Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to Get (and Keep) More Visitors

I received the above comment from a student in Mr. Miller's class. Mr. Miller told his class they would stop getting homework if they reached 2,500 hits on their class blog. Click here for an update. Make sure you stop by and add another hit to the map!

I left a comment on the blog with the below advice. I have expanded some of it. The original comment is in bold.

1) I have been blogging for three years and the hits add up. I have not changed my blog address in three years so it makes it easier for people to find me after a long period of time.

It is difficult to get attention from the education world for your blog because of the lack of teachers using technology and/or the lack of access to technology in the classrooms. There also seems to be a lot of ed tech "experts" that talk about how important it is for students to use tech tools, but they don't spend much time or attention visiting or promoting students' work.

2) I post regularly so that people have a reason to come back often. This is critical. I want to have a new post up at least every day or two. It seems like many times I will go days without posting and then I have two or three entries. With Blogger I can schedule posts to take place at a later time which I use often to help space out my posts. When I look at the blogs I follow on my site, I am much more likely to visit one that has newish content.

3) The title of my posts have words that people search for using search engines like Google. If your titles are not descriptive enough people won't find them in a search. I know for a fact that most of my hits come from Google. People search for specific things and if your titles are specific you will get more hits. I use Feedjit to see where my visitors come from and how they get there. For example, I have a post on the BBC website Dance Mat Typing. If you Google BBC typing I currently come in fifth on the list.

4) I comment on lots of others blogs. When I comment I make sure it is positive and relevant. Don't write something like, "Nice post", write instead, "I really like the way you used descriptive adjectives in your story." or "That is a great science project! When I teach that subject I will do this activity too. I also do __________ when I teach this." I started the comments4kids meme on twitter to encourage leaving comments on students' blogs, a by product of that is the ability to link back to our own blog. We receive a lot of hits and comments from blogs we leave comments on.

I am sure there are lots of other things that help. If you know of any please post it in a comment below.


NZWaikato said...

I agree with all of these things absolutely they are critical in growing and establishing an auidence. I would also strongly suggest that your work is tagged to include your class address on it somewhere. The videos that I put online I have incorporated a five second 'intro' at the start, and one at the end (created with photostory of all things) that repeats the address and then I have uploaded or spread the videos around (such as uploading them to teachertube or youtube) with the address as part of the video that way you get credit for your work (and some of my students videos have turned up in the strangest places) and you get traffic following you back from where its come from.

John Strange said...

Excellent suggestions. I have not scheduled my posts, but I now will. And I have not paid enough attention to the titles I use. I will do that too. The intros and endings to movies is also an excellent ide that I will incorporate into my practices.

I had already figured out that I should use a single URL. The change begins next semester.

Thanks for the tips!

Cade Somers' EDM310 Blog said...

Very, very interesting tips. You know, those students should not be so eager to go without homework. But, at least they have responsibility to achieve something in order for them to be relieved from any homework. Thanks for the post.