Posts Tagged ‘Storage Mojo’

Commenting is an essential component of a successful author blog

When I speak with my clients or give presentations about blogging, I usually point to four key components I recommend for blogging success:

(1)     Quality content

(2)     A frequent, regular posting schedule

(3)     Images with every post

(4)     Interactivity

Today, we’re going to focus on #4: Interactivity. Another word for this is COMMENTS, both yours on other people’s blogs and responding to those who comment on your blog.

If you remember that blogging was one of the earliest forms of social media, and that we always want to emphasize the social component of social media, you begin to appreciate how essential a role commenting plays in a successful blog. I had the opportunity for a one-on-one conversation with Robin Harris, author of the Storage Mojo blog, and he reaffirmed what I already knew to be true about the value of commenting. At the time I met him, Robin had been writing his blog since September 2004 and had somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000 active subscribers. Keep in mind, even Robin will attest that this topic, data storage and management, is a relatively bland one. Nevertheless, he has a giant subscriber base comprised of industry leaders and other experts in the field.

Of course, my first question was, “How did you do it?”

Well, go back to the top of this post and revisit the four key components I recommend for blogging success:

(1)     Quality content

(2)     A frequent, regular posting schedule

(3)     Images with every post

(4)     Interactivity

Seriously – that’s the answer he gave me. Now, he did explain that as he started the blog, he was posting an average of five or six times a week. That’s an enormous commitment, but very important if you expect to develop good search engine rankings and create a following. He tells me he’s pulled back to about three times a week now. The other key for Robin’s success was regularly commenting on other industry blogs, so much so that he was as much a presence there as he was on his own blog.

Fellow SBMs, you can do this, too!

Here’s an overview of some excellent advice from Missy at Netchunks.com about five easy ways to show your readers (i.e., commenters) you care. Again, please go read her entire post – it’s worth the time!

1. Reward Comments with a placement in your Top Commenters list.

2. Acknowledge Their Contribution. This is unbelievably important: respond to people who talk to you through the comments section on your blog! If someone asks a question, take the time to answer to your best ability. Just tell them you notice them and appreciate their feedback.

3. Link to Them. More than a general link to their blog, Missy’s advice here is to find a specific post that is worthy of recognition and mention in your blog.

4. Tweet About Them. Follow your contributors on Twitter and share the love.

5. Show Some Facebook Love. I love Missy’s caveat, “regardless of how you feel about Facebook.” She’s right, though. Your readers are probably there – so why not say hello?

BONUS: Accept guest posts. We touched on this last time, so I’ll leave it at that.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge Stopping the Wind, a gal who commented on our blog. She wrote a brief comment on my post about not letting your background image overpower your blog or website: “I agree and find it very frustrating trying to read content with an image behind it…great tips.”

Because we usually follow our own advice and always respond to comments, I noticed her e-mail address, “readytochangenow.” What a great name! It really caught my attention, so I paid a little visit to her blog and was so glad I did. Her tagline is “Daily actions to become who I was intended to be.” That’s amazingly inspirational all by itself, but then I read about the motivation behind her blog:

The Beginning

Something has to change. I whittle away what I want one choice at a time. The wind of my immediate desires blows my dreams; I dream to be fit, but trade it for Cheetos; I dream to travel, but trade it for a latte; I dream to be financially fit, but trade it for a new app on I-Tunes.

I am a workaholic in a job I love, but feel like my world has shrunk to work, sleep, cleaning, and surfing the Web. One day while web surfing my world got small. I watched a video of sites around the world and it hit me – my mortality. I felt like my life was like a vacation to the most amazing location in the world but that I had spent it all locked in the bathroom cleaning the tiles. One day I will die and will have missed it. I felt trapped by my debt, income, and body.

I work as a planner and one day, right after seeing this video, I was helping an organization do a envisioning exercise. One of the participants kept balking at identifying what they really wanted to do by saying “But how will we pay for it”. I said the same line I have said for years, “Determine the need, build the program to meet that need, and then find the funding”.

It hit me like a lightning bolt; I have said that 100 times. Why am I not applying that to my life? Do I really believe it? Lofty words – it was time to put my money where my mouth was. I thought of the video and my dream of travel – to see the world and experience new things.

I fell in love with her blog. The only tiny flaw I see is that she never gives us is her name. 🙂 But I wrote her immediately to tell her how inspired I was and that I planned to mention her in a future post. That’s how it’s done, my fellow SBMs.* You build one relationship at a time.

Have I mentioned that you can do this, too? You can. So go away now. If you don’t have a blog, set one up. If you do have one, sit down and write a new post. And if you’ve already posted today, send me a link to your book blog so I can share it with my readers.

Happy commenting!


*Savvy Book Marketer


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