The true litmus test for whether your blog is gaining traction isn’t just the almighty hit counter, or the amount of retweets your twitter promotional efforts get. At Lead Sift we feel that one of, if not the strongest indicator of the success of your blog should be the comments that your blog receives. Often times the most seasoned blog reader will scroll down to the comments before they even read the blog post itself to judge whether the post, or even website (if they found their way in indirectly, or through a back door, so to speak) is worth further exploration. So the importance of writing blog posts and following certain policies that promote comments is absolutely worth talking about, in fact we feel it is essential for any blogger that wishes for their audience to grow beyond a select few friends and family members. This is why we have compiled a top 5 list of tips that when applied regularly, will increase the number of quality comments that your blog gets.
Ask For Them
Seems kind of obvious, we know, but you would be surprised how many bloggers don’t open up this door. Perhaps some of them think it’s obvious enough having a comment box? Not so much, If you want something ask for it. So if comments are what you desire follow our lead (hint: read the last four sentences of this post) and ask for them! Tell the folks reading your post that you want to read their questions, opinions and even concerns and you might be surprised by what this invitation brings to the table.
However you want to put it; thinking outside of the box, being original etc. Your content in itself needs to be something worth commenting on. Taking a stance, explaining your opinion and engaging in people to join the debate is a great way to elicit those all important social comments. Word for the wise regarding this strategy, make sure to police your comments section and not allow it to get out of hand. The last thing you want is for your comments section to blow up into something similar to that found on a youtube justin bieber video, or the majority of youtube videos comments section for that matter!
Spread the Comment Love
Sometimes the most effective way to get comments on your blog is to be an active blogger! That doesn’t mean constantly pumping out content, it means you have to play an active role on other blogs, commenting and spreading your ideas and opinions. This action will have two results: 1) it will compel the author of the blog you are reading to check yours out and likely pay your commenting forward 2) it will compel the blogs readers who like what you have to say to check out your blog and possibly leave a comment.
Promote, Promote, Promote
It’s just as important as writing your blog. You have to spread the word about your posts, or upcoming posts or even past posts if they are relevant to a specific topic at hand. In your promotional efforts, whether it be on Twitter or Facebook, a great strategy is to say you want to hear the opinions of others. For example a good promotional post that promotes comments would read, “Here’s why Twitter is the best Social Media platform, and why Facebook is the worst http://examp.le Agree or disagree?”
Commit to Interaction
It is very important to go beyond simply saying you would like comments, you must respond to them and interact with the audience that is posting the comments. When you address someone directly, the chances of them returning to your blog is increased significantly as you have shown them that their opinion matters to you as the author. When you are first starting out, every comment you receive should be directly responded to. Even if someone writes a simple compliment, you need to strictly commit to providing a unique response that further promotes the interaction. As your blog develops and grows this policy should be adhered to for as long as feasibly possible, at which point responding to groups of comments is a good policy. For instance, if ten people write a comment that simply indicates they enjoyed the post, then you can thank the ten people as a group. Make sure your response promotes further comments however.
So there you have it, 5 sure-fire ways to ensure your blog is comment friendly. This is the part where it gets kind of awkward… now that we’ve revealed all of our tricks, we still have to apply them- otherwise we would look slightly phony. So here it goes… Like what you read? Have an opinion or any other tips you would like to share? Well we are all ears, erm…eyes, and would love to hear (see?) from you. So post your comments below and as sure as sure can be, we will respond to each and every one of them! That wasn’t so bad, was it?