Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Encouraging a Reader to Read my Blog.

web2.0 partyphoto © 2009 Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig | more info (via: Wylio)

Without a doubt every blogger that has a public blog would like people to visit and read their blog, and as well perhaps engage in dialogue through comments.  As others doing the teacher challenge have pointed out, there may be readers even though they don't leave comments.  I notice some of the big blogs don't actually have many commenting, although readership is in the thousands.  I think of Richard Byrne's blog as an example, I read most of his posts and occasionally feel motivated to leave a comment.  So readers and commenters may form two different groups.  It is for each blogger to make their choice and then develop as best they can the kind of reader they would like.

As a teacher beginning out on developing my teacher blog I think I would like to have readers that leave a comment.  At least some of the time.  Why? It's affirming and supportive, encourages me to keep going and also a comment may lead me off on a path I have not thought about.  I recognise that as teachers we are very busy, and reading other teacher blogs at times will not be a high priority.  However I think its part of being part of a learning community, and I intend in 2011 to be active in this. Like Britt Gow, I think it is a PLN that I want to be part of.

The following are tips for myself or for you the reader if you find them helpful.

 # Read and comment on other teacher blogs.

# Post consistently, and persist.

# Make the effort to share with others. Write a post about it.

# Be yourself.  While you may like to have readers it is of little use to twist yourself into somebody you are not just to impress them.

# Join networks such as Twitter.

#Post on Facebook. While I use this mainly for family I do have teacher friends!

# Reply to the comments that you receive.

# Network in person. Go to an IT conference!    I now have Ulearn11 in Christchurch, New Zealand as a possible conference. Thank you to Britt Gow for making me think about this, through the post she wrote.

To conclude I would like to add in this slideshare that I viewed. It was Richard Byrne who posted about it on his blog and I read it and loved it.  It is by Sacha Chua.  I have added her to my Reader. I love this slideshare because I am an introvert and it is in relation to the final tip!

The Shy Connector
View more presentations from Sacha Chua.

P.S I am going back to read all her slideshares. I had never heard of her. She does fabulous work.

Image: 'web2.0 party'



  1. Hi Kathryn,
    I absolutely love your image at the top of this post. I see you used Wylio, I must persist with this source of Creative Commons images - I really haven't had much luck finding suitable images with that source.
    Thanks for being part of the Challenge and I look forward to reading your blog in future.


  2. Thanks for a great post about readership. The slideshare is brilliant and definitely worth sharing.

  3. Great thoughts and ideas! I agree that commenting on others' blogs not only encourages the blogger, but encourages and helps ones' self.

    Thank you for your help and guidance during this challenge! I'm glad we will continue to communicate and share.


  4. I also like the image at the top of this post. I agree with you that I want readers who leave comments. I guess that means I need to be one of those readers as well. :)

    I plan to begin posting my blog posts on my Twitter feed and really using that and Plurk more for increasing readership. I also will try to keep the pace of 2 posts per week as the Blog Challenge has done to keep my readers coming back.

    I also plan to continue to be a reader and commenter on your blog.

    Best wishes,

  5. I really enjoyed your post. I have found the Teacher Challenge great for helping me explore the wonderful world of blogging more deeply. Thanks for becoming part of my PLN! I look forward to your future posts.

  6. What a great post. I really liked your connected Shy Connector slide show presentation. This could be shared with shy students and other shy introverts.

    -Mrs. Berry

  7. Glenda
    Yes I fell in love with that image when I found it. To you, Glenda, Theresa, Laurie and Mrs Berry I have gained so much from visiting your blogs, there is just so much I have learned.

    Keeping the posts going feels a little daunting to me, but I will feel my way through this I am sure. I am also very excited about it.

  8. This is a great post, Kathryn. Thanks for sharing the slideshare about introverts. I hadn't seen it before. I am definitely an introvert, but online activities make it so much easier for me. I also know at school, few people would realize that about me, too.

    I've enjoyed getting to know you during the blogging challenge, and I look forward to continuing to follow your journey.

  9. Janelle
    The slideshare is so good, and as an introvert I loved it!

  10. I hadn't seen that slideshow about the introvert, but it is a thoughtful hook into identity, isn't it? One can be introverted and extroverted, depending on the environment.
    I think your advice about replying to comments is a key one, and the flip side of it is setting up a good way as a reader to know when my comment on a blog has been responded to (that sentence seems confusing but I hope you get my drift). I've used systems like CoComment before (it tracks your comments on blogs) but found I lost interest in the system.
    If we want to have conversations on our blogs, then both sides (reader, writer) need to be invested. Often, commenting feels a bit like spraying graffiti on the wall -- it's interesting but temporary.

  11. Kevin
    You bring up the most difficult part of commenting. Knowing when someone has replied to you. I haven't solved it. I don't want numerous emails coming into me of when someone comments and I know no other way. If I really want to track it the only way I can think is to write a note to myself to go back. And that is work!!

  12. Great blog post, Kathryn. As someone who has blogged for a long time now, I completely agree with your reflections here. In the end, it's all a matter of finding a way of maintaining your blog presence that fits with your 'flow' as a person, and that's something that differs for everyone. The key thing if you want to provoke comment is to pose questions and invite a response as a part of your post. It's obviously worked well for you here :-)

  13. A great final post to the teacher challenge. Not only a great insight on developing readership but another great example on how powerful embedding media can be.

    Good job! @learnfromcarson

  14. Derek
    Thank you for taking the time to find my blog and comment. (I was recommended Derek's blog by another New Zealander doing the challenge.)

    Mr Carson
    Thank you, I am looking forward to continue this learning journey with you and all the other teachers I have met through this challenge.

  15. Hi Kathryn

    Another great post! I loved the slideshare as I can really relate to it! It's helped give me another perspective on blogging that I feel more comfortable with.

    Keeping up with knowing if your comments have been answered is also a problem I have yet to solve. Like Kevin I tried CoComment but it wasn't quite what I wanted. I wonder if anyone out there has a solution?

    Kim :)

  16. Kim
    Wouldn't it be great to solve that comment problem!

  17. Thanks for this post. One thing I would add is that is link to other people's work is a great way to draw traffic to your site. I know that will follow to anyone who has linked to my blog.

  18. Hi Kathryn,
    Congratulations on your participation in the Teacher's Blogging Challenge and thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. You have provided eight excellent tips for building your personal learning network and increasing traffic to your blog. You have also added images and embeds that really enhance your posts - well done! Thanks so much for adding my blog to your sidebar - I hope I can maintain my place there by providing informative, interesting and valuable posts about teaching and learning in middle years classrooms.

  19. Hi Kathryn, the fact that you have so many comments attests to the fact that you have really built your readership. You have summarized so many elements of successful blogging and how to promote blogs. There are many of us who are rather shy about promotion, but we do have something to share. Where did you get your image at the top. It is great and makes me want to read what you have written. Keep up the great blogging.

  20. Footnote: Looked at Sacha Chua's slideshare and then went to her blog. It is impressive and no wonder she has so many subscribers! Thanks for sharing the slideshare.

  21. Hi Kathryn, thanks for visiting and commenting at my place. I really liked the slideshare. The thing with my Voki is that I don't seem to be able to publish. I am going to give it one more try today. "See" you soon!

  22. Lovely post and I'm glad you've discovered Sacha - she's got lots of good ones. I haven't seen this one, though. Even if you're not a shy introvert, there are good tips there for networking via social media.

    As for going back to comments, I find that going into Admin mode and looking at the list of comments an easy way to check the latest ones. Because I haven't got thousands of followers, I can still take the time to respond to all.

    In Edublogs (and possibly any WordPress powered ones), go to Comments view. You can reply directly there. If you switch on the threaded comments (and if your chosen theme allows it) then it will display accordingly. Othewise, you just get the usual chronological display. My teaching blog is with Edublogs.

    In Blogger, click on the Comments tab. This will list all comments but you can't reply directly. You'd have to click on the post link and then comment there. My craft blog is with Blogger.

    If you post a question as a commenter then the onus is on you, the reader, to go back for the reply OR you can subscribe which is what I've done with the Teacher Challenge blog - not with all the blogs I visit though (esp. the popular ones) or your mailbox will look like it's spammed. Fortunately Gmail (and Outlook I think) has a Conversations/Thread view to compress like items so it looks less spam-y.

    You (we) could also give readers alternatives for asking questions they just need to know the answers to - e.g. Contact form, Twitter (co-follow for DMs would be good), email, etc.

    Is this the sort of thing I can blog about? For me to find out your answer, I'd have to come back to this actual post - not just your blog home page.

    Does this make sense?

  23. Yes Malyn, that's the crux, we do have the onus on us to go back if we asked a question etc. I think I may be using Twitter more! Easier to follow discussions possibly! However for now the old notebook and memory enables me to go back to where I need!

  24. Hi Kathryn,

    Just letting you know that I did come back to this. Twitter conversations are easier or also harder - being asynchronous and succinct can be a double-edged sword. It works though so let's keep the conversation flowing, shall we?


  25. Thank you for your tips for improving readership. The slide presentation that was added was nice to go through. I'm glad I stopped by.

  26. Kathryn, thanks for the great post and the great resource - what a great slide show. I too just finished this challenge - PR for Your Blog Thanks for sharing such a great resource!


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