If you’ve read the article on how blogging for comments can leave you broke in business and still want to attract more engagement on your blog, then this is for you.
Attracting blog comments takes a little time and nurturing. I guess a bit like planting seeds and gardening.
I say ‘guess’ because I am a terrible gardener. I once replaced a rose plant 3 times because each time my mum visited I didn’t have the heart to tell her my neglect had killed her gift (not once but… you get the picture.)
Hopefully that doesn’t put you off.
Because while there isn’t any shortcut or magic button you can press to get comments to your blog, you can cultivate an engaged audience by repeating these small actions over time.
Write Something Interesting (to Your Readers)
If you’re taking to your blog to address your readers, it has to be with something you’re excited to share with them.
But look, I don’t want you to think that you can’t write anything until you have something perfectly profound.
I just want you to think about what’s interesting to your readers. And here’s where you might trip up, because often it is the simple content which gets the best reaction.
On my site, some of the posts that have stimulated the most conversation have been simple examples of how copywriting is used in adverts. Including:
Readers like seeing real-life examples of advertising, and discussing what they like or don’t like.
This point might seem obvious, but I can tell on my site, that if there’s no conversation happening in the comments, it’s because somehow I’ve missed the intersection between what I want to write about, and what my audience wants to read.
Leave a Space for the Conversation
You want more comments on your blog right?
You write something, your readers write back, and then you respond.
Exactly like a conversation.
Only here’s the problem – a lot of business blogs don’t leave room for the conversation to continue.
I’m not just talking about asking for comments (see below) I’m talking about writing your post in a way that lets the discussion continue.
Have a look at this:
Headline: Facebook Helps You Advertise Your Business
Facebook gives you the tools to create a page for your business. You can use this page to post updates about your company, attract “likes” and chat to people who visit your page. You can also post adverts which help you promote and advertise people who are outside your online circle, but may be interested in what you have to offer.
Now, there’s nothing necessarily “bad” about that content, except that it’s just information. It’s one step up from reading a business’s opening hours. Sure, it tells you what you can do, but there’s no discussion needed, it’s just one-way information.
Now consider this:
Headline: Are You Having These Problems When Advertising Your Business With Facebook?
Facebook gives you the tools to create a page for your business, but is the increased exposure (if it works) worth the time, effort and possible money you invest? In this article we look at some of these common challenges. We’d also love to hear about your own Facebook experiences in the comments below.
From the beginning, the writer establishes the article as one that is open for discussion. It’s not just providing facts, it’s creating a newsworthy topic that is interesting to the audience (see above) and it encourages readers to share their stories in the comments.
Share the Limelight
Want a quick tip to get some fast comments to your site?
Promote other people in your article.
There’s nothing wrong giving a shout out to those you admire, especially if they’re relevant to your audience.
And why does this work getting you more comments?
Well the people you feature may pop by to discuss it, and they’re also more likely to share the post with their readers who might also pop by and say what they think.
I’ve also seen the same result when I’ve done this in my own blog posts:
- 98 Magazine Secrets for Keeping Your Blog and content Marketing Fresh
- Why Johnny B Truant Rejected Me
If you’re looking to give your business blog a little kickstart, this is a pretty good strategy to get some conversation going.
Ask Relevant People
If you think that successful blogs started one day by writing a post and getting a flood of comments, then you’re perfectly normal.
It’s hard to imagine those huge sites starting out posting content and no-one showing up to read it.
But that’s how it happens.
So one of the best things you can do when you’re just starting out is to go to people you know and ask them to comment to get the conversation started. Even Derek Halpern over at Social Triggers who regularly receives hundreds of comments, admits that to help his posts get traction he will reach out to industry experts, friends and relevant figures to ask them to read the post and hopefully comment.
This is something you can replicate.
Start out with your social circle online and offline. If you mention someone in your post, drop them an email to see if they would take a look at your article and maybe even comment.
If you want me to write a follow up post on how to approach people for this, let me know in the comments!
Ask Your Audience
Here’s a funny thing you may not know.
Your readers might not hang out all in the same place.
By that, I mean that some people may read your blog by email, and some might stay updated on Facebook or Twitter, and others might prefer to get your email newsletter.
This is easy to forget, but what it means is that there might be people in your audience who LOVE what you do, but don’t always read your blog.
So another way of stimulating conversation is to ask around those other channels, encouraging comments. Here are just a few examples you can use:
- Twitter: This blog post is getting some interesting comments – will you add yours?
- Facebook: This week on the blog we’re looking at some challenges our readers are facing. Share yours in the comments and we’ll try and help!
- Email Newsletter: Can you do me a favour? Click this link, read the short article and let me know if you think I’m right (or crazy!) in the comments.
And of course – always ask for comments at the end of your blog posts!
Over to you and your thoughts. Have you used these techniques before to stimulate conversation on your blog? Have you responded to an article and left a comment because of them? Are there other reasons that put you off or attract you to commenting on a blog? Let me know in the comments below!