Following and receiving feedback is something you cannot achieve without your readers. If you want more comments and more followers, you need your readers to do it for you. So here’s the question.
How can you make your readers do what you want them to do?
“The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.
What do you want?”
So what do most bloggers want? Let’s make a list.
–> increased traffic on their blog
–> comments on their posts
–> new followers
–> a feeling of importance or pride for their blog and their writing.
Let’s face it, people are usually thinking about themselves whenever they do something. When bloggers design their pages, they think along the lines of “this will make my blog beautiful” – “This will increase my traffic” – “This will make me look better” instead of thinking along the lines of “this will make navigation for my readers easier” – “this will help readers find something they want to read” – “this will keep my readers interested”.
There is a subtle difference between the two streams of thought. One focuses on what you want, the other focuses on what your readers want- and I think we all know how important attitude is!
“If there is any one secret of success,” said Henry Ford, “it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own”
If you want someone to comment on or follow your blog, why should they do so? Would talking about how feedback makes me happy or how feedback makes my day better or how much I love feed back make you want to do it? No it doesn’t! Think about it this way.
Reader: Hmm, this blog is nice, I suppose. The posts are average but it has over 50 followers. Perhaps I should leave a comment with my blog linked in it.
Blogger: Please leave a comment! I love comments! They make me happy!
Reader: I know they make you happy- heck they’d make anyone happy! The question is, will you actually look at what I had to say and will you come to my blog and see what I write about too?
Blogger: I have 200 followers! I’m too busy to comment back- did you see the 160 comments on my last post- let alone follow a noob blog like yours that only has 10 follows! I have better things to do!
Reader: Then why should I bother commenting on your post or follow your blog?
Blogger: To make me happy of course!
This is an imaginary conversation a reader has with a blogger who “loves feedback” but hardly ever gives anything in return.
Trying to appreciate your readers before they comment is not a good idea and is fairly annoying if that’s your tactic for garnering more comments. What you need to do is offer your readers and incentive to comment and later on, follow. Here are some example for the text that appears before the comment form
Bad: I love comments!
Good: I reply to each and every comment!
Bad: Please share your thoughts on what I wrote!
Good: Please leave a link to your blog so I can comment back!
All this discussion was for new bloggers and new traffic. But how can you get your current followers to engage with you on their blog? Here’s a list!
#Give Them Honest Feedback
“…hearty in their appreciation and lavish in their praise…”
No flattery! Sit down and read the post! Think along the following lines.
“What part of this post stood out? What part did I find interesting? How would I describe this post? Did it inspire me in any sort of way? Did it amuse me? Did it remind me of something I used to do myself? Would I like to read something similar again?”
Did anything positive come to your mind? Good! Write it down in the comment section.
#Tag Them in Awards
#Add Their Blog to Your Blog
- Swap buttons with your readers
- Place their blog on the blogfeed widget that can be put on your sidebar
- Mention their names and blogs on a post that was inspired by something they wrote.