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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

How to get readers to leave comments

One of my readers left a comment over here, asking how to encourage people to leave comments on her website. I've been thinking about that ever since I read her comment.

One of the things which I really appreciate is the fact that with almost every one of my entries, someone comments on it. It shows that they're interested in what I have to say and that gives me a warm feeling deep down in the cockles of my heart. I'm yet to analyse which of my entries get the most comments, and why. That'll be a project for me to check out soon, when I come up with a new section - 'most popular posts', which will be based on how many comments the posts get.

Back to the topic... how to get readers leaving comments? I think the method is to first, not alienate your readers. Make sure that you write in a language that's familiar, that's more like how you talk to your friends and acquaintances, rather than how you think you should be writing.

Second, don't worry about people leaving comments. Get yourself a statistics meter like SiteMeter or something, which will allow you to see the number of people visiting your site. This will give you confidence, at least, that you're getting visitors. That's a good thing.

If you're not getting visitors, then you need to do two things: 1) put your blog into a number of directories and search engines that will increase your exposure. 2) POST MORE! You won't get readers coming to your site or coming back if you're not posting anything. You need to be posting often, and posting about stuff that's likely to inspire your readers to interact with you about it.

One of the biggest turn offs for me when I visit blogs is reading crap about daily activities. I don't want to know what people ate for dinner, or what they did when their friends came over. I don't want to know running commentaries about the daily trivialities of life. I want to read about how the writer's experiences have helped him learn something. I want to read about how the writer's life has been changed or enhanced by whatever it is they're writing about. I want to read about how the writer's feelings have been influenced by their experiences.

Everyone has experiences, but it's how we deal with those experiences that really matters, and it's how those experiences make us feel that has such an impact on us. I want to read about the impact those experiences have had.

I know there's blogs for all kinds of reasons, catering to all kinds of interests, and what excites me may be something that completely bores someone else. Each to their own. I'm referring, above, to the more personal blogs, where people talk about their lives and stuff.

Life is mostly boring, but you know what? Everyone has a story. The challenge is to find a way of relating that story to others, in a way that they can relate to and find interesting. It's a challenge that's not for everyone, and not everyone that tries it finds it rewarding. But the fear of writing something boring should never stop anyone from trying, 'cause only through practice and learning about what works and what doesn't, will one find success at writing.

For me, Life Through My Eyes is about what inspires me, excites me, aggravates me, relaxes me, outrages me and helps me. Everything I see, feel or do that somehow makes my life more interesting, is something that I try to write about in a way that might make other people's lives just that litte bit more interesting as well. If you can write with that in mind, your blog will become something that people will enjoy coming back to, and making comments on.

Posted on 1/17/2006 01:22:00 PM Backlinks


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(C) Alan Howard 1998 - 2006