Stir the Pot to Gain Comments

I confess that I follow at least two blogs that are known to tackle controversial topics on a regular basis. I enjoy listening to those writers build their case and I’m intrigued by some of the intelligent responses they garner.

I don’t share these posts. Most of the time, I don’t even press the “Like” button. Even if I like them.

According to social media Jedi Master Kristen Lamb, tackling controversy is a sure way to ruin your platform.  Unless you write controversial non-fiction. When you’re trying to convince mothers everywhere that they should buy your young adult fantasy book for their teenagers and their nieces and nephews? Best to avoid the debatable topics.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to bring people to my blog. If they visit, they rarely comment. How can I increase participation without resorting to the platform-destroying tactic of blogging about hot news items and inciting an argument?

I’ve done my best to avoid filling this blog with samples of my fiction writing. I try to honestly share things – from my family, my insights and my heart – with my readers.

Sometimes, I can even pull off humor. Mostly, it’s just sarcasm, but people who know me well say most of my posts sound like me. My authentic voice is coming through. Shouldn’t that draw people in?

This is the part where I open it up to those of you who took the time to visit my blog. Please help me out. I sincerely desire your input to make my blog more entertaining and interactive. Choose one or more of these questions to respond to in the comments section:

How can I increase participation on my blog?
Does my voice seem authentic to you?
What sort of topics would you be interested in reading about here?

7 thoughts on “Stir the Pot to Gain Comments

  1. I think you are very authentic and I wouldn’t change a thing.

    If it’s any consolation, I have been asking this about my own blog as well. After 3 years of having a blog, I only have a little over 350 actual ‘blog’ followers. I’ve asked this question before and have been told (and convinced) that I’d rather have 350 ‘true’ followers than 8,000 I don’t know and don’t talk to. Easier said than done, especially after watching other bloggers start their blogs after me and now have 10,000 and upward followers. I don’t understand the rhyme or reason of it.

    I think you have excellent content. Maybe we’re not ‘social’ enough in the real world. Maybe we don’t have enough ‘how to’s’ or ‘what for’s’ kinds of posts. Just keep doing what you’re doing. The true fans will stay and will help promote. Your day will come. It may take longer but it will come. Hang in there and don’t give up, and don’t go controversial on me (unless you blog under another name, then I’ll have to know all the good stuff). 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jenny. I had about 300 followers on my WordPress blog, but only a few have found my website. I have a feeling that means only a few were “faithful” followers.

      Thanks for the encouragement. I won’t quit. I’m going to finish my series and get the first book ready to publish this year. I will find it a publishing home and people will read it.

      Look at all that positive thinking 🙂

  2. I’ll start with the 2nd question because it is the easiest to answer: Your voice is very authentic. When I read anything that you write, I hear your voice in my head. I can hear the inflections and the sarcasm, when present, is exactly what I’ve come to love about and expect from you.

    Because I am rarely one to go in proper order, on to the first question, how to garner more participation in your blog. Personally, I don’t think that you’re doing anything wrong so far and don’t feel you need to change your format in any way. Personally, I enjoy reading what you write and if everyone else reading is anything like me, well, they probably just don’t have a lot of time to comment. Sometimes I have to come back to my browser to finish reading 2, 3 or 4 times and while I almost always mean to comment, I just often don’t find the time. The solution to this, for you that is, is to increase your readership.

    Are you on Twitter? Or Google+? Facebook is great for getting the word out to your friends and family that you’ve posted a new article on your blog but if you want more people, more opinions, you’ve got to find more “fans” and a great way to do this is to get on other social media outlets and start following the kinds of people you would like to see reading/commenting on your things. And do the same: Read and comment on theirs. Every blog I comment on asks for a website link (always optional, of course) – list this website when you comment.

    Also, link back to other blogs in your posts. When you read something good, maybe something that inspires you to write more about a specific topic or give your own opinion on, write that post about it here and link back to the original article. This will bring more readers starting with the writer you are referring to. I often happen upon new bloggers simply by link-backs from other blogs. It’s no secret that when you write about other bloggers enough, eventually, they will write about you.

    Now, you want to know what I would like to read about? My mind is eclectic and I rather enjoy reading about all sorts of topics. I wouldn’t change what you write about. 😉

    Oh, one more thing, there is no shame in linking between the blogs you write for (i.e. the church’s blog) nor is there anything wrong with posting an article you wrote on the church blog here on your personal blog.

    1. Thanks for the insightful comment. I am trying to figure out a way to get everything on Google+ but they don’t directly feed from the WordPress.com software I’m using for the website.

      I am not yet on Twitter as I haven’t seen how it can benefit me at this stage. Plus, I don’t want to spend hours on social media when I really need to be writing.

  3. One of the reasons why I follow your blog is because you do seem authentic. I don’t feel like you’re being fake or trying too hard. I’m not the greatest at explaining my thoughts, but I hope you understand what I mean. 🙂

  4. This is one the challenges writers face today. We have to blog and work social media. All of this causes us to feel scattered and desperately keeping our fingers on the pulse of our readership. Is it up? It is down? What we want to do is escape into our fiction writing, undisturbed, and churn out books. With the publishing industry in flux, however, those days are done.

    It helps when we utilize Hootsuite or Buffer for our social media. And we try to make our blogs easy to use. Asking questions like you did today was great! You asked. We answered. One suggestion would be to put your reply button at the end of the blog post. I had to search around, so I could find how to answer your question. The reply button at the bottom makes it easier to respond, and we need to make it easy. Your voice is authentic. Your characters sound intriguing.

    Another responder mentioned time. Since all writers must now blog, there are thousands of blogs. No one has time to respond and to follow consistently everyone. But we have to blog.

    Keep pressing on, Sharon. Give your best energy to your fiction. Connect with other writers at writers’ conferences. Blog short and personal. Try not to obsess over the stats. When those books come out, people will come and find you. Your intriguing characters and your spellbinding plot will draw people. Eyes on the prize!

What do you think? Add to the discussion here.