5 Ways to Get Your Conversation Back


Many so-called gurus feel that blogging is dying or has been made redundant by social media participation.

You can see the “evidence” of this if you look at the number of comments blog posts now receive as compared to a few years ago. Even on the very popular blogs, comments are down drastically.

If you’re a freelance writer who maintains a blog, you’ve probably already felt the effects of declining comments on your own blog.

Personally, I don’t buy the notion that blogging is dying or becoming obsolete. However, good comments add a lot to a blog. Often, the comments are as interesting (or more interesting) as the post itself. Plus, good comments indicate a healthy community network.

So, in the face of declining comments, how can a freelance writer encourage discussion around his or her blog posts?

Here are five concrete suggestions that any freelance writer can easily implement:

  1. Participate in conversations elsewhere. Go to other blogs that address a similar audience to the one that you are trying to reach and leave regular comments. Over time, the readers will accept you as part of that blog’s community and some will come back to visit your blog.
  2. Make sure your posts leave room for discussion. Too often freelance writers write informational posts that really leave nothing left unsaid. A reader may really like the post, but feel there’s nothing to add. To avoid doing this, end some of your posts with a question.
  3. Interact with your readers. This may seem elementary, but you’d be surprised how often I see unanswered comments on blog posts. If someone takes the time to leave a relevant comment on your blog, be sure that you make the time to answer them.
  4. Promote your content. Use social media to share relevant posts to your family and friends. Make sure all of your profiles link back to your blog. No one will comment on your posts if no one knows about them.
  5. Use a plug-in to bring the conversation home. A lot of the conversation about blog posts is still happening–it’s just moved onto social media. Use a WordPress plug-in to display social media reactions to your post from Twitter.

What about you? Can you think of other ways to encourage your blog’s readers to comment? What strategies do you use to keep the conversation going?

  1. I have not heard that blogging is dying at all, as a matter of fact, I think quite the opposite. Every freelance writing book I read says, “get a blog!” The problem is people think by just throwing up a site and putting up a bunch of duplicate content, they will rank in the traffic. Not so! Thanks for the post! 🙂

  2. I enjoy reading blogs and regard them as a way of seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. I’ll have to agree with your suggestions especially the second one where actually commenting on a post that is so comprehensive might seem redundant.

  3. Thanks for the helpful tips! I’ve already increased a percentage of my traffic to my site by commenting on other related architecture blog sites. I would also recommend using google analytics embedded into your blog to help you get a detail description on visitors and sources.

  4. Judith, Architectoid–Good insights! Blogs are definitely a way of viewing the world through someone else’s eyes.

    Julie, You’re right, of course. Sticking up duplicate content helps no one. I do strive to make my blog as original as possible, although I also strive to provide content that will be of interest to writers.

  5. well crafted blog posts are like a gentle form of resistance against the whole world yelling “look at me right now! And again! I’m going to subject you to my unformulated inner ramblings all day! And now I’m going to tweet it too!”

    I think that the Oatmeal (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/facebook_suck) summed up nicely why social media doesn’t offer the same environment for discourse, for now, anyway. Give me a meaningful and well-crafted blog post from a skilled writer over someone telling me what they ate for breakfast any day!

  6. LOL! Lorna, some blog posts are indeed like this–“I’m going to subject you to my unformulated inner ramblings all day! And now I’m going to tweet it too!” Naturally, I hope mine are not. Thanks for sharing the Oatmeal link.