This is a follow up to my previous blog post about what is holding your blog back from greatness. The more blogs I read, the more I see common practices from professional parent bloggers that can help other bloggers succeed too.
The question I received the most on my last post was, “help! I need more comments! What do you suggest?”
In my 4 years of blogging, I have tried almost everything, and here are the things that worked best for me. Share in the comments other ideas you have seen that work to engage your audience.
1. Killer Headline – Just browse Huffington Post. I bet you see headlines like mine above. They make you want to click and read. Half the battle of getting comments is bringing the readers to your post.
Would you have clicked over as fast if my headline was just “tips for more blog comments”? Maybe not.
I am the first to admit I am not a pro at headlines! In journalism school I received my lowest scores on my headlines. So I browse Huffington Post for ideas of what successful headlines look like. Another great resource is THIS POST.
2. Ask for comments – Look right above my first point. See where I asked for comments? Then look at the last sentence. I always bold it too. If I want comments, I will let my readers know how to get involved in the post. Be specific and say it more than once.
3. Be creative, original in your post – There are a bazillion parent blogs out there. How does your post stand out? You have to wow your reader with your wit, photography, or some other creative element.
4. Cover controversial topics, but with class – Stating an opinion unapologetically on a controversial topic will increase interaction in the comment section. But be prepared for some super heated disagreements. You can always forget class and just be vile – I promise you will get some comments then! Or, be professional, respectful, and assertive. Your choice.
5. Ask questions with your post – Not every post has to have a clear opinion or share a story. My pigs in gestation crates post was merely me muling over a problem and seeking opinions. And that got some awesome activity in the comments!
When you ask your readers questions, you are making them the experts, and people love that!
6. Promote on social media – Yes, I know you already do that. But learn some more effective practices. Create tweets that compel click-overs. Schedule a few tweets user the buffer app. Look at the sources of your traffic and continually strive to improve click overs from other media channels.
This is never a “I mastered it” topic. I’m still learning and always will.
7. Participate in a blog community – I already shared my favorite mom blog communities in a previous post. Participation in these communities can help you find allies and friends that will help promote your posts to their audiences. You can also learn tips and tricks from experienced bloggers in this communities too.
One thing I am constantly striving for: writing posts that engage people without me having to share a link in a blog community and trade comments with other bloggers. I am not saying that is a negative thing to do – bloggers are shoppers too and engaging with them is still excellent – but I am always working to engage more people. Aren’t we all?
8. Write something different from your norm – Shaking things up might be just what your blog needs to get that click over and compel that person to say something. So if you are constantly writing only posts about your kids or mostly just product reviews, try to write about a current event or share something personal.
9. Accept a guest blogger – but be picky about who and what they write about – Guest bloggers can bring a fresh voice and new content to your blog. But you have to be picky. Choose someone that will write something that will increase engagement in the comments. And make sure to ask them if they will promote their blog post to their audience – not every does.
10. Write about a hot topic and promote it with the trending hashtag – Find something that is happening right now that everyone is talking about and share your thoughts! If everyone is talking about it, they are more likely to talk to you about your view on the subject. And keep an eye on those trending topics on Twitter. When you promote your post, use them!
11. Go all out – be real – I can list my favorite bloggers who get real interaction in their blogs and one thing they have in common – they are real and they don’t hold back. Roo from NeonFresh and Amanda @ Parenting by Dummies both mastered the art of self-deprecating humor. I love them, I laugh my tail off at their posts, and I relate to their stories.
I am not a humor writer, so I stick to what I am excellent at and always push myself farther. I’m more of an encourager. I want my blog to help people, and I hope it does.
12. Take a survey – This might be just the help you need. Roo took one and her readers loved sharing their opinions on her categories and what they loved and didn’t care for. If your blog has barely any interaction at all, think about offering an incentive for filling out the survey – like a chance to win a $15 Amazon.com card.
13. Involve your readers, ask them to help you write it. Ask on Facebook for tips, ideas, and quotes. Then, write that post with their help and when you promote it on Facebook, they are more likely to comment on the completed project!
14. Just keep going! Seriously, getting comments is hard work. This hilarious video from Telling Dad says it very well. So, as Dori says it best, “just keep swimming, swimming swimming! What do we do we SWIM!!”
Now, your turn! Leave me a comment, I will smile if you do.