Do you write a hospital blog that isn’t getting much interaction? Perhaps you’re wondering if anyone is even reading your blog.
Would you like to see comments increase and two-way conversations become the norm on your blog?
Here are some ways in which you can make that happen:
#1. Make it super-easy to comment
Eliminate features on your blog that make it cumbersome to comment e.g. ‘Log-in to comment’ or those annoying capture (word-verification) options that are almost always impossible to please.
#2. Check your comment settings
If you use WordPress, check your discussion settings to ensure that comments are enabled and that ‘ANYONE’ can comment.
#3. Use Disqus to enhance conversation
This might be a little controversial since some organizations will want to review and moderate comments before posting them on their blog. However if your hospital is ready for real-time posting and updating of comments then Disqus is a great tool that even allows for a threaded comment option (thus keeping track of who is saying what to whom) and is also compatible with mobile websites. But if you’re not ready for this, take a look at the next point.
#4. Develop a Comment Policy
This is simply a statement defining your policy regarding comments on your blog. It keeps everyone accountable by ensuring that your readers understand what is allowed and what is not allowed on your blog. Everyone is aware of what their responsibility is.
#5. Ask for comments
At the end of each article, ask a question that will encourage readers to leave a comment. Take that one step further and be creative about it. Don’t just say, “Please leave a comment below.” Instead say something like, “Over to you: What do you think about tweeting in the Operating Room?”
#6. Respond to all comments
There’s nothing more discouraging than taking the time to comment on a blog only to be ignored or forgotten by the author. When people take the time to give you feedback, make them feel important by responding to them as well.
If you think you might forget to check for new comments, set up an email notification so that you’re alerted when new comments appear. Also try to respond within 24 hours.
#7. Welcome disagreeable people
As long as they’re not violating your comment policy, be sure to welcome all your readers even those that you may not agree with.
However note that there is a big difference between blog trolls (people who habitually leave nasty comments on blogs) and those with sincere differences of opinion. With the former you want to deal with them firmly. But with the latter you want to leave room for an open discussion.
#8. Eliminate spam
Finally make it difficult for spammers to comment on your site by using spam moderating tools such as Akismet. A blog that is polluted with spammy comments such as “My ex-girlfriend made $200 an hour working from home!” looks tacky and turns away serious people who might otherwise be valuable commentators on your blog.
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that boring blog posts will not attract any comments at all. So be sure that your headline is interesting and that your content is worthy of discussion.
Over to you: Have you tried these or any other tips to increase blog comments on your hospital blog? Please share 🙂