In the past, I’ve discussed the content I like to read on blogs and my preferences in regards to the visual and content aspects of blogs. This time, I’m going to share my tips on how to get your readers to interact with you more.
- Get rid of word verification! I mentioned this on my post about the visual stuff, but I really can’t stress this enough. Word verification/captcha = bad bad bad. So many people won’t bother to comment if they see it, and that means you’ll lose potential interaction with your readers. As I said before, you aren’t going to get bombarded with spam if you turn it off, and the new friends you make will be worth it.
- Link your feed. Lots of us read blogs in a reader, and by linking up your RSS feed, it makes it so much easier to just click a button and subscribe. Put that somewhere easy to find on your main page.
- Speaking of your feed- use the full feed option! I almost never click over when it’s partial content. If I’ve got you in my feed, it’s because I want to read your blog and interact with you. I don’t like feeling like I’m just one more click for your stats- and if you have a partial feed I feel like you’re trying to manipulate me for clicks. (Lots of people feel differently about this, it is a huge debate in blogland. Again, this is just my opinion.)
- Also, social media. If you use other forms of social media besides blogging, link those up as well. There are applications that send your blog posts to your twitter and your Facebook page automatically each time you post- increasing your reach. Some people prefer to respond to posts on those platforms as well.
- Comment back! When someone leaves a comment on your blog, reply to them. You can do this via your blog itself, email, or even go to their blog and return the favor. But whatever you do, don’t just say “I’m visiting from my blog, www.url.com! Come check me out!”. That’s so annoying and I’d rather have no comment than one where it’s obvious that you haven’t read a word I have said.
- Encourage interaction by asking questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or input on your blog posts.
- Threaded comments are awesome. I love threaded comments, then you can see who replied to who and it makes it so much easier to follow the conversation. And I love when conversations get started in my comments!
- Email plug-ins rock! Another amazing thing is the plug-in that automatically emails you the replies to your specific comment. I love it because while I don’t necessarily want every single comment sent to me from every blog I comment on, I love knowing when someone replies to me directly- and to get a notice in my email is way better than trying to remember where I’ve left a comment to go back and check.
I’m not the best commenter, I really need to work on that. I have recently narrowed down my reader, because it was so overwhelming. I think I’ve got it down to a small enough amount, because I feel like even though I’m reading less blogs, I’m commenting more.
What tips or tricks do you have to encourage reader interaction?