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Want to Promote Conversation on Your Blog?

December 06 2010

standing on the targetRead enough about blogging, and you’ll see posts, comments and questions that typically sound like this:

“How can I get more comments on my blog?”

“My blog must suck, no one ever leaves comments.”

“So-and-so must be a better blogger than I am. He/she always get a ton of comments.”

And so on and so forth.

A while ago on Active Rain (a large real estate network) there was a “featured post” titled, 10 ways to get more comments on your blog post10 ways to get more comments on your blog post.

It’s a good article, and I can’t really disagree with anything the author wrote.

But here’s the deal….

Does it really matter if your blog gets lots of comments?

The second article ever posted to this very blog you are reading right now was, What is Your Goal?What is Your Goal? In that post we discussed how your blog needs to have a SMART goal. Is “number of blog comments” a reasonable goal for a real estate blog?

Not in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE getting blog comments. The interaction and learning they can provide are invaluable, and are part of what separates a blog from a static, “traditional” web site.

But let’s think this through…

My main blog, The Phoenix Real Estate GuyThe Phoenix Real Estate Guy (TPREG), gets a reasonable amount of comments. Not in the amount of some mega-blog along the lines of Mashable, Tech Crunch, etc. but it does OK for a real estate blog.

Let’s look at a little data for TPREG:

From January 1 through October 31, 2010

  • Unique visitors = 607,960
  • Page views  = 1.4 million
  • Comments left = 3,086

Over three thousand comments left this year. That’s about 300 per month, or 10 per day. That doesn’t sound too bad.

But take a look at that visitor count and do some simple math…

607,960 / 3,086 = 197

So, one out of every 197 visitors leaves a comment. Or 1 comment for every 453 page views.

In other words, the vast majority of blog readers never leave a comment. Given that many people have commented dozens of times, the actual number of visitors per comment is likely much higher. But let’s just call it one comment for every 200 visitors for the sake of simplicity.

And the majority of those comments are from other real estate agents. Yes, sometimes real estate buyers and sellers comment. More often, they email or phone.

Comments rarely turn into clients.

This was my “number 11” that I added in the comments to the Active Rain post. And I’m sticking with it:

11. Don’t obsess over comment count. Realize the VAST majority of blog readers never leave a comment. Focus on calls to action that appeal to real estate buyers and sellers and get them to make contact in some way.

I’d trade 500 comments by other agents for 1 phone call, email, or home search registration by a potential home buyer or seller…

Any thoughts?