By Edie Melson @EdieMelson
Blogging is a great way to build relationships with your audience.
But a lot of people forget that, just like building relationship in person, it’s never a good idea to talk so much that others don’t have a chance to share their thoughts.
I often visit blogs where I want to ask the reader, “Are you blogging or lecturing?” There are things we can do to make sure our posts encourage conversation. And there are things we can do that discourage interaction.
Nobody likes to be lectured, so it's up to us to make sure our blogs are places of conversation.
Ways to Encourage Conversation on Your Blog
1. End every blog post with an open-ended question. It’s not enough to ask a question at the end of the post. We must make sure the answer to the question isn’t just yes or no.
2. Make sure the question posed doesn’t have an assumed right or wrong answer. This will shut down conversation even faster than a yes or no question. If we ask a question that has a definite right or wrong answer, very few people will be willing to risk the wrong answer. And after several have answered the question correctly, we’ll find no one else is answering because they feel like everything that needs to be said has been said.
3. Ask readers to share an experience that relates to the post. Sometimes a blog post won’t lend itself to a question. In those instances we can encourage our audience to share their experience.
4. Ask readers to add to a list of suggestions or tips that have been shared. I do that a lot on here. (And I’ll do it at the end of this post.) Again, if a question isn’t appropriate or feel right, ask them to contribute to the topic already introduced.
5. Avoid using the pronoun you. This is especially true if the post is pointing out something negative. Using the word you carries a finger-pointing connotation that we want to avoid. For example, in point number 1 above, I would never say, “you must make sure the answer to the question isn’t just yes or no.” Instead, I phrased it, “We must make sure the answer to the question isn’t just yes or no.”
6. Share your own personal experience. If we’re asking someone else to share, we need to make sure our blogs are a safe place for that. Going first rarely feels safe. So I always try to make sure I share my own experience before asking my readers to share theirs.
7. Always try to answer blog comments. This doesn’t mean every single comment has to be answered individually, although I do try to do that. It’s important that your readers don’t feel like they’re commenting to nobody.
These are the main things that I try to do with every post I write. I don’t always do it right, but my goal is to make this a fun place to hangout, learn from each other and share the writing journey.
Now it’s your turn. I would really like to know what you’d add to my list. Or maybe share some of the things that inhibit you from commenting on a blog post.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Trouble getting readers to join the conversation? 7 Tips from #Blogging expert @EdieMelson can help (Click to Tweet)