Bloggers tend to concentrate on site traffic – it’s easy to quantify and report the number of visitors and page views received. However if you talk to the most successful bloggers, many will report that the interaction and loyal nature of their readers is far more important than traffic.
Commenting is one of the number one ways bloggers can create community. With many suggesting comments are down, we’ve been talking about how to generate comments.
- Develop a comment policy and clearly post it. Understanding the ground rules will make people feel comfortable leaving their thoughts. There are lots of great examples of comment policies on the web. Do you have a policy on your site? We’d love to have you share it!
- Make your comment section welcoming. Have you ever noticed that before any comments are left, some blogs say “No comments?” How welcoming is that? Consider changing the language to something like, “Be the first to leave me a comment!”
- Feed your readers ego. Everyone loves to talk about themselves sometimes. Ask your readers to share something they’ve done or will be doing, ask for their “expert” opinion. Allow them to link to projects on their own site. Once they’ve left a comment, tell them how great you think it is.
- Respond to comments. When you’re building a community, it’s important to respond. Extending the conversation helps build relationships and a loyal following.
- Make sure to respond in your comment section and via email. A great example of comment responding to build community can be found at Our Best Bites. If you are using WordPress consider the ReplyMail plugin – type your reply in the comments and it will automatically email the original commenter. If you’re on blogger, copy your email response and post it in the comments.
- Welcome differing opinions. Let’s face it, the DIY community doesn’t necessarily foster controversy, but that doesn’t mean readers don’t have a different view point. As long as someone isn’t crude or making personal attacks, leaving a comment up is often far better than taking it down. Have you ever left a negative comment up? What was your experience?
- Write about something controversial. A heavily divided topic is bound to generate conversation. Here’s the real question though, would you write about something controversial just to generage comments and develop community?
- Hold back. Don’t cover every single thing under the sun in your post. Make it great, but leave something for your readers to share.
- Note the type of posts people tend to comment on. Be observant and watch for themes or trends. Are there specific types of posts your readers tend to comment on? Write about it!
- Take the comment challenge. There’s nothing worse than preparing a post that you really care about, something you really love and then receiving no comments. Some of our tips are probably pretty obvious, but there is one way we can all win. Will you take the challenge to comment on at least five posts every week?
What other tips and tricks have you tried to increase comments on your blog? We’re really interested to know and share with our readers!