Welcome back to the latest edition of May pretends to know what they’re doing!!
Today, I’m going to be talking about something I hold very near and dear to my heart: interaction. It’s near and dear to me because 1) I’ve been the worst at it and feel extremely guilty over the lack of it for the past year, but 2) I love doing it and it makes me happy!!
Comments are 100% the number 1 thing I look forward to when I publish a post. Yeah, it might get a lot of views and a lot of likes, but when I manage to get someone to take the time to write out their thoughts in response to a post I wrote?? That’s gold. Plus I just love talking to you guys so much!! (Despite what my silence last year might make you think.)
So today I thought I would share what makes me comment on a blog post, aka what compels me to interact with a blogger, so you’re able to apply those things to your own blog posts! I think interaction is KEY to growing your blog and being a successful blogger (whatever “successful” means to you), and I hope this post will be helpful to encourage that interaction!!
Full disclaimer: I’m by no means an Actual Expert on any of this!! I didn’t study any field related to this type of thing (because I am… still in high school…), and the only “research” I did was this. I’m literally just using my own experiences as a 2-year-old blogger, so if none of what I says actually works, you can blame it on my tendency to put in minimal effort. (Just kidding, this post took me a long time to write.)
1. STRONG BLOGGING VOICE
This is the number 1 thing for me that makes me comment on a post!! Your own voice and style of writing takes some time to develop as a blogger, but once you do, it’ll shine through your posts and make them so much more unique to you.
I think a great example of this is book reviews: We all know that, for some reason, in a community of book lovers that you could argue is based on them, book reviews aren’t that popular. I tend not to comment on a lot of book reviews for a variety of reasons, including that they don’t interest me because I don’t care about the book that’s being reviewed. But if a blogger writes really good reviews, then I’m a lot more likely to comment on that post!
Two bloggers who have really amazing reviews that I always want to comment on are Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books and Tiffany @ Read by Tiffany. For some reason I can’t quite explain, I always feel like I’m invited to talk about the book with them (and their reviews are always so-well written!)
Another example of a strong blogging voice making me want to comment is when the post topic doesn’t really interest me personally. Whether it’s a Top Ten Tuesday list topic that I don’t care about or a post full of mini reviews that talk about books I’m not excited to read, a fun blogging voice can make ALL the difference.
Two bloggers whose voices I really adore and enhance their posts are Julianna @ Paper Blots and Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink. I’m DEFINITELY not saying their posts are boring/don’t interest me (because false!!), but I am saying that their humorous blogging voice makes their posts all the more fun to read and encourage me to comment and talk with them.
2. THOUGHT-PROVOKING DISCUSSION
This one is pretty self-explanatory: any post that provokes me to think or discuss a topic with you is going to make me want to comment! Discussion posts are really popular for this reason: They talk about an issue/topic and compel you to give your own thoughts on it.
Of course, these posts are always super opinionated, and it works well in encouraging me to comment, because as the reader, I either want to agree with you, disagree with you, or add my own thoughts. I especially think that discussions posts are gold mines for engagement and interaction, because no matter how many times something has been discussed, people still want to share their opinions, and you also have your own unique perspective to share!
In general tips: Just make sure it’s not too text-heavy, because then I might zone out, and don’t kill yourself writing too many of these, because they definitely require more work (as least for me) and also give you comments of a much larger length to respond to.
One of my favorite bloggers who writes really good discussions is Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads. All her discussions are extremely well-written, handled with care, and definitely provoke you to think about how you approach and think of the topic she’s talking about! (The post I’ve linked to her name is a really great recent discussion post she wrote!!)
3. LARGE BLOGGING PRESENCE
This, for me, is a big example of how supporting other bloggers can benefit you as well, by making bloggers want to support you. I mean, you shouldn’t set out to support other bloggers just so you get that support back (please do NOT go into interacting with others with that intention), but!! it’s a cute little way of the universe sending good your way when you’ve done some good for others!!!!
I have to say, I’m guilty of using blogging presence as too much of a basis for what I comment on. When I started out blogging, I commented on pretty much every post in my Reader (which is, to say the least, impossible for me now), but I always prioritized those who commented on my posts, because I felt like I owed them something. Now, I see that I don’t owe them anything (no blogger owes another blogger anything!), and that while I meant well, I should have been commenting because I wanted to support them and their content, regardless of what they did for me.
But! I think having a large blogging presence is still important. Not to make people feel like they owe you support back because you supported them, but because it shows bloggers you care about their content. You’re showing that you love to talk to them, and it makes them want to talk to you too.
Again, I keep using the same person as an example, but Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books is just such a fantastic overall blogger! She’s shared a lot about how active she is, commenting on so many bloggers’ posts each day, and I think this, plus her kind and sweet personality, makes her a favorite for a lot of people (including myself) and makes people want to comment on her posts more often so they can talk to her!
(Honestly, this was the biggest reason I felt so bad for not being more active last year. How could people continually comment on my blog posts, when I barely commented on anyone else’s? I’m still so grateful for everyone who still supported me when I barely gave any support myself, and I hope you’re seeing more of me on your blogs because I’m trying!!)
You know what’s so uninviting? You, the blogger, not being excited about what you’re posting. I mean, if you’re not passionate about what you wrote and published, how am I supposed to be too?
And yeah, not everyone’s going to be proud of what they write all the time! Everyone faces low self-esteem, and everyone has low confidence sometimes. But if you’re talking about books you’re excited for, be excited!! Don’t just give me a bland “Yeah, I guess I’m looking forward to these books”. Go big or go home and scream “I will die if I don’t get my hands on these books!!!!”
And passion doesn’t mean just “be happy and excited and enthusiastic all the time”. If you’re doing a fun little roast post (take this for example), be passionate about that!! Don’t give me a half-hearted roast!!!! (Those are the worst.)
Passion and enthusiasm about what you’re writing draws others in, and makes them more passionate and enthusiastic about what you’re writing about. It invites you to be just as passionate and enthusiastic in the comments!! It’s why so many public speakers who feel strongly about what they’re talking about do so well.
(Obviously, I’m talking about posts that AREN’T the heartfelt, personal posts where you talk about whatever horrible issues you’ve been facing. No need for enthusiasm there. I’d honestly be a little concerned if you were enthusiastic about having issues.)
To shout out some smaller bloggers, I feel like Olivia @ Purely Olivia and Taasia @ Librae Paints Pages both show a lot of passion in their posts! It always seems like they’re super happy to be writing them, and again, while you don’t have to be necessarily excited to be passionate, I feel like they’re enthusiastic about what they’re talking about and I love it.
I know ALL bloggers put in tons of work and effort into their blog posts (I mean, I did a whole post on how underappreciated they are considering how much work they do) and there are some blog posts that you can tell take a lot more effort than your usual blog post. I love to comment on people’s posts and leave something positive, so I especially do that whenever people take a lot of time/effort on a post, because I want to appreciate and recognize them for their work.
And this also works for the reverse: If it’s obvious that you might not have put in much effort, which for me goes hand in hand with being passionate about what you’re talking about, then I’m like… well I don’t really feel like putting in the effort either to take time out of my day to leave a few thoughts of my own.
And I get that this can come across as a little mean/selfish! Unfortunately, that’s how my brain works: I have a limited amount of time in a day, and I’d rather comment on a post that seems like a lot of work and effort has been put into it over a post that doesn’t show as much.
(*Note: There are some people who can’t put in a lot of effort all the time, because blogging is hard work and it’s tiring! But my point is that: if your work is quality and it SHOWS, then I’m a lot more inclined to want to read and comment!)
6. PERSONALLY INTERESTING
Okay, so this one isn’t a generalized reason like the other 5, as in, it can’t really help you make a blog post that makes others want to comment on it because it’s specific to me, if that makes sense. But! It still is why I will comment on a post and I still want to talk about a few reasons why I personally might want to comment on a specific post:
- because I’ve read/am excited about a lot of the books they mentioned
- because I want to support a friend (in the past I followed a bunch of people because I was friends with them and not because I actually liked their content, which I don’t do now, but there are some posts I might not specifically find THE GREATEST but still will comment on to support!)
- because I relate to what the blogger is talking about in the post
- because the blogger is one of my favorites. I mean come on if I love them a lot I’m going to want to talk to them constantly
- because I have something to say. the least helpful thing ever, because how is this supposed to help you write your own post that will make people want to comment??? but still, it’s a reason
Obviously, my tips include everything I said above: have or try to develop a strong blogging voice, make things more thought-provoking, be active on other bloggers’ blogs, be passionate, put in as much effort as you can!! But I also have some more, less generalized tips on how to make people want to talk to you.
- First off, make sure your post invites people to read it in the first place. Capture my attention with the title! Or the featured image! Or the first few lines of your post! And hold their attention throughout the post too: Divide your large blocks of text with some visuals and don’t bore us to death!
- If it’s not as thought-provoking as a discussion post (which is fine! not all posts can be discussions), make sure to add some questions at the end of your posts that your reader can answer! I do this with all my posts, and by connecting your content to something outside of it, you invite more discussion.
- End on a strong note!! There are so many instances where I’ve been like, “Yeah, I can comment on this!” and then I get to the end and just don’t feel that same way. Make some bold statement at the end! Wrap up your review with a concluding paragraph! Don’t leave me hanging!!!
- And I saved this for last because I think it’s like. an obvious tip. But be kind!! Be nice!!! No one wants to talk to someone they think isn’t going to be kind to them. (Not that this is a huge issue, since pretty much every blogger I know is really nice.)
what makes YOU comment on a blog post? do you like interacting with other bloggers? do you have any tips to increase interaction and engagement??
p.s. I wrote most of this post before I wrote this thread, but everything I wrote after that wasn’t that well-written because I just felt so weird talking about something as mundane as this. long story short: please be aware of current crises going on around the world, including the Sudanese crisis that has come up recently