The hardest thing when you are a new blogger is that it can feel like you are writing for an audience of one … usually your mum. Because she’s the only one commenting on your blog.
I do tell people to enjoy those early days where it seems no one is reading because it allows you to develop your voice. But I also do understand that it is both hard and demotivating if you feel your words aren’t moving people to respond in the comments.
So here are five relatively easy ways to get that comment love flowing in those early days.
1. Don’t say everything
If your blog post is too long and too comprehensive, then you’ve probably said everything there is to say on the topic and that means there’s nothing left for your readers to say. Other than ‘great post’. And honestly, I hate when that’s all I can say in response to a blog post – so I just won’t say anything at all (but I might share it on twitter or facebook to show my love!)
2. Ask a question
Yes I know – seems so trite sometimes. But quite often I have read a post and I want to leave a comment … but I don’t know what the author wants to hear from me. If they ask a question though, that makes it very easy.
3. Keep the post short and sweet
This is sort of related to number 1 above, but if your post is long and rambling, then I will start skimming. And once I start skimming, I lose the heart of what you are writing. And then if I lose the heart of what you are writing, then I am less likely to leave a comment at the end. Short and sweet is 500ish words. 750 tops.
4. Comment on other blogs
When you leave comments on other blogs, you usually have the option to drop in your blog address too. Some blogs even have ‘Comment Luv’ installed which also lists the title of your most recent post. I have ‘Comment Luv’ on my blogs and I will often click through to the post of someone who has left me a comment and read their post … and then comment on it if I like it.
5. Join in blog hops
There are lots of blog hops that anyone can join in on. For example Jess at Essentially Jess runs the IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays) blog hop. Every Tuesday, anyone who has blogged that day can link up their post at the bottom and generally speaking, all the participating bloggers visit as many of the posts in the blog hop that they can and leave comments. I would say that joining in blog hops is the fastest and most effective way both to get to know other bloggers and of course, get some comment love on your site.
Now I am going to take my life into my hands and list some blog hops … I can’t list them all so if yours is not on the list below, please leave a note about it in the comments!
- That Space in Between runs a ‘Things I know about …’ blog hop roughly every two weeks.
- Danimezza runs the Aussie Curves blog hop
- With Some Grace runs Flog your Blog Friday
- My Little Drummer Boys runs Wordless Wednesdays
- Kate Says Stuff runs Thankful Thursdays
- Tina Gray Dot Me has My Week According to Instagram
- Maxabella Loves has 52 weeks of Grateful over at Village Voices
- And there are many many more! Dorothy from Singular Insanity has compiled a far more comprehensive list here at Digital Parents (you need to register and login to see it)
SOME UPDATES (251112)
Nikki from Styling You makes a really good point about all of the above in the comments of this post that is worth repeating here: “These are the key things to being involved in the blogging community in a meaningful way. When you get involved it flows back to you and your blog.”
THIS is the core of why the above works when it comes to getting comments on your blog. And Nikki’s point leads logically to the next point a few commenters have made and that is:
“Don’t comment purely for the sake of getting comments back.” Just don’t. The point of leaving comments on other people’s blogs is to be a meaningful part of the conversation and for you to play a meaningful role in the wider blogging community. If you only comment in a self-serving fashion people will be on to you pretty quickly.
And that’s it folks.
Are you a new blogger? Have you tried any of the above strategies with good success?
If you’re an experienced blogger, do you have any other suggestions?