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25 Reasons Why Nobody Comments On Your Blog. How To Fix The Zero Comment Problem.

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A lack of comments is more of an epidemic than what you might first think. Blogs like “open mike” by retired Executive Chairman Mike Critelli of Pitney Bowes and world electronics giant Hitachi see an …

A lack of comments is more of an epidemic than what you might first think. Blogs like “open mike” by retired Executive Chairman Mike Critelli of Pitney Bowes and world electronics giant Hitachi see an average of 0-5 comments a post. If voices for these multi-billion global businesses have these challenges it’s not unreasonable for the rest of us to see similar results.

The following problems and solutions are based on a review of over 130 comments that replied to the original post “5 Reasons Why Nobody Comments on Your Blog and Posts”. To see the original blog go to http://tinyurl.com/yzrtnfe. Many more ideas are available on the blog. Please enjoy the following pages and tell us about your results on the noted URL.

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  • Hello Andrew,

    I find your presentation extremely relevant and factual. May I add that the quality of comments have also their impact, especially the first comment.
    I have published recently a presentation on SlideSgare entitled 'Comments on SlideShare: Their Mapping and Value-Added'.
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  • How ironic that I just created a discussion about this in my LinkedIn group, Collaborative Women Connect. Even while we actively ask others to comment on our sites, blogs, BlogTalk Radio sites and all, we rarely ever post comments ourselves.

    As a side note, I had started a discussion on LinkedIn and then recycled it into a blog. Now I got over 200 comments on LinkedIn but after sharing the same discussion with the SAME people who commented in the first place, I got nothing. However, when I sent each individual a message directly asking them to comment, one post got 57 comments in less than a week. But I can't prod members along on a regular basis and even if I could, that would become a job in itself.

    Even I admit I rarely leave comments for others unless the subject is very, *very*, VERY stimulating. Just the other day I contacted a gentleman about his great comments about true networking that match my own and hours later we were on the phone talking about how we can collaborate. So when I do it, it extends itself to truer networking beyond screen names and numbers, but I just don't have the time to actively review all the links and sites forwarded to me for review on a daily basis. The larger my network grows the harder it is to manage it. I'm more likely to pick up the phone than leave a comment somewhere.
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  • Fantastic article Andrew with many helpful, original ideas. I also believe that the relationship building is key, and if you comment on other people's blog entries they sometimes return the favor which helps increase your feedback. I guess the sweet spot for any writer is having an article that is both educational in tone, and one that also engages the reader to share their perspective.
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  • 1. 25 Reasons Why Nobody Comments On Your Blog How to Fix The Zero Comment Problem. Brought To You By: The Community Marketing Blog www.communitymarketingblog.com Author: Andrew Ballenthin President of Sol Solutions, an Integrated Marketing Consultancy andrew@solsolutions.ca
  • 2. Table of Contents Page About Us ................................................................................................................................................................. 3 Introduction: You Are Not Alone In Your Quest For More Comments ........................................................... 4 5 Comment Killers ............................................................................................................................................. 5 5 Site And Post Blunders ............................................................................................................................. 6 5 Human Factors To Consider .................................................................................................................. 7 5 Ways To Command The Stage ............................................................................................................. 8 5 Game Changers ............................................................................................................................................. 9 Conclusion: For The Pro Gaining Comments Is A Process ................................................................................ 10 Copyright c 2009 Andrew Ballenthin. All rights reserved. For reproduction or use of excerpts contact andrew@solsolutions.ca
  • 3. About Us About The Community Marketing Blog The goal of our blog is to assist professionals with practical advice on how to grow their business through marketing and social media. Our writers take the time to look past the hype of topics and address real issues and how-to’s that make a difference to a company’s success. www.communitymarketingblog.com About The Author Andrew Ballenthin is President of Sol Solutions, an Integrated Marketing Consultancy. Andrew has over 18 years marketing experience and has worked with international companies through to start-up businesses. Sol Solutions assists businesses in combining marketing planning, re-branding, promotional campaign development, web sites, email marketing and implementation of social media from an integrated marketing perspective. andrew@solsolutions.ca
  • 4. Introduction You Are Not Alone In Your Quest For More Comments This problem is more of an epidemic than what you might first think. Blogs like “open mike” by retired Executive Chairman Mike Critelli of Pitney Bowes and world electronics giant Hitachi see an average of 0-5 comments a post. If voices for these multi-billion global businesses have these challenges it’s not unreasonable for the rest of us to see similar results. Many of the solutions to generating audience participation are found in what great marketing, public relations and journalism have always taught. Some of the answers are unique to social media. We wanted to get specific on why people don’t comment on blogs and social network posts so we wrote a blog that started with just 5 issues and asked LinkedIn members what they thought. The following problems and solutions are based on a review of over 130 comments that replied to the original post “5 Reasons Why Nobody Comments on Your Blog and Posts”. To see the original blog go to http://tinyurl.com/y8jpbdn. Many more ideas are available on the blog. Please enjoy the following pages and tell us about your results on the noted URL. 4.
  • 5. 5 Comment Killers 1. Not Enough Traffic - The number of people coming to your post is one of the most critical starting points for success. The greater the quantity of people that come to the site the better the comment conversion rate. If you create content take responsibility for bringing the traffic too. 2. Too Much Choice - People are bombarded with massive amounts of information. The overabun- dance of ads, email, online choices, offline information and more are all compete for your audience’s time. Find reasons why you should be more important so people stop and give you their time. 3. Too Boring - Unlike a few years ago, today there is an overabundance of people with similar expertise as yours sharing their view in blogs and social media posts. Saying the same thing in your own way or talking about the same popular topics everyone else is can easily bore readers. 4. Not Thought Provoking - Have you said something that makes people stop, think and challenge their own viewpoint? If you’re saying something readers can find anywhere or your message is too similar to how they already perceive the topic your audience won’t be stimulated to respond. 5. Lacking Audience Loyalty - How familiar is your audience with you or your business? What about your offline customers, prospects, suppliers and industry influencers? Are they loyal to you online? It can take a person a minimum of 3 to 11 returns to your site before they want to have a dialogue. 5.
  • 6. 5 Site And Post Blunders 6. Hard To Find Comment Section - Simplicity is everything. If there is too much space or interven- ing information between the post/blog and the comment section people will simply leave. Keep the comment section very close to the end of the blog so it’s easy to post a comment after reading. 7. Difficult Comment Sign-in - Have you tried your own comment sign-in process? People want to leave a comment with a minimum effort. If it takes more than 3-6 seconds to sign-in and leave a comment a majority of people will give-up. 8. Errors In Content - While your post might look accurate to you it may not be to other people. A misstatement of facts, an error in quoting a source or a poorly thought through conclusion can create a bad business impression. Follow the lead of great journalists and go for perfection. 9. Broken or Wrong Links - It’s rare when a hyperlink problems occurs but when it does people loose patience and leave. Double check links just to be sure; you may not get a second chance to impress as the reader may form a poor impression of your professionalism. 10. Irrelevant Ad Words and Banners - Are you running 3rd party advertising that does not relate directly to your content and site’s theme? Are there too many sales pitches for your money making programs? If there is too much clutter competing for attention people will get turned off and leave. 6.
  • 7. 5 Human Factors To Consider 11. Fear of Being First - A certain part of an audience is afraid of being the first person to comment. There can be a fear of being read by everyone and potentially critiqued as a result. In reality this rarely happens. Ask a contact that doesn’t mind being first to share their view and get things started. 12. Worried About Getting It Wrong - Another part of your audience fears they won’t say the right thing and could be criticized in public. In most cases this seldom happens. By replying to comments and thanking and praising commentators it’s possible to encourage a few more people to join in. 13. Not Wanting A Digital Footprint - Pretty much everything you do online creates a history of your activity anyone can access. Some people prefer their privacy and do not want to leave footprints behind. Either you will gain this segment’s loyalty or not. Focus on easier to reach groups. 14. Only .25% to 1% Comment - Depending on the loyalty of the audience and how hot the topic is, expect only .25% to 1% of your audience to comment. In rare instances a highly engaged and loyal readership can generate up to 5% plus comment conversions (comments as a percent of page views). 15. It’s Not Always Predictable - Even experienced online writers with over 5-10 years experience will tell you that content they thought would do great fails and other articles they write in minutes does well. Stay focused on larger goals so periodic disappointment does not derail motivation. 7.
  • 8. 5 Ways To Command The Stage 16. Have an Opinion - Posts and blogs fail because the content is too vanilla (boring). If you think the topic is too average turn it on its head and form a professionally strong opinion on the topic. When you take a definite position people will be more stimulated and offer their opinion back. 17. Project Personality - Being professional, polished and neutral can put people to sleep. Adopt a consistent writing style such as humour, cynical, authoritative or industry critic. This persona needs to match your brand. Edgy wording can make a neutral story spring to life. 18. Know The Hot Buttons - It’s easy to talk about what you know, and you should, but so does everyone else. Stop and think about what customers complain about, what their dreams are, what action they should they take but never do. Push the right buttons you’ll rouse opinion and action. 19. Pick Perfect Timing - Sharing your content at a time that is convenient for your schedule may be the absolutely the wrong time for your audience. Find out what time people check their favorite sites for your type of posts. If your audience isn’t there they can’t comment. 20. Know Your Audience - People connect with content and communities they relate to. Do not assume topics that are important to your business are what your audience wants. Merge your passion and leadership with your audience’s needs and you’ll find a stronger connection. 8.
  • 9. 5 Game Changers 21. Get The Title Right - Your title may be putting people off. If you cannot catch someone’s atten- tion within 4-7 words with a strong reason to read further they won’t make it to the comment section. Look at newspapers, magazines and great advertising for examples of titles that pack a punch. 22. Strategically Ask For Input - Many people are conditioned not to comment because they’re used to news and information articles. You want to change this. Develop a style of asking questions throughout a post to stimulate your audience into thinking about sharing their input. 23. Remind Them To Comment - Most people do not read with the intent of commenting. By remind- ing them there is a comment section at the end of the article/post it sets an expectation that you are looking for their participation. Small steps can make a big difference. 24. Offer A Next Step - By changing the tone of many of your articles into a research and audience participation mode, more people who want their opinion to be know will step forward. Suggest that you will be doing a future article based on input and would welcome their perspective. 25. Respond To Comments - After you have the first comment, even if it was started by a client or colleague, reply to it. People are more likely to add their input when they see a discussion and a quantity of comments. Most importantly, remember genuine dialogue builds audience trust. 9.
  • 10. Conclusion For The Pro Gaining Comments Is A Process Communication disciplines such as marketing, public relations and mass media recognize that success is 99% perspiration and 1% Target inspiration. If you want more success it’s best to eliminate chance Audience and begin mastering your activity as interconnected processes. Technique Content Target Audience - know who you want to talk to, what’s important to them and how they want to interact with your business. Comments come easier when people relate to you. Traffic Content - take the time to be original, have a point of view, a personality and a definite position. Match this to your audience’s needs to create a connection. Traffic - if you produce content you are responsible for letting people know where, when and how to find it. The greater the quality and quantity of visitors you have the more you improve potential comments. Technique - if you want your social network posting and blogging to generate dialogue with your audience take the time to learn new skills. Study engagement techniques in marketing and mass media as a foundation and learn what works for other people in social media. By mastering new techniques that inspire comments it’s possible to move from a content creator to an interactive community. 10.

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