Why Do You Comment? (Or Not)
[icon name=icon-comment]I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
It’s kind of like when you buy a new car. Did you ever notice how all of the sudden you see it everywhere? You saw a few here and there before you purchased it but as soon as you bought it you notice it ALL the time! Same color even.
Ever wonder why? (yep, you’re getting pop psychology 101, WP Chick style)
Because your awareness has changed.
I think this is why I’ve had this on my mind so much lately.
The biggest decision I made at the beginning of the year this year ( in terms of my business) was that I was going to step up my engagement and focus on relationships. I didn’t know what that was going to look like or exactly what I was going to do, but I was committed to doing things differently. (Hmm…this would actually made a good podcast. Sharing what has shown up in the last few months since making this decision).
Talk about an “A-ha” moment (well, more like a brick upside the head moment).
Obviously as I’ve engaged more I’m receiving more engagement. But it’s not just about sharing my content or posting the random personal tweet (like how do you get rid of feral cats? Seriously.. there are 3 that show up in my backyard… and I don’t even own a freakin cat! One person replied that Lion poop works… anyone know where to get that?).
It’s about supporting OTHER people and sharing valuable content with your community, regardless of who wrote or created the content. This is something old school marketers still can’t grasp.
You know exactly what I’m talking about.
[icon name=icon-share]They share their own content
[icon name=icon-share]They share a few odd personal tidbits that really aren’t that personal (gotta keep up the persona)
[icon name=icon-share]They share their accolades and client testimonials
[icon name=icon-share] And if you’re lucky, maybe a few regurgitated marketing quotes
The problem with this?
It works for them, but will it work for you?
My guess is probably not.
When I say “old school marketers” I’m referring to marketers who have been been doing business online long before Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+ existed. Long scrolling sales pages were “the” way to do things. Writing blog posts was something that was supposed to be done, not something that was used to build a community.
Before I go too much further I should probably point out that this isn’t about picking on anyone (I really don’t have the energy for that), it’s about what’s been working for me (and I swear I’ll get to the question about commenting).
I have my standard list of ‘go-to’ WordPress sites that I subscribe to for content and news. Of all the sites I go to I realized I wasn’t commenting as often as I was sharing – and even then I have a tendency to share via twitter more than anything else.
Yea… because it’s easier. <lame> Just being honest.
Twitter lets you just click a button and post. Voila! Easy Peasy.
But what about doing more than just clicking a button?
How do you feel when someone leaves a comment on your site? Appreciative? Excited? Inspired to create more content that gets people to take action and share their thoughts with you?… Me too.
Most of the posts that I leave comments on are posts that make me think or look at something with a different perspective. But there are also plenty of ‘news’ and ‘tutorial’ posts that are hugely helpful and beneficial yet I don’t leave a comment as often on those posts as I do on the ones that struck a nerve. Probably because it feels like just saying “great post, thanks for the tutorial” feels ‘cheap’ somehow (even though it’s better than saying nothing at all).
I’m seriously considering running a “challenge” this summer.
Just to see what would happen if you reminded people to share valuable content, help others get recognized and more or less create a habit around “paying it forward”.
I’m not exactly sure what this would look like (or will look like, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to do it- I just need to come up with a good name), but it has to be fun and not completely time consuming. Just a way to remind people how important this is and what a little support for a lot of people can do. I’m thinking on my end it would look somewhat like a free membership site (and not for protected content, but to create a directory), some free webinars teaching a different way to “pay it forward”, weekly email reminders, spotlighting different people, some guest posts, some video….
What do you think?
Back to commenting.
After writing all this I’m kind of feeling like I’m back at square one.
So much of what I do depends on what’s going on in my business, although I will tell you that I have been more consistent these last 4 months than ever before (and it’s paying off… crazy how that works!). I think one thing I’m going to test (while I continue working out this ‘summer challenge’ idea) is see if I can fine ONE new blog a week to leave a valuable comment on and share with my community. I can’t imagine this will take more than 30 minutes tops. From start to finish. I’ll check my social media groups/communities, some twitter conversations and just see what happens. I’ll give you an update in the next couple of weeks to let you know what transpires from this experiment. I’m going to try to mix it up between well known bloggers and hidden gems! (er, new sites 😉 We all need a little love, right?). The only criteria is that it has to be something of value my community could use (it’s safe to assume it will have to do with WordPress, blogging, social media, digital publishing, online marketing or humor, I mean c’mon, you’ve read “The Oatmeal“, right? Hilarious).
So of course you know what’s coming next.
Let me know why you comment (or don’t). Have you noticed what types of posts receive more engagement? Do you tend to comment on a select few blogs?