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Comments, Community, and User-Generated Content

Bogger community t-shirtBlogs generally allow users to comment and often have various ways they can share content and become members or subscribers. The more members/subscribers you have, the more value your blog has. The new standard of excellence is the integration of great content and social interaction.

Google tracks the adding of blog posts/pages, which helps your site rank better, and it also likely values blogs that have many subscribers. So, you will really do well if your blog is not just for show or for sales pitches. When you create your business blog, make sure the comment feature is set to ON. This can mean dealing with the occasional bout of spam, but most blogging platforms have spam-blocking that works reasonably well.

Why do comments matter, and why has blogging become a part of the social media sphere?

User-generated content is a major factor for success in Internet marketing, and blogs add some of that to your site. Blogging and user-generated content have gone from nice add-ons to being an essential part of the web and online marketing. The search engines are tackling how to best index the “real time” web or the web as people are actively tweeting, blogging, and commenting, so results are more up to date, based on “social proof” and users’ votes of confidence (as much as or more than a brand’s own content). So taking part in this aspect of social media is more important than ever.

Ideally, Blogging is a Conversation

You start the conversation by putting information out there, and your readers take the reins by commenting. It can end there, sure, but why let it? You can keep the exchange going by responding to your readers’ comments. There are multiple benefits to doing this, even though it means you’re spending more time on your blog or paying someone else to handle it. First, when you respond to comments, readers have proof that you’re a real person and someone who cares about their concerns. Second, Google looks for levels of engagement, so keeping the conversation going can help you rank better. And third, your blog becomes another venue for customers and potential customers to connect with you when they have questions or concerns. Making yourself available via your blog enhances your image.

As far as the community aspect of blogging goes, you can create and maintain a blog for your business without participating in the larger blogging community. But it sure takes something out of the experience! If you’re asking yourself what the point could possibly be of giving yourself yet more work to do in this area of online marketing, the answer is simple. You get the most mileage out of your blog when people find it, and more people are likely to find it if you are part of the big blogging conversation that is happening all over the Internet, 24 hours a day.

Commenting on other blogs, linking to interesting people’s posts, writing guest posts, and participating in online communities where bloggers hang out are all great ways to increase your business blog’s visibility and network with people who may eventually become customers, partners, or friends.

Photo credit: Jorge Quinteros / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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