I recently got an email from Katy who asked:
How do I increase my blog audience/readership? Also, How do I encourage comments without seeming desperate?
One of my biggest blogging pet peeves is when people ask for comments on their blog (my other big pet peeve is when people send out unsolicited, mass emails asking me to visit their blog, but that’s a whole different topic!). It’s just so desperate. Really, comments are nice. Comments are awesome. I love getting comments. But, do I need comments? No. As long as my clients love their pictures that is all that matters. Is it nice to know that other people and photographers like me work too? Of course!
From my experience I’ve found that you need to give comments in order to receive comments. And not just any comments, but genuine comments. When someone leaves an interesting or genuine comment on my blog it makes me want to visit their blog so I can learn more about them. I really appreciate unique comments where I can tell the reader took the time to really look at my pictures. Not just, “Great pictures!”. I like to know what about my pictures you think is great or different. I would also suggest finding photographers that are on your same skill level. If you leave comments on a big time photographer’s blog who gets 200 comments a post chances are they aren’t going to be visiting all 200 commenters blogs.
If you notice, a lot of photographers who get a lot of comments are also photographers who tell the story of the clients. It gets people more emotionally invested in the pictures. You don’t have to be a great writer and it doesn’t have to be a novel. Just a few words about what makes your clients different and unique is enough.
Lastly, make it easy for people to leave you comments. Turn off the anti spamer thingy that makes you type in a code (unless you have a problem with spam, of course). There have been several blogs that I have tried to leave comments on where I simply couldn’t get it to let me and I consider myself pretty web savvy. There’s one certain blog format that I have a problem with. Next time I come across it I’ll update it here. If I’m having a problem then your readers will probably have a problem too. Make sure you test out your comment area to make sure it actually works!
f 2.0, 1/640, ISO 125