How do you increase blog comments and interaction?
I've been writing my Shelcom blog very consistently since around June 2012. Since then I've only gotten one legitimate comment.
What are some tips for increasing engagement and feedback? I'd love for people to post their opinions or questions, yet I can't seem to find the right method of encouragement.
I've ended many of my posts with questions such as "what are your thoughts?" or "any questions?" and still nothing.
First let me share with you my view on comments and then a couple of ideas on getting feedback.
In my view comments are more about vanity of the comment poster and do not relate directly to popularity of your BLOG. There are many very popular BLOGS with just a few comments. I regularly visit LinkedIN forums and have commented myself, however, the comments are often just people trying to blow their own trumpet.
The key to a popular and high ranking BLOG is solid content and regularity. The more value you put into your BLOG the more people will visit. Of course you need to provide opportunities to let people make contact with you.
I have been deliberately calling my network over the past two weeks. Almost without fail they are consistent readers of what I write - yet not one has written a comment.
If you really want feedback here are three ideas;
1. Offer a prize to the best comment. Perhaps once a week select a comment at random (there may only be one in the first week) and then promote the fact someone has 'won' and offer a proze again. Promote the winner and prize on your Facebook page, LinkedIN - anywhere that is relevant.
2. Get someone (not you) to start a comment thread for a topic you think is important. Make sure you respond professionally.
3. Suggest in your article people had emailed / called during the week and answer their questions.
4. Be controversial - just be sure your profanity blocker is turned up high!
In the end you can't force people to comment and a well written BLOG creating value needs to be judged by the number of subscribers, their Alexa ranking (SavvySME is currently 220,278 - a very solid performance!) and audience engagement.
I take my hat off to you Gosia, one thing I tell all my clients is that consistency the key to online success.
I'm going to disagree with Greg on this point... Quote "comments are more about vanity of the comment poster and do not relate directly to popularity of your BLOG."
Commenting on others blogs is one of the best ways to obtain links back to your own website and in turn people will go to your site to also check you and your company out and also leave a comment. When you comment on others posts I recommend that you then share the post you have just commented on as this will also get your site extra exposure. This works especially well if you are the first comment on the page...
I have a couple of websites online which are ranked very well. I don't say this to brag but to let you know that if it were not for people commenting on my content my online reputation would be nowhere. I also encourage my clients to comment on others sites within their niche as much as time permits. Commenting brings organic traffic to your website and who doesn't love free traffic.
There are certain tasks to carry out after you post content on your website.
Share your post on LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter and your Facebook Fanpage. Don't just post the link, it's a good idea to also leave a strong call to action to send the reader back to your website. After all, this is why you have the blog in the first place.... to drive traffic to your website, to build your online reputation, gain a larger readership which should potentially bring more customers into your business.
There are also many groups on Facebook where you can share your content which will also build your Facebook following. The first thing I noticed on your blog was that your Fan Page "Like" box is at the bottom of the page. I would recommend that you move this to the top of the page underneath the search box. This will encourage people who visit your site to read your Facebook feed and also connect with you through your website. You have 305 Fans on Facebook so when you share your posts you should be encouraging them to head on over the your site to read your latest post.
If your blogging platform is WordPress.org you can also use a plugin called Comment Luv. Comment Luv encourages people to comment on your content because it also gives them the opportunity to advertise a link to their latest post simply by ticking a box. Comment Luv will also give you the top comments of the week down your side bar. This also encourages people to come back and comment.
The social media buttons at the bottom of your blog are not only there for your readers to use but also for you to use to share your content.
Sharing your content with a strong call to action is one of the fastest ways to build a community that will follow you and look forward to your next post. The lower your Alexa ranking goes means that you have a better reputation online and people will want to post comments because this means that your website has more online authority.
Another tip in this short novel is to become a member of an online Syndication Tribe. You'll find a lot of these platforms online and on Facebook.... Tribe Pro is one I can recommend. This is where you comment on posts in similar niches to you and these people will comment back for you.
Personally, I think it's a great idea to make your own online tribe on Facebook this way you can invite those who you want in the group who are relevant to your business. Everyone posts their content then you simply spend about 30 mins to an hour going from post to post leaving a comment and sharing. Keep the group small, as time is precious.
One more tip..... When replying to a comment on your post comment from the outside as if you are a visitor to your own blog... this especially works will if you have the Comment Luv Plugin installed as you get to leave a link back to another internal post on your website.
Implementing the above will give you all the Google love and online reputation your website needs.
BTW - I headed over to your BLOG - well done. The topics you write about add a lot of value and your BLOG ranks very well (748,000 - anything <1,000,000 is outstanding). I suspect the topics do not really encourage a lot of comments so I would not panic.
Do you also provide your articles on other BLOGs?
One other thing. I went and left a comment but it was difficult to find where to click to leave a comment. Perhaps you could provide a more obvious comment box. If you use WordPress try searching through the plugins to find one which works for you rather than the standard one.
Great question Gosia, I think this is a common challenge many bloggers struggle with. I'm keen to hear what people think as well.
The way I look at at, offer a solution to a problem. Think of your audience and help them by adding value into their life. The easy way is think of ten problems they may have and offer some simple practical solutions to it.
There are tons of information online now, people like all that info but what they really want is to solve some-kind of a problem so if you offer that, that may help you get engagement.