Making Your Blog Traffic Stop to Speak: Understanding The 1% Rule

I like to say that comments are the gold bullion of the internet, especially for new bloggers.  Getting a comment on your blog is an important piece of validation, the moment in time where you get 100% confirmation of the one thing all bloggers want to know.

Someone is reading your blog.

Comments convert into this..

What new bloggers fail to take in account are the laws that govern when comments happen.  Online communities have been driven by something called “The 1% Rule.

In short, only one percent of your blog’s readers will interact with it on a regular basis. More importantly, a vast majority of your blogs readers will be completely content with reading your blog and moving on with their lives, taking no action whatsoever.

Repeat after me… “It’s not your fault”

While bloggers get caught up in the comment’s they’re not getting from readers, they actually make a much larger mistake: Not taking advantage of the comment’s that they do get.  Sooo…for the benefit of those who have opted-in to literacy, I present some takeaways every blogger should have from the 1% Rule:

First, don’t sweat it so much.

90% of your visitors have no intent on interacting with you no matter how charming, engaging, or welcoming your blog/site/page happens to be. It’s a fact.  Once you let that go, you don’t have to fret over comments/posts as much.  Don’t expect to win everyone over, it’s very probably that you just won’t.

Second, set the appropriate goals.

If you examine the numbers, then you would have to have 1000 hits daily to get 10 interactions.  Set your goals accordingly.  Think about how many active participants you want, and create a strategy to hit the corresponding traffic. This helps you to know exactly what type of effort you need to put into your traffic strategy and how you need to target your actions to get the best return on your efforts.

Third, make small adjustments that nudge readers in the direction of interacting.

Whether it’s an open ended question at the end of a fantastic blog post, or a conveniently placed share button, give your readers all (but not too many) of the tools they need to become a part of your blog community.


Too many people worry about not having enough comments/interactions, but fail to properly act on the interactions that they do have.  If you can effectively maximize the initial interactions that you have on your site, you won’t have any trouble convincing dormant users to take the chance to share their opinions on your site.  Here are some of the ways that we interact with each commenter in our audience:

  • Visit their blog and comment on an article of theirs.  Remember: comments are the gold bullion of the internet

Now sure, their blog might suck, but remember how you felt when nobody commented on your shitty blog?  Feedback can help a blogger with potential turn into the next superstar of their industry.  Don’t be afraid to spread your intellectual seed on the fertile minds of younf (and old) bloggers alike.

  • Post valuable responses even challenge their point of view.

At our core, we want to discuss our views, simple ego-boosting agreements don’t cut it. Most people can’t resist an argument online #RealTalk.  Well, the PC way to say that is that most people can’t fight the urge to debate, but we all know what’s really going on here.  One of my good friends uses the tactic of tweeting out that a great ‘debate’ is going on in the comment section of their blog, which inevitably leads to tons more people visiting that particular blog.

Basically, remember when a kid ran up to your group in elementary school and yelled ‘FIGHT!”? The only acceptable response was to run full speed toward the conflict.  Use that same mentality to start great discussions in your comment sections and watch the crowd grow.

  • Promote a blog of their on your social media outlets and tag them on it

This one’s pretty simple…give people a shout out.  Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.

  • Connect with them on the social platform that they prefer to interact on

Pictured: Professional Relationship Builder

If you’re dealing with someone with any level of social maturity, they will have established certain areas online that they visit more than others.  There’s no need to invite them on every platform that exists (I’m looking at you Plaxo), just figure out where they hang out the most, and say hello there.

  • Invite them to a casual conversation (via Skype, or if they’re local, in person.)

Sometimes I can’t believe that I get paid to say some of the shit I say.  Seriously. This tip basically says, “talk to people in real life”.  The problem is that brands avoid this like the plague. Nothing cements a relationship like a unique interaction, and (while it’s completely ridiculous) nothing is a more unique interaction today than actually hanging out with someone for a bit.

By maximizing the relationships with each of your commenters, you will not only have an engaged audience, but you will create advocates who will share your content to their audiences with enthusiasm, expanding your influence exponentially in the shortest amount of time.  If you need an example of someone doing it right, look no further than this very blog.

If you’re looking for a less blatant advertisement of my friends, I hear that this lady is pretty good at community interaction as well.


How do you get visitors to comment on your blog?


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