Need Your Help!

Hi everyone.  Thank you for reading this blog.  I hope you enjoy the reviews as much as I like writing them.  I have only been doing the blog for a little over a year, so I am still learning new things all the time.   There is one thing I cannot figure out and I am hoping some of you can help me out.

Comments!

How do I get more readers to comment on the posts?

Most days there are a good number of unique viewers that come to Kid Lit Reviews, yet there may only be one or two comments, and many times none.  I do not understand what I need to do differently.

Anyone with any ideas or thoughts on why the comment count is so low, I would greatly appreciate reading your thoughts.

Where to comment.

The Koi theme is colorful and good for the topic of children’s books.  I would much rather have a more kid oriented theme, yet on WordPress.com, finding a great theme is not easy.  I like the Koi theme.  I like how the posts look.  What I do not like, but honestly never thought much about it until last April, when it was brought to my attention during the A-Z Challenge, is the location of the comment box.

If you enter the site and read the post listed, the comment box can only be reached by clinking on the link at the top of the post.  To the left of the title, under the date, is the link to the comment box.

If you click on a review from the sidebar, the comment box will be at the end of the review, as it should be.  It is crazy,  I know.

I have tried placing directions to the comment link at the top, but it did not increase the number of comments.  With the exception of last April, during the A-Z Challenge, comments have stayed silently low.

Need  Your Help!

Short of changing the theme, which I really do not want to do, what can I do to encourage readers to comment?  I really need your help.  Why do you not comment?

Please tell me what gets you to comment on other blogs?

I try to reply to all comments.  What else can I do to encourage readers to comment?

Is there anything I am not doing correctly, that stops you from making a comment?

Anything at all  that you think will help, please tell me.

This is Important.

This blog/review site is important to me and I am in it for the long haul.  I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.  I own the domain for the next three years and have intentions of renewing for five next time.

I love children’s books, reviewing children’s books, and writing children’s stories.  I am working on a middle grade book.

YOU, the reader, are important to me.  Please help me out.

Why do you comment on a blog?

Why would you not comment?

Thank You!

Thank you for reading this blog/review site.  I hope you have the time and desire to read each review and post.  If you comment, I try very hard to reply to each one.

Thank  you for the first year–it was fantastic!  I love every one of you and get so excited to see your comments.

To everyone who gave encouragement, hope, and prayers during my last surgery, Thank You!  It meant more to me than I know how to express.  I was surprised, delighted, and encouraged during what turned out to be a nasty situation.

To Erik and Diane.  HUGE thank yous for your wonderful guest posts.  I appreciate you filling in some of the hole left by my unexpected leave.  Both of you did a wonderful job and I am so very happy to have your words on this blog.

If you missed either of these great pieces, go HERE for Erik’s book review, and HERE for Diane’s take on characters.

………………………………………….

17 thoughts on “Need Your Help!

  1. Thank you Ms. Morris!

    I like your theme! It’s cool! Don’t change it!

    I do what Mr. Arlee Bird does – go around and comment regularly on a person’s blog, subscribe to the blog, stuff like that.

    Another way to get commenters is to join internet groups (PiBoIdMo, 12×12 in ’12, NaNoWriMo, etc….) so that people might check out your site.

    I hope that was helpful!
    Erik 😀

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    • Those are great suggestions Erik. I try to to those “challenges” like the A-z, which was a blast, plus my comment count improved. Commenting on other blogs is something I must now really work at. That is my goal from here on out.

      Hope you had a great time on vacation.

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  2. Thanks for the great ideas. Let’s see if I have this correct.

    1. Get more involved in blogging community and comment more.
    I’ll add, get more involved with children’s lit community and comment more.
    2. Check out Triberr.
    3. Shorten reviews by decreasing synopsis and increase reactions.
    4. Finish reviews with an open ended question: silly or personal is best.
    5. Try to get sidebar Twitter to open in new window.
    6. Put a Twitter link under the post.
    7. Check out if can add other’s twitter links under posts.
    8. Check out “like” working for non-WP readers.

    Last, but certainly not least–A monthly Mars Bars Contest hosted by Diane, our friend from up north.

    Again, thanks Arlee, Jennifer, Diane, Shaunda and Linnie. If I have missed anything, please let me know. Okay, I am off to try some of these ideas.

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  3. Hi there – looks like you got a reasonably healthy response level here – all really good suggestions from a good number of people. I believe that most bloggers run into the same difficulty at the beginning but perseverance and determination will lead you to at least some solutions.
    I have always ended my blog posts with a question on topic to invite the point of view of my readers. This has been very useful and the replies are generally highly informational, providing new perspectives on the issues that I have addressed.
    When I tweet or FB that I have posted a new piece, I try to use relevant hashtags to hopefully reach my target readership but have no idea whether i really works or not. Like you, I get the unique visits but rarely a comment left, even though I specifically invite comments in my messages.
    I did expand my outreach to LinkedIn group boards – (relevant to my primary topic – writing in my case). This networking has assisted me greatly in developing a loyal readership, mostly from fellow authors but their feedback is amazing and invaluable to me. In any event – these are a few of my thoughts!

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  4. Hi Sue,

    You are doing an awesome job! I love your take on children’s books and the diversity you show here.
    I have some suggestions. I noticed when I clicked on the Twitter button to follow you there, I was taken away from your web page. I had to enter the address again in google to come back to comment here. So see if you can change the options to have wordpress open that link in a new window rather than taking to the twitter site and away from yours.
    Also with twitter, one blog I follow, @FamiliusTalk uses my twitter account to send out their new posts. When I followed the blog, that was an option that was asked and I allowed it, so they increase their audience through my twitter audience. Or/and in your tweets, you could add certain followers @name and they could RT for you. (use mine! and I’ll be happy to RT for you)

    Whenever I get on the web, time is always a big limitation because I have so much going on across different groups and networks. Thus, sometimes I would like to post, but if a post is too long, generally I wont because there’s too much info, and it’s hard for me to pick one stream to comment on. Could you make your posts shorter? Focus more on your reaction to the book rather than a synopsis. I’m usually happy with a sentence or two on those, but am more interested in reader reactions.

    Also, I’ve heard that Triberr is a great way to connect with other blogs and blog readers. I haven’t gotten on board there, but I know a lot of serious bloggers use it.

    Lastly, this is just an FYI, many times I come across wordpress blogs and would like to click the “LIKE” button after I’ve read, but I can’t simply because I don’t have a wordpress account. That has often been the case here. Not a big deal, but one that just drives me crazy across all WP blogs I visit.

    We love you Sue! Thanks

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    • Shaunda,

      Sorry about the sidebar Twitter link. It won’t allow me to open a new window when a link is in the sidebar. Any other time I can specify, but not in the sidebar. Strange. Lots of things about WordPress is strange. I like the idea of having posts go off to another followers list. I’ll look into that. I will look into putting a tweet button below the post

      The “like” thing here is really prejudicial. You must have a WordPress blog to “like” someone else’s blog. At least Blogger lets you sign in manually or even anonymously. I wish WordPress would take off the restrictions – I think they are trying to get more to use them, when I think it does the exact opposite – people go to Blogger.

      Shorter reviews: That may take some doing. I have been trying to cut them back. It’s not easy. I like being thorough. I will try to do less synopsis and more comment for the next couple weeks and see how it works out for the blog and the writer. 🙂

      I hadn’t heard of Triberr, but will look into them. I joined a Networked Blogs last April, and Blog Surfer a few weeks ago. Not sure if they have helped. I found a couple of nice blogs, both Blogger. Thanks for the Triberr tip, I will check it out today.

      Shaunda, thanks for all you help. I appreciate it.

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  5. Hi Sue. Yes, getting people to comment is always a challenge. I like Jennifer’s and Arlee’s suggestions. Good points that I will use also.

    Did you ever consider having a monthly Mars Bar raffle? Just trying to throw out an idea here.

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    • Diane,

      Wow! I knew I could count on you. I never thought of a monthly raffle. Thanks for the offer. I can’t find Mars Bars in Ohio, and maybe the US, so it’s very generous of you to offer holding a monthly Mars Bar contest here. I will need to get in touch with you to work out the details.

      Wow! What a great friend!

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  6. Hi Sue,

    It’s Jennifer from The Jennifer (Author) Diaries! I read a post about comments and heard the same advice Arlee Bird gave–it’s helpful to end the post with a question or a thought that might spark a debate. For a review site, you might ask a question related to the book you just reviewed. For instance, if it was a middle-grade book with violence, you might ask “How do you feel about violence in childrens books?” or if the book was “Everything on a Waffle” You might ask, “What food would you like to eat off a waffle?” (have some fun). Or if the book was about 9/11 you could ask, “Where were you when the planes hit the buildings?” I’m sure you get the idea! This might encourage people to respond.

    Comments happen randomly on my blog, so just keep trying things and show your personality. A lot of people are just shy about doing it and not getting comments is pretty common. Usually when one person starts, others jump in!

    Good luck!! I’m glad you’re not going anywhere.

    Jennifer

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    • Hi Jennifer. Any new books ready yet? Loved The Pet Washer.

      Thanks for the ideas. I had never thought to ask a question at the end of a review, but that is actually a great idea. You made the challenge from Arlee seem like such an easy thing to do.

      Keep up your writing.

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    • Jennifer’s question examples are great ones. I’ve found that the sillier or the more personal you make a question, the more apt you are to receive an answer. People love to give their opinions, and on blogs they often want to do it quickly without too much deep thinking.

      Lee
      Tossing It Out

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  7. I find that I have had to work for comments. I received very few comments on my blog until I started visiting other blogs and leaving comments. Once I began doing that I began getting reciprocal visits where those bloggers would visit me and comment on my site. It has taken a great while to build a regular readership that has gotten into the commenting habit.

    The other offshoot of commenting on other blogs on a regular basis is that visitors to those blogs will start recognizing your name and your link and visit your blog out of curiosity.

    It’s all about building community and it takes work.

    As far as your posts, make sure they are open ended with questions that invite comments. It’s tougher with just plain reviews because sometimes people don’t know how to respond. You need to invite their input.

    Good luck!
    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    • Thanks Arlee. I think you were the one who told me about the missing comment box. That was very helpful.

      You are right about community. I was doing just that and then stopped shortly before leaving for surgery. I need to start that up again. Thank you for reminding me.

      I heard it took a long time to get a blog going well. I had no idea how long that actually took. I see some blogs that have taken off that are not any older than mine and had to wonder what I might not be doing, or doing that I should not. Time. That can be the hardest to wait on.

      I do not know how I can make a book review end with an open question, yet it is a challenge I am willing to try. Thanks for the A-Z Challenge. It taught me a lot and I cannot wait to do it all over again.

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