How Can you Improve Your Website Blog? #FridayFinds

by Sherryl Perry on July 28, 2014

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As a blogger, what would you prefer, lots of comments on your blog posts or lots of shares on social networking sites? Are you making one of the ten most common mistakes in blogging? Do you know what your EMV score is or use any of the 35 content marketing tools that I found on Clickz.com? Read this week’s #FridayFinds to hear about some blogging ideas that can help you increase engagement on your blog and drive more traffic to your site.

Do You Prefer Comments or Shares?

In his post, The Broken Art of Company Blogging (and the Ignored Metric that Could Save Us All) on Moz.com, Dan Sure shares his insight on what makes a post successful. Is it shares on popular social networking sites (like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) that indicate a successful post?

Dan proposes that it’s the number of comments that our posts receive that truly indicates whether or not our post was actually read and valued. In fact, Dan perceives the number of shares, likes and tweets to be “vanity metrics”. He goes on to say that (in his opinion) a company blog with no comments is a failure. Dan then goes on to say:

Comments per Post Can Save Us

Yes. Dan proposes that we start measuring our blogging success with a new metric that he calls “comments per post” which he defines as being:

total # of comments / total # of posts = comments per post

As usual, I encourage you to read Dan’s post yourself to fully appreciate his point of view (which by the way, I support). I’ve always valued comments on this blog and I always comment on other blogs. I’m a firm believer that all bloggers should have a blog commenting strategy.

In addition to advocating for measuring comments, here are some other bullet points of Dan’s article:

  • 5 Business Blogging Myths
  • 5 Benefits of Measuring Comments-per-Post
  • Several Examples of successful (and commented on) company blogs (including screenshots that illustrate what is and isn’t working)
  • Tips on How To Maintain your Commenting Community

Well, that’s enough from me on this one. Not only do I agree with Dan’s strategy, I’ve bookmarked his article to come back to. (Please let us know what you think about this in the comments.)

Are You Getting Enough Website Traffic?

Speaking of using “comments per post” as a measure of success, it should not go unnoticed that my next share this week, Why Your Site Gets Such Pitiful Traffic (and What to Do about It), by Jon Morrow on BoostBlogTraffic.com had over one-hundred comments as I wrote this.

In his article, Jon shares ten of the most common reasons that you’re not getting the amount of traffic that you expect/want/need. To set your expectations of what to expect in this post, here’s a peek at what Jon shares :

  1. Too Much Content
  2. Too Little Time Promoting
  3. Being a Teacher
  4. Being Too Creative
  5. Your Target Niche
  6. Your Blog Topics
  7. Relying Solely on Your Content
  8. Being Afraid
  9. Not Building Your Email List (I’m guilty of what he says on this one.)
  10. Underestimating

I won’t spoil it for you by trying to recap what Jon has so eloquently expressed but I think by recapping his reasons, you should get an idea of what he has in store for you.

Do You Know What Your EMV Score Is?

Okay. If you know what your EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) score is, I’m impressed. Up until I read Emotional Headlines Get Shared More On Social Media [Conclusive Proof] by Garrett Moon on CoSchedule.com, I honestly had never heard of it before.

Then again, I wasn’t familiar with the company either. It turns out that CoSchedule is a social media editorial calendar for WordPress. Now, to be totally honest, I don’t use an editorial calendar. (You probably have guessed that due to how sporadic my blog posting schedule is.) If anyone here has experience with this plugin, feel free to share in the comments.

Anyways, the title of this article hooked me and as soon as I read:

“Here at CoSchedule, we recently hit a milestone with more than one million headlines in our database”

I knew that this article could potentially be very interesting and have some real stats. It didn’t fail to meet my expectations. As the title indicates, posts with higher emotional marketing values score higher.

How do you know what your EMV score is? That’s easy. The Advanced Marketing Institute offers a free tool that they’ve developed called the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. (Thanks to Garrett for including this link.)

Emotional Marketing Value

Here are some interesting facts about this handy tool:

  • The tool uses algorithms to compare your headline with words from the EMV impact list.
  • The research behind this goes back to the 1960s & 1970s.
  • This tool allows you to select the type of business or industry that you’re targeting.
  • In addition to your score, you will also learn which emotion you will impact (intellectual, emphatic or spiritual).

In his article, Garrett shares sample headlines with examples of how they can be improved. He also includes a handy guide called “180+ Power Words For Writing Emotional Headlines” that you can download for free and links to a couple of other resources that you won’t want to miss. (Hint: a list of 50 common“trigger” words by Copyblogger and a list of 317 “power words” by Jon Morrow.)

Do You Care What Your EMV Score Is?

Out of curiosity, I ran the blog titles of the four authors that I featured today through the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. Dan Shure’s headline ranked 20% and Jon Morrow’s headline ranked 15.38% – not that high. Both Garrett Moon and Navneet Kaushal’s posts ranked 50%. Interesting enough, I tested Garrett’s headline without the words “[Conclusive Proof]” and it dropped to 37.5%

So, I’d like to hear from you. What do you think? Are you going to try using the EMV tool? As for me, I’ll try it to see if it helps me be more creative in writing my headlines but I’m not going to invest a lot of time in it at this point.

Are You Familiar With these Blogging Tools?

I’m going to leave you with 35 Tools to Enhance Your Content Marketing Efforts by Navneet Kaushal on Clickz.com. After all the reading and resources that I’ve already shared here, this one should be an easy read.

While the other posts I’ve shared today concentrate on comments and content, this article provides us with tools that we can use to make our content stand out from the rest. Navneet starts with a colorful infographic before listing the thirty-five tools along with a quick blurb on how you can use them to take your content to the next level.

Navneet breaks his list into these five categories:

  • Content Ideas
  • Content Organization
  • Content Creation and Design
  • Content Promotion and Distribution
  • Content Marketing Analytics and Tracking

I think you may find this to be another resource that you’ll bookmark to come back to later.

Over To You:

What are your thoughts? Do you agree that using “comments per post” would be a more accurate assessment of a successful blog than social media shares? Do any of Jon Morrow’s ten reasons for not getting enough traffic resonate with you? What do you think about the “Emotional Marketing Value” Score? Is it a tool that you will use? Lastly, do you have experience with any of the tools that Navneet Kaushal listed or are there any that caught your eye?

You can connect with today’s featured authors on Google+ at: Dan Shure, Jon Morrow, Garrett Moon¸ Navneet Kaushal, and me.

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Sherman Smith
Twitter:
August 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Hey Sherryl,

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on your blog.

I actually found your blog post through Don Purdum’s top bloggers of the week post and I do have to say that your title caught my eye.

So whats more important. Comments or shares?

Well I have to agree with Dan. Your comments is much more important than your shares. At least to make a big name for yourself in that prospective.

The main reason why I agree with Dan is because of what I read about Google. Google Symantecs focus more in engagement and interaction a lot more so than they did some 3 or 4 years prior. Based on this is how they determine how they’re going to rank you when it comes to generating traffic. It effects your sessions, bounce rate, and only Google knows what else.

I’ve also been using the EMV tool for 4 years. I do have to say that it has helped me a lot. I first heard about the tool when I first started blogging on my free blog. I do have to say that there were times my first and second year of blogging where the blog post was pretty horrible, but yet the people were attracted to the headline. So any blogger or writer can definitely benefit from the EMV tool!

Thanks for sharing and I hope you’re having a great weekend!
Sherman Smith recently posted..How To Rebuild Traffic After Taking A BreakMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
September 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Hi Sherman,

Thanks for letting me know that you found my post on Don Purdum’s blog. (I need to get over there and thank him.)

I’m in agreement that comments are more important than shares. We own our comments! I’m hopeful that Google really is finding ways to reward quality content and to weigh in the value of engagement.

This past month, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the amount of direct traffic that I’m getting. Usually, organic SEO traffic is my number one source. As we know, that traffic has the highest bounce rate and the fewest amount of return visitors. So, I’m thrilled to see my traffic sources shifting.

You’ve been using the EMV tool for four years? You’re certainly ahead of the game on that one! Now that I’ve discovered it, it’s one of my go-to tools. I believe it’s helping me to write better titles and it could be one of the contributing factors that’s driving traffic to my site. (That plus some wonderful bloggers like Don Purdum and Enstine Muki who have recently featured my posts on their sites.)

Thank you for weighing in on this. I’m actually starting my “weekend” later today. I hope you enjoyed yours!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Big Companies Use Neuromarketing to Influence Buyers. Can You?My Profile

Rajat
Twitter:
August 27, 2014 at 9:18 am

I’m getting very less number of of comments on my pages, what drives comments and when do people comment, I have been having a hard time understanding this concept, because most of my content is usually related to the current trending topics!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Hi Rajat,
Have you tried following bloggers in niches related to yours and commenting on their blogs? Usually forming solid relationships with other bloggers is helpful if you’re trying to drive traffic to your blogs (and get comments).

I caution bloggers against leaving links on too many blogs that are outside of their niche because Google does penalize sites for unnatural links. However, you can join groups that encourage comment reciprocation.

I usually recommend the LinkedIn group “Bloggers Helping Bloggers”. You can’t leave links to your posts in the main discussion area. (They will be deleted.) Instead, we set up a weekly discussion that starts with the word “SHARING”. Members are allowed to post one link a week there and comment reciprocation is expected.

To be honest with you, I am a member of that group but I no longer participate in that discussion. I personally find that the benefits of being a group member lie in the main discussion area. (Also, I honestly don’t have the time to reciprocate all of the comments left here let alone participate in that group discussion.)

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you find my suggestions helpful.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Time To Tweak Your Strategy for Commenting on Blogs?My Profile

Sagar
Twitter:
August 27, 2014 at 5:47 am

Nice post
I truly believe that the quantity of comments or reviews you get on your post would be a superior impression of the achievement of the post. Anyone can impart it without actually understanding it. I was especially intrigued by the EMV score. I have been utilizing the AMI site as of late. I do not more about it as it was recommended by one of my friend.

i think pure and best content is the best way for your blog’s best performance. Providing informative content to users through the article is the best way to be on web and can also help in diverting some traffic to your main website.

Thank you for sharing.
Sagar recently posted..How to stay Positive and Motivated when you hate your jobMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Hi Sagar,
So far, I’ve only used the EMV tool on three posts but I really think it’s effective. My traffic on this week’s post is more than double what I received to the last article I wrote. Plus, it’s direct traffic. My organic search traffic is usually by far my number one traffic source but not last week. I really believe it’s the headline that’s behind the increase.

I agree that informative content is the best way to drive (and keep) traffic that converts but the headline certainly helps get visitors there in the first place.

As always, thanks for dropping by and joining the conversation. It’s always good to hear the insights of other bloggers.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Big Companies Use Neuromarketing to Influence Buyers. Can You?My Profile

Rajat
Twitter:
August 19, 2014 at 6:13 am

This is the very first time I’ve heard about EVM and EVM scores, will definitely try this strategy and apply it on my blog. Till now I had been blogging just for the sake of my interest of writing and passion, i had no idea it had so many dimensions! 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Good luck with the EMV tool Rajat. I’m finding it very helpful. It is definitely making me think about how I phrase my titles and what words I include. Just changing one word can dramatically increase (or decrease) your score.

As always, thanks for joining the conversation!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Who Do You Listen to When Influential Bloggers Don’t Agree? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Nanda Rahmanius
Twitter:
August 16, 2014 at 5:03 am

Hi Sherryl,

This is the first time I visited here. I saw your blog from your comment on Ravi’s blog. Nice to meet you 🙂

Well, for me, comments and shares are equally important. I appreciate both of them. Knowing our articles read by the readers have its own pleasure though. Hence, every comment that comes in my blog, I will try to reply all.

This is the first time I heard about EMV or Emotional Marketing Values. Thanks for this information. I learned a new term today.

Nanda
Nanda Rahmanius recently posted..10 Tips For Writing SEO Friendly Content (Part 1)My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Hi Nanda,
Thanks for letting me that you found me on Ravi’s blog and for taking the time to join the conversation here. It’s nice to meet you too.

This week, I used the EMV tool to write my blog post title and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. (I’m also receiving positive feedback about my title.) Since it’s free and simple to use, I think it’s a real keeper.

I just read your post on SEO tips. I hope you don’t mind but in my comment, I mentioned the EMV tool and something that I recently learned about the new length for blog post titles. Of course, everything is subjective and there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for bloggers but Dr. Peter J. Meyers builds a convincing case for not writing titles longer than 55 characters now. That was news to me and I’m doing my best to do that. (I used to always take advantage of the 70 character length when I could.) I’ve linked below to the post where I link to Peter’s article on Moz.com.)

Thanks again for joining the conversation! I’ll be back to your blog soon.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Website Signals SERPs and Title Tags #FridayFindsMy Profile

Atinder
Twitter:
August 6, 2014 at 12:44 am

Hello Sherryl Perry,

Well, i have not used the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer till now, Because I Use Quick Sprout tool a quite often. But By reading this awesome post, I have a feeling that I must use the Emotional Marketing Value Headline analyzer, although only for testing.
Atinder recently posted..Huge List of High PR Social Bookmarking Sites 2014My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 6, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Hi Atinder,
Thanks for mentioning the Quick Sprout tool. I appreciate it when readers let each other know what tools and resources they find valuable.

From reading the comments, the Emotional Marketing Value Headline analyzer is getting mixed reviews. I think it’s worth a shot. Some people find it valuable. I think it’s interesting to see how tweaking a word or two can change the results dramatically.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Safe Are Your Backlinks? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Doreen Pendgracs
Twitter:
August 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm

What a comprehensive post, Sherryl! Thx for sharing all these wonderful resources.

For me, comments in response to my blog posts are indeed the key indicator as to whether folks have really found the content interesting and worthwhile. I certainly appreciate the social media shares, and do share valuable content (like this blog post!) when I come across it. But I cherish the comments and think they are the key indicator of audience engagement.
Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..accepting the Versatile Blogger AwardMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 6, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Hi Doreen,
Thanks for letting us know that you agree that comments are a key indicator of whether or not your blog readers find your content interesting and worthwhile. Your posts always foster some great comments. You have a very engaged readership.

Thanks for letting me know that you found my post helpful. I hope you have a great week!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Can you Improve Your Website Blog? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Ravi Chahar
Twitter:
August 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Hi Sherryl,,

I am really surprised to read about EMV.

I mean emotional marketing values, how can a tool measure this value?

As you have mentioned that having comments at any blog post is the sign that the post is read by in actual sense.
Shares are also good sign but many people just visit any blog and share it at Twitter.

Share is always not that the post was read by the person.

It’s interesting to know about a new term today.

Thanks for making me aware about EMV.

Hope you are having fun this weekend.:)

~Ravi
Ravi Chahar recently posted..How To Install Akismet Properly So That It Works?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 3, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Hi Ravi,
The EMV tool was new to me but the research behind it has certainly been around for a while. In theory, it makes sense. I’ll try just about anything if I think it can help me write better blog titles, especially if it doesn’t cost anything or take a lot of time! 🙂

As with anything else, it never comes down to an either/or. Both shares and comments are important. Without the shares, we’d have fewer eyes on our blogs (which would affect the number of comments). If we didn’t comment and develop relationships with other bloggers, we’d get fewer shares.

Thanks for dropping by and joining the conversations. I promise to visit your blog soon. (Actually, I had hoped to have been there today but I’ve got too many irons in the fire right now!)

I hope you had a fun weekend too.

Carol Amato August 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Hi Sherryl!

First time to your site, and I’m impressed – full of valuable stuff! 🙂

Thank you so much for this resource, have created a bookmark for the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. I tested my last headline and got 30%, but I think that’s because it had the word “Afraid” in it, which is good.

Will keep using this as I go forward.

Will definitely check out the 35 Tools article from Clickz.com – thanks so very much.

I’ll be back and am sharing right now. 🙂

– Carol Amato
Carol Amato recently posted..Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Try Instagram and SnapchatMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 3, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Hi Carol,

I’m thrilled to see you here! I honestly have been trying to get over to your blog for days. Actually, I’ve had Adrienne’s guest post open in my browser a few times now and I still haven’t read it or commented yet. (I promise I’ll get there soon. It’s just been a little “nuts” for me trying to adjust to my husband’s new work schedule.)

The EMV analyzer is definitely getting mixed reviews here but I think it’s just one more tool that will help (some of us) start thinking differently about the wording we’re using. The fact that Garrett’s heading dropped so significantly when I tested it without the words “[Conclusive Proof]” is telling. I’m certainly going to have a little fun with this tool.

Thanks again for dropping by and joining the conversation!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Website Signals SERPs and Title Tags #FridayFindsMy Profile

Andrew M. Warner
Twitter:
August 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

Hey Sherryl,

So glad to be on your post and leaving a comment.

I love this post. What you said about the comments and the link you shared is so correct. I think they’re both important but comments tend to show that people are more engaged into the conversation. They took the time to write down their opinions and thoughts and share it with you … and if I visit a site and I see a large amount of comments, I’ll be more inclined to check it out.

Regarding the Jon Morrow article, I’m so guilty of what he says on that one as well regarding building an email list. Luckily, I just started to email my list about my posts that I write, so hopefully I’ll see an increase from that.

Thanks for this great post Sherryl. I’m going to test my EMV right now with some headlines I created. Hope you have a great weekend.

– Andrew
Andrew M. Warner recently posted..How To Repel Visitors Like Magnets By Making These 5 Dumb Blogging MistakesMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for dropping by and joining in! I agree. Comments are conversations. I think the reason that LinkedIn is my favorite social networking site is because that’s more conversational too. Sure, you can have conversations on Facebook but now that FB wants us to promote our posts to be seen, it’s a lot more challenging.

Twitter is great because it’s quick and easy but being limited to 140 characters sure cuts down on conversations. Google+ has a lot of potential but still, it seems a little formal and I find commenting on blogs to be much more personal.
It’s good to be reminded by bloggers like Jon Morrow of our downfalls. My biggest obstacle to not getting more subscribers is that I don’t have a free offer and I have no excuse for that!

Have fun with the EMV tool. I’m in agreement that the value may be questionable but for me, it’s just one more tool to use to get some feedback when I’m trying to write a title that I’m happy with.

You have a great weekend too!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do You Comment for Backlinks on DoFollow Enabled CommentLuv Blogs?My Profile

Jane
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 9:02 am

Comments surely do stand as a measure of success. Even more, they represent a measure of engagement which carries much more weight than merely looking at the traffic numbers. Measuring comments per post is a cool thing to read our success.

And, as Ryan says, comments are user generated content which is good for SEO (and hence traffic). When you write high quality post, you will naturally draw high quality, lengthy comments. I usually see that short, pointless comments that are done for the sake of commenting and for the sake of building links are high only in blogs that publish low quality content.

I don’t say good quality posts don’t get spam comments; they DO. But what I mean to say here is when you deliver high quality content, you usually attract high quality traffic and interaction!

I love Jon’s post at Boost Blog Traffic (apart from the content itself, I love his writing style!).

Thanks for summing this up Sherryl!
Jane recently posted..7 Affiliate marketing tips to become a trustworthy affiliateMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 11:54 am

Hi Jane,
I love your explanation about the relationship between comments and SEO. Usually, when people talk about comments, they’re talking about relationship building and referral traffic.

You have me wondering if I could find some research on the correlation between commenting and SEO. (I bet I can.) Those are two of my favorite topics and that could be fodder for another post.

It’s always great to see you here Jane. Your comments always add value. I know I haven’t been by your blog lately. My husband’s schedule recently changed and (since I try to work around his schedule) I am woefully behind visiting blogs and commenting. I promise to catch up soon!

Have a great weekend.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Time To Tweak Your Strategy for Commenting on Blogs?My Profile

Jane
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Hey Sherryl,

We both are just going through the same phase 🙂 – my hubby has got a new job too and it demands more of hist time. He is almost gone the entire day (read, 7 am to 7 pm) and I have to work on his schedule + take up extra house responsibilities on my shoulders. I do understand what you mean 🙂 So please take your time!

Jane.
Jane recently posted..5 simple marketing tips for small business bloggersMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Hi Jane,
My husband’s schedule switched from getting up at 3:30 am to starting work at 9:30 pm. It’s a major shiftand I’m trying to do as much as possible to make it easier on him. That means shifting my sleep pattern (again). This time, I try to stay up until at least 1 am. He’s on the road and being able to chat with me helps to make it less stressful.

When I get up, he’s trying to unwind (which means he’s underfoot and “hogging” our main computer). 🙂 I can’t complain because he’s the one dealing with the new shift. I’m just not that productive working from my laptop and it’s a matter of getting into a new schedule.

Oh well! We’re both fortunate to have spouses with jobs! 🙂 So, I’l quit my complaining and eventually find a new rhythm here. Thanks for sharing! It always helps to hear from others to put our own situation in perspective.

Glenys
Twitter:
September 24, 2014 at 12:20 am

I would welcome seeing a case study on the correlation between comments and SEO as well Sherryl, that would be great. Do you have any studies you have done yourself that look at the growth in traffic as a result of blog commenting?

By the way, I too had seen Jon Morrow’s post on his blog; it’s an excellent read.
Thanks.
Glenys recently posted..Top 10 Google Ranking With Internal Linking – A Case StudyMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
September 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Hi Glenys,
Thanks for the reminder that I wanted to see if anyone has done a study of the correlation between comments and SEO. When I first started blogging (over four years ago), I received very little organic traffic. It was through commenting that I grew my blog.

At the same time that I was growing my referral traffic, I also started incorporating some basic SEO tips (specifically optimizing my images, using heading tags and entering keyword rich meta-tags).

I haven’t done any analysis that shows that more comments help with SEO. I believe it’s the opposite. I think that because my articles show up in the search results, that people find them and then comment. The thing is that it comes down to providing content that resonates with our readers and fostering a relationship with them. It’s unscientific but it’s what I believe to be true.

Thanks for weighing in on this and I’ll keep my eyes open for a study that I can share!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Can You Get Started With SEO? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Glenys
Twitter:
September 24, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Thanks for the reply Sherryl. It’s good to read that commenting was able to grow your traffic when you first started; I’m working on a case study at the moment that looks at this very strategy. Have you found any difference between forum commenting and blog commenting with respect to traffic generation?
Thanks again.
Glenys recently posted..Top 10 Google Ranking With Internal Linking – A Case StudyMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
September 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

I’d be interested in reading your case study. (If you think of it, please let me know when you publish it.)

I don’t usually comment on forums but I’ve built a lot of awareness of my blog through the “Bloggers Helping Bloggers” group on LinkedIn. I’m not as active there as I used to be but I still answer questions and offer help in the discussions.

I don’t blatantly promote my consulting there. Instead, I just offer help and (sometimes) I’ll link to one of my articles. When I do that, some of the members come over to my blog and they’ll comment. It’s a big part of my relationship building efforts.

Several of my clients found me through that group and those clients have referred me to others.

Don Purdum
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Glancing through the comments I was curious to read your conversation with Adrienne Smith. There is always an opposing view, isn’t there?

My take on commenting vs social proof is that it’s not one or the other. Comments can certainly validate that people are reading your content and engaging with you. If they are on your site, you have a much higher engagement and conversion opportunity if your a business selling or offering something.

Likewise, social media has been a big boost for me. It allows the conversation to go other places and be introduced to other prospective readers and customers.

In my opinion, it has a lot to do with how you engage with your audience and use the tools. I get opportunities on LinkedIn all day long that don’t even go to my website or blog. It’s because of the community I’ve been working to build there.

So, I guess I don’t fully agree with either Marcus or Dan completely. But, I do get and appreciate their viewpoints.

I’m really looking forward to reading about the blogging tools article by Navneet Kaushal. Headed over their next.

Sherryl, thank you so much for the great content you have shared with us!
~ Don Purdum
Don Purdum recently posted..6 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Working For Your Business and How To Fix ItMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

Hi Don,
There are always opposing views! I’m grateful to Adrienne for alerting me to Marcus Sheridan’s post. I’m connected to Marcus on several sites but I don’t visit his blog often. So, I totally missed it. He certainly disagreed with Dan Shure’s post.

This definitely is a great conversation! Thanks so much for sharing your insight. It’s great to hear how everyone here feels about this. I certainly would never advocate for ignoring either commenting or social shares (or SEO).

Navneet Kaushal’s article is excellent. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment and share. I appreciate it.

Steve Hippel
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Not just an interesting article but some interesting and mixed comments too.
I think that number of blog comments per post is only important if the number of blog comments is important to the blog author. I think the same about headlines.

No one is right or wrong here. It just depends what you want from the user. If you want sales, headlines are extremely important. If you want readers, good quality content is more important.

Comment numbers can also be influenced by things like Commentluv and do follow links. You can bet that at least some percentage of traffic is more likely looking for links than interested in the content.

I said no one is right or wrong but it is wrong to say that a business blog with no comments is failing. Posting some regular, fresh content on the blog is just good sense. That doesn’t mean that comments are of any significant importance.

If one of my clients was making loads of sales but getting few comments, I don’t think they would be too disappointed. If they were paying me to post content and reply to comments and making few sales, I would get to hear about it. Cost per customer is usually the most important thing to a business.

People blog for different reasons and want different things from their blog. You can’t judge a blog using any one metric and shouldn’t judge yourself because others say something is right or wrong. If your blog is bringing you what you want, it is successful.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

Hi Steve,
I agree that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution but I also agree with Dan’s position that comments are a metric that is worth weighing. I think Dan may have had bloggers (who are primarily blogging to build relationships and to build their authority) in mind when he wrote this article. I fall into that category and (therefore), I believe that commentsper post is very important to me.

One of the clients I work with has a promotional product business. In her blog, she writes for a general audience. Some of her posts target animal lovers. She writes interesting, fun articles and (while she loves comments) her sales come from someone clicking on a link to a promotional item (for example something that would be of value if you travel with pets. The comments and shares keep her blog alive and drive traffic to her site. In reality, the majority of the readers who comment and share will probably never buy her products.

I’m so glad that you weighed in on this! As always, you’ve raised excellent points. (For example: “Cost per customer is usually the most important thing to a business” and “If your blog is bringing you what you want, it is successful.”

Have a great weekend.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Can you Improve Your Website Blog? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Adrienne
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Hey Sherryl,

I guess you haven’t read Marcus Sheridan’s post because he’s really bashing what Dan said in this post on Moz. Not that comments aren’t important but how he addressed some of what he shared Marcus really had an issue with. Funny thing is that I commented on Marcus’ post but I don’t see it. I’m hoping it hit the spam box and he didn’t delete it because of what I shared. I don’t think comments alone will make your blog successful he’s he also shared about it hurting you in other ways as well.

Jon always has something interesting to say so glad you shared this post.

I use to use the headline analyzer years ago but didn’t find that it really helped at all. They may have scored some of my headlines high but it didn’t get anymore attention then not using it.

Navneet’s post is the only one I haven’t seen so I’ll have to check that one out for sure.

Another great Friday find so thanks Sherryl for providing us with something to think about. Hope your week has been going great and another Friday is almost upon us.

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted..Thankful Thursday: Blogging, YouTube, Social Media, GoogleMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Hi Adrienne,
I had not seen Marcus Sheridan’s post. Thanks for sharing that. I know you’re getting ready to have a long weekend. (Happy Birthday to you!) So, I wouldn’t worry about this too much but your comment ended up in my spam folder today too. Something’s going on because I had run into this issue before with comments from a few trusted bloggers (including yours) but this is the first time in months that I had to retrieve your comment from my spam folder.

Marcus really took the opposing view to Dan’s article! I’m still running totally behind on reading and commenting. (For those of you who don’t know, I always try to match my husband’s schedule but he’s working nights now and that is seriously impacting my productivity and not in a good way.) So, I’m going to go back to Marcus’s post later, digest everything he had to say and (hopefully) he’ll have fished your comment out of spam by then.

Jon does always have great content on his blog. I really should subscribe to his updates. My email box is totally out of control right now and I’ve been trying to not add to my stress by signing up for more. I’ll have to make another exception.

Have a wonderful weekend! I just left a comment for you on your Thankful Thursday post. That one is jam packed with info. I met two new bloggers in that one article and I have more homework to do.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Can you Improve Your Website Blog? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Don Purdum
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Hi Adrienne and Sherryl,

Great conversation and very interesting. I suppose there is always an opposing viewpoint.

My take on commenting vs social proof is that it’s not one or the other. Comments can certainly validate that people are reading your content and engaging with you; while social media can be another great engagement point to build a relationship with those you are meant to build them with.

I’ve made some great friends on Facebook and LinkedIn. In fact, I get business every week from LinkedIn and those folks are headed to my website and didn’t find me there.

So, in my experience it’s all in how you use the tools.

Thanks for sharing. I need to read both Dan and Marcus’ articles. Do you guys have a link for Marcus’ article?
Don Purdum recently posted..6 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Working For Your Business and How To Fix ItMy Profile

Diana Marinova
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 7:13 am

I second Don’s take on commenting vs social proof is that it’s not one or the other. Here’s another example – if you look at your user engagement statistics (like pages per visit, visit duration, etc.) AND you have crafted your blog in such a way that after browsing a few pages, your readers opt-in to your emailing list, and you get a high goal conversion ratio (where the goal is to build your emailing list), whose to say your blog posts are not successful if they are not being heavily shared on social media or if they get few comments?

I was particularly intrigued by the EMV post 😉 I wasn’t familiar with the concept… and i am skeptic about such tools – there’s no way you can put every single blog and headline and calculate it’s emv with that tool; there are too many variables and audience specifics to definitely say something works better just based on statistics; it’s not a one size fits all type of business). But although i am skeptic about the tool, i did LOVE the examples they gave in the post about improving headlines.

Great finds, Sherryl – i’ve missed reading your posts 🙂
Diana Marinova recently posted..Reality Check – Time to Prioritize and Make Some Changes around HereMy Profile

Adrienne
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Hi Diana,

I agree with that as well. Although I get a lot of comments some people don’t but they get a lot of emails from readers who don’t feel comfortable commenting. They I hear that there are some that are on their list and they respond to them via email about what they read but again, they don’t comment. So that doesn’t mean that what you’re trying to achieve with your blog isn’t meeting your goals.

Granted, I love blog commenting and it’s social proof that can help you even more but it doesn’t mean your blog is successful and those without them aren’t.

Thanks for your input.

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted..Thankful Thursday: Blogging, YouTube, Social Media, GoogleMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Hi Adrienne,
I agree that the number of comments is not the only measure of success but (as you said) it is social proof. I think it comes down to how important it is to the blogger to engage with their readers. If our priority is to use our blog to drive traffic to our site (and it’s accomplishing that) without comments, then the blog is successful. On the other hand, if you’re trying to build a reputation of being an authority or influencer in your niche, than not having comments and an engaged community can indicate that your blog is not successful. IMHO.

Great discussion here! Thanks so much for joining it. I hope you’re enjoying your birthday celebration.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Hi Diana,
I also agree that it’s not one or the other. Bottom line though, I value the social shares to drive the traffic to my site in hopes that visitors will find value in my content. As valuable as shares are for driving traffic, I personally believe that it’s the conversation in the comments that enrich my site.

I receive quite a few emails from readers telling me how valuable the comments are here. Comments are definitely a signal of how engaged our communities are. Having said that, the other engagement statistics that you’ve mentioned are important too.

I share your skepticism about the EMV tool but I think it may have value to some people. I never seem to be happy with my blog titles. So, I’m going to try to remember to give it a try. Who knows? It may help me be more creative!

Thanks so much for dropping by and weighing in on this. I’ve been missing out on reading some of the blogs that I usually visit myself. My husband’s new schedule is doing a job on my productivity.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Time To Tweak Your Strategy for Commenting on Blogs?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 11:30 am

Hi Don,
I agree with you that we need both comments and social shares. Let’s not forget SEO either. Although the bounce rate of people who arrive here via organic search is incredibly high, SEO is by far my best traffic source. (Some of those visitors must be sticking around and potentially could become loyal readers.)

I love LinkedIn. The majority of my clients found me there. For me, it’s the best social networking site to build relationships. Google+ could potentially match it but the people I connect to there tend to be more computer savvy.

You can find Marcus’ article here: thesaleslion.com/business-blogging-comments/

As always, thanks so much for sharing your insight with us.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do You Comment for Backlinks on DoFollow Enabled CommentLuv Blogs?My Profile

Catarina
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 11:44 am

Interesting and informative article, Sherryl. Scored 75% on for the latest headline I posted. See below.

There are some excellent suggestions in your article. Checked out their suggestions. Am No. 107,125 on Alexa today and I’m pretty content with that. Am sure I would do better but at the moment, unfortunately, I don’t have the time.
Catarina recently posted..Are successful leaders lucky?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Hi Catarina,
75%! That’s very impressive. I hear you about not having time. I’m woefully behind on commenting. I know everything seems to slow down in the summer but this year, it’s hitting me hard. My husband’s schedule changed (again) and this time it’s really affecting my productivity (and not in a good way). I’ll try to drop by your blog soon.

Simranjit singh
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 7:40 am

I completely agree that number of comments show how successful a blo post is as more the response you get from your visitors more is the success of your blog .

I also agree to jeanette’s comment I have myself used the tool on neil’s website and tryin to improve the score. It is a useful tool.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 11:54 am

Hi Simranjit,
Neil Patel’s website analyzer is a a great tool. Thanks for adding your insight here.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Time To Tweak Your Strategy for Commenting on Blogs?My Profile

SUsan Cooper
Twitter:
July 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm

I think that the number of comments you get on your post would be a better reflection of the success of the post. Anybody can share it without even reading it. I like to know that they have read the post and then cared enough, or were interested enough in the content to comment.
SUsan Cooper recently posted..Bolshoi – Banana Sandwiches: #StoryMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 11:25 am

Hi Susan,
Thanks for weighing in on this. I agree. Taking the time to add a (valuable) comment does show that you care. I certainly appreciate them.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Blogging Tips Are You Missing?My Profile

Kevin Duncan
Twitter:
July 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Social shares are vanity metrics? Comments are the true measure of a blog’s success? Why I…

…totally agree!

(And I’m not just saying this because my posts get more comments than they do social shares. Really!)

I’ll have to read Dan’s post myself, but that’s a very interesting notion. And it sounds like he’s really onto something.

When Be A Better Blogger just launched, I could get 50 social shares for a new post, but only 1 or 2 comments. Now I’m getting 50-60 comments (with only slightly more social shares than those early posts).

Now, the number of social shares in those early posts would indicate my posts were successful. But were they? Not by my definition. It felt as though no one was reading them — social proof or no social proof.

But now? I know people are reading my content, and it has nothing to do with Twitter shares (although I do appreciate those; speaking of which…thanks, Sherryl, for your Twitter share the other day)! The comments and reader engagement tell me my posts are being read. 🙂

Hope you’re doing well, Sherryl, and thanks again for the Twitter share! Hope you’ll stop by Be A Better Blogger when you get some free time.
Kevin Duncan recently posted..What Weird Al Yankovic can teach us about bloggingMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 11:20 am

Hi Kevin,
I definitely get more shares than comments (even on my most popular posts) but I attribute that to years of networking and building relationships with other bloggers. Triberr certainly helps!

Having said that, I definitely value comments more than shares. Comments are conversations. That’s where we build lasting relationships and where we can learn more from each other.

I’ll be by your blog again soon. I have fallen way behind in my comments and in blogging. (As you can see, it’s taken me two days to reply to you.) I’m trying to catch up now!

A.K.Andrew
Twitter:
July 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Another good post Sherryl. I was particularly interested in the EMV score. I have been using the AMI site recently -I think Pat Weber recommended it. And I definitely think it works. That said, it sometimes just doesn’t fit the subject, so like you I don’t stress about it for every blog. But I was unaware of the scoring system so will check that out. As for your next post, I love Jon Morrow. His advice is always fantastic, even if I cant always put it into practise.
A.K.Andrew recently posted..10 Ways to be Creative this SummerMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 31, 2014 at 11:02 am

Hi A.K.,
It’s always great to see you here. Thanks for your kind words.

Jon Morrow is amazing. I was surprised that the analyzer only ranked his headline at 15.38%. I think his title was very effective. (It got me to read it!) To me, that shows that while the tool might serve a purpose (in getting us to think more about our titles and trying to be more creative), we shouldn’t get too hung up on it. It will be interesting to hear how other people feel about using it.

Ryan Biddulph
Twitter:
July 29, 2014 at 12:08 am

Hi Sherryl,

After spending 5 years doing the blogging thing, I heartily agree. Comments received trumps most other metrics because the quality of your posts, and the willingness of folks to respond to this quality, with comments, shows that you’re on the right path.

I’d add that quality, lengthy, in-depth comments not only draw more eyeballs to your blog, these pieces of content – which is exactly what they are – are looked upon favorably by search engines.

Just think of Facebook; how did the site rise to meteoric levels, and become the most famous site on earth, pretty much? Users generated so much content through comments, and status updates, that Google and pretty much, everyone, had to take notice.

Mark Z built the site on a brilliant idea but if people just visited, and left no comments, or didn’t post status updates, it’d be a ghost town. Users drive FB’s success, and commentators drive your blog’s success, both from a content-creating space, and from a social proof space.

Of course, I had to learn this lesson the hard way, by detaching from traffic stats, and social shares, and by focusing heavily on increasing engagement through the comments field of my blog.

Thanks Sherryl, loved this post.

I’ll tweet it through Triberr.

Ryan
Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Why the Day I Threw Away 3400 of My Blog Posts Was My Most Triumphant Blogging MomentMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 29, 2014 at 10:14 am

Hi Ryan,
Thanks so much for sharing your insight with us. I agree that a blog with meaningful comments and a real conversation is a much better indicator of a successful blog than one with lots of shares. We all know that likes and tweets can be bought but to have a real community where people exchange ideas takes effort and time.

What happened with Facebook is amazing. MySpace had such a head start but they never fostered the interactions that have helped rocket FB to the behemoth site that it’s become.

The key definitely is engagement! Thanks again for sharing and tweeting. I’ll be by to leave a comment for you soon. I think what you’re doing with your new blog is amazing and inspirational. I hope other readers follow your link over to your new site!

Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
July 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Sherryl — Another tool is Neil Patel’s website analyzer http://www.quicksprout.com/. You enter your URL and are fed scores of your site’s website speed, SEO, and social media sharing with recommendations for how you can improve your scores. You can enter up to 3 sites and compare yourself to your competitors.

I’ve used the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, but I personally don’t find it that useful. I entered my last headline (post publication) and it told me it fell into the Intellectual category and would spark people’s interest. Well, that’s what I hoped for!
Jeannette Paladino recently posted..Microsoft Needs a Lesson in Public RelationsMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Hi Jeannette,
Thanks for the link to Neil Patel’s analyzer. I’m not sure if I’ve used it before but I’ll definitely be back to use it again. It’s pointing to articles with no-follow tags. So, I’ll need to check into that to make sure what I’m not following.

I plan on playing with the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer a little more. I think it may help me write better headlines. (I’m never completely happy with m headlines. 🙂 )

Thanks so much for alerting me to the issue that I was having with comments. As I mentioned in my email, I recently installed the Sucuri CloudProxy firewall and it was blocking comments. (I’m not sure if it was all comments. I still have an issue with your comments going into spam. I still haven’t been able to resolve that.) Thanks for persevering and commenting again too!

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