What most bloggers do is to try and attract as much traffic to their blogs as possible, since the number of page views and visitors are both quantifiable and attractive to advertisers.
Still, had you asked a very successful blogger about it, he’d probably argue that calculating such figures is not that important. Instead, he would advise you to create a community around the blog.
The first thing you’ll be supposed to do is to offer high-quality content and to gain few outstanding comments. In order to make things easier for you, we’ve gathered some essential issues you need to consider.
Why is it that you still don’t have comments?
Instead of listing imperative to-dos for creating a commented blog right away, we’re going to start from the very beginning and help you develop an approach towards the issue.
To start with, bloggers often make the mistake to perceive comments as something they’re supposed to chase and force to happen, but that’s far from the truth. Commenting comes as a consequence of validated content, and readers do it voluntarily.
If they want, they will comment, and that’s the only fact you should be concerned about. Their volition is simply driven by well-delivered content, which invokes a reaction both when being outstandingly good and catastrophically bad. Therefore, start by increasing the quality of your content, instead of trying to guess whether people will comment it or not.
Involve readers with your writing
We all have this experience – we’ve been to epic concerts or witnessed someone’s amazing speech or performance, and we’ve all felt so overwhelmed that we wanted to applaud and shout out of appreciation.
When thinking of ways to make your content attractive, think of the above-mentioned reaction. Your words are supposed to encourage, motivate, or challenge people, or cause any feeling that can inspire them to comment. Think of storytelling to shape your content.
Once again, it doesn’t go further than good content.
Take interaction into account
Interaction is one of your basic reasons for running a blog, so begin your posts in the spirit of conversation. Then, if you manage to start such, take it seriously and don’t let it hang in the air.
Don’t neglect any comment coming from your visitors, and respond as fast and professional as you can. It doesn’t have to be a formal novel-like letter, but rather a message of acknowledgment and appreciation for people’s presence. Their comments are favors, so do your best to respond.
The worst thing that could possibly happen is for the author to ignore interaction since he will discourage all other participants from continuing with it. On the other hand, a fast and committed commenter will run a blog with a considerable reputation, right because he took the time to respond to every comment.
When you reply to a comment, make sure users know about it
Communication is most of the time lost because users leave a comment and have no idea whether somebody has replied to it or not. Obviously, they have the chance to bookmark the page, but it is really only a few of them that do it.
What you could to is to invite users to subscribe to comments and send response notifications on their emails.
Once this becomes your habit, you’ll have your awaited engaged community even before you’ve realized it. Think of making it possible to comment through emails and social media!
Allow comments on old posts too
Once posts are off the daily schedule, most bloggers disable their comments in order to reduce spam. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that those posts will still be relevant to some users, and they will be interested in commenting on them long after they’d abandoned the spotlight.
This takes neither time nor effort to achieve since you’re already moderating your comments and it will take you a single click to achieve your goal.
Just go to Settings » Discussion and then scroll to the bottom of the comments section. Disable the box ‘Automatically close comments on articles older than X days’, and it will be done.
Make room for controversy
A blog isn’t exactly the type of networking where you want to share technical facts, but a corner for sharing your own opinion about something. Don’t be afraid to tell what you think because someone may not like it – in fact, disliking is probably the easiest way to trigger a discussion. Don’t be tempted by the possibility to be questioned and opinionated: you’re already in a position that allows you to claim you have more expertise in something than random users do, and that’s exactly how people perceive you. Challenge them, raise questions, and confront them! Everything is better than staying behind the curtain!
Be open and easy going, and people will perceive you as a friendly blogger who likes to chat with them.
In the online world, blogs are not information portals, but an innovative form of human communication that goes both ways. You listen, you respond, and you consider even comments where there is nothing to be responded to. Controversy may not be truth’s best friend, but it is far more likely to trigger emotions.
Nevertheless, do this only for trends and topics that fall within the scope of your competence, because that’s the only way for you to write freely and confidently.
Be thankful for positive comments
Good comments ought to be rewarded, and there are few good ways to do that. You can send users email congratulation, re-tweet and quote their comment, or tag them when commenting the issue with someone else. This will make them feel important, and will invite them to comment again.
Develop a mechanism for rating comments
Having a powerful comment rating mechanism was the driving force behind successful social media, which already indicates that the practice can mean a lot to your business too. After a while, readers will be so engaged that they will do the moderation work on your behalf.
Distinguish comments from pingbacks
Pingbacks showcase the connection of your blog to other blogs and explain a big deal of why your blog is popular and readable. Still, pingbacks don’t have to be a part of every comment – you can simply remove them from the body and group them afterward.
Add value to your writing
It’s easier said than done, but you have to stick to it in order to motivate users to spend time on your blog. It is no secret that time is money, and due the fact readers are spending it on you, you have to deliver valuable content to make it worth.
Readers appreciate good content right away, and they make this visible by their comments. Low-quality content, on the other hand, repulses users and can result in a batch of negative comments on your account. No emotion is still the worst option you’ve got – readers won’t learn anything from your article, and they will forget about it the very same moment.
Valuable content ensures better interaction, and it is very likely to turn you into a leader in your niche. While writing your posts write them as if somebody was about to pay for them. You will immediately think of ways to give something in return.