Hello and welcome to BIP Week #7! I hope that Social Media Month went well for everyone. I haven’t been as social as I’d like to be — school is kicking my butt lately — but it seemed like it went well. If you have any comments about how the last month went, feel free to send me an email or leave a comment so I know how to make the BIP better!
Anyway, I liked the idea of focusing on different aspects of a topic for a month, so April is going to be focused on comments (I know, not alliterative, but oh well). The interaction between bloggers and readers via comments is, to me, one of the best things about blogging, so I think this month will be fun.
Week #7 is going to be all about making your blog more comment friendly. During the goal setting project (Week #1), a lot of people made it a goal to leave more blog comments. This is important, but I think it’s also vital that once you get a new reader at your blog it’s easy for them to engage with you by commenting on your posts. Don’t worry, Week #8 will more specifically address that because it’s going to be about leaving better comments.
One article about comments I found very helpful was “7 Reasons Why I Won’t Comment On your Blog” by Jamie Harrop. Some of his best suggestions include giving commenters direction by leaving some discussion questions at the end of your post, and responding to all comments on a post within the first 12-hours after it’s posted. Read the full post for some more technical suggestions that made me think about blog comments a little more strategically.
Darren Rose at Problogger has “10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog.” Some of his suggestions include inviting readers to comment, leaving your posts open ended, setting a clear comment policy, and reward commenters. Again, read the post to go through the suggestions in detail — it’s really good.
On other idea comes from Beatblogging.org from the article “The art of hoisting comments” which talks about techniques that popular bloggers to highlight user comments. This is one very specific idea, but sort of a cool one if you have the time.
After you read those three articles, here’s your assignment!
- Take an inventory of your blog comments. Write down how many comments you have as of today, then track how many comments you get per day over the next two weeks (I’m curious how well all of this is going to work).
- Pick 3-4 of the techniques from the articles to implement over the next two weeks (or more, if you’re ambitious). Print out the posts or write down a list of techniques to leave by your computer so you’re always reminded of them while you post.
- Spend the next two weeks trying to make your posts more comment friendly. By Saturday, April 18, write a post about which techniques you used and how well you think they worked. Sign the Mr. Linky below. I’ll do a wrap-up post to try and see which of these techniques worked best.
One more thing — do you have any techniques that you already use to encourage comments on your blog? Leave a comment here with some of your best advice on how to get comments and we’ll start to pool our collective blogging knowledge. Thanks, and good luck!