It’s been nearly 24 hours since you posted and you fear your blog is dead. You haven’t had a single comment; the zero stares at you, mockingly.
You think the post was pretty good, you usually get comments, so why is nobody responding this time?
If you’ve ever put content out into the world and heard radio silence in return, here are five life-saving questions to ask when you need to give CPR to your dying blog:
Question #1: Was there a glitch somewhere?
Run the stats: the number of people on your email list, your click rates, your blog page visits. Can you spot a forehead-slapping blooper somewhere?
Was there down-time on your website during the time you broadcast your blog?
Did the blog title slam your broadcast into spam?
Did copying and pasting your email broadcast copy from Word or Pages lead to a formatting error with the hyperlink, so nobody actually clicked through?
Tip: Check the stats before you freak out. It might simply be that fewer people than normal made it to your page, and it has nothing to do with your brilliant blog. Breathe a sigh of relief and take action: for example, send an email to your list with the corrected link.
Question #2: Have you shared it widely enough?
As well as broadcasting about your blog to your email list, check that you’ve shared this blog on social media — and once is never enough. One share on Facebook won’t bring the masses your way.
Explicitly ask others to share your blog with their communities. And remember that only a percentage of your followers will see each status of yours, so re-share at different times and on different days and from different angles.
Tip: Write 3 – 5 social media statuses that promote your blog. For example, when I published “Two Niches – Double The Work?”, I shared statuses like: “Vampires, werewolves and business niching? Yep, we’ve got it covered here: http://..” and “Torn between two niches? Join the discussion: http://…” Track which statuses bring people over — and whether these new visitors then comment.
Question #3: Are you practicing good blog karma?
Give others what you want: go on a commenting spree, leaving replies on other blogs. If you know the pain of no blog comments, it’s generous to relieve that pain for someone else — and it also gives you first-hand experience of what inspires you to comment.
What’s the phrase someone uses that compels you to comment? Flip side: what’s the commenting software that puts you off and makes commenting hard?
Tip: Borrow good comment etiquette back to your own blog. What made it easy for you to comment elsewhere? Take action by adding a more engaging call to comment, asking a pertinent question, or making it explicitly clear how/where/why someone should comment.
Question #4: Was this blog off-topic?
You may have taken a risk with this blog: adopting someone else’s voice or trying something new. Perhaps it’s a step too far for your existing community, so it’s time to ask yourself: are you keen to actually move in a new direction? — in which case you might lose some of your community during this bridge time. Or, was this a little diversion and you want to return to your core message?
Tip: Write down your core message for your business. For example, at LKR it might be, “helping small businesses use the web to take matters into their own hands”. Then, check whether this blog is in line. Your readers expect that core message from you, so they might have drifted off if this one was at a tangent.
Question #5: Did this blog sell instead?
Yes, comments matter. They show engagement, give social proof and establish your leadership of a community. However, having zero comments doesn’t necessarily equate to zero engagement, so don’t write off a blog just because it looks lonely out there on the internet.
If you have blog engagement overall, then consider that your posts with the fewest comments might actually be inspiring the most sales. It makes sense, right?—people are so excited to click Buy Now or sign up for your early-interest list that they’re distracted from leaving a comment.
Tip: Look for other signs of life. Check your inbox and your PayPal account to see if that’s where the action happened this time. Was this article so powerful it inspired people to reach out and email you? Did it lead to actual sales and clients?
Over to you…
I’d love to hear from you — can you add other CPR strategies that you believe will revive dying blogs? What inspires you to comment on a blog? And which of these five tips did you find most useful?
Leave a comment below, let us know…