One cool thing about today’s blogs is that, people are more than welcomed to socialize and interact. Though Facebook is not really a blogging platform, a lot of blogs root their interactive content from the social network’s techniques in getting more ‘active users,’ i.e., not passive.
Tools and channels such as clicking on ‘like’ and ‘share’ button are some of the easiest ways to interact with a content.
Blogging is not excused—and should not be—from these human activities. We as social being are more than inclined to relate with other people, and thus with other people’s affairs as well.
The entrance of the comment feature in blogs is really a welcome addition, but sadly, only a few do really take that extra ounce of effort to leave a statement or a question.
Does this happen to you? Do your posts get deserted (bounced) even after an amount of traffic? If you are facing the problem of not having (enough) comments or interactions on your posts, something must be up. Check out these tips and tricks below if they can really pull your scores up.
1. Ask for it
People are cued by signs and symbols, more if these are very obvious.
Asking for a comment (whether it be an opinion, an continuation or an addition to the content, or a question) is a strong trigger for them to interact, and even do what you tell (or ask) them to do. It also shows that you are welcoming them and you are more than interested to hear from them.
Asking for comments specifically by asking a specific question is also a way for users to be guided in the way they respond afterwards. If you are looking for specific answers, or if you are trying to avoid some unnecessary comments, this may also be an effective technique.
Moreover, if your post is very long or you have covered a lot of topics, people may not know which part they would respond upon. Asking a question will really assist visitors into doing their part.
2. Hanging or open-ended content
While most bloggers find it unusual or rude to leave content this way, opening the rest of your blog content can be an effective way to pull those writers up on play. I don’t necessarily mean you have to cut your ideas and leave your visitors guessing. What I am saying is that, some perceptive cues may be effective also in triggering responses from your audience.
An example of this is, when you are using scannable content (numbered, ordered, listed, etc.) you may want to control the count to up to number 9 instead of locking on the usual increment of 5s or 10s. This will leave the reader feel ‘hanging’ about it, and would unconsciously made him feel the need to fill the missing part.
You may also get the technique using an acronym, for example, where each letter of a word corresponds to a relative idea. Leaving the last letter for people to guess would not only be fun and tempting, but would also be effective in letting them know that you are sharing the same game play.
3. Avoid cutting the tree
People and virtually all readers of your content would hate to see your specific content not finished, and this may be in the form of having a ‘part 1 and 2’ or those with ‘to be continued…’
Unless you have already filled the continuation, you would want to make the first incomplete part look and sound complete in its own. If it’s a food, people would not want to taste it raw. You want a healthy reply? An opinion? A quality check? Make sure it’s good for and by itself, while maintaining the thrill of getting excited for the next ‘chapter.’
4. The first guy
Many people regard the winner to be the one who first stepped on the finish line, but this does not work with commenting especially with blogs.
Especially if you are a stranger and your blog looks foreign to readers, these readers might feel hesitant to comment if they find themselves as the first ones to leave their opinion. In other words, they would rather feel more comfortable leaving comments if someone else has already done a few parts.
The best solution here is to leave a comment of your own, and make sure it will look like it’s a postscript of your content. If you find this uncommon and wrong, the other way is to award (or reward) the first guy to leave a comment. You may want to ask a friend that react to your content so that others will follow.
Having the very first comment for your content is also a good ‘sub-trigger’ for your next visitors since they will find themselves more reason to reply than simply leaving a comment.
5. Awards and rewards
I have mentioned these terms a few seconds back, but I do also want to reiterate the idea behind this reward system. I have already encountered a few blogs that do this, and you might want to start the same method, though it would take an extra amount of your time.
The method works by hosting a contest—let’s say, the best comment for this particular content. After a set amount of time, you may want to open for an election (sometimes you need additional tools or plugins), you may want to choose the best comment yourself. Award the winner with something, let’s say a taste of your product or service, but if you’ve got any other resources, at least you offer some form of recognition.
The idea behind this method is the fact that people back in their minds are wanting to get attention. If they learn that what they did or said worked for some or for many, they wanted to do more! That’s where the idea of using ‘likes’ may also come into full use even on blogs.
6. Comment section decoration
Just in case you still missed it, make your comment section as pleasing as possible also, though it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put the most attractive points on this section more than the content itself.
Make your comments section very visible, friendly, and useful; you may want to use some plugins if you desire more features like a ‘thumbs up’ system, direct sharing, emoticons, etc. People also hate it when they need to log in before leaving a comment, so unless it’s really necessary, you may want to avoid it.
People also do not like it when their comments need to be waiting for approval for days and even weeks before actually getting posted. Though the idea behind moderation can be vital to your site’s reputation, you can actually revert the idea by allowing the posts to take place and then ‘moderate’ afterwards.
7. Don’t be too strong or absolute
People with great ideas might feel isolated or marginalized if you take those points of yours too strong and hard. In other words, if you want to argue about something or claim a strong dictation, you may still want to lower your tone to make it look like you are still open for (second) opinions.
This doesn’t mean that you have to make yourself and your posts look too humble or weak. You can always declare your points strong enough but not that much for people to swallow by force.
You may want to ask some questions like ‘Do you think my ideas can apply to your situation?’ In this way, people are surprisingly more than willing to help you prune your ideas and even share their hearts out!
8. Ask for their links as well
Want extra but healthy traffic? You may also want to ask if your readers have their own posts or content that may find useful or related to what you have offered. Frankly speaking, many if not most of those who comment on your blog are just trying to get more backlinks as well. Following this tip, then, will help both of you, and therefore you also widen your horizon and your own community.
9. Don’t spam them
Did you encounter a regular reader or visitor on your blog? Then please, by all means, don’t spam them out! Having a loyal fan is always terrific, and you just want to keep it that way. The key here is to be natural: If they react, then respond the way the other party is expecting you to respond. Don’t go beyond the border, and you gain more respect.
10. Be prompt and nice
Some commenters just leave your desk because they hate the way you treat them. Did you show that you are not interested in their comments? Did you point out that they were wrong? Did you respond promptly? And the most of all, did you help them in even the least of ways?
Some commenters leave open arguments as well. If you think something is up for a debate, always bear in mind at first that respect is a strong value to maintain. Remember that you don’t share the same experiences, the same environment, the same upbringing, the same thoughts and ideas, and even interests. Be nice, be tactful, and be open for learning brand new ideas.
11. Get one step more personal
People love it when you show that you are human, that you are in need of companions, that you love being social, that you are a friend, and that you are interesting. In this way, you may want to avoid getting too solid or generic with your content to sounding like Wikipedia or something. Put some twist, put some fun, and put some emotions on what you try to provide.