Increasing Visibility and Accessibility

Write your blog posts with the understanding that you’re publishing the opening of a conversation. The strength of your blog comes from your content and the community that forms around it. The sense of community in relation to your blog is built naturally through commenting. However, with commenting also comes potential problems.
Unfortunately, not every person who visits your blog has something nice to say all the time. Furthermore, people around the world use blog commenting as a method to spread spam. A by-product of blogging is dealing with irrelevant and sometimes hurtful comments. Remember, it’s your blog. To create the best possible experience for your audience, you have the power to moderate comments — as you feel appropriate — for your blog. Try to find a happy medium between keeping the conversation going and removing comments that hurt the discussion.

Inviting comments
If your blog posts are the heart of your blog, then the comments left on those posts represent the blood pumping through the veins. In other words, comments are the lifeline that keeps your blog beating. Blog comments make a blog interactive and social.
Think of blog comments the same way you would a face-to-face conversation. Do you prefer it when someone simply speaks at you and does all the talking,  or do you prefer the conversation to offer a mix between both you and the other person speaking? People feel the same way about conversations via blog posts and comments. They want to feel like they are valuable, contributing members of the conversation, not just bystanders. Comments separate blogs from traditional Web sites and news articles, which are one-sided and invite readers to participate passively. Comparatively, blogs are two-sided and invite readers to participate actively. I will provide details on how you can specifically use comments to drive traffic to your blog. For now, it’s important to understand how you can get people talking and leaving comments directly on your blog posts. Here are a few methods that can help generate comments:
  • Ask for them. Simple enough, but many bloggers don’t take a moment to include a question or phrase that directly asks readers what they think about the topic discussed in the post. For example, at the end of your blog posts, include a question, such as, “What do you think?” to invite readers to leave a comment and join the conversation.
  • Write about a controversial topic. Nothing brings lurkers out of the woodwork faster than controversy. Of course, not every blog is an appropriate place to discuss controversial topics, but if a controversial topic is relevant to your blog, you might want to write a post about it. However, be cautious. Controversial topics can be emotional and might require your strict oversight and moderation to ensure nothing offensive is published.
  • Play devil’s advocate. Take a popular topic related to your blog and suggest the opposite point of view rather than the publicly accepted view. For example, if you write a cooking blog and most chefs follow a specific method to complete a culinary task, such as de-boning a chicken, suggest a different method as being superior. You’d be surprised how many people will join the conversation to defend the publicly accepted method or provide their opinions on your alternate point of view.
  • Ask your readers to help you make a decision or answer a question you have. This method of generating comments can help to personalize your blog. For example, if you write a parenting blog and you’re having trouble potty training your child, you could write a post about your struggles and ask your readers to help you by leaving comments with their potty-training tips and suggestions.

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