How To Increase Comments On HubPages
By the Numbers
56,516 comments received. 56,516 comments answered.
630 articles written in 22 months. An average of 89.7 comments per article.
I write this article because I have had several people of late ask me how in the world I get so many comments on my articles. It’s a valid question and so I’ll share my own insights into this much-appreciated aspect of my HubPages experience.
I am also discussing this because for me…..and this is just my opinion….comments are the most important statistic. Again, we are only talking about my opinion. I do not care about total views. I don’t care about those silly accolades that HP gives writers when they hit milestones. I don’t care about Hub of the Day and I certainly don’t care about the meager earnings that many writers chase after. Oh, let me continue: I don’t care about Hub scores or Hubber scores, and whatever an Editor’s Choice Award is, I don’t care about it either. J
For me, HubPages has always been about a sense of community.
I joined to become a part of a writing community. I joined in hopes that by receiving comments from other writers I would become a better writer myself, and I joined in hopes that I could support writers on their own journey.
So yes, comments are important.
But there is a considerable distance between something being important and actually receiving that something. Ask any kid at Christmastime what they would like for presents. The list will be a mile long, and every item on that list is vitally important, but good luck scoring every item.
So, then, how did I take my Christmas list and make it happen?
There Is No Substitute for Quality
I tossed ego aside a long time ago, so don’t bother thinking this is a statement born from that character defect. I say this only from observing over the past two years. If your articles are not interesting, and if they do not give value to your readers, you not only will not receive comments but you will be hard-pressed to receive any views at all.
It makes no difference whether you write poetry, how-to articles, craft articles, travel articles, short stories or flash fiction….if your writing is boring then say goodbye to readership and by extension say goodbye to future comments.
I had a teacher in the 4th Grade….Sister Mary Joseph….she may have been close to God, but I’ll bet God yawned when she finally paid Him a visit. The woman was BORING and I avoided her like the plague.
In fact, let’s call this the Sister Mary Joseph Syndrome. Do you suffer from it? If so, kiss those comments goodbye.
Do Readers Relate to What You Are Writing
I have told this story before but I’ll toss it out again to illustrate this point. The first article I wrote for HubPages was some nonsense about how to stage your home for selling. Result? One comment!
The second article was something about teaching….see, I barely remember it….Result? Four comments!
My third article was a letter to my birth mother who I never knew. Result? Literally hundreds of comments!
What’s the point? I reached my readers on a personal level with that third article. They could relate to me as a person. I opened myself up for inspection and allowed my readers to know a little something about me, and they responded in a huge way and still are today. Those who follow me do so with great regularity because I have become real to them. I am no longer billybuc; I am a walking, talking, breathing friend who they enjoy visiting with.
A Freelance Writer's Bible
If You Want Support Then Give Support
I don’t know why this is so hard for some writers to comprehend. You have to give love to receive it. The Beatles said it quite nicely back in 1969. “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.”
I give support to other writers. Heck, my tagline is “helping writers to spread their wings and fly.” My followers know it isn’t phony and they respond in kind. I comment on their articles. I follow their blogs. I am in constant contact with them on Facebook. They are, in fact, my online friends and I greatly enjoy their company…..and obviously they enjoy mine as well.
Becoming a part of a writing community is hard work. If you think otherwise you are spitting into the wind, and let me tell you, that is not an enjoyable activity….the spitting part of course!
Help in getting started
Are You Making a Genuine Effort?
The biggest turnoff for me is when a writer does not even bother to respond to my comment. The second biggest turnoff is when their response is “thank you for reading.” I just spent five minutes of my busy day reading their article and then writing a meaningful comment, and I get four words in reply, four words that sound like McDonald’s “have a nice day.”
Ya gotta give, folks! I don’t know how else to say it. My comments have some meaning and depth. My responses to comments have some meaning and depth. To me, my comment is an extension of me. If I met someone on the street and they gave me a gift, I would not blow them off with “thank you for reading.” I would stand there and express my gratitude in a genuine fashion. Writing online should be no different.
And people sense that is true about me and they respond in kind.
You have to make the effort if you want results.
I Am a Real Person
That may sound like a silly statement, but think about it for a second. How many writers on HubPages do you feel you truly know on a personal level?
Many of my followers have become my friends. Real friends and not just virtual friends; they know that if they are ever in Olympia that I will be there to greet them and buy them lunch; and I know that they will do the same for me. Heck, I could go for a cross-country road trip and I’ll bet I could stay at a writer’s house in every state and fifty countries.
Can you say the same?
I get comments because I am a friend, and people enjoy conversing with friends. I have allowed people to know me on a very personal level. I have talked about my past mistakes and my weaknesses. I have talked about my fears and my triumphs. I am not Billybuc to my online followers; I am Bill Holland, and if you don’t understand the distinction then you ain’t been paying attention.
Let people know you as a real person
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And That’s All There Is to It
If you think you are going to write an article and then be instantly flooded with comments well, then, think again. It just doesn’t happen that way. People are busy. People are distrustful of strangers online. People need and want entertainment. People want quality and people want personal connections. All of that takes time and all of that takes work.
If you want what I have, then let’s sit down and chat. Let me get to know you. Let me get a sense of who you are as a person, because that is infinitely more important to me than who you are as a writer.
So pull up a chair and get comfortable. I’ve got some donuts here and tea if you like. Sit back, relax, and let me tell you the parable of the 65 yr old writer who had so many friends he didn’t know what to do. J
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”