The Value of Blog Comments

leavecommetgifWritten in response to the Writer’s Digest 2015 October Platform Challenge

Blogging is an excellent way to express ourselves, improve skills, impart knowledge and expertise, or share stories. But, what role do comments, both given and received, play? Are they important?

When I began blogging in 2008, I had no aspirations beyond using my blog as a way to express grief after the sudden loss of my best friend. But, then people began to respond. I made connections, my grief lessened, and my writing evolved. Without their encouragement, I’m not sure I would still be writing.

The Value of Blog Comments: 
  • They are the lifeblood of any blog – connecting us to others.
  • Tell us our words have resonated with someone.
  • Sometimes, they express gratitude.
  • Other times, they offer us a different opinion to consider.
  • An avenue to share resources, give recognition, or validate information.
  • Provide ideas for future topics.
  • Creates a network of bloggers, writers, classes, and groups.

Given these benefits, how can we create an atmosphere of interaction?

Ways to Invite Reader Participation:
  • Lead the way – Comment on your favorite blogs. Make sure what you have to say will add value to the conversation.
  • Keep it simple – spam is a valid concern. However, CAPTCHA’S can actually discourage readers from leaving comments. Trying to match blurred letters or numbers in little boxes is more annoying than trying to read the fine print on the back of a medicine bottle.
  • Do away with registrations. Requiring readers to fill out a form before leaving a comment is a sure-fire way not to get one.
  • Readers respond more often to a call-to-action or questions.
  • Be an active participant on your own blog – respond and interact with those who have taken the time to read and respond.

Not only is replying to comments, the polite thing to do, but doing so helps create a network of like-minded bloggers and writers, which adds value to all of us.

People blog for different reasons and the topics are as varied as the names. We want to believe our blogs provide valuable information or entertaining stories, but without reader participation, how will we know?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. And as always, you can follow me on Facebook at SheilaMGood, PinterestBloglovin, Twitter @cofcmom, and Contently.

 

What Are Your Goals?

Blogging 201: Set Three Goals  
First things first: let’s set some goals and plan for success.

I’ve just begun another course from The Daily Post, Blogging 201. Our first assignment is to review our blog with a critical eye and set three goals. 

I began blogging in 2009 after the death of my best friend. Friendship of a Lifetime, became a place to journal thoughts and opinions related to friendship and loss. As I began to write, I decided it was a great opportunity for me to share my journey and thus, Cow Pasture Chronicles was created.

At the time, followers were not my focus, but learning and growing in the craft of writing. I shared things I thought would be helpful to other writers, as well as some of my own fiction, essays and opinion pieces. I was thrilled when I began receiving ping backs, mentions, followers and comments. Now I would like to sharpen  focus (brand) of Cow Pasture Chronicles. To begin this process I have written three goals:

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1) Post weekly.  In the past, I haven’t  been consistent.

2) Establish a regular feature by the middle of November. Blogging 101 suggested this, but I haven’t decided which feature I want.  Right now, it’s between a weekly feature on, Writing (how-to’s), Opinion pieces (based on current affairs), or a Fiction Gallery (Showcasing not only my fiction but others who wish to share).

3) Network and connect more with my followers by reading and commenting. I have been working on this since Blogging 101, but I can do better. I believe successful networking and communication with other bloggers will foster more traffic and additional followers.

I have additional goals, but this is a good start. Have you set new goals?goal-setting-in-action-1024x817