September 29, 2020
This year I’m participating in Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!
I hope that if you are reading this that you continue to be well and that your area is opening up for business and recreation with social distancing precautions. Our county is off the state’s watch list due to a decrease in COVOD-19 cases. Hoping we can stay that way! Stay safe, blogging buddies!
Which is more important to develop readership, views or comments?
Over the last few months, the challenges have allowed me to improve content and design.
We looked at content gaps in August and now September’s challenge will focus on Developing Readership. We see our visitor and follower stats, but how do we know who is reading and engaging with our content? Is there a way to develop readership?
Our host for this challenge, suggests that comments help develop readership.
In my early days of blogging, I gradually grew braver in my ability to comment on the blogs I follow. I found that it started a conversation that was continued on my own blog as they reciprocated and commented on my blog. Gradually, I found blogs that I had a great deal in common with: 1. open to conversation, 2. enjoyment of similar genres, 3. perhaps in the same life stage/age group, 4. taking the connection one step further to share a post on Twitter, and 5. linking to each other’s content.
Commenting is one of the most practical ways to support your favorite blogger! Every comment brings me joy and is a tried and true strategy for developing readership and increasing engagement!
1. Optimize Comment System
- In order for this to work, commenting needs to be easy. I’ve certainly experienced frustration in trying to comment on a blog post and it just won’t work for some reason. Commenting as a WordPress blogger on another WordPress blog is certainly the easiest. Although there is one WordPress blog I follow that I cannot comment on when I try and comment from the email notification. The comment appears to go through but it never shows up on her end. But when I comment from the WordPress Reader, my comment always goes through. I had about given up when I stumbled on the solution of using the WordPress Reader rather than my email for the point of origin.
- Other times, I will enter all the required information to comment and the processing icon spins and spins and never seems to go through.
- Sometimes, the blog will require you to sign in using FB, Twitter, or Google.
- My tip for bloggers is to keep the commenting process as simple as possible! However, how do we know what the commenting process is like on our own blogs? Maybe an idea would be to set up a group of ten random friends to make a comment on your blog and report back on the process.
- If you have difficulty commenting on my blog, would you let me know?
2. Reply to All Comments
- Honestly, for me the joy of blogging is found in the comment section! The conversation that happens shows that visitors are engaging with your content. When you engage with your commenters, you develop a relationship that encourages commenters to become followers or to return again and again.
- In addition, it’s good manners to reply to someone who takes time to make a comment.
- I try my very best to reply to each comment. If I haven’t replied or your comment doesn’t show up, it’s likely that it has been sent to spam. I try to check my spam folder occasionally, but it’s daunting because hundreds of spam comments are filtered every week into the spam folder. This week I have 700 spam comments to review.
3. SEO and Comments
The host of the Blogging Challenge reminds us that comments become part of our blog content (counts as part of our overall word count) and thus is a part of SEO.
- Keywords: Just like you use keywords in your post, you want to carry through those key words in your comments. Commenters can help you out by using key words, but our reply certainly needs to contain key words. Honestly, I’m so excited to have a comment and to interact that keywords are not on my mind. I need to grow in this area. So for example, a reader might comment, “Great post!” (note no key words). However, when I reply I can use keywords from the post’s title, for example: “I’m happy you found September’s Blog Challenge helpful!” And to encourage the conversation (which also helps SEO), I could add “Do you utilize comments to develop readership?”
- When I comment on other posts, I can do better in remembering to include keywords from the title of their post in my comment because it will be a way to help their SEO.
- If my points here are confusing you, just remember that any comment is gold for the blogger!
- See my entire post on SEO and Keywords here.
4. Stats: Comments Versus Views?
- In my fourth year of blogging, I have decided to pay more attention to the number of blog comments rather than daily/weekly/monthly views. I think engagement is a more true indicator of a blog’s success. Simply because someone has visited your blog doesn’t mean he/she has read your content. Do you agree?
5. Caution: Don’t Be a Link Dropper
- I caution commenters not to be a link dropper. If dropping a link to your own blog is the only reason you are commenting, then it is not an authentic comment and I will not approve the comment. ***Edit to add: Marianne from Let’s Read wonders (in comments) whether leaving a link to your own review of the book being reviewed in the post is appropriate. This certainly is a definite reason to leave a link. I would probably approve the comment if I recognize the blogger from previous comments. This way, I’m assured that the commenter’s main motivation is to add to the conversation and not only to drop a link. Thanks for this question Marianne! Sometimes bloggers request that readers drop links, so it would be acceptable in that case. For Top Ten Tuesdays, it is generally accepted that commenters will drop links to their own TTT post. Sometimes I also request that “own voices” reviewers drop their links in comments. To be a considerate guest, the general rule is don’t drop links unless asked!
- Your blog site should be linked to your avatar, so I can always choose to visit your blog and return the comment. Logging in to comment also gives me the link to your blog. Thanks again to Marianne from Let’s Read for noticing a few months ago that my avatar wasn’t correctly linking to my blog and sticking with me during the troubleshooting process. The blogging community is the best!
October’s Challenge will focus on Social Networking.
I hope you are enjoying this Blog Challenge Series and finding it helpful! Please join the conversation in comments!
Have you thought about using comments to develop readership?
Comments or Questions?
Bloggers might be interested in my recent experience with the WordPress Block Editor:
A Week in the Life of the Block Editor and Me.
Find all the Blog Audit Challenge posts:
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
Let’s Get Social!
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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.
Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.