Comments: Why They’re Still Relevant & How to Get the Most Out of Them
How To Interpret Blog Comments And Get The Most Out Of Them
When you’ve poured your heart and soul, your entire essence for that matter, into your blog, you expect likes, shares and comments. It’s an author’s life blood; it’s expected. You write content; it reaps comment.
But what happens when your content is judged purely by how many comments it has under its bed, how many shares it has sent off into the ether with a jovial wave and how many likes, God forbid if there aren’t any, it has on show.
The last two ingredients are a given if you’re lucky. But the first integral drop of sinister sauce is reeking with a reputation that has been tainted by spam. Oh, they’re out there, the spammers that upon a blog’s comment section, overflows with free-for-all allow me to show you, my … And sometimes, for some people, that’s as good as it gets and as their chin plummets to the floor, they’re asking themselves, is it really worth all the time and the soul searching it takes to write a blog?
You’re damn right it is and don’t you let anyone sway you otherwise. Comments are gold, and they’re opinions, and they’re learning curves, and you can call them what you like, but when you are inundated with comments that are relevant to your blog, you’ve got a nugget. As you’re introducing your brand, people are becoming engaged, and they reply to your content from wherever they are in the ether, on whatever platform they’re using. Blog comments travel across the daises of social media and bam! they’re there awaiting your response. These are comments that keep you in tune with your customers. They are the breath in your product because you are the product of the product. Without your blog, without your input and passion, there would be no product.
Thus the comment, which all encompassing, arguably the most direct method of engagement between you and your future client is the string of words they’ve left for you. Never let it be said that the blog without passion and focus and soul is a blog lost on the spammers. And if you’re still not convinced, we’re going to go for a walk in the park and pluck from the branches of the overhanging trees, some of the reasons why you need to care and interpret and not belatedly, milk every last lesson you can out of them.
Blog Comments are the reason Why You Need to Care
There’s something endearing about blog comments. They’re commendable for their caring feedback, and they can evoke some of the most memorable arguments … seriously, though, they are the source of feedback that will make or break a product. People are awfully honest on ‘paper’. More so on the white screen than they find they can be face to face, but the message is clear. And it’s here you can also employ the humble screen, ditch your fear of being over zealous, too shy, coy or whatever it is that prevents you from being truthful. Just be truthful and forthcoming with your gratitude and thanks. And mean it. There are three logical reasons why you need to wave ta-ta to your prejudice and start to truly interact with your visitors. Comments come from the Real World and as virtual as our world has become, comments are important and they are coming from real people.
1. Comments Relay A Sense Of Caring
It’s like Christmas the first time when you’ve poured out your soul on a blog, and you return to find you’ve got comments. It makes your day seem worth your effort and it’s a proverbial reminder that there are real people who truly give a rip about what you’re talking about. It’s called gratitude, and it’s expended when you return thanks to those who paused long enough to say, ‘Hey I care about your product’, which equates to, ‘I care about you. But there’s more. It’s the reason why you wrote it in the first place. It’s the care factor that generated a care factor in those people who, within their communities are building interaction. It’s a slow manual process but then when you think about it, so was your blog. When you touch upon an emotional reactor, you’re in for some pretty serious blog building comments that are guaranteed to ‘whoosh’ you right out into the stratosphere because you cared and your readers care.
On the other side of the mountain; if your blog elicits no comments whatsoever, then you’re facing that serious discussion you’ve got to have with yourself. A blog reaches into the heart of the emotion. A blog tells it like it is, warts and all and if you’re selling a product and you’re not a product of that product, so much so that your passion isn’t showing, then if I were you, I’d quit writing because you’re wasting a whole lot of time.
2. Getting Engaged
Get in there and get engaged. The comments are invitations to engage with your readers as they are sending silent messages that are saying, ‘I want to engage with you.’ Every door that opens has a reason for it being ajar in the first place. Ever noticed how a blog is so busy your head is spinning with a healthy dose of information overload? That page is so engaging that you’ve got visitors commenting with visitors. You’ve got a freight train travelling full speed through a mountain tunnel that every passenger on board is looking and hoping for the answer when they see the light at the end of it.
That’s what it’s all about. Sharing information and opening doors that let in more of the same. When you’re engaged, and it shows, your dynamics are going to launch like fireworks on Guy Falks night. You’re going to establish patterns with regulars that you never imagined were possible. But they are, and they exist because you had the nous and the wherewithal to interpret what the messages are really saying.
And do you know what the timeless reward for all this work is? It’s the recognition you’re going to bask in when your regulars return for more content. It’s the realisation that they come back because they’re compelled to return. It’s the knowing that for once, you’ve hit a goal and you’re going to carry it as far as it needs to go.
3. Leave A Social Footprint
It’s time to kick off your shoes and leave a real footprint where it matters most. Your community matters and while you’re writing, because you care about what you’re writing about, you’re creating a network of people who give a damn.
You’ll gain valuable feedback, and you’ll garner support through a network of people who feel the same way as you. And if that same support group deems your content worthy of their peers they’re not going to hesitate to share it. Sharing is a part of life, and it’s a part of the plan to get your word out there. Social media is one of those routes where your followers will more than likely spruik about your posts but if you’re not set up, and social media is an option why not have a peek at the Monarch Social Sharing Plugin, or the Divi theme itself. Not for a moment does social media possess that one-stop-and-you’re-done button; it’s not the magical be all and end all that manifests more visitors, but it is a platform that does give you a helping hand, particularly if you’re just starting out.
Getting to know Them
Comments are a language that gives you insight into what your readers are thinking. With all the analytics solutions available, particularly for WordPress users, there are ways and means that provide the necessary information you need in order to fine-tune every single aspect of your blog’s management. And while you’re there, pause to read what your visitors are saying to you. Without blatantly asking who your readers truly are, which is unethical and altogether rude, your comments base is a goldmine in disguise. Analyse what sort of content stirs the heart beat, ditch the content that doesn’t and read between the lines of the comments your posts are generating. And don’t forget to don that thick skin, because there are times when you’re going to need it. While you’re wearing it, wear it with empathy but don’t ignore the distasteful and unpleasant comments. Politely reply and take note. Believe it or not, somewhere in that bunch of stressful words is a message that holds the inspiration for a new article.
Getting the Most out of Comments You’ve got the care factor burning, but it’s not going to be sufficient. Three are three valuable ways to harness the benefits of what you’ve written about, and the rewards are worth it. Your aim now is to advance from a few inevitable spammy comments to a conversation that piques further interest and leaks into the minds of other readers. And you do that by inviting interaction. People love to leave their mark.
1. Invite Interaction
Use specific questions to launch new discussions that will compliment rather than hinder the subject you’ve introduced. The quality of your content should make a call to action in any case.
A perfect example is the 50 Creative Commons Images for Business Websites article that regardless of the title, managed to attract a storm of comments. Readers were asked to offer tips for finding Creative Commons images, and while a couple offered their own site recommendations there were some powerful questions relating to image usage specifics.
2. Ask Them What They Think
Don’t ever, for one minute assume you are more knowledgeable about a particular subject. There will always be somebody who knows a little more about your topic than you do. Therein lies the opportunity to learn a little more about it. And it’s a welcome aside.
Encouraging input will compel readers to offer different view points all of which will be valuable keys to consider when next you expand on your chosen topic. And if you happen to make an error, the correction comments will be more welcome than a hindrance.
3. Be Conversant
Get in there and get involved with the discussion. Many content writers thank a reader for his comments but don’t engage in a riveting conversation about a pivotal point they may have made. Big mistake. Not the thank you part, but the part where you ignored the opportunity to get in and really talk about the topic. You don’t need to care-take ensuring you’re there at the moment the comment appears just so you can answer it immediately, but it helps to keep the continuity of a discussion. If you can’t be bothered to invest yourself personally after the job is done, you really can’t expect your readers to leave a comment in an ’empty’ room. People do not enjoy being ignored. Once you’ve got a continuity established the reward is the enjoyment you’ll garner from the comments of the people who enjoy reading your content and who look forward to your next article.
Let’s Wrap it
It’s not going to happen overnight. You know creation takes time, and people take the time to read and to trust what you’re offering whether it be a product, an opinion or assistance. But if you genuinely make an effort to let your readers know you value their input, you’re bound to reap the rewards. It’s just a part of an unspoken very accepted law. Have you got an opinion you’d like to share? Has a reader left an insightful comment on your WordPress blog that incited some serious conversation?
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