Writing blog posts that spark conversations

29th March 2016

Writing blog posts that spark conversations

This post is a part of the “My thoughts on blogging…” series. I have just choose to keep the title short because “My thoughts on blogging…writing blog posts that spark conversations” is too long!

We are constantly told to make our blog posts sharable, pinable and SEO friendly. We are told that our blog statistics are important and that success is based on how many followers we have and how high our DA score is.

That’s great but these are not the things I have in mind when I write my blog posts.

When I write a post I want to spark a conversation.

Why I write posts that spark conversations

I want my posts to connect with my readers, to get them thinking, and to provide a starting point for a conversation.

I couldn’t care less how many times a post is shared or pinned on Pinterest. I mean, it’s interesting to see how popular my posts are (or in more cases, aren’t!) on social media, but it’s not what drives my content. It’s not why I write a blog.

If I write a post that receives comments that resemble essays, then in my eyes that post was a great success.

I just love starting conversations with people online. That’s how I have made so many friends online, and this has even lead to me meeting fellow bloggers in real life.

I started blogging because I wanted a place to write about my life and vent my feelings. But what keeps me going is the engagement I have with my readers. And this is really hard to explain to people who don’t fully understand blogging and think that I just have a blog for freebies.

Of course, it’s nice to have compliments on your post like “Great post.” now and then,because it’s always good to know you are doing something right, and I really do appreciate every single comment I receive, but they don’t give me that same “buzz” that the thought provoking comments do.

Are comments dead?

I recently joined in with a discussion on blogging group on Facebook regarding comments, asking the question “Is commenting dead”, with many people saying they didn’t care about commenting, and that social media shares were more important to them.

I know everyone has their own opinions, but this was just so sad for me to hear. I feel like everyone is obsessed with numbers and statistics that they are missing out on what makes blogging great; the people and the relationships.

Something that came out of this discussion was that some posts generate more comments than others. I know that when I write a restaurant review it will result in less comments than a post a more personal post about my life. Let’s be honest, what can you really say about a restaurant review. “The food sounds nice.”. With a personal post readers are more likely to share their own stories, opinions and views.

I try to end my posts with a question that relates to my post in someway to give people a jumping off point for leaving comments, because I love to hear other people’s stories, thoughts and feelings on the topic I have wrote.

In summary…

  • The act of commenting on blog posts IS NOT DEAD. It’s just some bloggers don’t care about comments and don’t bother to spread the love around.
  • Some posts are more likely to spark conversations and lead to comments than others. That’s just the way it is.
  • If you don’t leave comments on other people’s blogs than you probably aren’t going to get many comments on your posts.
  • If you are just obsessed the number of views a post gets, the number of social shares it has and the number of followers you have then you will never build great relationships with other bloggers…and you are seriously missing out!

Do you purposely write blog posts that spark conversations? Do you like receiving comments, or do you care more about social share numbers?

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  1. I like receiving comments and I appreciate when someone shares my post on social media. I can’t say I prefer one over the other.

    • Holly

      It really makes me so happy to see when someone has taken the time to share a post but I just love hearing other people’s views and stories. I guess I’m just curious!

  2. I love comments more than anything else. Whether it’s someone tweeting me a picture or comment regarding making one of my recipes (this makes me smile so much) to disagreeing with how I’ve cooked something on the blog I want to hear them! They keep me going and give me a buzz way more than anything else :) I also love to comment on blogs- I still dedicate time to going through my bloglovin to read and comment on blogs :) So yeah, comments aren’t dead at all. If anything they’re more special than before.

    • Holly

      I imagine that must be so satisfying to hear of someone making one of your recipes. I was chuffed when people tweeted me to say they downloaded a podcast based on my recommendation in my favourite podcasts post!

      I’m glad that you also think comments aren’t dead!

  3. I try to write blog posts that can come to a conclusion for people to discuss, but in general I fail, so just finish with some questions that relate to the post. I think your posts succeed in that, it’s obvious that you want to connect to people reading rather than just writing because you can.
    Commenting was always a big thing for me, and it is disheartening when you write a post and it doesn’t receive many comments. Writing a post that entices a lot of people to respond in comments seems more…successful I suppose, than one that’s just been retweeted. Anyone can retweet a post without actually reading it. Of course, you have to give to receive. It’s just as important to engage with other bloggers on their posts as well as your own. Although I comment on other posts, I don’t think I’ve ever replied to comment someone has left on a post of mine. I would like to start changing that.

    • Holly

      It’s so good to hear that you think I succeed at regenerating conversations. :)

      I also feel so disheartened with a post doesn’t received many comments. In the early days of blogging I got use to it, but then a post I published last summer received no comments and it was really sad for me to see that. Some times it’s difficult to know what will connect with people.

      “Anyone can retweet a post without actually reading it.” – Yes! I love this!

  4. Susanne

    As you know I’ve been rather turned off by blogging in recent years, because of the later blogging trends that make me feel that real blogging is dead or at least dying.
    However, I know there are still good bloggers out there, such as yourself, and I have a few that I read. I’ve always loved the conversations and connections that blogging offers, I love comments and making friends online through blogs. But lately (since I’ve been testing other blog platforms) I’ve seen this trend that developers build blog platforms without comment systems (most new blog platforms come without comment systems!), or at least without built-in comment systems, which kind of hints that they don’t think comments are important. Personally I don’t care about numbers but I care about chatting with people who visit my blog. I try to always reply to all comments, and comment back on visitors’ blogs. Both because I think it’s good manners, and because I like to interact with people and want to be someone who encourages conversation.

    Lately I don’t really call myself a blogger anymore but I like to have a site where I share my photos, and have actually found a nice community of photography bloggers, through a couple of weekly link-ups. I don’t really “work on” my posts for different purposes, I just share photos I’m proud of, or photos from daily life, events, or travels, or my progress with certain photography skills. I try to personalise it a bit because a blog without a personal twist is quite boring in my opinion. I try to tell the stories behind the photos, which may be a way to invite to conversation.

    • Holly

      I didn’t think about commenting systems until now, but they can definitely affect the number of comments you receive. Nothing annoys me more than coming across a Blogger blog where I have to login to account to comment…and I don’t have any accounts listed!

  5. While most of my posts are just general life related posts, I always try to make them relatable. I could honestly care less about social media numbers, which is why I don’t include links to share them on my posts. If someone wants to share them, that’s awesome! But I would prefer a thoughtful comment. Short sweet comments are fine, but I love comments that spark discussion, too! I love being able to have conversations with my readers! The friendships that are a result of them are priceless!

    • Holly

      The friendships really are priceless. I always tell people that I blog because I love the relationship I have built with my readers, and it’s true. I just love comments!

  6. I don’t think comments are dead, and I think getting them is wonderful. Views v.s. comments, well, I think that depends on what your end goal is. I know people that get thousands of views, but there seems to be very little engagement. I just started blogging and I have TONS to learn. But, if I had to pick between the two, I’d pick comments. I feel that they mean that people actually took the time to read through, and that the content was worth saying something. That’s important. Great post! Made me realize that the engagement matters more.