The author of the guest post emailed me a few days later amazed at amazing amount of comments left on the post. While the average post on dPS gets a reasonable amount of comments this post is climbing up towards 200.
Why did it do so well in engaging readers?
There are a few reasons. The guest poster didn’t really set out to do any of them – but stumbled upon one of the best ways to get readers interacting on a blog post:
- He Expressed an Opinion – the post shares one persons opinion on which lenses each photographer should own. While the post itself did indicate that it was his own personal preference and that others would find other options more suited to their situations – whenever you express an opinion you’re going to get other people reacting with their own.
- He Made a Claim – the title was key in generating this discussion. It made a claim that every photographer should own 3 lenses. I’m not sure how intentional this was but make this type of claim and you’ll almost always get a reaction because you’ll almost always have someone who doesn’t quite fit into what you’ve proposed – and they’ll want to tell you why. Write a post about ‘essentials’, or ‘the best’ or something ‘everyone’ should do – and you’ll generally get this type of response.
- He Invited a Response – the post finished by asking others what they’d include in their ‘must own’ category of lenses. This is the perfect invitation for an ongoing discussion.
- He Chose a Topic People Had Invested Heavily Into – the last thing I’d say about this topic is that he stumbled onto a topic for the post that readers had strong opinions about because they’d invested into the topic. Camera owners carefully research their lens purchases and put up considerable dollars to buy them. As a result they tend to feel quite strongly about their lenses and often feel the need to defend/explain their decisions.
Keep in mind that while when you write these types of posts you will almost always get a reaction from people that you need to be willing and ready to hear some strong opinions back – something that are not always easy to hear.