Blogging tends to be a “me” forum even when we are featuring another blogger – there’s usually a “me” link in there somewhere. I’ve been asked and read so many times, “why don’t I have more followers/comments?" There are several reasons for this and I will address a few.
When a blog is used solely as a venue to promote a business, after the first or second visit, the reader gets bored. Even when throwing in a little personal snippet, it’s usually not enough to bring the reader back for more. In the first place, they have already followed your commerce link, hopefully; and secondly your product may or may not be something they are interested in. Hence no new comments. My suggestion is to mix it up with business, personal and expert posts. The latter is the most popular as people are always interested in reading expert accounts on just about anything. Business or Store posts tend to be redundant and don’t carry much weight with new visitors. And it goes without saying not everyone cares if you have just had foot surgery. Keep your posts on point, and easy to read and not an epistle. Epistle writers need to break up their text with photos or diagrams to keep the reader from going to sleep. The eye will “refocus” when they see a photograph and they will continue to read.
I’ve seen some blogs that are simply difficult to navigate or worse, difficult to read. Blogs with black backgrounds are difficult to read, especially if you choose red as the color of your font. Further, these blogs take longer to load and could result in a visitor hitting the back button. I follow a blogger whose heading (using a very specialized and personal jpeg) and blog are black and I nearly have a birthday waiting for it to load and almost go blind reading.
When laying out your blog, think about the reader first. Make it easy for them to follow; I highly recommend Google Friend Connect as it’s easy and it doesn’t take over a separate page/tab. The best aspect of Google Friend Connect is it allows followers (who use Google Reader) to have a 24/7 blog feed and they can easily follow you and make comments. I can’t stress how cool this is versus clicking all over the web looking for a specific blog or clogging your favorites in your browsers tool bar.
A couple of other tips for laying out your blog; if you run advertisements (or friend buttons), don’t litter your blog with so many that it distracts the reader. While its’ great to have people follow you on Twitter and Facebook, don’t make those an in-your-face or in the way feature distracting your reader.
There is a setting on nearly every blog platform that allows you to see, via email when a comment has been posted, by whom and to which article. Don’t just sit there basking in the glow of “comments.” Get back in there and comment back to your readers, regardless of how many comments you have on a daily basis. Readers like to know that their comment it appreciated and developing a relationship is extremely important to a successful blog. Finally, if you have a new follower, it is common courtesy to follow them back and make a comment if you are so inclined. I’ve seen blogs that have over 500 followers but have less than a dozen comments a week – what does that say? It’s not the number of followers, it’s the number of people interested enough to comment.
On the flip side of the coin, the blog visitor; please, please don’t leave comments like, “nice post.” If you’ve read a particularly interesting article extend the courtesy to the author of a more detailed comment or even a question. “Nice Post” and leaving your blog URL is rude and in this case, no comment is better than rude. It goes without saying that cursing or personal snarky comments are also rude. Blog reading takes time and it also takes commitment. Pick a time that is good for you, when you are least distracted, brew up your favorite beverage and have a ball reading all your favorites. Please try to keep in mind; the blogger has made a sincere commitment to put words to blog and if it’s a really good blog, it’s really worth the time to check it out on a regular basis.
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