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Posted by: David Spinks - 26 July 2010 / 9:39
The question comes up all the time.
“How often should I reply to comments on my blog?”
My response is always the same and I’d like to explain why. I think that bloggers should reply to every single legitimate comment they get. By legitimate, I mean, it’s not spam or one of those “omg great post I totally agree” comment.
A general rule of thumb: Respond to a comment with equal effort to the commenter. That means, when a reader really takes the time to read your post, and share their thoughts, you owe it to them to respond with a thoroughly thought out response.
So why should you, a busy blogger, take the time to read and respond to every single comment? Here’s 7 reasons:
1. It shows your readers that you’re listening.
When someone comments on your blog, they expect you to read it. Responding to every comment shows that you’re reading each comment.
2. Drives the conversation further.
Maybe you don’t care about driving conversation. If you do, then as the host of the conversation, it’s up to you to get it going. Responding to every comment will help get a discussion going amongst your readers.
3. Builds a connection with more readers.
By responding to every reader who comments, you create a connection with each reader. I probably don’t have to tell you, but you never know what a simple connection can lead to. If you’re a business blogger, you can create valuable networking opportunities. If you’re a personal blogger, it’s still great to get to know your readers.
4. You’d appreciate the same treatment.
When you comment on a blog and get a well thought out response from the blogger… Feels good yeah? Yeah.
5. It will encourage more readers to comment, knowing that they’ll get a response.
If a reader sees that you respond to every comment, they can feel confident that they’ll get a response if they comment too. This will drive readers to comment on your blog more often.
6. Makes your posts look more popular.
This really shouldn’t be your reason for responding to comments, as it’s somewhat misleading, but it’s still worth noting. If your comments are included in the count of comments on your posts, it will look more popular. Of course, as soon as they see the comments, they’ll see that a lot of the comments came from you.
7. Improve the quality of comments.
If your readers know that you’re likely to respond, they’re likely to put more thought into their comment. It holds them to a higher standard.
You may not care about any of these things. If you do, then give it a shot. Respond to every comment. It’ll pay off.
Posted by: David Spinks - 1 July 2010 / 18:08
Scribnia is very proud to be sponsoring the Famous Bloggers + Comluv blogging contest. We believe both of these sites have created lively communities of bloggers and we were honored when they reached out to us to contribute to the more than $3000 in cash prizes.
We also loved how this contest works because it’s a lot more than just “omg tweet this link for a chance to win!”. In the true spirit of a good blogging contest, the only way to win this contest is to blog!
On top of that, the posts aren’t meant to support the hosts of the contest…they’re meant to support the community. The topic that you have to write about is “blog comments”. It’s general enough that you have creative freedom, but focused enough that we can come out of the contest with some great content to help bloggers on an important topic.
The best posts, based on a number of factors, will win one of many prizes.
So it’s an honorable contest, with noble goals, and cash prizes. What more could we ask for?
Ready to enter?
You can read the official contest blog post here. It includes:
So go on! Enter, write some good content, share it around, and win some money.
Posted by: David Spinks - 18 June 2010 / 11:21
That’s right…we are relaunching the Behind the Blogs series. If you’re not familiar with Behind the Blogs, it’s a series we started last summer where we interview your favorite, most unique and interesting bloggers, to get to know a little bit about the person behind the keyboard.
It was put on hold for a while for various reasons, but we’re bringing it back.
We’ll be asking questions like:
Have you ever faced a challenge that helped define who you are today?
What was your life like growing up?
What is one unique fact that your readers don’t know about you?
…and lots more.
So join us every week to learn a little bit more about the people who inspire us with their words from day to day.
If there’s a blogger you’d like to learn more about, that you think we should interview, please leave a comment, or email me at david [at] scribnia [dot] com.
Hell, if you’re that blogger…drop me a line too. It’s a great way to give your readers a little behind the scenes look at who you are, while also getting some solid traffic. Just ask Cecily Kellogg who says she still gets traffic from her Behind the Blogs interview.
The first interview will be kicked off next week with Henrik, the 24 year old professional ballet dancer from Norway.
See you there!
Posted by: David Spinks - 11 May 2010 / 14:22
This week we’re featuring a few awesome ladies as our featured writers. You may already know them but if you don’t, you will now! You can see all the featured writers at the top of the page here.
First, we have April Capil.
April wins the award for the longest blog tagline ever! But one that is powerful in it’s message. “Cancer doesn’t play. You must put on your game face. Call in the troops. Use every weapon in your arsenal, and take no prisoners, because your survival depends on your ability to fight for your life, and your belief that it’s worth fighting for.” It’s a battle that April fights, and she hopes to inspire others who are in the same battle to fight as well.
April writes “an inspiring blog about the challenge of living with a life-threatening disease” says reader Bill Schmalfeldt. Her story truly is inspiring. She shares her battle with her disease, and her adventure in what she calls her 40 by 40 challenge where she runs marathons and keeps in shape up to her 40th birthday (after she already rocked her 30th).
You can learn more about April, and review her here.
Next up is Sharon Devillis.
Sharon is a mommy blogger, who writes the “Inside Scoop” at the Yummy Mummy Club. Would you like her blog? Well, “If you’re looking for insight on how to balance motherhood and working while keeping your house immaculate, go visit Martha Stewart’s blog. If you’re every other mother on the planet struggling while trying to figure it out… welcome to The Inside Scoop.” says her bio.
Sharon performs interviews and shares her own experiences (both parenting related and not). I don’t usually read mom blogs (I’m a 22 y/o male) but this one is actually pretty entertaining. Give it a shot.
You can learn more about Sharon, and review her here.
Moving along, say hi to Christine Kachure.
Christine is “a mom, an ex-wife, a mom again, an ex-wife again, an ordained minister, a dog owner, a lady friend (that’s what you get called when you’re my age), and things don’t look too good for me becoming a wife again.”
I love this blog. Her writing style is witty, and very easy to digest. She shares her experiences as a mother, but what I really enjoy are the many posts when she shares her thoughts on trends surrounding parenting. Case and point, her post Kan Ure Babee Reed This sort of mocking the new “teach your baby how to read” ads you see on tv… It’s entertaining stuff.
You can learn more about Christine, and review her here.
Last but far from least, we have Tara Anderson.
This girl is everywhere! She writes for the Huffington Post, she maintained a blog while she was at Lijit (although she has recently moved on from this gig), and of course, her claim to fame, her “Tall Tara” blog. A talented storyteller and photographer, her blogs are full of entertainment and insight.
It would be a crime to not include the epic quote from Elaine Ellis that Tara added to her site.
“Be forewarned, Tara can kill a deer with her bare hands. She probably has. And then Adam, her adorable husband makes it in a gourmet meal with the vegetables they grew together in their garden. After they finished a marathon together. Like I said, Tara is intimidating.”Elaine Ellis, The Art of Awkward“
Tell me you don’t want to read this blog… just try it.
You can learn more about Tara, and review here, here.
Stay tuned for more awesome writers to be featured. If you know of an awesome writer worthy of the spotlight, or if you’re that writer, email me at David [at] Scribnia [dot] com.
Posted by: David Spinks - 14 April 2010 / 10:04
Welcome to the brand spankin new Scribnia!
Where have we been? Well, for the past year or so, our team has been working around the clock, revamping the entire site and making it better. Aside from a whole new look and feel, we’ve added some sweet new features.
Whether you’re a blogger, columnist, an online reader, or a company looking for the best writers in your niche, Scribnia can help.
So what’s new at Scribnia? Aside from a brand new design and interface….
1. Improved: Find the Niche Writers for You
Browsing is still the best way to find writers on Scribnia since it allows you to filter using our context ratings. Looking for a great liberal politics writer? Or maybe you’re looking for a wine blogger that focuses on international wines? You can browse using these different contexts for every category. See on the right of the following image, the context ratings for marketing and media writers:
We’ve also improved our search functionality. You can now search by keyword, writer name, publication name, or user name.
2. Integrate Scribnia with your Blog
So…we’ve added a few new widgets. We added a “Bloggeroll” widget that automatically shows the writers you’re reading. We’ve also added an “I love these writers” and “I hate these writers” which is a blogroll of sorts, that automatically shows the writers that you love or hate, based on the reviews that you write.
The biggest new widget, our pride and joy, is the “Review” widget. This widget allows your readers to read and write reviews of you right from your blog. They don’t even have to leave your site! This widget will give new readers that come to your blog a chance to hear the opinions of your most loyal readers. It will also encourage your readers to review you, which will help your ranking in Scribnia, and will in turn drive more traffic back to your site. Try it out!
k. moving on…
3. Earn Badges for Being Sweet
You can now earn badges to show your accomplishments on the site. When you write great reviews, add new writers to the site, recommend great writers to your friends and more…you can earn badges. Why? …uhm… because social equity is more valuable than cash… Here’s what a few of them look like (you can view all the badges here):
4. Bring Your Crew…
Everything is more fun when your friends are doing it too. You can now integrate Scribnia with your other networks (twitter, facebook, etc…), find out which of your friends are already here, and invite the ones that aren’t. Oh wait…we didn’t update that feature yet…crap. Come back in a week.
5. Recommend Writers to Friends
Just click on the “recommend to a friend” button on any writer page, choose the user you’d like to recommend the writer to, and Voila! The writer will appear in that user’s recommendations page. It’s easier than ever to share and support the writers you love.
6. The Scribnia60… Coming soon (=
Only the greatest writers will make it to the Scribnia60…and like pretty much everything else on Scribnia, it will be 100% reader generated. Hint: You need to get a lot of reviews to qualify for the Scribnia60.
If you’re new to Scribnia, welcome. If you’re returning after trying the beta, welcome back. Check it out, we hope you enjoy your stay, and of course if you have any feedback, you can still find the feedback button at the bottom right corner of your browser window.
Marc, Saad and David
The Scribnia Team
Posted by: David Spinks - 12 February 2010 / 11:09
If you’re like me, one of the most important goals for your blog is to drive conversation. It’s to make readers think about things a little differently. How far will you go to reach that goal?
Would you lie?
Calm down…I’m not talking about false information. Unless content is clearly focused on providing entertainment, it should never pass on lies as facts.
What I’m talking about is personal opinion. Are you willing to commit to a devils advocate position? Can you force your readers to look at something in a new light?
The fact is, if you start a post with “I don’t actually feel this way, and I’m just taking a devil’s advocate stance”, readers will not take the point as seriously. It’s when you take a strong stance on something and stand by it, that readers really think about it and determine their own stance.
So are you willing to say something that you may not believe in, and stick by it without a devil’s advocate disclaimer, for the sake of your readers? For the sake of conversation?