One of the best things (maybe THE best thing) about the blogosphere is the amazing people in it. I am often in awe of all the intelligent, compassionate, and truly talented individuals that I come across as I "poke around" cyberspace.
If you comment on my blog and leave your blog's URL, I will often check it out because I'm interested...in YOU.
That being said, sometimes I don't leave a comment. I'd like to, don't get me wrong, but you - perhaps unknowingly - have put too many obstacles in my way:
1. You require me to log-in. When I notice a required log-in, I usually run away from that site faster than you can say be-bo-banana five times fast (go ahead..try it...it doesn't take long). Even if I love your content, I don't have the time or the patience to log in and create a username and password. It's free and easy, you say? Sorry. Still not convincing enough. Just let me comment already.
2. Your page is loading super slow. I clicked on your link and I'm waiting and waiting...and decide to click somewhere else instead. It may be a little unfair, but I'm part of the "Internet Age" - I want results and I want 'em now. If your page is having major speed issues, I highly recommend you look into the cause. You could be losing readers because of it.
3. You have no new content. The date on your last post is from 3 months ago. My automatic assumption then is that you are probably not that dedicated to your site or that you may not be checking it frequently so I typically leave that lonely post alone.
4. You have no profile picture. One of the first things I look for when I stop in at a blog is information about the blogger behind the blog. I want to know there's a real person behind that computer screen. I want to see your smiling face, your kids, your life. And, yes, I do want to know your name and a bit about you. I know you probably have concerns about security and everyone has their own "boundaries," but you have to give me a little something to "hold onto" - your hometown, your favorite ice cream flavor, something, anything.
5. Your posts are too long. There are a few good reasons for longer posts, but only a few. Most of your posts should error on the side of brevity. Unless you're the world's most talented writer, you should probably keep most of your posts relatively short. And if you are the world's most talented writer, you probably already know that.
6. Your posts are all text. The saying: "a picture is worth a thousand words" is totally true in blogland. Don't just type and hit publish. Grab a photo from Microsoft Clip Art or Flickr Creative Commons (don't forget to cite the photographer). Buy a photo from iStockphoto. Or, best of all, take a picture yourself. Go ahead - you can do it.
7. You have too few posts on the main page. So, let's say you have three posts on your main page - one about your new cat (I'm allergic), one really long tribute to your great grandma (very sweet, but I'm not sure what to say), and one super short one announcing that you will have a new blog post up soon. I may just skip right past your blog. There's a good chance, however, that your fourth post was absolutely amazing and we would have connected instantly had I read it. So, give me some options.
If you are a blogger and you want people to comment, please avoid these 7 mistakes. In fact, do the opposite of these DONT'S and I bet you'll be well on your way to having more commenters in no time.
YOUR TURN: What makes you comment [or not comment] when you stop in at a blog?