Good day Class,
Back for a return appearance as substitute teacher (guest writer) is Alex Fayle, our friend and fellow blogger from Someday Syndrome, home of the human “lab rats” experiments. In his previous lesson Alex taught, How Your Comment Response Policy Can Change The Dynamics Of Your Community, and got a huge response.
To tag onto his previous lesson, Alex is here to continue discussing the topic of comments, pointing out an aspect many of us forget to consider.
Welcome again, Alex. It’s great to have you back. The floor is yours.
Hello class. Good to see you again.
Today I’d like those of you who are the most vocal here in class to remember that you’re not the only ones here.
The classroom is also full of other students — the ones who don’t raise their hands and who don’t contribute to the conversation on a daily basis like you do.
These silent classmates represent a large portion of any blog’s readership and just because we don’t hear from them it doesn’t mean their opinions don’t matter.
Because of their size their opinions actually matter more.
All the time we hear that blogging is a community which we create through conversations with the people who comment. However, if your blog is anything like mine, over 90% of your readers never comment, not even once. That’s not a community — that’s an online column.
So how do you connect with these lurkers?
Just keep doing exactly what you have been doing.
These people come read your blog because they connect with you somehow. They read your words and identify with them in a way that brings them back every time you post something new.
It’s very easy, however, to forget about this silent majority and bit by bit change your blog so that you’re writing just to those who do comment. However when you do that, you create a clique that says: unless you comment, I don’t care about you. And then reader by reader you lose the lurkers until you’re left with just a few people hanging out at a private party.
Remember, as well, if you are monetizing your blogs, often many of your customers come from this silent majority. The last thing you want to do is alienate them.
How to reach the silent majority:
1. Don’t try to make them get involved. They choose the level they’re comfortable with – don’t try to drag them into the conversation or you’ll just scare them away.
2. Focus on writing great content aimed at your ideal customer. You don’t know what your ideal customer is? Then create one and write to that person, especially if you want to earn money from the blog because if you don’t know who you’re selling to you won’t sell anything. Even if your blog doesn’t sell anything, you should still know who your typical reader is or you’ll have trouble drawing in the raving fans that will help you grow your blog.
What percentage of your blog readers don’t participate (via feed stats or unique visitors)?
Do you have any idea who your non-commentors are?
What do you do to write to these people?
Finally, if you are someone who reads blogs but doesn’t comment, could you break your silence and tell us why you don’t normally comment?
Raise your hand and share your thoughts.
Alex Fayle is the creator and author of Someday Syndrome, a site that cures you of procrastination. When he’s not helping others follow their dreams, he’s coaching his clients how how to find happiness and fulfillment in their lives and writing great books such as Someday My Ship Will Come In. You can also follow Alex on Twitter.
The Life of Bryan