Let’s face it: No one likes to feel like they’re just shouting out into the air and not being heard. As human beings (well, non-sociopath human beings) we have a deep-seeded need to connect with other human beings. It’s in our nature. We want to be close to people and to love people. Why else would we care so much about our relationships with friends, family, and lovers/spouses? We want to be heard, and know that someone who is hearing us understands or relates.
This desire, while being central to our relationships in our physical lives (in our homes, schools, jobs, etc.), also applies to our lives online. What else can be said for public blogs and the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or others. If we didn’t want that kind of connection we’d have private blogs, or only our paper journals at home on our nightstands.
One of the best ways to assure that you’re being understood and that people are connecting with what you write, is by instigating a conversation both on your blog, and on other people’s blogs. That is how you can build up a great sense of community, and find those connections we all desire.
Commenting and Responding
You want people to comment on what you write, correct? Then it’s safe to assume that they want you to comments on their posts as well; but not just any comments, meaningful comments. When you comment on someone’s post it should show them that you actually read it, and you are responding to what they said. If you can’t always find something substantial to say, just leave a little response letting them know you are there and reading and supporting them.
The same can be said of responding to comments. People want to know that their comments aren’t falling on deaf ears, and that they matter. They want to know that it’s appreciated that they’re leaving you meaningful comments and connecting with you, and that you are connecting with them in return. It’s one great big blogging community-and the back and forth is what makes it more than just shouting out into the internet.
Whether you choose to respond forum style directly in the comments on the post, or emailing them a response, it goes a long way with people when they make the effort to reach out to you. Personally, if I’m following a blog and commenting often and I never receive any kind of response or acknowledgement-I’m less likely to continue commenting because I feel like they don’t care. Whether they do care or not is irrelevant at that point, because I feel like they don’t so why should it matter if I leave a meaningful comment?
Enable Your Email (Blogger Users)
My personal favorite way to respond is via email. Some bloggers prefer the forum style commenting because it keeps the conversation out in the open, and anyone can join in-which I can see the benefit of, but I really don’t care for forum type commenting because you don’t know if they’ve responded unless you go back and read through the comments again at a later date-which you don’t always remember to do or have time for. I love when a blogger can reply to me through email and we can keep the conversation going there. It provides a much clearer and easier way to get to know each other and actually communicate.
In turn, I like to reply through email to the people who comment on my blog so we can keep the conversation going, or I can answer any questions they may have had.
To enable your email:
- Log into your account at www.blogger.com
- Click on the down arrow up by your name in the upper right hand corner of the window
- Select Blogger Profile from the pop up
- In the Blogger Profile click Edit Profile in the upper right hand corner
- Make sure it’s checked to Show email in profile
- Enter the email you want them to reply to next to Email Address
To get your comments emailed to you:
- Log into your account at www.blogger.com
- Click on the blog name you wish to enable email for
- Go to Settings > Mobile and email
- Next to Comment and Notification Email enter your email address.
So how do you keep the conversation going?
The Better Your Blog Series is a series of posts written by myself, Angie of My So-Called Chaos, from my own personal experience as a long-time blogger, small-business owner, and as someone who’s worked with technology and customer service for many many years. They are written with the intent of sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired through years of practice and education (both self-taught and school-taught) with others in the blogging community.
In this collection of posts you’ll not only find tips for maintaining your blog, but also for anything that goes along with being a blogger and/or small business owner-like design tips and tutorials, social media, tools, and more.
The posts in this series are constantly being updated to make sure they stay current, and the series is constantly being added to. Please contact me if there’s something you’d like to learn.