Four Reasons People Aren't Responding to Your Blog

May 31, 2017


BEST PRACTICES SERIES

Article ImageOne of the best gauges you have for the success of your blog is the number of people interacting with your content (i.e., leaving comments and discussing your content on social media). It proves that your users aren’t just visiting or browsing, but are actually interested in what you’re saying. It also shows they feel like a member of your community, since they clearly know their comments will be heard, and increases the chances of other people discovering your content.

So what if nobody is responding to your blog? What can you do?

Diagnosing the Problem

Your first step is to figure out why people aren’t responding to your blog. It could be due to one or more reasons:

  • Your audience isn’t large enough. Comments are an interesting phenomenon. About one-third of people never participate in comment threads, yet about 20% of people spend more time on comment threads than they do on actual articles. The commenters who spend lots of time in discussion rely on preexisting comments to get the ball rolling, so if you don’t have enough people reading your blog, you may never get the initial comments necessary to encourage a full-fledged discussion. If you’re already getting a few hundred visitors a month or more, this likely isn’t the problem; if you’re just getting started, it could be a mere volume issue.
  • Your comment section isn’t easy to access. Look at the comments section of your blog and imagine what it’s like for a new user to access it. Can anyone post a comment anonymously with just a couple of fields and a submit button, or do you force people to sign up for an account and fill out multiple fields before a comment is submitted? Do you have a comment moderation process, and if so, how quickly do you review comments that are in your queue to be published? If it takes too long to post a comment, or if the system is confusing in any way, your readers aren’t going to leave responses.
  • Your topics aren’t comment-worthy. An article that’s worth commenting on must meet several criteria. For starters, it must be a topic that naturally generates discussion, or must contain text within the article that encourages discussion. For example, controversial topics or ones that present a strong opinion often invite dissent. You may consider this a risky move, but there’s evidence to suggest that controversial content is some of the most powerful in terms of attracting views, comments, and shares. If you don’t want to take a controversial stance, you could always invite your readers directly to comment, by asking things like “what was your experience like?” or “do you have anything else to add?” Beyond that, your article needs to be well-researched, well-written, and detailed, or commenters won’t deem it worthy of their time.
  • You aren’t responding to your followers. It could be that you aren’t involving yourself in the discussion actively enough. When someone comments on your blog, they want to be acknowledged, and it’s your job to make them feel that recognition. Respond to your commenters and let them know you appreciate them. Doing so will encourage them to come back and leave more comments, and will inflate the size of your comment threads to invite even more commenters.

What to Do Next

So what steps can you take to improve your blog’s chances of attracting commenters?

  • Improve your comments section. First, run an audit of your comments section. Are all your followers’ comments easy to read once posted, and are they organized into easy-to-follow threads? Correct any systematic design choices that make it harder or more time-consuming to comment.
  • Choose more controversial and/or thought-provoking topics. Next, revisit your editorial calendar and add more topics that are either controversial or thought-provoking. You want to choose topics that will naturally invite people to disagree with you or support you, so stir up some emotions or go against the grain.
  • Ignite the conversation yourself. If people aren’t starting conversations on their own, take it upon yourself to get things moving. Even giant, successful forums like Reddit have been known to use fake accounts to generate initial momentum.
  • Engage with your community. Don’t let your readers comment in a vacuum. Involve yourself in discussions, and nurture your readers.
  • Grow your audience. The more people you have reading, the more comments you’re going to get. Use social media marketing, SEO, or even paid advertising to get your traffic numbers up.

With these strategies, you should be able to take your blog to a new level of engagement and visibility. It may take some time for your readers to generate the momentum on their own, but with your guidance, they’ll soon realize how rewarding it is to comment on your blogs.


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