Monday, March 17, 2014

Social Media Monday—7 Tips to Get More Comments on Your Blog

by Edie Melson

Even today—with as many blogs on the Internet as there are—blogging is still a valuable part of building and maintaining an online community. But it’s rare for a blog to take hold and grow, if it’s not a place where comments proliferate. Almost no one likes to be lectured, and that’s what a blog can feel with it the conversation is only one-sided.

I’ll go one step further and add this comparison. Your blog is your Internet home. And because it’s your home, you are responsible for being a good host and making people feel welcome.

Facilitating conversation is just one of the duties of a good host, but it’s the one I want to concentrate on today as I share tips to get more comments on your blog.

1. Give your readers someone to relate to. This means making sure they know who wrote the blog post. Ideally your blog post should have a byline—like my name at the top of this post. But at the least, end with your name. (A byline also helps with your name recognition on search engines, but that's a post for another time.) It's very hard to join a conversation when you don't know who you're talking to.

2. Keep your post focused and don’t wander too far away from your topic. If you try to cover too much area, people won’t be comfortable commenting.

3. Make sure your post isn’t too long. If you take up too much of your audience’s time, they won’t be able to stay and chat.

4. Watch your blog formatting. Even with interesting posts, people will still do some skimming. If you have headers, bullet points and/or lists they can still join the conversation.

5. Always (yes, ALWAYS) end your post with an open ended question. People don’t always know what’s appropriate to share. By asking a question, you give them the direction they need to chime in. Remember, as a host, it’s your job not to just facilitate the conversation, but you’re responsible for starting it.

6. Don’t ignore your guests. If people are kind enough to comment, you need to return the favor and continue the conversation. There are exceptions, if you have more than 20 comments, or if they are very similar, it’s find to answer a couple of people at a time.

7. Remind your guests to leave a comment below. Don’t apologize by saying, "if you feel comfortable" or "if you want." Just tell them what you’d like them to do. Sometimes that’s just what someone need to be able to work up the courage to join in.

These are the things I’ve found that encourage readers to take part in the discussion and make my blog feel like a community. What are some things that help you feel comfortable enough to take part in the conversation? Be sure to leave your thoughts below.

Don’t forget to join this conversation!
Blessings,

Edie

TWEETABLES

17 comments:

  1. Valuable information. Thanks, Edie.

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    1. Patrica, glad you found it helpful! Blessings, E

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  2. Thank you my sweet sista, thank you.

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    1. Chris, thanks for stopping by! Blessings, E

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  3. Great advice. And good hosts always serves ice tea.

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    1. Tim, and in the south, that would SWEET Tea! Blessings, E

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  4. I like the idea of our blog being our internet home. Think I'm going to keep that in the forefront of my mind. Thanks Edie!

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    1. Beth, it really does make things clearer, doesn't it? Blessings, E

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  5. I like it when bloggers do what you just did...ask us for suggestions or ideas to share with others. Then I like to come back and see what others thought incase they have an idea I hadn't thought of.

    Thanks Edie!
    Jean

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  6. Great tips here, Edie! The by line one I hadn't even thought of, but then you usually give me great take away.

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  7. As always, Edie, such practical advice. Thanks for your sharing your expertise.

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  8. Great advice as always, Edie. I think responding to comments is one of the most hospitable things we can do.

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  9. Dear Edie,
    Recently I wrote a blog about being a scared witness. I told my story and all my fears and asked the readers to share their experiences. I got this idea from reading one of your blogs. I anticipated a few stories and received none. I have been wondering what I should have done differently. Thank you, Edie

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  10. Great reminder that we are hosts of our internet home. I really had not made that connection before. Thanks for the valuable tips, Edie.

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  11. Hi Edie -

    I've found the best way to get comments is to visit blogs on a regular basis and comment. The blogger and other people commenting will often pop over to your blog to check it out.

    God bless,
    Susan :)

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  12. Great thoughts, Edie. This post gives me a glimpse of what I'm doing right. And what I can improve upon. I love the idea that I'm the host of my internet home. It almost makes me want to re-decorate. ;)

    When you add your byline, is it actually the first line of your blog post? If not, how do you create one? Being the only one who blogs regularly on my site, I never thought to do this, but I see the value in it. :)

    I appreciate your insights!

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  13. I didn't think of adding my by-line. If I have a guest blogger, I always include their names but have never included mine. I'll go back and add it. I noticed you used a different font, or is it just in italics?
    Thanks, Edie!

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