Elizabeth Halford »

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Are people even reading your posts? How to tell.

Two years ago, I wrote the post No comments on your Facebook – do you get paranoid, too? and in it, I suggested that the world is suffering from comment fatigue. Two years on, it’s gotten ever worse. I, myself, am the recipient of so much incoming information -such jam packed feeds of information- that I can’t possibly personally respond to some of the things I’ve seen/read. Some of which have even been life changing or business changing for me.

While I do think that we need a revival in folks personally responding in thanks and gratitude for the things which keep us educated, informed or entertained, I don’t think we can guilt people into doing it. I do believe that overly simplistic calls to action are needed these days, exe:

“If you like this post, tell me why!”


“If you like this, click ‘like’!”

However some people simply won’t.

The number one thing I’ve started doing which boosts my confidence that people are even responding to my links is to start employing a traceable link generator like bit.ly to get updates about how many people have actually clicked on links to blog posts on both this blog and the blog for my business, Gracie May Photography.

With a generator like bit.ly you generate a shortlink and you will be able to watch real-time stats for your link. For example, 3 hours ago I posted a link to today’s blog post. Even though I’ve only received 5 comments on that Facebook post, I can see through bit.ly that, in fact, 360 people have clicked through to that post. It even shows me how many people have viewed through Facebook on a computer and how many have viewed it through a mobile device. This can help you determine if you need to focus more on the look of your device-friendly site so you don’t lose potential viewers. Mine is generated automatically through the ProPhotoBlogs theme I use on my WordPress based blog.

Try bit.ly out yourself! See if it can help boost your confidence that people really are out there viewing your work and reading your stuff!

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  • http://invitadoinvierno.com/ Miriam/The Winter Guest

    I think this is a great tip, will try it!

  • Lea Hartman

    Great tip! I’m always seeing these shortened links but I didn’t realize what they were! I’m going to try it out myself!

  • http://www.starpaws.co.uk/ Sue @ Star Paws

    Yep, I’m guilty of reading and learning and failing to comment, yet get all sad when no one comments on my posts – crazy eh?! Will definitely look into bit.ly – thank you Elizabeth :)

  • Caitlin Gerres

    Thanks for the tip! I’m definitely going to try this!

  • http://www.melissajeanphotography.com/ Melissa Jean

    Thank you!! I myself am a commenter, but I know many others aren’t. I know I get a lot of ‘silent viewers’ but I’m interested in more details that can help me know when to post and whether to make my posts long or short (computer or phone).

    Great info here!

  • http://elizabethfeild.wordpress.com/ Liz Feild

    When I recieve your posts, its through my email and all I do is open the email and read the post without clicking on anything. Does it show a stat for that? If not, you may have a many more reads than you are aware of! Thanks for the post! Such great advice! bit.ly is just a big fat reward!

  • http://blog.aspiringimagesbyrachel.com/ Rachel

    I am always tweaking and trying to figure out what the best time/day is to post on Facebook because it does sometimes feel like crickets out there. Recently, I signed up with Buffer to use for my Twitter and they employ bit.ly which is awesome because within Buffer I can see how many people clicked on the link and also the “reach” of people who viewed it. It’s been very helpful. 

    Still gotta narrow down the Facebook posting though……..Hmmmm………

  • http://www.findingmyaloha.com Emily

    I have seen those links too but never thought to use them myself to trace activity… Brilliant! But also, after reading FB fine print I’m terrified to use overly simplictic calls to action. From what I understood, if FB sees calls to action (“click like if…”) they have deleted pages.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10516253 Jennifer Michelet Vititoe

    Thanks.  I was wondering how to track stats on my blog.  I new it was possible just did know the tool to use.  This was perfect.

  • Marie

    Elizabeth my friend recommended me to you when I started my business. You have amazing advice, I always look forward to new posts. Thanks!

  • Libby McGowan

    bookmarked bit.ly! always wondered how and where you went to do that!! And, I’ll be able to track it?? I’m THERE!! Thanks!!

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    I think that since “the ticker” appeared on Facebook, people are less inclined to comment since it’s broadcast to everyone.

  • http://twitter.com/GrnEydCntryGirl Anna Hettick

    This? Is awesome. While my blog seems to be taking off at a nice steady pace, at times I wonder what I’m doing wrong because no one (or mostly no one) really comments via blog post, facebook, or twitter. I had no idea that you could track your links just by using bit.ly. Thank you so much! =)

  • amanda pike

    Sometimes I worry about clicking like too much and coming across like a stalker….for instance since discovering your site blog and Facebook group the other week i check your Facebook page most days (not getting notes is such a bummer!) I don’t want to miss a thing so check in often. I’ve scrolled down and clicked like and commented on various, posts you’ve made…but i worry about doing it that little bit too much, so don’t click like all the time even although I’ve liked your post and others on other pages.Im sure others must feel this way to? so if you see me going all crazy clicky likey (yes that is a word ;-) on your ass, please know its only because I genuinely like what you’ve shared and Im in no way shape or form. going to be turning up at your door licking your windows!ha ha…..so fear not! and a big fankoo for all your wisdom and sharing….i fink your top!x

  • CandiceMarieSmith

    I may have to try this too. Thanks for sharing! 

  • Christina

    thanks Elizabeth!!!

  • Jdwc5

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  • Kendellvictoria

    It actually tough for me knowing how many people clicked through. As I am just starting out, all my fans are my friends and when I know how many of them clicked over to my blog and still didn’t even click ‘like’ on fb I feel really discouraged and like I have horrible and unsupportive friends! 
    Also, I think since fb changed their format so that we now have that side bar that shows everything people comment on now fewer people comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=743972089 Cass Dottridge

    Oh! I’m going to try this. I need to feel a bit of love. Oh… but… what if it turns out no-one even looks at my blog? Well, I guess that’ll be my signal to post naked portraits or something. Haha!

  • http://www.hollyharrisonphotography.com Holly

    I read this from my mobile while at Chickfila! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/careyvorholt Carey Penton Vorholt

    Thanks for this gem!

  • Blaire Elizabeth Ring

    thank you so much for the advice!