We’re often asked “How do you get more people to read and respond to blog posts?”
Good question! We all gain more out of blogging when we comment.
Comments motivate, provide feedback and advice, challenge our thoughts and views, make us reflect on what we’re learning.
The challenge is how do we attract more comments?
Below’s my tips for attracting more comments for personal educational blogging. Check out Kathleen Morris’s tips for ‘Attracting blog comments’ on class and student blogs.
What are yours? Would love to read your tips in the comments below! Or your thoughts on reasons why people don’t leave comments!
1. Become a better blog citizen
Blogging is as much about reading other blogger’s posts and commenting on posts as it is writing your own posts.
Besides being a valuable source of ideas for writing your own posts it helps develops relationships with others. Interaction with other bloggers and their readers, in comments, often leads to new readers of your blog.
You can’t expect people to read and comment on your posts if you aren’t doing the same on other people’s blogs!
Here’s how you do in 3 simple steps:
- Start reading other people’s blogs – make it time efficient by setting up Google Reader or using FlipBoard
- Make an effort to write comments on other people’s blog posts - Don’t comment for comment sake. Comment to share thoughts, expand on post comment and use subscribe to be notified of new comments if the option is included.
- Reply to comments on your own posts – replying to comments demonstrates you read and value their comments. It also builds relationships with your readers.
2. Build your Personal Learning Network (PLN)
Personal Learning networks are important for educational bloggers because:
- Educators are more social than ever and more likely to use links shared by friends on social network sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as their main source of blog posts worth reading.
- Educators who are already connect online are more likely to read and respond in comments to your posts than work colleagues, friends and family who aren’t as connected.
Here is how you do it in 2 simple steps:
- Enable social sharing on your posts – make it easier for readers to share your content on their social networks (we use AddThis Social Share plugin)
- Build your PLN – learn how to here, look at how you might use social networks like Facebook to interact and make sure you include building relationships with educators on Twitter. Most educational bloggers tweet the link for their latest post (here’s an example) and tweet other people’s post they’ve enjoyed reading.
3. Write better blog posts
Not every one who visits your blog post reads it. Even if they do read –they often don’t read it all. Did you even read what I just wrote then? :)
To keep your readers attention……
- Every post title
- Every paragaph
- Every heading
- Every word
- Every image
……has to count!
It’s even more important to be attention grabbing for readers like me who use magazine style apps, like FlipBoard, Zite or Pulse, for all our blog post reading on our mobile devices.
Here is how you do it in 2 simple steps:
- Learn how to write better blog posts – here’s our tips to help
- View your posts how readers are reading them - visitors to your blog only make up a small portion of your total readers. Set up Google Reader (to see what it looks like via RSS) and use FlipBoard (if you have an iPad or Android tablet).
4. Write posts that encourage readers to comment
Most readers are relucant commenters, not because of lack of time, but because they feel uncomfortable leaving comments.
However, some posts are more likely to make you want to comment than others.
Here’s 2 simple steps that help:
- Don’t cover everything – incomplete posts are more likely encourage readers to comment than a comprehensive post that make readers feel that have nothing to contribute.
- Invite readers to share their thoughts – ask readers to comment by finishing your post with some simple open-ended questions on information you would like to know.
5. You First, Readers Second!
One of the biggest reasons why new bloggers fail is they focus entirely on writing posts to please readers. Every post becomes a chore because they aren’t writing about what interest them but what they think interests others!
Stop worrying about others - just blog, enjoy, have fun and learn!
- Writing about what you feel strongly or passionate about
- What you’ve learnt — if you didn’t know than it’s likely others didn’t either
- Don’t stress about it being perfect -blogging is a work in progress!
Accept not all posts will be commented on. This doesn’t mean readers don’t value them or the posts aren’t being read. The posts I write to encourage reader comments are very different from the posts that readers like to share, bookmark and refer back to.
6. Practice makes…….
Hopefully I’ve still got your attention?
None of my tips help if you don’t put them into practice! Here’s your chance to practice!
Choose one of the following tasks and make it your goal to do it:
- Write a comment here to share your tips on either ‘ Reasons why readers don’t leave comments on blog posts’; ‘What makes a good comment?’ OR ‘Your tips for encouraging readers to comment?”
- Leave a comment on another person’s blog post then come back and leave a comment with a link so I check out the post(s) that made you want to comment.
- Write a blog post on your thoughts on anything covered in this post, your thoughts or what you’ve learnt then come to leave a comment with a link to your post so I can read your post!