Why aren't people commenting on my blog? It's a common complaint, a question for the blogging ages. There are big picture answers that highlight content, engagement and connection. But today I want to focus on some concrete things I noticed as I was making my way through the Comment Challenge participants.
1. The commenting process is difficult. At this point, most bloggers are using some sort of filter that keeps spambots out. But I've noticed that some commenting systems are harder than others. For instance, I have no problem with the ones that want a Google ID, but I shy away if a Facebook login is requested. And I'm not even sure what Disqus is. A lot of this isn't in your control, but might be worth knowing.
2. The content isn't updated. I'm one to talk after my pathetic January posting schedule, but fresh content does matter. As I visited blogs during the Comment Challenge, I commented on the post that drew my attention most - and if I didn't have much to choose from then sometimes I didn't comment. There it is.
3. The content isn't varied enough. Maybe you are focused on branding your reviewer/illustrator/writer blog, but give yourself a little room to play in the bigger world of KidLit/YA literature. Throw in something personal, book recommendations, movie tie-ins, Kidlitosphere news - just something different from your norm to engage more people.
4. The post doesn't invite comments. I've struggled with asking questions at the end of a post, and generally avoided it myself for fear of leaving it dangling out there, unanswered. But what I'm thinking of is posts that give little to latch onto. Okay, an example is posting illustrations alone. Other than "Lovely," what have you given me to say?" But add to that posting where the idea came from, what you struggled to capture... whatever went into it that gives me a way to relate.
5. The blog is continuous self-promotion. Obviously, your blog will have some self-promotion for your achievements, but if that's all your posts are about then you are not inviting engagement. You're not even inviting return visits.
I'll be back soon with winners from the Comment Challenge. I apologize for the delay, but with SCWBI's conference, coordinating with Lee at the conference, and fighting a bad cold it just didn't happen. Soon.