In the early days of a new blog it can be frustrating to put a lot of time and energy into the writing of posts only to find that it seems as though no one is listening. While you feel you’ve said something worthy of some discussion the comments section of your post resembles a ghost town with tumbleweed blowing around.
I’ve previously written a post with 10 techniques to get more comments on your blog (one of the most commented upon posts I’ve ever written) so I won’t go over all of that again – however I wanted to share one simple technique that I’ve always found to be effective at getting readers interacting. It is obvious and very basic – but so many bloggers don’t do it.
The technique is simply to turn a post upside down and make the comments the primary focus of the post rather than what you have to say.
Here are a number of ways of doing this with some links to examples of where I’ve done it:
- Start a Debate – pick a more controversial topic or one that you think people will have strong opinions about – state the case for two sides of the arguement and let your readers go at it. Eg: Video on a DSLR – Would You Use It? and Full or Partial RSS Feeds?
- Ask for Advice – state a problem that you or a reader has and ask for help, solutions and advice. I do these regularly on DPS and call them ‘community workshops. The latest was ‘How Would You Photograph a Funeral?‘ and How to Photograph Grandma – a DPS Community Workshop.
- Ask for Tips – choose a topic that your readers might know something about and ask them for practical tips. You might then compile the tips (or the best of them) into another post. Eg: How to Photograph Kids – Leave Your Tips Here.
- Ask for Examples – give readers an invitation to submit links to examples of a topic you’re writing about. Example: What Was Your Most Popular Post in 2007.
- Ask for Experiences – ask a question about what your readers have ‘done’ or ‘experienced’. Eg: MicroStock Photography – Share Your Experience
- Give Opportunity for Self Promotion – give readers an opportunity to show themselves (or their blog, or their work) off. I did this on DPS over the weekend in a post ‘What is Your Favorite Landscape Location’ which asked readers to tell where they liked to shoot landscapes and invited them to submit links to their work.
- Run a Poll – many bloggers just put polls in their sidebars and don’t post about them. If you announce a new poll and ask readers to expand upon their vote in comments you can often generate some great discussion. It will also increase the number of responses to the poll. For example – see my recent post – ‘Have you Ever Guest Posted on Someone Else’s Blog?‘
Do feel free to add to the list in comments!