I have just opened a Google Analytics account so I could track my blog traffic. I have also removed CAPTCHA, comment moderation, and the requirement to sign in to leave comments.
According to the report I received on the GA site, I'm not doing too badly, traffic-wise. Yet, only one visitor left a comment today. I don't understand. If my traffic is pretty good, then why aren't people commenting or following? Am I doing something wrong?
Here are my stats:
Unique Visitors: 486
Pages per visit: 1.91
Avg. Visit Duration: 00:00:37
Bounce Rate: 42.51%
New Visits: 97.98%
Could somebody let me know what's happening? I've noticed that the duration of the average visit is only 37 seconds. I'm wondering why...I do try to make my blog as interesting as possible, and I work hard on it.
I sure would appreciate some feedback. Thanks!! : )
Are you commenting on other blogs? If not, start doing it. Most people will try to stop by and comment on your blog. They might even look around!
Occasionally add pieces meant to spark discussion. If you're just presenting information, people sometimes feel like there is nothing to add to your post so they don't comment.
Well, I've commented on other blogs, and they haven't commented back. Not everyone does it, unfortunately. Just a week ago, I went to this blog that I think is just beautiful! I had been following for a while, but rarely commented. I happened to see three reviews of books that I want to read myself. I commented on each of them. Not a single comment did I get back! The same day, I went to another blog, on which I had also not commented in quite a while. I commented on a guest post, in which I respectfully dissented with the person who wrote it. Believe me, I was not rude. Instead, I calmly pointed out points of disagreement. I also thanked this person for such a thought-provoking post, and also thanked the blogger for hosting the person, Did I get a reply? No, I did not. Nor did I get a comment back on my blog. Here's another case: An author I have recently started reading hosted a party on their Facebook fan page. Now, this author and I had alredy had some pleasant interactions in the past. When I found out about this party, on their blog, I excitedly commented, also telling them that I was going to post about it on my blog. I did not get a reply on their blog, nor did this author come over to my blog to comment on the post, and thank me for it.
So now can you tell me what the heck is going on? (I'm not upset with you, I want you to know. That doesn't come across in typewritten text. Lol. I am honestly and sincerely puzzled.)
As for pieces that spark discussion, I think you might have a point there. I do participate in a couple of memes, and those posts always have a question at the end. But maybe I do need to work on this.
Let me know what you think of this comment, and thanks!! : )
Try not to worry about it. It's incredibly hard trying to find the right audience for your blog. Not everyone has the same taste in books so it's hard to find book blogs you want to follow, read, and comment on.
All you can really do is comment on other blogs, keep writing your own content, and try to stir up discussions on your blog.
Hi, again! Thank you so much for your supportive comments! That's very sweet of you!! <3
I've been blogging since Sept., 2010, so I can't help feeling discouraged... Some of my posts can take up to four hours to put together, and, after all that effort, to get no comments...
I've tried not to worry about it, but it's not easy...
Looking at the above stats again, I've come to the conclusion that's been staring me in the face: my content is just not engaging readers. Most of the visitors listed in these stats were new to my blog. So I couldn't have possibly commented on their blogs, because they didn't stick around long enough to comment. Without a comment, they remain lurkers, and nothing more. The average duration of each visit - that's the answer. Yes, I had a lot of visitors yesterday, but they didn't find my content interesting. Therefore, they didn't feel they needed to comment. In fact, they didn't stay long eough to comment. I guess I've been in denial all this time.....
Thanks again for your thoughts!! : )
Okay. Here's the bad news. And don't take it personally, this is true for all blogs.
Some of those hits are from spammers.
It works like this. They visit your blog, you check your stats and see that you've got numerous hits from one website. You click on the link for the website and at best, get an ad for whatever product or service they are selling, at worst your computer ends up with a nasty virus.
Okay, moving along, you're always going to get more readers than comments. Such is life. A good trick, though is to end your post with a question or anything that may stimulate discussion (as Alison suggested,). Also, reply to and take an interest in the comments that are made on your blog. People are a lot more likely to keep commenting if they know that you are interested in what they have to say. Another idea is to participate in one or two weekly memes--ones like Feature and Follow Friday which are designed to help bloggers connect and stimulate discussion.
Hmmmm....I hadn't thought of that... but if a lot of these hits are from spammers, you'd think they'd leave comments, so I'd click on their links. Lol.
There's one thing I forgot to point out to Alison in my reply to her: a lot of thse were hits from first-time visitors. According to Google Analytics, 97.98% of them were. So I couldn't possibly have commented on their blogs, since I don't even know who they were.
What really concerns me is the short duration of each visit. That means they didn't feel interested enough to stick around. Or, as you say, they were spammers, but again, you would have thogutht they would have left their spam comments...
As for memes, I do participate in "Waiting On Wednesday" and "Shelf Candy Saturday". But maybe I need to have other posts that ask questions at the end, as well.
One more thing -- I DO engage with commenters. I reply to each comment on my blog, and then go over to the commenter's blog and comment back. If for some reason I can't reply on my blog, I do a group comment, thanking all participants, and then go to each commenter's blog to comment back.
Thank you so much for your input!!
I am going to be very honest with you to really try and help you attract those readers first thing. Although everyone's style is different, the best way to get your blog read, followed, commented on by a random stumbled-upon-you visiter, is by having a very clean page. This page is not mine, but of another popular book blog site. It is super simple to read, easy to navigate, and each review is limited to the amount you see on the main page without clicking the link - which you would only do if that particular book is interesting to you. If you have visiters visiting for 37 seconds, they may just be browsing to see what type of books you review or see if any are on their own bookshelves, however it would take me 37 seconds to look at not even ONE review, because it is so long on the homepage. And you don't even have a review as your first post being that long. It was super daunting to read.
I would suggest making a pagebreak where your readers can click to read more after the initial blurb. I would also make your cover picture a bit smaller so that we can see the beginning of your blog right away, not just a picture when it loads.
Finally, design is only a preference, but I perfer to read on a white background with black or dark colored writing. Only because it is very clear.
I truly hope that I've helped and not offended you in anyway. I love your blog, your reviews are intelligent and thoughtful - long enough to get your point across. And your rating system is very clear. I just started blogging, but these are the tips a very good friend of mine and a super popular nail polish blogger gave me before I started. :))) If you'd like to see her site http://www.letthemhavepolish.com/ and mine is http://betweenthebind.blogspot.com. I mean, my blog is not even CLOSE to perfect...but it's a slow creative process.
WOW. You're such a nice person to take of your time to give me all these suggestions! Thank you so much!! : )
You've really given me some food for thought here. I'm going to have to come back tomorrow, when I have more time, to give you a more detailed reply. For now, I can say that I greatly appreciate your time and suggestions! I also appreciate that you took a look at my blog and read some reviews.
I'll be back tomorrow. Thanks again!!!! <3
Awe awesome! :) I'm so glad. I'm sure you would do the same for me! :) Talk to you soon!
Here I am! I got home from work at 5:35 PM (but I have to be at my night job at 7:00 PM.... )
Of course I'd do the same thing for you! And I really appreciate all of your advice!
I think I'll do the page break thing. I have to find out how to do this (probably in my Settings). For now, I'm going to limit the number of posts on the home page to 4.
As for your advice about making sure to have a clean page...I hope you don't get mad, but I have to tell you...I just don't like having a white page with black or dark type. In fact, I tend to follow blogs that have dark pages, with white or light type (or colored type, as I myself started using). I do appreciate your suggestions in this area, though. It's a matter of taste, as you say. I really hope you don't get mad, or feel hurt.
I've looked at the blog samples you've given me. They're all excellent, but they're just not my style. You see, I'm not only presenting my writing, but also creating an artistic statement with my layout. The template and background belong to Blogger,of course, but I've done my own thing with them. I look at my blog as a creative outlet. Again, it's a matter of aesthetic taste.
Let me give you three examples of blogs with layouts I love. These all have dark backgrounds with light type. The first one has my favorite color throughout most of the layout!
See what I mean? I think maybe what I have to do is to tweak my basic design. But I just don't see myself using black type on a white background. It's just not me...
Thanks again for your suggestions!! You ROCK. :D
I totally get what you mean! And no - I'm not offended at all! :) I love creativity and differences are what makes this world (and books!) beautiful.
Thank you for the links - and I most definitely felt your vision after seeing your other examples. All three of those blogs are awesome! And I get the paranormal/romance feel right away with all of them.
That's a problem I've had with my blog. I like clean lines but review darker books and want my readers to see that right away - so I "asked" (haha) my husband to design an avatar and background for me which is almost done and I think you would LOVE it! Thank goodness I didn't have to pay anyone...sheesh.
I'll definitely contact you when it's up to see what you think - if that would be okay?
And your using blogger right? All you have to do is this: when you are posting, write you whole blog. Before you post, find the spot that you would like your page break to be and put the curser there. At the top of the page there is this weird little white icon directly left of the alignment button. (when you hover it says "insert jump break"). Click and post! That's it! :)
Good luck with all of your blogging and I'm now following you (Between the Bind is my GFC name). You are awesome!
Talk with you soon!
Aw....you're so nice!! I'm so glad your feelings weren't hurt, and that you weren't offended, since that would be the very last thing I'd want to do, believe me!
I'm very excited to see what your husband designed for you! And I'll be on the lookout, because I'm now following you back!! Thank you so much for following me!!
I'll try out your instructions for the line breaks. Ive never done that before, but I'll try it! Thanks for letting me know what to do.
You're awesome yourself!! I'm sending you a friend request!! :D