A little over a year ago you could have heard a virtual pin drop on my blog!
For an ambitious woman like me on a mission to change lives – including my own, “No Comments” felt more like “I’m Invisible”.
Can you relate? You know your posts are valuable and crammed with potential but nobody seems to be reading – and that means not a lot of social media sharing going on either.
You’re not making an impact and, you’re not feeling validated for the amazing work you do. Not to mention the client attraction and profitability concerns that go hand in glove!
If you’ve ever had someone comment on a blog post, re-tweet your wisdom on twitter or like a Facebook comment you know exactly what I mean by feeling validated. It’s kinda like that person gave you a gift – right? WOW… someone sees me, hey – I think they even like me. It’s pretty big.
If you’re not feeling the love yet - what you need is a catalyst – something to stimulate the active, engaged community-driven blog environment you’ve been dreaming of…
Let me introduce you to the idea of a Blog Commenting Circle (BCC)… a group of complimentary bloggers/experts who agree to comment on and share each other’s featured blog post each week (or, according to the “pool rules” you create).
The one that I was invited to join uses a private Facebook group as our virtual HQ. It’s simple and can be set up in minutes. The “pool rules” or group guidelines can be posted to the documents section for reference (get each member of the group to like/comment on the rules in the beginning to ensure everyone’s on the same page).
People – this is something that you can set up TODAY.
Step One. Make a list.
Brainstorm 10 to 12 complimentary experts and/or business supporters. They like your stuff and you like theirs. Even better – you serve the same audience but in a complimentary (not competing) way.
Step Two. Define your pool rules.
First and foremost, keep it simple. Here’s an example of what I’ve seen work really well:
- Each week the host will kick off the week’s “campaign” inviting each member to share one blog post they’d like “boosted” with comments.
- Members will post their blog links to the comments section under the campaign post on the Facebook group’s page.
- Members are to click through to each of their fellow member’s blog posts to leave a meaningful comment (and/or share via social media – you could make that optional if you want depending on the needs of the group). Comments are to add value to the blog author and the post itself.
- Submitting your post for comment support and failing to reciprocate (comment on other submitted posts) is grounds for removal from the group.
Considerations before you invite…
- How often do the prospective members on your list update their blog? Pop on over and take a look. This way you can pull together an active group who are blogging at the same pace. Nobody will feel pressured to keep up.
- What if a member doesn’t have a post to submit one week? My advice… encourage them to still comment for the ones who do
- Social media sharing? – i.e. Facebook and Twitter – will this be mandatory or optional?
- What about launches and special promotions? Will members be allowed to request extra support? Be sure to define the expectations of the members… would sharing or commenting be optional or mandatory in this case?
Step Three. Invite Others to Play.
Keep it simple and clear. Let them know what’s in it for them and why you’re inviting them. Ask them to reply to your message with a yes or no. If yes – tell them you’ll follow up by adding them to the private Facebook group. Give them a heads up of when you plan to get the ball rolling. (Create your facebook page at: http://facebook.com/groups)
VARIATION: You can create a Facebook Page commenting circle instead. So rather than have your circle members comment on a blog post, get them to comment on a Facebook post. Strategy is the same – just the venue changes.
There’s a way to do this on Twitter too – and, I’ve found some cool automation tools that amp up the volume but, that’s meant for another blog post so stay tuned!
WAIT! Before you go… Are you using a strategy like this effectively? Or maybe there’s something else you’re doing to build buzz and get people talking on your blog. Do tell… I’ll meet you in the comments section xo
*image source under creative commons license: mkhmarketing.wordpress.com