Welcome to my new series. A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge.)

Based on the success of the interview series with Lorelle (of Lorelle On WordPress), my blog, like many others, is experiencing a slight transformation.

In my attempt to continue to help bloggers, I’ll be adding more interviews in the form of “answers”. I will contact experts in the blogging field and ask if they would like to participate. My hope is most will say “yes”.

This expert needs no introduction. It’s Liz Strauss of Successful And Outstanding Bloggers. She recently made blogging history by showcasing 260 blogs in her “2008 Blog-to-Show”, and is the author of “The Secret to Writing a Successful and Outstanding Blog, which, by the way, is a fabulous book.

Let’s get this underway.

I said: “When I spoke with Lorelle, she mentioned you’re known for an astronomical amount of comments on your blog (for some reason 70,000 rings a bell). Undoubtedly, you have a knack for making your readers feel so comfortable on your blog, they WANT to respond. For new bloggers who yearn to get comments, what’s the best piece of advice you would give them so they too, can begin seeing activity in their comment section?”

Liz answered.“Yep, on my big blog I’ll turn 70,000 comments in the next couple of weeks. Writing for conversation is a new genre, different than any writing we’ve done before. However, if we consider what we know about conversation, it’s not really that hard to figure out. When we have a conversation, we never get a chance to “present” an entire idea fully and complete. We get to say one part. Then, it’s the other person’s turn to speak. If we say everything we know and tie up every detail thoroughly, we’re not having a conversation, we’re giving a presentation. The other person is left sitting there listening — we’ve left them no room to talk.”

“The first advice I always give is to come down off the podium.”

Reflecting on the answer

Most important, thank you Liz, for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer this question.

When I look at Liz’s answer, it reminds me how bloggers have this wonderful medium for conversation. We speak, and others listen.

As Liz stated, “Then, it’s the other person’s turn to speak”

Today’s Assignment

Have you opened the door to letting your readers have their say?

If so, how are you accomplishing that?

Is what you’re doing working?

Other than Liz’s “first advice”, there is a lot of value hidden in her answer. Did you find it?


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Look Who's Talking
  1. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. What a cool idea ASK is. Love it!

    I hope I have left the door open for commenting. I share my personal experience and ideas, and invite readers to share their own perspectives. Comments are a gift that I appreciate receiving.

    As for coming down off the podium, my take on that is as follows. It’s similar to life coaching. Life coaches are trained to see their clients as creative, resourceful and whole. The coach (or blogger, if I may) does not have all the answers. It’s their job to listen, share and ask powerful questions to encourage the client or reader to learn or find their own answers.

    Davina’s last blog post..I Dreamt I Died

  2. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – What an excellent idea for a new series – I love the acronym. And you’ve chosen a great person for your first interview.

    When I first started blogging, I didn’t have a clue. I guess I really wrote text book style. It was only through reading great blogs like this one and Liz Strauss’s Successful Blog that I began learning.

    And I know Liz gets a lot of comments but 70,000 is amazing. And she always replies to everyone.

    There’s a lot of value in what Liz shared with you. She’s telling us to think about how we have conversations in real life. Don’t give all the answers in your post – leave some room for your readers to share their ideas.

    By the way – Liz’s ebook, “The Secret To Writing A Successful and Outstanding Blog”, is the best thing I’ve read this year.

  3. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    It’s great to hear from Liz here, Barbara.

    Like yourself, I believe that Liz works hard to develop a vibrant blog community. This is a feature of blogging that I admire greatly.

    To me, the interaction between blogger and reader is one of the most exciting elements of a blog.

    By providing thought provoking content that allows the audience to participate in the conversation means they help shape the conversation.

    In my last guest post with Liz, I mentioned that the comments section is one of the best bits of blog.

    I think that, if a blogger can create a lively sharing of views there, things really come alive :-)

    It’ll be great to hear how your readers encourage comments on their own blogs.

    It’s an area that I am particularly interested in.

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Davina,

    Every time I visit your blog, I feel you welcome my input. To me, (and to others) that’s important. And yes, comments are a gift.

    You’re right. No one has ALL of the answers. That’s what makes visiting other blogs so much fun. We learn, share, teach, and grow together.

    Hi Catherine,

    Thank you! You know me and those acronyms. :)

    I hear you. For new bloggers, it’s tough. We hear blogging is about sharing our thoughts and opinions, and so we just start writing, with no idea of what’s right or wrong.

    :) You caught that, “leave room for readers to share….” THAT is so important if we want comments.

    I’m still in the process of reading Liz’s book, but what I’ve read so far is excellent.

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you! I’m very happy to have Liz here, too.

    It’s ironic that you mentioned that comments are the best bits of a blog. When I was writing this post, I had included a paragraph (which I removed) of how static websites and blogs differ, i.e. comments. :)

    P.S. I saw your latest post on Liz’s site when I was grabbing links. I’ll be back later to read it.

  5. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    First off – I love this new series Barbara! I’m always learning something new when I stop over here.

    Comments are, for me, what really makes blogging come alive. I will occasionally ask questions in my posts as a way to engage readers. I also find that answering comments is powerful to keeping the conversation going. And that’s a skill I learned here – you do this so well. And I think that’s one of the reasons I feel comfortable commenting here. There’s always (always) a reply from you. And that makes me know you’re listening. I’ve taken that back to my blog. And it has been powerful in keeping the comments section feel alive and connected.

  6. naturalNo Gravatar says:

    I try to leave things out of my post on purpose with the hopes that someone will pick up on that and it will be their turn to speak. I try not to make the post too long cause once you said everything in your post and have exhausted your readers, all they have energy to type is: good post.

    i leave holes in it so questions can be asked. sometimes….maybe i’ll word it in a way that encourages participation

    ….maybe people just have pity and leave a comment anyway.

    :)

    good morning Barbara.

    natural’s last blog post..Traffic: Flaw in Design or Drivers?

  7. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    One of the refreshing things I find about blogging is that I don’t have to cover all my bases – and that it is often better not too, so that there’s something left for other people to say.

    I often see a gap in my reasoning but don’t fill it in so other people can.

    Love the new series!

    Robin’s last blog post..Reincarnation… A Scenario

  8. Dr. CasonNo Gravatar says:

    Hmmm…No I don’t think I ask enough questions.

    Must work on that.

    Dr. Cason’s last blog post..Medicine Monday- Speech Delay, Teething, Biting, Almond Allergies, Hidradenitis-Suppurativa and Infertility!

  9. Sometimes as a blogger I get too caught up in trying to write something that will give great value to readers. Every blogger wants to deliver great value, but it has to be accessible. The readers want to relate to the material, feel that connection and add to it. Some of the best value that I can give other readers has been given by other commenters. That’s what a good blog is all about.

  10. Liz StraussNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Everyone!
    What a great conversation. You all obviously have this down. Conversation in the comment box gets easier the more we relax into it. We spark it off by writing something that we ourselves care enough to want to talk about, and writing just enough — complete thoughts but not every thought — and things we wonder about.

    To talk “across” and not “down” is part of the heart of how conversation works. I hear it all through this thread. :)

  11. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    hmmmm…. blogs are like ping pong! You write something interesting, comments start, readers come and go. Sometimes you get lucky and a zillion folks come by to comment. That is the ultimate goal, is it not?

  12. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    I ask questions at the end of most of my posts, but I still want to analyze why certain posts create more comments and conversation than others. I know I can get better in this area.

    Great post & neat new feature for your blog, Barbara!

    I’ll be “silent” for awhile as my post today explains. Know I’ll be checking in & out sporadically and probably silently, but I’m here.

    Linda Abbit’s last blog post..Tender Loving Eldercare Goes Back to School

  13. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve got to admit that creating blog conversation is a skill that I’ve yet to to perfect. I’ve got a question. You said “When we have a conversation, we never get a chance to ‘present’ an entire idea fully and complete.” But what happens if I really do have plenty to say about a topic? Do I hold back and ask readers what they think? I have this burst of energy to want to educate and share, that it’s hard for me to wait for a response. Any suggestions?

  14. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    OK, well, I’m going back to my blog post for today and adding a question at the end. Maybe adding a phrase like: “I would love to hear your opinion on this topic” at the end of the post could also help.

  15. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    I just went back to some of my posts and most of them do not give readers the opportunity to speak. I tend to tie everything up. I guess this is due to my academic training; making sure that I conclude everything.

    I’m going to try to do an experiment. I’ll leave some loose ends at the end of my posts and see if my comments increase.

  16. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, I noticed that conversational genre. I like it because in a way we have to find our own answers. Some advice blogs are really (really) good but I have to say there is a ton of them. As a reader to be asked a question is certainly very inviting…

  17. Hmm… I’m a little at odds with this one.

    I’ll be the first to admit I don’t get many comments – and that may just be because I tie things up too nicely. I do ask questions, but I don’t think that always gets someone to comment.

    My posts at times are a bit longer and like Natural said, at the end people may be exhausted – or maybe they have other things to do other than spend 20 minutes on my blog.

    But writing on a topic I know about and want to share my views with and purposely leaving out some information in hopes that it will generate some comments, that seems odd to me.

    What if no one comments? Or no one picks up on what you left out? And what if that area you left out should be addressed at some point?

    Then you have a post sitting there you know needs a little tying up and when people come to it for the first time might think you’re missing something. I suppose that might make them comment and “teach you” a little more.

    But then aren’t you losing some of your “Authority” status? Not that you have to strive for that, though it can help, but people may not think you know as much as you really do.

    However, this is why I’m here – to learn. I’ve only been blogging for a few months less than you Barbara and maybe I just need a little more clarification on this. Anyone?

    Thanks :)

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..Welcoming Theresa Hoff – Director of Incorporation and Living Trust Services by eVentureBiz

  18. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Barb,

    When I fist started blogging (what, a hundred years ago?), Liz’s book was the ONLY book I read. The advice – and ease of read – made me into a blogger, with your help.

    What I have found to increase comments is: get off the bully pulpit (an early mistake I made) and ASK YOUR READERS A QUESTION or 5. For example, on my “coffee blog” I expected NO response. Yet, a huge response was generated when I ended with “Are there foods or drinks you won’t taste?” Wow, did people chime in!

    One question I do have is in RESPONDING to comments. I find that I like to respond to each comment individually. It’s VERY time consuming, but it’s managable, if only just for a “thanks for sharing your thoughts.” Obviously, with the amount of comments you (and certainly Liz) get, at what point do you stop responding individually, and start responding as you do: let the comments build, and address a number at once?

    Thanks!

    Rita

  19. Commenting is a wonderful feature of blogs, no doubt about it. And I enjoy the comment section here at BWAB very much.

    Sometimes I’ll ask a question at the end, which is very effective to getting comments. But mostly, I just try to write interesting and thought provoking content and believe that will adequately influence comments when necessary.

    Bamboo Forest’s last blog post..How to Live a Life of Freedom

  20. Al at 7PNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – A.S.K. is a fantastic idea!

    I think what Liz mentioned regarding stepping down from the podium was absolutely great. I know that there are a lot of blog experts out there that tell us to be an authority and to convey it with how we write. That approach might work if one wants to establish expertise for the article’s topic (or the almighty “niche” that we’re told to focus on). However it’s much more engaging if the article was more conversational than a lecture.

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..The Hero with a Thousand Jobs

  21. Hello Barbara,

    I am looking forward to this series very much. Building up the comment section is something I do want to improve on my blog. A lot of us visit the same blogs together and we chat on Brett’s blog or other blogs and I do notice we don’t keep a lively banter going on in the same fashion on mine as much. I know I need to look in the mirror and take responsability for that, but don’t really know how. So…I am looking to learn more. I don’t always ask questions but I have found that often when I do, the question isn’t answered or people will just chat as if it wasn’t there. ( Which I don’t mind at all) It’s interesting.

  22. You’ll find a question at the end of almost all of my posts and often throughout. Some don’t get answered though probably because I’m too confrontational for friendly conversation. The coach in me challenges and that’s not always good for comments.

    In a couple of posts I share exercises or processes and the folks who take the time to do them, also comment about their experiences.

    I looked hard for the hidden value. I give up. What is it?

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..The Prize is in the Pursuit

  23. Alex FayleNo Gravatar says:

    In my former blog I always wrapped things up and people’s comments were definitely comments on the wrapped-up package.

    In the regenerated blog, I’m still providing the lessons at the end of each post as I did before, but I’m including others in the posts themselves, creating a conversation (I hope) even before people get to the comments section.

    I’m also asking directly for input, although in the last incarnation next to no one ever responded to direct input requests.

    We’ll see how it goes, but within a week of posting (with 7 posts, I have over 100 comments – as opposed to 876 comments to 426 posts on old blog).

    But great topic – one that I’m very interested in and I look forward to other questions in the ASK series.

    Cheers,
    Alex

    Alex Fayle’s last blog post..Pursuing Happiness: Gretchen Rubin Interview

  24. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    @ Tom – I don’t think you’re too confrontational. Your questions encourage us to really think and go away and do our homework. Sometimes people don’t answer because they can’t come up with the answer straight away.

  25. VeredNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Scott: the comments section is one of the best things about blogging.

    I like to ask questions. I am genuinely interested in my readers’ thoughts. They sense it, and respond.

  26. Good tips here, thanks.

    It’s funny – Aside from you, Barbara, and a handful of my loyal blog fanbase, my posts rarely get more than 10 comments apiece.

    Perhaps I’m deluding myself, but I think most of my posts (except for todays’ of course) are ripe for comments, so I don’t know why I don’t get much feedback.

    I am aware that my “add a comment” link is small-ish. It came built in with my blog’s theme and I haven’t enlarged it, so perhaps I should, because I’d love to build a larger community.

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Lance,

    Thank you.

    Yes, listening to what your commenters say, is very important. It’s part of two-way communication, just like in real life.

    Hi Natural,

    Good Morning to you, too – or should I say “afternoon”?

    Leaving out pieces of the “puzzle” often leads to conversation. How exciting it is for a reader to say, “hey, and there’s THIS, too”

    Hi Robin,

    Thank you.

    That’s correct! You don’t have to cover all of the bases in order to publish a value based post. In the event your readers don’t fill in all of the blanks, that makes great material for a new post on the same topic.

    Hi Dr. Cason,

    Although you may not ask a lot of questions, your readers are often inspired to comment based on your content, whether it be your beautiful photography, a yummy looking recipe, or your posts on medicine.

    Hi Karl,

    I’m nodding as I read your comment. You’re right. Depending on the subject matter, often the comment section holds more value than the post itself.

    Hi Liz,

    Welcome to the BWAB community, and again thank you for sharing this answer with us.

    I love how you just added, “talk “across” and not “down””. That’s another great point, as we certainly don’t want to put our readers on the defensive.

    Hi Linda,

    What a great analogy – ping pong. Exactly! Doesn’t that make it fun? A zillion comments? Oh yeah!

    Hi Linda Abbit,

    Thank you.

    You bring up a great point. Why do some posts get more comments than others? One thing I’ve found as I’ve analyzed my comment activity is that there are many factors. It could be the day of the week, the topic, the time of year (holidays often cause a drop in comment activity) and some will say it’s the time of day we publish. This sounds like something we need to explore a little closer. I’ll add this subject to my “post ideas” list. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I just read your post. I’m sure you’ll get an “A”. I’ll be back later to leave a comment.

    Hi Evelyn,

    Great question. Food for thought. Break your topic into smaller parts. Ask your readers if they have something to add. Sometimes they will take you in the direction you were heading, but oftentimes they’ll address a part of the topic you hadn’t thought of.

    As an example, last Monday I was headed in a particular direction for the rest of the week. Based on the comments I received, my readers “told me” how they wanted to talk more about other aspects of our online presence. I changed direction and gave them what they wanted.

    Hi Marelisa,

    I’ll be over later to read your post and answer the question. Asking for your readers input, is just like asking a friend for their opinion. We may not agree, but we will listen.

    Hi Chris,

    That sounds like a great experiment. I’ll be watching to see what happens. :)

    Hi Maya,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    Yes, readers do like to be invited to have their say. If the opportunity isn’t there, chances of having comments lessens.

    Hi John,

    Great questions! I think we have to remember that all blog posts are not conducive to comments. For example, Dr. Cason recently shared a recipe. It didn’t need to have comments. She was just sharing the recipe. I left a comment. One to let her know I was there, and two, to thank her because she reminded to try an ingredient I haven’t used recently. Most people would grab the recipe and leave.

    What if no one comments? Ah, I remember those months too well. What did I do? I kept writing to my imaginary audience. Soon I realized I was “home” by myself because I hadn’t invited anyone over. I ventured out and started visiting other blogs. Soon, people were knocking on my door. Until then, it was me and the blog.

    If no one picks up on what your left out, you can always write another blog post and reference back to the previous article.

    When we write “reference” or “tutorial” type posts, we shouldn’t necessarily expect comments because we’re not writing for conversation. People may find the posts via search engines and only want the information that’s provided. Plus, if they don’t understand the concept of commenting, they won’t. You may receive a few thank yous, but not conversation.

    Don’t you just love all of the choices blogging gives us?

    Hi Rita,

    I saw that post of yours, and it was generating tons of comments. That final sentence did it.

    Re: Responding to comments. I won’t go into that too deeply as Liz has another “answer” for us, but I will say, comments will often blossom into a conversation of its own.

    My comments get stacked up for two reasons. 1) I’m on the west coast and with the time change, I’m either sleeping or working on my paying job, when you’re all commenting, and 2) sometimes if we’re TOO aggressive on answering our comments, based on what we say, we can actually shut the conversation down.

    Hi Bamboo,

    Thank you, and I enjoy you being part of the conversation.

    You’re right. A thought provoking post may not have a question at the end, but your readers will be so moved by it, they are inspired to share.

    Hi Al,

    Thank you.

    I agree. For bloggers, it’s the conversation a lot of us are looking for. If I’m doing research on a specific topic, give me an expert and I’ll listen/read the lecture.

    Hi Wendi,

    Isn’t that funny how that works? We ask a question, but our readers want to talk about something else. Apparently something in our post resonated with them and they want to share.

    Yes, some blogs do keep a lively conversation going, almost like a forum. I’ve been on blogs where I’ve seen an extremely active comment section, and based on the conversation (which seemed SO personal), I felt like I was eavesdropping, so I would leave, not commenting, even if the post was excellent.

    Hi Tom,

    Being confrontational could discourage readers from commenting. With you being such a great coach, it surprises me that you would be confrontational as coaches are known for their great listening skills.

    The hidden value? Catherine found it. ” Think about how we have conversations in real life”.

    Hi Alex,

    I was just rereading your stats. What a difference. 7 posts = 100 comments vs 426 posts and 876 comments. Whatever you’ve changed, you’re on the right track.

    Hi Catherine,

    Another great point, readers often can’t answer that fast to some questions.

    Hi Vered,

    Yes, you do ask questions and by your answers, we know you’ve read our response. :)

    Hi Mark,

    You’re welcome.

    Actually 10 comments isn’t bad at all. To get more, also entails working on building our community. Hey, that sounds like another great blog post.

    I’ll come over to your blog later and take a look at your “add a comment” + read your post. (and, comment, of course).

  28. I have always responded to my reader’s comments as promptly as possible. What I would be thrilled to have happen is conversation amongst my readers. This is starting to happen! Woo-hoo. As James (Men with Pens) and Brett (6 Weeks) have pointed out to me, is that I really need a Comment Feed to get readers back to a post to keep the dialogue going. Working on it!!!! Definitely part of the Lion’s and my website redesign Must Haves.

    The deeper message behind Liz’s advice? As bloggers we can’t begin to know it all, and if we think we do, we are delusional. I write from my personal experiences, but each person experiences relationships uniquely. Nobody is right and nobody is wrong. Experiences are very real to each individual. I only put my out there for other’s to take whatever grain of sand they wish from it. If they moved to respond in the comment section and share, BONUS!

    Urban Panther’s last blog post..The evolution of dance

  29. Urbane LionNo Gravatar says:

    Great topic Barbara! I just love it when readers take off with the subject of your posts and are able to further develop the subject. I need to learn how to get the ball rolling but to let the readers play the game!

  30. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Something looks different on your blog. Well, a few things actually. It looks nice!

    I try to get a converstation going at my blog. And I don’t always know what to do or say.

    I’m sorry to admit that I haven’t been to Liz’s blog yet. I usually stay away from really big bloggers because I feel like a number. But now I would like to see what you’re describing at Liz’s blog.

    Seventy thousand comments seems outrageous! How in the hell would you have time to read or respond to all of these comments! I would feel bad if I couldn’t give each person some time. But maybe it doesn’t matter if you have so many commeters. Maybe people expect not to be responded to.

  31. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    I only recently learned to ASK. And I was stunned to discover… it works!

    I also find that sometimes there is a need to briefly intervene/moderate because my commenters get into discussions with each other and occasionally it gets heated. So then I get to play peacemaker. But, I suppose that people having conversations with each other on my blog is not a bad thing, either. 😀

    Nice post!

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Urban Panther,

    A comment feed or “subscribe to comments on this post” button work wonders. I’m in the process of trying to add a comment feed to this blog, but for some reason I’m having difficulty.

    You’re right. We don’t know it all. Just like you’re sharing/teaching your readers about relationship issues, hidden in your words are lessons for others to think about. By exposing your vulnerabilities, others are learning they’re not alone in this world, and hopefully some will comment and tell you so.

    Hi Urbane Lion,

    Thank you. You’re not giving yourself enough credit. Off the top of my head I remember the post you did on the episode in the restaurant, with the wine. Your readers all chimed in with their two cents and you were there to add more. It was a great read.

    Hi Ellen,

    Thank you.

    Just pretend you’re talking to your readers around the kitchen table. You talk, they listen. They talk, you listen. If we all show respect for each other, the conversation will develop into a real learning experience.

    On Liz’s blog, her motto is, “You’re only a stranger once”. She welcomes all of her readers and stays active in the comment section. How has she handled 70000 comments? I’ll ask her and post the answer.

  33. First of all I just wanted to say thanks. I’m starting to see the first groups of comments on my new blog and I noticed that some of the commenters were coming from here. I appreciate your support!
    Back to the subject at hand. I definitely had the same questions as John Hoff. I was thinking about the negative affects of leaving out parts of info and having commenters “correct you” by informing you that you left those things out. Then you can’t really back pedal at that point. You would just look like less of an authority.
    But then I thought that maybe I’m taking it a little bit to literal. You don’t have to leave out vital information, it’s just the idea of leaving room for input and added content. In other words, you’re kind of “Starting the conversation” more than laying it all down and saying “This is how it is”.
    Either way, thanks for the post; great insight and info. Eric.

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Asking does amazing things. If you have loyal readers, they’ll tell you. It may not be what we want to hear, but often it’s something we overlook.

    Heated discussions in a comment section can pose a problem. Without the author’s intervention, it can quickly go a rye.

    Hi Eric,

    You’re welcome, and thank you for the kind words. Isn’t it great how communities intermingle? :)

    If you leave something out, you can often ask, “can you think of anything I’ve forgotten?”. Many may raise their hand and say “What about?” Although you already KNOW that, it’s makes that commenter feel important and and they know you’re paying attention to what they said. THAT will often help your comments explode with others contributing, too.

    I don’t think you would lose “authority”, as much as you would gain respect from readers who say, “Hey, he’s/she’s not perfect either, although for awhile he/she projected him/herself that way”. Let’s face it, no one likes a “know it all”.

  35. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    I try to find a balance between providing insight and opening up the floor to questions. Sometimes it depends on who I have in mind when I write it.

  36. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, another day of learning new things – that is always a delightful gift for me. I like the ASK idea – it resonates with me.

    I see too where I am trying to write a complete post idea everyday and explain it all – though I do often end with questions. When I write about political things I get lots of comments and right now I am being flooded with absolutely horrendous, nasty comments from folks who did not read my post but that had the word abortion in it and I can not post them as they don’t relate to the question I was asking and the need for response to secrets – they are profane. (It reminds me of a time I was in a debate representing the side of funding for women’s health research and for 16 weeks every Sunday a local church group dumped garbage in my front yard and walked around my house carrying signs with fetuses in bottles on them.)
    I am used to this sort of thing but was not ready for so many comments, I think from some search engine that looks for the word.
    This and apples have slowed down my writing.
    I also think as I write this that I have had to be silent for so long in my life and I am so excited to have a place to say something – I am writing too much. My goal has been to write a letter/note each day. I love letters so much, but maybe I should think more about writing post- it notes instead?
    I like the reference to the book and that so many comments support it, I will put it on my birthday list
    Thank you, I enjoy looking at your site. Patricia

    Patricia’s last blog post..APPLES, APPLES and More APPLES

  37. […] on the responses from my first A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series, it’s obvious we all want to see comments and build an online community of like minded people […]

  38. […] 1) Liz Strauss was the first participant in the A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series. She shared her answer on How To Format A Blog Post To Maximize Comments […]

  39. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Ugh! Nasty comments? That must take the joy out of blogging when you have to moderate them. Some people are so cruel, I can’t imagine what you must have gone through having garbage, etc, thrown in your front yard.

    I did love how you said you are exciting about writing as you had to be silent for so long. It must feel like a dam breaking and you’re the water rushing out.

    Thank you for your kind words. I’ll be over later to check out your latest post. I promise, I won’t leave a nasty comment. :)

  40. […] 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”. […]

  41. […] Behind The CommentLuv Plugin A.S.K. Liz Strauss – How Do You Inspire Readers To Join Your Community A.S.K. Liz Strauss – How To Format Blog Comments To Maximize Comments Photo Credit: Darren Rowse/Problogger No tags for this […]

  42. […] Behind The CommentLuv Plugin A.S.K. Liz Strauss – How Do You Inspire Readers To Join Your Community A.S.K. Liz Strauss – How To Format Blog Comments To Maximize Comments Photo Credit: Darren […]

  43. […] gave this answer in a post on blogging without a blog Yep, on my big blog I’ll turn 70,000 comments in the next couple of weeks. Writing for […]