The internet is flooded with articles discussing the key principles for getting people to leave comments on blogs. There are plugin recommendations, debates over whether comment links should be dofollow and design principles for making the commenting process as simple as possible. Some recommend third party commenting platforms like Disqus, Intense Debate, or LiveFyre.
All of this because bloggers want comments. In fact, many bloggers measure the success of their blogs on the number of comments that they receive. That number is so incredibly important to most people…too important if you ask me.
Success, in my humble opinion, isn’t measured by the number of comments on the post but rather by the level of conversation within the comments section. I’d rather have 5 comments that are engaging and conversational than 500 comments that say nothing more than “Great post.” I don’t need my comment count to stack up to feel validated. I want legitimate, engaging conversations with real people.
Since I’ve begun blogging, I’ve learned several specific practices that have helped me transform the conversation that takes place at this blog.
- Respond Conversationally: Across the internet, everyone seems to agree that you should respond to the comments on your blog but very few people really concern themselves with the quality of those responses. As a result, we find blogs all across the internet plagued with dozens of comments that say nothing more than “Thanks for the comment!”
- Simulate Face-to-Face Conversations: Here’s a better way to thank them…be conversational. If you and I were talking face-to-face and you repeatedly kept saying, “Thanks for saying that…thanks for saying that…thanks for saying that!” I would get bored quickly and go talk to somebody else.
- Respond to Other People’s Comments: If you’re at someone else’s blog…like let’s pretend that you’re reading an article at Site Sketch 101… don’t just leave a comment and talk to the author because when you do, you’re ignoring the rest of the people in the room. Instead, use the comments section as a means to be a part of a larger conversation where you can respond to the author and any other readers who have joined the conversation.
Are you ready to step up and put this concept into practice? Let’s talk about it below.