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Get More Comments: Use Energy to Spark Reader Response

Posted By Guest Blogger 22nd of March 2012 Writing Content 0 Comments

This guest post is by Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger (formerly Boost Blog Traffic).

According to the legendary copywriter John Carlton, the best way to understand your reader is to visualize them as a giant somnambulant sloth lying on the couch as they watch television. Your job as a writer is to get them to move. You have to be interesting enough, inspiring enough, captivating enough to get them to turn off the TV, get up off the couch, and do something.

The reason why most bloggers don’t get many comments is they fail the “Sloth Test.” Sure, their posts are useful, maybe even mildly entertaining, but that’s the equivalent of giving the sloth another sitcom to watch on TV. If you want them to go through the trouble of responding, you have to do more. Much more.

You have to give them the energy necessary to respond. Not just ideas, not just stories, not just advice. Energy. If you read posts that get hundreds of comments, the conclusions are so passionate, so full of energy that you can’t help feeling a little bit charged up after reading it. Through the magic of the written word, the writer transfers their energy to you, and it lifts you up and gives you the power to take action.

It’s like charging a dead car battery. You take a car with a good battery, run some jumper cables from it to the car with the dead battery, and rev the engine. And then “VROOM,” the dead battery comes to life. Same thing with blogging. To get lots of comments, you have to electrify your readers, and that, of course, requires you to be electrified yourself.

So, find your passion. Cultivate positive energy. Use that energy to inspire people. Do those things, and you won’t just get more comments. You’ll turn readers into raving fans.

In addition to serving as Associate Editor of Copyblogger, Jon Morrow is on a mission to help good writers get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his upcoming blog about (surprise!) blogging. For more of his thoughts on generating comments, see his post, 14 ways to get more comments on your blog posts.

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  1. Jon you have made some excellent points in this post. I have never heard of the Sloth Test but it will certainly be something that I keep in my mind as I am writing my blog posts.

    I agree with needing to electrify your readers. You have to make them want to jump out of their chairs and begin taking advice from your posts right away. I have found that making sure that my blog posts provide alot of value achieves this. It inspires people to take action instead of shuffling through hundreds of other blog posts.

    Another thing that I have found helpful is to try to convey my personality through my writing. I know that many people get in the mindset that they are writing for their business so they must stick to strict business language only. I think its helpful to relax and talk like you would to your friend about the same subject. Its important to keep it real. It helps establish a more personal connection between you and your readers.

    Thanks for the great post again Jon. I cant wait to take the Sloth Test to my next post!

  2. Jon

    energy is everything brother, we are energy. I agree that we could use our energy to get our readers giving us more feedback through commenting

  3. I always enjoy reading what you write, Jon. I myself have read posts where the emotion and energy behind the written word sparks that same energy in me and initiates my response. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but 1,000 words can also paint an incredible picture; which encourages engagement.

  4. Yes i agree with this topic. Energy is the think can giving you more writing capacity.
    Thanks for writing the awesome topic.

  5. Thanks for the tips. I try to comment as often as I can, and it does get a bit tiring when commenting to find readers. I’ll try and utilize some of these tips.

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  6. Great little article, I think a combination of texts and photos can help motivate people to leave constructive comments

  7. I’m sure Jon didn’t plan on making it sound so easy, but he did. Yet I’m sure he would agree that it’s not. If you’ve read his 52 Headline Hacks report at Boost Blog Traffic, you’ll know that this is a guy that can write 50 headlines in a day!

    It’s tough stuff and a lot of work, for sure.

  8. Pray tell, what are some examples through which we could build that energy? Sometimes blogging can dissolve your batteries – especially over time.

  9. Holy Cow. And I thought I WAS pissing my readers off!

  10. Hi Jon,

    No matter how things appear to be it’s all energy. Powerful point, seeing your audience in this manner.

    Rouse ’em. Move em. Inspire them. Write, to move. To charge. To light a fire under someone’s behind. Move, move, move. People never act, unless motivated to do so. Be the spark. Be the inspiration. Write from the heart. Kill your fear of criticism. Let loose, let your words fly, good things happen.

    It takes craftiness with words – and a ton of practice – to do this. I nail it with some posts, improving with others. I noted a few of my record opt-in days a few hours back. Studying metrics. Naturally, my blog posts had the most juice, both the title, and post itself.

    Colorful adjectives. Power verbs. Strong calls to action. I inspired, people acted. Great timing, this post. So going forward I hold the intent to see readers as not doing much – OK, maybe sloth-like – until I pen something which inspires my readers to get up, and shout. Or do something else which shows I zapped them with an energetic pulse.

    In truth, most need to be woken up out of a stupor. Too much bland crud on the web. Find your passion, zap ’em with energy through your writing, and you can develop a large, responsive following, who will do what you tell them to do. Scary effective stuff here. But you need passion. Can’t fool individuals, because we feel passion on a deeper level, a subconscious level.

    Thanks for sharing with us Jon!


  11. Maybe Bloggers expend so much energy getting their posts written and optimized, they have no energy kept aside to energize their potential readers….due to their own depleted energy reserves……

  12. Hey Jon,

    You’ve definitely hit the nail on the head with this one. There are a lot of entertaining blogs out there and there are a lot of semi-educational ones, but what really puts one blog on top of the others is how far one blog will go to truly educate their audience above & beyond what others are willing to do.

    Great stuff!

  13. Readers in the digital world can be very ADD. You need to work really hard to keep their attention. The easiest way to lose them is by being boring. Making your posts like a ball of fire can be a great way to fix things. Great tips Jon!

  14. I’m going to use the couch analogy to get my readers to take action. I like it!

  15. I like you use energy to spark your reader and I believe it is very much important to provide useful content but if you did electrify your reader that will not make any difference in comments section.

    Great tips & Thanks for Sharing! :-)

  16. Jon! I do agree with the point of using energy in order to spark readers response. Particularly visualizing readers like a giant Somnambulant sloth is very interesting to me. Most of the examples are so interesting and energetic that are really so amazing. I must say that you’ve put your whole energy in this post. Thanks for such a interesting post.

  17. I agree that energy is important. But I would say your passion is more important. If you start with something you are passionate about, I think you will have an easier time of conveying energy to your audience. Thanks, Jon, for getting me to think about passion and energy!

  18. Jon,
    You had me at: “visualize them as a giant somnambulant sloth lying on the couch as they watch television. Your job as a writer is to get them to move.”

    That is, indeed, a WONDERFUL metaphor…

    HOWEVER, as addicted as I am to the intimations of the “energy” metaphor, we must be careful and remember another metaphor: EYES

    We have two of them which work together to help us form a better vision.

    Likewise, I say 1.) the “giant somnambulant sloth” should best be paired with 2.) the “frenetically busy bee”

    Bottom line: I agree with your thesis.

    (By the way: Here’s how I currently explain the name “Brandergy”: “There is no succeeding without branding, no branding without energy, no maximizing without strategy. Branding+Energy+Strategy = Brandergy”

  19. Great tips and thanks for sharing!

  20. I agree with Vincent. The Sloth on the couch is a perfect analogy. Thanks for the post

  21. YES.

    Yes, yes, yes.


    Jon, I adore this.

    Carlton knew what he was talking about. Joe Vitale calls it “breaking their trance” (seeing everyone as ‘zombies’ instead of sloths.)

    My posts are jam-packed with energy, and my brand lives and breathes helping people… ryze up :)

    Consequently, every guest post I’ve ever done has been “invited” and “begged for” by others, rather than “pitched” by me.

    Who doesn’t want their guest posts invited and asked for instead of pitched?

    There’s a new product: instead of How To Pitch Guest Posts… How To Use Energy To Be Invited To Guest Post ;)

    Rock on, man.

  22. “the best way to understand your reader is to visualize them as a giant somnambulant sloth lying on the couch as they watch television. Your job as a writer is to get them to move. You have to be interesting enough, inspiring enough, captivating enough to get them to turn off the TV, get up off the couch, and do something.”<—-yep, it's about force — the force coming from your passion for what you want to get out of life. That need, whatever it is, is sure to ignite the same need in others.

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