Building our blog communities is accomplished in our comment section.
Last week Liz Strauss, author Successful And Outstanding Bloggers and “The Secret to Writing a Successful and Outstanding Blog (the book), answered the question, “How To Format A Blog Post To Maximize Comments”.
As we all know, part of receiving comments is answering them. Our readers want to know they’re being heard. Based on the fact Liz will soon be sporting 70,000 comments on her blog, I asked what her secret is to inspiring her readers to continue to leave comments, thus building community.
I asked: With the amount of comments you receive, I suspect your readers are finding more than “just another blog” where they can share their opinion. When you read and answer your comments, what technique do you use to make each reader feel so special they want to subscribe to your blog and/or continue reading your work?
Liz answered: I don’t do much special. In fact, I suspect I do exactly what you do. I read the person’s name, say hello, and comment back to each one, exactly the way I might if I met that person face to face in my house at my front door. I want to know what people are thinking. It’s a genuine curiosity on my part about who they are and what I might learn from where they’ve been and what they’ve taken from what they read. We build a response together.
I often click through the link to see who I’m talking to before I write my answer. I like to answer each person individually. After all each person talked to me one at a time.
When Ellen of Wilson’s Words and Pictures asked how Liz manages to answer the massive amount of comments she gets, she continued on by saying:
How do you answer questions your kids ask? One at a time. Answering comments is no different. I could ramble on about rules and wisdom, but there really isn’t much more to say. If you care about what someone says, you listen and respond.
To Elaborate on Liz’s answer:
Thank you Liz for taking time to answer these questions. You’re answers have been most helpful.
Rereading Liz’s answer, it’s all about common sense. We treat our readers special by letting them have their say. By respecting their viewpoint and responding appropriately, they feel compelled to come back for more conversation.
How do you answer your comments, one by one, or as a group?
How do you like your comments to be answered? Individually, or is a group response from the author acceptable?
If a blog author does not respond to your comment, will you return to that blog?