Lessons from the Field – Comment Paralysis

Lessons from the Field – Comment Paralysis
Heather Rubesch - Thu Oct 27, 2011 @ 02:29PM
Comments: 25

comments.jpgThis is the second post in a series focused on the Top Ten List of B2B blogging that I originally wrote for my DemandCon Social Media Best Practices presentation.  The other posts in the series can be found here.

The Scenario

From the Top Ten Rules of B2B Blogging #7 was Comment, Comment, Comment.  I suggested that aspiring and new bloggers should search out the blogs of others posts on similar topics and engage those writers through their comments.  For example if I wrote a post on not requiring registration to download a White Paper as part of promoting that post I would search out other bloggers who had written similar posts with opposing viewpoint and engage in a comment thread discussion with them as a way to spark additional interest in the topic.

I also suggested that if you are part of a team blog such as Savvy one of the things we did in the early days was to comment on each others posts.  We realized we had few readers back then so we gave each other comments, additional viewpoints extra much the same way we hoped our readers would someday.  I admit we have not with our harried schedules and editorial calendar gotten away from this a bit but in the beginning it was a very helpful way for us to collectively find our voice.

The Problem

What I did not suggest and was questioned on at DemandCon was whether or not I measure the success of a post by the number of comments it gets.  I DO NOT!!!  Let me say that again with emphasis…..DO NOT judge the value of your post by the number of comments it receives.  The comment world is fickle.  We have seen posts we have done get featured as best practices by other bloggers, get included in weekly wrap ups, get retweeted the Twitter universe around several time and still not get a single reader comment.  Many of those who see your post get it via email, RSS reader, Summify, etc where they are getting the message but not necessarily via a medium that is conducive to comment.

Am I counting out comments? Absolutely not!  I love getting comments on my posts.  In fact would love to have you comment on my thoughts about comments after you read this one but I am not going to measure the success of my idea based on whether or not this post gets a comment.  Like many other blog readers out there I read probably 20-25 blog posts for every 1 comment I leave.  I have production copy to write for paying clients.  I would love to tell all the bloggers whose work I admire every day how much I appreciate their contributions but realistically I just can’t do it.

Savvy Sister Jamie tweeted a link this week that spoke to the value of comments by The Sales Lion, Marcus Sheridan.  If you didn’t see his post - 10,862 Comments Later, I Realize Blog Comments are NOT a Business Model it is a must read if you are wrestling with this issue.  Marcus admits in the post that in his nearly 11K comments he can document not one single new customer.  He has numerous existing customers who became blog commenters and hopefully were therefore more loyal to him due to this increased interaction but let’s face it that is hard to keep warm with at night.

So if you are blogging and not focused on comments what is the measure of your success?  I argue there is not one single definitive way you can measure the success of your blog.  Traffic is great but again not necessarily a direct ROI to success.  Very few of us are being paid per post for what we write.  Most of us do it for the love of the connection and the shared camaraderie with others in our chosen field.

The Fix

So I suggest you measure the success as a blogger the way I have come to…..by the number of unique otherwise improbable connections I have made both IRL and virtual as a result of the Savvy Blog.  I have long admired Ardath Albee and her Marketing Interactions blog.  Through the Savvy blog we had our first interaction when she agreed to be a guest poster.  She has at times been a commenter on posts here and then last year when we were both at the same conference I had a change to meet her face to face and have lunch.  Without the chance to nurture that relationship I would have just been another fan at a conference.  That is one of a dozen stories that I or any of the six Savvy Sisters could tell about the genuine connections we have made. 

How do you measure the success of your blog?  Do you have any improbable connections to share?

Comments: 25

Comments

1. Alen B.   |   Mon Nov 07, 2011 @ 08:48AM

This is one of the vital point of blogging. If the blogger engages with the commenter, it'll not only increase the relation among them but also will help other specially new readers who just had a read. From my personal experience, I often find valuable information not in the main content but in the comment section. Many commenter contributes with new and useful information there. So, keep interacting via commenting.

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2. Liam @ Write and Ebook  |  my website   |   Tue Nov 29, 2011 @ 10:21PM

The other aspect of this is the value for your own business in providing useful comments on other blogs. Apart from wanting to help others with your information, it is very worthwhile putting in some effort into creating quality posts for selfish reasons.
What I find great is just how open blog owners are to receiving quality comments. This is probably because they are hammered with all sorts of spam. As a percentage, a quality comment to a blog is quite rare!
And if you go to the trouble of providing a decent response to a blog post it also shows you appreciate the blogger's time in creating it.
So a quality comment is a win-win for everyone.
Thanks for your post.
Liam

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