When it comes to blogging, I am about as green as it gets. I’ve had a lot of great help getting started, and I’d like to pay that forward. Thanks again for all of the people reading this that have given me advice! I am, by no means, a super-famous blogger, but I wouldn’t have even been on the right track if it weren’t for the help of my fellow bloggers.
Suggestion 1: Know your Audience
Any writer, no matter what forum, should write with their particular audience in mind. You have to know who you are writing to and what they might be interested in reading. Reading other articles related to the same/similar topics might help you get an idea of what people are interested in. You might also be able to see how other authors were able to suck people into their conversations.
Once you figure out exactly what you want to talk about, you have to frame it properly. If you fill your article with jargon that only a select group of people understand, then that select group of people are probably going to be the only ones to read it. When you’re fishing for an audience you have to use a bait that the largest number of “fish” are going to grab onto.
To put is simply, know who it is you’re trying to start a conversation with, and write as if you were walking up to them on the street to talk.
Suggestion 2: Have a Conversation with your Readers
This is the suggestion that I had the hardest time learning at first. I had so many great ideas that I just wanted to share with the world. I wanted people to think and talk about what I was writing. I had great content and ideas, but I was framing it like a book instead of a blog. Writing a blog is definitely different from writing a book, which is what my fellow bloggers helped me to figure out.
Write as if you are having a conversation with your readers instead of just ramming information/ideas down their gullet. Frame your article around a question, or ask the readers questions throughout. A conversation has to go back and forth, and the best way to do that is through questions. What do you think? Don’t necessarily write metaphorical questions either. Write actual questions that you would like an answer to.
You could also suggest thinking points and ask the readers to give their opinion on those points. Whatever you do, you need to get the readers involved in the conversation. This might mean that you need to literally ask for comments at the bottom of your post. Then you can express your interest in their opinion by saying something along the lines of, “I really look forward to reading your response” or “I am very interested to see what you think.” Blogging is about communicating ideas, and effective communication involves a constant flow back and forth between receiver and transmitter.
Suggestion 3: It’s All About the Layout
When you first begin your blog you’re probably going to play around with layouts before you finally find one that works for you. I think it took me 3 or 4 tries to finally land on one and stick with it. Whichever one you choose, make sure that it is user-friendly for your readers. Ensure that the “Comment” link is easily accessible, and make sure that your blog layout isn’t too cluttered and hard to navigate.
Also, you might want to think about choosing a layout that only shows the casual browser a portion of your article. For one, this can act as a good teaser to draw certain readers into certain articles. It also makes the page easier to scroll through and leave comments on applicable posts. For instance, one of my first few layouts I tried had the “Comment” link all the way at the top of each article. The articles were also fully displayed, and therefore the reader had to scroll all the way to the top, after reading the article, to find the “Comment” link. It’s no wonder I wasn’t getting any comments for, what seemed like, forever.
Suggestion 4: Use Community Pool
I will tell you that posting in the Community Pool saved my blog from eternal deletion. If you’re new to blogging and haven’t gotten onto The Daily Post: Community Pool, then you are missing out. The link for it is: Community Pool. When I first started blogging I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t succeeding in any way with my blog, and, to my surprise, I was flooded with amazing advice from fellow bloggers.
The Community Pool is where bloggers go to get help and help each other. However, the rule is, if you receive help then you have to help another as well. In the Community Pool you can post an article that you’ve written and get people’s opinion about it. Make sure to ask for comments specifically. This can help you gauge your writing skills and topics to choose from. There is a huge crowd in the Community Pool just seemingly waiting to give people advice about their blogging.
One thing to note is, when you ask for comments in the Community Pool, make sure you ask readers to leave comments in the comments section of the article. If they leave a comment in the Community Pool, the greater audience of readers may not be able to see it. This not good because, when people see others commenting on your article, they are much more likely to join in on the commenting.
Final Suggestion: Read Others’ Blogs and Leave Your Link
Everybody wants to have their blogs read, but if you only worry about your own blogs, you’re probably not going to get many followers. Go and browse other blogger’s articles and maybe find other people with similar tastes/opinions as you. Read their article and leave a comment. You know, they say “Treat others the same way you want to be treated”. That applies to blogging too.
When you do leave comments on other people’s blogs, make sure you leave them a way to find your blog easier. You can do this by including your blog’s link and signing your comment. I’ll show you what I mean at the end of this article.
I hope these suggestions can help somebody improve their blog and get people commenting. Having discussions with people all over the world is an exciting adventure, and you never know where it might take you. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not an overnight sensation when you start your blog. Give it time and follow other blogger’s advice. You’ll do just fine.
Please, fellow bloggers, feel free to add any suggestions or ideas in the comments section. I would love to answer any questions you might have regarding my suggestions. I look forward to hearing what you think as well as any results you might have had after using the suggestions.
I’d like to thank fellow blogger, Robin, for motivating me to write this article and for all of her help with getting my blog on its feet. You can find her at: https://robinbrodrick.com . She’s got some great articles so make sure to drop by and visit her blog.