Readers visit blogs for many reasons: to learn something new, to discover a new perspective, or to be entertained. But there is one reason that stays the same throughout every other motivation – they come to blogs to connect with other people. Both business blogs and personal blogs always have the prime directive of relating to the reader, because that’s what appeals to the reader the most. One good measurement of how well you are fulfilling this directive is whether or not your readers are commenting on your blog posts. Comments are a way for readers to respond to your blog post and to extend the conversation. So if your blog is struggling to get comments, look no further than this ultimate cheat sheet of 25 comment hacks:
- End your blog post with a question. Questions show the reader that you are interested in their thoughts, rather than just a one-sided conversation.
- Respond to the comments you receive. Even just a quick “thanks for stopping by!” shows commenters that you value their contributions.
- Use a contest to motivate readers to comment. The comment can be the participant’s entry into the contest.
- Ask readers to share a picture in the comments of something that relates to your post. If you’re talking about organization, ask them what their desk looks like and request proof!
- Make commenting as easy as possible. This might mean that you have to endure a certain amount of spam, but that’s better than losing potential commenters partway through the process.
- Write about a controversial topic. Take a stand.
- Use a plugin or widget that allows readers to “upvote” or “like” other comments. This will motivate readers to read through many comments to see who they agree or disagree with, which may further inspire them to comment themselves.
- Try not to delete comments, even if they are negative. You can delete spam and inappropriate material, but if someone doesn’t like what you have to say, let them express that. This will show other commenters that you are willing to listen – and it may inspire commenters who side with you to comment in opposition to the negative comment.
- Be positive in your own comments, even to the negative ones. You need to put on your most diplomatic hat. For positive comments, make the commenter feel good with praise or admiration of their thoughts.
- Comment on other blogs. This will gain you easy exposure, and the blog you comment on may return the favor.
- When you are writing your blog post, remember your audience. Write to them. If your audience feels like you are talking to them, they will be more likely to respond.
- Use the WordPress plugin “CommentLuv.” When readers comment on your blog, their latest blog post title will automatically show up with their remarks. That kind of free, easy publicity is hard for your audience to pass up.
- Create a poll that readers can vote on.
- Use insightful comments as a jumping off point for another blog post. Readers might have useful questions that you can answer, or new observations to flesh out your previous thoughts.
- Weed out spam. Seeing spam on someone’s blog post is like seeing garbage – people stay away from it. So while you should make commenting as easy as possible, you should also use an approval system, widget, or plugin so that you can moderate comments. If you moderate comments, just be sure to approve the good ones as quickly as possible.
- Open up other methods of communication. It’s easier to comment on social media or send a quick email, but having other lines of communication available eventually paves the way for readers to comment on the actual blog post.
- Allow users to comment anonymously.
- Create a comment policy and allow readers to access it easily. Comment policies can include what type of language is allowed, how commenters should interact with other readers, whether or not a backlink is allowed, etc. Then stick a link to that policy right next to where readers can submit comments.
- Install a plugin or widget that gives commenters the option of subscribing to the comments. This feature will notify readers if any other comments are made so that they can return to add more to the conversation.
- Publish a post from a guest. The other writer will publicize the blog post in different places than you usually do, inviting new traffic to your website.
- Create a numbered list post and ask readers to add to it. This is an especially compelling tactic if you leave your list incomplete.
- Have an approachable persona. Readers resent someone who acts like a know-it-all. A good way to accomplish this is to write about shortcomings or mistakes as well as successes and expertise.
- Invite readers to share their stories and experiences. If you’re sharing a bad travelling story, ask your readers to comment with one of their own.
- Ask visitors to subscribe to your blog. You can do this with an RSS feed or email newsletter(though email newsletters generally inspire more engagement). Consistent reminders of new posts will entice readers to visit more, leading to a higher probability of them commenting.
- Write compelling content!
What strategy for gaining more comments would you add to the list? You know where to share it …
Poh, Michael. “7 Splendid Techniques To Encourage Comments On Your Blog.”http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/encourage-blog-comments-tips/. (8 April 2014).
Hines, Krisiy. “5 Essential WordPress Plugins For Comments.”http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/essential-wordpress-comments-plugins/. (8 April 2014).
“How to Encourage Comments on Your Blog.” http://www.theblogmaven.com/how-to-encourage-more-comments-on-your-blog/. (8 April 2014).
Reiter, Grechen. “5 Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog.” http://heartifb.com/2013/05/03/5-ways-to-get-more-comments-on-your-blog/. (8 April 2014).
Kingston, Charlene. “7 Tips to Increase Your Blog Comments.”http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-tips-to-increase-your-blog-comments/. (8 April 2014).
Urban, Diana. “9 Ways to Encourage People to Comment on your Blog.” http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/8906/9-Ways-to-Encourage-People-to-Comment-on-your-Blog.aspx. (8 April 2014).