This is a guest post from Pat Flynn. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
If you enable comments on your blog (which I’m sure most of you do), then you obviously want your readers to interact by leaving comments after your post. Then why, I ask, does it usually end up being a one-sided conversation?
It’s like giving a presentation to a group of people and not responding to questions and comments from your audience. It just seems rude, but for some reason it has become standard for bloggers not to reply to comments made on their post.
So much for “interaction”.
For big-time bloggers with several comments on each post, it would obviously be tough to respond to each and every single comment. But you have to admit that it is nice to when the big names take the time to respond to some of the comments, right?
The truth is, most of us are not “big time” bloggers and we do have the time to respond. And yet – we don’t.
In Step #6 of 6 Steps To An Effective Guest Post, it mentions:
“If you are fortunate enough to get your site published, the work is not over yet. All your efforts should go into promoting that article and taking part in any comments that may be posted.
Why is this something that only guest posters should do? Every blogger should be doing it on their own posts too.
For the past several months, I’ve been doing my best to respond to each and every single comment on my own blog, just to see what would happen. The response has been nothing less than amazing. In fact, people have pointed out that they love that I respond to almost every comment, and some of my readers have even emailed me just to say thanks.
So what’s the real benefit? Why should you invest a few extra minutes to respond to your readers? Here are 5 reasons to do so:
1. It Encourages People To Comment
People don’t leave comments just so they can be left unread. By replying, you’re not only letting people know that you’re actively involved in reading the comments, but you’re encouraging them to come back and comment again later.
Furthermore, people who don’t normally comment may be happy to do so knowing that their comment will indeed be read.
2. It Adds to the Quality of Your Posts
A reply can often lead to side conversations within the commenting area that add to the content and overall quality of your post. Your points will be explained further, new points will be brought up, and questions that people may have get answered.
Also, new people will join the side conversations and add their own comments that they wouldn’t have normally made otherwise.
3. It Helps With Search Engine Optimization
Comments on your blog posts do in fact help with search engine optimization, although admittedly in a minimal way.
More comments, including your own, usually mean more instances of the keywords that you used in your blog post, which means you’re more likely to be found in the search engines for those terms.
Additionally, new terms that you did not use in your blog post will be brought up and discussed, which could potentially help you for those terms as well.
4. It Adds More Social Proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people’s decisions are influenced by making the assumption that surrounding people know more about certain situations than you do.
For example, if you’re at the mall and you see a huge crowd of people around a particular store, chances are that you’re going to walk over and see what the big deal is. In a similar way, you might be more inclined to follow a certain blogger in a niche just because they have more subscribers and followers than others.
In most cases, your own comments will count towards the overall comment count of your post. Respond to 15 comments, and you’ll have a total comment count of 30, which looks more far more impressive and interesting to your readers and any new visitors to your blog.
5. It Helps You Build Authority and Credibility
Finally, by responding to each comment, you’re establishing yourself as a go-to expert in your niche. You become more “real” and are seen as someone who actually takes time to care for your readers, which adds value to you and your blog.
Because responding to comments is abnormal, you’ll stand out of the crowd like no other. And if you can leave thoughtful, meaningful comments, you’ll make that much more of an impact on your readers.
It doesn’t take very much extra time, and the return on investment can be phenomenal. So why not give it a shot?
Try responding to every comment and see what happens.
So What Do You Think?
How do you feel when a blogger responds to a comment you left on his or her blog? Do you think it’s worth the time and effort to do so, or are we just wasting our time?
Please leave a comment below, and tell me what you think.
About the Author: After getting laid off back in 2008, Pat Flynn has since created an online empire, starting multiple online businesses which earn him well over 6-figures a year in passive income. He writes about online business and blogging on The Smart Passive Income Blog.