This guest post is by Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger (formerly Boost Blog Traffic).
According to the legendary copywriter John Carlton, the best way to understand your reader is to visualize them as a giant somnambulant sloth lying on the couch as they watch television. Your job as a writer is to get them to move. You have to be interesting enough, inspiring enough, captivating enough to get them to turn off the TV, get up off the couch, and do something.
The reason why most bloggers don’t get many comments is they fail the “Sloth Test.” Sure, their posts are useful, maybe even mildly entertaining, but that’s the equivalent of giving the sloth another sitcom to watch on TV. If you want them to go through the trouble of responding, you have to do more. Much more.
You have to give them the energy necessary to respond. Not just ideas, not just stories, not just advice. Energy. If you read posts that get hundreds of comments, the conclusions are so passionate, so full of energy that you can’t help feeling a little bit charged up after reading it. Through the magic of the written word, the writer transfers their energy to you, and it lifts you up and gives you the power to take action.
It’s like charging a dead car battery. You take a car with a good battery, run some jumper cables from it to the car with the dead battery, and rev the engine. And then “VROOM,” the dead battery comes to life. Same thing with blogging. To get lots of comments, you have to electrify your readers, and that, of course, requires you to be electrified yourself.
So, find your passion. Cultivate positive energy. Use that energy to inspire people. Do those things, and you won’t just get more comments. You’ll turn readers into raving fans.
In addition to serving as Associate Editor of Copyblogger, Jon Morrow is on a mission to help good writers get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his upcoming blog about (surprise!) blogging. For more of his thoughts on generating comments, see his post, 14 ways to get more comments on your blog posts.