Four Ways to Encourage Blog Comments
One of the most important elements of any blog is the interaction that goes on in the comments section of each post. Most bloggers do not blog solely for the enjoyment of seeing their content on the screen, nor just to earn revenue through advertisements and affiliate programs. It is the act of doing what you love and having others who share the same interests that motivates most bloggers to action. Unfortunately, even your fans may be prone to lurking around, absorbing the information you provide but not contributing anything in return. We will outline five ways you can encourage your readers to comment on your blog and generate genuine discussions on each post.
Post Your Blog Entries Elsewhere
This seems simple enough, and should already be a part of your blog marketing strategy, along with pinging your blog. Too many bloggers expect that by simply publishing a new piece, readers from all over the world will flock it in some devout fashion. Unfortunately, it takes exposure to get discussion and traffic flowing to blogs that are not top-tier contenders. You can find several forums that cover most any subject: take the time to join, discuss relevant concepts and occasionally plug your latest piece. As long as you contribute to these forums in a semi-valuable fashion, nobody will fault you for sharing links to your thoughts on similar concepts.
Provide Chat Options
Some blogs have a traditional box layout where comments from all posts are shown – usually in order of which are most recent. This can sometimes make commenting seem dull and unattractive. Recently, many blogs and even social networking sites like Facebook have moved to further diversify the options for commenting on various posts. There are tools available that can allow for replies to each particular comment, for instance.
Interactive Options for Readers
Perhaps you are not having much success in engaging your readers when it comes to commenting – sometimes you can use more passive options to facilitate and encourage dialog. Rating systems for comments are one popular way of giving people means of showing approval and disapproval, with the mere existence of such system sometimes sparking their own discussions. This can also help filter out spam and negative comments, giving your blog a sense of quality that others may be lacking.
This may seem silly, but by being involved in what discussion does occur, you can show that you are proactive and paying attention to the dialogue that is occurring. This may mean deleting some comments that are harassing, irrelevant or spam – it’s your choice in determining what is displayed on your blog, so do not be afraid to exercise judgment. Still, having the patience and knowledge to know when to intervene and when not to can make all the difference – people who feel like there is too strict of a moderating presence may opt not to comment.
When pinging your blog to search engines and forums, one of the key goals is to boost interaction in comments. By intelligently moderating comments that are received, providing multiple ways for readers to interact with comments, establishing flexible options for comments and chat features and circulating your blog posts to other venues, you can gradually build the interactivity of your blog and ultimately reach a much larger audience.