You say something, but no-one takes a blind bit of notice.
It’s as if you’re talking to a brick wall.
Is this how you feel every time you publish a blog post?
No matter how often you blog, no-one ever leaves a comment. You might as well be completely invisible. While other blogs get bucketloads of comments you never get so much as a sausage.
Now if this is YOU then perhaps it’s time you asked yourself this question:
Well, if your answer is NO then maybe you should stop and think about this:
Comments give your blog credibility
Imagine a prospective client who’s looking for a writer. They check out several websites, each with a blog. None of them has a single comment – except one, which has loads. Which one do you think they’ll prefer?
Comments add a form of social proof to your blog that impresses prospective clients. But they’re not the only ones. When regular visitors to your blog see other people engaged in the conversation they’ll naturally want to join in too.
Comments build relationships
We’re building relationships with other people all the time – with clients, with colleagues and through everyday social interaction. But how many of these are with genuinely like-minded people?
But through blog commenting you can connect with fellow freelance writers, website copywriters and bloggers – the people you want to meet, but never get the chance.
OK, unless you write sponsored posts, sell an eBook or offer some kind of training programme, these relationships aren’t going to lead to any direct business. After all, most of these people are selling much the same services as you.
But these are the people who are most likely to Tweet, +1, Like or social bookmark your posts.
They are the all-important advocates for your content. And where they go, prospective clients will eventually find their way too.
Comments send positive signals to search engines
Some SEOs argue that comments are bad for your SEO. They say they dilute the keyword focus of your content and pass authority to anyone that supplies a link with their comment.
Perhaps that’s true. But all this sounds a bit old school for my liking. Search engines want positive signals about the quality of your content. And one of the best signs of quality is surely when people engage with that content.
→ Build up a subscriber list
Wouldn’t it be great if, every time you publish a post, you have guaranteed exposure to a large number of potential readers?
Well, as any successful blogger will tell you, the solution is to build up a mailing list of blog subscribers. Here’s the basic idea:
• Make it easy for readers to sign up to your blog by showing subscribe buttons in prominent places on your site
• Provide at least one RSS button for people who’d rather subscribe through a feed reader
• Offer an incentive to sign up by offering exclusive content as a reward for subscribing
• Leverage the traffic to bigger blogs that have a far larger audience than yours
Now the last point warrants a whole blog post in its own right. But bottom line is that if you go out your way to help the big-name bloggers – by making insightful comments on their posts, buying their products, submitting quality guest post pitches and sharing their stuff on social media – they will help you in return.
→ Write magnetic headlines
If your headline doesn’t tickle anyone’s fancy then no-one is even going read your post, let alone comment on it.
The web is positively overflowing with tips on how to write attention-grabbing headlines. So make sure you read up and get this sorted.
And, by the way, next time you come across a headline that really makes you want to read that post, stop and ask yourself why.
→ Give your posts a sense of purpose
As I touched on in my previous post far too many blogs are just a series of directionless musings.
Give your posts a clear sense of purpose, so visitors know why they should read it and what they’re going to get out of it.
In other words, offer your readers something meaningful and they’ll respond with something meaningful back.
→ Ditch the corporate tone
You can write a post packed full of insanely good ideas and information – but if your language is as dull as dishwater, it’ll still bore your readers to tears.
So learn how to liven up your writing by adjusting your tone.
Corporate language sometimes has its place. But definitely NOT in your blog posts.
→ Spark a debate
If you have a viewpoint that goes against popular convention then say so.
Some people will agree. Some will differ. Others will appreciate a new way of thinking. But whatever the case, if you make your opinions known readers will naturally respond by adding their own points of view.
Before you write your next post, think about what things get your readers going. For example, have you ever noticed that spelling and grammar are always a hot topic of conversation on other copywriting blogs?
That’s why I wrote 5 non-existent words that make YOU look a halfwit copywriter earlier this year.
This has still been by far my most popular post to date.
→ Reward people for commenting
When people make useful comments on your blog, check out their own website, share their content, reply to their comments and connect with them on social media.
Or better still make your WordPress blog more comment friendly by installing the CommentLuv plugin.
The big attraction of CommentLuv is that it rewards readers by allowing them to leave a link to their latest blog post below their comment.
It works particularly well on sites related to blogging and internet marketing. Sometimes too well. The bigger blogs tend not to use it. Otherwise they’d be inundated with comments from people who only want a backlink.
→ Give a call to action
Just like a direct mail letter or landing page, if you want readers to do something then give them a call to action.
Remember that getting comments on your blog is like many other things in life – if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Do you agree that comments add value to your blog? What do you do to encourage them? Let us know your thoughts in our comment section below.
Stuff you can tweet:
- Make it easy for readers to sign up to your blog by showing subscribe buttons in prominent places on your site. [Tweet this]
- Next time you come across a headline that really makes you want to read a blog post, stop and ask yourself why. [Tweet this]
- Getting comments on your blog is like many other things in life – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. [Tweet this]
In our next post: We show you a more common-sense approach to tightening up your copy.
About the Author
Kevin Carlton is a freelance SEO copywriter and blogger based in Stafford in the UK. He is owner of website copywriting service Write Online, which helps others get the most out of their online presence.