There are many people on the Internet looking to make a name for themselves and their blog – to build up their Personal Brand.
But, it’s going to be a long, difficult road for them if their readers don’t do their part and socially participate in the conversation.
You see, bloggers would like nothing better than to build up and improve their reputation as an authority through the help of their readers.
What better way to get their name out there in cyberspace, as an authority, than through social participation, I.E., receiving comments.
Our Social Participation Stinks – Could the Statistics be Right?
Less Than 1% Account for ALL the Action
In the following article written by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, he states that “Only 1 out of every 100 Readers Comment on your Blog”.
“In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.” ~ Jacob Neilson
He calls this the “90-9-1 Rule for Social Participation.”
NOTE: This study was conducted in 2006, so the results may be a little different today (probably much worse, considering our attention span today is less than that of a goldfish), but regardless, the case study still drives the point home.
Teachings from an earlier mentor of mine, Katie Freiling, talked quite extensively about relationship building, and the 80/20 ratio.
What Katie referred to was giving 80-90% value (anything that can improve the lives of others), and asking for something in return only about 10-20% of the time.
She says not to bring a selfish mindset to the table, because – “wanting people to buy your product, or join your business opportunity, you will be more of a repellent, than an attractor.”
Do We Fall Short of Comment Love?
We would all love to build our personal brand and our relationships status, but the fact is according to Jakob Nielsen, we seem to fall short at giving “Comment Love”!
If what he says about us is true, then we need to make some adjustments, and change this statistic.
Let’s look at this another way. Put yourself in the other person’s position for just a minute.
If you were the one that spent countless hours, or even days producing great content for your audience to read – wouldn’t you like to know that they appreciate your efforts for the time you spent bringing them your creation?
Isn’t it an awesome feeling to receive positive feedback for an article you wrote or a video you made?
I know that a grin from ear-to-ear falls upon my face when I see the “Comment Love” – when someone took the time to let me know what inspired them about my article!
Using Social Participation as an Endorsement
When there is social participation on the part of the reader in the form of a comment being left for an article you wrote; it can be seen as social proof, an endorsement that your site holds value for the reader.
When I visit a blog and I see that there are 50+ comments on one of the articles or videos, I automatically think that this content is of great value and I need to look deeper.
So, what do I do, I stop my browsing and take the time to soak in the information. I then leave a comment applauding the writer’s brilliance.
A few reasons to leave inspirational comments:
- To let the author know that you appreciate his article, inspiring him to create more of his genius work
- Leaving an inspiring comment on his site can potentially increase traffic back to your site, from those curious enough to click on your link
- When you leave a positive and helpful comment, the author might return the favor, visiting your site and responding in kind to one of your articles
- Being supportive by leaving worthwhile comments, after reading an article, can pay off big time – it can be a good way to build relationships with influencers
Isn’t building your online following what you are shooting for here?
Social participation is a productive and clever way to improve your SEO rankings
Links & the “NoFollow” Tag
Under normal circumstances, the more participation you have coming from your readers, in the form of links back to your site, the more attention you’ll receive from Google and other major search engines.
These search engines will see your site as being an authority, it turn, giving you higher search engine rankings.
However I need to set the record straight about leaving comments
If you’re thinking about leaving comments on other blogs to improve your own search engine rankings, because your link is pointing to your site from theirs, then I need to bring something to your attention.
The majority of blogs have a nofollow tag. This is an attribute that is automatically attached to all user-posted hyperlinks.
This tag is supposed to keep the search engines from following the link left by the reader, and taking it into account in their ranking algorithm.
NOTE: Google appears to follow this rule more strictly than the Yahoo and other search engines.
The engineers behind the search engines don’t want you to figure out how they work; otherwise you could manipulate the system and have your site reach the top of search engine rankings rapidly.
For this reason, search engine coders will update and change their algorithms frequently.
The nofollow tag was created to keep spammers from leaving links back to their sites on every possible forum, blog and social network with the hopes of creating better search engine rankings.
There are debatable discussions of whether leaving comments on another person’s blog will help your search engine rankings or not, but I am going to pass on this debate, and stick to my point.
So Why is Social Participation SO Important?
Leaving comments is just just good business – plus it’s an act of courtesy and appreciation!
You’ve heard the old saying “what comes around, goes around”!
If you would like the people that read your articles to leave you a comment, then you need to do the same.
If the article deserves a comment for their efforts, then take the time to let them know – let’s start something contagious!
The 4-Part Formula to Writing a Good Blog Comment
Check out this infographic from SmartBlogger.com.
I would like to CHALLENGE YOU for the purposes of social participation!
When you visit a person’s blog and read their content, and after you leave an inspirational comment for them, don’t stop there!
Take the time to browse around and participate in what the person behind the scenes is all about, find more marketable content, and leave comments if you find the information helpful.