Continuing this year’s “Follow Friday” series, I’d like to introduce you to Betsy Decillis. I met Betsy through Twitter and she’s turned into one of my absolute favorites. She’s one of those people who is super smart, but doesn’t realize it. And certainly doesn’t give herself enough credit for her smartness. Betsy’s blog is an incredible mix of tourism-related social media smartness, and an honest, raw look at what it’s like living with depression. I wish I could be as open as Betsy. It’s really amazing. She has an obsession with her cat, but like me, she loves food without meat, red wine and the Yankees. I’m pretty sure we were destined to be friends. Plus, she’s hilarious and sarcastic. And so smart. (Did I mention that yet?!) Anyway, I could go on and on about how great Betsy is, but trust me and just go follow her yourself. Blog. Twitter. One of my favorite parts of Betsy’s blog is her “thank you” page. Read on to meet Betsy and see what I mean …
There are a few things that I’m known for. I’d list those out, but I’d probably scar Heather for life and never be invited back to post. So let’s just skip to my favorite: the thank you for commenting page on my blog.
I’m not gonna lie. I love the pages I have created for that almost as much as my cat loves his pink boa. It’s my chance to really let my personality shine and to have some fun with my readers. And really, fun is what blogging is about, right?
How I fell in love with the comment page
This story starts in a far away place called Girl Crush Land. Lisa Barone is one of my favorite bloggers. It’s my dream to someday be able to present great information with that much wit. Imagine my squee when I came across the BRILLIANT thanks for commenting page on the Outspoken Media blog. It was loud.
There were many things I liked about it. The first was that it actually took the time to thank me. Yes, you can do that when replying back to your readers’ comments, but it’s not as immediate. By thanking them immediately, it sticks in their head. And despite the automation involved, it shows that you value them.
Next, it explains exactly who they are. In the span of a paragraph, you find out what Outspoken does and the type of people that are behind it. If I didn’t already know this, I quickly find out that these are my people and I want to know more.
Finally, there’s a call to action. The best time to ask for someone to do something is always after they’ve already started flirting with you. Crazy, I know. But once that comment has been made, it’s a great time to tell your readers where else you are and ask them to continue to be a part of your community.
So a simple comment has taken me from someone that might have just commented once and left to someone that has now followed you everywhere you are while giggling along the way. Kind of cool.
Adapting the comment page for me
How I approach my comment page is a little different than Outspoken. And let’s be honest, it’s because I’m a little different.
First, you will only see Outspoken’s comment page when you first comment. You will see mine every time you comment. I like to thank people a lot. I really am that grateful. To make sure that this doesn’t get old, I change the page every few months. This way, I can entertain both the new and the returning commenters. Either way works. It’s more about how you want to approach this than which is more effective.
Next, I’ve come up with my own little formula so that every time I refresh it I don’t have to start from scratch. I always start with the thank you since that is the whole point of the page. I include a picture of a family member being either weird or kind of geeky. I adapt a meme that I have enjoyed lately and then finish with a song. This formula really tells you a lot about me. I am very close to my family. I am a geek that enjoys silly things. I love music, especially music that reminds me of a certain time and place (which is why I tend to use music from the eighties).
The one place that I fall down on is that I do not have a call to action. Yes, I did say that is an important part of the page, and I’m totally a hypocrite here. My blog is there for my fun and giggles first, as is the entirety of my social presence. If that were to change and I were to become more about business, I can guarantee you that a call to action would show up. Until then, I will probably just ask you to do a cartwheel with me instead.
My comment pages
Now that I’ve told you about it, it only makes sense to see my comment pages. Here they are, from the first one I released in July to the latest one that I just debuted this week:
Do you have a favorite? Or are you like me and think that Outspoken’s page is so pretty that it just can’t be topped? Or maybe the comment page just isn’t your bag of chips. How do you thank your commenters?