The best way to keep your visitors browsing your blog for longer periods of time and coming back to it more often is to encourage commenting. Turning the passive Internet user into one that participates and has something to contribute is the ultimate goal that all bloggers should strive towards. Here are five excellent methods that you can use in order to encourage communication in the comments section of your blog posts.
End with a question
This is one of the surefire ways to spark some communication. Ask a question at the end of your blog post that your readers will be likely to be able to and want to answer. For example, if you are writing a blog post about the best iPhone apps for travelers, pose a question at the end such as “What are your favorite apps when travelling? Have we missed any?” This will get people engaged and will likely encourage a bunch of good comments that will not only result in good comments, but maybe even potential ideas for another blog. Another good idea is to bold that question at the end, so that your readers see it even if they are just skimming through the blog itself.
Reply to comments regularly
Internet users who comment on blog posts want to know that their comments have been seen and taken into consideration. Be sure to answer comments made on your blog posts regularly in order to let your readers know that you are participating in the conversation actively. If possible, don’t just say “thanks for the comment,” try to continue the conversation. You can thanks them first and then maybe ask another question to continue the thread. If you have an option on your blog for sending the user and email every time someone respond to one of their comments, be sure to turn that option on, because it is yet another great way to keep them coming back and to make sure that they have no forgotten about that blog post.
Allow visitors to promote themselves
Of course, no one wants spammers to invade their blogs. Keeping irrelevant comments that are obviously spam on your blog does not help your cause; it makes you look desperate for comments. Delete these obvious spammers, but give real readers the option to promote themselves. Allow them to enter their website and perhaps Twitter handle into their comment, so that if their words make them look like someone interesting or someone who knows what they are talking about, people can find out more about them. The possibility of having people notice them and their personal blogs or businesses will encourage your readers to make their comments intriguing and well-crafted.
Don’t be afraid of controversy
Naturally, we are not suggesting that you turn your tech blog into a celebrity gossip blog, but there is nothing wrong with throwing in some edgier content every now and then. The best way to do this is with attention-grabbing blog post titles. For example, instead of calling your blog “10 Marketing Tactics That Don’t Work in Promoting Your Blog” call it “10 Promotional Tactics That Make You Look Stupid as a Blogger.” Don’t be afraid to step out of your shell and write blog titles that will get you more clicks. There’s also nothing wrong with baiting readers into discussions by presenting a topic that you know will attract many opinionated people. “Android vs. iPhone” and “Mac vs. PC” blog posts are good examples of blog post topics that are sure to inspire heated debates.
Keep your content varied
There is nothing less interesting than a blog that is predictable. Reviewing online tools or apps is great, but if a majority of your blog posts are lists like this, people will know what to expect and lose interest. By keeping your content uniform, you are also streamlining your readership. You need to try to keep your content varied and interesting. Some people like lists and short comments, other people like to read posts in paragraphs that read like a diary entry. A good way to keep your content varied if you feel that you don’t really have a lot of difference writing styles to offer is to encourage guest posting on your blog. Many of your readers are probably bloggers themselves, and offering them a backlink to their blog for a quality guest post is a good way to keep your blog posts different and unpredictable.
Engaging your readers and turning your blog into an online community is the goal of every Internet entrepreneur and getting them to comment on your posts and keep coming back for more interesting conversation is a really good start towards achieve that goal.
Guest article written by: Cindy Pearson is a blogger at the PDF Converter blog. She loves all things Internet and technology-related and enjoys sharing computer tips and tricks with the tech-savvy masses.