- August 7, 2021 views: 1,043
Who do you write your blog for? If your answer to that question is "myself," then this article might not be of much interest to you. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to engage with an audience for business or personal reasons, you're going to want to read what we have to say.
There's a crucial metric that people have forgotten about when it comes to writing a blog. We’re not talking about keywords, headers, images, post titles, or anything so technical. Instead, we're talking about comments.
Comments are just as important to the well-being of your blog as anything else. It doesn't matter if your blog is precision-engineered from an SEO point of view and attracting thousands of viewers per day if you're not getting any comments. If the number of comments on your articles is always zero, your blog will look derelict. To the casual viewer, it will look like nobody reads your posts, and so your voice isn't worth listening to.
That's the commercial kiss of death if you're trying to use your blog to sell something. Comments feed engagement, engagement attracts more comments, and conversations that develop in your comments section attract subscribers and repeat viewers. All of that is great for your blog.
So, with all of this in mind, the big question is how do you attract regular commentators? That's what you're here to find out, so we'll try to dispense some wisdom!
Finish With A Question
Questions demand answers. If you end every blog post with a question, you’ll find that people respond to give their opinion. This, oddly, is the exact opposite of best advice for a speech
. In the written format, asking a question tells your audience that you’re interested in what they say. In effect, you're inviting them in for a chat. The small act of inviting someone to speak is more powerful than you think. People who might otherwise have clicked away after reading your last paragraph suddenly feel compelled to respond to you. To enhance the effect, consider writing your questions in bold!
Use Your Sidebar
Sidebars are probably the most underused tools available to a blogger. As a thirty-second research project, find an online slots website and load its homepage. If you've picked a good one, you'll see a sidebar detailing all the people who've recently won big while playing online slots there, along with the amounts they won. Subliminally, that does two things. It reminds visitors to the site that they, too, have a chance of winning big money playing online slots
there. It also makes the sidebar space seem like a prize, as if being featured there is an accomplishment of some kind. You could use yours to highlight the most recent comments you've received. This is easily done with a widget (especially if you're using WordPress) and immediately tells casual visitors that you have a responsive audience.
Always Reply To Comments
When someone writes a comment on a blog post, they often do so in the hope of starting a conversation with whoever wrote the blog. If someone's considering leaving a comment and can see that you've replied to whoever's done so in the past, they're more likely to add one of your own.
Replying doesn't mean getting into a prolonged conversation with anybody (unless you really want to). It just means acknowledging them and making them feel glad they took the time to drop you a line. People who comment regularly and have these brief interactions are more likely to take your opinions on board and buy from you if that's your objective.
Speak Your Mind
Someone once said that controversy creates cash
, and they were right. A "hot take" blog post is more likely to elicit responses from readers than something safe, familiar, and in line with the common consensus. This doesn't mean that you should be controversial for the sake of it or pretend to hold opinions that other people might find offensive. It just means that you should speak your mind if you strongly agree or disagree with something that's happening in your blog's area of interest. If you think something's stupid, say so. If you think something or someone is underrated or unappreciated, don't be afraid to sing their praises. When you've done that, defend your views in the comments section. You'll quickly find that posts like this attract far more views than anything else on your blog.
Use Comments To Create Posts
Your readers will see things differently than you. They might offer you new perspectives or an alternative take on something you've posted about. Use this to your advantage. If you see something genuinely interesting in your comments section, base a whole post about it. Pick up on whatever they had to say and expand on it, offering your insight and analysis in the process. You could even do this every week or every month as a comment round-up. This tells people that their comments are taken seriously and that if they're willing to contribute, they might find themselves highlighted the next time you write a blog. Make sure you remember to credit them for their comments!
Post List Articles
Some people see list articles as the bane of the internet, but they exist for a reason. Buzzfeed was once almost entirely based on list articles, and it gets millions of views every day. The success it had from uploading list articles enabled it to expand into other media areas.
If you write a list article, you can rest assured that people will instantly take to the comments and either tell you that you've missed something out or disagree with your ranking system. Either way, that's post engagement. If you offer someone your top ten or top five of something and ask them for theirs, they'll usually tell you. List articles invite people to give their opinions - and that isn't something that most people on the internet are shy of doing.
Do you use any of these tricks already? Do you think any of them world work for you? What’s worked for you in the past when you’ve tried to attract move viewers in your blog? We’d love to hear your opinions - and yes, you can leave them in the comments below!
Word Count: 1078