Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 Ways to Encourage Conversations and Comments on Your Blog

I recently sat in on an enlightening twitter chat about gaining comments on your blog by following along with the hashtag #blogchat. The discussion included some very thoughtful and experienced bloggers, as well as lots of newbies and everyone in between. We were talking about promoting conversation on your blog. Here are some of the ideas I found most useful. (There are certainly lots of things for me to learn!)

1. People will comment when there is something worth talking about. Try posting about topics you know your readers will find interesting and want to talk about. Invite them to respond by asking "What do you think?"

@Stevefogg I think that conversation can only happen if the blog post is something worth talking about

@Jenica704 Creating talkable content means knowing your audience.

@patricksplace I encourage people to disagree. Things are much more interesting that long as everyone is respectful.

@samfiorella Ask yourself: Is your blog an answer blog or a conversation blog?

2. When you post, you don't have to comprehensively cover every angle of a topic. In fact, leaving things out can let others have something to add. If you provide too many nice, neat answers, there is nothing left for others to say.

@RelaxedDriver Sometimes less is more when it comes to writing a post. Don't try to always write an essay. Leave room for people to think! #blogchat

@MelissaGalt Better to break up a long one potentially and leave reader hanging . . convo may complete open thoughts

@danielnewmanUV Don't write like a know it all (even if you do) and don't respond to comments that way either.

3. Respond to all the comments you get. And make them quality responses that make people see that you are grateful for their conversation on your blog. You can use your replies to push on the conversation and engage others.

@NotActuallyHero I find it's important to ensure people know you appreciate comments.Those people will come back, and eventually have conversations

@chowandchatter #Blogchat important to respond to comments especially to answer questions shows u listen and care and folks will keep commenting

@danielnewmanUV A simple tip for driving conversation is respond quickly and with more than a thank you. Drive continued conversation.

@samfiorella Don't respond to comments w/Thank You but a follow up question to create blog convo

4. Make a personal connection with commenters outside of your own blog. Reply to their comment with a personal email and engage with them through other platforms. Don't be afraid to make new friends!

@taunitweets Me too. Email & respond in comments RT @dariasteigman I always e-mail new commenters, trying to build that reship.

@angie_seattle There are many bloggers that only engage with their select group of bloggers. Just like twitter.

@kamkansas: When u c new commenters,start following them, RT them, get 2 know them on Twitter. Conversations begin.

5. When someone makes a good point in the comments, you can use this to start a more extensive conversation. And let the commenter know that they have inspired you. You can do the same when another blogger's post inspires you.

@C_Pappas Anyone writing posts in response to another blogger's post and getting comments that way? Ive seen some success there

@AngEngland I recently pulled a comment & built an entire new article around it: #blogchat

@wordwhacker I sometimes end up blogging about something raised in a convo on another blog.

@Kathrynclang I have commented on blogs and then written a post that links back to the one I commented on - and mentioned the site by name

@MikeHale If I mention someone in a post, I reach out to them to let them know, have gotten their thoughts which has sparked convos

6. Try to help the commenters make connections among themselves.

@kamkansas Introduce commenters to each other so they get to b friendly and starting conversations on your blog. #blogchat

@writingrenee If it's applicable, we could say "Your thoughts are very similar to X's above..." etc. Put them in connection? #blogchat

7. Remember that comments can come in many forms, for example, on Twitter, through Pinterest, and elsewhere around the web. Harness these if possible.

@claudiabia To capture those comments made on twitter, I now use a widget on WP that adds them as comments in the post
the widget is called: Twitter Mentions as Comments

8. Avoid things that hinder commenting, such as too much moderation or a commenting system that is hard to use on a mobile device.

@samfiorella Moderation is probably #1 way to KILL a blog conversation

@NotActuallyHero Akismet is all you need, moderation halts conversation, many assume it won't be approved (for some reason)

@CTrappe Lots of sites hard to use on mobile. RT @KellyLoubet I've found people are commenting less ... with the rise of mobile devices

9. Promote your blog posts to the people who will comment. You can find likeminded people on Twitter, Facebook, and through other blogs. The network of food bloggers I have met over the years I have been blogging are incredible. Some have become genuine friends and commenting on their blogs is fun.

@ECCSonline Promote your blog: search hashtags to find convo on Twitter re topics you blog about

@Yogitastic I joined the #YIOM community of yoga bloggers who are great at starting up conversations. #blogchat

10. Write about things that are your passion. Expose your personality and readers will respond. Think of your readers as friends that you want to have a conversation with.

@chowandchatter often posts that evoke memories, and sharing real stories helps with comments as folks relate

@MelissaGalt Use YOU, never I or We and write as if they are sitting with you at the moment.

@LoisMarketing Stop blogging with the idea of creating comments. When you start blogging from the heart, followers follow -- and so do comments!

Do you have tips for garnering blog comments? What things make you more likely to comment on blogs?

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