I also consider this post as a part of my goal setting process that will help me following it more consistently. So fingers crossed, eh?
Without a reading plan and schedule I am inclined to slide into a reading slump. And that’s why I join up as many reading challenges as I can, just to keep me motivated.
Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020
I have been reading 45 books or so for the past few years. So I think I can safely increase it to 52 in 2021.
I know it doesn’t sound like much when you compare the 100s of books that other bloggers read in a year. But it is definitely a challenge for me to reach this number considering how busy I get around the mid year.
2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge
I read non fiction books once in a while. But I want to make it official in 2021, and I will participating in the Nonfiction Reader Challenge hosted by Bookdout.
I will probably read more of Self help and essay collections under this category.
Target: Nonfiction Nibbler – Read 6 books, from any category
Books in Translation Reading Challenge 2021
Another reading challenge that I am participating this year would be the Books in Translation, where we read translated books (from any language to any other language, not just English).
I have been wondering why I have not read as many Indian regional literature as I would like to have, and I would be correcting it in 2021.
Target: Conversationalist: 4-6 books
Reading more classics
I have been trying to do this in the past few years but I have not covered a lot. So I think 2021 might be the year that I actually read more classics, including children’s.
Anyone has a good reading list or guide to follow? Please do share.
Blogging plans and actions
After a tumultuous year that broke most of us emotionally and mentally, I just need an action plan to go forward. You know, an attempt to make things more normal. So here comes by blogging plans for 2021.
I have a fairly regular blogging schedule and I hope I don’t have to change it – because it works for me and you guys, based on my statistics.
Sunday – Personal and blog related updates
Monday – Book reviews
Wednesday – Discussion posts related to books, blogging or self development.
Friday – Listicles, quotes and quizzes. An occasional guest post.
I love how far I have come in making the schedule consistent, despite 2020, and I hope it continues.
Learn to care about the follower counts and blog statistics.
Though it is 2021, we are still under the throes of the pandemic and we are not yet normalcy. I am not going to be trying too hard or be stressing myself with these plans, but using these action plans as guidelines and take it as they come.
What are your reading and blogging plans like? Do you engage in a yearly planning process? Tell me more about your 2021 plans. Let us chat.
I might be a little later than usual but I am excited to announce that the Comment 4 comment challenge is back on for 2021! It is time to get back on the wagon as a conscious effort to increase the engagement and commenting on our blog. Are you ready for this?
Blog engagement is the key!
Despite what we tell ourselves about how we blog for ourselves or how it is just a hobby, we love getting comments on our posts and meeting new likeminded bloggers.
Without such validation via comments or shares we may as well be just screaming into the void. Trust me that is just a sure shot way into blogger burnout – something that we all dread.
The comment 4 comment challenge has been greatly successful in the past (2018, 2019). I am sure the participants gained quite a number of blogger friends who not just commented and shared on their blogs, but also gained a good support system.
Let’s rebuild that one. Welcome to C4CC-2021 edition!
What is the Comment 4 Comment Challenge (C4CC) 2021?
The major issue for any small blogger is building an audience and increasing their blog engagement. And that means getting more visitors, comments and shares on your blog. If that sounds interesting to you, this challenge is for you.
The goal of C4CC is ‘leave no comment un-replied and un-returned’.
What do you have to do?
Replying all the comments you received on your blog
Visiting the said commenter’s blog to leave a comment
If you feel you are up for this challenge, SIGN UP right away.
What is the goal anyway?
If you have any of the following as goal for your blog this year
Be more social
Increase the number of comments on your blog, organically
Make more blogging friends
Improve blogging engagement
Increase your blog followers
Finding similar blogs
Then this Comment 4 Comment Challenge (C4CC) for you!
How can you participate in this challenge?
Sign up for the challenge here
Grab my button and add on your blog
Follow my blog and leave a comment to this post.
Share the news on social media
Bring in your buddy and as they say, the more the merrier.
One of the most asked questions that new bloggers have is how to get more comments on their blog post. Especially when you have not yet made as many friends in the blogging world it might seem like a difficult task. I talked about how to comment on other blogs, even if you are an introvert on my earlier post, so I promise this is gonna be much easier than that.
How do some of the bloggers get so many comments and have so many friends who dote their posts?
Let me break it out for you right away. There are no shortcuts to receiving 100 comments per post. It takes time, patience, and efforts to build those relations. Commenting and blog hopping goes much beyond ‘I will scratch yours if you do mine’. And that is why many ‘follow for follow’ groups fail.
Get More Comments On Your Blog
Here are all the small things that we all can do easily to motivate, help and enthuse the readers of your blog to comment.
Let us face it, not all of us want to leave comments on all the posts we read. And most of us are still too anxious to start a conversation on the internet with a stranger, even if we love their content. So why not make it easier for them right?
End with a question
Many of us write posts between 500-1200 words and our content is usually so awesome that we often leave the reader baffled on to what to say. I am not even exaggerating. Okay maybe a bit. But seriously it is on us to prod the reader to leave a comment and then tell them what to comment about.
My posts usually end with a ‘let us chat’ section where I ask some relevant questions for the reader to answer or share their thoughts on. Of course they are welcome to talk about anything they want, but a little guidance never hurt anyone, right?
Just make sure these questions are generic and open ended so it is easier to get a variety of comments.
Make it a dialogue
Do not forget to respond to those comments when you receive them. Do not leave the other person hanging, make it a dialogue. This will help the other blogger to remember you and maybe visit again. If you can you should visit their blog and leave them a comment as well. As I said earlier, this is beyond being reciprocal. Who knows, you might make a new friend even!
If this is something that interests you, you should consider joining the Comment 4 comment Challenge. The goal is to make sure we return every comment we receive on our blog. You think you can do that?
Make use of relevant plugins
Okay this is kinda specific for self hosted bloggers, but hey it might be useful for others as well some day right?There are nifty little plugins that I love and I know a lot of bloggers who swear by them. I am gonna keep the descriptions short and will provide a link if you wanna read more about them,
A lot of bloggers use this plugin to let their commenters leave a link to their latest post. I love how some of them have set it up to bring up the last 10 posts so that the commenter could have a choice.
Thanks to Evelinah for recommending me this plugin and I totally depend on it these days. This plugin adds another tab on your WordPress comments section and shows only those comments that you have not responded to.
If you don’t have these plugins, do consider using them. They make the commenting life much simpler.
Find out who are your regulars and form a relationship with them. Of course you don’t have to force yourself to do that. But the fact that they are visiting your blog regularly means you have something in common with them, so why not explore that?
You might want to take a look at Bloggers’ comment junction if you are interested in forming long standing blogging relationship and a community that will support you through comments and shares.
Make commenting easier
This sounds like a no brainer but it is kinda very important. Make it easier for the other bloggers to comment on your blog. Ditch all the things that complicate their lives. I mean Captchas and excessive authentication questions.
As I have mentioned on my earlier post, blog engagement is a two way street. Commentors may not flock to your well written post just because it is up there you actively promote it on your social media and keep linking it everywhere. You will still have to make an effort to talk to other bloggers through their comments.
I love how responsive Cait from Paperfury is to her comments, even when she must be receiving 100+ comments on each of her post. We should all make a start somewhere and just start leaving comments, despite what our introvert self says.
What are your secrets to receiving lots of comments on your blog? Do you use these plugins? Are you struggling to get more comments on your post? Share us your favorite plugin or trick to boost the number of comments on your post. Let us talk.
Blog engagement is a two way street. The only way to improve interactions on your blog is to take the plunge and involving yourself in one. I understand how that sounds difficult especially if you are an introverted bookworm, like many of us are but take a step, we won’t bite I promise.
Be it a new blogger or a blogger who has been lurking around the corner for a while but never joined for a discussion but want to, this post is for you. I belong to the second category, it took me years to come out of my hermit shell to talk to other bloggers or leave comments on their blog.
I just want to say I understand how frightening it is. And to leave you with a list of etiquette as a reference to follow when you are leaving comments on others’ blog. And I promise, it gets easier.
1) Start by saying something relevant
Assume commenting as dropping into someone else’s party. All you have to do say a hi and join the conversation that is already going on, ie the topic or the post. I know it might sound intimidating, but once you start commenting you will get better at it.
2) Nothing is at stake
Remember nothing really bad comes of making a bad comment. Nobody is judging you, especially not your comment. Once you start commenting on a few blogs you will definitely feel better And the blogging community is usually nice and nicer to the newbies.
3) Leave genuine comments
Last week someone was talking about how they received a comment asking to check out their new blog and leave a comment there. This type of comments rarely work.
Remember blogging is as much about relationships as it is about commenting and engagement. What type of comments would you wanna receive? Etiquette is all about common sense and giving what you want to receive.
4) Spark a response
No no, I am not recommending to start a keyboard war.
But invoke a response from the blogger by asking a relevant question or sharing an anecdote or experience. Leaving generic comments like “Awesome post! Thanks for sharing.” are okay too, but they don’t call out for a reply, does it?
5) Do not self promote
While it is okay to share relevant links in a comment leaving comments to your own blog is generally frowned upon. Of course you can link your blog from your user name that you use to sign in.
Blog engagement is crucial to making us motivated to keep blogging. It is that kind of validation we all love from our peers. Otherwise I might be just shouting at the void, right?
Well, we all need a community.
Last year I joined the 365 days commenting hosted by Read Write Love 28 and failed at it miserably. Obviously it was too much for me and I dropped out fairly early of the game. Apparently I need some encouragement and a lot of support to get to doing what I am supposed to do anyway.