(previously seen on Rebelle Society)
In a nutshell? Good manners is at the crux of getting more followers.The other day, I came across an interesting title in my Twitter Feed: How to Leverage Blog Comments to increase Search Ranks. by Jonathan Solis. Posted by Darren Rowse (@problogger) an Aussie blogger, author and sought after speaker with over 180K followers, I'll have what he's having.
Jonathan gives five tips for attracting more followers to your blog. And following his advice, I'd add that we must take it a step further by adding the human element, by focusing on connecting and making it a more human experience. Call it,
The Common Sense of Comments.Be kind.It sounds simple. But like your mother always told you, if you don't have anything good (i.e. constructive) to say...keep it to yourself. Yes, sometimes a negative comments will create good arguments. But in the long run, everyone just looks petty. And most times you will wish you could take it back.
Engage with the author and the reader.If you like what you read, tell the author. If someone has taken the time and energy to write for your pleasure or enlightenment, take 30 seconds and tell them what you liked about their article.
A compliment goes a long way. The golden rule---do unto others. Constructive feedback (whether you agree or disagree with the author's point of view) communicates your appreciation for the author's effort and work.
Likewise, if you're the author, talk back to your readers. Reply to all the comments on time. Blogging enables a direct communication between authors and readers. Use this interaction to prompt even more comments by replying to a question with another open-ended question.
Use complete sentences in your comments.This is the internet. You will be haunted by your typos (eternally). Good grammar and punctuation show that you care enough about your opinion to make sure it is understood correctly. Just because it is a comment it doesn't mean you should sound like an alien calling home.
The beauty of blogging is that your comment becomes a part of the article itself. It is a continuation of the conversation started by the author. The article is still being written...by you.
Use keywords in your comment.This may take up more than 30 seconds. Says Jonathan: "Do keyword research to find the words that are used more often by searchers. You'll get the search engines to notice you and in turn, bring in more followers." These are the direct benefits of leaving comments. It's always a give and take.
Use a quote from the article, when so inspired, or point out to specific parts you found interesting.Along the same lines, it will double the impact with search engines. It will also let the author know what inspired you to leave your thoughts and thus be able to asses the impact of their message.
As the author, reply to your audience replies.Authors, there is nothing better than to get a timely comment from you. You cannot believe how satisfying it is when I get an acknowledgement from the writer of the piece, even if I know them or work with them. Call it humanity, but it warms my heart. And as much as we like to keep things professional, that's where business is first made: in the heart.
Comments will also bring in more comments. Strangely, we are attracted to numbers, and having the author break the ice and engage with the readers will give others more courage to share their thoughts. A dialogue will most likely start with more people chiming in.
If you are a blogger / author, what is your experience with comments or your take on it? Please, drop your mind in the comments below. If you're the type that reads but doesn't comment, you can always give it a try. Leave a comment and see if your traffic grows.
If for nothing else, you just might make someone's day brighter.