Stop Talking to Your Clothes & Start Talking to People
For the most part, when you start a blog you will find that you are just there, in an empty room talking to yourself. Some of us may be content with this. Like the junkie in the laundry mat that sorts through his laundry while stopping to tell a story about each garment of clothes as slowly places them in the washing machine (usually with not regard for sorting through colours, darks white delicates…etc).
I guess I just defeated the purpose of my opening statement. I mean who wouldn’t listen to the laundry talker? If he is nutso enough to talk to his dirty socks, I bet he has had some wacky adventures with those socks so you better listen up.
The point I failed at making was the fact that when you start a blog, you have an extremely small readership. Not many people are stopping by to hear what you have to say. And even less people are going to contribute to the post by making a comment. But those that do take the time to make a comment, you need to treat like gold (use the delicate cycle). So aside from making sure that you say something back to them to keep the conversation going, you need to ensure that they know that you responded to the comment so they can come back and continue the conversation.
The easiest way to do this is to install a plugin that allows the user to choose whether they would like to be notified when someone makes a follow up comment. People could just subscribe to the comment RSS feed, but I am really not sure if peopel use the comment RSS. I know I don’t. Besides it is much easier to click a checkbox then going to the trouble to look for the subscribe button and then actually subscribe.
SO one of the first plugins you should install is some kind of comment subscribe plugin that will allow your commentators to be notified via email once someone has responded to their comment. The plugin I use (there may be better ones) is the “Subscribe to Comment” created by Mark Jaquith.
Give it a try. Just go ahead click the ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail’ check box and leave a comment. Shortly I (or someone else) will respond to your comment, and then you will get an email notification that someone has responded to what you said.