Licence to Fail



Having already posted my Zen of Failure, I’ve realized I can now use it to excuse all sorts of unsuccessful experiments on this blog.

My last blog post came right out and asked for comments. How many comments did it get me?

Zero. As a consequence, I now know something that seemed promising, that absolutely does not work – at least within the scale currently possible on my blog.

The experiment was based on some advice I had read that suggested:
a)    Asking questions
b)    Appealing to your readership
Both of these methods can successfully generate comments and elicit response.

So why didn’t it work for me? It probably has something to do with

Response Ratios


I selected some random YouTube videos as examples of normal response ratios:
·       An album with 14,151 views has 510 likes and has generated 58 comments. Ratio of comments to views is .4 per cent. Just over 3 per cent of the viewers took the time to say they liked it.
·       A popular Ted Talk with almost 15 million views received just over 25 thousand comments, so less than one fifth of one per cent of viewers commented. Again, about 3 per cent of viewers gave it a thumbs up.
·       A review video of a Smartwatch had 1.6% comments – which is the highest I found on my quick tour.

But the results are fairly conclusive. On YouTube, if just one per cent of viewers comment, you’re doing well. It’s just a guess, but it seems to me that it would be even tougher to get viewers or comments on blog posts, because there isn’t a central site where you can access them, and the processing and digesting time for a bit of written information would be higher than what you’d expect for something like a music video, that is just passively viewed and would likely receive a more immediate, emotional response than a whole freaking page of written words.

So with just under 100 views over three days, a comment ratio of .3 would be normal. And that’s almost exactly what I got! So my test post was a success after all. I’ve learned something significant, saved other people from conducted the same potentially disheartening experiment, and in the process taken another baby step toward resounding success.  

The real answer to getting comments – for all of you who have been holding their breaths?

Q: How do you get more comments on your blog?
A: Get more traffic.

Of course, once I start exceeding 250 views, then the heat is on. But I shouldn’t worry. After all – I have a licence to fail.


And if anyone wants to buy one of these tasteless little puppies, I have the template.

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