One of the unique features of a blog is the ability for your readers to share their opinion, thoughts or perspective on your articles. In my opinion, comments from readers add to value of the article and frankly when reading a blog I often enjoy reading the comments more than I do the article itself. Lots of comments are also the sign of a healthy and active blog.
Many new (and even not so new) bloggers are often frustrated because they only get a few if any comments. I’ve been there and picked up a few tips for getting additional comments on your blog.
There is an old marketing motto that says if you want the buyer to buy something, just tell them to buy it. I’ve found the process of getting comments to very similar. If you want comments on your article, just ask for them. The very last sentence on one of my blogs was “Add a comment!”. Amazingly, people did just that, they added comments! Of course the more creative you can be with your asking, the more people will notice it and actually do it.
Another way to use this technique is to write an article that asks the readers a question. On one of my blogs I often wrote an “Ask the Readers” post that asked them questions like “What personal finance software do you use?” These types of posts always generated lots of comments.
In addition to asked for comments, I also ended my articles with questions. I asked things like:
- What do you think?
- Do you use this approach?
- What’s worked for you that I haven’t mentioned?
- Do you have any real experience on this topic, if so please share your thoughts.
- Has this every happened to you? We would love to hear about it.
Asking questions, in particular questions that address your readers specifically make them think and encourage them to add their thoughts and perspectives via comments. I found this technique to be very effective and it’s really easy to do.
On all of my blogs, I like to do a link posts. Every so often, I’ll link out to other bloggers that left the best or most thorough comment. Linking out to other bloggers is a great way to reward them and say thanks for taking the time to make a thoughtful and valuable comment.
Another way to reward commentators is to Recognize them on your main page or sidebar. This is easily done using a plugin called Top Commentators widget. Everybody likes to have their name up in lights a little right?
A final way to reward commentators is to do a giveaway. People love to win things, so find something you can give away (hint: lots of time affiliate companies love to give away copies of their products). Have people add comments to a particular article in order to enter the giveaway. You can give the prize randomly or to whom you feel left the best most valuable comment. This does work, but what I’ve found is you get a lot of comments just for the sake of leaving a comment, not the best type in my opinion.
Converse with your commentators
I have a rule for all of my blogs that I should respond to every single comment made. Even if it just a short “Thanks for the comment”, you need recognize and thank people when they take the time to leave a comment. If they ask a question, answer it. If they disagree, respectfully reply and perhaps start a dialog about how they feel. Use comments as an opportunity to converse with your readers. Allow them to get to know you and feel comfortable talking to you. Do this, and your comment counts will grow.
Write a list post and ask for additions
One of the proven ways to get traffic to your blog is to write a list post. A list post is a post consisting of a list of things. For example: “99 ways to increase traffic to your blog” or “10 ways to fix your own car”. These types of posts are highly beneficial to readers and incredibly popular on social media such as Digg. One aspect of list posts that often gets over looked though is the opportunity to get tons of comments. How do you do this? Ask your readers to add to the list! Readers love contributing their ideas and asking them to add to the list post you published is certain to generate comments and has worked very effectively for me in the past on my blogs.
For those experienced bloggers reading this, what strategies or tips have you found increase comments? Do you reply to every single comment? Why or why not. Add to this article by adding your thoughts via a comment! <== See I told you 😉