Guest post by Matt Cheuvront of Life Without Pants
When Corbett asked me to share ONE tip about building traffic, one thing immediately came to mind before all else: conversation.
From start to finish and at the end of the day, this is what it has always come down to for me. Conversation — and doing everything I can to encourage it both on (and off) my blog.
Everyone has different goals when it comes to blogging, there is no right or wrong, no unanimous measure of success (don’t let anyone tell you that there is) but for me, it’s always been about building something more than “just a blog”.
It’s been about meeting new people, sharing ideas, networking, making friends, building relationships, and creating a platform that contributes to other professional things I want to accomplish. It’s become a tool and catalyst for many, many things in my life.
Maybe your train of thought is similar. You start a blog because you love to write, because you want other people to listen to your ideas and hopefully, talk and pick up some new ideas along the way.
My wealth, my currency — it isn’t defined by the posts I write and content I “sell” — but in the discussions thereafter. I’m no dictator when it comes to blogging, nor do I ever want to be. I’m not a fan of “telling” people what they should or shouldn’t be doing/thinking because I’m in no way justified to have that authority.
Rather, I’d prefer to position an opinion and leave the floor open for discussion, encouraging conversation and collaboration that hopefully enhances my entire communities’ way of thinking. The meat and potatoes are in the comments — that’s where the magic truly happens.
I have believed that since day one and it’s why, whether there are two or two-hundred comments, I take time to respond to (almost) every single one of them.
My Comment “Religion”
To me, when someone leaves a comment, it’s extremely valuable. It means something.
Of the thousands of blogs out there, someone took the time to read and respond to something I wrote. That’s meaningful, that’s valuable, and whether they agreed or disagreed with my post, it’s a sign of respect.
To ignore comments, to not respond, just seems off to me. Think about it this way (because everyone loves a good analogy): You’re at a bar, talking to some friends, having a grand ol’ time when someone new you haven’t met before comes up, says hello, and starts talking… Once they’re done saying their piece, you turn away and say nothing back, leaving your potential new buddy standing there twiddling their thumbs and heading back to the bar for some more liquid courage after your brutal rejection.
Pretty awkward right?
In real life, you’d never do that (unless you’re just a jerk or socially awkward). You’d say hello, shake their hand, give them a chest bump (or whatever it is you do) and talk back.
This same principle applies to the comments on your blog. And it’s why I take the time to respond to everyone. It’s a sign of respect and appreciation first and foremost. It’s common sense, and when the back and forth conversation is there it all comes together. It’s where relationships are forged and connections are made. If you’re neglecting that, you’re really missing the bus.
Maybe you already have this philosophy, or maybe I’m helping you see things in a new light. But this idea, this principle, this “religion” is the foundation of my blog’s success.
The conversation starts here, but certainly doesn’t end here. A comment on a blog is only the beginning. It’s a doorway to a plethora of opportunity.
How do you value discussion on your blog? Are you making time for the contributors and members of your community?
photo by slava