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September 6, 2012

Tips on Thursday: Comments

As a blogger, comments are very important. They are like reviews for authors. And just like reviews, comments can be hard to garner. There are posts that will tell you how to increase comments to your blog - most suggest asking a question to start the conversation and replying to comments to keep the discussion going. I include a question on many of my posts, yet, I don't see much difference in the amount of comments.

I did a little experiment to see if it is me or the platform that is the reason for the lack of comments. I used my review of Mockingjay. I assumed with how big the series is I would get some attention. The review got a decent number of views (a little above average) and it received 5 comments (including my replies).

I then did a self post at Reddit (I will be explaining more about Reddit next week). There was NOT a link back to my blog. I just summarized my review and posted the same question as seen here.



Within just an hour (maybe less) the comments and votes started rolling in and the discussion went on for the entire day. Take a look at the numbers:


Do you see that number? 322 comments (about 10 are mine). That's huge. You can see the full thread here.

I can, safely, assume it isn't me. I can apparently start a discussion. So why do I not get these numbers on my blog? It has to be the platform. On Reddit, discussion and conversation is expected and the purpose of the forum. Blogs are more about providing information. Perhaps, readers don't feel the need to add to the discussion - they got what they came from, right?

If comments are important to bloggers, but readers of blogs don't seem to care about leaving comments, what are we (bloggers) suppose to do? I think we should work together as a community to aid in changing the thought that comments and discussion aren't important. By leaving at least 1 quality comment daily on someone else's blog will help the blogger, but also give you more exposure. I encourage you this week to leave 1 comment each day on another blog.

For bloggers that already have good discussions on your blog, do you have any tips on how to developed your forum to get your readers to leave comments?

You can also read/participate in the discussion at Reddit: http://redd.it/zgcjx
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11 comments:

  1. Good advice! I try to comment regularly and if I'm rushed at least give a G+1 or twitter shout out! Thanks for the post. I've tried reddit before with no luck, but I've always included links to my blog. Do you think that turns folks off over there?

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    1. Yeah submitting your own links to Reddit is risky. You need to have around 50 - 100 link Karma before people won't report you. Some subreddits have an absolute no self-promotion (submitting you own links) and depending on the group of people they'll either delete your submission or report you. I'll have more next week on Reddit.

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  2. Commenting! :D

    I've been successful at starting discussions in other venues, too, mainly on Internet bulletin boards. You might be right that it's the venue. I post links to my blog posts on my Facebook page, and I usually get more comments there than on the actual post.

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    1. I get quite a bit of interaction on Twitter and Facebook as well, which furthers my hypothesis that blogs are not necessarily platforms for discussion.

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  3. This is a great post because I can't figure it out sometimes. I'm a small, start up blog still way under a year old. I love to write so I will still do it without comments but let's face it. Comments are fun to get and the conversations can be more fun than the posts themselves. If I take the time to read a post, 8-10 times I will leave an encouraging or conversation enhancing comment. That way, the blogger knows someone has been there, was engaged and what they say matters. Thanks!

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    1. While I'm still going with people go to blogs for information (as opposed to interaction), I think some times people just don't take the time to leave a comment.

      I also posted this over at Reddit and there was a great comment about how social media has moved the conversation away from the blog. You can read the thread here

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  4. I agree. I get around 100 hits on my blog and no comments. I have 6 total comments on my blog, a few are my own. I've come to expect it so I concentrate on getting traffic and possible subscriptions instead of comments.

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    1. Comments are spotty on my blog. I usually get a few for my Tips post and the memes, but reviews and guest post (guest posts are some of my highest viewed posts) rarely get any comments (unless there is a contest).

      I like how I'm getting discussion over at Reddit. There isn't any traffic generated directly from it so that's a downside.

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  5. If I read a post I tend to leave a comment. These days a lot of people get posts sent to them via email or read the posts in a reader. It takes effort to post a comment and some people just don't bother.

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    1. That's a good point. I hadn't really thought too much about the increase in email and RSS subscribers.

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    2. I have my feed settings set so that the whole post doesn't show. If they are interested in what they see, they have to click to the blog to finish reading it. I haven't had any complaints since switching it. I'm about to post a poll on my blog, though and I'll include that in the questions. I want people to come to the blog, but I don't want to tick them off and lose them all together.

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