Some website owners used to spend time on building backlinks then trying to build content and value for their pages or posts. But Google algorithm updates (e.g. Panda, Penguin) that resulted in massive decrease in traffic pointed to the more important issue that one must have when building websites – the creation of RELIABLE and VALUABLE content.
But what is content? Is it just the articles that form part of pages and posts? To me, content is more than what you publish in your pages or posts. Content is the substance that you have in your articles that encourages interaction with your visitors. As a website owner, you must also look into what your visitors have to say about the issues you discuss. This brings us to the subject of comments.
But before we get into the subject of how to get comments on your blog, let’s understand the need to have comments in the first place.
Why Open Your Blogs to Comments?
Website visitors are generally looking for information, an experience that they can remember, content that they can benefit from and engage in. The onus is on the website owner to provide a platform for visitors to ‘participate’ in the issues being discussed. Having a website, therefore, is not just about giving – providing information.
Let’s take the analogy of a classroom. Students these days are less likely to accept everything taught by the teacher. A successful teaching is that which engages the student. Similar to a website. It’s not enough to just provide information to visitors and give them your take on a particular subject. A meaningful experience for the visitor is one where he is able to be part of that experience, whether he benefits from the content, whether he constructively contributes to the content or whether he asks questions that entice the interests of other visitors to the website.
And the most important outcome of having comments on your blog is that Google loves engagement. And we all know that when the big G loves something, it’s going to help us boost our traffic and rankings.
Traffic (Visitors) + Engagement = Comments => Potential Action Takers
How to Get Comments on Your Blog?
This subject is especially challenging if you’re building a new website. Unless you’re already an authority in your niche, (in which case your social media followers might account for the comments you receive), it might be hard to get visitors to pay attention to your content in the first place! So what do you do?
Here are a few tips that you can look into when trying to get comments on your blog:
Before you could expect visitors to participate in your blog discussions, you got to provide them a proper, workable platform for them to leave their comments. I think I heard you say, “Yes. of course”. But you’d be surprised to know that there are website owners who don’t open their pages or posts for comments. I was guilty of this when I first started. Then I realized that I had un-checked the “Allow comments” section. Ooops!
You must also make it simple for visitors to leave their comments. If you’re using WordPress , you might want to stick to the default commenting system.
The point here is to make your website more inviting for visitors to drop their comments if they so wish. Don’t be afraid to be open about it – that you want your visitors to comment on your content. Encourage them to drop a line or two by including lines in your articles like, “What do you think?”, “If you have similar experience, why not share it in the comments section”.
Content – The VOICE of Your Blog
I’m inclined to include here that firstly you MUST keep your content original. The best comments I’ve had so far are on content where I talk about my personal experience or thoughts on products or issues.
People who are looking for reviews on products are particularly searching for realistic take of those products. You might know by now that some product reviews you find out there are not actually by real users. But these website owners get engagement from their content and manage to monetize their blogs. Why? Because they kept it real and not just throw in specs after specs, elaborating on the product features.
Visitors want to know how you feel about the product, how you have benefitted (or not) from it.
Rules of Engagement
Before your visitors could even think about giving you any comments, they need to be engaged. They need to relate to what you have to say. Does engagement mean only getting your visitors on your side of the fence? No. In fact, you could expect visitors to disagree with some of the things you have to say. Hey, one man’s meat could be another man’s poison.
You might evoke some controversy in your article but that’s alright because visitors are entitled to their opinions as long as they remain cordial in presenting their views.
Give and You Shall Receive
You can’t expect loads of comments if you are not actively giving others yours.
I regularly visit other websites (not neccessarily in the online business niche), read the pages and posts and leave my comments if I feel strongly about something. I learn about other people’s websites through my social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
I enjoy visiting others’ websites (particularly those related to my interests like health and travel) and spend one to two hours a day, giving my comments on issues.
How Should You Treat Comments You Get?
Let’s face it. Not all of the comments you receive are going to be acceptable. Some can, in fact, get on your nerves. But as website owners, we must keep our cool. And the answer to such comments is not merely deleting them or you might get repercussions.
For instance, once I wrote about a program from which I had learned and benefitted. However, a visitor happened to disagree with me simply because she didn’t quite make it with that particular program and went ahead to remind others to be careful of that program.
Although I could have been more personal in my response with her comments or simply deleting it, I refrained. So firstly, I replied by thanking her for reading my article. Then I gave a general take in that with any product/program you intend to buy, there should be a money-back guarantee or a trial period. Sometimes, the only thing between you and success is time – if possible, give yourself time to try out before deciding something is not going to work for you. With that, consumers can try the product/program and if they genuinely feel there’s nothing useful, they can return it or leave it.
Whatever comments you receive (other than spam of course), you should reply to them as diplomatically and logically as possible. What you say reflects on you and how trustworthy, knowledgeable you are in your niche. When replying to comments, be polite, be helpful and be real.
I would love to know what you think about this topic. Why not leave your thoughts on the comment section? And thanks for dropping by!