Thursday, April 5, 2012

5 Things I know about getting people to comment on your blog, plus a few more…

Ryan Reynolds blogging tips part 3
 Is everybody ready for round 3?  Cause you know I am.  Sometimes I just start typing out ideas and can’t stop myself.  Hence the whole 5 things posts I have been doing.  These tips or suggestions that I am sharing with you today are all because one of my readers, who has become my friend, asked me if I knew how to get people to comment more on her blog.  So I sat down and wrote her an email that included everything I could think of on how to get people to comment more on her and your blogs.  I told her I was planning on turning it into a post, so here it is.  But before I list my tips, I have to say for the third time, my HUGE disclaimer, I am not a professional or expert on blogging. I’m only sharing what I have learned in the past year and a half of blogging, either by way of experience or discussions with other bloggers.

1. Getting people to comment takes WORK and TIME-  Getting more blog comments and blog traffic is hard sometimes. I would say that there are a lot of things a person can and should do, but mostly it takes work.  Some people are lucky and their blog becomes a huge success in a short amount of time.  Others, like me, have to work hard at getting people to read and comment on posts. So put in the hard work, and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are great blogs.

2. Blog consistently- If someone goes to your blog and sees that you've only posted once, and it was 2 months ago, they might not leave a comment.  So blog consistently.  It doesn't mean you have to blog everyday or even every other day. Just decide on a goal, like "I'm going to blog a minimum of 2 times a week." or however many times you want.  But make sure you follow through.  Do not blog once and then take a break for 5 weeks, write another post, take a break for a month, etc. Be consistent.

3. Get rid of word verification/word captcha- Make sure word verification or any kind of comment moderation is turned off.  Blogger and WP both have pretty good platforms and are great at catching spam. There's usually not a lot of need to add additional devices to catch the spam. It just creates one more barrier into someone leaving a comment.  And people like seeing their comments show up right away. It gives them peace of mind that their comment actually went through. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to comment on a blog, clicked submit, and then clicked away from the page but only just in time to see that the blogger had word verification on and my comment didn’t go through.  I didn’t bother to go back and write my comment again.  And there have been plenty of times where I wrote my comment, clicked submit, saw that there was a word captcha on it, couldn’t read the word, and just left the blog without commenting.  I know that I am not the only blogger who does this. If you aren’t sure you have word verification on your comments, then go to your blog, try to comment and see what happens.  If you have it turned on you can go into your blog’s dashboard and settings and turn it off.
  **Now recently it has come to my and other bloggers attention that Blogger’s comment settings have gotten messed up and some people have tried to turn off their word verification but Blogger has kept it on there. I know that’s going to mess some of you up from turning yours off.**

4. Add your email and your blog web address to your blogger ID- Make sure your user profile is linked to your blog. When I click on some people’s user names to respond to their comments, there wasn't a blog listed for them or any email address.  This means that if you and I didn't know each other, and I didn't have your email address or blog url, then I wouldn't be able to go to your blog or email you and respond to your comment.  Adding an email address to your blogger ID and your web page, would be a good thing for anyone to do.  If you don't want to do that, then please make sure to leave your email address or blog address in the comment so that when someone sees your comment they can get back to you.

5. Connect with others through all types of social media platforms- Network through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, etc…  Post regularly on all platforms. It's a lot of work. Especially if you are just starting out and don’t have a large following.  But I think that once you get a following or at least some consistent commenters/loyal followers you can kind of cut back from posting so much.  And a comment is a comment, right? It doesn’t matter if that comment comes to you by way of Facebook, or Twitter, or what have you, because I bet you a $1 you still get excited to see one.

6. Guest post on other blogs- Get your name out there. Volunteer to write a post for another blog. Ask your friends about guest posting on their blog or doing a blog swap and see what they say.  Submit your project ideas to places like U Create, or Tip Junkie, or Dollar Store Crafts. If you were to get featured on one of those sites, that is like the equivalent of winning a blog award. A real one though, not the kind where you have to link back to 15 people or you die.  There are a lot of bloggers big and small that accept guest bloggers.

7. Post great content- Content is important.  Find out what your readers like most about your blog and posts. Go back through your most popular posts, try to see what exactly your readers liked about it the most. Was it because it was simple? Was it because it was a really great painting tutorial? Was it because you were funny and cracked a few jokes? ;)  Whatever it was, think about incorporating more projects or posts like that into your blog.

8. Link up to a blog party or blog hop- Link up any projects, crafts, tutorials, or free printables you make to blog parties. There are a ton of crafty blog parties and free printables are always fun for people to use.  Now here is where I might get a little controversial for some.  There are a ton of blog parties out there. A TON. Some people think they have to link up to 120 parties a week in order to get people coming to their blog.  I am not that type of person. I don’t like it when I see the same project linked up to  every blog party I go visit. I understand that people want to get their name or their blog out there, and they choose to do it by linking up to every party they can think of, but it’s just not something I care for. I know I am not the only one who shares this point of view.   There is no way you can link up to 120 parties in one week, and visit other links within all of those parties, and leave thoughtful, personal comments on other people’s posts. Unless that’s all you do during the week…?

*My opinion about linking up to blog parties is: If you have a project you want to link up to some blog parties, pick 3 or 4 of your favorite weekly parties and link it up to them. Visit a few of the other links that are from the parties, and leave great comments on the posts you visit. You can also include that you are stopping by from whatever party you saw their link on to let them know that it was worth linking up to that party.

9. Engage with your readers- When you post on something, at the end of your post, ask for suggestions or ideas or tips from your readers. Or give them a question to respond to. Sometimes this helps, and makes them feel like you want to know what they are thinking. You don't have to do this for every post, just on ones where this might be relevant.

10. Open up- Remember my tips from my first 5 Things post? Your readers want to get to know you. They like knowing you’re a real person just like they are. That you struggle with the same things they struggle with.  A lot of the great, BIGGER bloggers you know of, have blogs that allow their readers to peak into their everyday life, and they aren’t afraid of being “real” with their followers and friends.

And just so you know that I’m not the only one who thinks like this, I asked a few blogging friends what tips they would give you to help get more comments on your blog, and here’s what they said:

Amanda from Crafts by Amanda said, “#1 way to get more comments is to comment on other people's blogs.”
Kim from Sand and Sisal said, “Suggestion: End your post with a "call to action" such as a leading question.”
Shannon from Madigan Made said, “Open up and share. My most commented on posts are when I share craft fails, blog slumps... or just talk about my dog.”

And If you're still not getting more comment love on your posts, then check out my friend Heidi's (from Honey Bear Lanepost about Why a lack of comments isn't a lack of love... my favorite lines from her post are: " Don’t get hung up on comments. People like to love you in silence."

I hope you don’t think that I am trying to give you guys blogging rules that you must live and die by.  I know that some of you will read this and disagree with some of my tips, and that’s okay. I won’t be mad at you. :)  Every time I write a tips or suggestion post, I want you to know that I am only writing them because I think it’s important to share the knowledge I have learned and received.  If every blogger kept what they know a secret, then there would just be a ton of bloggers out there committing these “mistakes” or searching for help and not getting any.  I don’t want you or anyone I know to have that happen.  So never be afraid to ask me a question or share with me some of your ideas or opinions.  Okay?  And if you have any other tips or suggestions to share that fall under today’s topic, don’t forget to leave them in the comment section.  Sharing is good for everyone!!

If you liked this post also read 5 things I know about Blog Commenting Etiquette, or 5 things this blogger and others like to see when we visit your blog

9 comments: said...

Very good points - all. I must admit that I am perplexed by blogs that have thousands of followers and many, many comments that are not particularly engaging or insightful. Often, these blogs just report on something they've seen elsewhere and/or do a quick weekend report about something they did and saw. Obviously, they are doing something right and you hit on a few of those issues. Must admit, though, I am still perplexed.


Cyndi ✪ Blue Star said...

Thanks for the great advice! I'm a new blogger and have made more than my share of blog faux pas! My wheels are already turing about changes I can make to my blog!

Amy Anderson said...

All great comments and I could NOT agree with them more! Plus - that leading picture helps in making me read the post and commenting ;p

Amanda said...

Well done, and the captcha thing is huge. I hate captcha and I think a lot of bloggers don't even know it's turned on!

Patricia Villamil said...

Hi there i found your awesome blog by googling diy fridge painting projects and hit your post about your chalkboard paint fridge which turned out great and i wish i could imitate but i live in a rental. I have been blogging for about a year or more and i still struggle to get comments and traffic for that matter but at least im committed and i pretty much do eveeything you captured in this post. I have to agree with gerrie that some big leaguers just recycle content but have beautiful aesthetics and designed pages and they have a huge following, which leaves me perplexed as well. Shape being more important than content.

San said...

Love this. Thanks for the list - really great advice.

Shannon MadiganMade said...

Great advice! Captcha and no-reply email stuff are so easy to fix... I hope people hear those tips. Otherwise, I agree that it takes time and engagement on our part to get feedback. And even then, I might not get comments. I like the idea that silence does not mean people aren't listening.

Steph @ The Silly Pearl said...

Thanks for this post Jennifer, and all the other helpful posts about blogging you've been writing lately!

Tiffany@Fizzy Party! said...

Saw your post and had to read. I rarely get comments and would LOVE more, who wouldn't. All the things you suggest I do, and still, crickets. But at the end of your post, you quoted your friend and I love it. I get a lot of hits, just no comments. Guess they are loving me in silence. Thank you for the boost!