As you may have noticed, I have been experimenting with ways to make this site better as a community forum for the practice of writing haiku poems.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Keywords and categories are important to help people find the site. Words like haiku, poems, examples, How To, etc., are typically used by people to find haiku on the web. You need to balance keyword usage against awkwardness.
Comments – One of the reasons I think “examples” works as a keyword is because, as you may have noticed, I put out a new haiku for feedback and then make multiple changes that are tracked within the Comments section. These are works in progress as I receive feedback, and my skills develop. Sharing, commenting, and editing haiku can be a great exercise for all involved. Join in the development of your Haiku Habits!
Don’t forget to check the Subscribe to Comments option when you leave a comment. You will then be notified via email when someone else contributes to the discussion.
Titles – Haiku do not traditionally have titles, but see #1. In addition, Title Headings and Paragraph Headings (the font I use for the haiku itself) make a big difference with search engines.
Layout – One, two, or three columns. I don’t want to clutter the page, eye, or mind, but I am trying to encourage Response through clicks, comments, subscriptions, and link-backs. The big choice is typically between two or three columns. I think the column on the left, dedicated solely to comments, may work. What do you think?
Comment Plug – I have this yellow alert box at the end of each new post asking for comments. Any thoughts?
Pictures – Blog posts with pictures get much more attention than those without. I am sure that this research was not conducted on Haiku blogs! Do the pictures help or distract?
Gravatars – The little icons on the left of the comments will be replaced with your own picture or avatar if you set one up at http://en.gravatar.com. It adds a personal touch, but, again, may be distracting. It also slows down page load time and may be blocked by Spam filters.
“Share This” button – Providing tools for readers to easily share content can help grow a site’s community. There are many available. Do you like this one?
Similar Posts list – Once your posts exceed the first page, you need to have tools to help the reader find archived content. The Archive page helps with this, but a list of similar posts that immediately follows the current post seems to increase reader page views and time on site. Does this tool help you enjoy the site more?
What’s Next for Haiku Habits?
I will be developing pages to help explain Share Options and Subscribe Options, since these social media tools are unfamiliar to many website visitors.
Soon there will be video and audio.
What do You suggest to help make this site better? What do you Like or Not Like?
What are you struggling with as you develop your own site? Let’s help each other through a discussion in the Comments section below!
Any feedback is welcome!