First, it is important to note that in a few hours time the first half of the year 2011 will eternally become a thing of the past. We are right now set to step into the second half of the game!
Indeed time has flown so fast that many of us are wondering, is it six months already! But if, in any way, you are not close to your goals for the year then, you need to sit down and re-strategize to see that the next six months give you what you want.
I must be sincere that though I was close to exceeding my set goals for the first half of the year as at April the recent challenges I experience starting from May reversed the results by almost 40%! My goal for this blog when the year started was to triple the blog traffic by the second quarter as to take advantage of some advertising programs. As at the end of April this was already being achieved but right now the statistics have fallen in the past 3 weeks because of the problems experienced. In fact traffic is down by almost 40% though, search engine traffic has continued to increase.
I was really feeling discouraged but the recent Google PageRank result has come as not just a morale boost for me but a confirmation that things are heading the right way! When the January PageRank result was released, this blog had a PageRank of 0 but moving from that to PageRank 3 has given me hope again. Of course, I’ve been recieving emails asking for ad spaces, I’m positively sure that with this PageRank jump more of that will come! And so the second half of year 2011 will definitely see some more innovations and strategies.
Of course the year is still young to do much but it takes strategizing. Remember the quote I gave you some time ago: “Without a strategy, there is bound to be tragedy!” Don’t let it happen to you.
Repositioning the Top Commentators Rewards Package
About 2 weeks ago I informed you of my intention to repackage the top commentators’ contest though it was not really a contest since the top commentators were simply picked and rewarded for their wonderful contributions. But for the past 5 months I’ve keenly watched things and after careful consideration and reviewing everything I’ve decided to take the contest to another level. what it means therefore is that things will now take a contest format for good.
As you already know our top commentators are presently rewarded with:
1. A “dofollow” link for the month using the top commentators plugin. For this the top 8 commentators for the current month received a backlink.
2. A whole month free banner ad (125×125) on the sidebar PLUS a “dofollow” backlink in a post for the top most commentator for each month, and;
3. A “dofollow” backlink in a post for the second position for the month.
The mode of determining these winners had simply been the top commentators’ plugin. But having reviewed the contest so far I’ve decided that this needs to be changed. And so a new way of picking the top commentators will be implemented from the 1st of July. That is, the two (2) top winners who will receive the free banner ad and the post backlinks will be selected based on POINTS and not simply off the top commentators plugin. (I’m looking forward to introducing more rewards in the near future!)
This decision is based on a few things.
First, I personally believe that blogging is about interaction and this could be mostly done in the comments. This is why every comment on this blog receives a reply from me. But unfortunately, I have observed that most times when a comment is posted asking a question or raising an observation and a reply is made, the person who posted the comment in the first place never follow up. This clearly shows that that person never really posted the question expecting a reply!
Secondly, blog comments like the blog post should add VALUE to the discussion. But this has been missing in most of the comments posted. Of course, I’m not ignorant of the fact that many of the readers only want to take advantage of our “dofollow” status. That is understandable. But “dofollow” or no “dofollow” you can gain more from a valuable comment than what you would gain with a comment that, from all indication, shows you never read the post.
Putting these and other reasons together had informed this change in the top commentator rewards contest.
How the Points Will Be Awarded
I’ve allocated points to various items as follows:
1. Value addition = 4 points
2. Each comment = 1 point
3. Each Trackbacks = 2 points
To ensure that everything is ok this is how it will work:
(1) The top commentators’ plugin will be used to determine the number of comments for each person and for each comment a point will be awarded. These will be totaled at the end of the month.
(2) I’ll personally hand-pick the comments that add value to the discussion and award 4 points for each and;
(3) For every trackback 2 points will be awarded.
For example, if a commenter has 5 comments for the month with 2 of these comments truly adding value to the discussion and the said commenter has a trackback to any of the posts, such a commenter would have earned:
Value addition 2 x 4 = 8 points
Number of comments 5 x 1 = 5 points
Trackbacks 1 x 2 = 2 points
Total points 15 points
Please note that for “value addition” my choice will be based on:
1. A clear indication that the commenter has read the post. This will show from the comment.
2. Valuable inputs that build on the post’s subject matter. If you have some good ideas based on the post subject matter and you’re sure this will help others you can use this to get more points.
3. Level of interaction with other commenters. Threaded comments plugin is on and so you can use this freely in interacting with other commenters. You can also use this to add some value!
Now the biggest of all NOTES:
My decision on this is final! Sorry for that, but there must be an umpire and that is what I am! I hope you will not have too many issues with this. But if there is any, feel free to air them in the comments below.
So there you have it our new top commentators reward package. This starts fully from 1st of July. But let me once again remind you that you now have more benefits posting your comments here because this blog now has a pagerank of 3! So keep your comments coming!