Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Following blogs versus Subscribing by email and following comments

I have both a follow this blog (for blogger users) and a subscribe by email on both my blogs. I have very few folks who have signed up to receive emails of my blog postings. I have even fewer folks who comment on my blogs.

My questions to you are this: Why does one follow a blog? When you do just a follow, how often do you actually read what is posted on that blog? If you subscribe to follow via email, why? When you get the emails, do you make a note and come over and comment occasionally? When you do leave a comment on a blog, even if you are not following the blog at the moment but just got there by way of a forum or other means, do you subscribe to receive the followup comments via email? If not, why not? Are you not interested in learning what other folks have to say on the topic you have commented on? Do you not want to be involved in conversations that may arise from those comments?

What are your reasons for clicking on the "follow this blog" or subscribe via email? What are reasons you leave comments on a blog posting and do you continue to follow the comments? When you leave a comment, do you also include a signature line? If you are a published author and don't include one, why not? Isn't visibility the reason for being on blogs and leaving comments? Don't you want to drive potential new readers to your sites?

Here are some of my thoughts on the topic: When I follow a blog because there is no email subscription, I am less likely to read the blog very often. I try to follow blogs that are of interest to me, my writing/marketing/et cetera or of folks that are in groups or forums I belong to. If I subscribe by email or the RSS feed (which I don't too many of those because that means I still have to go an extra step to find out what's new with that person), I get the notifications and I can see what's new. I check my email first thing every morning and do what I call "slogging" before going to work. This process includes scanning the email notifications, filing them in their respective folders and if warranted, leaving a comment on the blog. Sometimes the topic is of interest but I don't have time to leave a comment that particular day but I mark those emails and will go back to them and go to the blog to comment when I have a few minutes. (My slogging also includes checking out all my sites (websites and book sites) for how many page views or visits I've had or how many sales I may have had (not as many as I would like) and doing my socializing. I belong to plurk and post the TDIH (This Day In History) plurks as well as the daily birthday (most of my friends on that network are teachers or librarians and from there I have participated now in several Skype visits with various grades during a writing time or lunch time for a writers' club). I've set my plurk to go to my FB page and my twitter account so I'm actually posting on three accounts by plurking every day. I like plurk but sometimes get caught spending too much time answering plurks, posting new plurks, et cetera.) When I leave a comment, I try to make sure I click the box that says "be notified of followup comments via email" or click the subscribe by email link or whatever is available; some blogs don't offer this option. My feeling on this is that I've taken time to comment on the blog and am interested in the topic and therefore, am interested in knowing what others feel or have to say on the topic. I also have a signature line I put at the end of all my comments. I use the following signature line, and depending on the blog I'm commenting on, will reverse the order my two different personas are listed.

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Homea, a YA paranormal mystery
"The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), a humorous romance ebook
"The Tulip Kiss", a paranormal romance ebook
"Bride-and-Seek", a paranormal romance ebook (coming soon)
"Butterfly Halves", a YA fantasy ebook (coming soon)

Ma America, The Travelin' Maven
Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series and "Train of Clues" (a mystery destination story, predecessor to the 50-state series)
Where will the adventure take you next?

Of late I've left off the JGDS part of the signature and I've not included the two ebooks that aren't published yet in the first part, but I do try to make sure I put my website and blog so that I can hopefully gain a few more readers. I've found many a new, interesting blogs from following the comments or checking out some of the other persons' profiles from the comments. Obviously when responding to comments on my own blog, I leave the signature line off because the person who commented has already found my blog - lol.

If I'm promoting my state series, I may leave off the generic writing information and just do the JGDS info on my signature, but either way, I leave a signature with the hopes of driving traffic either to my websites or my blogs or both.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Why do you follow blogs? Do you subscribe to follow via email? Do you get the followup comments via email? If not, why do you even leave a comment? What drives you to check out other people's blogs from comments?

Leave a comment and be entered in the drawing for a free ebook of one of my published short stories. Remember to at least leave your email addy in the comment so that I can contact you if you have won. I will run this until the end of December (December 30th) with the random drawing to be done on December 31st. If more than 25 persons comment, I will do two drawings - your choice of one of the ebook published short stories (by the end of December the other two should be published unless Bride-and-Seek wins the contest it is currently in). See you all in the postings - E :)


Vici Howard said...

This is great info. I'm still a novice at blogging and haven't dedicated a lot of time to working out the kinks but I've learned so much. BTW: thanks for the shout out.

elysabeth said...

it's all part of the marketing plan. What I did by sharing your posting on the Free Book Fridays site is "marketing". I hope to draw folks to your book and by doing so, draw them to your website and thereby increase your potential readership. Afterall, that's what writing is about mostly- marketing what we have published.

If you look at my history or my archived posts, you will see that I'm not a consistent daily blogger by any means. I believe this month has been one of my busiest posting months so far and we are only two weeks into the month. But I also have had a lot going on with my books and therefore am trying to get my name out there. I need my books to support me instead of me supporting them - lol. Too many events I'd like to attend that cost much more than I have at the moment. I'm still at the pick and choose stage of being a vendor at different events. There are several teachers' conferences or social studies groups or other related to my books events that I would like to be present for but just can't afford them. I hope by putting up my previously winning short stories for 99 cents and by publishing a few things other than my state books that I will see a turn around in sales and that the money starts flowing to me as opposed to going right back into my books (illustrators cost, printing the books to have on hand for internet sales (website, email, but not amazon or B&N) cost; giveaways cost; and the list goes on and on).

commenting on blogs is one way to get your name out there and drive traffic to your sites. It also keeps your name pretty high up on the search engines too. After all, it's the traffic we need that helps boost sales and word of mouth is the best advertising - so best thing to do is work on a plan and set it in place (which you are doing) and keep at it.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Your name will go into the drawing for the ebook of one of my published short stories (by the time of the drawing I hope to have the other two available too so you will probably have your choice of four stories if you are a winner). See you in the postings - E :)

Rena said...

I prefer to "follow" a blog rather than get it through email because I get so much of that as it is. For Blogger, I go to My Dashboard and sort through the blogs I want to read there, depending on how much time I have.

elysabeth said...

Rena, thanks for stopping by - that raises another quesstion. When you just follow blogs and go to your dashboard, how do you decide which ones to read that day or go to the actual blog to read the whole posting? I know we are all busy, especially this time of year, but that's why I like getting the notifications in my email. I can decide upon seeing the subject line whether or not the emails warrant an immediate response or can wait until I have some time to think about what to say.

I get a lot of email every day as well but when I slog in the mornings - I go through and sort the emails - put them in folders for each forum I belong to and skim the emails to see if there is any topic on the forums I'm interested in or just mark them as read and put them in their respective folders.

Everyone has different likes and what not for everything and a lot of the time it depends on where they are when the emails come in because some folks at work are blocked from going to blogs, et cetera and some have free range (like with my job - when I take a break I know I can go comment on blogs or respond to comments on my blogs, can socialize a bit and then come back to work. It doesn't take much to get a good conversation going on these blogs. - E :)