In the blog world, comments are one of those things that can be self-perpetuating.  If you ignore them, they will probably not end up working for you.  If you pay them attention, you will be rewarded by them. The same truths hold whether you are talking about a business or a personal blog when it comes to commenting, because the same types of writing and interactions encourage more comments.  Since the number of readers frequently way outnumbers the number of commenters, you really have to work hard to encourage blog commenting. Simple tips can improve the quality of your blog’s comments.

If you are writing as a know-it-all on a subject, you probably aren’t really inviting any type of interaction.  Imagine being stuck next to someone that won’t shut up at a dinner party.  Your brain shuts down and stops commenting on what he has to say, because you know that he won’t really listen to whatever it is that you have to say anyways.  The same is true in the online world of blogs.  The tone of your writing can really encourage interactions.

So, take the online model forward, imagine what you might do to draw someone out of their shell at a dinner party.  Probably the first thing you would do is to ask them a question, preferably about themselves.  Most people don’t have a time talking about themselves, and the same goes true double on the internet when they have the shield of partial anonymity of the web.  Writing a post about a subject where you end the post with a question back to your readers can encourage your readers to share something about themselves.

Think back to the dinner party.  You’ve asked someone a question, and they’ve now answered and opened up to you. How do you get them to keep talking?  You probably would respond to their answer with an appropriate response that shows that you have been listening to what they had been saying.  The same is true, once again, back on your blog.  If someone went through the trouble of commenting on a post of yours with a thoughtful comment, then you need to respond.  Don’t just think of it as the polite thing to do with a response like, “Thanks!” but really respond to the subject of what they had to say.  Just like in real life, the rewards hold true in the virtual ppc world.

Remember, that this little back and forth in the comment box is not just between you and the commenter.  Other potential commenters are witnessing how you interact with a commenter.  If you bit their head off, another person is not going to be motivated to comment.  But if you complimented a commenter, or seemed interested in what they had to say, than the next person will also be motivated to leave a comment.

With this type of behavior, you start to create a pattern that will self-perpetuate.  New readers will follow the model of the old readers, especially if you continue to create a welcoming, friendly tone to new commenters and avoid it seeming like a clique.  Your blog will continue to grow in both readership and numbers thanks to your positive commenting patterns.

John Rampton is a PPC Entrepreneur, Author, Founder at Due a finance company helping small business owners. Follow me on Twitter @johnrampton

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