I have a secret you may not know. The Article Archive is based on the idea of promoting the Level343 website, gaining more clients and enticing to visitors to engage with us. I mean, we’re a company that actually sells SEO services. We want people to RT our conversations on Twitter, fan us on Facebook, talk about us to others (in a good way, of course) and happily refer us to all their friends without even thinking about it.
It’s a beautiful dream, isn’t it? It’s not just our dream, either. And yet, even those who achieve this dream still complain. They moan, mumble, grumble and whine. Why?
“I can’t get anybody to comment on my blog!”
The amazing thing to me is that commenting seems to be one of the ways you “know” a blog is hip. People drop by and say, “ooo, good point”, or even, “if you say so”, and all of a sudden your blog is “in”.
It Takes Time for the Word to Circulate, But…
Look. I don’t care if you’re staring at a blog you’ve had for four years without a single comment. It takes time. However, if you just posted the articles and figured people would find their way, you figured wrong. IF the purpose of your blog is to build an actual community and create relationships, you have to be the one to start the conversation.
In the process of researching, we’ve come across several blogs that held the potential of being thriving communities. For many, there was an air of expectation and breathless waiting, but crickets chirped in the background. Why? Because nothing was actually happening – yet.
In one in particular, the content was great. After talking to the site owner, I found out that the blog was getting plenty of visitors, but had no comments. It turns out that the site owner never tried to engage – anybody, anywhere. She simply figured that somebody would comment eventually.
You Have to Engage…
Will quality content bring out visitors? Yes. Will it bring out comments? Not necessarily. Quality content will only bring out the initial comments if you manage to write something in just the right tone so the individual feels they simply must respond.
Are you going to do that with keyword stuffed articles? We all know the answer is no, and I’m sure I’ve beaten that topic into the ground often enough. For the sake of those who may never have read here before, let me rinse and repeat. Keyword stuffing doesn’t help your SEO, and it certainly doesn’t help your visitors. It sucks to read, is difficult to understand and doesn’t even entice the reader to try to understand. Don’t do it.
I digress. If you haven’t been lucky enough to hit that tone, you’ll have to take a deep breath, step into the masses and engage. Meet with people online through blog commenting and social networking. Answer questions willingly and freely (it’s the nice thing to do). Don’t spam people (it’s the annoying thing to do). Commit to building relationships instead of numbers (it’s the right thing to do).
Because Visitors Are People Too
It all boils down to the fact that visitors aren’t numbers – I don’t care what your web analyst or optimizer says. Visitors are living, breathing people who like or dislike your writing, blog, personality, services and/or website. They have feelings and are more than willing to share them with anyone and everyone willing to listen – on at least three or more social media sites.
If they don’t like you, don’t know you or feel like you’re a sociopath with no care for the world, doom on you. However, if you manage to create a bridge of information and trust between you and the community you’re building, the people in that community can become your personal cheerleaders.
One Person You Engage…
I’m not kidding; you’d be amazed what the power of one person who really likes and trusts you as a business individual can do for your business. Think about it. If that one person is active in social media and feels like you’re an important part of his or her online world, they’ll start to RT and pass your links around… let’s imagine with a math equation, shall we?
Your personal cheerleader, who is actively engaging in social media, is being followed by 2,000 people. They send out a link from your blog to their 2,000 people. Maybe 10% will look at the link: 2000 * 10% = 200
Let’s say those who open the link average 30 followers each; they forward the link to their Twitter feed. Maybe 5% of those open the link:
2000 * 10% = 200 * 30 = 6,000 * 5% = 300
Now, that 5% also averages 30 followers each and they forward the link. Their followers may not know your cheerleader at all, so maybe 2% open the link:
2000 * 10% = 200 * 30 = 6,000 * 5% = 300 * 30 = 9,000 * 2% = 180
Cheerleader + First Open + Second Open + Third Open = (1 + 200 + 300 + 180) = 680
Can Turn Your Blog Into an Active, Ranking Community
Your one cheerleader brought you 680 visits because they trust and like you. How does that transfer into SEO and better ranking? Bloggers who like you and like your content will blog about you. They might just add a link, write a blurb or write a review. They might mention you in passing: “My friend, Gabriella, over at Level343 (link) told me once…”
As well, they will comment on your blog. All it takes is a few articles with comments on them before more comments will come rolling in. Now, you may not be bombarded, but you will get enough to say, “Yeah, I’m getting comments”.
As you continue to build relationships, you will also build links. The wonderful thing is that these links happen naturally, organically; you don’t have to force them. While it takes time, a few cheerleaders for you and/or your services can turn your blog into a ranking, active community.
Can you do it? Can you engage and encourage others? Can you step into the online community with rings on your fingers and bells on your toes? Yes. Now that these questions have been answered by an expert, it’s time to ask yourself a question: will I?