Sunday, January 30, 2011
"Houston We Have a Problem!" 7 Reasons readers don't comment
Let's be real here. For most bloggers, comments left on our posts are the equivalent of a thank you card from a customer or client. Or finding an extra 20 dollar bill in the pocket of some old jeans, or roses for no reason, or a love note from Keanu Reeves.
Okay, well maybe that last one was just me.
But, the bottom line is that it serves as a bonus to the joys of blogging.
And why wouldn't it be? Who wants to write day in and day out and not "connect?"
It kinda' defeats the purpose of "going public" with our "journals." Hello?
Simply stated, comments are like a vote for what we're doing. They serve to validate that we're being heard and that we're on track with our efforts.
They are also seen as a metric for success.
Don't believe me? I recently remember reading the Blog of a "celebrity" blogger, where he stated that if he lands at a site where there are little to no comments, he doesn't even bother to stay, because there are no signs of life there. Or look at it this way: would you stay at a party if when you arrived there were only 2 or 3 people, and nobody was dancing? Probably not.
Of course there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, if you've been blogging for a year or less, don't fret. Building a community of commenters takes time.
Or if your comments feature button is "disabled" by choice or chance, then this does not apply.
But if you've been at it for 13 months or more and have just 2-4 comments on your posts, (regularly) Houston, there's a problem. Don't personalize it. Just address it. :-)
Let's do some collective trouble shooting today.
Here are some common reasons readers are not connecting through comments.
Or as I like to call them, the Seven Deadly Sins...
1. They have to jump through hoops! I hate it when blogs require that I "register", type in a code, check a box that I agree to the conditions and a bunch of other baloney. Don't you?
2. There are already too many comments, (most of us can only wish to have this problem, right?) :-). At the hot spots with the big time bloggers, I don't even bother to add my 2 cents if there are already 50+ comments before me. It takes too long, and after the first 49 or so, nobody is really that interested.
3. There are too few comments. Very few folks like to be the first one to speak up, or to voice their opinions if they feel like it won't be really heard.
4. You're asleep at the wheel. Your content is not "connecting." Either because your post is too abstract, or not conversational in tone, or way too long, or simply not interesting. Then there are those who simply can't relate to your material. Ask yourself...is your message universal enough?
5. You didn't ask for input. For instance, there was no question posed at the end of your post. Or there was no problem to be solved, or no "ah-ha" moment of which to relate.
6. You're not cultivating good karma in the blogosphere. From my experience, when you stop by and say hi at other sites, typically folks will reciprocate. But not always. (See my post on "Blog Snobs" for details).
7. There's not enough "take-away" value. Consider--Did you make them laugh? Teach something new? Tug at their heart strings? Provide resources?
Take inventory. Value your time and your readers' time by creating content that inspires conversation, recreation, and participation. You can do it!
IMAGE Michal Marcol