Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Visitation rights

Ever since I put up an Entrecard widget on my other blog, my visits have increased, but only a bit. At first, it was great to see the numbers rising, but after months of that and seeing no comments except for "Dropped here. Hope you can do the same", I realized that people were more interested in the following things:

- Getting more droppers (for the points, I suppose)
- Getting more visitors
- Getting a higher page rank
- Getting more ad revenue

Which isn't bad, especially if you are using your blog as a source of income. I myself have been trying to let the world know about this blog to get those, but not getting any comments on your blog except for exchange links and drop exchange makes me feel that people are more concerned about the numbers game (visits, points, etc) rather than the simple pleasure of writing.

A caller on a radio morning show I listen to said that blogging has changed in the last year or so. The focus nowadays of many who sign up for blogs is now about earning money, wheras before it was just sort of like a personal journal online.

Indeed. When I started blogging in 2003, I was a serial blogger; posting about three to five posts in a day, about anything that pops into mind. My friends from work often visit and once in a while I'd get a note from someone I don't know who has read something I wrote and liked/hated it. It was fun. I don't think I've mellowed over the years, but the purpose is still there: I have something to say, and I want to say it. If you want to react fine. If not, that's ok too.

It just gets to me that there are many visitors who drop by various blogs to drop Entrecards and automatically expect you to do the same... and that's it. Just card drop and goodbye! I check my blog stats and see that the bounce rate is between 75-80% (Google Analytics define bounce rate as "the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page) and is measure of visit quality. A high Bounce Rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren't relevant to your visitors") and visitors often stay for about 2-3 minutes tops. And where are the comments? Zip.

I do Entre-drop, but I do try to read the blogs I pass by. If I find nothing of interest, I just drop and move on. If I see something funny or interesting, then I try to leave a comment. If the blog is good (content, well written etc) then I bookmark it or add it to my RSS reader.

So, what can you do?

When you visit a blog, do take a look through it. If you are using Entrecard, your browser has a link you can click on so the blog opens in a new tab or window. You can find that underneath the navigation buttons.

Browse through the blog and read its contents. Don't just look for the Entrecard widget and drop then leave. Try and see if there's anything interesting to read in that blog. When you do find something, take time to comment. Don't just say, "Hi. Dropped EC, hope you do too," but actually try to say something about the post which caught your interest. Trust me, a nice comment will make the blogger's day and may even score you a higher rate of a visit back, not to mention possible blog readership loyalty.

If the entire blog is interesting, bookmark it or add it to your RSS feeds. Let the owner know how you like it. Visit often and comment as much as you can. You'll not only gain a regular visitor, but you may also get a new friend. I've met several wonderful people via blogs and they're among the nicest people I could ever know. I even met some of them IRL, and that was fun.

Add them to your social media sites like Plurk or Twitter or what-have-you. You don't have to restrict communication via blogs.

Plus, leaving comments will help the blog owner know how to improve the content of his/her blog. Anyone who just gets visits and no comments will wonder and think about ways to get visitors. Tagging people to do a meme gets old, and posting nothing but sponsored posts is liable to turn off more than to attract.

Then again, if truly nothing interests you, move on. No one is forcing you to comment, but don't expect them to visit you back just because you dropped by. Chances are, the same thing will happen. People will visit, stay for a minute or two, then leave.

Happy blog hopping and commenting!

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  1. Hi Kat. Interesting post here.

    As a fellow Entrecard user, I got the chance to drop cards quite often when I was checking entries received and blogs mentioned for the top 10 emerging influential blogs.

    Oftentimes, if I find a blog of interest, I bookmark or StumbleUpon or Plurk by default rather than post a comment.

    I guess for a post to merit a comment, it must really entice a reader to do so rather than just say hi and I like your post.

    Also, I notice that those who drop cards have their own agenda and usually centric in promoting their sites or projects.

    With that I suggest that you explore where you want your entrecard to point. Instead of the homepage, refer to your latest or feature post. I hope this helps.

  2. Hi Janette! Thanks! It didn't occur to me to try and point a specific post using Entrecard instead of just the main page. Will try that.

    Though I know I may not have the content that'll attract a lot of people, I hope that there would be more who would take time to comment on other blogs. I'm sure they'd appreciate it too hehe.

  3. Haha, I'd have posted a comment yesterday if I actually found the 'post comment' link.

  4. Hehe, technically speaking, there isn't... except for text box icon with a number :P Thanks though :)

  5. Yes I admit, I use a webring to surf through and drop EC credits to sites that interest me. But I am a FREQUENT commenter and I love reading and commenting on posts. Unfortunately, I don't get the same from the blogs that I comment on. Perhaps my post doesn't merit a comment, although I would beg to disagree on that.

    I do surf through blogs and check out other posts and comment.

    I hope people would do the same! Anyway, joining memes encourages people to drop by and comment on your posts. :)

    And for the record, I really don't comment much in the cbox nowadays unless it's really important. No more "dropped here" or "EC drops" or something for me!

  6. Haha, you're actually one of the few people who leaves excellent comments :) I hope I can be as dilligent and good ^_^

  7. Thanks Kat! I enjoy reading posts so commenting is no biggie! :)

  8. I'd never even heard of these entrecard things until i read this. Good post! Informative.

  9. Petescully - No problem, thanks for visiting. Entrecard's a pretty good widget to help increase your pageviews and visits. I'm just concerned that it's all that many people seem to care about nowadays. Hopefully, that attitude will change :) Cheers!