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Comments are good. Comments are good. Comments are good. I want you to repeat this over and over to yourself, as much as you possibly can. Unfortunately, it will do very little good if your posts do not encourage your reader to actually make the first move. My name is Alison Hummel, and I am a dreamer. And I have literally failed miserably for about a year and a half at online social networking and blogging.

The reason I failed (and you don’t have to) is because I would just write some stuff, usually very insightful, and wait for people to tell me how brilliant I was. That never happened. And the reason no one commented on my brilliance is because no one really cares how brilliant I am. And just for the record—I am not THAT brilliant.

One of the best ways I have seen successful bloggers, entrepreneurs, actors, writers, VA’s, whatever… reach their success is by interacting with people. Real live people. The internet allows us to hide. Type away…make snarky comments…read with disdain…read with envy…read with love. Observing is good, but it can become your arch nemesis. The internet also allows us to interact. Share a commentary on something personal…respond to someone’s post with compassion…make a business deal. Interacting is really where it’s at (online and in real life).

I have THREE THINGS that I do regularly on my blog to get a conversation going. Ironically, my latest post doesn’t have any comments, because I didn’t do one of the two things listed here. An experiment. And it proves my point.

1. Share personal stories.

Please, use caution here people! I don’t mean share about how messed up your life is. What I do mean, is share about a challenge you have overcome. Share about a human experience. Something that we can all relate to. I have shared about some personal stuff recently on my blog…and people are responding. I feel vulnerable. But that’s okay. I can handle it.

2. Ask people to comment.

I am a salesperson to the core. Not a marketer—something I must learn in 2011, but asking is critical to getting a conversation started. Just look at anyone’s blog that has comments on it. The blogger asks the reader to comment. And then they send an email blast…asking again for comments. And then they post on FB and Twitter and ask for comments. It’s okay to ask. And, yes….you have to ask every time.

3. Comment on other people’s blogs.

I believe that everything in life is about energy flow. It is critical to have a nice flow in and out. If the comments are all going one way—to your blog—and not going out—to other people’s blogs—this can clog up the flow. Again, since business and life are about relating, good relationships tend to be give and take. Commenting on other people’s blogs shows a level of respect for that person, opens your site up to more traffic (when you include your name and website) and keeps the flow moving.

Why are comments good, you might be wondering?

Well, comments are good because dialogue is good. It also looks really cool when someone happens upon your website and your blogs have a stream of comments for every (or most) posts. As a reader, when I go to someones blog and I see a lot of comments, I feel like I am in the right place. The same way that going into a restaurant that is bustling with activity makes  me feel like I will get a good meal, vs going to a restaurant where I am the only person there.

With that being said, what are YOUR thoughts about comments? Wouldn’t it be ironic if no one commented on this? I would find that humorous. But you better believe, I will be tapping my loyal followers for some thoughts. My mother being one of my loyal followers. 😀

Alison Hummel is a self-proclaimed dreamer and founder of justagirldreaming.com. She blogs about her life, acting, screenwriting and dreaming. She lives in Philadelphia, Pa with her husband, Jon and their cat, Kittie.
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