Have you heard that Chris Brogan is shutting down the comments on his blog? It seems that the dust has barely settled since CopyBlogger closed their comments. So, that debate will be stirred up again. (Mark Schaeffer is weighing in on this one too.) Speaking of debates, did you read Dan Shure’s views on the importance of comments to a blog success? And then read Marcus Sheridan’s opposing view?
Last week, we discussed how emotional headlines gain more shares (and took a look at a tool to analyze them). This week, we’ll take another look at more analysis of effective headlines. We’ll also take a look at another epic post by Adam Connell where he shares tips on successful blogging that doesn’t rely on driving more traffic. All this and more in this week’s #FridayFinds.
Should You Close the Comments on your Blog?
I’m sure most of you remember when CopyBlogger shut down comments on their blog. Well, now it’s Chris Brogan turn to shut them down.
In both of these cases, one reason they cited was comment spam. In the case of CopyBlogger, Sonia Simone (their Chief Content Officer) blogged and shared her views in a podcast. The main points that she made at the time were:
- In a little over 8 years, Copyblogger published more than 130,000 comments.
- Those 130,000 comments represented only about 4% of the actual number of comments left on the site.
- Approximately 96% of the comments left on Copyblogger were spam.
Sonia stressed that what it came down to was that they were spending a tremendous amount of time moderating comment. She also reported that the decision was made to move the conversation to social media.
Interestingly enough, Chris Brogan made a similar statement when he said:
“If you want to know what people are saying about your posts, you have to scan Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and everywhere else a conversation can be had.”
Note: I covered the CopyBlogger story in my post How Safe Are Your Backlinks back in April. (That article also gave you some insight into Google’s penalties for “unnatural” links and the potential harm of do-follow enabled CommentLuv links
The Comments or No Comment Debate:
Not only do I still value comments here, commenting on blogs is still a key part of my strategy for building awareness and developing mutually beneficial relationships with other bloggers. I have even embraced Dan Shure’s recent article (on Moz.com) where he proposed using the number of comments on your blog as a key metric as to whether or not your blog is successful. Dan’s article stirred up a lively discussion in the comments and also prompted Adrienne Smith to share a rebuttal to Dan Shure’s position by Marcus Sheridan (on TheSalesLion.com).
It’s interesting to read opposing viewpoints from successful bloggers. If you’re interested in reading how other readers here feel about that topic, check out the comments in last week’s #FridayFinds. (Please feel free to join the conversation too.)
What Does Mark Schaefer Have to Say About Comments?
Believe it or not, the post that I read this week that rekindled this discussion on comments is Monetizing blog comments: Why your blog is economic gold by Mark Schaeffer (on BusinessGrow.com). While Mark obviously respects Chris Brogan and refers to him as a “a pioneer in almost every aspect of blogging”, he goes on to tout the value of commenting and welcomes us to comment on his blog.
Mark reminds us that a post that he wrote in January received more than 700 comments. He also points out that those comments are still there but the social conversations are.
“The whisps of social media conversations about this topic are long-gone like feathers in a hurricane. You couldn’t even find them by digging deep on a search engine.”
Is Focusing on Website Traffic Keeping You from Success?
One of my favorite bloggers is Adam Connell (from BloggingWizard.com). You may remember that I featured one of his epic posts in my #FridayFinds article about ways to improve your content marketing strategy. (The article I featured from Adam in that #FridayFinds included 48 content marketing tools.)
Well, this week, Adams is sharing his guide of Smart Blogging Tips To Get Better Results With Less Traffic. Some of the highlights from his article include:
- Identifying and Using Conversion Goals
- Removing Distracting Elements
- Using Social Proof to Build Trust
- Building Your Email List
- Using Landing Pages
As always, I highly recommend reading Adam’s article in full. One of the things that you will notice is that Adam also offers this article as a PDF (which you get via email). This is an exclusive piece of content that is available to you when you click on a link with a popup to sign up. This also is an example of Adam implementing two of his blogging tips (working toward a conversion goal and building his email list). As an added bonus, Adam shares the tools that he uses in his post (very clever Adam.)
Do Emotional Headlines Get More Shares?
Last week, I shared some blog tips on how to improve your website blog. One of the things that I shared with you was Garrett Moon’s article where he shared “conclusive proof” that emotional headlines get more social media shares.
Up until I had read Garrett’s post, I had been unaware of the EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) Headline Analyzer tool from the Advanced Marketing Institute. Some of you found the tool interesting and intend to use it. Others of you are skeptical. Since the tool is quick, easy and free, I’m giving it a test drive. (I’m always on the lookout for any tools or resources that can help me think more creatively when I’m writing my blog titles and headline tags.)
Do You Know These Tips for Writing Headlines?
The thing that attracted me to Garrett Moon’s article about the impact of emotional headlines was the fact that CoSchedule(a company that Garrett founded) had built a database of containing nearly a million headlines. With that amount of data to analyze, rest assured, I was interested.
So, when I came across the article We Analyzed Nearly 1 Million Headlines. Here’s What We Learned that Garrett wrote for OKDork.com, I was eager to learn more blog writing tips. As always in this series, I’m not going to delve into the details of Garrett’s article. Instead, here are some of the highlights of what he’s covered (just in case you too want to write better headlines):
- The data set he used contained nearly a million headlines.
- He broke the data into (English-only) posts that fell into 3quantities of shares on major social networks: less than 100 shares, more than 100 shares and more than 10k shares.
- One of thefindings was that “89% of the content that is created is never shared more than 100 times!”
In addition, Garrett also:
- Lists the top 13 most common words/phrases used (in highly shared headlines).
- Provides 6 takeaways that we can learn from (including 2 graphs depicting the networks the highest percentage of shares came from).
- References CoSchedule’s analysis using the EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) Headline Analyzer tool.
BTW – This was my first time on OKDork.com but I was impressed by what I saw. It turns out that this site is the personal blog of Noah Kagan, (the chief “sumo” at AppSumo.com – one of the few blogs that I subscribe to email updates for).
Over To You:
What are your thoughts? As a blogger, are you more focused on driving traffic to your site or providing quality content? Are you surprised that Chris Brogan is shutting down comments on his blog? What do you think about Mark Schaeffer’s observation that social conversations from his post in January aren’t showing up in the search engines yet the 700+ comments left on his blog remain? We’d love to know.