On Commenting

I’ve always found it a challenge to generate participation and interaction on my blogs but as a blogger, that’s something I find the most exciting and delightful to come across. I suppose it’s always easy to sit back and passively read an interesting post or article on someone’s blog and I’ll admit that I have been found guilty of that as well.

While I was surfing on DailyPost again, I found a great, short advice piece on how to encourage more comments that will evidently make a blogger like me happy!

Comment Community 

As a blogger, there’s little more satisfying than getting the notification that someone commented on your post. It means that not only are people reading your work, but that they’re also moved to leave their own reflections. In addition to the personal joy of seeing comments on your posts, comments and pingbacks help to build readership and bring new readers to your site. So, how can you foster an active commenting community on your blog?

Start by making it easy to comment on your site. You can control all of your comment settings via your Settings > Discussion page on your blog’s Dashboard. Some settings to be aware of: ensure that other blogs are notified when you link to their articles (pingbacks), don’t automatically turn comments off on your posts after a short amount of time (the default is 14 days), and enable both the option to follow your blog and the comment thread when someone leaves a comment on your post. If you choose to moderate all comments on your blog, that’s a great step toward maintaining a well-curated commenting community. Just be sure that you don’t leave pending comments in your Comments folder for too long, since that detracts greatly from the experience of visitors commenting on your posts.

To keep the discussion going, it’s best to reply to all comments left on your blog within a reasonable time frame. If someone’s comment piques your curiosity, ask questions. The idea of the comments section is to generate discussion. As visitors to your blog add their point of view to your posts, it helps to enhance your story. Similarly, discussions generated on your posts can help give you new post ideas, in addition to building relationships with other bloggers and your readers. For example, if someone disagrees with your point of view, that’s a great opportunity to expand on your thoughts even more with a new post. Some bloggers even ask their readers to leave comments on their sites. For example. the Freshly Pressed blogger/musician Holley Maher inserts an image that she’s create into the bottom of all of her posts requesting that readers leave comments. If you choose to add either a line or an image requesting feedback, you can create a template and use the Copy a Post tool for your new posts so your sign-off text or image is automatically inserted into your post.

Above all, leaving comments on other blogs helps to generate comments on your own. In case you missed it, check out Erica‘s post, “Are you well-versed in comment etiquette?” The difference between blogs and websites (and the best part!) is that blogging allows for interaction between writers and readers, as well as the opportunity to build relationships. Paving the way for an active comment section on your site helps to build those relationships and to find new sources of inspiration.

 via DailyPost
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Hello!

Welcome to my first-ever blog dedicated to me and journalism!

This site is intended to serve both as a portfolio of myself and as an outlet for me to blog about possibly anything about journalism.

Since I am still somewhat in spring break mode, I decided to share a cool and short article about writing when you’re on the road that I found right here on WordPress itself.

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

On the Road
by Erica V. on March 20, 2012

When we talk about blogging daily, we often talk about finding a blogging routine. Yet after we find ourselves in a groove with our writing, life happens and we’re pulled away from our regular habits. I’ve been traveling more often than usual for the past few weeks and found myself having a hard time figuring out when and what to write about. It’s more than just not having time, but also feeling enraptured by a new place and wanting to experience it fully, without pausing to sit behind a computer for a few moments. As the seasons change, you too may find yourself on the road — here’s a few tips I found helpful.

While you may not have time now to recap each day, save the moments of your trip you want to share and plan for a series of posts later. Once you’re home, you can upload all of your photos and write an outstanding recap of your adventures in a multi-post series. Not only does this help to alleviate an overwhelmingly large blog post, but it also gives readers a reason to come back to your blog. You can also post teaser photos and updates that give readers a taste of your trip throughout your adventures. For shorter posts like these, use post formats if your blog’s theme supports them. For example, in Twenty Eleven, there is the option to publish a post in the Status format. Publishing a “status update,” versus a blog post, often feels much more casual and easier to do on the go.

While on the road, internet connectivity isn’t always guaranteed. An easy alternative is to write your blog posts in a plain text file, which allows you the same clean, uncluttered look of the WordPress editor, while having a copy of your post saved to your computer. By using a plain text file, rather than Microsoft Word, you can easily transfer your post content over to your site when WiFi is available without causing any layout issues. (Learn more about this here.) Similarly, since travel often involves rather long periods of time in which you’re confined to a relatively small space, it’s a great time to zone out and brainstorm. While on a bus, I love nothing more than letting my mind wander and jotting down topics that I’d like to write about in the future.

Lastly, using your smart phone to grab photos and take notes while traveling is a quick and easy way to stay up to date without feeling trapped behind a computer. For iOS users, apart from the WordPress mobile app, I often use Camera+, which is a camera app with fun filters and editing options. Recently, a new version was released that allows you to automatically share your photos to WordPress. You can also use your phone to post by email or leave an audio post with our post by voice tool. Thinking outside the box for helps to keep up your daily blogging while away from your home base.

Happy travels!

via DailyPost.