Comment Box: Use It To Cultivate Relationships & Grow Your Blog
When we blog and when we post comments through a blog’s comment box, we open up ourselves to people in the internet and social media.
This means, more often than not, each of us look for ways to build some sort of connections and form stronger relationship with our target readers.
There are quite a lot of ways to build strong relationships online through blogging, writing a good and interesting content is one thing, and there are lots of ways to write posts that will leave your readers no other choice but use the comment box below your post.
But this post will focus on the blog comments section, a.k.a. “the comment box“, which is often misunderstood and believe it or not, a very underutilized approach.
There’s a huge disparity between getting readers in a large audience, and getting readers from a relatively lesser (still big) audience who are extremely passionate. The most effective way to connect with these readers is to take the long-term approach. However, unfortunately, not so many people do it. Most of the time, many writers/bloggers simply say “yeah, I will definitely do that… in the future” and then they forget about it or intentionally don’t do it.
Cultivating relationships with your readers starts with putting value to each and every one of them. This is where the importance of “comment box” comes to play.
By the end of this entry, you may say that most of the things I’ve said are pretty much common sense. But as we all know, common sense, especially in this new kind of communication platform, may not be so common at all, which needs to be thoroughly discussed.
Using Comment Box To Build Relationships With Your Target Readers
The Comments Section of your blog, also known as the comment box, and any other blog, is one of the best places in blogs to start and foster strong relationships with your audience and readers, and even receive suggestions, feedbacks and criticisms. If you get a lot of good comments through your comment box, say comprehensive, long and in-depth comments, well, that’s a good sign that you’re doing good with your blog and your message resonates to the message that you want to deliver in your post. When you get criticism and negative feedback, don’t feel bad, rather, welcome those things as constructive criticisms. These things will only make you a better writer. Plus, you can’t please everybody, and it’s not your duty to please everybody in every post you make. There will always be people out there who will contradict or don’t like or believe in what you say. That’s completely okay, as we all have our different views in particular subject matters and topics.
But before we get into you own comment box, let’s start with how you reach readers and other bloggers in your niche – by leaving comments in their comment box first.
Using Other Bloggers’ Comment Box to Build and Cultivate Relationships
Know That No One Knows About Your Blog
You can have the most beautifully-written content and most helpful things to offer in your niche, and still not get enough readers or not get any readers at all. The first thing you should be concerned about is exposure of your blog.
Your target audience and readers will not magically stumble upon your blog, see your posts, and leave comments in the comment box. Like most things in life, you have to earn it. To get people to read and leave comments in your blog with your comment box, you need to leave comments in their blogs first. This is where you “add value” to your target audience, which will they eventually do to you in return as well. It’s like an unwritten rule in blogging.
Give Fellow Bloggers in Your Niche A Helping Hand
1. Read Their Blog Before Using Their Comment Box
This may be too obvious, but a lot of bloggers out there, when they leave comments in a comment box, assume they can just say anything – a one liner such as: “awesome post“, “I love reading your stud” or “thanks for this post, truly helpful“. and leave the link of their website and blogsite. If you want to be able to leave a good comment, you should first take time to read the blog.
2. Leave a Thoughtful Comment
The next thing you need to do to get people to use the comment box under your blog posts is to leave a thoughtful comment. Focus on the idea that you want to give that person and his/her blog post “value” that he/she deserves.
3. Lend A Helping Hand, But Don’t Be A Know-It-All
Though its good to strike a nerve and get out of your shell in leaving comments. Over-doing it will make you sound a know-it-all, which can easily get weary and hinder their desire to communicate with you even further, as you would sound like you’re tying to pick a fight.
4. Send the Blogger Emails About Your Opinion In His or Her Post
You appreciate the author’s write up, but you think he or she missed out something that is quite important and worth mentioning, or you have a different perspective you thought will help the author understand the subject matter better. Rather than bragging in their comment box that you know better, you can send the author an email that says something like:
Hi, my name is (insert your name), a blogger as well. I saw your post and left a comment. It was a very interesting read, and I love some of the points you raised. However, I thought you may have missed one important point. I know an interesting article that might help.
This kind email will give the receiver a good impression of you, and if you come to think of it, the message shows you’re not asking for anything. If he or she is appreciative enough, he will thank you for your help, or even keep the ball rolling by presenting more things to you that you might want or need to know as well. From there, all things can happen, and is a surefire way to make engagement and establish relationship with other bloggers and readers within your niche.
5. Ask Questions
In blogging, you will have a lot of chances to help people understand and do specific things right. One good way to help them is to not just simply answer their questions, but more importantly to ask follow up question that they may be missing and help them sort things out. Also, when you ask follow up questions in your answer, you show people, not just the one you replied to, but more importantly, other readers in your blog, that you care about them and what to help them in every way you can.
6. Be Real
I can’t stress the importance of being honest and genuine when looking to build relationships with your audience/readers. You can’t just leave a comment that says:
Great post! Really helpful
or a short comment that says:
Good read, visit my blog (insert link here) too, and leave your comments!
If you want to lose reputation and look spammy, well, you can do those things, but if you want genuine readers and genuine comments, you should take time reading their blog posts as well and give them helpful comments, or even give some tips (assuming that you know and good at the topic presented in the post) and encourage them in their journey. People online can easily spot a spammy comment. Last thing you want is to be branded as spammer. If there’s already a long thread of comments, then read the comments and respond if you can accordingly. If you find it difficult to say anything, and you’re not confident that your comment will make sense and keep the ball of conversation rolling in the comment box, then you’re better off not engaging with them at all.
7. You Should Never Have Any Hidden Agenda
Last and definitely not the least, when leaving comment in other people’s blog never expect anything in return. Well, this doesn’t mean that you can’t hope for a good result, or some great opportunities to show up along the way. This simply means that, don’t reach out people just because you think you can get something significant from them in return. Let people know you really care about engagement and relationship cultivation by helping them in whatever you can in the comment box section. Let them know they can ask things from you. If you want them to return the favor, don’t ask it. Rather, give them the link/s to your blog/posts and where they can find you. They will come find you on their own.
8. Be Very Specific In Your Compliments
If you truly love the blog post, and you want to tell the author about it, then be very specific in your compliments. Point out the things that you love and how it impressed you, along with your opinion and additional thoughts. This shows that you really took the time to read his or her post. Also, It may not seem that much, but a little encouragement can go a long way in social media, so don’t hesitate to be encourage when you’re posting a comment through a comment box.