Getting Your Blog Started: The Facebook Test of Doom

The Field of Dreams is a Liar

The Field of Dreams is an effing liar. I previously used the discrediting of the line ‘if you build it, they will come’ in a post from a blog I started around 5 years ago. Since that time (and probably before I used it) people used the analogy to refer to the fact that just because you build a blog doesn’t mean that people will show up to read. I am using it here again for two reasons:

  • It still holds true today
  • I really didn’t get the movie at all

I have been posting to this blog on and off since 2009 with no real schedule, nor a strategy and of course: no comments. To me, aside from the Google Analytics stats, this is the benchmark of how rad your blog is. Now that I am freelancing and specializing in blogging, I should put my money where my mouth is and at least have a blog where the comment section does not have the comforting silence of space.  Maybe some crickets would be nice.

I have cooked up a scheme that should work to bring visitors to your site, and hopefully start to build a little community around your blog. Of course if your blog is really terrible, then no amount of promotion will help you.  I have worked something into my strategy that should let you know that your blog is not worth reading.

Today’s post is covering the first step that you can take to ensure that now you have built it, they will come. I like to call it:

Step 1: The Facebook Test of Doom

If you head to a blog and see a ton of posts, but no comments are you likely to leave a comment let alone read the post? Probably not. There are a number of ways that people will judge your blog before they even read it. One of these ways is by the number of comments. You need some kind of credibility before someone will read your post and make a comment.

In order to get comments on your post what you need to do is take the strategy that you took when you were a kid selling chocolate bars, or Christmas ornaments for your school trip: Hit up your friends and family. You couldn’t sell that garbage door to door because no one really cared about your trip or wanted the expensive shit chocolate. In theory your friends should care about you, which gives you some credibility. Hopefully this technique should garner a few comments for you.

Publish your post on your Facebook wall and encourage your friends to read and comment. 1 of 2 things will happen here:

  1. You will get some comments and your blog will look like people actually read it
  2. Your friends will tell you that your blog is terrible

The great part is that your friends should be honest with you, and if your blog is a sack of crap, they should let you know. When you publish your post to Facebook try tagging a few friends that you think would be interested in the topic of your post. I have a few blogger friends which I will tag when I post this to Facebook. We will see what happens.

Over the next few days I will write about the other steps of the strategy. I could have done it all here but it would have ended up being a really really long post. If you want to catch the rest please subscribe to my RSS feed, or catch up with me on Twitter.

There is a comment section below, if we really are friends I suggest you use it.

Leave a comment

19 comments

Jevon

hey you jerk, i’m pretty sure i commented on the last blog post i read of yours! 😛 Though this is very true, if i don’t see any comments i’d think no one was reading….or they’re creepy stalkers who are lurking in the background.

Reply

    Chris

    True on 2 counts: I am a jerk and I don’t read most posts if they have no comments unless:

    1. the title catches my attention
    2. other posts have a fair number of comments

    Jevon, didn’t you have a blog at some point?

    Reply

Modish Mama

You tagged me so I will comment. If I had more time I think my blog would be better… I am considering selling a child to make this happen.

There is one blog I read that I know a ton of people read but no one comments, including me. The blog is like a real life Sex & the City called City Girl Blogs. I love reading it but I can’t comment cause I often totally disagree with the author (though I like her). It’s bad blogger etiquette though.

Reply

    Chris

    Bad blogger etiquette?

    You can disagree in the comments of a blog all you want! In fact I am doing it right now.

    For me personally I like it when someone disagrees with me. It gives me the blogger an opportunity to cultivate some conversation on my site, plus it looks great when the comment count is huge.

    A prime example is a blog post I wrote on one of my old blogs that I never write at any more. I wrote a post around the time when Iron Man came out in theaters sharing my distaste for Robert Downey Jr. Around 40 people wrote that they disagreed and most were filled with name calling, death threats, and requests for my suicide.

    Robert Downey Jr is the Junkie that Lives Downstairs

    I think if you were to disagree with someone it would be in a tasteful way. These people were full of some serious rage.

    Reply

      Modish Mama

      No I meant it’s bad blogger etiquette to not comment. I love disagreeing. I was reprimanding myself.

      Reply

        Chris

        That makes more sense. I thought I didn’t know you anymore.

        Reply

Deanna

Your blog is terrible! jk

Reply

    Chris

    Your lack of commitment to the insult you created is terrible.

    Reply

Modish Mama

FYI I just posted on that blog finally. I felt shame so I had too.

Reply

Kevin

I have a tendency to not share my opinion good or bad. If I like the writing I will read/ subscribe to the blog. I will make an effort to comment on blogs that I read from now on. Good/bad/ or ugly comments. For the record, I’ve commented on only one blog for the modish mama and that was 18 months after it was written.

Reply

Colin Newell

I have been blogging since 1996 — and yes, I have a big audience because of the length of the time put in and, to a certain extent, the content.

I chuckle at all these folks that pay people to improve their SEO and their wording, etc – when they are launching a new online venture in hopes of becoming an overnight sensation.

Bottom line – have a great idea or be prepared to put in the time.

No substitute for great content.
My “secret” has always been: Find a niche area and harp on it til your blue in the face – if there is something you can sell from this niche area, you will make some pocket change or, in my case, an annual one month paid vacation to Hawaii. It is all about the time.

Best regards and happy twittering!

Reply

    Chris

    Blogging since 1996? Wow, I thought I was an old man because I have been going since 2006. Welcome to the blog new ‘old man.’

    I am still surprised at the people looking to an overnight sensation. Especially with the number of new blogs going up every day. I have seen that local offline marketing has become popular again so really the best people should aim for is to get a few locals reading their stuff first. That’s my aim for now.

    As far as the SEO goes, I tried the write specifically for SEO and found that it leads to ‘shittastic’ content. For me I take an after the fact approach to SEO. While it doesn’t get as much results it has much better results in terms of content. A post for another day.

    Reply

Kevin Aschenbrenner

Really good insights here, Chris. And, of course, I couldn’t not leave a comment after reading through it. I’m wondering if you’ve put subliminal messages in the watermark of the page? 🙂

Reply

    Chris

    It’s embedded deep into the HTML. Watermarking is for sissies

    Reply

    Nur

    good tutorial. dont know if its posibsle i found some good ebooks and tips here : e-booksfree . netsome of the tips on this site are good but i think its difficult to succeed..

    Reply

Kirsty

A comment for a comment?

Seriously… I am struggling getting comments on my blog… I would love to see more interaction with the people who read it. I often get comments about my blog in the form of tweets, but rarely a comment on the actual blog post itself.

Sometimes I wonder if I can do more to encourage comments! If I need to write about more interesting topics, or ask more questions?

I don’t know. Maybe I will just start listening to you and ask people I know to start leaving comments!

Reply

    Chris

    I know that I have left at least one or two on your blog. Expect to see more in the future.

    As far as getting comments (especially away from Twitter) is tough. This is why I decided to focus on this topic. In the next few posts I will share some of my ideas on how to get more. Of course these are all untested, so we will see how it goes.

    You can be a guinea pig with me!

    Reply

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