Time to comment
Commenting on blogs takes up a lot of my time and not for one second do I feel it is a waste of time. I feel like if someone goes to the effort of writing a thoughtful (or thought provoking) piece and I have taken the time to read it because it interests me …. then it usually deserves a head-nod of some sort.
Another thing that takes up a lot of my time is drafting and writing a blog post of course, because (him) cooking and (me) shooting the food, editing the recipes, re-writitng the first draft because I ‘got it wrong’ (according to my more knowledgeable partner in crime) all takes quite a bit of time. So, I will be the first one to sit around and hope and pray that I get a few of those comments floating about. I have put the work in and I like the feedback.
Now – since my big win late last year and seeing as I hold the title(s) for these blog awards I felt it was time to throw a few answers at all the ‘Frequently asked questions’ I get; and there are many.
Some questions come in the form of comments themselves, which I believe I have already answered. FYI – WordPress tells me I have responded to over 1500 comments on just my blog since 2010. Time well spent, in my opinion.
Other FAQ come in the form of emails and the ones I like the best are from the anonymous faceless trolls that troll the internet looking to start a fight. Needless to say, these are hardly worth a mention, because we cannot highlight from where they have originated, but maybe I will throw a few out there for good measure and to give y’all a giggle.
Incidentally – RIGHT after publishing this blog post … I did get an anonymous comment (I never publish ‘anon’ comments) so I am sharing this with you just so you see that sometimes getting ‘comments’ is not all that exciting.
But moving on from all that, er, drivel??
The most Frequently Asked Question is invariably ‘How do I get more people to comment on my blog’ …
One of my favourite sites (Write-on-Track) gets asked this question all the time too.
So, how do you get readers engaged, keep them coming back to read your blog and (eventually) drop you a minute of their time in the form of a comment?
1. Write engaging (and relevant) stories for your blog. This might seem easy or simple but if you look at the blogs from your peers right now there is a lot of complaining and suffering going on (Ok – we all get the January blues!) and it is just not what I want to read. I am hip to current affairs and what is happening in the global and local news. I watch the news on TV (morning and evening) and read the newspapers online. If you are a news blogger – then I will come to you for the news. If you are a food blogger I will stop reading you if you keep reiterating the doomsday news and blues.
2. Run the occasional give-away. This draws (quiet) readers out of the woodwork and it is one of my biggest delights to see how many readers never miss a blog post. (MailChimp (a free service) tells me I have a higher than average ‘open-rate’ for all our updates received by email. This makes my heart sing! The reports (at first) can be a little daunting because you see how many readers are ‘not’ opening your emails – but hey – only makes a gal work harder! )
On a side note regarding giveaways … I get A LOT of crap from readers about the giveaways. ‘Why are you always doing giveaways‘, ‘you would never have any commenters on your blog if it weren’t for the giveaways‘ … Sigh. yes. I get all this free stuff like Mauviel Copper Pots, Oxo kitchen gadgets, Le Creuset cast iron cookware, and even a few hotel city breaks (including dinner!) and you are right – faceless troll – I should be greedy, and keep it all for myself and just blog about the fact that I have all these goodies and you don’t.
Double sigh. Giving and receiving …. pure joy.
3. Stop trying to copy your peers. There is no ‘real’ formula for successful (food) blogging. It is all in your voice. If you come across as open, humorous, loving, intelligent, caring and have tried and tested your recipes … then readers will find you. One of the ways I knew our blog was becoming popular was people started emailing me questions about the recipes. Sometimes they find an error with a recipe (I totally hang the Chef for these) and others were asking of they could substitute one ingredient for another. They might not have been ‘commenting’ but the readers are there and already eating the food we have shared. On the flip side, if you are a bit cranky or fly off the handle on every trendy topic trying to garner more traffic for your site (because it is relevant in the media ‘right now’) then you need to quit blogging and become a newscaster.
4. Be the expert on only one or two things. David Leite does this so well; He is the expert on Love. I love David’s Bhlag because his stories are filled-to-the-brim about the food he cooks for those that he loves. Do not strive to be the expert on everything. You only dilute yourself.
5. Ask questions. Best to finish the blog post with a weighty question if you want a flurry of comments . . Dianne Jacob is the queen of this. As a matter of fact, if you want to be a better blogger, then just take a few weeks of work, read back over her blog posts (and buy her book) and emerge knowing how to ‘do it right’.
Now that you have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve to garner more comments on your blog – which seems to be what A LOT of bloggers want, I have two questions for you, and this is something you should have already asked yourself.
1. WHY do you want more people commenting on your blog?
2. Once they do actually comment, are you going to respond?
Again, from David Leite …. ‘No comment left behind‘ … RESPOND to every comment please, and for the life of me, do not tell me you do not have time. Turn off your TV and take care of your readers. Engage with them if you want them to do the same.
Those are all the WiseWords I have for today …
PS – and because there was chat of a giveaway … if you are thinking ahead and planning to come to Galway for the Annual Galway Food Festival (you should be!) on Easter weekend (March 28th – April 1st) then please make sure you check back here next week or sign up for email updates.
Hotel Meyrick has VERY generously given us a two-night break (including dinner for two on one night, and breakfast both mornings) for our readers. This is a gorgeous hotel and even those of you living in our beautiful city could take advantage of this one and invite some friends down for the festivities over the Easter holidays. Sign up for email updates right here (and send the link to your friends and family if you do not want them staying with you – ha ha!)
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I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
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