The next time you’re visiting a blog with lots of comments and you say to yourself, “Gee, I wish I had that kind of relationship with my readers,” take a closer look. The definition of “relationship” is: “The state of being connected.” A large number of comments does not a genuine relationship make.
A blogger can get dozens of comments on every post but that doesn’t mean he’s connected to his readers. It doesn’t even really mean he’s engaging his readers. What are they saying in those comments? If each comment can be boiled down to “Nice post” and adds nothing of value to the conversation, then it’s pretty safe to assume those commentors are only there for the link. Without that link there’s no relationship.
Still, there are bloggers who get dozens, or hundreds, of comments, and those comments all add something to the conversation. You’ll see this a lot on mommy blogs where readers jump in to discuss their favorite recipes or comment on baby pictures or add helpful crafting tips.
Go ahead. Find a mommy blog right now and compare the comments to those you see on a Make Money Online blog. On a mommy blog you’ll see the blogger responding to every comment and the reply often generates even more discussion. On a mommy blog you’ll see commentors actually engaging with each other, as well as the blog owner.
Does this mean women are better at building genuine relationships on their blogs? I wouldn’t dare to hazard a guess, but I think we can take away a few lessons.
1. The relationship starts with the blog owner
Mommy bloggers seem to just naturally write in a conversational tone. They mix in just enough story-telling to make their content engaging and they speak to each reader individually. You can almost feel them looking at you while they’re “talking.”
2. Their posts are always useful and helpful
Mommy bloggers don’t ramble on and on – because they don’t have time. They don’t send you all over their blog to find the information you need – they put everything you need to know right there in that post. And mommy bloggers seem to understand the difference between useful information and self-serving content.
3. Positive interactions
I’ve seen some pretty snarky replies on blogs all over the web, but mommy bloggers are always positive and helpful. If someone asks a question they never belittle the person for asking and they don’t remind them “I addressed this in the first paragraph in THIS POST you moron!”
4. Encourage conversation
Look at the comments on a mommy blog and you’ll see the blog owner joining in to keep the momentum going. They respond to questions and ask more questions.
5. Always building relationships
Some of the comments on a mommy blog are truly amazing. Commentors move from post to post and the conversation moves right along with them. Not only that, but these same people run into each other in their social networks and continue the conversations there. Mommy bloggers are constantly working on building relationships. To them, that’s what blogging’s all about.
6. Return the favor
Mommy bloggers make a concerted effort to visit each other’s blogs and leave real, valuable comments. Not because they want the link, but because it’s the right thing to do.
7. Be graceful
Tell a mommy blogger you didn’t like her post or her advice and she’ll probably reply: “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. What can I do to help? When’s the last time you saw a Make Money Online blogger say that?”
I think the key ingredients to building genuine relationships with your readers are to realize that the relationship starts with you and you actually have to focus on building it, it doesn’t just happen. Take a lesson from the mommy bloggers and start building some genuine relationships of your own.