One of the most common “laments” I hear from my clients (the ones who are actually adding content regularly) is “HELP!!! Very few people are commenting on my blog posts!!!”
My standard response to them is as follows:
It’s been my experience that most people who leave comments on blogs are other bloggers. With a blog of their own to promote, these people are trying to build a “bread crumb trail” to their own blog via their comments. “Regular” people will have to be moved to great extremes of either passion or anger (usually the latter) to be motivated to actually post a comment.
It’s interesting to note that I have a few clients who have NO DESIRE to allow people to comment on their blogs! As I was researching a blog post for another blog, I came across a post from Steve Rubel over at Micro Persuasion titled The Participation Ladder and Its Impact on Marketing and PR.
Forrester segmented the online audience into several different stratas – what they call a ladder of participation. They found that “Inactives” are by far the dominant group (52%). They’re followed by spectators, joiners, critics, collectors and last but not least creators. This last cluster, according to the analyst firm, dabbles in lots of different activities but few do all of them. See the chart for more.
The numbers on the graphic pan out as follows:
Creators: 13 %
Critics: 19 %
Collectors: 15 %
Joiners: 19 %
Spectators: 33 %
Inactives: 52 %
Keep in mind, according to the report, people enter at the bottom of the ladder and move UPWARDS. Inactives don’t usually jump into blogging at the “creators” level. They move slowly up the ladder… becoming spectators… then joiners.. then collectors… then critics.
Now, take a look at YOUR blog’s audience. Where do THEY fall on this ladder?
My clients are definitely fall on the lower spectrum of the ladder. Most of them are trying to soar to the top and as a result, they need my services to guide them. That’s what I do. As a result, my clients (and potential clients) don’t comment on my blog posts, my colleagues do.
While my clients and potential client’s won’t post a comment, they will email me if they feel particularly moved by a post. For example, when I was complaining about my cat and his OCD issues in the post “Are Google Adwords the Answer?” I got several emails from concerned clients who wanted to help my demented self mutilating kitty.
Niche Blog Marketing also offers great advice regarding playing the comments game with your blog:
Focus on building your lists while building rapport with your visitors. Track your progress and study your numbers. Treat social networking like attending your local Chamber of Commerce meeting. Be approachable……..
In other words, ASK for participation if you want comments.
There’s no one who does this better than Liz Strauss over at Successful Blog.com. Notice how she ends her post “Wendy Wouldn’t Wait. Will you?”
What are you doing to build the business of your dreams now?
She got 23 comments on this blog post just by ending it by asking a question. She does that a lot and as a result, her blog is an active hub.
By the way, Liz leads that post with the most brilliant insight I’ve seen on the web:
A blog isn’t a business any more than a building is a company.