Are you trying to figure out ways to increase comments on your blog? This is your authoritative guide for growing your blog’s conversation.
We all understand that after a while it gets boring just talking to yourself. If you don’t believe me, just ask Chuck Nolan, Tom Hanks’ character from castaway. If he’s not talking to his friend Wilson, the volleyball, he might have the time to answer you.
Comments are the life-blood of a successful blog. They reveal the level of engagement between the author and the readers. They bring the ideas and experiences of the community together and can result in a wealth of knowledge being shared at your blog and in a high level of excitement being built.
Site Sketch 101 is just over 5 months old and yet I have many posts at my blog with comments numbering over 100 comments on a single article. In other words, it doesn’t matter how old your blog is, you can incorporate a few simple concepts into your blogging and you can develop a thriving community around your blog.
When I first began blogging, I was reaching out and trying anything that I could to get people to comment at my blog. I begged for comments. I added incentives to commenting. I even stood on the street corner with a big sign…okay, maybe I never did that last one, but I was desperate enough.
Those first comments were so precious to me. I’m sure we all know that feeling. I wanted more and more comments so I set out to figure out how to encourage my readers to do it.
I began to look outside of my own blog and observe what other bloggers were doing to encourage comments at their sites. I thought about which sites had inspired me to join their conversations and what they had done to provide that inspiration.
I set out to incorporate the principles that I saw being used around me. And the results were amazing. I now get tons of valuable comments on nearly every article and I truly believe that you can also. Here’s 9 tips that have helped me and I’m sure that if you put them to work at your site that they’ll help you too.
9 Ways to Increase Comments on Your Blog
- Encourage Engagement: At the end of nearly every post I write, I create a paragraph called “Group Discussion.” I use that final, closing paragraph to invite my readers to share with me their thoughts, ideas and experiences. You see, I understand that many of my readers have experienced thing that I haven’t. They can provide perspective to some issues that I can’t and I want that wisdom. I want to learn from them and so I make it very clear in each post.
- Reach Outside Your Own Blog: I learned the Golden Rule when I was a little kid: Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you. Remember that? Then why aren’t you out there bringing value to other bloggers in their comment sections? If you want comments on your blog, then get out in the blogosphere and get involved.
- Interact Openly With Your Readers: Few things are more aggravating than asking someone a question and not getting an answer. I’d rather talk to a doorpost than to talk to someone who is just going to ignore me. You can rest assured that if you ask me a question at Site Sketch 101, I’m going to give you an open and honest answer. I will respond to you and interact with you. Are you providing that for your readers?
- Provide Value In Your Comments: A simple 2 or 3 word comment doesn’t connect with people. It makes you look simple. They’re all right once in a while, but for the most part they need to be avoided. Here’s a couple of rules on how to provide value in your comments: 2 or 3 sentences minimum, proper grammar, proof read it, ask a question, mention the person’s name that your addressing. These tips will massively improve the effectiveness of your comments.
- Connect Across Multiple Platforms: I send one email to each first time commenter at Site Sketch 101. In that email, I thank them for the expressing themselves on the blog here and I invite them to feel free to connect with me at my personal email address. I want every reader here to feel a sense of belonging and a freedom to connect with me in any way they’re most comfortable. You need to create that same environment at your site.
- Simplify the Commenting Process: Every obstacle that your readers have to tackle in order to leave a comment will only result in less comments. Forget about forcing people to login or forcing people to fill out a captcha form. These tools are useless. If your worried about spam, just use Akismet or the spam filter of your choice. They’ll get the job done and you can keep your blog open for comments.
- Reward Your Commenters: You can increase comments by providing incentives to those who do comment. You can give your readers some page rank by providing ‘dofollow’ links on your comments. You can advertise their most recent articles from their blogs with the WordPress CommentLuv plugin. And you can promote their twitter status with WP Twitttip ID plugin for WordPress. I offer each of these incentives at Site Sketch 101 and I’m very pleased with the results.
- Show Off Your Top Commenters: Use a widget in the sidebar or in the footer to show off the names of your readers who’ve really jumped in and gotten involved on your site. This is a great way to puff their ego and to increase their page rank. Those users who are my biggest commenters will receive a dofollow link from every single page on my site.
- Think Outside the Box: Be creative. Do something that nobody else is doing to increase your comments. Maybe hold a contest to generate comments and offer a prize. Maybe offer to give a book to the person who provides the best comment. Just do something to make it more exciting…to be different.
Will you please leave me comment on this post? Pretty please!
Seriously though. I’ve shown you 9 ways to increase comments on a blog and now I want to know what you do to encourage comments at your site? Are you actively working to connect and engage with your readers? If not, why not? What other methods or ideas do you have that you can share with us?