad for "talking bad" about specific brands, and edited that out and just referred to "poorly designed machines."

Anyway, thanks again for your help. I am going to see what I can do about darkening the text in my sidebars. I am going to give some thought to changing the background; I really like the vines and thought it did a good deal to bridge the gap between my two topics (sewing and growing), and so I am not ready to change that without thinking about it a good deal first. But I am considering it!

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#24 of 27 Old 07-06-2010, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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and, I love your site, Kathleen. What a fabulous resource!
I want to read your book. I am on a strict spending freeze right now, or I would have ordered it immediately; I am certain I will be reading it later, though.

Thanks again for your suggestions. I appreciate your help!

Mama to 3 boys 

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#25 of 27 Old 07-11-2010, 07:32 PM
 
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I only just started blogging. Right now I'm trying to get the word out via twitter and facebook.
With twitter, I just find appropriate people/companies to 'follow' and hope that people will start to 'follow' me. Once they do, they'll start to see my tweets with my blog url.

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#26 of 27 Old 07-15-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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I think everyone's right that posting on other blogs is pretty much the main way to get followers...or hits. When I first started my blog, I went crazy posting comments on every blog I even slightly liked. I got a ton of followers right away, but not very many comments.

Now, I'm a bit pickier about what blogs I post my comments to meaning that our blogs normally share some very obvious thing in common...making it more likely that if THAT blogger comes to my page he or she will leave a comment as well as follow.

Pictures are super key!...no one wants to read about crafts or children or anything really on blogs without pictures, but keep in mind that poorly taken photographs will only HURT your blog. Pictures are also great at getting a comment conversation going since people can post a comment or question that might not exactly fit your post without feeling weird.

Also, make sure your layout is fresh and clean-cut. When I visit a blog, I like to see everything laid out for me as easily as possible.

Great job so far!

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#27 of 27 Old 07-15-2010, 09:39 PM
 
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Oh, I forgot to mention...there was a nifty widget that you could put on your sidebar that kept track of who commented on your blog and would post the top 5...I had it on my sight for a while, and I think people really liked it because the more they commented on your site, the more advertisement their own site and your top posts got right on your front page! I can't think of the name of it right now, but you might be able to search for it.

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