This is a guest contribution from Alex Ivanovs.
Comments feed the writers soul with proof of work well done. It’s easy to think that not everyone likes comments, but the truth is that comments are what makes us believe in our content and its usefulness. The feeling you get from not receiving any comments on the content you write can be pretty devastating. You invest so much time into writing and publishing a post, and in the end it seems that you wrote it just for yourself.
The idea that nobody cares is quite painful. Comments are the blogger’s currency, and how long can you keep going on for when you’re broke?
It’s important to remember that blog comments are not a metric of success, even some of the most popular blogs today are struggling to keep up with consistent comments, and the following concept shows what’s true for any blogger:
(photo credit: CoSchedule)
I think it’s unrealistic to have a blog where 50% of readers would also be commenters, this would mean that a post that is read 1000 times would yield 500 comments, which is quite unheard of. If 1% of 1000 readers leaves a comment, that makes for 10 comments — a much more realistic number.
What are the options to stirring up the pot and getting more comments out of the content we publish?
1. Blogger mentions (name-dropping)
Name dropping is the act of giving someone credit for the work they have done, which in many cases is going to be a specific person who may or may not be influential. By giving someone else credit for the work they have done, you can utilize that mention to reach out to them and tell them where you credited them.
Jasmine Henry from Writtent shared a post about formatting blog posts, and throughout the post she mentioned several content sources that verified her claims, including our very own Darren Rowse.
- Mention bloggers only if their opinion is truly relevant. Don’t do it for selfish purposes.
- Reach out to the bloggers you have mentioned in your post by asking them to participate in discussion, respect their decision not to.
2. Comment to get comments
Having trouble being seen by others? Perhaps the issue is not the quality of content, but your lack of presence on other important blogs and platforms that could yield new visitors and commenters. Sites like BizSugar and Inbound are great for discovering new blogs, both new and seasoned.
Once you discover a previously unknown site that has content that’s relevant to yours, start engaging the writers in insightful discussions to form basic relationships. If successful (you get a reply), start aiming towards building a more serious relationship, such as: social media follows, link out to your own content, reach out to propose a guest column.
What you need to keep in mind that it’s important to know which blogs you’re leaving comments on. Big media sites like TechCrunch, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur are all very active content platforms, but leaving comments on these sites isn’t going to yield any reasonable results, the reason why is because these sites write about every topic imaginable, which results in the audience being more widespread, whereas an audience that’s looking for specific niche content is more than likely to engage in discussion.
3. Share valuable content
Sharing valuable content can be misunderstood. You don’t have to aim for 2000 words, or name-drop 20 influential bloggers, what you need is to ask yourself, “If I was a visitor to this site and I read this piece of content, would it make me want to leave a comment? Do I feel like I have to respond?”.
A piece of content that’s organized and easy to digest, is naturally going to attract comments. A piece of content that’s a wall of text is going to be ignored. It’s that simple.
4. Confident opinion
New bloggers can get the wrong impression on the way blogging works. The idea that we have to write big posts with lots of information is well-known amongst the marketers, but is it really something that WE need to do? An honest and confident opinion will go much farther than a post that’s built around the idea of living up to the 2000 word limit to be a contender for the Google’s first page.
If something can be said in 1000 words and still provide immense value to the reader, why should you force yourself to find an extra 1000 words to feel safe about your rankings? Ask yourself, “Who am I writing for, a real human being, or an algorithm?”.
This brings us to the next point:
5. Love what you do
Why do you blog? Is it for growth purposes, to promote your business, to keep track of what you have learned, or to strive for financial freedom? All are good causes, but we must learn to find balance between all, otherwise we risk putting too much focus on one thing and forget about the rest.
New bloggers will inevitably struggle with the idea of having to get good rankings to be successful and popular, when in fact there are so many other ways to promote oneself.
The lesson here is that people can tell the difference between content that’s written passionately, and content that’s written for the purpose of gaining something back. You should not write about topics that you don’t feel connected with on some level, otherwise you will be chunking out content that lacks one of the most important ingredients; passion. When you’re passionate about what you do and what you write about, it can spark a passionate response in the reader.
Benefits of passionate writing:
- Readers can identify with you on a deeper level, which in turn attract likes, shares and subscriptions.
- Writing becomes an experience of joy. It’s easier to write about the things you love.
- We develop deeper connection with our writing and that helps us to stay empowered and full of enthusiasm.
The lessons in this post are very clear, we must focus on providing value that comes from a place of transparency, rather than a place of need and want. We should give before we get, and we should not waste our and others time by forcing invaluable actions.
ProBlogger is is a great example of how readers feel connected and engaged in the published content, neither Darren nor the editors of this blog would encourage forceful content, it has to be insightful and spark a train of healthy thought.
What do you do to ensure readers share their thoughts with you on your blog?