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Sunday, April 10, 2011

 

Comment Sense: Using Comments to Build Your Blog Readership

One thing blog owners seem to wonder is: Where are my readers? 

They ask themselves these questions: Is anyone actually reading this blog? If so, what do they think? If not, how do I drive readers to my blog? 

One way to answer all of these questions is with comments. 

If you want to make a blog owner happy, leave her a comment. There's nothing like reading a comment on your blog from a new or old friend--it just shows someone out there somewhere is actually reading and has an opinion on what you have to say. Why do you think there are so many contests where the way to enter is to leave a comment and the winner is chosen from the readers who left their two cents on the post? So besides having a comment contest to get readers to your blog, how can you use comments to work for you?

1. Leave comments on other blogs in your same area. For example, if you have a blog on gardening, then find other blogs on gardening, leave a thoughtful comment along with your blog address, and wait. Chances are, that blog owner will visit your blog and perhaps even start a dialogue with you. Maybe you can start a conversation in the comments section of this gardener's blog. The more people who see you and your wisdom on this gardener's blog, the more they might also want to visit you on  your blog. 
2. Answer and respond to comments. If someone leaves you a comment, you must respond and/or answer him or her, especially if there were any questions asked. It is your job as blog owner to make sure these questions are answered and addressed. If you become known as an expert in your field as well as very helpful, then you will grow readership. People will come to you for the material on your blog. If they have a question, you can answer it. 

3. Visit other people's blogs who leave comments on yours. Most bloggers leave their URL in some way when they comment. A few times a week, you should visit the blogs of these bloggers and leave comments on their posts. It is the best way to get your name in front of other people and your blog to attract new readers.  It also shares you care about your readers and want to support them.

If you have a blog, then you know how important comments are to bloggers. So, spread the love around, and make some comments today. 

Margo Dill has a blog at http://margodill.com/blog/ about reading books and using them! If you are interested in learning more tips and tricks for your blog or you want to start one, check out Margo's online class she is teaching in the WOW! classroom, starting August 30 and running for 5 weeks. For more information, check out the course listing here.

17 Comments:

Blogger Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

One thing I've noticed when visiting other blogs is that the blogger invites comments by asking a question at the end. Something as simple as "What do you think?" or "Has anyone else had any experience with this?" It seems to be a successful approach.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Kirsten Cliff said...

I've made a point this year of leaving a comment if I've read a blog post, instead of just reading and leaving! It takes a little extra time but not much.
And I always reply to comments on my blog.
Thanks for the post, Margo.
Kirsten
http://kirstencliffwrites.blogspot.com/

1:46 PM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Melissa--good point. I find that also works to get interaction on Facebook and Twitter. :)

Kristen--good for you. :) It is helpful I think to make a point to leave comments when possible.

Thanks, ladies,
Margo

1:51 PM  
Blogger Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...

So right, Margo!
Comments go hand-in-hand with the blogging process!

8:40 PM  
Blogger Alison N. Holt said...

You're right. I've recently started leaving comments and I've made some new "online friends". Another thing I've started doing is leaving a quick review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble if I've read a new book I like. I know from personal experience that will make any writer's day.
Alison
http://www.alisonholtbooks.com

9:37 AM  
Blogger alienbody said...

Excellent advice, thank you! I sometimes feel weird about commenting, especially when it appears (through other comments) that the writer has a relationship with these people. I feel like I'm intruding. I realize, now, that it is a silly notion...so I'm going to become a comment fiend! Thanks!!

9:47 AM  
Anonymous ell said...

Thanks! I always do try to comment, but sometimes I feel strange commenting if, a. I have nothing useful to add, b. Someone has already made the point I wanted to make.

I suppose commenting lets the blog owner see that at least someone out there in the blogosphere is reading their posts. I know as a new blogger I feel very lonely thinking nobody is reading my work.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Ella Schwartz said...

Thanks! I always do try to comment, but sometimes I feel strange commenting if, a. I have nothing useful to add, b. Someone has already made the point I wanted to make.

I suppose commenting lets the blog owner see that at least someone out there in the blogosphere is reading their posts. I know as a new blogger I feel very lonely thinking nobody is reading my work.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Thanks for all the comments, ladies. You are making excellent points! :)

11:14 AM  
Blogger Betty Craker Henderson said...

I'm trying! I've been reading and commenting but I guess I hadn't caught on to the asking questions! But now...watch my smoke! I really enjoyed meeting you at MWG and hearing what you had to say so now you're really on my list. However, I'll wait until I have something rather important to ask before I do that. Thanks for the advice.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Thanks, Betty. It was great to meet you, too! :)

Margo

9:16 AM  
Blogger GeminiWriter said...

Someone once told me that introverts are the people who believe (in conversation) that the person they are talking to is just waiting for them to shut up. Extroverts are wondering why the introverts aren’t holding up their end of the conversation. It went something like that anyway. I think in some ways the same tends to hold true for blogs. I think this introverted blogger will have to learn to be a little more outgoing if I want more traffic.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

I never really thought about it in terms of introverts and extroverts, but you have a good point. I guess we all have our own cyber personalities, too; and these might be similar or different than our "in person" selves.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Juliann Wetz said...

Margo -
I'm so glad you posted this piece. It's garnered some great comments already. I especially liked what GeminiWriter and alienbody had to say. Like them, I'm an introvert who often feels like I'm a stranger intruding when I make comments. And, like them again, that attitude is going to change.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Hi Juliann:
I'm glad to see that you are going to join the world of the commenters! :) It's a good place to be. Enjoy yourself!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Connie Hebert said...

Wow Margo - You sure practice what you preach!

I'm launching an I Ching Readings blog soon and don't have a clue how to promote or start it. So, this was helpful.

I'm going to check out the info on your class which starts on my birthday––August 30th. I took this as an omen. :-)

Connie

9:31 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Connie,
I try to practice what I preach--it gets hard with all the time management sometimes. :) I would love to have you in class! :)

Margo

9:40 AM  

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