Do you have a blog running on WordPress and are you in the Fediverse? You might want to try the ActivityPub plugin for WordPress to increase reader engagement.
I’ve had a blog for almost two decades and in the last ten years I’ve noticed that the comment activity on my blog has decreased significantly. People prefer to comment on the blog post on social media where I posted a link. But this means that valuable comments are scattered across different social networks and not visible to other readers.
I thought that it’d be great if all comments from social media were also visible on the blog. That wouldn’t be possible with traditional social media because they’re getting more and more closed, but it’s quite possible with the Fediverse, which is where I’m mostly active these days anyway.
Automattic recently released an ActivityPub plugin for WordPress and it’s exactly what I was looking for. It turns your blog into a node in the Fediverse. You can let others know about your blog post via ActivityPub protocol, either they can follow your blog directly or you can boost posts from your blog, so they reach your followers.
Best of all, when someone makes a comment on the Fediverse post, it also appears on your blog. People can comment and they don’t have to deal with WordPress at all. It’s been a game changer in terms of reader engagement. Posts on my Czech blog now get at least 10 comments each and most of them come from the Fediverse.
There were solutions for blogs that relied on ActivityPub for comments before, but they relied on it completely. The ActivityPub plugin for WordPress nicely blends WordPress and Fediverse comments. The first versions of the plugin did not capture replies to comments, but this has been fixed in the latest version and the whole conversation is now captured.
In the plugin settings, you can create a template for ActivityPub posts. If you want, you can even post the whole article via ActivityPub. Then readers won’t even have to visit your blog to read it. My template looks like this:
And the post then looks like this on Mastodon:
Note that if your blog is hosted on WordPress.com, the ActivityPub support is already built into the service. You don’t need to install the plugin and it’s available in all plans including the free one. You can simply go to Settings/Discussion to enable it and set it up.