One of the downfalls of writing meatier content online is that more readers aren’t able to get through the entire article. Everybody has ADHD nowadays thanks to the internet. Due to a lack of reader thoroughness, readers will increase their tendency to ask questions to answers that are already in the article. It’s a maddening time sink to explain what has already been explained.
Instead of capitulating by writing really easy to understand topics that are short, I’ve got a much better solution. Post more frequently!
MIND THE BALANCE
If you’re like most bloggers, you enjoy good comments that add value to the articles you write. If all publicists actually spent time reading our articles BEFORE e-mailing us with some pitch, their response rate would shoot through the roof!
My problem is that I feel responsible responding to as many comments as possible. I feel gratitude, even seven years later, that people are still willing to read my articles and leave their thoughts on Financial Samurai. But my biggest problem is not being able to ignore a comment where the answers are already stated in the post due to the commenter’s lack of reading comprehension or thoroughness. I should just say, “Please re-read the post” or let another commenter point out the answers, but I don’t.
I spend hours responding to comments during days which I do not post. When I add up all the words I’ve written in the comments section, I’m often able to write another full 1,000+ word post.
If you’re a serious blogger, then getting more URLs published is better than having more comments. More URLs published means more articles indexed by Google. More articles indexed by Google means a higher chance of ranking well in search and seeing more traffic. Comments are not indexed by Google, or so I don’t think. Yet, they take just as much time as writing an article.
Hence, your goal as a blogger who wants to increase his/her productivity, traffic, and revenue is to post more and comment in moderation. If you normally post 3 times a week, decrease the number of responses you write and use that time to post 4 times a week. You can create a comment commentary post if you want on all the comments. By posting 4 times a week, you’ve now increased your URL production by a whopping 33%! All else being equal, your traffic and revenue should also go up by similar amounts.
Most of your readers do not comment anyway. Therefore, if you post more, you’ll more than likely delight way more people.
DEVELOP A TRIGGER
I’ve now got a soft trigger that once an article generates 30 comments, I plan to publish a new article within 24 hours instead of in 48 hours. For example, if an article I publish on Monday morning gets 30 comments by 10pm that evening, I’ll plan to publish a new article sometime late morning Tuesday instead of wait until my normal Wednesday publication schedule. I’ll spend time responding to the 30 comments that need responding and move on.
Of course, if the article has taken a life of its own with amazing dialogue between readers, and getting shared all over social media, then it’s good to keep the article at the top of the queue before moving on.
I chose a 30 comment trigger because I found that after 30 comments, the comments tend to repeat themselves. There’s not much new that gets added to the table. And then, you risk getting commenters upset at you for not responding to their comments, and commenters asking you questions that are already in the article. There was this one person who tweeted at me saying s/he changed his/her sex to try and get me to respond to him/her!
Then of course there are those who just leave one word or one sentence comments in order to leave a link. Then there are those bloggers who respond to the first comment of each new post so their link can still be visible even if they came to the party late. Feel free to edit out those comments. It’s your site.
PROTECT YOUR TIME
After you’ve developed a bit of a following, you’ll find that a lot of your readers tend to forget that you’re just one person who isn’t getting paid directly from the large majority of your readers. They’ll comment to ask you for advice. They’ll e-mail you to ask for your advice. Some will get upset if you don’t respond to everything the ask. If you don’t address this situation, you’ll eventually get pissed off and burn out. If you burn out, nobody benefits.
Hence, in order to protect yourself from burning out:
1) Set up an e-mail autoresponder that answers the most frequently asked questions.
2) Set up a comment trigger for you to publish a new post.
3) Put up a consulting page so that people can actually pay you for your time.
4) Reward the readers who provide fantastic value by responding to them and developing a relationship.
5) Invite other people to guest post and share their thoughts so you can take a break once in a while.
Longevity really is one of the keys to making a healthy income online. Protect your time wisely!
Readers, how do you feel about managing your time and responding to comments? Do you ever get burned out responding to too many comments? Looking to start your own blog? I’ve just created a new step-by-step guide.