But how can we practically engage our blog readers so they'll leave comments?
CEO of Thomas Nelson, Michael Hyatt, had a blog post last week entitled 7 Strategies for Increasing Your Blog Comments. If you haven't read it, you really should. His suggestions are innovative and right on target.
Let me just say this first. Getting more blog comments isn't a competition. The idea behind increasing that little number box at the bottom of our posts isn't so that we can become the most popular blogger that ever roamed cyberspace.
Increasing our blog comments relates to my previous post. We all spend time and effort crafting our posts, and we want the blogging experience to be worth that time. If no one is reading what we write, we begin to wonder if blogging is really a good use of our limited resources. Seeing the numbers go up and getting real feedback spurs us to keep at it.
Michael Hyatt listed seven ways to help engage readers more effectively, and there are many others who've shared their tips too (Here's another: How to Build Traffic on Your Blog). However, we can do everything else right--write short, thought-provoking posts, end with a question, make it easy for people to leave their comments--and still end up without comments or very few.
Why? If we're following the "rules," why wouldn't we have more success?
Because. . .most of us are not in a position where we can hit publish then sit back and wait for people to flock to what we wrote. It just doesn't happen that way for the majority of us.
For the average blogger THE best way to get people to comment on your blog is this: Comment on other blogs. Go visit blogs and start leaving comments. Begin to genuinely connect with others in the blogging realm.
Agents, editors, CEO's, or movie stars draw readers and commentors because of their popularity. The rest of us just don't have large enough platforms to attract readers of their own accord.
The ordinary blogger has to seek out others and then look at blogging as a two-way conversation. If we want to have people "speak" to us, then we have to "chat" with them on their blogs.
Sure, we can have dialogue in our comment section and leave responses to the comments people make. I occasionally jump into the discussion on my blog. I try to answer questions. And every once in a while I email a response. But I don't consistently respond to each comment. I don't have the time, and I'm guessing most of my blog readers have even less time to come back and re-read the comment section.
I've become convinced THE best way to increase blog comments is by commenting on other blogs. It's all about the genuine give-and-take of relationships. If you want to be heard, then you have to listen to others. That takes time and effort, but in the end, I've found it's worth it.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my theory? I'd love to hear your opinions!