As a blog owner, it is important to leverage every piece of content as much as possible. For most bloggers, their blogs are there to build relationships with readers and generate income. A very effective, yet often overlooked, method of doing that is by leveraging blog comments.
As an author, replying to the comments that people leave can increase interaction, build a stronger following, start receiving more comments, and establishing yourself as an authority. Just replying isn’t enough; you need to make sure that you truly connect with your readers.
Here are seven things you can do to get the most out of replying to comments on your blog.
1. Get Personal
Even if your blog content tends to be more professional, you should always reply to comments in a more personal tone. Providing the appearance that you’re trying to personally connect with your readers and make them feel more comfortable.
2. Don’t Pretend You Know All Of The Answers
Just because you wrote a blog post on a certain topic, doesn’t mean that you need to act like a know-all. That would hurt your credibility more than it would help it. You could come off arrogant and quickly turn off readers.
If someone posts a comment asking you a follow-up question, and you don’t know the answer, admit that you don’t know and then go and do some research for them. This will also give you additional content to post on your blog, increasing its value for you and your readers.
3. You Can Be Wrong
Along the same lines, when you make a mistake it is okay to admit it. Not only will this make you more personable, but it can also encourage more discussion. For example, if you are not sure that you are correct, you can add a qualifying phrase such as, “I might be wrong”. This makes you more approachable, plus it makes it more likely that people will reply to your comment – either for or against what you said.
4. They Have Names Too
Always refer to someone by name (or handle) whenever possible. This will not only help you direct your responses more effectively, but it shows that your readers that you are paying attention to them.
5. Invite Your Readers to Share
You might be surprised to learn that most people will not leave a comment answering another commenter’s question. This is because they expect the blog owner to do it. By inviting others to answer questions, you gain two benefits. First, it helps build a greater sense of community. Second, it means you do not always have to be the one answering questions, so it could save you time and effort.
6. Use the Email Addresses
With nearly every commenting platform, the commenter must leave their email address or sign in through a social sharing profile. You need to make this extra information you are receiving as beneficial as possible. Don’t hesitate to send an email directly to someone who commented on your blog.
Don’t try to sell them anything at this stage. Just thank them for their comment and let them know that you have responded to it on your blog. Direct communication via email is a powerful relationship building tool. Make it a personal email; sending a pre-written generic response will be much less effective.
7. Pay Attention to Active Commenters
Identify commenters who are consistently on your blog. Then, let them know that you noticed them and appreciate their visits. If you have any regular commenters who have been gone for a few weeks, send them an email letting them know that you have missed them and let them know what’s new on your blog. Then, if they return, welcome them back.
It is easy to miss how powerful replying to blog comments can be. The best part is that leveraging blog comments takes little additional time or effort on your part. The results can be a bigger a stronger community for your blog.
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