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Sample of wordpress dashboard - commentsUntil comments begin to show up, new bloggers often feel like they’re in an echo chamber – talking to themselves.

For some blogs, it can take months before someone comments. For others, a matter of days.

It’s when we feel what we’re sharing isn’t being read, we think of giving up.

After all, blogging is supposed to be interactive.

Today’s Lesson

I feel fortunate that I receive the amount of comments I do. Comments inspire me to continue on. Comments inspire new posts. And via comments I get to meet other bloggers.

But it wasn’t always that way. My audience (or lack thereof) remained silent for quite some time.

I’d publish posts, but no one seemed to care.

But I didn’t give up.

What worked for me were five things.

  1. I visited other blogs and left comments.
  2. Not every blogger reciprocated with comments on my blog, but some did, as did some of their readers. HINT: Comment on new or smaller blogs. Generally, A-list bloggers do not reciprocate comments.

  3. I linked to other blogs, but I did it a little different.
  4. I set up a series which I named, “New Blog Of The Week” (NBOTW) and hunted for new bloggers (usually under four months old). I used Tuesday as my NBOTW day and would write a post showcasing their blog, including excerpts from three of their posts/pages and included links to them.

    This was a slow process, but over time, I began to build my readership, as well as my blog community.

    I’ve discontinued this series, however, the list of 90 blogs remains here.

  5. Another important aspect to receiving comments, ASK questions.
  6. Even if you feel your post is complete, it doesn’t hurt to ask your readers, “Did I forget anything?’, “What are your thoughts on this topic?”, or ____fill in the blank___.

    Give readers a reason to comment.

  7. I answered the comments I received.
  8. Although I occasionally miss comments which show up on older posts, my goal is answer all comments I receive on this blog.

    Unfortunately, due to the amount of spam I receive, I closed the comments on posts older than 90 days.

  9. I asked a comment expert for additional advice.
  10. Liz Strauss, of Successful and Outstanding Bloggers is known for the huge amount of comments she has received over the years so naturally she was the one I approached for advice.

    In a two part interview, I asked Liz, How to Maximize Blog Comments and How To Get Readers To Join Your Community.

    The information Liz shared is priceless.

For some bloggers, comments aren’t important, but for others, they become the real reason to continue on.

Today’s Assignment

What technique(s) do/did you use to entice your readers to comment?

Care to share?

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No blogger wants to hear the words, “Your blog is ugly”.

Although most bloggers are concerned how they are perceived online and will ask fellow bloggers what they think of, or how they can improve their blogs, some bloggers REALLY don’t want to know.

They like their blog just as it is.

And that’s okay.

Today’s Lesson

I’ll admit, I don’t like receiving nor giving criticism. If not done correctly, it can project a negative vibe.

In fact, if you asked me what I think of your blog, I’d find something I like about it and pay you a compliment.

And, I’m not saying that just to please you.

Just like I wouldn’t come into your home and say “You need to move that picture.”, I don’t feel it’s my place to tell you how to design your own online space.

After all, your blog a reflection of YOU.

That said, I will share what I like to see on blogs.

  1. What is the blog about?
  2. Oftentimes the name of a blog does not reveal what a blog is about. That’s where the tagline comes in. A simple sentence will let readers know what our blog is about and what they can expect from us in the future.

  3. Recent/favorite and/or random posts
  4. When I land on a blog I’m not familiar with, I may want to read something other than the current article. If I can’t find older posts, I leave. I don’t have time to dig for them, nor do I want to keep hitting “previous” or “next”.

  5. Where’s the “about me” page?
  6. An “about” page doesn’t have to be long, but I like knowing a little about the blog author(s). Need help writing one? See this post on how to write an “about” page.

So there you have it, three things I look for when I land on a blog.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

What do you look for when you land on a blog?

Would you want others to tell you how to improve your blog?

Care to share?

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P.S. The same may not apply to business blogs which should look as professional as possible.

P.S.S. I’m not saying my blogs are perfect, rather they’re a work in progress – always evolving.

One of the biggest gripes bloggers have is how their visitors do not read their posts. skimming blog posts - clock image

It’s maddening.

After all, we meticulously craft our posts, carefully choose each word, spend time adding SEO (search engine optimization), tags and the perfect picture(s), ensure we’re providing value, double check to see if the words are spelled correctly and are grammatically correct, only to find out our visitors are skimming.

Some visitors will even rat themselves out by leaving a comment which doesn’t make sense.

We know they didn’t read our words, but yet we enjoy those comments.

What’s a blogger to do?

Today’s Lesson

With many bloggers blogging part-time, writing posts for their blogs AND making time to visit other blogs can be challenging.

Time must be cut somewhere, so it’s often done while they’re reading/skimming the blog posts of others.

So, what can we do?

Accept it.

If we know our posts are being skimmed, why not make it easier for a visitor to do so?

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Write shorter posts
  2. Use bullet points
  3. Use photos or white space to break up the verbiage
  4. Ask questions at the end which don’t “test” to see if the visitor read our post, but instead are relevant to the content.

Take your reader’s time constraints into consideration and they may reward you with a comment.

Today’s Assignment

If you had a choice to have a visitor read your post or leave a comment, which would you choose?

Do you have any other tips on how a blogger can improve their chances of having their posts read in their entirety?

Care to share?

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