Welcome back to Introductions over Coffee, where I provide some guidance and insights for new bloggers and maybe as a refresher for us all. I also introduce a new blogger to the community. Please make them feel welcome (as I know you will).
For any new bloggers who want to raise their profile, please follow the guidance in my posts. Do not spam my comments section.
Introducing our new blogger : Maningisylvester of ManingiWrites
I’m delighted to introduce Maningisylvester today. Having a look at his blog, he appears to post daily. Primarily he’s responding to the WP prompts, but not exclusively. In addition to a range of general posts, Sylvester is also sharing weekly instalments of a story.
As ever, I’m providing links to Sylvester’s website and a couple of posts, including Part 1 of his story. (I’m also hoping I’m getting his name correct in assuming Sylvester is his first name).
I like his clear writing style. His posts are informative and hopefully will make you think too.
One word advice for Sylvester, and maybe other new bloggers too – make sure your ‘About’ page is relevant.
Welcome to the community Sylvester 😁
Making comments work
Most established bloggers I mix with would all tell you that the comments sections of our blogs are invaluable.
We all define success in different ways, but for many people, having meaningful exchanges in the comments sections of our blogs is important. Think about how it feels as a new blogger publishing your posts. You’ve finished your post, you’ve hit publish but not much is happening. You wonder if anyone will read your work. I’m sure they will, but you need to make the first move. Go and read other blogs, like them if you’ve enjoyed wht you’ve read. But you should also leave a message saying why you liked it.
In this section I’m going to look at the art of leaving meaningful comments. Its a good skill for all bloggers to develop, but its really going to help you as a new blogger to grow and develop, both you and your blog.
Rosa is a new blogger, she’s really eager to start writing, posting and getting lots of visitors to her website. She’s finding and visiting blogs though the WP Reader. She sees some of the comments sections are really busy so thinks this is good, she will meet lots of bloggers and if she says hello and leaves her web address, people will come and visit her, read her posts and follow her.
Such a bad mistake.
Spam is deleted
Rosa is unlikely to get much success in this way. If someone posts on my blog comments saying visit my site; follow me or shares their website link, I’m going to either delete the comment or mark it as spam. Most established and experienced bloggers do the same thing. And we’re highly unlikely to visit your site as you are spamming.
So what’s the correct way to use comments?
Door to Dialogue
When we publish a post, sharing our work, we want our audience to engage with us, and that happens in the comments section. Its where we share ideas, discuss those ideas and sometimes have differing opinions. We get to know each other and sometimes, over time, develop blogging friendships with like-minded bloggers. This is why meaningful comments are so important. You’re not going to start a conversation with “nice” or an emoji – say something meaningful to get a dialogue going.
In a recent post by my good blogging friend, Hugh of Hugh’s Views & News, he raised the subject of comments and through his post, which I recommend reading, brought up some interesting questions. In fact, go and read Hugh’s post and then return here to continue with the discussion about the way we use comments.
Like Hugh, I believe we really want to engage with each other, and have meaningful conversations. Blogging for most of us is a hobby, so it should be fun, and our conversations should be fun too.
Advice over coffee
Whilst its best to leave meaningful comments, many don’t. There are probably many reasons why people do this, but they’re probably missing out on the opportunity of getting to know more people, and people getting to know them. If others get to know you; see how you behave, what kind of things you say, they can decide that they are interested in visiting your site. Equally, don’t always assume everyone will sign up to follow you, and sometimes people will visit a few times before deciding to follow you. At other times, people have a limit of the number of people they follow because its difficult to keep up if you follow too many.
The quality of comments you leave and your engagement with the community is the key to growing your blog and readers.
I found Hugh’s comments – or the conversations left in the comments section of his post about the trend being to not leave comments worrying. That will kill the community. Perhaps there are good reasons people don’t want to leave comments, but they’re missing out on the full experience. Following on from the example put forward in Troy Headrick’s post, writing in the Wise & Shine blog, we should be more defiant. In this case defying the apparent trend to not comment. We should push for our own trend – chatting with like-minded people who want to talk to each other. Lets keep the comments alive and kicking.
As indicated already, there are many reasons that bloggers won’t leave meaningful comments, what can we do to encourage the leaving of better comments? I know of a blogger who, at the end of her posts, opens up the conversation with an instruction to “discuss”. You can check her work out for yourself here. I love her style with this (or maybe its the teacher in me).
So, what are you going to discuss in my comments?
Over to you!
It’s important to me that Introductions over Coffee reflects the needs of the community, and new bloggers. Leave me a message in the comments or send me an email via the Contact page to make suggestions for future topics.
What I’m looking for in new bloggers I feature
I review the new bloggers I come across to decide who to highlight in this post on a weekly basis, and some have been asking what I’m looking for. The following are my criteria:
- a blogger who interacts with their readers and engages with them through their comments.
- Are they posting regularly – if someone posts weekly, that’s fine, but I’d probably observe for a few weeks to see how they’re getting on.
- Do they produce quality work – if its text, is it full of spelling/grammar mistakes
- is there sufficient information to encourage conversation through the comments section – are the comments meaningful.
- If someone regularly spams, they will not be featured. I accept that people can make mistakes at the outset, but they should learn and adapt what they do. There is never an excuse for spamming.
I accept that this process is subjective, based on my opinion. If you have any questions about my criteria, please ask.
If you’re a new blogger and would like to appear in a future edition of Introductions over Coffee, please send me a message through the Contact Me page. Equally, if you spot an interesting new blogger, send me a message in the same way, sharing their details.
Sign up to my blog today so you don’t miss out on future new blogger tips, and all my other wonderful posts.