Comment Interaction: You Should Always Respond To Readers’ Comments
If you already respond to comments on your blog you might be tempted to skip this article, but don’t be too hasty. I’m going to cover a few ideas you can use to amp up the comment activity on your blog.
Why It’s Important To Respond To Comments On Your Blog
Responding to comments lets your readers know there’s a real person behind the blog. It also shows your readers you care about your community. And when new visitors see that you take the time to respond to comments, they’re more likely to join in the conversation.
All that comment activity acts as social proof that your blog is popular. It makes your blog a little stickier because nobody ever likes to be the first to share or comment and nobody likes to be the only one following a blog. But once they find out there’s a crowd developing, they want to be a part of it.
Responding to comments also makes your readers feel more comfortable asking questions because they know you’re going to be around to answer, so you can get post ideas for your blog if you pay attention to the comments. Instead of guessing at topics, you’ll be answering real questions, which makes your content that much more valuable to your readers.
How To Respond To Comments On Your Blog
Bloggers have all these rules about the kinds of comments they allow, and the number one rule is it must add value to the conversation. Most bloggers would never allow a “Thanks! Nice post!” comment because it adds nothing to the conversation and it’s obviously just a drive-by link-drop.
Yet, when they respond to comments, both bloggers don’t think twice about saying, “Thanks for commenting! Stop back again!”
The comments you leave on your own blog should be treated just like the comments you leave on other blogs: They should add value to the conversation and, most important, they should help to move the conversation forward.
- Don’t just thank the commentor, ask a question.
- Don’t just answer a question, ask one, too.
- If you can’t think of anything to say, visit the commentor’s blog for ideas and then come back and … ask another question.
- Ask questions of the people you’re replying to
- Ask questions for commentors who come after you
Forward Momentum Equals New Subscribers
Most blogging platforms allow readers to subscribe to the comment thread on a specific post and many readers subscribe for just this reason. They’ve left a comment and they’re waiting to see if anyone responds. And if it’s a great conversation they want to see every comment, not just your reply to theirs.
So go forth today and respond to comments on your own blog and move that conversation forward. And then report back here and move this conversation forward, too.
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