How To Increase Comments On Your Blog

Does your blog feel empty due to a lack of comments? Are you wondering how to get people to interact with you?

Blogging is a conversation. It’s a dialog between you and your readers, but in the beginning when you first launch it can be hard to get people to comment leaving your blog feeling somewhat empty. An empty blog can be disheartening leaving you wondering if anyone’s reading or if you should spend your evenings doing something else. Fortunately there are a few things you can do to encourage participation and comments.

Via Search Engine Guide I came across a post from Stephen Spencer at Business Blog Consulting. Stephen’s idea is to offer incentives in return for comments and he lists three WordPress plugins to accomplish this.

Stephen is right. Incentives certainly work and any of the above should help improve the amount of comments you get. The first two plugins offer links as an incentive and since links can often be hard to come by it’s a pretty good trade. The last plugin should help to bring people back. Every one appreciates being noticed.

I’d like to add a three tips of my own for generating comments. These don’t require specific plugins and will work no matter what blogging platform you use.

Exchange Comments – Some people are hesitant to comment unless others are also commenting. Find another blogger who could also use a dose of comments and offer to comment on their blog if they’ll comment on yours. Try this with a few people and you should have a comment or two on all your posts. Once your blog appears less empty more people will begin to comment.

Ideally you’re looking for someone who’s blog you enjoy reading and someone you can build a relationship with for future social networking. As you get to know each other and each other’s content you’ll start to link to each other as well. Perhaps the best part of this tactic is it can easily lead to new friends.

Ask Questions – One of the best ways to get people to comment is to ask them to comment. End your posts by asking a few questions. Let people know you’d like a response. Ask your readers for their opinion and they will start to share it with you.

Write Open-ended Posts – This one is the hardest for me. If you write all inclusive posts there might not be much anyone else can add. Try not to say everything in your posts. Say enough to get your point across, but leave room for other people to add their own ideas. Think of your job as directing a conversation about a topic instead of trying to say everything you can about that topic. If you allow someone else space to get their point across it’s more likely they will.

All of the above can help lead to more comments on your blog. If your blog is new and you’ve yet to develop an audience around it, try the comment exchange. If you find the right people and actively engage with their blogs they will do the same with yours. If you already have a community around your blog, but would like them to interact more try the other two ideas.

And don’t forget the idea of offering incentives. Giving something back is a great way to get comments.

What have you found works for your blog? What plugins have you added that led to more interaction between you and your readers? What tips can you share to help other bloggers generate more comments?

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10 comments

  1. The best way I’ve found to get comments is to leave comments. I spend a lot of time reading blogs and leaving comments. I’m selective though, I only comment on blogs I think are well written and informative.

    I also always try to make sure the comments I leave have substance, especially when I first start commenting. Anyone can leave a “great blog” or “nice post” comment, but those aren’t really useful. A really good comment leaves something for others to build on, and encourages further discussion.

    Hmm, guess I’ve thought about this more than I realized.

  2. Great post Steven, it’s funny I’ve been thinking about this and I even posted on my blog asking the readers to introduce themselves. Even the results of the post are not promising :-( but I think this is the best way … you should interact with your readers and try to give them reasons to comment on your posts.

    BTW, Alan Johnston is free now, so his photo needs to be removed ;-)

  3. I’d say you’ve put some thought into it Kristine. I think it’s an interesting idea to comment on other blogs as a way to generate comments on your own. I assume you mean just commenting as opposed to working something out with the blogger to exchange comments. It’s definitely a way to connect with another blogger and I would think if you comment intelligently like you say and on a blog related to yours it would bring more comments from the readers of that blog.

    Since you comment here given how selective you are I take it I must be doing something right. I swear I’m blushing right now behind this comment.

    Thanks Tony. And thanks for the reminder about Alan Johnston. I had wanted to leave the image up for a few days after he was released, but I think I’ve gone past those few days. It’s been removed.

    I think there are many people who want to comment, but only until they’ve seen others comment. That’s why I liked the idea of working out the exchange with another blogger. It’s a way to make sure you get those first few comments to get the rest going. I tried it myself here close to a year ago and I saw an immediate increase in the comments left on posts.

  4. Originality certainly works. Adam I’ve noticed you’ve down pretty good with comments since day one. I think controversy works well too. Go completely against the grain and people will line up to tell you how wrong you are.

    Making fun of the terminally stupid. It’s an art you’ve mastered.

  5. The thing that I’ve found works the best is simply to come up with something original or a different take on something.

    Other things that I’ve found that work are:

    - to predict things…people like to counter-predict
    - to write about things that don’t necessarily fit the blog community
    - to make fun of the terminally stupid…always a winning formula :)

  6. No, I generally don’t do comment exchanges with other bloggers. That’s just never appealed to me. I do link and will exchange links, if I like the other blog, and I certainly mention other blogs in my posts where appropriate. So far, that seems to be working for me.

    I guess, for me, it’s about building communities. I’ve always assumed the people I support will support me as well. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, but often it does.

  7. I agree it’s about building communities and for the most part I think people we support will tend to support us. It doesn’t hurt to nudge them a little in that direction though. And exchanging comments can ve a way to build a relationship with another blogger.

  8. I agree. I have just recently created my blog but having difficulties to get others for their comments. That’s why I am trying to learn from you and other experts.

  9. Thanks for thinking of me as an expert. It can be hard to get other people to comment, but if you can get a few people to join in the conversation it does help to convince others.

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