5 Tips for Encouraging Blog Comments
Blogging can be a frustrating endeavor. You know that your posts are being read, because your analytics tells you so, but nobody is commenting either on the post itself, or on social media. Perhaps you’ve tried various tactics, but these don’t seem to be working. Now, you’re wondering if the blog is any use at all, despite the traffic it seems to attract.
For brands, individuals and small companies, it’s always worth having a blog. Not only does it drive that all-important traffic, it also positions you as an influencer (if you’re doing it right) and ups SEO. It’s never been easy to attract comments so you’re not alone, if you have a good look around you’ll see that even some large blogs don’t get an awful lot of attention. But at My Social Agency, we’re here to help with our top tips for getting those ever-elusive comments.
#1: Create Controversy/Stir Emotion
Viral posts all have one thing in common and that is that they tend to evoke an emotion in the reader. By far the best emotion to stir is happiness. This can be done by using storytelling to create a story that gives the reader a warm feeling. It can be an amusing anecdote that people that relate to, or it can be a tale of woe that ended well.
Creating controversy also provokes a reaction – although not always the one that you’re looking for. Be careful when creating posts like this. Opinion pieces are good for attracting comments as they challenge others to share their own. However, you should only offer a relevant opinion that at its heart, addresses something within your own industry.
It should also be in keeping with your brand. So if your brand’s personality is friendly and approachable, then be wary of suddenly changing direction and writing a post that’s full of forceful and controversial opinions that go against your brand persona.
#2: Create Value
As well as posts that evoke emotion, you should create posts that offer value for the reader by giving actionable advice. List posts (5 reasons, 6 ways, etc.) do well as they promise to tell the reader what they need to do about something in short chunks of information.
‘How to’ posts also do well for the same reason. Whatever kind of post it is though, it should solve a problem that your readers tend to have. So, if you sell washing powder, a title might be ‘how to remove red wine stains from satin’ or ‘6 tips for prolonging the life of your clothes’. These types of posts, when written well, get shared around social media far more than any others.
You should also consider writing longer posts now and then as these do well in search. You don’t have to make every post a 2000 worder, but you should mix it up a little so that there’s a good mix of long and short posts. It’s hard to give the reader value in 300 words, after all.
#3: Create a Community
Many people write a post, share it around social media and then forget about, then wonder why nobody is commenting. It’s up to you to create a buzz around your posts, don’t expect your followers to do it for you.
When sharing on social media, always post a comment in the status (where possible, not easy on Twitter always) as a call to action. Ask questions – for example, if the post is about getting rid of red wine stains, ask your followers for their top tips. Draw attention to what the post is about and ask people to get involved – it’s surprising how well it works. If the post contains original ideas, then include these in the status too.
You should also look to discuss the post wherever you can. Post it in LinkedIn Groups (where the admin allows links to be posted – don’t be spammy) and prompt discussion about it there. Hold a webinar and point people to the post when they sign up for it so that it can be discussed during the webinar.
Your posts should address the audience directly, making use of the word ‘you’ and ‘I’ so that your readers really feel that they’re talking with a person and not just a faceless corporate copywriter.
Get busy and above all, make sure that you reply to comments very promptly on both the blog and on social media.
#4: Grow Your Email List
People sign up for your newsletter because they like what you have to say in your blog posts. This means that your email list is chock full of people who really want to read your stuff. So it makes sense that if you grow your email list and it’s full of people that already enjoy your content, then you’re likely to see more comments.
Easier said than done I hear you say? Get your blog a nice newsletter lightbox (which pop up after someone has been on the site a certain amount of time) to further encourage sign ups, or check out Hello Bar, which I’ve found to be a great tool for getting more sign ups.
#5: Comment on Other Blogs
Make sure that you do the rounds and comment on other industry blogs that interest you. Don’t just make a list and leave a generic comment, get personal and get your voice and opinions out there. Do it well and others will notice and will look for your blog to read. We’re a nosy lot, us humans, and if you’re offering opinions then there are others that want to know what makes you qualified.
Come up with a strategy for this. So if you’re working on that post about red wine and satin, then make a list of prominent blogs in your niche and find similar articles to comment on. Note the amount of shares and engagement that these posts get and tailor your own to suit.
I’m sure you will have some comments of your own to share on this post. So do let us know what tactics you employ on your blog to boost engagement and comments – we’d love to hear it and have a chat!