How to Encourage People to Comment on Your Blog

comment-key-on-keyboardThere’s nothing like putting time and effort into a blog post, only to see it go live and have no one respond. For many bloggers, this is the kind of thing that happens often. And then, it has them asking if they’re doing something wrong or if, after all their work, there’s just no one reading. Have you ever felt this way? Do you want to spark conversation on your site but aren’t sure how?

The truth is, comments are more than just validation for bloggers—they’re also social proof to everyone who comes in contact with your site. When readers see high numbers of comments, they ascribe more value to your site because it’s clearly being read and being responded to. This increases your online authority as well as your influence.

So in other words, getting comments matters.

What does this mean for you? Are there ways to encourage readers to leave comments and build a sense of conversation on your blog? Where do you start?

The good news is it’s not difficult. There are lots of ways to encourage discussion on your site—in fact, in most cases, starting a conversation could be a lot easier than you think.

Consider these tips for getting people commenting!

1. Ask.

Sometimes getting people to comment more is as simple as asking them—putting out a question in your post or saying you want feedback on what you’ve posted. This could be as simple as a “What do you think?” at the end of your article or maybe a “Have you tried these strategies in your business?”—the point is to start a conversation that they’ll want to engage in.

2. Make It Easy.

To encourage comments, you need to make the process as simple as possible, with a system that’s user-friendly, clear and intuitive, in order to draw in even newer blog readers. Take a look at your current setup: is there a ‘leave a comment’ button prominently displayed? Are there any hiccups in trying to respond? Do users have to login to a system, which adds an extra step to the process? Do whatever you can to make commenting simpler.

3. Build Traffic.

Before you’re going to get comments, you need to get visitors—because without good traffic coming to your blog, there won’t be anyone to respond to you. So all the steps you can take to increase traffic can also work, indirectly, to improve commenting. Take a look at this previous Bloggers Passion post on 20 tips for increasing website traffic for specific ideas to implement.

4. Show Your Weakness.

You know what they say, content is king. And in the world of blogs, content that gets to readers’ hearts is the surest way to build comments. Readers respond well to posts that are authentic, especially when you are coming across as vulnerable and transparent. So to incite comments, show your own weaknesses, and you’ll be more likely to connect with readers and prompt them to have something to say.

5. Have a Strong Opinion.

Generally speaking, there’s nothing like controversy to get people talking. Share your strong opinion on something, whether it’s about organic foods or a certain hosting provider or why you decided to get off Facebook, and someone’s going to disagree or agree with you and want to say so. Just use this tip with caution because it can work against you as well, when you turn off readers or polarize groups of people.

6. Be Open-Ended.

One of the biggest de-motivators to leaving a comment is feeling like a post is the be-all end-all on a topic. Rather than providing a too-thorough post that leaves nothing left to say, try to be a little open-ended, inviting more tips or encouraging other perspectives.

7. Respond.

When readers see that you respond to questions and comments within the commenting system, they’ll be much more likely to participate. This is especially true in the beginning, when you’re trying to build a blogging audience and community; as your blog gets larger, you may need to be less active, but it’s still good to respond to direct questions or comments asking for a response.

8. Reward Comments.

When a reader leaves a good comment—either with helpful feedback or a discussion-provoking question—highlight it to give them some attention. Tweet it or post it on your Facebook page, or maybe refer to it in another post. This tells readers you’re paying attention to them and encourages them to comment more.

9. Comment on Other Blogs.

The blog world is a community, so to make friends, you have to be one. Build relationships with other bloggers by leaving thoughtful comments on their sites, and don’t be surprised when they return the favor.

What do you think? How could implementing these tips change the activity in your comment section? Are there any changes you’re resisting and if so, why? Or what other strategies have you seen to be helpful in bringing in new responses?

8 Comments

  1. Dean Saliba says:

    Turning my blog intto a dofollow certainly helped increase my comments and I noticed a further increase when I started using a top commentator plugin. 🙂 Although since the recent Google updates I’ve had people emailing me asking me to remove them from the top commentator plugin. :/

  2. Modest Money says:

    I get plenty of comments from commenting on other blogs, but not too many from people who I do not already network. So I really need to focus on the other things on this list. I have noticed that the more controversial the topic, the more people want to comment. I also try to reward commenters too, but I have been hesitant of having to deal with too much spam.

    • Hi Modest Money, It’s true that controversy fuels discussion! Regarding spammers, using a good anti-spam plugin can help eliminate that problem. Then you can focus on engaging with your real audience.

  3. Justin Wu says:

    Thanks for the advice, Shanna! I’m definitely going to try to be more engaging with my audience and comment on other blogs to expand my network. Just wondering- do you use any tools to help increase your web traffic?

  4. Hi Justin, There are a couple good Bloggers Passion articles you might want to check out:

    *5 Ways to Determine Traffic to a Website

    *20 Tips to Increase Traffic

    *How Twitter Tweets Helps You Improve Blog Traffic

  5. Jacob Lester says:

    I cant stress enough how important it is for bloggers to respond and comment on their work. Ive found that many of the bloggers i stumble upon just keep pushing out content without connecting with readers. Great piece and i hope people take note, blogging should be a social experience, its the back and forth that gets people going!

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