A couple weeks ago I wrote a post entitled Top 10 blogging tips. It was a fun post in which I shared the biggest things I’ve learned in my 2 years of blogging. In the comments section on that post we started discussing how to write engaging posts, ones that draw the reader in and invite them to join the conversation in the comments section. Since that discussion, I decided to write this post to share my best tips for you about writing engaging (comment-inviting) posts! These are things I’ve learned from my own experience writing on my blog and reading other blogs!
1. Ask questions – I’m much more likely to comment on a post if I see that the writer has invited it. By “ask questions” I mean more than just: “hey I love comments, please leave a comment!”. I’m looking for discussion questions, I’m looking for bloggers who want my input and don’t feel like they already know everything. Invite your readers to engage with you on your topic.
2. Write with your readers in mind – Your readers want to feel like you are writing to them, not just venting your own thoughts and frustrations looking for affirmation. Share your thoughts and your stories, but as you share, think about how it applies to your reader and what you want them to get from your posting. Being focused on the reader as you write is one of the best ways to write in a way that engages them and makes them want to comment on your writing.
3. Invite a dialogue, don’t just ask for their stories – I know I just wrote all about asking questions of your readers, but sticking a random question at the bottom of you post is not enough. It’s easy to tell your story and then as a “question” (see #1) at the end to just say “has anything like this ever happend to you? tell me your story.” And while that does invite the reader to comment, (good job!) it doesn’t invite them to engage in a dialogue with you. Ask if they have ever felt what you were feeling, ask them if they think you are crazy for how your reacted to certain things, ask what they would have done or seek out their advice. Dig in to the heart of the post and then find creative ways to ask them to share their hearts with you as well.
4. Interact with your readers via social media – I have found that most of my top commenters are people that I’m often interacting with on this blog’s facebook page or twitter. I truly want to get to know my readers and encourage them in their day to day life. I am able to do that somewhat through blogging but even more so through our interactions via social media.
5. Don’t Write “down” to your readers – One thing that I absolutely can’t stand, is if I’m reading a blog and I feel like the writer is “talking down” to me in her writing. You can tell, even through blogging, if a person believes s/he is smarter, cooler or funnier than her audience, just don’t do it!
6. Be you – Be real and authentic, don’t try to sound so polished and professional that you lose your own voice and personality. I’ve read posts that sound more like they belong in a text book than on a personal blog. I’m not saying you have to dumb down the way you write, just don’t use language that you wouldn’t use in normal conversation. Let the readers see who you are through your writing!
What about you? What makes you want to comment on a blog? Is there anything that discourages you from commenting?
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