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It is one of the most important things you can do to create an authentic and real online presence.

It could do more for your blog and website than almost anything else.

It is the best way to connect with other people who share similar interests with you.

Yet we would venture to say that 98% of us never do it and then we wonder why we aren’t growing our base.

Yes, we are talking about commenting. It’s the simplest thing you can do online, but it is the most overlooked.

So, why don’t people comment? Here are our thoughts:

  • They have no time. We hear this one a lot. This is what we say: let’s say you spend 60 minutes a day working your social media presence. Instead of writing five extra tweets, comment on at least two blogs a day that you like. It takes the same amount of time.
  • They don’t understand the effectiveness of commenting. Think of commenting as an online calling card. Every time you leave a comment somewhere, you leave a “clickable opportunity” for someone else to read what you are saying and more importantly, visit your link. In addition, you have a better chance of getting added to search engines. Want proof? Google yourself right now. If you are commenting, your name will show up on links from other blogs.
  • The blog’s environment is not inviting. Any blog needs to welcome their readers and invite them in. It needs to be an open environment that promotes collaboration and feedback.
  • They are hesitant to put their name out there. This one is tough. Using my blog as an example, I would say that for every 100 unique visits I get, I’ll get about 10 comments. What about the other 90? We promise we won’t bite. One of the biggest thrills a blogger can get is feedback. And we promise you this, if you comment here, we will respond and we will also visit what your blogs as well.
  • They read the blog and move on. Yeah, yeah, people read it. So what? What if you did like the blog? Wouldn’t you want to share it with others? (Another way to leave your “clickable card” out there). Well, commenting can be as simple as clicking on a Facebook like button or a Twitter share button.
  • The content of the blog is poor. This is all on the blogger. Yes, your content might not be good. You have a poorly designed blog or you are just not attracting the right audience.  Or, (and I do this all the time), you don’t give your blog that extra check and then send it out with typos in them. If you haven’t gotten many visits, maybe you aren’t doing the right things to network or to provide good content.

So, what is a good example of a blog that has good content and great comments? We will share one of our favorites:Spin Sucks, a very cool and lively PR blog directed by @ginidietrich.

What do you notice about this blog that makes it effective? We think it’s simple:

  1. The blog approach is inviting and allows the reader to own the content. That is, people feel comfortable to comment.
  2. The blog owners respond to the comments.
  3. The blog also has guests posts, which adds to the open inviting atmosphere it promotes.

Once you have that environment, the fear of commenting is gone. And that is a good thing.

What do you think? Why don’t people comment?

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This post is for the new blogger, so if you are experienced and got your blogging mojo, this post doesn’t help you. It is meant more for the blogger who is starting and wants to get more visits. Because in the end, no matter how great your content is, it’s all about the traffic, yes?

If you are a blogger that had the right content and the right design, but don’t have the visits, listen up: just try to focus on getting 100 hits a day. If you do that, you would pretty much get 30,000 hits a year. Would you like that?

So how do you go from this,

to this?

Here are 10 ways:

1. Choose a clear topic for your blog and focus on that. This is so important. Take what you know or what you love and write about it. Stay on topic. Always.
2. Write 3-4 times a week. In a couple of months, you will have 30-40 posts and you will be consistent about it. You will have discipline.
3. Connect with other bloggers who write about your topic. Reach out to these bloggers. Tell them you are just starting. What advice could they give you? You’d be surprised, more often than not, you will get advice.
4. Share posts with each other. Ask your new friends to help you shout our your blogs in return for your shouting out their blogs. Use Twitter DMs and Facebook messages to ask privately. Believe me, people on both networks (especially Twitter) are very willing to help. You just need to ask.
5. Comment, comment, and comment You HAVE to comment on other blogs. Not only does it increase your visibility, you run a greater chance that people will like what you say and click on your link. Be honest and sincere, and don’t get spammy.
6. Reply, reply, and reply. When people comment on your blog, always respond to them and always let them know.
7. Have guests blog on your site. Invite good bloggers to post on your site as a guest. They will bring in readers for you.
8. Invite people to share their stories with you. Open your blog to other people’s stories. Let them own your blog. Your blog is your blog, but in the end, it is content that is being read by someone else.
9. Stay current and stay active. The moment you get an idea for a blog, just do a quick draft post. You can always go back to it later.
10. Repeat steps 1-9 over and over and over again. Keep doing what you are doing and do it again. When you complete the cycle, go back and start again. Getting into this habit will keep you consistent and relevant.

And PS, don’t worry about the people who aren’t reading you, worry about the people who are! When you do that, you will create your own happy traffic jam.

Credits: whatssogreataboutperth.com and trkearth.com

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The simplest way to increase traffic to your site.

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