There are very few absolutes when it comes to blogging. Plenty of discussion continues on all the nuances of writing a great blog post. But over time, “best practices” do emerge. They’re not absolutes. They’re not perfect. And rules are made to be broken.
But, used as guidelines, there’s a plethora of good help out there on writing great blog posts.
What about tips on how to create more discussion? To get people to comment? Short of yelling or begging, let’s take a look at 5 blog writing tips to get more comments:
- Controversial / In-Your-Face Headlines. Write a headline that’s opposite of what people would expect. Write a headline that takes an obviously controversial or bizarre stance. Write a headline that’s “in your face” and to the point. The most popular post I’ve ever written was titled, “5 Things You Shouldn’t Spend Money On When Starting a Business”.
Or, write a headline that asks a very direct question, or a question that’s bound to ruffle feathers. The 2nd most popular post I’ve ever written was titled, “What Do Real Estate Agents Do Exactly? Where’s The Value And Innovation?”
- Keep Posts Short. There’s a time and place for long posts, but if you want to generate comments, keep your posts as short as possible. I’m not recommending that you exclude information from your arguments, but the longer a post goes, the more people skim, and the less likely they are to get the information they really want; the information that’s going to get them to comment.
- Take a Stand. If you wiffle-waffle in a post, or present too many sides to an argument, no one will bother commenting. Take a stand, stick with it, argue as persuasively as you can, and then let the “yays” and “nays” battle it out in the comments.
- End Blog Posts With Questions. Make the question as specific as possible. “What do you think?” might not be inspiring enough to get someone to comment. Re-iterate the point or argument of the blog post in the question, to make it as direct and pointed as possible.
- Put a Kicker Inside. It’s understood that the start and end of a blog post need to pack a punch. People read the intro, skim…skim some more, and read the end right? Well, some people do read the middle. And you may be able to nab someone into commenting by putting some kind of kicker in the middle. Give ’em something meaty to chew on, and they might even skim the rest of the post so they can comment right away. If the middle is drab, people will be less inspired by the end anyway, so shock ’em on the inside.
How-to posts are not going to generate the most comments, unless someone disagrees with your approach. And while comments like, “I agree totally!” are very flattering and a nice boost to ye old ego, they don’t necessarily encourage discussion.
Commenting is all about discussion. Get people talking and debating through comments and you’ve got something extremely powerful.
What are your tips and tricks for generating comments? What has worked for you in the past? Tell us!
And in case you forgot — it’s Blog About 5 Things Week. Join the fun!