Blogs are a great way to share your expertise and get fresh content about your business into the search engines. Blogs also create an opportunity for readers to ask questions, share opinions or request further information about the topic you are sharing. Creating an environment where readers feel comfortable commenting doesn't happen overnight and entrepreneurs need to continually work to cultivate relationships with readers to gain their response.
Is your blog looking like a ghost town with minimal comments and engagement? Here are six reasons why this may be the case:
You're not Asking Questions
There is a lot of value in the phrase: "What do you think about this topic?" Asking a question has the same power as a call-to-action and it's an open invitation to get a dialogue going. End your blog posts with open-ended questions, or with a thought-provoking slant, to encourage readers to step forward and respond.
Your Commenting Process is a Pain
We all hate spam but if your commenters have to jump through multiple hoops via tools like CAPTCHA word verification, they may just skip commenting altogether. Instead set your comments on "moderate" so you can weed out the spam and avoid making your readers have to decipher those tiny, blurry letters and numbers in order to post their comment.
Your Readership is Notorious for Lurkers
Not everyone's blog community is the warm-fuzzy-talky-type. Some blogs have an amazing readership, but no comments, because the readers (for whatever reason) don't feel comfortable doing so. Pull them out of their shells by posting a gentle reminder at the end of each post that you value their comments and would love to hear their thoughts.
Your Posts are Novels
Readers these days are incredibly busy and often don't have the time or patience to read an 800+ word article. Though it can be hard to convey an opinion or evoke emotion in 400 words or less, that word count is the "sweet spot" for many readers. It's very possible your readers are not commenting because they are never reaching the end of your article.
You Leave Them Hanging
Just as an unreciprocated high five is awkward and disheartening, so is an unacknowledged comment. When readers make the effort to respond and share an experience in your comment box, take the time to respond and thank them. It encourages further dialogue and lets them know their opinion is not only seen, but matters.
You don't reward Their Efforts
WordPress plugins like CommentLuv are perfect for giving your readers a free perk for taking the time to leave their thoughts. Once a reader comments CommentLuv will include a link to their last blog post at the end, which acts as an "incentive" and also rewards them with the possibility of new readers. Another "rewarding" plugin is the Top commentators plugin which gives special recognition to your top commenters.
Which of these commenting strategies have you been neglecting?
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