New to the Series? Start with Part One
Blogosphere: A series
Part Forty: Rabble Rousing for Fun and Profit
We’ve discussed how an active comments section can go far in popularizing, and publicizing your Blog
This time I’d like to go a bit deeper into the how of encouraging comments.
As I’ve said before, and will no doubt say again, stirring up your readers to get comments will sometimes lead to harsh words (from them). Get used to it. Learn to accept, no, to LOVE controversy.
Invite your readers to respond to you. You can do this any number of ways, one I like is to end a post with an open-ended question. ASK your readers to help find an answer.
Express an opinion. While I’m not suggesting that you necessarily say things you don’t believe in (I’m not discounting the idea, either), I am suggesting that a strongly worded opinion will meet with strong agreement or strong(er) opposition. Getting your readers to argue… erm, discuss the topic among themselves is solid gold.
Make a claim. While this could be considered part of “expressing an opinion”, when you make a claim you are expressing an opinion forcefully. This is more likely to engender a response than just giving your opinion about a topic.
The hardest thing to do, unless you are going for the tried and true type of topics, e.g., abortion, capital punishment, same-sex marriage, or any of the current hot-button topics, is to find a topic that will generate an online conversation. Unless you are a talented observer, this will be mostly trial and error, but as you continue with you Blog.
Remember, Blogging is a numbers game. I know some of you won’t like that, preferring instead to think of your Blogs as works of art, or of vehicles to demonstrate your skills, or to get your points across. The problem is that in order for you to have an effect, an effect greater than you would have sitting in a coffee shop talking to a few friends, you need readers. Drawing people in with a bit of rabble rousing may seem like a cheap trick to you, but consider this, you typically only need get their attention once. If you’ve done your homework, if you’ve created a good Blog with pertinent content, once they come, they will stay. And that, dear friends, is what Blogging is all about.