After spending the day, or perhaps a few days, writing what you think is the “best article ever” it can be discouraging if your post doesn’t immediately set the world on fire. You want comments, you want feedback, you’ll even settle for a troll, just to know that your article has inspired some kind of emotion in your readers.
If your article or blog post is not getting any comments, here are some things that you can do to get people talking.
- Check your SEO. Are you drawing in the right crowd? Have you used all the right keywords in the first 60 to 100 characters of your post? Is your content scannable? Have you included useful sub-headers that guide the reader (and the Google bots, too) through your content so that the topic of your article is plain as day? If your post is one long chunk of prose with no eye-pleasing breaks, visitors may bounce right off your page.
- Revamp the blog post title. Is the current title catchy enough? Is it specific? Does it provide any sort of clue as to what the benefits of reading the post are to the reader? For example, instead of a title such as “Marketing Tips for Writers,” be more specific and add a subtitle: “Online Marketing Tips for Romance Writers: How to get signed by a literary agent in 30 days using social media.”
- Start the dialogue yourself. Leave the very first comment. A comment box that shows at least one comment is better than one showing “0”. People are more likely to open the comment dialogue box when they see that someone else has already weighed in. Commenting on your own post doesn’t have to be as silly as you think it might be. Think of leaving the first comment as writing a P.S. on the bottom of a letter; it's a place to add one last juicy tid-bit of information. Use the comment space as an addendum to your post and add a few more keywords. Or, if you didn’t ask a leading question at the end of your post, now’s your chance to ask it.
- Re-date the blog post. If your comment-bare post got moved down because you recently added a few new blog posts, re-date your post and move it up to the top of your home page where it will be noticed again. Then tweet your homepage.
- Create a sense of urgency. Update the end of your blog with a poll, question or survey, then re-tweet and re-post it on Facebook and Twitter with specific directions for what you want people to do. “New survey added to XYZ Post. Weigh in on your choice of ABC or XYZ.” The more controversial your poll or survey question, the better.
As the editor-in-chief of your organization's blog, it’s no wonder you want people to get involved in what you have to say. Spend some time thinking about how you frame your post so that it attracts readers who can quickly digest what you have to say, and then jump right in and contribute to the conversation.