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Feb 03

Hey Readers, are you out there?

Lonely Reader - A5Lonely Reader by h.koppdelaney

Our final challenge in the Kick Start Your Blog Teacher Challenge is all about finding and keeping readers. Here are a few things I think will help gain readers.

  • Use a widget to automatically tweet your blog posts. I use Twitter Blog.
  • If you don’t use Twitter, what are you waiting for? Here are four posts I wrote about getting into Twitter: one, two, three, four.
  • Invite people to ┬ábe a guest blogger on your blog.
  • Be a guest blogger on someone else’s blog.
  • Join a blog carnival. (I once shared a post for Standards Based Gala #3 and there is more information here.
  • Host a blog carnival.
  • Post regularly. If you want your audience to read your blog, you have to provide them with something to read. :)
  • Make sure your blog is easy to read and fast to load on mobile devices. I just installed the WP Mobile Detector plug-in so my blog will load faster on different mobile devices.
  • Interact with your readers through comments. Go read and post on their blogs.
  • Participate in a blogging challenge. It’s been fun to get to know all of you, and I will continue to follow your journey!

Since starting this challenge, I installed a statistics tracking plug-in that has helped me to see how many people visit my blog. This is awesome. I have a lot more visitors than I realized. I also signed up for FeedBurner so I can see how many people are subscribing to my blog’s feed. However, I do not think I am engaging conversation well in all of my posts. This is something I still want to work on so that dialogue will increase.

What else should I be doing to promote my blog and also develop readership and conversation? What are your favorite ways to engage your readers?

23 comments

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  1. Nancy C

    Janelle,
    I love the idea of inviting a guest blogger and being a guest on someone else’s blog. Not sure I would have ever thought of that…sounds like fun.

    This challenge has been great because I have read so many blogs that I probably never would have been exposed to. I’m sure a Blog Carnival would be much the same – so I’ll check into that idea.

    The feed burner idea interests me as well. I’m not sure how that works but it is something to explore.

    Thanks for the great ideas and great post.

    http://teachingiselementary.blogspot.com

    1. Janelle

      Thanks for stopping by Nancy. I agree that this challenge has definitely been a great way to find great new blogs and writers to interact with. I am really glad I took part in the challenge!

  2. Theresa Allen

    Great thoughts! I’ve never heard of a blog carnival! Sounds fun! Inviting a guest blogger is another great idea. I’m glad I participated in this challenge! I’ve met such wonderful bloggers! BTW – I’ve posted the results to my Google Form on Global Projects and added your blog address to my post as well. (: Thank you for participating!
    Theresa

    1. Janelle

      Thanks for stopping by, Theresa! I’ll make sure to visit your post. Having my students make global connections is definitely something I want to get into.

  3. Kathryn

    Janelle
    I have read about five bloggers posts on this topic in the challenge and what is amazing is that each writer has something unique for me to learn and use. Thank you for your discussion about twitter. I am at where you were just before you wrote post one about Twitter. This teacher challenge has changed my mind about Twitter and so I am going to begin developing my PLN. Your post is just there at the right time for me.
    Kathryn

    1. Janelle

      I’m glad I could help with Twitter info, Kathryn. If someone had told me about the people I would meet or the experiences I would be a part of as a result of Twitter, I know I would find it hard to believe. But after nearly 2 years on Twitter, I know it’s an amazing place!

      1. Kathryn

        Thanks Janelle. I am going to have to come back to this post. I am going to attempt to link posts to Twitter. If I can’t work that out, I will come back and ask you for your help.
        Kathryn

  4. Malyn

    Lovely post Janelle…so many ideas! I haven’t heard of blog carnival but in the craft blogosphere I dabble in, there is what they call a blog hop. A group of bloggers decide on a theme and each one create a post which always include a list of blog hop members. This encourages readers to hop from one to another. In a way, this Teacher Challenge is sort of like that. Creature of habit such as I am, I do hop to the same ones it would seem – no regrets mind you. I’d like to think that I can get to know people better that way.

    Readers are important to me but I’m not very good at strategies to sell my blog. I’m comfortable enough with that for now and happy that there are readers who have engaged with me, affirmed me, challenged me. I, too, have grown as part of the #ksyb Teacher Challenge 2011.

    See you around I hope.

    cheers,
    Malyn

    1. Janelle

      Thanks, Malyn. I agree self promotion isn’t easy. It doesn’t seem natural. Blog hops sound like a neat idea as well to increase readership and relationships, I think as edu bloggers, building relationships is often more important to us! I’ll see you around. :)

  5. Anne Mirtschin

    Hi Janelle, thanks for sharing this great post. There is some great advice here. You mentioned the fact that your blog should be easy to read on mobile devices. This is a great point to make as more and more people use mobile devices.
    How does the multi-media and animated media go on a mobile device?

    1. Janelle

      Thanks for the comment, Anne.

      With media and mobile devices, it really does depend on the device. For instance, iPhones cannot play flash media movies, but they can play youtube videos. Android based phones on the other hand can play flash movies. Images should work well on all smartphone handsets. I guess if something is not viewable on the mobile device, the goal would be to interest the person enough to want to visit your blog on regular machine. I know I periodically find things I want to view but my iPhone doesn’t display it, so I look it up using my laptop later.

  6. Kay McGriff

    As always I’ve learned a lot from your post. I’ve been teetering on the edge about Twitter. It sounds like an incredible resource, but I’m afraid of how much time it will take. I will let you know if I take the plunge!

    1. Janelle

      Thanks, Kay.

      Twitter definitely can take a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to. I would limit the number of followers at first. That definitely helps. I also only allow myself to get on Twitter periodically. That way, I don’t waste the day following thousands of tweets.

  7. Carol Satta

    Hi Janelle,

    Like your idea about having guest bloggers. Our school library blog is a book discussion spot. Mainly I post book reviews as the school librarian, but I’m slowly getting the teachers, parents, and students involved with actually posting, not just commenting. They each have their own connections and will hopefully draw traffic to the blog.

    1. Janelle

      Thanks for stopping by, Carol.

      I think that’s a great idea for your blog. I am sure it will help you to get more traffic. Good luck!

  8. MrDCarson

    A blog carnival – what a great idea. Love it and may try it in my school to encourage more people to blog. Thanks

    1. Janelle

      Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Carson.

      If you set up a blog carnival at your school, I would love to hear how it goes. Good luck!

  9. Britt Gow

    Hi Janelle,
    Congratualtions on participating in the Teacher’s Blogging Challenge and thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I got a bit of a surprise when I followed the link on your comment to here – I was expecting your Stretching Forward blog – is this it in Google Reader or have you changed the template? It is a good point about making your blog easy to read on mobile devices – I have found it more difficult to comment on some blogs using my iphone and/or iPad. I have been away for the weekend and trying to catch up on all my comments now I am back on the laptop.
    I think Twitter, as you mention, is a great way to develop readership, as is attending virtual and face-to-face conferences. Keep up the great work!

    1. Janelle

      Thanks, Britt!

      I am not sure what happened when you followed the link here. I didn’t change the normal template, but I did change the way it looks on mobile devices. What did it look like when you visited? I’m really curious now as to what happened. Hmmm.

      I love attending conferences as well. I am really glad there are so many ways to attend virtually these days, as face-to-face ones, although I love going, are usually too much of a cost for me. I plan to save up though, because I would really like to get to ISTE one day and a national NSTA conference.

  10. Sheri Edwards

    Ok, I need to come back to your blog to digest all the information in it and in the comments. I liked write to the grading carnival because that’s something our school is reviewing. The blog carnival has my interest too. Others may want to check out the blog carnival link . Thanks.

    1. Janelle

      Thanks for stopping by, Sheri! So your school is considering standards based grading? It is something I really like the idea of but I have not found the way to implement it in my classroom in a way that works with my district policies. I love following the Standards Based Grading Gala and all of the educators at the forefront of this movement.

  11. Kristie

    I’m out here, but it is a big place. Some many blogs, so many ideas, so many great things I didn’t know we could do. Just…Wow. I have been just working on getting a blog started. You are definitely going on my reader.

    1. Janelle

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Kristie. I definitely can relate to where you are. It always amazes me the new thing I find, and I get so many idea. I want to do them all, and then I can’t figure out how to work them all in!

      I’m headed over to check out your blog now. :)

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