Elizabeth has doled out some sage advice on being a good host, being a good guest, and starving trolls to help you cultivate a vibrant and engaged comment section. Hopefully, you’ve now got some good conversation going on. Why not highlight it with the Recent Comments widget?
Posts tagged ‘Comments’
Previously, I wrote about how to drive engagement and build relationships on your blog through good comment moderation. Today, let’s talk about the other side of that: being a good commenter yourself. As Michelle pointed out, leaving comments on other people’s work is one of the best ways to
lure others to interest others in your own site. But some comments are more effective at this than others. Here are some tips for how to win at commenting:
- Read thoroughly. Before commenting, make sure you’ve read the entire post and the other comments before yours. Your comment should never make the writer (or the other readers) wonder if you actually read the material. Also, if your point is on target, it might have already been made by someone else – in which case, you can reply to that person’s comment! Read more
Ah, the elusive comment. All bloggers know the joy of the comment notification, the disappointment of those posts where the “Leave a Comment” prompt never changes to a number. A good comment thread can elevate a lackluster post, and a bad one – one that’s full of in-fighting or self-promotion – can turn off new readers. I read some blogs for the comments alone. Certain bloggers have built communities of loyal commenters whose insightful and entertaining conversations are almost more fun than the posts themselves.
So how do you encourage good commenting on your site, and discourage bad behavior (or silence)? Here are some ideas: Read more
Talking about controversial topics tends to be something you either really enjoy, or avoid at all costs. While I generally fall into the first camp, I sometimes shy away from blogging about controversial issues on my site — a habit I’d like to change, especially since your blog is your best platform for expressing yourself. Writing posts that touch on timely topics is both a great way to boost your writing skills and bring extra traffic to your site.
When writing about a divisive topic, do your research. While your blog is a place to voice your opinion, it is also important to present the facts. This includes adding information about opposing viewpoints on your blog post, so that your readers can get a well-rounded presentation of the issue you’re talking about. By providing factual information, you are responsibly putting your philosophies into the world and giving your readers the opportunity to decide for themselves. Being open-minded about sharing your own opinions on a controversial post helps to set the tone for an overall respectful discussion.
Writing about a heated topic often leads to more active discussion on your site. As a general rule of thumb, don’t delete comments that disagree with you. Instead, focus on enforcing a respectful discussion on your site. In fact, if your blog focuses on controversial topics often, you may even consider a commenting policy to help prevent people from trolling or acting disrespectfully on your site.
When a controversial topic is still hot off the presses, use the existing media coverage to your advantage. Retweet your post, share it on Facebook, communicate with other bloggers talking about the same topic. This will help to increase your visibility and bring new visitors to your site. Similarly, you can use trending topics in Twitter or Google News search to help find current ideas for posts.
Most importantly, brace yourself for those who disagree. Everyone will have their own opinion, and just because someone disagrees with you, that doesn’t mean your post isn’t worthwhile or, on the contrary, that their opinion is useless. Instead, this is a great way to show your readers what a wonderful writer and blogger you are by incorporating these opposing viewpoints into your next post.
Do you have any other tips on writing a post about a controversial subject? Do you try not to post about controversy or do you thrive on it?
As a blogger, there’s little more satisfying than getting the notification that someone commented on your post. It means that not only are people reading your work, but that they’re also moved to leave their own reflections. In addition to the personal joy of seeing comments on your posts, comments and pingbacks help to build readership and bring new readers to your site. So, how can you foster an active commenting community on your blog?
Start by making it easy to comment on your site. You can control all of your comment settings via your Settings > Discussion page on your blog’s Dashboard. Some settings to be aware of: ensure that other blogs are notified when you link to their articles (pingbacks), don’t automatically turn comments off on your posts after a short amount of time (the default is 14 days), and enable both the option to follow your blog and the comment thread when someone leaves a comment on your post. If you choose to moderate all comments on your blog, that’s a great step toward maintaining a well-curated commenting community. Just be sure that you don’t leave pending comments in your Comments folder for too long, since that detracts greatly from the experience of visitors commenting on your posts.
To keep the discussion going, it’s best to reply to all comments left on your blog within a reasonable time frame. If someone’s comment piques your curiosity, ask questions. The idea of the comments section is to generate discussion. As visitors to your blog add their point of view to your posts, it helps to enhance your story. Similarly, discussions generated on your posts can help give you new post ideas, in addition to building relationships with other bloggers and your readers. For example, if someone disagrees with your point of view, that’s a great opportunity to expand on your thoughts even more with a new post. Some bloggers even ask their readers to leave comments on their sites. For example. the Freshly Pressed blogger/musician Holley Maher inserts an image that she’s create into the bottom of all of her posts requesting that readers leave comments. If you choose to add either a line or an image requesting feedback, you can create a template and use the Copy a Post tool for your new posts so your sign-off text or image is automatically inserted into your post.
Above all, leaving comments on other blogs helps to generate comments on your own. In case you missed it, check out Erica‘s post, “Are you well-versed in comment etiquette?” The difference between blogs and websites (and the best part!) is that blogging allows for interaction between writers and readers, as well as the opportunity to build relationships. Paving the way for an active comment section on your site helps to build those relationships and to find new sources of inspiration.