“What do comments really do for you? I have a blog but I’ve never allowed comments before. Should I let them go through so others can read them? Should I try and get people to write comments? Or should I forget it all together?”
Today’s websites are build on blogging platforms – 1 in 4 is now built on WordPress – simply because of the ease of creation and modification. Anyone can easily login to the backend at any time, and make changes, additions or deletions as long as you have Internet connection. That’s the one thing that people were craving for so long – the ability to handle their own content. And that’s what has brought on the popularity of WordPress.
Yet while WordPress does allow you to build a site and control it too, it also gives you one more thing: the base of your social media platform.
A blog gives you your online presence. But it also allows you to connect to all of your other social accounts in a variety of ways. Blogs are powerful because they give you an easy way to create and control your own content, and connect and share ideas with your readers as well.
When you blog regularly, you share your ideas with others.
When you allow comments to come through your blog, you are building relationships not only with the person commenting, but with all the others that will read that post in the future, and make a decision based on how the commentary flowed.
When you write a post, you may provide a wealth of information that solves a problem or answers a question for a reader. And for some that’s more than enough.
But for others, your post only raises another question. Commenting allows them to ask that question immediately as they are there reading. And when you provide the answer, you are creating a trail that dives in deeper to your content. You are the expert. Whether you are writing about the best props to include in a senior portrait, or how to find a location that’s perfect for a family portrait, the more information you provide, the more excited your readers will be.
Remember, blogging isn’t about bragging or showing off your sales strategies. Its about educating your clients for a better experience with you. Yes, that may be showcasing the best images from your last shoot. But it should be more than that. It should be about teaching them all about the art of professional photography and how you can make their experience that much better.
Start by turning comments on – with approval from you. You never want comments to automatically post to your blog, or you’ll end up with a ton of spam related comments that do nothing for your blog.
Then check in on a regular basis to read through your comments. You can tell instantly if a comment is truly from someone who enjoys what you do, or are simply out looking for a “link”. Only put through comments that legitimately pertain to your business.
Don’t ignore the negatives. I’ve had a lot of negative comments go through this blog, and I love the negative just as much as the positive. If someone has a different viewpoint of simply doesn’t understand the point I was trying to make, their comments will help me understand how to word things differently or clarify my points. In many cases it helps me build up my own reputation and professionalism because I continue the education process, and allow people to express themselves in the manner they choose. People will have different viewpoints, and allowing negatives can help people see all of the sides of your business and customer service. (That doesn’t mean you have to allow the “I hate you” comments to come through. Just delete and move on – they aren’t worth your time to even think about.)
Encourage comments. At the end of your posts, you can always include a sentence or two asking for comments.
What do you think?
Do you have any additional comments?
Simple sentences can motivate people to want to take action. When they have an opinion and you prompt them to take action, you’ll get what you ask for.
And don’t worry if comments don’t start up right away, or you have trouble getting them. It takes time, a lot of traffic, and even more prompting. The key is creating content that gets people excited enough to want to comment. And that comes with time.
Now its your turn. Do you accept comments?