Blog Improvement Project Other

Comment of the Week Competition – Results

2009bip-150x210The Blog Improvement Project challenged me to make my blog more comment friendly, so last week I initiated three big changes to try to increase the number of comments on my blog. These were:

Ask specific questions

I ensured that every post contained at least one, and frequently more, specific questions, to try to encourage my lovely blog readers to supply me with their book knowledge, and engage in discussion.

Reply to every comment received

I made an effort to reply to every single comment left on my blog, as soon as possible. Even when people left short “I loved this book too” comments, I used this as an opportunity to agree with them, and then give further reasons as to why the book was great, or to recommend similar books they might enjoy.

Launch Comment of the Week Competition

    The idea was that at the end of the week I’d write a post highlighting the most thoughtful/inspiring/amusing comments I received in the previous seven days.

    So here it is!

    My post on The Ten Most Useful Cookbooks had a record-breaking (for me anyway!) 33 comments. I loved hearing about other people’s love of cookbooks, and here are a few of my favourite comments from this post:

    Since I am an absolutely horrible cook (just ask those that have ever been exposed to the dodgy results of my efforts!) any cookbook is a godsend to me! I need a book with clear, precise instructions – starting with the very basics (i.e. turn on oven). There is a very comprehensive cookbook written by Australian chef, Stephanie Alexander, which I find really helpful. It takes you though the basics as well as including many, many recipes – just perfect for me! Karen

    I collect cookbooks as well but don’t use them nearly as much as I should. I am going to make an effort to try more cooking recipes and be creative. Your post has inspired me along with watching my favorite cooking shows! In the US, I love Top Chef and Chopped( a new show on Food Network) and another called The Chopping Block that was hosted by UK Chef Marco Pierre White. Sadly, it was just cancelled but I found that you can still watch all the episodes online. I wrote a post about it yesterday. Bonnie

    Love Nigella Lawson but have never checked this one out. Looks as if a trip to the library is in order. Just love the way she thinks of food as pleasurable, social rather than a mere collection of nutrients. And she is extremely funny. Always got a kick of her eating out of her refrigerator late at night on her show. Frances

     For a moment then I didn’t think there was any Nigella on the list and would have been most shocked, then I spotted her. Though her Christmas show was a bit bizarre my first Christmas Dinner was a huge hit thanks to it. Simon

    I also found many of the replies to My First Week on Twitter post very useful:

    Just post any ole link you’d like! I love Twitter and feel that I’ve gotten to know people a lot better through it. I have also used it for business by using DM (direct message). It is a great marketing tool and social tool. As with anything, you get out of it what you put into it. One thing is to stay around for at least a half hour or so at a time so that you can tweet thing and people can answer and you join in or start a conversation. Beth

    I will enjoy Twitter vicariously through you! I figure by resisting Twitter, I will be banning myself to old-fogey status, but I’ll stick with my Facebook. I figure if I wait long enough, something else will take over the world soon enough! Sandy


 It took me a long time to decide who should win my comment of the week competition, and finally decided that Dorte H  sneaked into the lead with:

Oh, how do I write a comment so short, boring and stupid that anyone can see I am not at all trying to win anything??

It summed up exactly how I’d feel if one of my blogging friends launched a competition like this, and as it was a little bit different to all the other comments I didn’t have to decide who was being the most useful!!

Congratulations Dorte!

You win 3 bookmooch points, or the choice of any book I have for sale on greenmetropolis – I’ll send you an email later!

The improvements to the way I handle comments on my blog had a positive effect on comment numbers. In the week I launched the improvements the number of comments I received  increased by 33%, compared to the previous week.  I also noticed an improvement in the quality of the comment – so a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to comment on my blog! I really appreciate every single one!

I will continue to use these techniques, and although there will no longer be prizes, I hope to highlight the best comments I have received at the end of each month.

Did you notice the comment friendly improvements on my blog?

Did you feel that you were commenting more than usual, and if so why?

Can you think of other ways I can make it more comment friendly?

I look forward to hearing all your comments/suggestions!

Blog Improvement Project Other

What makes a good comment?

Entries to my Comment of the Week Competition have officially CLOSED!

Now I have the difficult task of trying to decide which comment is the best. It is proving much harder than I expected it to be. How do I decide which comment is better than all the others? Should it be based on how useful the comment was to me? How informative it was to my others readers? How funny it was? 

HELP! I think I need to devise a complex rating system for them all!  I need some advise on how to proceed now…..

What sort of comments are the most helpful?

What types of comments do you most like receiving on your blog?

 Can you share one which you found particularly useful?

I’d love to hear all your thoughts on what makes a comment great!

Thank you!

Blog Improvement Project Other

My first week on Twitter

12065792511036325169gerald_g_chick_4_svg_medI finally signed up to Twitter last week, and have found it to be a very interesting exercise. I’ll admit that I didn’t really see the point of it initially. It had been described to me as being like the status updates on facebook, and although I enjoy reading my friend’s facebook updates, I didn’t see the point of reading updates from 100s of people around the world, even if they do happen to be famous.

What no one explained to me was what a good marketing tool it is. Since signing up I have found lots of great articles on the Internet, which I would otherwise have missed. This is because the great people I’m following on Twitter will send a message out whenever they find a post worth reading. I haven’t done this yet myself, as I’m a bit unsure of the etiquette. Is it OK to just tweet about any site I happen to find interesting? Or should I get their permission first?

I know that Twitter automatically converts urls which are over 30 characters to Tiny ones. Should I convert all the web-links I tweet into tiny ones, or only if they are too long?

I’ve heard about Twitter spam, but haven’t come across any yet. Has anyone had a spam problem there yet?

I have also learnt some new words. Did you know that a twoosh is a 140 character tweet? Or that a tweep is someone who follows you on twitter?  I have found this Twitter Dictionary really useful, as there are so many new words to discover.

I’ve enjoyed my first week, but am pleased that I am showing no signs of addiction to it. I just check it once or twice a day, and find it to be a great blogging tool, rather than the enjoyable waste of time I expected it to be.

My Twitter user name is farmlanebooks. If you’re a twitter user then you are welcome to follow me – I’ll try to add more useful tweets in the future. If you’re not yet signed up, then I recommend you give it a try, as it is not at all how I expected it to be.

Remember the Comment of the Week Competition! I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

Blog Improvement Project Other

Announcing: The Comment of the Week Competition!

2009bip-150x210This week the Blog Improvement Project task is to make your blog more comment friendly. After reading this inspiring post  (Thank you, for drawing it to my attention Kim!) 

 I’m launching:  


The Comment of the Week Competition!

The idea is that each week I will write a post highlighting the most thoughtful/inspiring/amusing comments I have received in the previous seven days.

To celebrate the first competition I will be awarding the winner:

 3 bookmooch points, or the choice of any book I have for sale on greenmetropolis.

I have about 200+ fiction books for sale on there, so there is some thing for everyone!

This competition is open to everyone in the world!

Comments can be added anywhere on my blog, and I will choose the best ones added between now and noon GMT on 13th April.

I look forward to reading all your interesting comments!

Good Luck!

Blog Improvement Project Other

Do you Digg it?

125px-digg_new_svgAs part of the Blog Improvement Project I have just signed up to Digg, but after having a browse round the site, and a few other web discussions about it, I’m not really sure there was much point in signing up. It looks as though it is a great site for finding out about current news stories, and maybe a few interesting one-off articles, but I’m not convinced that it is a great way of drawing traffic to your blog.

If you do manage to get an article accepted to Digg (and this sounds like a political minefield!), it sounds as though it may generate short term spikes in visitor numbers, but no long term benefits.

Have you signed up to Digg? Have you managed to successfully submit an article? If so, did it produce any results for you? Unless I hear some amazing anecdotes, I’m not going to attempt any more Digging!

Blog Improvement Project Other

Does Instagram Work For You?

Instagram саn wоrk bеttеr fоr some businesses thаn оthеrѕ.It has more than 800 mіllіоn monthly uѕеrѕ, аnd is соntіnuіng tо grow. And, because it’s part оf Fасеbооk, уоu know thеrе іѕ hugе рrеѕѕurе fоr іt to succeed. But dоеѕ Inѕtаgrаm work fоr уоur buѕіnеѕѕ?

Instagram іѕ a hіghlу visual ѕосіаl marketing platform. If уоu’rе a ѕеrvісе provider, уоu саn post a rаngе of pictures to hеlр соnvеу уоur brаnd аnd vаluе proposition. However, when уоu can rеаllу show оff іf уоu hаvе physical products аnd a ѕоund Inѕtаgrаm mаrkеtіng ѕtrаtеgу will definitely hеlр to bооѕt ѕаlеѕ and profits.

Mаrkеtіng On Inѕtаgrаm

Just lіkе аnу оthеr social network, good results соmе frоm іnсrеаѕіng your following on a constant basis. Thе mоrе реорlе whо network wіth уоur роѕtѕ and brand, thе larger уоur роtеntіаl аudіеnсе for еасh роѕt.

Instagram аnd Instagram аdѕ рrоvіdе уоu with thе орроrtunіtу to соnnесt wіth thе people in уоur niche in a fun, visual wау. It’ѕ еаѕу tо uѕе іf уоu hаvе a ѕmаrtрhоnе. Tаkе a photo, uрlоаd іt, and уоur followers will see іt аnd bе able tо interact wіth it. Whеrеаѕ Instagram is a fun fоrm оf social interacting, іt саn bе hаrd to buіld a рrеvаlеnt page and gаіn followers. Oссаѕіоnаllу juѕt роѕtіng great іmаgеѕ аnd іntеrеѕtіng ѕtоrіеѕ is not еnоugh to drаw courtesy to уоur Inѕtаgrаm. An outstanding wау tо rаріdlу buіld уоur Inѕtаgrаm following is tо рurсhаѕе followers. Idea tо рurсhаѕе Inѕtаgrаm follower from socialcaptain is an ореrаtіvе mаrkеtіng mеthоd оf thе соmраnу which wіll aid tо bооѕt online rеlіаbіlіtу. If a dіѕtіnсt hаѕ many followers it wоuld mаkе the Inѕtаgrаm profile арреаrаnсе mоrе аttrасtіvе tо thе nеw рrоѕресtіvе fоllоwеrѕ оf уоur рrоfіlе.

Prоvіdе a Cаll to Aсtіоn

Thе mаіn mіѕtаkе made bу marketers is іn роѕtіng things оnlіnе wіthоut a саll to action. Set аn оbjесtіvе for еасh роѕt аnd uѕе thе objective to establish уоur саll tо асtіоn, fоr example “rеgіѕtеr nоw” оr “buу now.”

Uѕе The Analytics

Thе analytics оn Inѕtаgrаm аllоw your business tо see how wеll уоur vаrіоuѕ саmраіgnѕ аrе wоrkіng. Yоu hаvе tо соnvеrt to a buѕіnеѕѕ account tо ассеѕѕ thе tools. The tооlѕ wіll then hеlр уоu hаvе аn understanding оf hоw уоur followers аrе engaging wіth уоur соntеnt, ѕо уоu can get еvеn bеttеr rеѕultѕ.


Nоt everybody uses Instagram, ѕо саріtаlіzе оn each роѕt wіth a сrоѕѕ-роѕt on Fасеbооk, Twіttеr, Tumblr, Pіntеrеѕt,еtс. Don’t forget tо аlѕо іnvіtе реорlе tо fоllоw you on Instagram.

Dоn’t Ovеrроѕt

Choose twо time spots, dау and еvеnіng, аnd see whеn mоѕt оf уоur еngаgеmеnt occurs. Thеn add роѕtѕ ѕtеаdіlу, оr rеduсе уоur роѕtіng іf уоu are gеttіng a ѕmаllеr аmоunt оf еngаgеmеnt.

Instagram Stories

Instagram ѕtоrіеѕ allow buѕіnеѕѕеѕ tо іntеrасt wіth thеіr сuѕtоmеrѕ and рrоѕресtѕ by mаkіng a ѕеrіеѕ оf images іn оrdеr tо tеll a ѕtоrу. Eасh story you create should еnhаnсе your brаnd аnd make your vаluе рrороѕіtіоn сlеаr.

Thе іmроrtаnt thіng to rеmеmbеr аbоut Inѕtаgrаm ѕtоrіеѕ is they’re nоt everlasting. Thе images аnd videos rеmаіn оn уоur feed fоr оnlу 24 hours, thеn dіѕарреаr. Inѕtаgrаm ѕtоrіеѕ саn be uѕеd fоr increased brаnd аwаrеnеѕѕ, getting mоrе subscribers аnd gеnеrаtіng ѕаlеѕ. Post уоur ѕtоrіеѕ аt a tіmе уоu knоw is рорulаr wіth your uѕеrѕ, іn оrdеr tо mаkе thе mоѕt оf the 24-hour сусlе.