I know I said I was “done” writing blogging articles. I wrote this because reading some posts on “blogging” is incredibly painful for me. -OM
This is the third most asked question in blogging. It is also the most tricky to answer because there are so many factors, such as humanity, to consider when trying to decipher the blogosphere and how it works. Comments are one of the most sought after forms of interaction on WordPress and any platform. For many people a “comment” directly translates into “I read, liked your post, and love your blog.” Some bloggers grade their sites on how much interaction they garner each day and because of that drive they continuously look for ways to engage their readers.
“Why doesn’t anyone comment on my posts” should be automatically answered with “what are you doing to get people to comment on your posts?” Active engagement is different than passively posting and waiting/hoping someone cares to read and respond. Many new bloggers do this and think that just because WordPress is the top blogging site in the world that people are literally lining up virtually to read everything people spit out. That just isn’t the case… nowhere near how it actually works. Bloggers are busy blogging and that should always be considered when posting and seeking interaction. You MUST draw those people away from what they are currently doing and that takes more effort than people give credit.
By now we should all know the basics about blogging. If you have been following this site for any amount of time you have probably gained some insight into what I consider the “basics of blogging.” These tips are general, but can be easily applied to blogging here on WP since that is where I currently reside.
Tagging: If you haven’t figured out how to tag you are only hurting your own reach and ability to blog. Some people like playing chess without knowing the rules or any strategy… good for them. I would find that hopelessly boring and a waste of time, but that is me. If you won’t at least learn the basics behind tagging don’t complain about getting no views or comments. That is your own damn fault. I’ve written countless posts on tagging and so have many other bloggers. Feel free to read those and gain a clue. http://aopinionatedman.com/2015/08/03/blogging-tag-help-on-wordpress/
Tagging the SAME TAGS: I am adding this one because I think it is important. When people become creatures of habit and tend to run the same daily course every single day they normally also see the same people each day. It is kind of common sense. Likewise if you tag the same exact tags with each post the same exact people “might” see those posts each day. Wouldn’t it serve you better to find some different tags to change up who sees your work? No? Ok then.
Reblogging: Reblogging will gain you some popularity to a certain point, but no one likes a site that only reblogs. People also prefer sites that are gauged at “sharing” to do so in controlled measures and not to overuse it. I would NOT be a good blogger to model from on this.
How you write: How you write is important when it comes to gaining interaction. I have run into many “experts” online that provide articles brimming with information and backlinks. That is great! It CAN also be overwhelming to a casual reader who will feel that any comment they make will be menial in value. This can be true on any topic and any blog genre. For instance Christian writers often “shock and awe” their reader with scriptures, interpretation, someone else’s interpretation, and an interpretation on interpreting things. Is all of that really necessary? It really will scare away a reader that feels “less than par on the topic,” but still wishes to engage.
2: In school many were taught how to write open ended sentences. Open ended sentences and providing basic question prompts through the post helps to engage the reader actively while they read. It pushes them to consider what you want them to consider and to ask themselves the questions you already hope they are asking. These basic writing tools are great for engaging someone that is already engaged since they visited and clicked your post to begin with.
What you post: This is obviously an important factor in gaining response from people. Humans are less likely to engage on topics they feel ignorant on. This factor is why the blog author must always be aware of their “potential audience.” A potential audience is not the same thing as your actual readership. The potential audience is gauged by how many bloggers you are actually connected with in whatever form on any social platform. Basically who can see your posts when you publish? From that number trickles down the “realistic number” of people that actually take the time to read your writing. Knowing who is actually reading from your “potential audience” can help you in determining what will be well received or not.
When you post: When you post matters a lot. Because we are all creatures of habit that live scheduled lives, posting at certain times can realistically help you to gain exposure. Finding what times work for your blog takes some research, but WP has provided a new analytic that helps with this.
You can also eyeball your posts and figure out at what times your site was more active through comparing engagement percentages. I worked graveyard shift for a couple years while first building this blog and that accounted for an almost 24/7 audience that is always online. Not everyone can do this, but I did find that it helped expand my readership by being able to interact with other parts of the world that were up at different times. Sometimes we don’t even know our target group. That group just finds us.
What your site looks like: I’ll be the first to admit this is the least of my concerns. If people hate how my site looks they can look at another site for all I care. Having said that, I do realize “how” your site looks, and more importantly functions, are good things to focus on when it comes to site improvement.
Click yourself! No really… click your screen name in the comment section of a blog. Did you arrive at your website? If you didn’t that is due to your site not being linked to your name! Go to your account settings and change it! SO MANY bloggers fail to do this and are basically leaving no trail for people to follow you back to.
The 200 Level
There are so many tricks to gaining interaction that people overlook. Some “overlook” these options due to blogger morals (laughing my ass off), time, energy, understanding, and just not getting the big picture. These tricks aren’t “gaming the system” like I’ve read some bloggers rant. If you can’t use a platform and all the tools that platform gives you to gain exposure you aren’t really using that platform to network. YOU are allowing that platform to use YOU.
The Respin: The respinning of posts is debated constantly. Some bloggers think it clogs the “reader” when you respin/reschedule an already published post. That is ridiculous. That is like me saying there are too many articles in a newspaper. Firstly who counts the number of times you publish a post each day? If you honestly have followers or subscribers that not only count how many times you publish, but also take the time to complain about it… you don’t want them following your blog. They aren’t helping you. They ARE constraining you. Break those ties.
Respinning is awesome and is an effective way of “showing” posts to your readers they might have missed. Believe it or not your readers don’t necessarily dig into your archives and read all your old materiel no matter how much they LOVE your current post. Many people won’t do that and don’t have the time to do that. It is amazing how easy it is for them to read a post when it is placed in front of their eyes though! That is where the rescheduling of previously published posts for a “future date” comes into handy. It also doesn’t send an additional email to your email subscribers so you don’t run the risk of annoying them. To be fair any subscriber that is going to complain about a respun post WILL complain about almost anything. Ignore those types of bloggers. I have used respinning since month one and have openly advertised I do so. The people that hated it left a LONG time ago. Bye!!!
Do you post or respond to comments first? Many bloggers feel obligated to jump right into responding to comments and I understand the urge. You feel a pull to do so. A tip from me is to respond AFTER posting your new post/s for the day. The reason is simple. Returning readers will often see your response and then look to see if you have published anything new for them to browse. If you respond to them and draw them to your site for ONLY a comment that is all you will get from them that day. They aren’t going to return twice and feel stalkerish. This is a real shame when you could have garnered a comment AND a new read if you had done things in the correct order. That is a simple tip I’ve learned from blogging myself.
Find the communities! Many bloggers have begun to realize the benefit of promoting others. I am also happy to see many people running Meet and Greets which I would like to think is a trend I had a hand in starting. If you are seeking interaction find the bloggers that are already interacting with others! People are literally “waiting” in these M&Gs for people to respond. That is sad to me because the best bloggers are the ones that seek engagement, they don’t wait for it. Some of the most successful networking I have witnessed has been from bloggers finding my M&G thread http://aopinionatedman.com/2015/09/16/wordpress-meet-and-greet-3-all-bloggers-welcome/ and using their time wisely by networking with people there. I’ve seen some bloggers spend hours networking and their numbers went up because of it. You can expect all you want from blogging, but blogging is what you put in as well. Find the M&G communities on WP and get involved!
Piggyback your respin! One of the best tricks I have learned is to always piggyback my respins. I will always reschedule a post right after a newly published one. I do this because double exposure is a plus, the fact that your regular readers did not get the notification for the new post and they still might want to read it, and I have found it helps with related articles. Let me explain. Related articles are typically anchored to posts that were published around the same time. So rescheduled posts offer readers new “old posts” to click to. These related articles will differ drastically, due to time difference, from the related posts connected to the newer published article. This might seem like a small deal to you, but to online marketers this is invaluable. In essence 2 separate clicks on your site offers 6 more different clicks to alternate info. Posts get seen online through actively pushing their visibility!
Network within your weekly theme! I don’t write on one theme here. I technically don’t write on any theme or genre. If I did have a theme of the week I would gather interest around that theme by seeking out people obviously interested in that topic. Namely those already posting on the subject! What better way to ensure people actually want to read your next post?
Want to help people? You can be a forum bunny too! The WordPress help forums are a great way to network with bloggers and to spread your knowledge. There are two bloggers that come to mind that do this habitually and seem to think they “own the right.” Technically ANY blogger can be a “helper” in the forum and in turn can help themselves by leaving their links behind. Ever wonder how some of those “WordPress helpers” got so popular? They piggybacked off WordPress that is how and they protect their niche fiercely. Go be a star like them! https://en.forums.wordpress.com/
How many blogs do YOU visit and comment on each day? But you expect people to comment on yours right? See how that doesn’t make much sense?
To Be Continued…