Get Your HR Blogging Questions Answered by Three Pros

We recently hosted a webinar called Become a Better Blogger: Tips, Ideas and Advice for Building a Successful HR Blog. (You can watch the recording here).

We received a lot of questions in the webinar and on the hashtag chat #hrbn, so we asked our three HR blogging pros to answer six important questions on how to be an HR blogger:

Q: What's your practice for responding to comments? Should you respond to each comment on your blog?China Gorman

I don't respond to all comments (I also moderate), but I always respect when a blogger does. Penelope Trunk does a great job of creating a dialogue with her readers within the comments, making it sometimes more interesting than the post itself. — Elizabeth Lalli-Reese

There's no "should" here, but I do, even if just a "thanks", and every email as well. — Dan McCarthy

I try to respond to all comments – even, like Dan says, it is a thank you - I also try to come up with another question - to keep the conversation going. Comments to me drive more engagement over time. — Paul Hebert

Q: How do you avoid blogging about the same topics as everyone else?Rachelle Falls

I'll do a google search to see if it's already been done over and over. — Dan McCarthy

I also google it first. And if it has been covered I look for patterns to see if the same angle is taken on the topic and explore whether there are different points of view that haven't been presented - even if it is a bit contrary. Contrary is good for readership IMHO. — Paul Hebert

Q: Has anyone ever hijacked your voice, your topics, or your platform? Do you care? Did you do anything? Charlie Judy

Yes - I recently went to a conference and half the speaker's presentation was word for word from a few of my blog posts. But that's one of the reasons I blog - to help others in my profession and make an impact, so it was rewarding to see my stuff used and have the company do so well well with it. — Dan McCarthy

It happens a lot. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If I can I try to comment on the post and link to mine to just have a public record of it. But I also find it is the lesser known sites and bloggers will little or no following who copy so the reality is no one is seeing it. — Paul Hebert

Q: When you're starting a blog, does strategy compromise authenticity? Shouldn't it just blossom?

Your authenticity should be part of your strategy. — Paul Hebert

Q: What's the most important metric to measure the success of your blog? — Sarah Atkinson

For me, I've measured success based on the comments and RT's I receive. If I was blogging into the ether, it might be cathartic to me, but I wouldn't feel like it was anything other than a journal unless I was receiving feedback. — Elizabeth Lalli-Reese

I use traffic stats and rankings - Alexa, Technorati, etc..., but that's just my competitive side. — Dan McCarthy

For me it is comments, subscribers and page views. Not compared to anyone else – just to history. — Paul Hebert

Q: What do you consider to be best practices for commenting on other blogs? Can you leave your URL?Olivia Hensley

I think as long as you're leaving a thoughtful comment- not just a plug for your own website- it's fine. I've seen some folks put something very nominal in and then plug the hell out of their own blog. That's tacky. — Elizabeth Lalli-Reese

Same - I moderate comments, and blatant plugs with no substance get nuked. — Dan McCarthy

I let my profile carry most of the weight on this. Make sure you have a profile set up in Disqus and in Gravatar so that when you do comment the reader has a place to see where you’re coming from. A lot of subscribers come from seeing me comment other places. Also, it is okay IMHO to put a link in a comment if it informs the comment your leaving – but make sure it is very relevant to the subject and not just a plug. — Paul Hebert