One of the main reasons bloggers enjoy writing posts is to generate comments from their content that they’ve published. However, for new blogs, it can be hard to begin generating the steady traffic that also is commenting regularly. Here are some ways you can encourage commenting and participation on your blog posts.
Write About Controversial Topics
When you decide on blog topics, always pick the most controversial. If you are in an industry where there is some leeway on best practices, focus on that grey area. Organizing your content in areas where people have the most questions will more than likely start getting you more views and users that are going to want to comment.
Start by creating a brainstorming list on your computer or in a Google Doc of possible post topics. Think about things in your industry that rile people up most, and focus on either giving your opinion or answering people’s questions.
Ask Discussion Questions
At the end of each post, ask 1-3 discussion questions surrounding the topic. People are more willing to comment on a blog post when it feels like the writer is asking them specifically for their input. Make these questions stand out by putting them in header tags or making them bold. In addition, many bloggers also answer the questions after they are given to start the conversation.
Use Photos and Have a Shareable Title
Photos that illustrate and complement your content can help get more attention on social media and the blog itself. Choose your blog photos wisely, as well as your title. Usually list or question titles are shared more, as well as posts that have colorful, professional-looking photos. PhotoPin is a great resource for CC photos, mostly from Flickr. If you aren’t sure how attractive your photo and title are going to be, ask a friend or colleague what their immediate thoughts are on the combination of the two and see what they say.
Share It Everywhere
Once your post is published, share it everywhere you can. Social media is always your best bet, but it also helps to have a mailing list or e-newsletter that shares your most recent posts.
Online communities are also a great place to share content. Many Facebook and LinkedIn groups have daily link round-ups or appreciate fresh new content updates that are put up for discussion. Once you’ve published there, be sure to monitor your post for any questions or feedback.
Always Reply to Comments
Answering questions or feedback on the blog comments you do receive is important too. Be sure to always respond promptly to blog comments– this will foster a community of discussion and even more comments.
Following these simple steps can make it easy to start generating comments on your blog. Stay relevant with your topics, photos, and titles, which will drive in the interest you need to build discussion.
Kelsey Jones runs her own social media and search marketing business, MoxieDot where she helps clients grow their online presence. She was voted one of the top 100 marketers of the year by Invesp in 2009 and has worked for Yelp, Run.com, and Bounty Towels. Check her out at MoxieDot and on Twitter @wonderwall7.