Week #7 is going to be all about making your blog more comment friendly…it’s 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.
Some helpful articles about making your blog comment-friendly:
“7 Reasons Why I Won’t Comment On your Blog” by Jamie Harrop.
“10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog.” by Darren Rowse at Problogger
“The art of hoisting comments” from Beatblogging.org talks about techniques that popular bloggers to highlight user comments
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.
Blogger has a lot of good points as a blogging platform (no, really, it does!), but one thing it’s not particularly good at is comment tracking (although some useful widgets for comments can be found at Blogger Buster). At the time I began drafting this post on Monday, April 13, my blog had 123 comments for the month so far, and 376 in March (including 60 on a giveaway) – since I’d have to add them up manually, I’m not going back any further than that! The average is roughly 10 comments per post, and that does include my own responses to the comments I receive, so that probably skews the numbers a bit. However, I am gratified to note that there were NO posts during the period that got zero comments!
I actually do use a few of the comment-boosting techniques that these articles mention already:
- It’s easy to comment. Blogger would like you to log in, but the blog does permit OpenID logins from other services and I don’t block anonymous comments. I’ve even taken off word verification, since spam comments really haven’t been a big problem here (and I would delete them anyway).
- I ask questions, either within or at the end of many of my posts.
- I interact with commenters.
I answer nearly every comment I receive on my blog, unless the comments are for giveaway entries (in which case my response is recording your entry!); sometimes I won’t reply to a reply to my reply on someone’s comment, but it depends on the conversation. I like the idea of e-mailing responses, especially since I receive e-mail notification of all comments, but I can’t usually respond to those e-mails directly; capturing the commenter’s e-mail address is another thing Blogger isn’t too good at. I’ll e-mail someone a comment response on occasion, but most of the time I just post a new comment of my own to answer right on the same post. I think answering comments in comments helps fuel the conversation, but the drawback to it is that people don’t always come back to check for responses (although there are the options of subscribing to comments via feed or e-mail, so you can find out about a reply without actually returning here).
I use TypePad for my posts on the Los Angeles Moms Blog, and I really like the way it handles comments; you can reply by e-mail, comments and responses are threaded on the blog, and it automatically e-mails notification for both new comments and replies. I’m not enamored of it enough to pay for it, though.
I’m not sure if there is a “best” way to respond to blog comments, but I do think it is very important to respond to them in some fashion – because yes, I do feel slighted when my comments on other blogs don’t get responses, and I really don’t want anyone to feel that way here!
I’d love to get your comments about comments – being comment-friendly, leaving comments, answering comments, and all that – so please share them! And on your way to the comment box, I’ve got a couple of polls for you (click the links if the widgets don’t show up – sorry, I’m new at using PollDaddy and I’m still trying to get the embedding right!):
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href =”http://www.polldaddy.com” &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;online polls&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; – &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href =”http://www.polldaddy.com/w.aspx?p=23428″ &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Take Our Poll&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
***Comment on the review to enter the giveaway for What to Read When! Entries are open until Wednesday, April 22!***
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href =”http://www.polldaddy.com” &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;online polls&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; – &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href =”http://www.polldaddy.com/w.aspx?p=23430″ &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Take Our Poll&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;