Nobody is commenting on your blog.
Why should you care? Because comments add value to your post and are social proof of your blog’s
worth. When insightful people write something in response to your post they make your post more valuable. And when you respond, you develop a relationship with them. Relationships build a business. Plus, comments are motivating. They’ll help you keep going down the sometimes lonely road of blogging.
Photo by scott1723 on Flickr
I’m not going to delve deeply into SEO here, but I will say one reason nobody has commented on your blog post is because they can’t find it. The internet is not a book. Creative headlines, or no headlines at all, leave your post in a lonely readerless cave. Give your post a descriptive title and make sure the permalink has those words in it. Pinterest has become a vital way for readers to find blog content that is of interest to them. Make it easy for people to pin your post. Use PicMonkey to add a little descriptive text to a photo, or create a graphic with Pinstamatic.
Make your comment system as easy as possible. This means one step (no login required and no captcha). People are busy. If it isn’t easy, you may as well close comments altogether.
Being the first guest at the party is awkward. The first comment is the hardest to get. Often people will respond immediately to a post when they see it on Twitter. There’s nothing wrong with Tweeting back and
asking them if they would leave a comment on the post itself. That can be your first one!
Respond to comments. When I write a comment on a blog post it’s because I have something to say to the author (more on that in a moment). I want to hear the author’s response. What do they think of my idea? If the author never responds, I’m not likely to comment again. Tied to this is being approachable. There are blogs that I’m afraid to comment on. I feel like I’m not worthy. This person is such an expert, why should they pay attention to me? A welcoming, positive tone goes a long way toward creating community on your
Say something of substance. Let’s say you went to a blogging conference recently and you’d like to write about it. You write a post about all the cool people you met and the fun workshops you attended. Think about this post from the perspective of a reader who would like to leave a comment. The only response to a post like this is, “Wow! That sounds like it was fun,” or some other praise. And that’s okay! Some readers love you and just want to say “yay!”. Not every post needs dozens of insightful comments.
But what if you followed up the next day with a post entitled, “How to Get the Most Out of a Blog Conference,” in which you detailed five steps people can take to ensure they have a good experience at a similar conference to the one you attended. One point might be, “Make notes on business cards with a Sharpie. Follow up with contacts via email the next day.” You can tell a story in a few sentences about how you did this and what affect it had, illustrated with a photo of a scribble on business card. Now you’ve taken a personal experience and made it universal, and useful, for your readers. At the end of the post, ask for other suggestions on making the most of attending a conference.
Photo by C.P. Storm on Flickr
Don’t be afraid to take a stance. Not every post needs to incite controversy, and you certainly want to remain authentic, but I’ll bet you have opinions on particular topics. If you know a lot about something you
inevitably develop strong opinions on that thing. Trust me when I tell you, it’s okay to express those opinions on your blog. You can be professional and critical at the same time. In fact, if what you’re saying is well thought out, having the courage to say it shows leadership. Give your readers something to chew on. They may not agree with you, but they’ll want to hear more.
Nothing beats the excitement of hitting “publish” on a new blog post. When only silence follows it can be hard to accept. Think about the last blog post you commented on. What made you respond?