Having a blog is one of the best things you can do to generate traction for your content marketing campaign — even though it’s not always the easiest to maintain.
Having a great topic and slapping some SEO on top is only one part of the equation. The point of running a blog is to entice readers to keep coming back and cultivate a digital community through their engagement.
Cue the comments.
One of the best ways to build that highly sought-after engagement is already built into the blog itself. The comment section of the page has plenty of untapped potential that can help take your blog to new heights as a lead generator and creative endeavour.
Keep Up With Your Commenters
In order to really connect with your commenters, you need to engage with them. This is crucial in building a sense of community around your blog that will build loyal followers who will come back and keep commenting.
Responding to a comment on your blog works two-fold. Not only does it immediately tell the commenter their opinion matters, it also gives you increased visibility. If people are looking to engage with the brand your blog is representing, they’ll know this is possible through leaving a comment.
Don’t be afraid to get personal either. Commenters want to know they’re talking to a real person and not a bot giving them canned company responses. Using a personal voice while maintaining a professional demeanour will help build a bond with followers.
As the person responsible for maintaining your blog, you’re also responsible for leading the discourse surrounding each post.
A good place to start is finding a topic that will start a debate. Some blogs like to spark controversy and while that has some positive benefits in terms of engagement, it can also alienate members of your audience. You don’t want to run the risk of making your brand look like it’s full of click bait material built under the pretence of shock value.
Find topics with strong opinions on both sides without going over the edge. Think of things that will get people talking without getting them overly emotional so that the comment section is full of expletives. A controversial topic might give you some short-term attention, but the long-term ramifications can be disastrous to your brand reputation.
Stay On Top of Spam
Nobody likes spam. Spam mail, spam calls, even Spam in a can — there’s just no place for it.
Your comment section is really no different in that regard. As your blog continues to gain exposure, you’re likely going to experience spam comments at some point. This can be anything from a link to some strange foreign site that sells fake watches to someone’s self-funded short film based in Ohio.
There’s good reason to make sure you’re filtering those spam comments. It keeps your blog looking clean with legitimate comments pertaining to the topic and helps protect your loyal readers. If someone randomly clicks on a link to a site that’s actually some form of malware in disguise — you can rest assured they won’t be coming back to your blog.
Google can also take action against your domain. If you leave spam comments up and running, even in the comment section, Google might assume they’re on other parts of your site and drop your SEO ranking as a result.
Comment on Other Blogs
If you want people to read your blog, make sure you’re up on what else is out there in your industry. Being active in comment sections on other blogs or forums is a good way to gain visibility outside of your own page.
Choose what blogs to comment on carefully. Don’t randomly start commenting on tiny blogs with little to no audience. Pick an established blog with authority that is within the same niche as yours. You want to ensure the readers of that blog would be interested in content that you provide on yours.
Show off your expertise in the field by adding to that blog’s conversation and people will start to see you as a knowledgeable commenter. That’ll give you your own authority as a commenter which you can parlay into getting people interested in you and the brand you represent.
Always Stay in Control
Whatever happens in your comment section is a reflection of you as the blog operator. You need to exercise regular maintenance practices to ensure everything in your community is running smoothly because you’re essentially the mayor.
Show extra appreciation to your loyal commenters and shut down ones who are only there to cause trouble. You’re there to participate, but also moderate.
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