How to Get Comments On Your BlogDuring Content Marketing World last week, I had the great honor of being able to have conversations with some really smart people about the state of blogging.

EVERYONE is talking about how comments are dead, no one shares anything anymore, and readership continues to decline.

We’re all talking about how we need to reach new audiences, but there isn’t a great way to do it.

Sure, Facebook sponsored posts work to some degree, as does other types of advertising, but what are we all to do?

As it turns out, there are types of content you can create that still get lots of shares and comments…as was evidenced by the 10 year anniversary blog post that ran yesterday.

But, not all of us have decade-long anniversaries to celebrate, and we certainly don’t have them but once a year, so what are we to do?

Following is a list of 10 types of blog posts that still work to generate comments and shares.

How to Get Comments On Your Blog

  1. The Manifesto. A few years ago, Chris Brogan introduced the three words people should use to drive their success for the year. He’s done it every year, for the past four, and many bloggers have followed suit, including Mitch Joel and Felicity Fields. Not only does it help you think through your New Year’s resolutions, it holds you accountable to your readers.
  2. The Pop Culture Tie-In. Otherwise known as newsjacking, this works incredibly well if done right. I’m not talking about “The Three Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from Celebrity Deaths.” I’m talking about what you can learn from the PR disaster that is Wells Fargo. What is happening in the news right now that you can derive lessons from for your content?
  3. The Debate. We often commiserate there isn’t enough debate on the social web, so why not create it? That’s what Paul Sutton and I do about once a year. Sometimes one of us plays devil’s advocate so that we can show both sides of an argument. We’ve debated both Pinterest for business and freelancer versus agency.
  4. The Good. I have to admit I was a bit leery about showcasing good PR case studies, but if it’s researched and written well, with some valuable lessons professionals can use in their daily lives, it works well. I tested this theory with how FedEx handled a customer service crisis using video and it’s one of the most popular blog posts…ever.
  5. The Bad. It’s no surprise the bad case studies are shared over and over and over again. Earlier this year, it was discovered that Honda was recalling even more vehicles, but the communication around it was, well, lacking severely. Most people found out their car was affected by seeing a post about it by friends on Facebook. Really, really bad.
  6. The Ugly. Let’s be real. People like train wrecks. They can’t stop watching. If you can figure out how to write about a train wreck without attacking a person (unless it’s Jerry Sandusky; you can attack him personally), it’s going to be pretty popular. Ragan does a nice job of this quite often by using terms such as “most hated” in their headlines. It grabs attention, makes people want to read and share.
  7. The Lists. Voila! Just like I’m doing today. Nate Riggs is the foremost expert on the blog lists. In fact, he did an entire webinar for Spin Sucks Pro on the topic. People like lists. They’re easy to read, bookmark, and return to later. Make sure you include the number of things in your list in the headline.
  8. Freebies. Give stuff away! It might be a book a friend has written, a collection of free eBooks available from other bloggers, or your own eBook. Danny Iny does a fantastic job of this on his home page. Right there, you can download three pieces of extraordinarily valuable content (and I recommend it…you’ll learn a ton!).
  9. Ranked Lists. This isn’t something we do here because, well, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But this works really well for other bloggers. Cision, InkyBee, and many others rank the top PR blogs each year. The InkyBee posted has been shared more than 2,000 times. In today’s world, where shares are a premium, that’s saying something.
  10. The Something of the Year (or month or week). Just like People does their sexiest man alive issue, you can do the same for your niche. Maybe it’s an app of the month or a productivity tool like Michael Schechter did with his Perfect Computer blog post. We do the Spin Sucks Inquisition every Friday. Others do book reviews once a month. Figure out what your something is and how often you can run it (annually, quarterly, monthly, or weekly).

And now it’s your turn. What have you found that works to drive comments and shares in today’s attention-deficit blogosphere?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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