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Get Inspiration from Blog Comments When Writing your Next Post

Today Marko shares a quick tip on how to generate post ideas from the comments left on previous posts.

At the time of writing this, there has been 34 comments to my Create A Media Kit To Attract Advertisers To Your Blog guest post at ProBlogger.net. One of the good things about getting a guest post spot at a bigger blog is that the number of comments is larger as well.

Getting higher number of comments from your targeted audience allows you to learn more about them, what they think about your writing, what questions did you raise in their minds and what answers they are looking for. This can give you inspiration on what you can write about in your future blog posts.

Some of the comments on my guest post at ProBlogger give an idea on what readers are interested to learn about. I can see ideas for two new blog posts after reading the following comments:

When is my blog ready to start attracting advertisers?

1. “100% agree with you Darren, but the point when shall i create one? my blog is couple of days old yet, i think i need to raise it and then create a Media Kit & a Rate Card for it, right? what do you think?”

2. “I’m wondering what level of traffic should you have on a monthly visit before you attempt to sell advertising space?”

How do I know how much I should charge for my advertising space?

1. “It would be good to have some discussion about ad rates vs. traffic to help us neophytes figure out how much we can reasonably charge and yet not undercharge. For example, if you’re getting about 3,000 page visits a month, what is the market rate range for particular size ads?”

2. “Is there any place that one might find some practical amounts to charge per traffic rate? I know that is hard to answer with specifics, but ball park numbers are what I had in mind.”

3. “One thing that I’m quite confused is how to start the initial ad rates so that I can get more advertisers interested to put their ad in my blog?”

So the question is, do you have any knowledge on when it is a right time for a new blog to start contacting potential blog advertisers? Or how much should a blogger charge for the advertising space, how should the calculation be made so it doesn’t undersell nor oversell the blog?

Good thing about getting inspired for post topics with this method, is that you know that your audience is interested in learning more about it and you know that there is a demand for it. This will help you as there is a potential of your blog post to spread virally as readers will recommend you to others if you answer their questions and help them out.

Find questions that you target audience asks in your blog or in the similar blogs and start writing posts on topics inspired by reader comments. Do them as best as you can, publish them on your blog or try to get a guest post spot at a bigger blog in your field and see your blog traffic and RSS subscribers grow.

PS from Darren: for those interested in the above two topics there are a few posts in the ProBlogger archives that cover them. Check out:

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for a great reminder that sometimes our readers are the best determinant of our content. I forget that sometimes, and rather than write a completely new post, simply answer the questions among the comments.

    One of the reasons I do that is to keep the comments flowing and to get people to read the comments, since a lot of wisdom comes from the readership of my blog.

    Thanks again,

    Micheal Savoie
    http://twitter.com/michealsavoie

  2. rizzy says:

    I just started my personal blog, and this is the first time I am using WordPress. I am having an awfully tough time just installing and everything. Thank god WordPress 2.7 is so good when it comes to uploading. I have planned to follow Darren’s 31 days to building a better blog once its technically ready to go.

    As far as this post, I think it is a good post but I think Darren has covered pretty much all the information in his previous posts.

    Regards: rizzy

    Blog gurus please suggest me some good plugins at my twitter.
    http://twitter.com/rizzy81

  3. JOE GELB says:

    that is a good point though i sometimes question the validity of comments as there can be comments for comments sake while others are real

  4. DazzlinDonna says:

    I created an ad rate calculator a while back. It’s at least helpful to start when thinking about what to charge for ads.

    ad rate calculator

  5. Blog Expert says:

    I always use ideas from comments on other blogs to generate new posts. It is one of the easiest ways and you know that other people will be interested.

  6. Jill Whalen says:

    This is one of those simple things, obvious things, that is easy to never think of, thanks!

    Would you suggest that you don’t actually answer the questions in the comments then, and just save them for later posts, or do you answer them briefly and perhaps mention that you’ll be expanding on that topic in the future?

  7. Rahul says:

    Comments are always helpful because they are always not positive towards your blog. You get a lot of feedback and stuff from the readers who go through your blog.

  8. This is great advice for generating post ideas.

    Another good way is to use your Google Reader. You can read about this method on my blog.

    It was actually inspired by Darren from something he said on Ustream at his Christmas party.

  9. @Jill Whalen – If I decide to write a full post about the comment question, I just write a short reply saying something like “Thanks for the comment. I am in process of writing a post about *insert subject of question*, so please subscribe to my RSS to get an update”.

    Marko

  10. I never thought someone would actually write about this, but of course you’re spot on. Visit 10-20 blogs every morning for about an hour and you’ll find writer’s block doesn’t exist.

  11. Very true, comments are a way to continue to add fresh content to our blogs – and by answering our readers questions, comments, concerns it keeps them and others coming back….

    follow me on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rricart

  12. Justin Levy says:

    I use this method often on both of my blogs. Either that or I will post a question to Twitter asking what would be of interest to everyone. I then try my best to write a post about each of those topics or group similar topics together. I then will send a message to the person/people that asked me to write on the given subject so they see that I took their opinion seriously. I find this especially helpful with my food/cooking blog since a lot of people have specific cooking questions, recipe needs, etc.

  13. The same things works on forums to, write about things people want to know about.

    I also think it is great to link to the people who provide the stimulus for the new post where possible. They are part of the community.

  14. J.D. Meier says:

    Great way to play off the energy and momentum.

    It’s also a way to drill into, build on, or fork an idea. Sometimes it’s about elaboration, sometimes it’s about spiraling down.

  15. jhay says:

    Over the years, comments on my blog have always been a good source for blog post topics. That’s why I love comments!

  16. In the end, we write for our readers. Hearing their responses allows us to provide better content and it keeps bloggers on their feet. It’s essential to build a readership that wants to participate in the website. It also makes it a lot more fun to share our work.

  17. Agree that is a great way to get new ideas that target what your readers have shown an interest in.

  18. Its always great to visit other bloggers. Recently, much of my inspiration has been for another blog I have, has come from the classes I take my kids.

    Mom’s having financial difficulties and now having to create and live by a budget. Go figure… I am learning so much from them right now. One of them is now using her home for daycare. That’s only one group.

  19. uwak says:

    nice idea….sometime we can take great idea from comment…. good for starting

  20. Kim Kinrade says:

    I have had two blogs for a year now and I still learn something every time Pro Blogger comes down the feed.

    Thanks!

  21. I agree, you can learn a lot also about what type of audience reads your blog.

  22. The commenters are like callers into a radio station. You might have a lot of readers but if you don’t have people willing to comment then it is going to seem that now one is reading.

  23. Timon Weller says:

    It is like the saying “questions are the answer”… Learning from your readers… With the advertising question i would say wait until you are recieving at east 6000 page views a month before ad placements.. Also another element he needs to look at is length of stay per visitor.. Longer stay the better…

  24. Kat says:

    It seems obvious but it’s so easy to forget – good reminder. Some of the best pieces I’ve written have been from reader feedback .. of course I’m looking forward to more comments so that I can generate more ideas – it’s a bit like the chicken and the egg, isn’t it?!
    Especially with a topic like mine (being in great shape) it’s hard to know exactly what people’s struggles are apart from the generic ‘what should I eat, what sort of exercise’, so I always welcome more detailed questions!

  25. It is good to include the readers from time to time! I often forget this, get in a rut with the process. It is a good reminder. It is good to read other blogs too- apparently!

  26. uwak says:

    I already implemented above………well…..very good bos

  27. Ryan Price says:

    I had to come back and leave a comment because I took your advise and looked around the blogs in my network and saw there was a common problem with newbie wordpress installations.

    I created a short video and post and have had a good response and lots of views. I attribute this to what you were saying in that if you look at blog comments you can usually pick out one or two topics that are hot topics for discussion.

    Thanks for a great blog post, I am going to continue to use this method.

    Cheers
    Ryan Price
    http://Ryans1.com

  28. Mamashares says:

    If you are looking to attract more traffic to your blog, then it seems only natural to focus your blogs on what your readers are interested in, thus using the comments they submit.

  29. Thats a great guidelines for new bloggers. I already have been finished my first blog but now i working on my next blog, i got all information that would be helpful to me.?????

  30. I’m sure thats the best source to increase visitors on blog. Very inspiring post for new blogger who’s the writing their next blog.

  31. Hello From Montreal, blogs are good but if you have good content on your web site. Content is golden, I’m not saying anything new. Most of you in the SEO business all knows that.

    Allen

  32. neon says:

    never thought someone would actually write about this, but of course you’re spot on. Visit 10-20 blogs every morning for about an hour and you’ll find writer’s block doesn’t exist.