10 Months on and the blog continues to grow
It’s now ten months since I posted my first article on the world of Modern Jive. In that time the blog has grown in so many ways. In the first few months, the reviews of classes and freestyles were limited to the areas of the East Midlands, that I could easily visit from my Nottingham base. Since the New Year I have extended the range of my travels to include Tadcaster in the North East, Letchworth in the South East. Horsham in the South, and several journey’s in to the West Midlands.
I have also reviewed three major highlights of the Modern Jive calendar – Ceroc Passion’s Red Hot & Sultry Freestyle at Daventry, and the Ceroc Southport Weekenders in February and June. At Southport I did my first ever live blogging, by keeping a diary going throughout the three days and nights, and actually blogged live from the dance floor at the June event. I am now planning my visits to classes and freestyles in many new locations over the summer.
Readership continues to grow too
Most importantly the readership continues to grow. The number of people who revisit the site is particularly pleasing to me, and I’d like to thank these regular readers for the time they give to reading my postings. One of the reasons for the growth in the readership, is that the blog is now getting higher ratings in the Google search results, and this is bringing an increasing number of people to the site.
If you put ‘What is Ceroc’ in to Google the blog currently ranks number 2, only beaten by Wikipedia. Not surprisingly the posting entitled ‘What is Ceroc’ is the most read on the blog, and now gets over thirty hits every week, and the average visitor spends over six minutes reading the posting.
The topics are evolving too
The main focus of the blog remains the class nights and freestyle reviews that have featured from the start, but I found myself increasingly thinking about how the different organisations, that I visited, promoted themselves. One of the first topics I covered was the way that photographs enhance the experience of going to a freestyle and I wrote an article featuring the work of Tel Jenkins the official photographer of Ceroc Heaven.
I couldn’t help also notice the different ways that organisations use Facebook to promote themselves and I found myself increasingly commenting on this in my postings. Where I am allowed, I post links to my reviews on the relevant Facebook Group pages. Google Analytics enables me to monitor the click-through rate from these Facebook pages. Add this info to the Likes and Comments I get to my own posting and I get an indication as to the level of usage of these Facebook group pages.
Recently one review received 50 click-throughs in less than an hour of me posting the link to the review – proof of just how well this particular organisation’s Facebook Group page is working. The strongest Facebook Group pages can generate over a hundred reads of a review in just a few days.
An interest in Marketing
Because of my own business experience, I couldn’t help but take more and more interest in the ways that Modern Jive goes about marketing itself. When I recently heard a suggestion that the numbers attending Modern Jive events was declining, I couldn’t help but think about the marketing issues it raised.
The result has seen me start a posting entitled ‘Marketing Modern Jive’, where I post a few of my own thoughts intertwined with examples of ‘Best Practice’ I see on my travels. These postings are getting significant visits. and I hope they are stimulating thoughts about how best to promote this wonderful world of Modern Jive dancing.
First ever Guest Review
This last few months has also seen the first ever Guest Review, when Anne, one of the regular contributors to the blog, wrote a review of The Stockport Blitz Freestyle. I’d love more people to write Guest Reviews as these widen the scope and appeal of the blog. If you are interested in having a review posted on the blog, just get in touch through the blogs email, firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you some tips on how to approach it.
Different ways to get in touch
I always appreciate any feedback I receive to the articles I write, and I’m always pleased when people leave comments on the blog. These comments are subsequently published for everyone to read, but if you would prefer a more private dialogue please use the email, email@example.com or contact Paul Jeffery through Facebook Messenger.
The feedback is growing
The numbers of Comments left on the blog, or sent by email and Messenger is slowly growing, and I’ve had some very worthwhile responses to the articles and reviews I’ve posted. I particularly appreciate the communications I’ve had with the dance organisations owners and a growing number of DJs and dance teachers, but I’d like to thank all the people who take the time to get in touch.
Why I don’t publicise my visits
Only rarely do I publicise where I’ll be dancing in the future. The reason is simple. I long ago decided that I would only ever write reviews that show the positive side of Modern Jive. It was never my intention to be like a restaurant critic, or the people on Trip Adviser that give hotels and holidays a hard time. Of course my reviews would have little credibility if I always wrote glowing ones, even if the venue had been disappointing.
For this reason if I do visit a venue that doesn’t warrant a positive review. I would prefer to write nothing. This is why I have to keep my visits to myself. Once I feel assured that I will be able to write a good review, then, and only then, will I introduce myself. Sadly I have to say that I have visited venues and decided it best to keep quiet and write nothing. It’s a system that seems to have worked well so far.
Hopefully the blog will keep evolving
I have lots of ideas how the blog might develop and hopefully maintain the interest of the regular visitors. Which ever way I go, I shall keep to my original aim of only ever promoting the positive side to this wonderful dance scene. I will continue to advocate the need to support beginners, so that they might stick at their lessons long enough to get the dancing bug, and I hope my posts on the subject of marketing will provide ideas as to how beginners can be recruited in the first place.
Please follow the links to other related topics
A Dancers’ Blog Part 1: I explain the aims of my blog
A Dancer’s Blog Part 2: I report how the blog has developed in its first few months
Marketing Modern Jive: My ideas about how to attract new people to Beginners’ classes
What is Ceroc?: The most read posting on the blog