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How to Get More Comments on your Blog

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It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>

This week I asked our panel of experts …

How the heck do you get people to comment on your Blog?

Let's dig in and see what the experts had to say this week…


Pat Flynn of The Smart Passive Income Blog says:

The easiest and most powerful way to get more comments on your blog posts is to simply just ask.

To take it even further, get more specific with what kind of comments you would like to receive. It may depend on the post that you write, but you can ask for opinions, questions, criticisms, a vote, an experience, a link, etc.

For example, in this post (http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-well-can-you-describe-your-website-in-just-three-words), I asked my readers specifically to describe their website in just three words. Because this was a very specific and simple request, it encouraged a lot more (145) comments.

Another example can be found on this post (http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/the-only-100-words-you-should-read-today), where I asked people to “pledge” what actions they were going to take to succeed. In a little over 24 hours, it received over 280 comments.

There are other techniques to encourage comments other than just asking.

First, you should make leaving comments as easy as possible. The more steps involved and the more complicated it is, the less comments you will receive.

Secondly, you should do what you can to give your readers the feeling that their comments will be read. You can easily illustrate this by responding to comments yourself. To take it a step further, instead of just saying “thanks for the comment”, really engage with your community and ask questions, leave feedback and take the conversation even further.

A successful blog post does not end with the publish button.

And last but not least, think about the comments on your blog posts like it's a tool for the reader. It's not just a way for people to share how they feel about your post, but it's also a way to contribute and add to the post, and your community and brand as well.


Note from Nicole. I found this video from Pat that shows a few more of his tips on this subject. 🙂

 


Shannon Cherry of ShannonCherry.com says:

Getting a community going is tough. After all, taking the time to comment on someone's well thought out post is tough. I can admit I don't do it as much as I should, and often that's because I feel my time can be spent elsewhere. (I DO, however, visit a lot of blogs.)

That said, I am lucky I get plenty of comments on my blog at ShannonCherry.com

Here's how I do it:

1) Calls to action. If you don't tell them you want comments, no one ever will. But you DO need to be creative with this. Just saying please comment isn't enough. I often ask a question such as, “Am I off base on this? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.”

2) Posts with a bite. I'm known for my “Cherry Bombs”, which are occasional posts that are a little controversial about Internet marketing and the coaching industry. I get the most participation from these posts. The key to these posts from sounding whiny or bitchy is to always put a teaching element in them.

3) Use social media. All my blog posts are also disseminated through social media using my RSS feed. But when there's one I particularly want traction on, I talk about it more than once in my social media networks. Remember don;t do this all the time, or the really special posts you want highlighted will just be run-of-the-mill.

4) Build the relationship. When someone posts on my blog for the first time, they get an email from me thanking them. I admit, this is automated using a wordpress plugin called Comment Relish. I also use WWSGD (What Would Seth Godin Do) as a plugin. This one, which Nicole told me about, allows me to welcome new readers and returning ones differently. (Thanks, Nic!) Finally, I try to reply to every comment personally on the blog to foster communication and community building.

And one more thought…

How important IS getting comments on your blog? Frankly, for me, not much. I know the traffic is there, just sometimes there's not much to comment on. After all, some of my blog posts are informational in nature, just giving some tips, and don't ask for feedback. As long as the traffic is coming consistently, I wouldn't worry so much about comments.


Rachel Rofe of RachelRofe.com says:

With our blog, we try to provide ridiculously valuable and/or interesting content. Every time we do, we mail it to our list and announce it to the Earn1KADay forum.

On the basis of valuable/interesting, a lot of people will comment right there.

And I know it sounds like common sense, but when we ASK for comments… we get a ton more. 🙂

I would also say that one could maximize the traffic they get. Direct your blog readers to your Facebook Fan Page. Make posts. Get people to know you. The more they know you and like you, the more they'll want to reach out to you (and make more comments through it).


Connie Ragen Green of ConnieGreen.com says:

I blogged for at least a year without receiving even one comment. It felt like I was writing to the black hole of cyberspace, but I refused to give up. Then one day someone left a comment. I was overcome with joy! And then I wanted even more comments, so I took a close look at what I may have done differently to help make this happen.

All of my previous posts had been about my experiences with building an online business. They were all about me. In this last post, the one someone had been compelled to comment on, I was explaining how to do something that would help them to build their online business. I had shifted my focus from me to them.

I now write posts regularly that help my readers with technology, social media, affiliate marketing, and more. The result is many more comments, and true interaction between my readers. This has helped me to create a community of readers who are focused on a common goal.

My record to date is almost 200 comments on a single post. It was last year when I hosted one of my 30 day blog challenges and asked people to comment in order to have their blog included. Again, I was thinking of how to help them to achieve their goals instead of only writing about my own experiences.

Serve your readers by addressing their needs, and they will be encouraged to leave comments to be included in your community. It's a win-win.


Mark Mason of MasonWorld.com says:

I am a bit lazy when it comes to soliciting comments.

But when I do go after comments, I use these five ways for getting people to comment on my blog:

1. End every post with a question. Leave something open for discussion. This is just like talking over drinks. Leave an opening for your readers to comment,

2. Ask for comments in the post. Sounds obvious, but it helps.

3. Reply to each and every comment. When appropriate, ask a followup question.

4. Ask for comments on Twitter: Example: Here is what I wrote about Nicole Dean: http://URL.com Do you agree?

5. Email your list and ask for comments. It lets your readers know that you care what they think. Then apply #3 above.


NancyNancy Marmolejo of VivaVisibility.com says:

I make sure to include the first few paragraphs of a blog post in my weekly ezine then invite people to come over to the blog and drop a comment. It's important to make it a “cliffhanger”, get people excited to read the rest and find out what those amazing 5 tips are or that cool new resource you've discovered.

And I don't stop there. I also remind my readers how leaving comments on a blog is a GREAT visibility strategy. I want them to know there's something in it for them and it's not just ME looking for traffic or buzz.


NicoleNicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

Awhile back I posted here on this same topic. I dug out that blog post, dusted it off, and found a nice gem. I hope you like it!

27 Ways to to Get your Blog Readers to Comment

1. Enable the DoFollow plugin so that your commenters’ links are followed by the search engines. While this isn't essential, it will be important to some of your readers, so why not do it?

2. Enable Comment Luv plug in so that your blog commenters get an extra link from their most recent blog post. I had this one enabled for awhile, but decided to remove it. However, I do like it when others have it on their blogs and I enjoy commenting there.

3. Email your blog commenters with a “thank you” after they post. There are automated tools to do this (including Comment Relish), but you can do it personally or have your Virtual Assistant do it for you.

4. Respond to the comment on your blog, which is really just common courtesy. I have a hard time keeping up with this, which is why I have noted very prominently in the comment area that I personally read all of the comments. And, I do. 🙂 I try to respond to comments left, so at least there's a sign that I'm around and I don't just “post and run”. lol!

5. Visit their blogs and comment back. Again, this is time-consuming and can’t always be done, but is nice to do while you’re having a break with a glass of wine in the evenings. Take a few minutes away from IM, Twitter, and chatting on forums (yeah, I love them, too!) and go visit your readers’ blogs.

6. Here’s an idea that I hadn’t seen before — list all of your blog commenters in a “thank you” post. While time consuming, it is a very thoughtful and appreciated gesture.

7. Hold blog contests and giveaways that involve commenting to win.

8. Have a contest to reward the person who comments most! (Hmm… any ideas for prizes that you’d like to see? I can do this easily! Let me know.)

9. Promote and market your blog so that it gets a lot of traffic. People want to comment on highly-trafficked blogs.

10. Ask your readers to comment. Sometimes people just want to be asked.

11. Ask them for suggestions. Ask for ideas. Ask for Advice. Ask questions — like in this post, I’m asking for YOUR ideas, as well.

12. Send a note about your blog post to your newsletter or ezine, letting them know you’d love to hear their thoughts. I try to let my other lists know about my recent blog posts without being obnoxious about it. 🙂

13. Post something controversial. That’ll get people talking – for better or worse.

14. Don’t allow crappy/yucky spammy comments to remain on your blog. It makes your blog look neglected. Be sure to go in and delete your spam. If you’re using WordPress the Akismet plugin will help automate this process. There are tons of other plugins that will help keep spam off your blog as well, but spammers aren’t dumb and will find ways around them so be sure you delete the ones that do make it through.

15. Twitter about your best blog posts. That’ll attract people who are already talkative to come by and chat. Have your Virtual Assistants Twitter about it, too.

16. Automate the Twitter process. Don’t have time to twitter your own posts? There are plenty of plugins now that will send your blog post to Twitter and/or Facebook.

17. StumbleUpon your blog posts that are informative in nature.

18. Kirtsy blog posts of interest to your readers.

19. There are a ton of ways you can get the word out about a post on your blog similar in fashion to Kirtsy and StumbleUpon. You can add a widget to your blog that lists popular social bookmarking sites right at the end of your post. This makes it easy for visitors to submit your posts to the social networking sites of their choice and bring more people to it, allowing for more opportunities for comments.

20. Get personal. My personal blog posts are usually commented upon more than my others. Post pictures & videos of your day to day life as it applies to your blog.

21. Be silly or at least “real”. If you notice, in the past, I mentioned my husband’s reaction to beans… Too much information? Probably. But, it’s better than being B-O-R-I-N-G!

22. Make it easy to comment. If I try to comment on a blog and have to run through Captchas and logins in order to comment, I’ll likely leave. My vision is quite good, but I struggle with those darned Captchas — and they are not friendly at all to those with impaired vision. So, unless you don’t want people with impaired vision commenting on your blog… find a better solution.

23. Make sure your commenting works. A few minutes ago, I tried to comment on a blog and received an error. It was a friend, so I’ll tell her, but if it wasn’t… she might not know for weeks and think her readers weren’t interested or reading her material.

24. If you have a Blogger blog, be kind to those who do not have blogger/Google accounts and enable the alternative commenting.

25. Change the default text in your blog template from saying “Comments” to “Please leave a comment” or “Talk to me” or something – to attract commenters.

26. Think twice before setting up your blog to moderate comments. It’s definitely a hindrance to those who want to comment on multiple discussions. I’ve rarely seen active comments on blogs that moderate all comments.

27. Make sure your comment link isn’t hiding when people are reading your main page or when they are on a “category” page. Sometimes there’s so much “stuff” around the comment link that it’s hard to even find. I've been on blogs where I've wanted to comment, but honestly couldn't find the stinking place to do so.


It’s Your Turn.

 

So, now, I’ll pose this question to you. What's your best tip about getting more blog comments? Or why do you choose to comment on some blogs and not others?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Warmly,
Nicole Dean

PS. Here are a few of my favorite Expert Briefs:

0 Comments

  • Doug Champigny
    Reply

    There’s another side to blog commenting as well, Nic – as a marketer, almost every post I do on any of my blogs has a call to action in it, be it a link to a product, a video, an opt-in, etc. If a reader gets to the comment section, my call to action didn’t work. As a result, as long as my blog traffic stays high and my click-through ratio stays acceptable, I’m happy – and would see an increase in comments as a warning sign. For the most part, those commenting on my blog are all online marketers (my target audience) who stop by regularly for the backlinks and ComLuv links since they know all of our 20-some blogs are do-follow.

    • qype
      Reply

      Good point Doug – I hadn’t thought of it like that. You have really turned the whole thing on its head … so time for me to re-evaluate …

    • Anita
      Reply

      This is a very good point … definitely something to put some serious thought into. However, I do have to say that most of the time I force any links in a blog post to open in a new window or new tab. This way I can leave a comment (easily) if I like what I’m clicking through to.

      So this makes me wonder if many others do the same thing I do and/or is it better to make your out going links open in a new window?

      And on a completely off topic side note this also reminds me of a huge pet peeve I have … that being when I do right click on a blog or site and force it to open in a window/tab and I get a little pop-up box telling me what I’m doing is “naughty”. Grrr! That irritates me because it makes me feel as though I’m doing something wrong.

      Hmmm … maybe this isn’t as off topic as I thought … could be turned into another tip. If you *must* disable right clicks on your site … just do it. Don’t tell your visitors they’re doing something wrong … especially the ones that simply don’t want to lose their spot on your site!

      Sooooo …
      – Should we disable right clicks?
      – Should we have our links open in new windows?

  • Michelle
    Reply

    You know, I try not to spend too much time reading blogs (cos I’ve gotta spend my time working at this IM thing to make it start happening for me!) and I take even less time to comment. But that’s because I didn’t realise that being part of this ‘community’ is actually helping. I didn’t understand that I could put my link in, and now that I know I can, I feel justified in having a chat. That’s not a ‘bad’ reason to join in, is it? :-/

  • Sandy Halliday
    Reply

    Wow, I think you have covered it all Nicole.

    The key to it all is first to get the traffic. I think you have hit the nail on the head when you say people want to comment on highly-trafficked blogs.

    It can help to form a group with some other bloggers and make it a habit to visit each others blogs and leave comments to get the ball rolling.

  • dog grooming las vegas
    Reply

    Thanks for the advice everyone. And thanks Nicole for posting this.

    I’ve love the part of changing focus from an ‘I’ based post to a “help you” post. I feel if your out there helping then your bound to get comments in return.

    It’s like when you give a gift to someone, they want to thank you for it.

    It’s funny I already follow 4 of the people from above and they all give great content.

    Thanks again,

    Frank

  • Mike Paetzold
    Reply

    Love this post as there are a great number of good ways listed. For me it is primarily asking and doing it through a question that works best.

    Any time I don’t the comments go down.

  • Richard Goutal
    Reply

    I believe getting quality comments IS very important because it helps with traffic generation. When I see a blog with few or no comments it tells me (subconsciously even) that the blog is of little value because no one else visits, or values, what is written. I don’t have a whole lot of time to go blog visiting so “social proof” plays a role in keeping me on a blog that I think may have something more valuable to say.

    I think that getting comments is especially important for new bloggers, but of course especially hard. So what to do? Join a tribe (content syndication group). I have written an entire eBook on this, but let me boil this down – members commit to commenting on one another’s blogs. Such tribes vary from a dozen close-knit people to several hundred bloggers organized by leaders and guidelines. Some have a fee, many are free. One such free group is called TSA Mastery.

    Joining an existing tribe teaches one how a content syndication group works, helps to meet other people online, and to equip them to create their own group as time goes on. This can be important so that there are commenters on your blog from others within your niche… even more social proof.

    Finally, I really like the plug-in called CommentLuv. If you use it, you should also register (free) for extra benefits. Essentially it automatically displays a commenter’s most recent post from their own blog directly below their comment. In short, you are encouraging a comment by doing them the favor of showing what they write about.

    I know many many people who only comment on do-follow blogs and they define do-follow to include more than do-follow. Some of these recommendations go further than what I want to do, but you could view this as a continuum from zero benefit to the commenter to a list of benefits to the commenters (I’ll call it do-follow-plus). With my main benefit being the use of CommentLuv, I see myself being just less than half-way past zero.

  • Rhonda
    Reply

    Those are ALL great ideas and suggestions for getting more comments on your blog. I’m going to put some of these into practice. Thank you so much for the great post on a great topic.

  • Angie Newton
    Reply

    WOW great stuff. I have done a few of these to try to get more blog comments but I’ll definitely implement some new ones from the tips above. Thanks!

  • Sydney
    Reply

    FABULOUS and valuable post. I have at least four new ideas to implement. Isn’t it odd that the most basic way to get more comments is to … ASK for them? Yet most of us neglect this obvious step. I know I do most of the time.

  • Vera Raposo
    Reply

    Hey Nicole, I read your blog ALL the time and never comment so here’s mine. 🙂 I have to say that I absolutely love this post, there’s so many ideas here. Definitely one I’m going to save. Here’s what I do, I also focus on POSITIVE results at my Plus Size Bloggers site and always congratulate those who do well. Thanks for the post. Vera.

  • Lizette
    Reply

    Great tips – thanks a ton!

  • Ian McConnell, InMyHomeOffice
    Reply

    Great suggestions Nicole, thank you!

    I’ll be implementing some of those suggestions as I find only about 2 to 3% of the people visiting my blog post leave a comment. I’ve been happy with that, but it would be great to get it up to about 10%.

    Have Fun!
    Ian McConnell
    Western Australia

  • James Kasel Jenkins
    Reply

    Thanks for the blended article. I love that you got every aspect of how to get comments going. I am often frustrated to check a low bounce rate with a bunch of time logged in from my visitors and yet box is chirping like a cricket. I will put this to action and get back to you with results.

  • Maureen Wright-Evans
    Reply

    Hi Nicole,

    I am your customer and I live in Jamaica

    I would love to connect with you

    Can I give you a quick call to discuss
    How you could help Jamaica even better?

    Maureen Wright-Evans

  • James Mann
    Reply

    I probably shouldn’t admit this but it took me a long time to realize that I should be asking people for comments.

    I have been a computer instructor for about 20 years and it can be hard to get comments from students when asking questions. They tend to prefer giving yes or no answers.

    While at a Brian Tracy seminar, years ago, I learned about asking open ended so that students couldn’t just give yes or no responses.

    One a blog asking questions that could end in a yes or no would not get you many comments but asking a question that needs at least a sentence will do much better.

  • K Quinn
    Reply

    Great tips. I need to bookmark this. I get the most comments from giveaways…

  • Jan
    Reply

    Good, sound advice. Thanks! While I certainly want the comments, I’d like to find out how to get the traffic which would bring the comments to my blog.

  • Brianne
    Reply

    I think you have great information on your blog, well beyond the average. I’m learning a lot from you. I am going to start asking for comments on my blog. What do you think of a survey? I have Survey Monkey and not used it as yet. If you have a moment, I would appreciate your comments on my blog(I’m a beginner)

    How do I put an RSS feed into my blog? I signed up with google reader but don’t know my RSS address. am I making any sense?

    Love Your Work
    Brie

  • The Mom
    Reply

    Great stuff! I can’t seem to get too many people to comment. So, I’m changing a few things.

    One piece of advice I see repeated is INVITE readers to comment! I just now edited my most visited blog post and inserted an invitation to post a comment. We’ll see what happens! Then, I’ll spend time editing some more… oh, it’s a work in progress.

    Thanks for all the great tips.

  • Joe
    Reply

    Hey Nicole,

    Excellent post. It gives me more to think about. I have just started commenting back on comments. I am still trying to figure out how to do so with my reply to the comment coming right after the comment instead of sometime later.

    Keep up the good work.

    Joe

  • Apron
    Reply

    Interesting topic and great content are factors for a blog to gather comments on it. I think this is the primary reason why readers give their feedback on a blog or article. Those lists, how-to’s, rants about current news and informative pieces of posts are great attraction for a reader like me. When I read a blog, I expect to learn, and since I am using my time, I don’t wanna waste it, just by reading a post that I already know.

    Anyway, thanks for this amazing and informative post. Surely reading your blog, is not a waste of time. I definitely learn and will grow from it. 🙂

  • WritewhereUr
    Reply

    This is a great post to remind site owners how to rejuvenate their comment section on their blogs. I appreciate the reminder.

  • Anita
    Reply

    I completely agree w/ Captchas but I try to not get too irritated w/ things like this because I know what it’s like to deal w/ spam, bots and whatnot. So Nicole, what do you recommend using instead of the logins/captchas, etc. Or do you recommend simply using Askimet?

  • Nancy
    Reply

    Thanks for featuring my tips on your blog, Nicole! I loved reading what your other experts shared too.

    One more thing: don’t freak out if you try all these strategies and you still aren’t getting comments. Rome wasn’t built in a day… it takes focused effort but is well worth it!

  • mark
    Reply

    Hi Nicole,

    I just happened across your website today & I really like what you are doing here. Commenting is one of those things that I both love and hate.

    The great thing about it is the sense of community and sharing of ideas that can come from commenting & forums. Blogging is, of course, a social media.

    Having said that, I don’t really worry too much about the number of comments I get on posts. Well, on my niche sites, I have comments disabled (still not sure if that was the right decision). On my personal blog, I do enjoy comments and the conversations that happen.

    I have noticed that there are a few topics that seem to draw more comments. Posts about comments and backlinking strategies often do well. And, usually, very short posts do better than longer posts unless the blogger is well respected. DoFollow, CommentLov, and KeywordLuv also seem to help in getting more comments.

    I tend to comment on blogs only when I find a post to be unique or useful beyond what is normally available out there. Unfortunately, so much of what is out there seems to be material spun from other posts around the web.

    I enjoyed the different perspectives on commenting. Have a great day!

  • Steve Price
    Reply

    For me this is a moot point. I’ve had very few comments on my site over the year or so that it has been going, despite visitor numbers growing- and had reached a point where I was content to keep broadcasting.

    But you’re right and it’s been fascinating reading the advice of those who do it better and are successful. I’m a raving fan of Pat Flynn but on this occasion I’m going to take the advice of Connie Ragan Green and experiement with addressing my readers needs more.

    I’m a raving fan of you too Nicole but it felt way too obsequious to say that here – Oops!

  • William Rose
    Reply

    Comments have never been all that important to me but these are some great tips.

  • The Mom
    Reply

    Thank you for your advice. I’ve been doing two things as suggested:
    1) invite people to comment
    2) comment on other blogs

    And, now I have a bone to pick. I’ll put it in an open letter to bloggers everywhere:

    Dear Bloggers,

    Thank you for the invitation to comment on your blog. I read your blog post thoroughly and took time to write a thoughtful response. I hit publish and waited… and waited… and waited…

    So, back I went the next day, and the next day, to take a peek, and still waited… and waited… and waited…

    I was getting anxious to see my comment in your blog for three reasons:

    1) I took time out of my day to read and comment, so to see my comment would be nice;
    2) I always like to link to your blog post in Facebook or Twitter to share what I’ve found; and
    3) If the genre fits, I may also post something about you and your blog on my blog to share you with my readers.

    Now, after several days of waiting for my comment to appear, I just give up. I’m not going to share your blog post until I see my comment – that just makes good sense. So, I wasted my time, and you lost a reader, me; but also the readers I would have shared you with.

    I’m just a humble blogger, but I want to increase traffic to my blog, so I take your advice to heart.

    Now, it’s time I share a little advice as a reader/commenter: Don’t leave us dangling waiting to be moderated. And rescue us from spam when we fall victim. If you are too busy to moderate, hire someone to do it for you. That’s my 2 cents.

    Thank you,
    Patti Winker
    http://www.RemarkableWrinklies.com

    p.s. I know you’re busy, but a little reciprocity is nice, too.

  • Lisa
    Reply

    Wow, Amen to Patti’s comment above. 🙂

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