A lot of people like to use forums and social networks for communicating. Did you know you can have your own community, much like those forums through your blog’s comment system? Did you know that it should be one of your goals to convert people to comment on your blog?
Well, its true!
Each person who comes by and leaves a comment, is leaving their mark on your site and might have a good opinion… even if it does not completely agree with you. Those comments make your site dynamic as no other site will have the same exact comment from each and every person. Some of those might have information that help you, as well as others who visit. Some may be questions you can answer, or even, other readers can answer too!
Communication is a beautiful thing if encouraged correctly. You can build a sturdy community around your blog comments by doing a couple basic things:
1. Write thought provoking content. You could even end with a question. This leaves the floor open to your readers to decide if they want to jump in and share their opinion.
2. Reply back to comments. The thing is… if you reply to a comment and they come back, you just successfully converted them! They were interested enough not only to comment once, but to come back and reply.
3. Return the favor by commenting at your commenters’ blogs. This is going that extra step forward and being active to go outside of your own site and help carry on the conversation at your readers’ sites. This is a win-win as you end up helping to build two communities instead of one.
4. Try a Top Commenter of the Month contest. Not everyone does this, but from time to time, it might be something to integrate into a contest where your top commenter might win a prize.
5. Implement the Commentluv plugin. (This plugin has versions for both WordPress and Blogger.) Commentluv gives your commenters an incentive to comment. When they submit a comment, the Commentluv plugin pulls the most recent post from that person’s site and places the link to it with the published comment.
These are merely a few ways to build a solid community around your blog. How have you encouraged your readers to comment on your site?