Why Your Blog Needs More Comments And How To Make It Happen
1. Makes a Site Look More Legitimate
On an anonymous internet where websites may not be what they seem, a busy blog full of active customers gives a powerful signal that a business is real, legitimate, and can be trusted. In ecommerce especially, this is a priceless asset to gain if you want visitors to turn into customers.
2. Makes Customer Engagement Easier
Personal attention always makes a customer feel special and valued, and therefore much more likely to use your services again. Blog comments provide an easy way to engage directly with a customer or prospect, and if this engagement is handled well, the customer’s loyalty will be greatly strengthened.
3. Provides Valuable Feedback
It’s thought that only around 5% of customers take the trouble to contact a company to express their satisfaction or otherwise with the service they’ve received. The ease of making a blog comment can push this figure much higher, giving you a valuable insight into what more of your customers think. What are you doing right or wrong? What can be changed for the better? Does the customer view of your business align with what you expect or hope? Blog comments can provide answers to these questions without the cost of formal market research.
4. A Source of New Ideas
In a lively comments section, it’s common for customers to talk among themselves without direction from the blog owner, and this can spark off new ideas for taking your business in a new or complementary direction. And what’s more, if a customer has been motivated enough to post an idea in a comment, it’s a fair bet that they won’t be alone in thinking that the idea is a good one.
How can you improve the number of comments you receive?
A blog without comments fulfills none of these functions and represents a missed opportunity. There are several approaches you can take to boost engagement, and here are six of the most effective.
1. Respond Well to Comments
If a customer takes the time to comment on your blog, make sure that you respond promptly and usefully, either addressing any concerns they may have, or simply acknowledging their contribution. This helps to make a customer feel valued, and also shows prospective customers that your business is active and responsive. If the opportunity presents itself, try and reply in such a way as to encourage a follow-up comment from the original poster, to further strengthen their sense of engagement.
2. Actively Invite Comments in Your Posts
This may be a fairly obvious approach to take, but it’s surprising how often it’s overlooked. Finish your post with a request for visitors to contribute their own views, experiences, or suggestions. Try to do this using an open question format to give maximum leeway to responders.
3. Ask for Help
A quick and easy way to prompt responses is to ask a short question for your readers to answer: “Hey, who knows where I can find a good….” or similar type of query will usually receive a respectable number of replies if the topic is related to your business niche.
4. Appeal to Vanity
Online or offline, many people like nothing more than to talk about themselves, so give them the opportunity to do exactly that. Ask people to relate their experiences, anecdotes, or bugbears on a subject related to your blog topic, and watch the comments flow.
5. Stir It Up
If you can write a post on a controversial subject within your business area, you’re almost certain to provoke a strong response. The judgement to make, though, is exactly how controversial you wish to be – cross the line into being inflammatory or even offensive, and this is a tactic that can backfire spectacularly. Also, be aware that comments on controversial posts will need watching like a hawk, for if commenters’ tempers spiral out of control then this will reflect badly on your blog.
6. Post Your Own Comments Elsewhere
Commenting on others’ blogs is a longstanding tactic for promoting your own blog, the idea being to tap into another blog’s readership and hopefully gain a portion of it for yourself. However, there is a more subtle way to approach this technique: if you leave a genuinely useful comment on another blog, especially one that compliments the owner, then the chances are the favor will be returned – and where an influential blogger leads, others will surely follow.
The blog was arguably the forerunner of today’s social media landscape and was certainly one of the earliest ways of adding a community aspect to a normal website. Its benefits remain as strong today as they ever did, as long as its interactive capacity is taken advantage of through a healthy amount of comments. Is your blog working as well as it should? Don’t forget to check out the latest WordPress plugins for your blog.