Legend says that bloggers can even survive on comments if nothing else is available…
But what to do when no one cares enough to leave even a simple comment? What if the feedback is non-existent?
If yes, then read on, for all will be explained.
1. The headline
What is the first thing a potential reader notices about your blog posts?
The headline is your best bet to ensure that someone will read your content. You must write the most interesting and intriguing headline possible.
The title of the post is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers.”
It’s kind of funny, or better said, it’s got a bit of swagger to it. Just a little bit. It’s obviously a spin on Stephen Covey’s super famous book. It’s also clear that it’s a list post, and we do know that those list posts tend to attract readers.
It also does something interesting: someone reads this title and they are curious to read it.
Want to know why?
Because if they read it and don’t have those traits, they are not highly effective bloggers.
Simply put, the title makes use of qualities that everyone wants to have ( I mean, what blogger does not want to be as effective as possible) to ensure that folks are curious enough to read it.
2. The Introduction
Do you want to be a successful blogger? Do ideas for posts randomly pop into your head whenever, wherever? Do you think about ways to improve your blog?
How to write more? Better? Faster?
Do you study what the most successful bloggers have done to get to where they are right now?
I was writing this intro and imagining readers nodding their heads and going all, “Yes, man, yeah, yeah… now just take me to the damn post!”
A blog post should read like a roller-coaster ride. There should be momentum. The words take you somewhere, both in terms of information, but also emotionally, and I believe this is a part that is ignored by most bloggers.
What are they? What emotions are your words transmitting? And how are they flowing? Growing. Expanding into what? Transforming to become what?
A great introduction should always set the mood for the rest of your blog post.
3. The blog post itself
Of course, now I proceed to list my habits.
This is not the shortest blog post ever, but it’s not incredibly long. I did write it with the goal to keep it nice and short.
Some people found some stuff in there funny. Want to know a secret? I wasn’t. I was just writing my opinion, and trying to be clear about it.
What was it that I thought of those habits, and how did those habits affect me as a blogger.
I also make use of some analogies (like the one with the Chinese bamboo tree) and metaphors and such, all in the hopes of better translating how I felt and what I thought into actual words that you could understand and relate to.
4. The ending – a simple call to action.
What do you think the most important trait of a top blogger is?
What do you think?
After all, I just wrote this article for you, and only for you. I wrote it because I had some knowledge that I’d like to share with you, so that we can both succeed as bloggers. So that we can both solve certain issues and meet certain goals and expectations that we have.
Yes, asking questions at the end of posts does ensure that people will comment; you know, to answer the question.
But it’s also important to take a few moments to think what question to ask, and how much does it relate to your blog post.
I thought that as people read through the list of habits that they’d come up with new ones, that maybe they’d disagree with some of them and come up with different ones to replace them, and that they’d offer me feedback in that way.
99.99% of people do one thing or another when they FEEL like it.
People do not comment on your blog posts because you ask them to, because you wrote something that is useful to them, or interesting, or even amusing. They comment because they felt like commenting.
Always, always, always try to figure out what kind of emotions are you transmitting, and also try to engage your readers’ emotions.
Don’t write lukewarm stuff and then wonder why no one comments.
You have a strong emotional impact when at least a few folks don’t agree with you. They strongly disagree with you, as a matter of fact. They might not be haters yet, but they feel like your piece is somewhat offensive or that you’re just wrong or boring or writing about the same old stuff as everyone else. The evidence that you’re not either one of those things is that, well, they take the time to let you know that (if the piece would be that boring, they’d just go do something else instead) and the fact that most other comments will be positive.
So, yeah, I’d say that the number one trick is to engage your readers on an emotional level.
Writing an engaging blog post is more than just following a certain recipe.
There are other factors such a timing, what other types of posts compete with your the day you publish your post (for instance, if there’s a particularly important international event everyone wants to read about that day).
Of course, you can’t control those factors, but you can control the quality of your content, and the truth is that the basics are just as easy to follow as they are to ignore.
Writing a great headlines, a fantastic introduction, and being aware of the emotional undertone of your blog post are going to do wonders.
Now punch some day keys!