It’s a common complaint: “I’ve been blogging forever, but no one is commenting.” So, what can you do to get more comments on your blog? Asking alone won’t get comments. The willingness to “speak up” requires a level of caring or level of emotional involvement that runs fairly deep. These eight strategies will help.
- Decide Who Represents Your Target Audience. Are you so in love with your own words that you think you can blog about anything and engage an audience? Let’s be realistic. Most people aren’t going to be interested in your take on current events, your views on various social issues, or your opinions on politics. They get all that every day in national newspapers. You need a niche, something that will draw people into your blog. That’s not to say that you can’t offer opinions, just that you might need to narrow your focus a bit. If you want to get more blog comments, you need to know that the “scatter gun” approach doesn’t often work. Pick your focus, pick your issues, and then…
- Write Good Content. If this sounds easy, it’s because it is…at least in principle. Write your blog, and then ask yourself, “If I were reading this, would I feel motivated to leave a comment?” Here are three umbrellas under which you can put a lot of great content: in-depth how-to posts, engaging personal stories, and contrarian positions (see #5 below). These types of posts often motivate people to comment.
- Bring on influential guest posters. As an influencer to writing something for you or get permission to republish something from an influencer. A recognized name will bring more visitors to your site and that will result in additional comments.
- Comment yourself. Add a comment under your own posts. It can be some extra information or something you’ve learned after you originally posted. It’s sort of like how street musicians salt their tip jars (or guitar cases) with a few bucks to get things going. If you want create a second persona for yourself and make a controversial comment…wait, did I say that out loud?
- Post Controversial Ideas. Nothing gets people talking like a controversial point of view. So once you’ve picked your topic, and decided on your content, take a side. Don’t be afraid to be go against the “conventional wisdom.” Think about what you’d like to read. If your focus is on family life, for instance, what do you suppose would get more blog comments? An article with the header “Children are Awesome!!” or one with the header “Five Reasons Why I Really Hate Kids”?
- Allow For Discussion. One of the biggest mistakes bloggers can make is “stating a case.” You start off with a concept and then you flog it to the point where no one feels that they can disagree with you. Leave it open-ended and ask questions. “I have kids, but sometimes I hate them. I’ve told you my top five reasons. Do you ever feel like you hate kids? Do you hate your OWN kids sometimes? Do you hate other people’s kids? You’re probably not alone, so let’s talk about it – leave a comment!” (By the way, I’ve raised two boys. Love them both so don’t leave nasty comments…or do leave nasty comments, since that’s the point of this post!)
- Make It Easy. Don’t expect people to jump through a whole lot of hurdles, like registering on your site or filling in complex CAPTCHAs. If it gets too complex, people are just going to bail without commenting. If you want to get more comments, make it easy for people to comment.
- Invite comments. Ask for comments and ask questions at the ends of posts. As I said above, this isn’t a magic pill, but it never hurts.
When you get more blog comments
Don’t expect overnight success. You won’t wake up one morning and find that people have been staying up all night long engaging in rich discussions prompted by your blogs. However, when you do get some comments, respond to them. Answer questions and show common courtesy.
The kiss of death is a dull, unfocused blog with a hard-to-use comment section. If you keep it fun and interesting, and ask for input, you’ll get the feedback you need. This will also engage your audience, which is always the main point.
Have you had any really posts that made your visitors comment like crazy? What were they?