31 Days to a Better Blog – Day 6: Email an ‘Old Time’ Reader
Monday, August 6th, 2007
Today’s task in the 31 Days to a Better Blog project by Prologger, is (thankfully) an easier one.
“Do you have readers that have been reading your blog since the ‘early days’ of your blogging? You know the ones, they’ve been commenting and contributing away to the point where they’ve almost become part of a the scenery on your blog.
These readers play a big part in making your blog what it is. Their comments are actually content that is being added to your blog, their involvement brings a sense of community and makes it a more vibrant place and their input adds to the knowledge base of your blog.
It’s not just new readers that you should be emailing a welcome email – but old ones too.
Shooting these readers a quick email thanking them for sticking with you and for adding value to your blog is something that I’m sure would create a great impression and build the loyalty even further.”
This blog is fairly new, and I decided to import only a few posts from my previous blog that I managed with Modx. Luckily on the backbone of the other site where I had my old blog, I had kept everything there behind the scenes, so I did manage to contact the first person who left a comment on my old blog. They thanked me for contacting and hadn’t realised that this blog had changed into a new format and at a new web address. They said they’d drop in to this site someday soon.
So what is the learning that can be read from today’s task?
Well, I am learning more and more each day, that a blog is much more than the author just posting on the web, your blog will be shaped partly by your readers and you and they will gain satisfaction if you build a good relationship.
And my learning observations so far?
I can see elements of where this challenge will be heading with the money making aspects from your blog; which isn’t probably over relevant for many non-profits. Plus, as I will be going on holiday in the last week of the challenge, I’ll leave a post when I go (which I’ve already begun to compile!) of lots of useful ways to fundraise from your website or blog. It’s a growing collection of really useful tools and links with some great suggestions. I have had a nice offer from an non-profit tech friend here in the UK, who has offered to take over my posts during the last week whilst I am away, which is really encouraging. (maybe he had read on others blog about the chocolate incentive to win…! See more about that at Sue Waters excellent blog!)
Darren said that if (like me) your blog is fairly new, you could revisit some of the previous days tasks and repeat them. Well, I have spent some time today following through the ideas that I came up with (and thank you to Michele for her comment on yesterdays post!), although still haven’t yet tackled my content for my ‘about’ sections. When I have a bit more time next week, I shall implement my ideas fully to make my blog more approachable and user friendly.
If you are a regular reader you may notice a few subtle changes on the site today:
- I added a link to my RSS feed on individual post pages near the top to help readers to be able to subscribe easily.
- I made a few changes to my comment form, by adding a tick box to enable those who comment to be able to keep up to date will follow up comments by email. Plus, just under the comments form, I added a sign up for follow up comments by email box, to enable those who are interested but not really wanting or feeling confident yet to be able to keep up to date with comments by others. I also added another little plugin that will let someone who comments know when I respond to their comments on the web page too via email.
- When I started this blog, I was planning to let the design evolve as the blog grew, and especially thanks to this project, I am seeing how my design will be changing bit by bit in the coming weeks. I changed the background area for the comments and comments form today also, as I started to feel if it was brighter than having a heavy colour, it may help my readers to feel more enlivened to comment.
Next week, I’ll do more on my ‘About’ section. I’ve already wire-framed a little navigation plan for the new Abouts, and there will be at least three. About the author, about this blog, about keeping up to date (RSS). Hopefully then my site will begin to be much more approachable to new readers and also keep the interest longer of regular and ‘old time’ readers. (I bet if my dad reads this – he’ll be thinking that this article means him!).
I’ve also begun to think more about the way I write, it’s far too lengthy. I need to be much more precise and focussed. (Tips welcomed!)
That I fear, will be my own hardest task to accomplish!