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Lately, as my readership grows and as I focus more and more on growing that readership, my attention turns to two questions that seem key to communications success (specifically, blogging): 1) Does my content meet my readers' wants and needs and (if so) how? and 2) How do I inspire more comments and participation that adds to my content by adding others' contributions, ideas, thoughts and feelings?

Both are keys to achieving my goals, which include 1) creating interesting and inspiring content that has reader value, 2) sharing my point of view, 3) sharing others' points of view through their comments, 4) adding to the discussion of business, especially the marketing function, and 5) growing my personal brand and my business's brand.
So what works and what doesn't?
My personal observations aren't providing clear answers. I notice, for example, that whatever CK posts, gets lots of comments both here at the Fix and on her home blog. CK is a wonderful writer and communicator and is very bright, and she does inspire comments. However, there are other's whose writings are equally good and sometimes, in my mind, profound, who generate far fewer and sometimes no comments.
Tell me if I'm way off base -- but I think this is partly attributable to CK's personality, as we all like her and want to share with her. (In no way do I mean to diminish her posts, which are among the best in the blogosphere.) Observe the comments here at the Fix: I do okay, Tim does well, Ann always inspires comments, Mack generates lots of feedback and BL provokes the heck out of us, and CK always gathers interest.
Assuming my observation has some validity, however, and I mention it because it might say more than we know, there's not much we can do about our personalities but we can do lots about the tone of our posts. CK keeps her posts mostly positive: Is that a key in addition to her personality, which is similar to her positive posts?
What other ways can we inspire participation? What is it about posts that generate comments?
1) And what about content? How do we serve our readers' wants and needs?
2) Does growing general readership mean much or should we be mostly concerned about growing loyal and targeted readership?
3) Entertainment posts seem to garner lots of attention but that's a pretty narrow focus for a marketing blog. I tend to look a lot at business's efforts at customer service, because I think creating great customer experiences is the most important driver to creating a great business. But does anyone want to read about that?
It's your turn: Share your observations, gut feelings, data, experiences, etc. with us. Learning from each other is one of the great benefits of community but only if we share. How do we meet our customers needs through this medium?

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Lewis Green, Founder and Managing Principal of L&G Business Solutions, LLC, ( brings three decades of business management experience. L&G Business Solutions, LLC, represents his third company. Additionally, he held management positions with GTE Discovery Publications, Puget Sound Energy and Starbucks Coffee Company.

In addition to his business experiences, Lewis is a published author and a former journalist, sports writer and travel writer. His feature articles have appeared in books, magazines and newspapers throughout North America. He has taught in public schools; lobbied for organizations both in state capitols and in Washington, D.C.; delivered workshops, seminars, and training programs; and made presentations to audiences in colleges, businesses and professional organizations. Lewis also has served as a book editor with a large publisher, the Executive Editor overseeing four magazines, and a newspaper department editor. Lewis served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Air Force Commendation Medal.