Tag: blogging

Get More Blog Comments and Foster Community with These 3 Steps

Blog If you've been around the blogosphere for a while, you've probably experienced both of the following situations: SITUATION #1: Comment Overload You read a great post and want to comment on it (to either contribute a thought or note your appreciation), so you scroll down to the comments and — BAM! There are already 1,277 others, and most of them are spam. You think, "My comment will never been seen amidst all of this. I'll just leave, or I'll email my feedback directly to the writer." SITUATION #2: Comment Denial You read a great post and want to comment on it (to either contribute a thought or note your appreciation), so you scroll down to where the comments section should be, and — wait a minute, where are the comments?! You think, "Clearly this person doesn't want feedback here. I'll move on." Slide1 When we're talking about your blog, neither situation is a good one. If people feel like commenting on a post or contributing a thought is impossible or pointless, they may stop engaging with your content altogether. But at the same time, you don't want to be that person who deletes comments, even if you're only deleting spam. So what do you do? Here are 3 tips for managing the comments section of your blog so that people feel encouraged to engage and contribute:

1. Turn on the moderation feature for your comments section.

If you learn only one thing from this post, learn this: the comments section of your blog is an invaluable tool for creating a community around your site. (TWEET THIS) That being said, you don't want to have the comments section flooded with spam, or users will start to avoid it like the plague. So how do you rectify this? It's as simple as flipping a switch, actually. Most blogging platforms have a moderation feature that requires administrator approval of each comment before it shows up on the blog. This does take time, but it can be done in an efficient way. Here are some tips for properly moderating your comments section: Slide2
  • Only deny spam comments. If it's relevant to your post (even if it's negative), let it pass through. This shows good faith on your part and allows you to address any qualms users may have with your content.
  • Moderate at the right times. If a users visits your blog a few hours after it's shared and there are no comments, it may deter that user from commenting. To make sure this doesn't happen, approve new comments 1 hour, 5 hours, 12 hours, and 24 hours after posting. After that, moderate every hour until you have new content. Each approval session should take up no more than 5 minutes of your time.
  • Delegate moderation. It's a simple task, and one that can be given to someone with a less full plate. If you have an intern or writer whose judgment you trust, give that person the job of moderating the comments. You can always reply to relevant ones later on.

2. Include a specific question at the end of your post.

Just as all advertisements should have a call-to-action, so should blog posts if you want action to be taken. By including a question at the bottom of your post, you at least force your readers to answer the question in their own minds, bringing them one step closer to actually commenting. And by including an imperative verb like "comment" or "tell us" along with the question, you give them a venue to express the answer they just thought of. Here are some examples of great calls-to-action: Slide3

3. Write posts around polarized or controversial topics.

Now, read this carefully: we are not telling you to alienate anyone. Political, religious, and personal content is probably still off the table (depending on your brand). But do you have an opinion on the Apple vs. Samsung situation? Can you provide an interesting point of view regarding the use of profanity in marketing? Is twerking somehow relevant to your target audience? Then write about it. You will probably get more comments on these posts than on any others. People will have opinions, and you will have to listen to them and address them accordingly. But if you go there and do so appropriately, you may be able to develop a space where readers feel they can be heard and contribute to a conversation, which is a powerful thing. Be sure to progress tastefully and tactfully when dealing with polarized or controversial topics. Tread lightly, and prepare for ultra-high engagement. Whatever the topic of your blog, there are topics and methods that can help boost the number of comments you get. By following these steps, you can encourage engagement and help build community faster than ever before.   About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

Top 10 Indispensable Tips on How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level

Blogging is a great outlet to provide information, promote your business and establish relationships with your readers. Whatever the reason you have a blog, it’s important that your blog has a purpose and is written for a specific audience. So, how do you take your blog to the next level? Avid bloggers, Chris Brogan and Michael Pollock have identified some great tactics to get you there. I’ve broken down the top 10, so check them out:  1.  Write with purpose: First and foremost you must have an objective for your blog. It's important to have a focus and think about what you want your readers to get out of it, what you can do for them, and what you want them to do after reading your blog. 2. Give them a purpose: Okay so you’ve provided your readers with all of this information, now what? Extract the insights for your readers and let them know what to do next. It’s better to provide your readers with content that’s helpful versus thoughtful. Give them a reason to read your blog and a reason to come back for more. 3. Know how people read: Put your best information first. If they like what they read, they’ll keep reading. People want information fast, so make it easy for them to get through your post. Bold the first sentence of paragraphs and lead with a strong sentence. Break up the post and make it easy for your readers to skim through and understand what they’re going to get out of it. 4. Be Brief: The key is to keep your blog short and simple. No one wants to read long complicated paragraphs. They want the facts, so be short and direct. 5. Ask Questions: This is a great way to get your readers thinking and involved in what you’re talking about. It’s important to make the question relevant to the reader and to ask thought-provoking questions, not just ones with yes or no answers. Make sure you check back and see if people are commenting, if so respond. Another great tactic is to start your post with a response to one of your reader’s questions. 6. Be human: It’s okay to sometimes let your personality shine through. Find a way to connect with your audience on a deeper level, if it’s appropriate. 7. Learn from others: Some of the best blogs are a compilation of others ideas. See what people are talking about and what people are reading. This might give you some inspiration or help you go in a different direction. You’re in the blogging business now, so get out there and see what’s going on in the blogging world. 8. Join the conversation: Start commenting on other blogs and provide a link to your blog in the comment section. This is a great way to not only learn from others, but gain possible new readers as well. 9. Build your audience: Want more readers? Try promoting your blog. There are many ways to do this, but one is to run your RSS feed through a service such as FeedBurner. This allows you to extend your feed and gain more exposure. Your URL is the ultimate link, so make sure it’s everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, company website, back of your business card, a part of your email signature, you name it, just get it out there. 10. Don't overstuff your post with Keywords: Keyword search tools are great ways to figure out the terms most commonly searched by your audience. But don't over-do it. Google, Bing and Yahoo will discount your blog post if they feel that you're trying to game the system. The best approach is always to simply write good content that your target market will share with others. For 5 more tips on blogging, check out the 60-second video below: Posted by Rebecca Wilson, marketing analyst for the 60 Second Marketer.

A New Spin on Managed Blogging for Busy Businesspeople

Even after more than a decade, blogging — among the “grandfathers” of the social media platforms — remains one of the best ways that businesses can engage with their customers and prospects online. But for all its strengths, blogging has an Achilles heel: without frequent updates, that is at least every week, blogging falls flat as a marketing tool. [caption id="attachment_4125" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Interested in having a social media presence, but don't have the time to write a regularly-updated blog? Managed blogging may be a solution for you."][/caption] It’s not uncommon for big brands to employ an individual or a small team who works full-time on managing blogging and other social media. Small enterprises are at a disadvantage since they tend to be extremely limited in both time and internal resources. Blogging and other social media initiatives are thrown to the intern or collapse altogether. Enter Bloggernaut, a new service from Atlanta’s Zero-G Creative, which helps small businesses maintain authentic blogs for their firms without a heavy time investment.  In offering service plans that enable blogging up to three times per week, Bloggernaut promises to take no more than an hour of your time every month. (Side note: Erik Wolfe, who runs Zero-G Creative, is a friend of mine, but as of this writing, I have no commercial affiliation with Zero-G Creative.) The idea of a managed blogging or social media service is not new; this space has been occupied by agencies, consultants and ghostwriters for several years now. At their best, these services offer a viable alternative to having an in-house subject matter expert writing their own blog. A good ghostwriter spends hours with their client, soaking up as much knowledge as they can. There is a common pitfall in managed blogging, however. As a client’s comfort level with their writing resource increases, there is a natural tendency for the client to step back and disengage from the blogging activity. Over time, the blog belongs less to the client and more to the ghostwriter or agency and the blog’s performance suffers. Authenticity is a primary ingredient for success in any social medium. What I like about Bloggernaut, and what the service aims to achieve, is that the client’s voice is always present; every blog post is framed by regular phone interviews with the client, and the client’s own words are used throughout. Bloggernaut offers businesses the convenience of a traditional ghostwriting service but without the fear of compromising authenticity which is a unique — and potentially powerful combination. If you are considering hiring a third party firm to manage your blog or social media outreach, I would recommend that you explore your options fully before making a decision. You might want to evaluate a few different “flavors” of managed offerings before deciding what fits your business best. Now, you can include Bloggernaut in the mix; they’ve got a unique spin on a business that hasn’t changed much in the last few years.