The first thing I noticed about Nina Badzin was her Twitter following, which eventually led me to her blog. It’s a GREAT read, by the way.
But something extraordinary caught my eye about Nina’s blog.
On a consistent basis, Nina generates dozens of comments—on EVERY post. Her ability to draw so many comments amazed me, and that’s why I invited her to guest post for Rogue Writer today. Besides running a fun blog, Nina is a published short story writer. So after you read her post today, take a moment and check out her site!
BY NINA BADZIN
Thank you, Shari, for inviting me to discuss the issue of getting and managing blog comments. I’ve found that comments are a touchy subject because many bloggers pretend they don’t care about receiving them.
I can hear the naysayers now. I truly don’t care if anyone reads my posts, they say. I just want to express myself.
I’m not buying it. Let’s face it, if we weren’t hoping for some kind of response to our posts, then we’d start each one with “Dear Diary” and hide the outcome from the world. The minute we press “publish,” we’re hoping to reach someone.
Why do comments matter anyway?
As Shari pointed out last week when discussing StumbleUpon, unless your blog is monetized, the number of views on a post matters very little and tells you even less. Are people reading the first two sentences and clicking away? Will the same readers come back? And who are these people checking you out in the first place?
And come on, what could be more thrilling for a writer than watching a discussion brew about something we wrote? Over time, we hope people return, we hope new readers find us, and we hope a community forms. As our writing careers develop and grow, we bank on that community translating into readers who will stay with us for years to come. Also, comments help us feel like we’re not just talking to ourselves. That’s worth something too.
So how does a blogger get people to take the extra two minutes to leave a comment?
HERE IS THE ANSWER IN 3 PARTS:
#1. You have to leave comments on other blogs. Yes, you need original, insightful, and/or amusing content on your blog. “Content is king” and all that jazz. Still, it’s nearly impossible to build a community unless you’re part of other bloggers’ communities at the same time.
#2. You ought to leave thoughtful comments and get to know other bloggers. Don’t bother with “great post.” For sure don’t say, “I wrote about this too. Come see!” Make it clear you read the post. You’re trying meet other bloggers and writers so you can form real connections. Try to find bloggers you admire. Skip the posts and blogs that don’t interest you. This isn’t about leaving your URL all over town. Be discerning. Be genuine.
#3. Think out of the box when responding to comments. It’s unnecessary to respond to every comment on your blog, especially if there’s nothing new to add. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll visit the blogs of people who left comments for me instead of responding to what they had to say about my post. I’m willing to bet my readers appreciate my avatar in the comments section of their posts more than they care about seeing my face repeatedly pop up on my blog. That’s not to say I don’t respond to comments on my blog. I generally do. But I’m aware of my comments section being about me, whereas visiting another blogger’s latest post is about that person.
BUT DOESN’T THIS ALL TAKE A TON OF TIME?
Yes. One day when we’re in the big league of bloggers and writers, nobody will expect to see us in the comments section of our blogs or their blogs. Until then, we get what we give.
Thanks again for having me, Shari!
Nina Badzin is a published short story writer. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and twice listed as a finalist by Glimmer Train Stories. “Always the bridesmaid,” she likes to say. When she’s not running after her four kids or tweeting (@NinaBadzin), she blogs at Nina Badzin’s Blog.
For more tips on writing craft, making a living as a writer, and how to build your following as a writer, follow Shari Lopatin’s Writing Blog!