By Rob Greenberg
Raise Their Voice: 10 Ways to Encourage Your Online Readers to Comment
If it’s true that we live in a tech-heavy, online “global community” where anyone and everyone is empowered to voice their opinions and judgments, then why is it that your blog postings aren’t attracting a single world of feedback from your readership? Are you providing the appropriate platform for audience engagement, or is your blog sending negative signals to would-be critics and commentators? Unless you’re a media icon or international celebrity, engaging your readership can be a difficult task. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a few ideas to get you started on the right path.
Due to the massive number of blogs blanketing the internet, in order to build an active readership, you must first build an atmosphere of legitimacy. No matter how provocative or engaging your text is, a single post every six weeks makes your blog look uninspired and unprofessional. If your work doesn’t exude passion and enthusiasm, don’t expect the same from audiences. Commit to a regular posting schedule in order to ensure that your blog commands respect.
Tip No. 2: Post Articulately
If your blog is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, the actual content will be overlooked. No one is going to spend the time necessary to ponder and respond to your postings if they first have to decode what it is you’re trying to say. A concise, error-free article will immediately enhance the overall professionalism of your efforts.
Tip No. 3: Post Accessibly
Depending upon your desired readership, you should cater to your writing style to match the overall sophistication of the content. If you’re publishing material related to quantum physics, use the appropriate terminology and sentence structure. The same applies to baseball, beginner Japanese classes, and lawn mowing. If the content feels authentic, your readership will be more inclined to respond.
Tip No. 4: Post ‘Interactively’
Don’t turn your blog into an authoritarian podium for your thoughts. If your goal is to encourage meaningful discussion or humorous banter, you will need to make sure your readership feels welcomed. You can use a number of methods to directly approach your audience, including general questions posed to all blog patrons to as well as statements such as “let me know you think” and “I would love to get each of your opinions on..” These human-centric approaches to content creation will quickly begin to improve the conversational tone of your work.
Tip No. 5: Be Charismatic
If your writing style feels like a dissertation, chances are good that your blog’s casual readership will be dropping like flies. If you can’t hook a potential audience member within the first paragraph, don’t expect them to continue reading or comment. In order to improve the social interactivity of your blog, you first have to be sociable yourself.
Tip No. 6: Be Generous
There’s an obvious correlation between a reader’s level of interest in your blog and their propensity to comment. Therefore, if you want your readers to contribute their thoughts, you have to keep them coming back for more, and one way to do this is by lavishing them with interesting online goodies. If your blog is primarily focused on a specific niche or subject, find as much interesting and rare content about the topic in question and offer it to your readers. The more effort they feel you are putting in, the more excited they will be to thank you.
Tip No. 7: Be Thankful
If you do receive a comment or post from a reader, communicate with them! Even if it’s just a simple thank-you note, your readers will enjoy being noticed by one of their favorite blog authors (you.)
Tip No. 8: Be Protective
Watch over your postings with a careful eye in order to ensure that your blog remains a friendly and welcoming place to converse. If you discover evidence of harassment or provocation, take the necessary steps to ensure that those specific users are no longer allowed to continue posting. Hostility can quickly induce silence in would-be commentators.
Tip No. 9: Be Funny
No one wants to read something serious or dense all of the time. Even if your niche is “intellectual,” don’t forget to lighten the mood occasionally. It will definitely help instill a sense of “community” among your readers.
Tip No. 10: Be Yourself
Although we’re all relatively anonymous online, your readers will be able to tell more about your personality than you think. Don’t try to be an authority in something you’re not, and allow yourself to make mistakes and acknowledge them later. Blog readers aren’t always looking for an expert. Sometimes they’re just looking for a friend. And we all know what we do with friends; we communicate.
*Bonus Tip! Invite Comments! Please let us know what you think about this blog below!
Rob Greenberg works as a consultant at the www.plagiarismdetect.com plagiarism detection service