Some of my best ideas have come to me after reading the comments.
Sometimes those comments are on my own blog and sometimes they’re on someone else’s.
Sometimes it’s not even a relevant niche but the comment sparks an idea I can make relevant for my readers.
Out of ideas today?
Go read the comments – anywhere.
Comments On Your Own Blog
Comments on your own blog are the best place to start because those are your readers, the people you most need to please. If someone asked a question on one of your recent posts, don’t just reply right there in the comments – turn it into a new post.
Most of your readers only read the comments the day the read the post. If they return at all it’s only to see if you answer their question, not someone else’s. And chances are, if one reader has a question, other readers also have that same question.
Write a brief reply to the comment and then create a detailed blog post. Don’t forget to mention the questioner’s name to earn even more reader loyalty.
Comments On Relevant Blogs
I once had a reader leave a comment that was longer than my post – and she was another blogger.
First, I replied to her and suggested that it would have made more of an impact if she’d written it up as a post on her own blog and then linked to it from her comment. You should do the same.
If you’re tempted to leave a post-length comment somewhere, don’t. Write it up as a post for your own blog instead. Why give that other blog’s readers the benefit of all your wisdom. Make them come to your own blog if they want the whole story.
In this particular case her comment actually criticized my post. I have pretty thick skin and I can take a disagreement, but for another blogger who considers herself a professional, I thought it was pretty tacky to hijack my post. So I turned that into another blog post about comment etiquette.
Always pay attention to what’s going on in your comments. After that whole affair was over I had added a few hundred new subscribers and she walked away with egg on her face.
Comments On Non-Relevant Blogs
I read lots of non-relevant blogs and I’m sure you do, too. Watch for comments you can turn into relevant content. For example, a few months ago I read an article about Pope Benedict XVI and someone mentioned in the comments that he’d just start using Twitter. So I found his Twitter account and used him as an example of how non-profits could benefit from using social media marketing.
When you pay closer attention to the comments you learn what readers are really looking for. Sure, bloggers do keyword research and talk about current trends, but that doesn’t always jive with what your readers want to know. Use your comments for inspiration the next time you’re struggling with writer’s block.