Blog

 This post is part of the Student Blog Series, a feature by Nuffnang interns

Author: Hayley Griffiths, Swinburne University

Comments are an extremely important asset for bloggers as they have the ability to create a community. Here are a few tips for managing comments on your blog:

1) Don’t fear comments

You shouldn’t fear comments as they can be a great way of surveying your readership. They enable you to find out more about your audience and help you get information on how people are responding to your blog, whether it be negative or positive feedback. Any feedback is great as it allows you to improve on your posts and find out what your followers are most interested in.

2) Ask a question

It is important to try to prompt people to post comments on your blog. The more comments you get the better, so always try to end your blog posts with a question or a comment that can prompt a response from your readership. For example, you can ask for suggestions from your readers or their opinion on the topic of the post. This will increase your comments, which will help you connect with your readers on a more personal level.

comments1

Photo credit: Inkthemes

3) Make it easy

Make sure that posting a comment on your blog is easy for your readers to do. If you are not sure how comments work on your blog then test it out yourself by trying to post a comment. You don’t want to frustrate your eager readers by making them jump through hoops just to get a comment posted. Perhaps avoid having too many codes or personal questions as part of your comment mechanism – that usually deters people from leaving comments.

4) Responding to comments

Try to respond to comments as much as possible because not only is it a polite thing to do but it shows that you are really interested in engaging with your readership and you take an interest in what they are saying. If you don’t often respond to comments, then readers may feel discouraged from commenting in the future. In saying this, if your blog is really popular and you received lots of comments, you could write a quick generic response just to let your readers know that you are reading their comments.

5) Spam

Receiving spam isn’t the same as receiving comments. Try to remove spam as soon as possible as it doesn’t enhance your blog in any way, nor does it benefit other readers. Not to mention, spam can make your blog look unprofessional. There are plenty of programs online that will keep spam off your blog, such as Akismet. One of Nuffnang’s Talent bloggers, Debs from Learn with Play at Home advises not to use a moderator or captcha as most people she knows, “hate the captcha code and will even discard the comment they were going to make because it takes too long.”

spAM

Photo credit: SilverStripe

6) Comment to get comments

If you are trying to encourage people to post on your blog then post on theirs! Commenting on other blogs is like easy advertising for your blog; it has the ability to attract new readers to your blog. By commenting on other blogs, you can network with other bloggers and encourage them to come to your blog (and perhaps leave comments too!).

Do you have any more tips for managing blog comments?

Intern
Nuffnang Community Team

Over the past 10 years of my blogging ‘career’, I’ve had no less than 20 blogs across a range of different blogging platforms. It is so easy to set up a blog: create a new username, pick a fantastic layout, and ta-dah you are now owner of a new blog. Easy.

But after all the tingling excitement from setting up your blog dissipates, you soon meet one of the most difficult challenges of blogging: how to constantly create good content. Many first-time bloggers will opt for a day of rest so they don’t have to blog 24/7 or will even take a short hiatus to refocus and refresh. But how many Wordless Wednesday posts does it take before it becomes a Wordless Everyday? How many days does it take for a temporary hiatus to become a permanent one?

Don’t let content creation stop you from keeping up with the blogosphere! Here are my best five tips for coming up with fresh content for your blog.

1) Mix up your blogging style and angle 

Let’s say you’re a food blogger and you mainly write about home-cooked recipes. While it’s good that you target a niche audience (ie. one who is on the lookout for home-cooked recipes), there is no harm in spicing up your writing angle and style. Why not broaden your blog’s scope by recreating a favourite celebrity-inspired dish or improvising an old traditional dessert recipe? You never know how much you (or your readers) might enjoy a little change!

2) Figure out the purpose of your blog 

Do you know what your readers are looking for when they read your blog? Just like how you go to a chinese restaurant for soup noodles and dim sum, you want to be able to know what your blog is offering to your audience. Take it from This Chick’s Got Style who said:

“Before you begin, take some time to define what readers should take away from your post. You might want to write down the key message of your article in one sentence and work from that concept. It’s not the easiest task, but it’s definitely worth doing because if you don’t even know what people should learn or gain from your story, they surely won’t!”

3) Plan in advance 

There will be days when you will have a belly full of fire and inspiration, and there will be other days when you can’t help but stare back at a blank “Add New Post” screen. So on the days you do find yourself full of different blogpost ideas, write them down! If you have the time, write the posts out and save them as drafts so you’ll always have a backup on the slow days. If you’d like to take content planning a step further, create your own content calendar! The Organised Housewife created the 2013 Blog Planner to help all of us disorganised bloggers become better ;) Thanks Kat!

4) Draw inspiration from your peers

Our Community Manager, Valissa once said, “Blogging is not a competitive sport” and she is right! The blogosphere is a communal and supportive society – don’t be afraid of contacting other bloggers for help and ideas. Do you have a favourite blogger you’d love to feature on your blog? Can someone else offer your readers some expertise that you might not possess? One of my favourite examples was when Sesame Ellis was featured on Childhood101’s Our Family Home series.

5) Be a wallflower

Next time you’re out and about, make it a point to be more observant: look what’s happening around you, take small notes about whatever catches your attention, and reflect on the little things. A little kid’s smile may spark you to write about your hopes for your children, a homeless man begging on the pavement may make you reflect on how blessed you are in life, a singer busking on a Friday night may remind you of how much you wanted to pursue your dreams of being a rockstar when you were a teenager. You’d be amazed at what you’ll be able to write about when you take the time to step back and observe what’s going on around you.

Valissa
Nuffnang Community Team
Missed out on last Thursday’s webinar? Check out the replay here!

In this exclusive presentation, Nuffnang chatted with Ivan Lim, head of marketing at Tweaky.com, who showed us how you can use Google Analytics efficiently on your blog to extract insightful data. Amongst many things, we touched on engagement metrics, how to track SEO traffic, and how to create custom reports for your blog.

Have any questions for Ivan? Leave them in the comments below or connect with him on Twitter at @ivanmelvin
Valissa
Nuffnang Community Team

Say hello to Ivan Lim, the head of marketing at Tweaky.com, the #1 WordPress Developer Marketplace for Small Customizations. He is passionate about digital marketing, startups & peanut butter.

Ivan_Lim

One Google Analytics metric that usually gets a lot of attention is the Bounce Rate. It’s a metric that has a fairly strong negative connotation around it. In fact it’s pretty common for Google Analytics users to say,

“The bounce rate is high, that can’t be good right?”

Wrong! Bounce rate isn’t a negative indicator it’s just a description of a specific behaviour. As stated by Google – Bounce rate is the percentage of visits that go to only one page before exiting a site.

“Only one page, that has to be bad!”

Well actually no, it’s not.  Many Google Analytics users waste time fretting about bounce rates instead of trying to understand the context of that number.

In this post I’m going to show you how to interpret Bounce Rates in various contexts within Google Analytics. Hopefully by the end of it you’ll have a deeper understanding of your site’s performance and stop judging success by that dreaded percentage.

Bounce Rate by Traffic Source

The first way to look at bounce rate is by traffic source, i.e where visitors are coming from (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Before we do that though, let’s take a look at how most users look at bounce rate. Many people jump straight into the main overview page of Google Analytics and stare at their website’s bounce rate as the one source of truth.

Google Analytics overall bounce rate

The problem with this number is that it is an average. It doesn’t take into account the different segments of your website traffic.

A better way to do it would be to go to your All Traffic report in Google Analytics to analyse bounce rates across different sources of traffic.

All traffic report Google Analytics

Here you should see that every traffic source has it’s own bounce rate. Now we’re getting somewhere!

Traffic sources bounce rate

Google traffic seems to have a higher bounce rate which could be concerning but if you think about it most people arrive to your site via Google because they’ve been looking for answers to a specific question. They then find your blog, get their questions answered and move on. Your content isn’t bad, it’s just answered their questions.

Possible solutions? Maybe having more links to other pages on your site within blog posts or having a more obvious Related Posts section at the bottom of each post.

Another way to segment your visitors is looking at email traffic from your newsletters. This traffic is likely to have a higher bounce rate because they’re regular readers of your blog. They’ve read most of your content so when they get an email about new content, they read it and they’re done.

As a side note, if you don’t have email traffic showing your report you need to read this post on how to track email traffic in Google Analytics.

Bounce rate by content type

Another way to chop up your data and get a better look at bounce rates is by content type. Jump through to your Landing Pages report and start looking at bounce rates by different pages that people land on.  

Bounce rate by landing page

In this report you can start finding out things like

– Do certain content topics have a lower bounce rate than others?
– Do certain blog lengths do better? Long posts can sometimes tire readers out
– Do different formats have lower bounce rates? Top 5 lists versus opinion posts.

As another example, if you ever run a competition with a landing page for people to sign up, expect to see high bounce rates. People visit that landing page, register and move on. There is less chance of them browsing and looking around.

Once again understanding bounce rates in context makes a huge difference to knowing how well you’re tracking.

Bounce rate by visitor type

The last variable you want to look at for measuring bounce rates is visitor type. One I like to look at regularly is New vs Returning visitors. New visitors will tend to have a higher bounce rate because they don’t know much about you. The goal is to do as much as you can to increase engagement for new visitors.

How do you compare new vs returning visitor bounce rates. There are a few ways. You can jump to the New vs Returning Visitor report or you can use the advanced segment for New Visitors.

New visitors

The other customer segment that’s really useful is looking at mobile traffic. If you don’t have a responsive mobile optimized site the chances are anyone who visits via a smartphone will bounce. Sites that have a high bounce rate for mobile visitors should look at making a mobile site or improving navigation for smartphone users.

The easiest way to look at mobile visitors is again use the advanced segment throughout your Google Analytics account.

Mobile visitors

Conclusion 

Hopefully you’ll never look at bounce rates the same again. The key is not to look at bounce rates as a negative stat but instead understand the number in context. Never look at bounce rate as an average for your entire site. Instead jump in, dive deep and understand bounce rates using one of the three segment types above.

Learn how to use Google Analytics on your blog with an exclusive presentation brought to you by Nuffnang, as Ivan explains the basics of Google Analytics for bloggers. One lucky webinar attendee will even WIN a personalised 1-hour Google Analytics training session from Tweaky.com, valued at $250! Register your interest now.

Valissa
Nuffnang Community Team

Nuffnang Tuesday Tips & Tricks

You may or may not have noticed, as a lead up to the launch of our new website, we decided to create our very own Nuffnang Australia twitter account (@NuffnangAU).

Since our launch back in late November 2008, we’ve had some useful feedback from our bloggers that we were a little quiet….. (cue: crickets)

With the rise of bloggers using Twitter, we decided this was a great platform for us to keep our community of bloggers updated on what has been happening behind the scenes at Nuffnang Australia HQ. It’s been great, not only to show people what we’ve been doing but also a great way to communicate with you and friends of Nuffnang. So during the course of our working day, (and sometimes our working nights) you’ll see us Tweeting along, following you, re-tweeting interesting links and helping you get the word out there about your latest blog posts.

Here are some behind the scenes Twitpics of Nuffnang busy bees:

Nuffnang Australia Twitter @nuffnangau

http://twitpic.com/photos/nuffnangau

And some nice tweets from our Nuffnangers too!

http://twitter.com/nuffnangAU/status/2447770069

http://twitter.com/nuffnangAU/status/3222688462

http://twitter.com/nuffnangAU/status/3280699030

If you have any questions, want to promote your posts to our Nuffnang network, or just want to say Hi, send us a tweet for a chat! :) Start following us today @NuffnangAU.

Happy Tweeting!

Nuffnang <3
Nuffnang Australia Twitter @nuffnangau

Site Admin
Nuffnang Community Team

Nuffnang Tuesday Tips & Tricks

Great! Now that you’ve signed up with Nuffnang, you may be wondering what’s this little code you have to upload into your blog?

This little code serves a few purposes for you, for us, and for your advertisers.

As a Nuffnang blogger, it gives you access to some very cool features within Nuffnang like:

Blog Analytics – Find out how many readers are visiting your blog every day, where are they coming from, and which Nuffnangers are reading your blog.

Your very own Poll – Easily create your own poll and ask your readers your very own questions. Who came first, the chicken or the egg? Should I buy those tight, white flares? :)

Run Ads – Most importantly, it lets you run paying advertisers, support a charity, or Nuffnang promotional ads on your blog!

It’s also very easy to upload these codes and once your done, you will have some pretty nifty tools at your disposal!

Here are the easy steps to follow:

1. Sign Up to Nuffnang and Join a community of amazing Aussie bloggers.

2. Activate your account and answer some easy profiling questions.

3. Login to your brand spanking new account.

4. In your center console, scroll right and click on “ADD AD” button.
Nuffnang blogger centre console

5. Upload our 3 ad size units that best fits your blog – 160×300 (most popular), 300×250 and 728×90. You can chose just one or add even more!

If you have any problems, there is a step by step instruction on the right. Just choose your blogging platform: WordPress, Blogspot, Xanga, or Tabulas.

How to Upload tips

Once it’s uploaded, you’re done! You’ll need to allow a few days for your code to start generating statistics and we’ll start hunting down quality advertisers for your blog. Because all of our ads are hand picked by REAL PEOPLE for your blog, it takes a little more time, but we can guarantee we’ll never ask you to “Improve your love life!” When we don’t have paying advertisers for your blog, we don’t run dodgy boring text like other networks but minimize our ad and save the precious space on your blog.

Happy blogging and stay tuned for more Tips & Tricks! :)

Site Admin
Nuffnang Community Team

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