How many of you have purposefully arrived a little late to a party to avoid the awkwardness of being the only one there, apart from the host(s)? How many online forums have you arrived at from search engines where the only topics are those by the forum owner, so you’ve refrained from posting a response? Probably a few. Now, how many of you might have got involved with some of those forums if there had been evidence of a bigger community? Again, I’m going to assume quite a few of you.
The same mentality applies to new blogs. We all tend to want to be heard by as many others as possible, so why would we comment on a blog with no other participants?
This leaves the owner of a new blog with a conundrum. How do you get people to comment on your site if they won’t do so until someone else does?
There are a few options you can try, although none are exactly perfect.
- Comment yourself. This is the easiest option, but unless you’re adding something significant extra to your original entry you’ll look like you’re talking to yourself.
- Pretend to be someone else. Pretty much the same as option one, but a little further along on the ‘sad-o-meter’.
- Invite people to comment. Whether it’s inviting other bloggers in your niche, or just getting your mates to comment, sending an email invitation out can be one of the most effective ways to get a conversation going. A note on your friends – make sure they’re going to have something to add to the conversation. If something looks like a clique others will be put off.
- Write Better Content. If you’re still not pulling anyone in, could it be your content just isn’t good enough to provoke discussion? Take a look back over everything you’ve written. Look for places it could be improved, and bear your findings in mind when you write your next entry. This will take the most time to achieve results, but is far and away the best for long-term results.
- Provoke Controversy. Good old controversy. A time-honoured way to get people talking. Just remember to prepare for negative responses to whatever you write. Also referred to as “link-baiting”, controversial posts carry a risk of ruining any good reputation you might hope to achieve. My preference would be to avoid using controversy unless absolutely needed.
This list is far from exhaustive and are mostly just off the top of my head. What methods have you used for kicking off the conversations on your new blogs?