Last week, I happened upon internet "mogul" John Chow (@johnchow) through various links, and in reviewing his web site, e-books, and staggering statistics -- get ready for this --over 100,000 blog readers, 56,423 twitter followers, and 4,000 Facebook fans, plus going from 0 to $40,000 a month blogging...well, OK, I'm impressed. So while I missed the deadline to review John's other new book, "Make Money Online" and win a new iPad (darn!), I did get a chance over the weekend to read his 21-page e-book, "The Secrets to Getting Blog Comments," and I found it an enjoyable read, with some specific tips I will definitely put into practice. In digging a little further and doing some research, I have found that John is not afraid of controversy, and has some marketing techniques that might be considered riske, but he works hard, practices what he preaches, and knows affiliate marketing like the back of his hand, which not many online marketers do.
Overview - The Chicken and the Egg Problem
So here's the problem: you want to start a blog because it's great for branding and building your business or organization. You write what you think are really great, interesting, useful, buzzworthy posts, and sometimes people even tell you in person, "you are the best blogger ever!" (I have been told this recently, thank you Betty Kaufman). But for some reason, you just aren't getting comments, and maybe it doesn't look so great. And maybe you're not getting comments because people don't see any comments so they are afraid to jump right in. I know with my blog, I can go for a few weeks without comments, and then suddenly a blog post will trigger more comments, depending on the topic and the way it's written.
Smart Commenting Tips - Technorati, Anyone?
Some of John's tips include: starting a blog commenting group; asking friends and family to comment to get the ball rolling; start a "Reply" contest by dangling a goodie in front of readers, and try this with some other posts as well, so your comments are spread throughout.
We've all heard about the importance of commenting on the posts of others, (these should be real, genuine thoughts, not just comments to get attention), but John emphasizes the importance of being one of the first or top ten to comment, since most blog readers don't read past the top 10. (Hopefully, the blog's publisher does.) John also suggest checking out blogs in your own niche, of course, as well as Technorati's top 100, which is where you'll find the power bloggers. John describes several handy Wordpress plug-ins that make it easy to highlight and reward top commentors, and he surprised me in his discussion of negative comments. John writes: "I actually look forward to negative comments on my blog, because it's an indication of growth." Lively discussion also generate traffic, which is a good thing. He also advises that negative comments should be addressed and definitely not ignored, with the specific topic at hand clarified or addressed as well. In other words, don't try and hide from negative commentors, it won't work.
Guilty by Association -Keep Good Blog Company
I realy liked John's "Bonus" section at the end, "Guilty by Association." I won't give it away, but let's just say that he really drives the point home about the importance of keeping good company, both online and off. Your peers and colleagues are your support system, and those who surround you should reflect your values and beliefs as well. The message? Keep good company on your blog, and in your life. Great bloggers flock together, so blog (and comment) on!
Post a Reply and You're Entered into Book Giveaway!
And now a brief request....since I always practice what I preach, and I have to say John's tips and advice are peaking my curiosity, here's what would be great. Post a reply here, or at my Facebook FAN page. Has anyone else tried John's tips and how have they worked for you? Do you comment on blog posts, or are you just starting to? I'm looking forward to hearing from you. All those who post a reply or Facebook comment will be entered to win a great new book on social media I have been loving, "The Zen of Social Media Marketing," by Shama Kabani, named one of BusinessWeek's 25 under 25 Entrepreneurs for 2009. Good luck!