As a new Blogger - or even an established one - you’ve spent a great deal of time installing, designing, perfecting your Blog. You’ve considered your niche market, your interests, assigned time to your work and uploaded the first carefully worded and well researched articles onto the Internet. The world, you confidently predict, is about to fall at your feet and recognize you and your Blog as part and parcel of their future lives, something they simply cannot do without. Within a short time frame, however, you notice that the attention, the response you’d been hoping for, the return on all your hard work simply isn’t there. A few readers may well have visited your Blog, but only in passing; few have left comments, if at all.
There are two sides to a Blog: writing and reading on the one, appreciating and commenting on the other. Writing and reading belong together simply because it is safe to assume that anyone who creates a Blog, anyone who visits a Blog can read and write. Appreciating and commenting belong together because this is what the Blog writer hopes to achieve; to ignite a spark of appreciation for their talent or their opinion and content in the reader and bring them to comment in one form or another. The appreciation of a particular post is something which most writers rarely get to see, the greater majority of readers move on without voicing their opinion either on the writing skills of the Blogger, or on the contents of their article. This may be either because what they read wasn’t quite that which they had been searching for or didn’t spark with them, didn’t excite their imaginations or give them too much cause for thought. The former visitors are hardly likely to change; if they are searching for something else the chances of holding their attention are minimal. The latter, however, are a target audience worthy of attention. Once they are on the site they need to be coaxed into taking part.
Taking part in a Blog is interactivity. The reader effectively interacts with the writer, and with future readers, by leaving a comment in one form or another. Aim of the Blogger should be to awaken this desire to interact by forcing the reader to react in the first instance, either positively or negatively, to hold their attention, make them think and form an opinion, give them a reason to have their say. There are no set formulas on how to achieve this interactivity, how to bring readers to comment, but many different methods which work in certain situations.
The first means of getting comments on a Blog is to check out other Blogs with similar themes and target audiences: literally checking out the opposition. More than this, however, the Blogger should take time not just to note what others have to say and the manner in which they bring their message across, but to comment themselves on posts they have read. There are several reasons for this: interactivity is a many sided form, a Blogger is more likely to check out the website of someone who has commented and then leave a comment themselves; other readers searching for similar or diverse opinions will visit Blogs of other people who comment; a link on a well visited Blog will bring more returns through Page Rank based search engines and, thus, more visitors likely to comment.
Next: consider the contents of the Blog. Is what appears a finished product needing no expansion, no diversity, no further enhancements, or is it a well crafted work which invites the reader to add their opinion? Is there something within the post which challenges the reader to form their own opinion, challenges them to voice their opinion through a comment? Is the article controversial and likely to bring discussion from several different angles, from opposing opinions? Are there questions within the article inviting answers? Does the article contain experiences which are likely to remind readers of their own troubles, joys and life? The best form of comment for most Blogs is the opinion of someone else which, once aired, can draw further comments from other people, regardless of whether the comments are negative or positive.
Finally, follow up on comments made on other Blogs to show an interest, which will bring more people to visit, and answer comments made to keep a conversation going. A writer who shows interest in the opinions of readers, who replies, who checks regularly and follows up is more likely to attract a faithful following of people ready to comment than one who merely sits back and doesn’t interact. Every visitor leaving a comment desires their moment of attention, exactly the same as every Blogger.