There are so many Super Duper Things You Can Do For Your Blog…
Some of the littlest things can make a huge difference for you and for your blog.
I’m still working on my Instagram, hopefully next week I’ll have an update. But this week as I read posts across the web there were a few things that really began to bother me. Kind of like when you have a splinter in your finger, every time you bump that spot it’s irritating, you try to forget about it, but you know it’s there. Under the surface. It pains you.
Well, this week I’m feeling the splinter.
I think it’s been there for a while. In fact, I know it has. I forgot about it for a bit. But this week several posts and comments I read were like bumping the spot. It was irritating.
Those of you who have been blogging a bit are role models, of a sort, to those who are new to the platform. So, I feel as if I would be remiss if I don’t prevent you from getting a splinter or keep you from irritating mine! LOL
1. Why do you blog????
Seriously! I spend 8 hours a day in front of my computer, 5 days a week, minimum. I’m looking to connect with others like me. Those who want to #livelifebetter. A little bit better here and a bit better there. People who want to eat good food, create healthy habits, form good relationships-with others and ourselves, and have a gorgeous Instagram account! LOL
I want to build my blog, I want to reach more people. I would like to have a whole lotta pageviews so Google Adsense pays me big money each and every month. I’d like to work with a few Brands that fit with my Blog and my beliefs. I would also like to be paid handsomely to write the best Sponsored Posts you’ve ever read, and have Companies clamoring for me to feature them on my IG account.
And I want to give back. I want to help change the perception of addiction and mental illness. I want those who follow my blog to get benefit through sharing and collaboration. I want to travel the USA, and world, meeting all of you who come here often and hang out in my comment section, email and Social Media.
I want to be like Regina.com (don’t we all???) gorgeous, funny, smart, and generous. I want to give away a MAC computer or a camera, on a Wednesday-just because I can, for those who need a leg up in their business. This is who I want me and my blog to be when we grow up.
What do you want? Do you know? Or are you happy where you are?
2. I’ve written a blog post about this before…
You may have even read it. If not, click here, seriously, click there! It’s highly recommended reading.
But it’s time to talk about it again. As I visit linkups, cruise the web, answer comments and fall into the CommentLuv Wormhole there are a few things that irritate my splinter.
Blogging is like raising a child; it takes a village. You can do it by yourself, but if you want to do it well, you need a village.
I think we all agree with that, right? The more the merrier.
But, many blogs I read are not making it easy to be a part of their village. They’re giving their “wanna be” villagers a splinter. (If you don’t mind me mixing my metaphors! LOL Hope I’m not confusing you too much!)
If someone from the village calls and offers to babysit your child you’d call them back, right? Let them know that you received the message and what time you needed their help? Or would you write them a note and leave it on your desk? How would they know what time to come? Or that you even needed them? So when it’s time for you to go to work and the village babysitter doesn’t show up? Who’s fault is that?
When you don’t have a system in place on your blog to let a visitor know that you answered the comment they so generously left for you it’s kinda like writing a note for the villager and leaving it on your desk.
I comment on at least 150 blogs a week, I receive a reply to my comment 10% of the time. How many of these blogs do you think I’ll visit again? If I don’t get an reply I’m led to believe that they don’t want to be part of my village.
I’m working to build a community. To make friends. Aren’t we all? It’s not a one way street.
And I shouldn’t have to come back to your blog-I may not even know your web address if it was the first time I visited, search to find the post I commented on-if I remember what post it was, to find out if you answered me.
Make it easy on me, and everyone else, to visit your blog! We’re all busy, each and everyone of us. We need a village, make it easy for the village; to help you, to grow with you, to help you raise your baby blog into a Big Girl or Boy Blog? You can’t do it by yourself.
Don’t give your village a splinter, or continue to aggravate the one they already have.
3. Comment Reply System for your Blog…
Get a comment Reply System. I believe you can activate one through Jet-Pack. Use Comment Reply Notification Plugin, I use it. It shows that it hasn’t been updated in years, add it anyway, it’s not broke, it doesn’t need fixed! If you’re afraid to take my word for it read the comments left on the plugin page, everybody’s doin’ it! LOL
If you comment on my blog you will receieve my reply in your email box. We can continue the conversation. Become friends, or fellow villagers.
But this relationship will only happen if I know that you replied to me. If your reply is left on your desk, or in your comment section, and you don’t send it to me, I won’t know that you wanted to continue the conversation. So, I look for someone else who wants to hang out, build, grow, create community.
This plug-in is right up there with Askimet, Yoast SEO, Google Analytics. It’s one, if not, the most important Plugin on my blog. Commenting and replying is just that important! Seriously.
It doesn’t matter what my; niche, brand, voice, topic, host, theme, opinion is-if no one gets my replies. You need every single one of these things for your blog to be successful so it can grow up.
For the first 2 years I blogged I did it to an empty room. I had a niche, voice, topic, host, theme and an opinion. But I didn’t interact with anyone, I didn’t have a Comment Reply System. I learned a lot in the first 2 years, but I could have been much further along if I had realized how important this really was.
It’s that important! Commenting and replying go together like Peanut butter and Chocolate. You can have one or the other, but they are much better together. Together they create something incredible.
I don’t know about you, but I want incredible! (And I really love Chocolate and Peanut butter! LOL)
If your blogging platform does not allow plugins, think about changing to one that does. Or use the Google+ or Disqus system. Although I don’t use these systems on my blog I check them each day for replies to my comments. You don’t have to use the same system I do, but use something!
If you are content with where you are, if you don’t want to build a community, if you don’t want to grow, then ignore all of this. But, if the previous is not true, then do something!
Disclaimer added: I am not upset if I don’t receive a reply to my comments, I just keep on rolling, I don’t think about a comment I left until I see a reply, then I’m intrigued, and I will be back to visit that blog. But that’s the point. If your readers don’t see your reply then they’ve probably forgotten about your blog. They move on until they find someone who will talk back to them, have a conversation. They begin to follow that blog and blogger. They become part of the village. Don’t miss out on finding someone who could be a tribe member for you. I hate to see you all struggle to build a community and fail to utilize your comment section. It’s the biggest tool you have in your arsenal! You can do better than I did, I sat alone with my blog for years, I’d love for you to do it faster, bigger and better than me! Go get ’em!
4. Commenting on a blog is good for your SEO…
I’m sure you’ve heard that. But, there’s always a “but”, isn’t there? LOL The only way that you will get good Karma from commenting is if you write a thoughtful comment. If you copy and paste the same comment into blog post after blog post, Google’s gonna give you the stink eye. If you write, “Great Post”, or “Thanks for coming”, Google is gonna put you on the naughty list.
Google wants to see a good, somewhat lengthy comment. More than 2 words, and not the same words comment section after comment section. And we want Google to be our friend. Part of our village. We do not want to give Google a splinter and we really don’t want to irritate it!
So, what can you do to keep Google happy and build your village at the same time?
Learn how to write a comment.
It’s not hard, but it is a learned talent. Some posts are easy to comment on, the blogger may ask questions to lead you into a comment. Love that blogger, they are giving you a segue, you can breathe easy, just make sure you embellish a bit. Make them want to get to know you through your comment.
A great comment written on someone else’s blog could have them venturing over to your blog. They end up liking what you write, they comment on a few posts. You end up answering each other, the conversation continues. You become buddies and you visit each other a few times a week. Not only do you have a new friend, you got great SEO points for writing thoughtful comments, and Google is loving on you right now.
For example; last week I read a great article by one of my favorite bloggers, I love what she writes, and I’m one of her millions of followers. Her blog’s all grown up, it wears Big Girl Panties. Just to give you an idea of how big she is…her Alexa score Worldwide is 62,000. And she’s incredible.
I left a comment on the article that I read, it touched me, deeply. I wrote a short paragraph about how much I agreed with her and that I wish I would have had this knowledge earlier, it may have changed my son’s life. I was just reaching out, letting her know how much she and her words meant to me.
There were a bunch of other comments on her post, tons of others who felt something from reading the post. Her community/village is huge, loving, supportive. You can feel it, you want to be part of it.
She never replied to my comment, I would have <squee’d> if she did, HOLLA!!!
But, because I left a thoughtful comment, one that fit with the message an odd thing happened. A really good odd thing. I’ve received hundreds, yes I said hundreds, of pageviews from that comment. In just 2 days. All because I left a thoughtful comment. I didn’t leave a link to my blog, I just commented. Thoughtfully.
So, not only were people intrigued by the comment I wrote, they wanted to get to know me, I was never answered by the owner of the blog-but because I commented on her post thoughtfully, and since her ranking is much higher than mine I get a boost in rankings. And I got hundreds of pageviews, probably a few new friends. And all I did was write a thoughtful comment.
Will this happen every time I leave a thoughtful comment? No. But I’ll write one anyway. Why? Karma, Baby, Karma! And because it’s the right thing to do. I give others what I would like to receive myself.
How many “Great post” comments do you want left on your blog? Exactly!
5. Thoughtful commenting is actually a Super Power (SHHHH! Don’t tell anyone! It’s a secret!)
And, if you don’t think your comment section is important, that no one reads your comment section, re-read the paragraph above. Hundreds of people read my comment in someone else’s comment section. People read the comments in your comment section. The comments left in your comment section also give an impression to new readers, and brands, about who you are and what others think about you and your blog.
What impression are they getting? I want people, and brands, to get the impression that I am a interesting person, that I can help them #livelifebetter, that I’m trust-worthy, friendly, funny, caring. Do you think they’ll come to that conclusion if my comment section is full of “Thanks for linking up to my party.” or “Thanks for stopping by.”
Help them come to conclusions about you and your blog. The conclusion that you want them to have! Make it easy for them. You have the power. SERIOUSLY!
If you are not using the comment section of your blog to your advantage why do you have a comment section?
This is your blog! You chose the colors, you chose the host, theme, advertising, domain name…it took time, you worked HARD to create a blog, a brand, a business. Why are you giving the power away in your comment section?
You might as well give them your admin name and your password too!
6. Police the comment section of your blog…
Obviously you have an anti-spam plugin on your blog and you read the comments others leave before you allow them on your blog, right? If you allow the comments to post immediately you’re checking them often, correct? Make sure that the comments are worthy of your real estate. If not, don’t publish them.
If someone leaves a comment like:
- Great post
- Stopping by again.
I don’t publish it. I read it and I’m thankful they visited, but it’s doing both our SEOs a disservice to publish. And it’s not something I can really take the time to answer.
I run a weekly linkup. And I am really beginning to rethink my strategy when commenting. I think that link parties are great to gather pageviews, get to know other bloggers, and to find a community.
Many linkups ask you to let the blogger you are visiting know you are there via their party by leaving a; “visiting from #WAYWOW link party” in your comment. Or, “Thanks for linking to #WAYWOW”, “Hope to see you at #WAYWOW”. But I’m now realizing the folly of leaving comments like this. I’m guilty of it too, I’m working to change my ways!
If a linkup system works-building community around your blog, you’ll get to a point where you won’t need to join a million linkups each week. When you reach that point you don’t want your comment section filled with comments that were very clearly left only because you entered a link party.
Now I’m focusing on just leaving a thoughtful comment behind. Each time someone links to my party I get pageviews (and the opportunity to meet some awesome bloggers who have become great friends, that’s not the point of this article, but I wanted you all to know I love you all! xoxoxo). Since I’m gaining great benefit I want to make sure that I’m also giving great benefit.
I’d rather leave a really great comment for those who link to my party, one that will help new visitors form a great impression about my friend’s blog. One that leads them to return to the blog, to leave their own thoughtful comments, to help my friend build a village of their very own.
Now that’s the power of a comment.
7. Lastly, how to be a Super Duper Blogger…
Lately I’ve been reading some articles indicating it was too difficult to leave a thoughtful comment on a blog post that doesn’t pertain to you. Especially when you enter a linkup that asks for you to read and comment on the link before yours. Perhaps the link is about a topic that you have no interest in, know nothing about, don’t care about, and so you leave a “Great Post” comment and leave.
Work at it, get good at it. Think. Use your words and your mind. We’re writers, and I’m going to be a bit presumptuous and state I believe we bloggers are pretty darn intelligent bunch. Use it!
Teaching yourself to write a thoughtful comment is actually a Super Power. A thoughtful comment is putting the other person first, thinking about them, stringing together your words in a way that makes the person feel good and look good.
It teaches you to write better. More personal. More thoughtful (are you getting sick of that word yet? I want it to stick in your head!). Learning to write a great comment will make you a better blog post writer by default. You will be more personal, thoughtful, cleaver.
Yeah, it really is a Super Power.
Pretend you are at a party, setting by this really nice woman you’ve never met before. She’s really nice, sweet as can be. And she’s telling you about her day. She spent the day with her cats, cats that she dresses in costumes. She has 25 cats and they perform on stage in full costume.
The woman is nice, but you don’t like cats, or costumes, or plays. And you think she may be a bit nuts. But she’s so sweet. You wish you were sitting anywhere else. What do you do?
You think of a few questions to ask her. “What color is Calico’s skirt?”, “Calico likes the pink one best?”, “What does she like to eat?” And you listen to her answers, or you relate a cat story you saw on Facebook. Something, anything. You sit with her, make conversation, and she smiles. You made her feel good, great actually, you made her day!
Do the same thing when you blog. Take it as a personal challenge to write a comment that makes someone else feel good. Ask questions. Each time they reply to you it’s another pageview. For you, or for them. Seriously, do this a few times-the back and forth, and the pageviews add up. Make it a standard for yourself. Write thoughtful comments.
And one day you’ll look around you and find out your blog is all grown up, surrounded by your village, and it’s exactly what you dreamed it would be!
Writing a Kick Ass Blog Post is the most important thing you can do as a blogger, but a really close second is learning how to craft a Kick Ass Thoughtful (is that a thing! LOL) Comment. Everything else comes after. You need a village to raise your blog, get out there and comment your patootie off and find them! Just remember, do it thoughtfully!
Go forth and conquer!
You my Super Duper Friend, you have the POWER!
(3200 words later…I think my splinter is finally gone! LOL)
Disclaimer: Don’t blame me when you start matching your Super Hero Cape to your shoes! LOL