Jenna Langer is the Director of Community and Strategy for Livefyre, a real-time conversation platform that is changing the way people interact with content on your site. You can follow Livefyre on Twitter @Livefyre and get updates on the Livefyre blog. Want to guest post for the Shareaholic blog? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
So you just wrote an amazing blog post, probably a Pulitzer Prize winner. Congratulations, the journey as just begun! Blogging is as much about creating quality conversation as it is about creating quality content. Nurturing your blog’s conversations and community is vital to your continued success, and here’s why:
You spend all this time optimizing your post with keywords, links, and metatags to make sure it shows up near the top of Google. The conversation happening on the article augments your content, bringing added SEO benefits to each page. To make sure your comment system is indexed by search engines, paste the complete text of a comment into Google and see where it links to.
People who write comments are much more likely to share your content with their networks. They want their opinion to be heard, so sharing it with friends is a no-brainer. Everything we do or say tends to ripple through our network, having an impact on our friends (one degree), our friends’ friends (two degrees), and even our friends’ friends’ friends (three degrees). Use tools to make it easy for your community to share and invite others straight from the comment section.
How do you know if people like your blog? You can look at page views and number of shares, but the real value is in the conversation. When your audience takes the time to share their opinion on their site, it shows they care and are invested in your content. Ask a question at the end of your post that people can easily answer and expand on. Be direct with your community and they will tell you exactly what you need to know to improve your blog.
Within each blog post, there are at least five more ideas waiting to be written. The comments your readers leave will tell you what they want you to expand on. Conversations often start at point A and end at point Z, and that’s not a bad thing. Pay attention to what your readers latch on to and the new topics that come up in conversation. Often times a comment you write is the starting point for your next post.
The more people comment on your site, the more likely they are to become loyal readers and members of your blog’s community. Your content is the catalyst of the conversation, and the real human connection happens in the discussion. Make sure to reply to your commenters with more than “thanks for the comment!” Ask follow up questions and encourage community members to talk to each other. Make sure your system sends emails to commenters when you reply so they know to come back continue the dialogue. By getting to know your readers and developing relationships, you will build your tribe and they will keep coming back to join the conversation.
How do you spark conversation on your blog? Let us know in the comments!
Want to make your content easier to share and get more traffic?