Comments are gold to bloggers, writers and marketers. Why? It’s simple—blog comments provide public evidence of an engaged community.
Even more importantly, in the current social media ecosystem where clicking a social sharing button is easier than taking the time to leave a well thought out comment, it’s difficult to garner more than a few if any comments. This means that blogs that generate lots of interesting comments really stand out.
While comments offer proof that you are connecting to an audience and make you feel like a rock star, understand that comments by themselves don’t necessarily translate into visitors, revenues or other metrics aligned with your most important core business objectives. (Here are forty blog metrics to help you.)
Since this is the case, why work to increase your blog comments? Because significantly building comments can indirectly help you achieve major business or blogging objectives. The top reasons for making this effort include building an active community and enhancing your social media reputation. (Interestingly John Chow points out how you can use blog comments to build your email list.)
Want to massively increase your blog comments?
To seriously increase the number of comments on your blog or website, here are three proven ways complete with examples. (Of course getting people to leave comments that say more than “Great post!” assumes that you’ve overcome the initial hurdles of creating great content people want to read and attracting people to your blog or website. Further, you should have a set of blog comment guidelines on your site to make clear your policies.)
- Build your social media tribe. No doubt about it. One of the best ways to gather comments is to get some love from your friends. In her first post, Lisa Petrilli hit the ball out of the blog comment park. While she back messaged her social media friends for support, she still was there and engaged with her audience. Actionable Blogging Tip: Network with people in your target audience and build relationships with them before you dive into the content pool. Take a cue from Lisa and make sure that your relationships involve real engagement both publically and privately. You want to be able to send private messages to your community to get help without everyone seeing you sweat.
- Get a little help from your friends. More than asking your social media buddies to show you some love, this recommendation involves leveraging the work of others, often experts. It can be done in a variety of ways from a round up of input to a best of list. Margie Clayman, who’s got a degree in library science, does an amazing job of curating her Top 100 Favorite Blog Posts of the Year. It’s a lesson in how to create a great list post and engage your community at the same time. Actionable Blogging Tip: Create a list post that involves others active in your category. Link to your colleagues’ blogs to let them know you’ve included them in your post. Even better, drop them a message or mention them on social media to get their attention. Depending on your roundup and your relationship with the bloggers, many will stop back to thank you for including them.
- Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Give readers a reason to take the time to engage with you. In this helpful column on how to write a better headline, Tristan Higbee asked readers to give their best titles and allowed them a link. This approach drew readers who may otherwise lurk out since it was an easy way to get an inbound link and enabled Tristan to showcase his headline-writing prowess. Actionable Blogging Tip: Create blog posts and/or promotions around engaging your audience. To work effectively, you must know your audience and give them something that has value to them. In Tristan’s case it was an inbound link. It can be a free ebook or list of useful tips. The level of interest is directly tied to the value to the reader.
The one secret to significantly increase blog comments
What’s the biggest secret to increasing your comments? It’s so easy I’m surprised every blogger doesn’t do it. All you have to do is answer every comment that contains real content. Your response needs to add to and extend the conversation. It’s a time consuming commitment, which is why many bloggers and writers don’t do it. For example 12Most blog requires guest writers to respond to comments. It’s part of their guidelines. (Maybe it should also be part of yours?)
If you want to massively increase the comments on your blog, you must build the support system, whether it’s people or an incentive, to get readers to engage. Don’t stop there! Once they act, you must respond to keep the conversation going.
Do you have any other secrets to greatly increase the number of comments you get on your blog? If so, what are they?
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