House of Paincakes: Reader Engagement

Blog CommentsThis is the third article in the series I’m doing over at House of Paincakes on successful blogging. This one focuses on the most important part of blogging I feel, creating reader engagement. I go over the wrong way to go about getting those elusive comments on your articles as well as good practices to generate comments.

Check it out and hopefully you find it useful.

  • Another great article :)

    Just changed my commenting sytem on my blog to disqus after reading it again and going through all the comments there. Hopefully it will be a change for the better (although it cannot import all the old blogger comments at the mo, which is a bit of a bugger)

    • Thanks.

      There must be a way to import them. People jump from Blogger comments to Disqus all the time. I’m sure it’s probably not easy but there must be a way.

      Disqus is the way to go for sure. The beauty is the simplicity and those all important comment notifications to commenters. Now I’ll know when you reply to me instead of having to remember to go check ;)

  • Lol yeah and I can reply super quick too ;)

    They say there is a problem with the updated blogger template that cannot sync or import comments at the mo. I am just hoping that the commenting system works otherwise I might have to turn it off till the problem is fixed

    • Gotcha. That sucks. Hopefully they fix that sooner than later.

      • Aye, I really like the functionality of disqus, but will have to suspend it till they can fix the issue. Logged a help notice with them so hopefully I can re-integrate it into my site once it is fixed :)

        • Disqus support is really good. They can be a bit slow but super helpful.

  • It’s the big one, for sure. How to get engagement? I choose to look at it as, “Am I writing something that people are enjoying reading?”
    If we start playing with Click Through Rates and so on, it’s the realm of ridiculously low percentages. Comments, real comments and not porn or knock off merchandise and male enhancement, are like nuggets of gold because they come by so infrequently.
    I choose to build my audience, like so many of us, on a shoe string budget. The blog is an extension of my hobby, appealing to the exhibitionist in me. I guess that makes my readers voyeurs of a sort. The main way that readers come along is through well written articles that show up in the search engines or shares through social media and so forth. I like the idea of “organic growth”. However, I’m not going to get masses of traffic doing so. I find the observation of stats and how readers find sprugrey.com almost more interesting than the hobby I love.
    When the good comments come along, you know you’ve done a good job. Repeat comments by the same reader is even more rare, and it kinda means building relationships with your readers. It brings warm fuzzies to know that people are interested enough to engage you repeatedly, I won’t lie.
    However, one piece of information that I have discovered is that people love a story. Tell them a story and they will read it. Responding to them and their reaction to your story is the other side to the coin and leads to the warm fuzzies of relationship building. And that’s a good thing.
    Lots of us suffer from the tyranny of geography. The internet has given us the ability to see how other people enjoy their hobby that is the same as we do, or, completely different. Forums are a great source of inspiration and argument; a greater noise to signal ratio. I think blogging is where it’s at because if what you are doing is interesting and engages your readers and you return the compliment (because that’s what it is), it allows us to build connections with other gamers, and hopefully maintain them.

    • Well said.

      I also enjoy the hobby of finding out how people find my blog. I’ve discovered some great blogs in doing so – clicking on a referrer in my stats.

      Good point on regarding stories. I used to do that, in various forms, and have not for a while. If only I could make this my living then I could do all the things I want to…

      • Yeah, I am starting from the other direction. It would be the dream to be able to do this for a living. I’d have to become a better writer first.

        • Writing skill seems to mean little these days. The biggest blogs, I find, are lacking in the writing skills department. However, they have found something to latch on to that drives traffic and that compensates for any lack of skill on their part. Not my approach but one that works if you’re after cash – which I know you’re not, just making a point I guess.

  • Like many others I don’t really do my blog for views or comments but it would be a nice bonus. No idea how to edit my content to achieve that though.

    • I gave some suggestions on that article I did over at HoP: http://www.houseofpaincakes.com/2015/04/successful-blogging-reader-engagement.html (not sure if you read it yet)

      • I did read it, just having trouble bringing those ideas and my blog into alignment. ;)

        • Ah, gotcha. Yeah, it can take some time to work something out and not every technique works for everyone. Just keep it in the back of your mind when you’re writing articles and something might spring up.

          • Hmmm how do you change blogger to letting disqus do the comments?

            • If you setup a site in Disqus it will give you the ability to install it on Blogger in a few simple steps. I only use Blogger to write articles for HoP so my experience with Blogger is very limited.

              • And sorted! I think…

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