How to Get More Comments on Your Blog

Written by | 76 Comments

One of the things that I’m passionate about at Site Sketch 101 is being able to connect with real people. You’ll often here me refer to the blog here as an ongoing conversation. I like to think of it as a dialogue between myself and my readers.

I don’t write articles here simply to gain recognition or just to make money. I don’t mind enjoying a little bit of either but that’s not the main point of this blog. In my mind blogging is about connecting with real people by providing uniquely engaging content, brilliant designs, and genuine creativity. In fact, if you look down at the author note at the bottom of my posts you’ll see that it says that about me.

I have always said that comments are the life-blood of a good blog. They are the pulse that reveals the vibrant, living conversation between the author and the readers.

I want users to engage me in the comments at this blog and I think that it’s probably safe to assume that most of you want people to engage you at your sites. Why else would you be reading this article?

So as I sat back in my favorite thinking chair I began to brainstorm about the qualities at other blogs that have inspired me to join their conversations in their comment sections. If you want me and others like me to leave comments on your site here’s the things that you need to take care of.

Provide a personal, genuine reply to every comment.

This is the most important point that I can make. The purpose of comments is to build a conversation between the author and the readers. If I leave a comment on your blog and you don’t reply then I’m going to assume that you are ignoring me and I’m going to return the favor.

When I see that you reply to my comments and other comments then I have an incentive to return to your site and see if you’ve answered me. I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with Seth over at Blogussion in the comments section of his article. He engages me with genuine conversation and that keeps me coming back.

Make it as easy as possible to post a comment.

Don’t require a login – If you require me to login at your site then you can safely assume that I’ll not be back. I’ve heard this sentiment expressed many times across the greater blogosphere.

Don’t use a captcha system – You know those annoying little things that make you type in some goofy letters and numbers to prove that your human and not some random spam bot. They’re annoying. I hate them. I don’t use one here and if you do use one then your content had better be absolutely unspeakably fantastic to get me to go through the hassle of leaving a comment.

Use a spam filter like Akismet to keep it clean. If that doesn’t work then require moderation. That’s hardly a hassle for you and and it’s one less obstacle for you readers when trying to engage you in conversation.

Whatever your solution might be just make sure that you are making it as easy as possible for readers to get in on the action.

Reward those who participate in the conversation.

I recently wrote an article entitled I Stopped Using Nofollow & You Should Too! Nofollow stops page rank from flowing to the site that you link to. When you get rid of that tag then every person that leaves a comment gets a little bit of page rank for the site that they put in the website field of the comment form. In other words, they get rewarded every time they leave a comment. That will keep me coming back!

Get the ball rolling with other authors.

You want me to comment on your site? Then stop just looking at Site Sketch 101 and leave some comments here. If you don’t stop and engage me here then I’ll never even find out about your site. Stop by here and get the ball rolling by leaving a comment at my site.

Of course, I hope you understand that I’m not just shamelessly promoting my own comments section by saying this. I want you to get out, visit other blogs, and start leaving some comments.

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About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.

76 Comments

  • Eric B. says:

    I really agree with this post. I find it quite annoying when I have to register just to post a comment.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Eric B. » Yeah. Every obstacle that you make your readers jump through will only increase the chance that they will leave without leaving any feedback. If we really want to connect with people we’ve got to make it easy for them to do engage us in conversation.

      riish » I only like the comments powered by WordPress also. This has a remarkably good comments system built right into it and it makes it really easy to communicate.

      George Serradinho » Exactly. Blogging is all about building that community where everyone can voice their questions and opinions with each other.

      Benjamin Cip » It’s stuff like that that will motivate people to participate in the conversation. Sometimes people start commenting for the rewards and then grow into developing a professional friendship with the author. At that point they become a regular reader and you can count on them coming back again and again. Sometimes you just have to give an incentive in order to get the ball rolling.

      Barbara » If people wanted to just read article then they could go buy a newspaper or a magazine. I think that blogging is becoming a more popular method of presenting information because of the communication that is able to take place between the readers and the authors. Being able to leave feedback, ask questions, and communicate with real people is what is power housing the social networks like facebook, twitter and myspace. You are right that this is largely what the web is all about.

  • riish says:

    yeah im not requiring a log-in on my posts, they’re free to comment. But i also hate the pop up comments or comments powered by anything else, other than wordpress, because they’re annoying and uneasy to use. i also do not use any captcha, instead of a single click of the submit button, they will just be disgusted. :)

  • George Serradinho says:

    You need to build a community around ones blog where commentators ask you and other commentators questions or they help each other out. Easy and simple are the keys to promote commenting.

  • Benjamin Cip says:

    Great post! I am rewarding my commentator to get featured in my header. I’m trying to find a way to not show my comments in the header so that only my readers comments appears in the header… if you have any idea how to do it, it would be more than welcome! Thank you. I do find your blog very interesting, keep the great work!

  • Barbara says:

    Interesting article! I totally agree with you.
    I think the first point is very important. I’ve noticed that many blog authors don’t bother to reply to comments. Which is too bad, since it would often be interesting to discuss some points in more detail or ask questions. After all, this is what web 2.0 is about :)
    If an author does reply to comments, this definitely encourages me to come back more often.

  • Arisu says:

    Another great article as always.
    To gain adept readers you need to give them a little more than just a good article. Make them feel special.
    A nice reply to every comment would do that. Registration and well-hidden comment forms/buttons will do the opposite.

    And I like the option to have an avatar when I comment, altough I haven´t got one yet XD But I think is great for the readers to feel special.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Arisu » Yeah. You need to head over to gravatar.com and set up a picture. All the cool kids are doing it! LOL.

      I have heard that 98% of blog readers never comment. I want to make my readers feel like they can leave their opinions, disagreements and comments and that they will be accepted and replied to. I think that it is really important to foster an environment where everyone feels like they can be a part of the discussion.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Arisu » Hey! You set up an avatar! It looks great. Good job. Now that picture will go with you whenever you leave a comment on a Gravatar enabled blog.

  • Seth says:

    Thanks for the mention. I have found that the best way to get comments as a blog owner is to leave comments. That way there is something to discuss in your comments section. Great article that I really believe in.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Seth » Thanks Seth and thanks for always providing a genuine, personal response every time I’ve ever left you a comment over there.

  • Jeff B. says:

    Registration will definitely kill the drive-by’s second visit. I don’t like to register for a site if I don’t have to–in fact–I typically remain a “guest” for a month or so before I consider joining a forum.

    I recently joined a forum that had the following membership agreement:

    “Please note that membership is subject to a seven day waiting period before you will be able to post messages.”

    My desire to post was so great due to my passion about the forum topics; yet I had to wait a whole 7 days before I could post. Seemed like an eternity!

  • Luis Lopez says:

    Excellent article, this are the ideas to keep the comunity on a blog, but you could also talk about some plugins or tips like commen luv, which is great to get some more comments, and the subscribe to comments option, so if the person is interested on the subject is gonna check the new comments and leave some others maybe.

  • Jeff B. says:

    Nicholas Z. Cardot » I did return as this forum was probably the only place that could answer my question with the diversification of responses that I was looking for.

    Regardless, it was a big turn-off to have to wait. I can’t imagine the number of people that wanted to sign up and post a reply, but could not reply immediately due to the wait, and therefore never registered.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Jeff B. » So the bottom line is that unless the content is overwhelmingly interesting or absolutely necessary, you would normally not wait for something like that. Bingo.

      Luis Lopez » Comment luv is a cool plugin. I might add that one here in the future when I get around to it. I’ve seen it on a few blogs and I think that it is an excellent way to build on this principle. Plus I just added the subscribe to comments option a few days ago here and I think that it helps a lot!

  • GenuineWoman says:

    I feel the same. Some bloggers fail to look at their site from the readers point of view.
    Sometimes I notify them when it is a pain to leave a comment.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      GenuineWoman » What do you mean that you notify them? You mean that you notify other blog authors that it is a pain?

  • Greg Dougherty says:

    Wow, great article Nicholas! Keep ‘em coming!

  • Irinel says:

    Thank’s for this tips.For example on Blogger it’s a little hard to comment!It’s easy for those who know web design because they can make there one Comment code!

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Irinel » I’ll do some research and see if I can come up with a tutorial for making comments on blogger a lot nicer. I remember how worthless it was when I used blogger a couple years ago when I was just starting.

      Greg Dougherty » Thanks. I plan on keeping them coming!

  • Satkrit says:

    Definetly agree with this article. Agree with @eric b. that its annoying to register just to comment. Great article this

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Satkrit » If I have to register somewhere to leave a comment then I’ll tell you right now that they’re not getting my comment. They might have great material, but I’m not going to be leaving any feedback. That’s just way too much hassle. Thanks!

  • GenuineWoman says:

    Sometimes if I feel like…if these bloggers have an account in Blog Catalog. Am I too kind? =D

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      GenuineWoman » No. You should let them know. I had someone let me know that something was broken on this site. I was grateful because it was a simple fix that only took me about two minutes but it would have sat there broken for another month if they hadn’t told me. If they are a good blogger then they will want to make it better and if not then it is their loss.

  • Bruce says:

    I really never thought people had issues with captcha. Perhaps I’ll remove it from my blog, not that anybody reads it yet :P. I’m not even sure I can turn that feature off. Good read.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Bruce » If you check out the comments section here at Site Sketch 101 you’ll see that there’s no spam. I don’t have to work very hard to keep it that way and I don’t have moderation of all comments set. I don’t have a captcha and I don’t require a login. The benefits of having users feel more welcome to comment far outweigh the few anti-spam benefits that come from all of these tools. My advice is to just stay away from them all!

  • Arisu says:

    Nicholas>> Yep, thanks a lot for telling me ^^
    I´ll made a custom one as soon as I have the time to make it or just select a nice picture.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Arisu » Even though it’s not necessarily a picture of you it gives people something to associate with your name wich helps make your comments more personal and easier to engage with.

  • Jeff B. says:

    ^^ Exactly. It’s nice to attribute a picture to a name to us photographic-memory type people. Every time I see the brown picture of a guy with his tie hanging over his shoulders, I know it’s the Site Sketch 101 owner. Wait… haven’t I seen that picture before? ;-)

  • Ruchi says:

    Nice Article. I agree on point that it irritates to login for making comment. I wrote about same in my article.

  • Tech @ InkAPoint says:

    I personally contact my blog readers to get in touch. It’s a great success method for me.

  • Oridusartic says:

    Wow the one with the “Provide a personal, genuine reply to every comment.” really hits me! Because I used to feel that it’s unnecessary to reply to each comment from my blog readers before. Now I know why I got less comments on my blog.

    Thanks for the useful tips. :) I shall add your web to my links then.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Oridusartic » It really helps. I mean, for me one of the greatest benefits of blogging is being able to connect and engage with people who have similar interests. I enjoy the two-way conversation that the comment section allows to take place. There’s nothing better than replying to a comment and the reader returns with another followup to your response. That’s something that I love as an author and as a reader when I’m at other blogs.

      Also, thanks for adding us to your links. That’s greatly appreciated.

  • Satkrit says:

    Do you think that sending email for 1st comment made by new people helps your site or it just bugs them.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Satkrit » You’re the second person to make a mention of it so I think that I will stop doing that for now. Although I have had several really good personal replies from some people. Thanks for the honest feedback.

  • Arisu says:

    Nicholas>>
    I would have liked the first-comment email, but it came to my inbox like 2 weeks or more after that first comment :P

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Arisu » Yeah. I switched to a different plugin that I like much better and the goofy thing sent one to EVERYONE again before I even noticed so I sure apologize for that. I know how annoying that can be. Thanks for letting me know about it. I felt really bad but by then it was too late. Do you think that just one is tasteful?

  • Scott B. says:

    Great article. In the past I have not been much into blogging, but I am becoming more and more interested in starting my own. The articles here are very helpful. Thank you for your efforts in helping those like me that really need it.

    I’ll add that I as well find it irritating to be asked for my driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to reply to a blog article.
    :)

    Thanks again,
    Scott

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Scott B. » Thanks Scott. I love how you described it as being as much a hassle as providing a driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate. That’s exactly how most people feel about it.

  • Ginger Blymyer says:

    thanks for this great article, I do forget to reply to the comments and so I will remember now. I love the communication and to share all I know. Thanks again, Enjoy my blog too. Suggestions are happily accepted.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Ginger Blymyer » The more that you turn your blog into a social activity then the more your readers will engage you. You need to make it easy for them to comment and get them comfortable with expecting a response from you. I try to foster an environment of open two-way communication here at Site Sketch 101 so that everyone feels welcome. That’s really important.

  • Sherry says:

    I dont like comment at blog with capcha and login. Some of my blogs have comments but not all of them.

  • Arisu says:

    Nicholas>>

    I think an email to a first-time-commenter is a terrific idea. Some people might find it annoying, but it´s up to them to delete it without reading it if they don´t want to.

    But once I forgot to add 2 ass-kicking blogs to my favorites… I really love those blogs, but I forgot. Till a little newsletter came from each one, otherwise maybe I wouldn´t have come back to them. So, some people not only want to, they need to get an email from that blog they liked, just to remember to come back.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Arisu & GenuineWoman » I’ve been experimenting with it these past few days and I’ve really had mixed responses. Some people have emailed me back and asked me personal questions about blogging, others have asked about plugins for content management systems for building websites. I had one man ask me to help him pick a theme for his blog to display his artwork. I’ve had many more positive responses like that.

      I did have the mix up where it sent out a second one to everyone, but that only happened once and won’t be happening again so I don’t think that it should be too big of a deal. I really believe that it is in keeping with me trying to create a real connection with everyone. I really want people to know that they can ask me questions, tell me about their websites, or whatever.

  • GenuineWoman says:

    Arisu, I find it annoying. =) If I will start getting emails from all blogs I commented on, I need to leave a note in comments not to do that. As well, a owner of blog might forget that I am not a first-time-commenter anymore which has happened actually.

  • GenuineWoman says:

    Nicholas, I am happy to know if it is like that.. =)

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      GenuineWoman » I think that it probably has different responses with different people based on personalities and preferences but overall I’ve had a very positive response as a result of it. Thanks!

  • HelpfulAdvisor says:

    I found Akismet to be a little cumbersome for self-hosted WordPress. However, I found a great plugin called WPSpamFree that allows me to leave Captcha off my blog, and yet, I don’t remember the last time I had a spam comment on my blog. It’s pretty great.

    I agree about comments being a warm and friendly way to interact with your readers. I really enjoy and appreciate comments on my blog. It’s a type of validation that what you’re doing is creating value for your readers when they take time to comment.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      HelpfulAdvisor » It is a type of validation. That’s exactly right. One of the main reasons that I hear a lot of bloggers mention that they are thinking about quitting is because no one leaves them comments anymore. They are receiving little or no positive feedback for their work. So if you are at others blogs be sure to leave them comments. Begin engaging with them and then as people engage with you be sure to be personal and genuine in return.

  • Serious Monday Roundup #3 | Serradinho says:

    [...] How to Get More Comments on Your Blog – You’ll often here me refer to the blog here as an ongoing conversation. I like to think of it as a dialog between myself and my readers. [...]

  • Extreme John says:

    All very good tips for increasing blog comments on your blog, the biggest in my opinion is losing the CAPTCHA requirement, it’s crazy.

    It’s a blog not a vault, whats the worst thing that happens if a crap comment gets through? You delete it :)

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Extreme John » I absolutely hate Captchas! Exactly. People worry about spam but all they are doing is discouraging the average user from leaving comments.

  • Ana says:

    You’ve hit it spot on. Do you always reply to your comments straight away? (Within 24hrs) As I am finding that, am only ready to reply when I am in the mood to reply, and it is about three comment replies a day, which tends to leave the newer post comments on the back of the list. I don’t like jumping the cue, and being rushed therefore I like taking my time. Then I wonder whether the person who comments on that entries, returns after my response however late it may be. Can you tell if the original commenter has viewed your entry, without the obvious statistics? Do you measure this in any way?

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Ana » I try to answer comments as quickly as I can…like this one. I think I’m about 6 or 7 minutes behind when you posted it. :) I use an analytics program, but without them leaving another comment I have no idea whether or not they come back and see it. I only hope that as they see the trend of me answering all the comments that they will know to expect one and that will bring them back. I understand about not being in the mood sometimes, but I like to think of it as a conversation. I just sit down at the keyboard and pretend like I’m chatting face to face with the person. I’m not trying to give them anything amazing…I’m just trying to connect with them on a personal and real level. Thanks!

  • Jane Sheeba says:

    I’m really finding it hard to get people commenting on my blogs. I have two blogs one with absolutely no comments and one with just 2 comments. I will follow your ideas! Thanks.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Jane Sheeba –> You’re welcome. I hope that you are able to get some more interaction taking place on your site.

    • akira07 says:

      And as a driver, how about making commenting contest? It’s so helpfull. But i advice you to learn how to prevent spam, because oftenly contest is encourage people to do spam. But i wonder why comment in this blog is exception, there is less SPAM..!!

      • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

        akira07 –> That’s because I delete any comment that I don’t like. I keep the comments cleaned up. That’s why this blog is the exception.

        • akira07 says:

          Hmm i want to know how many spam/unusefull post in this blog is deleted by you everyday, in a average?
          It will surely took your time, but you do it for a reader comfortability, thank you very much, i’m appreciate it.

  • Ron Boracay says:

    Akismet sometimes act weird. I don’t know if it is just me.

    Sometimes, normal comments by a real people doesn’t pass through although it wasn’t spammy at all.

    So I think, It is also good to check Akismet spam database before you hit “delete all” button.

    I also love the idea of comment moderation for first time commenter then let their comments pass through if they commented for the 2nd, 3rd or more times.

    • akira07 says:

      Have same problem with askimet here :(
      I’m participated in a blog contest and posting my entry (which including so many blog post entry link). Of course askimet treat it as spam. The author never checking the askimet database, and i’m ended up by lose in the contest because of it.

  • Jal says:

    Yes I do agree with your views regarding comments. It is something that drives the passion of the author, provides different perspective to the same content. Thanks for such a nice post.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Jal –> Thanks, Jal. I appreciate it. I love comments and I’ve found that most authors do to. They’re fun. They add life to the conversation. And like you say, they fuel the passion of the author. I hope these tips help you out.

      • akira07 says:

        Very agree…It’s so sad when i’m checking my blog and find the last comment is come from the last month, it’s make me down. So, i’m agree if you said comment is a fuel.

        Umm..i check my blog, the last comment is come from 15 september 2009. :(

  • Jeevanjacobjohn says:

    Hi,

    Chanced upon your website while surfing the web. Nobody uses the commenting feature in my site. I don’t know why. Nobody comments. Can you check and give me some tips ?

    Thanks for this Useful Post.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      Jeevanjacobjohn –> All I can say is that you should follow this blog and glean the daily tips and advice here. There are a lot of improvements that can be made but just read through the articles on here and work on improving things one at a time.

  • Vinish Parikh says:

    If there is one thing in which i lag behind is this one, this points will help me in achieving the desired results :)
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Deflation – A Vicious Circle =-.

  • Leigh Anne@Your Homebased Mom says:

    I try to reply to every comment I get on my blog through a personal email. If they ask a specific question then I respond to it in the comment section for others to see. Just curious, if when you say respond to every comment you mean via email or through the comment section?

  • Tipps für mehr Blog-Kommentare - WordWeb-Blog says:

    [...] How to Get More Comments on Your Blog [...]

  • Brett Widmann says:

    Great tips. I’ll be putting these to good use.

  • muscles for me says:

    Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply excellent and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  • Brian Keir says:

    Does using No Follow on comments affect your site with the sites its linking to?

  • nuruddinazrizulkifli says:

    nice.thanx..=)

  • buy diablo 3 glod says:

    yeah im not requiring a log-in on my posts, they’re free to comment. But i also hate the pop up comments or comments powered by anything else, other than wordpress, because they’re annoying and uneasy to use. i also do not use any captcha, instead of a single click of the submit button, they will just be disgusted. :)

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