Friday, 6 September 2013

Value of comments in your blog

Value of comments in your blog

If your blog posts are the heart of your blog, then the comments left on those
posts represent the blood pumping through the veins. In other words, comments
are the lifeline that keeps your blog beating. Blog comments make a
blog interactive and social.

Think of blog comments the same way you would a face-to-face conversation.
Do you prefer it when someone simply speaks at you and does all the talking,
or do you prefer the conversation to offer a mix between both you and the
other person speaking? People feel the same way about conversations via
blog posts and comments. They want to feel like they are valuable, contributing
members of the conversation, not just bystanders.

Comments separate blogs from traditional Web sites and news articles, which
are one-sided and invite readers to participate passively. Comparatively,
blogs are two-sided and invite readers to participate actively.  For now, it’s important to understand how you can get people talking
and leaving comments directly on your blog posts. Here are a few methods
that can help generate comments:

 Ask for them 

Simple enough, but many bloggers don’t take a moment to
include a question or phrase that directly asks readers what they think
about the topic discussed in the post. For example, at the end of your
blog posts, include a question, such as, “What do you think?” to invite
readers to leave a comment and join the conversation.

 Write about a controversial topic

 Nothing brings lurkers out of the
woodwork faster than controversy. Of course, not every blog is an
appropriate place to discuss controversial topics, but if a controversial
topic is relevant to your blog, you might want to write a post about it.
However, be cautious. Controversial topics can be emotional and might
require your strict oversight and moderation to ensure nothing offensive
is published.

Play devil’s advocate

 Take a popular topic related to your blog and
suggest the opposite point of view rather than the publicly accepted
view. For example, if you write a cooking blog and most chefs follow
a specific method to complete a culinary task, such as de-boning a
chicken, suggest a different method as being superior. You’d be surprised
how many people will join the conversation to defend the publicly
accepted method or provide their opinions on your alternate point
of view.

 Ask your readers to help you make a decision or answer a question

you have

 This method of generating comments can help to personalize
your blog. For example, if you write a parenting blog and you’re having
trouble potty training your child, you could write a post about your
struggles and ask your readers to help you by leaving comments with
their potty-training tips and suggestions.

Most bloggers need months (some even years) to develop a strong and
vocal reader following. It’s your job to experiment with different methods to
get the conversation going and find what works best to get your blog’s visitors
talking. After a reader leaves a comment, acknowledge that comment
by responding with a comment of your own. Doing so shows your readers
that you value their opinions, which will make them more likely to comment

Don’t ignore your readers. If a reader leaves a comment, respond to it. When
your audience and comments grow, you’ll find that other visitors will respond
to each other’s comments, meaning you won’t be the only other person in the
conversation. Instead, group discussions will evolve around your blog posts,
and you’ll have the opportunity to let them flourish.


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