The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, March 19, 2012

What are the best blog topics to guarantee comments?

Topic wrapperImage via Wikipedia

           Short answer:   Darned if I know!  Thank you.   End of post.

            No, wait!  I'll try to answer unscientifically based on my experience which has little to do with paying attention to much of anything and making notes about any of it.

            What prompts my line of thinking in this post was the response I got from my post of last Monday, It's Not All About You:  Self-Centered Blogging.   Over the course of last week this post received a fairly decent 98 comments.  Most of these comments had content of substance and many were quite lengthy--almost blog posts in themselves.  This was a more impressive than normal response.   Why was this?

            To be quite honest, last Monday's post was something I quickly threw together the night before just to have something up the next day.  I considered it to be almost a throwaway effort and didn't really expect much in the way of a response.   It was essentially a topic that has been covered often, including previous posts that I had done.  I was amazed when I turned the computer on the next morning and instead of the usual no more than six comments, I already had eighteen.  And they continued steadily throughout the day.

           I want to thank everyone who did leave a comment on that post, not just for the comment you left, but mainly for the depth of the things you said.

           With the topic of comments I touched something that is common to all of us, but what drew you to read in the first place.   There was nothing in the title of the post that indicated the topic of comments.  And the first paragraph was somewhat ambiguous.   Was it the topic of self-centered blogging?   Was it a curiosity to see if the post really might be about you?  I'm curious since drawing in the reader without a tremendous effort on the part of the blogger is something we'd all like to be able to do.

            So I want to hear from you what it is that draws you to a topic rather than the blogger.  There are certain bloggers out there whom you visit for who they are and what their relationship is to you, but then there are others who might attract you with some particular topic or by a title.

            What is it that lures you in to read a particular blog post?   What are must-read topics for you?   Is it usually the title that grabs you?  The first few lines?   Or are your visits mostly random or based on reciprocated visiting?  

           
Be sure to visit the A to Z Blog tomorrow for the announcement of the video contest winner.






Enhanced by Zemanta

56 comments:

  1. If the topic interests me then yes I do drop by to read it. Most of the time I drop because enjoy what the blogger has to say that's why they are in my list of interesting blogs. Sometimes I do drop by read the posting but don't always leave a comment because I don't feel I have anything to add to what's already been said by others or the posting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do like quirky titles to posts (I guess bearing in mind my own blog, that is not a surprise). But it will only get me to a blog a couple of times, after that is is down to whether I like the blog as a whole and the mind set of the blogger.

    To tell the truth posting everyday is hard enough so I dont have a lot of time to view that many blogs just sticking to the few I really like.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read every post from the people I follow. I have chosen those bloggers carefully, and am genuinely interested in what they write. But, the title does it for me. Interesting title, interesting post. Most of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Like you, heck if I know what works best.
    Guess I'm drawn to posts that offer something unique. Or talk about movies!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think the blog posts that generate the most comments are the ones that have comments as their primary topic. They may not be good comments, such as this comment itself I would classify as slightly below average, even though it has eXactly the average number of words found in a comment of a blog, yet it has a slightly greater than average number of total letters. And most blog comments are filled with questionable content such as this one that claims to have accurate information about comment statistic, hah! And don't get me started about which comments generate even more comments!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's an interesting question. I think the best posts are ones that inspire a conversation. People have opinions, and they want to share them, and then go back and forth with ideas.

    It's strange to look at my own stats, and see the posts that get the most views are not the posts that get the most comments.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When trying to work out what it is that allows for so many comments you have to consider other factors such as the amount of people using Blogger when you've posted and other things so it's kind of a tough concept to gauge. Something that provokes a response is probably the best way to get comments in my eyes whether it's asking your readers a specific question or posting a topic that invokes them to make a response whether it's to try to change your viewpoint on something that's perceived wrong or other reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My blog list is a tried and proven list of fabulous bloggers...I read every post they write. The odd time I really have nothing to add to the conversation but most times I leave a comment.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Now you're asking. I tend to do a bit of everything you've listed out there and, like you said about the A to Z list, sometimes it's just random because I've got a few minutes to spare like now (I was eating a tuna sandwich while I read this!) I've just looked back at my stats and can't work out why certain ones drew masses of readers and others didn't. It wasn't the title as the styles all vary. Maybe it's serendipity.

    ReplyDelete
  10. the best blog topics to inspire comments seem to be those that bring the commenter to look at something from a different point of view, and those that relate to experiences which the commenter has had.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so nervous about the A-Z challenge. I've told so many people to join and now I feel ill prepared. They've come up with fantastic ideas and I've got nothing. *sniff, sniff* Oh wait, I'm not supposed to be self-centered. Sorry about that.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jamara -- So I guess I'll chalk one up for the blogger--hey thanks for stopping today!

    Rob -- Like you the title may draw me in, but the content has to be there to keep me lingering on a post and returning to see what the blogger will post next.

    Nellie -- If the interesting title is remotely related to the post topic that there is probably at least something of interest to read there, but not always. Once I know the blogger well I know what to expect from them.

    Alex -- Movies or music will almost always make me at least look to see more.

    esbb-- Your comment like your posts is absurd and that's what keeps me coming back to hear what you have to say. Sometimes the greatest truth can be found in the greatest absurdity.

    Matthew MacNish -- Perhaps I should pay more attention to my stats. Subject matter can be a sticky thing. Religion or politics or the like tend to make most readers here shy away from saying anything, but on blogs that pertain to those topics the comment threads can be huge. It probably has a lot to do with ones audience plus the nature of the topics and titles.

    Yeamie -- I think you're correct. There are probably many factors that contribute to the comments one receives. That's one of the reasons that I cut back from daily blogging. Leaving an extra day or two allows more people to drop in on a post.

    Delores -- Your comment makes me feel good. Since I've seen you stop by frequently to comment, I feel honored.

    Rosalind -- There could be a lot of serendipity involved. I too get pretty random in what I visit. I probably also miss a lot of good posts, but also probably discover many new posts by my randomness.

    Roxie -- Common ground is very important which is probably why posts concerning blogging get more comments. I try to always leave a comment if I look at a blog post, but sometimes I cannot relate in any way and move on without saying anything. But I can usually come up with something.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm drawn to topics about people's lives. Not so much book reviews, though I do love contests. I like blog posts about the craft of writing, particularly if they're something I'm thinking about at the time. Mostly I like short blog posts that are conversational and engaging. Questions to answer in comments are good.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ciara - Aw, poor Ciara. You'll do okay. You're a pro writer and once you set into the Challenge the words will flow. Have fun!

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  15. i find that putting a celebrity name in the title or current interest in the world helps... some of the best ones are ones that sound dirty, but are not. words like "free", "act now", "last chance" works. swearing too... okay i have no idea why i get some comments, but i am happy to see them...

    rambler i am.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jaye -- I think reading about peoples' lives is interesting if well written. Same with book reviews. In fact, everything you said at the end goes with me too.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jeremy -- This sounds like by-the-book SEO blogging. Often things I think will be sure-fire fall flat and I am surprised when that happens.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  18. I find that it helps to ask a question if I want a response. If I just show you a pretty painting, comments will be "very pretty" but if I say, does this remind you of such and such, people will respond.
    Also, a great way to get responses is to give something away!

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

    ReplyDelete
  19. Damn I forgot to vote, not been at my comp much this weekend, sorry. I know why I read this post, the pic of the yummy choc bar! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm drawn to interesting topics, sometimes controversial or earth shattering. The photographer in me is always drawn to pretty pictures, too!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like the humorous topics. I love to laugh and if you can make me do that, I'll stop by a lot to comment. Of course, the occasional puppy or kitten grabs my heart, too. Can't help but visit blogs with those darlin' critters. Informative blogs are super and I appreciate those who review. They add to my book list.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm drawn to all different sorts of posts , it just depends on the day for me.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It depends. Sometimes the title, topic, or first sentence attracts me, (or repels me to the next blog) and sometimes I read a post because of an enjoyable history with a particular blogger. A good blogger can make just about any subject worth reading.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I visit blogs that offer me information or inspiration on my favorite topics: writing, creativity, sometimes history...sometimes trivia... and sometimes the overall "this is my life, welcome to it" appeals to me as well. Memoir is my favorite genre of writing, so Jane or John Doe blogger MAY interest me simply in talking about life in general... depending upon who they are and especially if they don't include the word "Snarky" in their content.

    Thank you for visiting my blog, commenting, and hosting the A-Z Challenge. I am creating a list of topics within my theme (Women Writers Who Rock the World or some similar title). I will be writing mini bios of 300 words or less on a variety of not very well known women authors across time. I can't wait!

    Julie
    An A to Z Participant
    Julie Unplugged
    Twitter: @juliejordanscott
    #atozchallenge
    :~)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hmmm...If it's not a blogger I visit regularly, then I'd say it's the topic, the title, and even the picture. Plus, if there's something new being said, that's pretty attractive, too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It's usually the title that gets my attention. If it's unusual, plays on words, contains an interesting fact, or announces some kind of news I'm more inclined to read the rest of the post.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Mimi -- I have also found that a question or questions elicit more comments. I haven't tried giveaways yet.

    Anna -- My chocolate bar appears to have disappeared. Did you eat it?

    L. Diane -- All seemingly good reason to read a post, but sometimes too controversial seems to deter comments.

    Lee -- Those all seem like good draws for many people.

    Baygirl -- I agree that timing can be a big factor.

    Susan -- So it's a number of factors, but nothing specific.

    Julie -- I hope you'll be including my favorite author Flannery O'Connor.

    Susan -- So you're another one for whom different factors will enter your decision. I think that true for most of us.

    Golden Eagle -- When skimming the blog roll or Google reader I'd say it's the titles that speak to me first as well.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  28. With some blogs, it's the topic. Some it's the writer. And sometimes, it's my mood.
    I've gotten more responses on posts that I just throw together rather than on ones I spend hours on.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I tend to be drawn to a strong point of view. If the person has something definite to say I'll take a look.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for the visit today. Was word verification off?
    I love the writing. Any subject so long as it makes for a good conversation. This is why your post got so many comments. It made for great conversation. Being provocative doesn't hurt either.
    dreamweaver

    ReplyDelete
  31. Well what draws me to a post is the title and if it's intriguing and catchy, I will go over and check it out. I love posts with pictures because sometimes it gets bland. If it requires viewer feedback I love it even more! That's why I try to incorporate this into every one of my posts.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I know that I commented on each and every one of "Hold My Hand - a social worker's blog" during the A to Z Challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Usually the topic draws me in but I stay an comment because the writer has left a question open for me to answer. I like when the blogger ask my opinion or for my experience.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I don't honestly know what draws me. I think it depends on my mood, how tired I am at night, what writing projects I'm working on.

    But I have limited time during the evenings to read blogs, so a lot of time its just the 10 or 15 most recent posts in the blog roll.

    Pathetic, huh?

    .......dhole

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ruth -- It's funny how the posts work. Maybe the thrown together posts are easier to understand therefore easier to comment on.

    Mood -- Is that whether or not you agree or disagree and if you disagree are you more likely to say something?

    Debra -- WV is now okay. If the writing is too lofty I might have a more difficult time saying much. I like conversation as well.

    Yadin - and from what I've read that's the right mix for a good blog post to have.

    Munir -- Doris's short tales in the 2011 were quick wonderful reads and I can understand why you would have commented on all of them.

    Susan -- A question begs for some kind of response so it makes sense for a blogger to leave one.

    Donna -- Not pathetic, it makes sense. I usually go for the most available posts as I come to them. And then I usually comment and frequently with a longish narrative.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  36. For me, there are no particular blog topics I seek out to comment on. If I read a post and want to drop the writer a note to let them know what I think, I'd leave a comment. Sometimes it helps if the blogger had commented on my blog before too.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I can't really put my finger on what draws me. Advice topics usually get my interest, and I tend to shy away from meme posts.

    Throw a video in there and I'll usually give it a watch too :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Lee - stimulating and informative - and ones I learn something from.

    I'm not too good on Meme posts, blog tours, fillers etc.

    If someone posts 5 or 6 times a week I struggle ... I'll definitely try and comment once - but if the blog post is a must - then I'll be there - I may be late as now - but I'll be around ..

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  39. Perhaps an element of surprise draws me in.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm dropping in from the AtoZ Challenge - bonjour!

    I like blog titles that are either helpful or funny. And I'm a fan of short posts...

    ReplyDelete
  41. Cynthia -- You're a reciprocator and that's a good thing for building blog relationships.

    Jamie -- I'm going to have daily music videos on my blogs A FEW WORDS and A FARAWAY VIEW. Maybe you'll enjoy some of those.

    Hilary -- Your words spoke my opinion as well.

    Richard -- Surprise can be fun and interesting.

    Jenna -- Short posts are what I prefer as well--especially during the April Challenge.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  42. First and foremost the post has to be pleasant on the eyes. I'm a visual guy. So a clean blog with easy to read well formatted post with pics works best.

    Example: Jenny Pearson's blog (Jenny is hosting me) at http://pearsonreport.blogspot.com is a great example.

    Alex Cavanaugh has a fun post and I often simply look to be entertained. Throw some movie or music trivia my way or a movie review and I'm happy.

    What turns me off are posts that want to enter me to win a prize but I have to Tweet the post and post a link on Facebook and blah blah blah. And don;t get me started on Word Verification.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Is it down to a percentage of followers? I only ask as I am not sure how may comments you normally get for a post? You have 1200+ followers, all keen and excited about April. Not to say it wasn't a good post, I just wonder about the science behind it. Have you achieved that celebrity status that you could blog about fresh air and get a high number of comments :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I usually happen upon blogs by scrolling down the side bar of a particular blog I like and see if they have a list of favorites. Chances are that if I like their blog, I'll like the blogs they give shout-outs to. I sometimes stumble upon good blogs through bloggers who comment on posts I like or those who follow the same ones I follow.

    That being said, I've found that I'm drawn to a blog by the title initially. I'm really into comedy blogs, but I've been getting into "geeky" blogs and writer's blogs (since I'm in the process of writing a novel in my spare time).

    ReplyDelete
  45. I read your post from last Monday and I can see why it got a lot of comment. I completely agree with you. As for what posts I read, I usually read the latest ones and then look and see if they have a most popular log. Looking forward to the challenge. :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have a list of blogs I read regularly .. actually I look at the pictures on many of them. What draws me in? Not sure. Maybe a feeling of a connection with the blogger. There are some that I enjoy reading more than others. I am toying with the idea of dropping some of them, but then I worry that I'll miss something interesting. A good title does help. Good pictures too.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Stephen -- I'm with you on that extra work thing. I've got plenty to do in blogland as it is without doing all kinds of extra stuff. That's why I discourage awards and memes and the like.

    John -- My percentages are very small I'd say. My guess also is that if I totally stopped responding to comments and commenting on other blogs, within a couple weeks my comments would be down to a trickle. I am not in any star bracket on my blog alone.

    Chiz-- My process of finding blogs to comment on sounds similar to yours.

    Jessica -- I definitely try to comment on the most recent posts, but if I go to a blog and can't relate to the most recent one I'll scroll down to one that I have something to say about.

    thea -- blogger loyalty definitely factors into who I visit most often. But I also have so many that I follow that it becomes difficult to get through them.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am relatively new to the blogosphere and still trying to determine my favourites. At this stage its the catchy title that reels me in, but the first few lines that keep me there. If a post has a good vibe, I'll keep reading. I like a blog that feels like a personal conversation.

    judy

    ReplyDelete
  49. Interesting topics are what get me to comment. I try write a few of my own but usually end up failing at it xD

    ReplyDelete
  50. There are a variety of reasons why I read a particular blog post, including research, curiosity, a cleverly structured title or it could be suggestions/links from a blog that I am already reading that lures me in to read a particular blog post.

    The same goes for must-read topics. I tend to be more in favor of those that cover the subjects of entertainment, health, writing, blogging, traveling, spirituality, dating and humor but not necessarily in that order.

    While titles can grab me, they are not always the make or break factor for whether I will read a blog post or not. If the subject is of interest, then I will still read it no matter how the title is structured.

    My blog visits are often random if I am just browsing through the internet or comments from a blog that I have already visited but rarely do I practice reciprocated visiting -- at least outside of the realm of comments, because I believe that reciprocated visiting just for the sake of doing it does no one any good. Time is precious, so I'd rather spend it reading blog posts that I want to read and would hope that readers do the same with regards to my own posts.

    ~Nicole
    Blogging at The Madlab Post while socializing @MadlabPost on Twitter!

    ReplyDelete
  51. The blogs I like are ones I learn from--movies, books, far-away places, good food, usually ones that leave me with questions, and always, the craft of writing, even sports writing. I read every day, newspapers, especially the Wall Street Journal (back sections). One blog I especially like is: murderiseverywhere. In the last two weeks, the blog postings were amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  52. You've raised a good question. As a blogger trying to find my footing, I've been surprised that posts about my mother, or my dreams have been the most popular. Maybe it's just one human heart touching another that gets attention. Thanks for the discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Write For Us..!!
    http://www.lifebeyondlimits.info/p/write-for-us.html

    ReplyDelete
  54. Actually, I'm very eclectic in my reading habits. Topics tend to be of interest depending on my mood or what ever is happening in my life. When it comes to following blogs, if I enjoy the writer's voice, no matter what the subject, I'll always follow them.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Judy-- Welcome to blogging. I try to keep conversational since that's what I like to read. I don't like it if my head starts clouding from an overly pedantic writing style.

    Jenny -- I'm sure it's not that bad.

    Nicole -- You and I seem to have a similar approach. Yes, time is just not fair sometimes.

    Lover -- I like it when I feel like a leave a blog and take something with me.

    Diana -- Your writing style probably has a lot to do with it.

    Jay -- I'll look at your site.

    Paula -- I'm much the same way.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  56. Heck, yeah! Excellent post, Lee. Especially about not know what's going to appeal any given day. =D

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee