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5 Tips to Attract More Blog Comments

By Mikal E. Belicove

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As companies turn to Facebook to boost their business, they notice more people posting Facebook Status Updates, Notes, Pictures, and Video than are posting comments on their company blog. As a result, business owners and marketing managers tend to do one of two things:

  • Discontinue blogging altogether, because all the action is on Facebook.
  • Wonder what they can do to generate more comments on their blog.

Cross that first option off your list right now. Abandoning your blog for Facebook is a lousy decision, and I will tell you why in a post slated for next week. Opt for the second solution, instead - do what you can to attract more comments on your company blog. Following are five tips for doing just that:

  1. Allow your readers to subscribe to your blog's comments. Thisallows your readers to instantly receive updates via email or RSS(really simple syndication) anytime someone leaves a comment on aparticular blog entry. (If you're running a WordPress-powered blog,adding this functionality is as simple as installing the Subscribe to Comments plugin.)This makes visitors more inclined to leave a comment, because they canfollow the discussion or, more precisely, the discussion follows themvia email or the RSS feed.
  2. Promote your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter. Whilenumerous automatic feed solutions are available for sending yourcompany's blog posts to your Facebook Fan Page or to your followers viaTwitter, these should not preclude or excuse you from creating a customStatus Update or Tweet informing people of a new blog entry andencouraging them to visit and comment.
  3. Ask your readers to comment. Thisone is obvious but worth mentioning, because so few businesses actuallydo it! How easy would it be to end your blog entries - not all of them,mind you, but some of them - with a simple question like, What do you think? or Is your experience the same as ours? or We'd love to know what you--our customers and prospective customers--think about this, so please leave a comment below. Give it a try and then pop back here and tell me and the rest of the folks reading this post whether it worked.
  4. Install the What Would Seth Godin Do plugin. This WordPress plugin (developed by Richard K. Miller)displays a small box above blog posts inviting new visitors tosubscribe to your RSS feed. After five visits, or when the visitorsubscribes to the RSS feed, the message disappears. (You can customizethe message, its lifespan, and its location.) For a live example ofwhat this looks like, visit Productivity 501 and look for the "Thanks for visit..." message at the top of the page.
  5. Comment on your readers' blogs. Asmuch as you like it when readers, customers, prospects, or anyone elseleaves a comment on one of your blog posts, so do they (assuming theyhave a blog of their own). If someone commenting on your blog has ablog of their own, click to it and see if it makes sense for you tocomment on one or more of their posts. Chances are, you have enough incommon that it makes sense for you to engage with their blog as well,which creates both good will and further opportunities for peoplecommenting on that blog to know about your blog and your business - ina very subtle way, of course.

As experiencedbusiness bloggers will tell you, many more strategies are available forattracting more comments on your blog. What are some of the thingsyou've tried and are wiling to share?

Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. 

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