10 Ways to Increase Blog Comments

A friend recently asked for my advice on increasing comments for her blog.  That’s not necessarily an easy question to answer. In general, it’s a lot of little things working together that help increase blog comments.  Here’s a quick list of 10 tips:

  1. Write something that can be read quickly and easily. People are busy and tend to want something they can “digest.” If the topic is worthy of a lengthy post, consider splitting it into 2 or 3 parts.
  2. Try to end the blog post with a call to action. Ask a question that cannot be answered with just a “yes” or “no” response.
  3. When people comment, thank them for taking the time to read and comment. Depending on what they write, see if you can engage them further (via the commenting section) by asking a follow-up question, or having them explain something in greater detail, etc.
  4. Entertain and enlighten. I try to make sure that I’m doing at least one of those and preferably both. You’ll get repeat visitors if you can accomplish both often. Over time, they might become more comfortable commenting.
  5. Make sure you promote your blog heavily via social media channels. I’ve found LinkedIn Groups to be a great source, although I do get visitors from Twitter, Facebook, my LinkedIn status update, and Google+ too. Some LinkedIn groups are completely open and will allow you to post without joining the group. It’s a way to extend your reach beyond the 50 groups you’re limited in joining.  Better promotion can bring new readers.  If you’re getting the same response (or lack thereof) from your regular readers, new readers could bring a new response.
  6. Don’t expect instant results. Readership is a gradual build. Even your most loyal readers may not read all of your posts, nor find all of them relevant. To borrow from the movie Field of Dreams, write it and they will come.
  7. Sometimes the comments aren’t where you’d like them to be. When you promote via social media, sometimes the comments are made in social media rather than on your blog page where it “counts.” That’s okay – still thank them for taking the time to read and comment.
  8. Try to follow a regular posting schedule. Whether it’s 1x/week or 1x/month, try to communicate your schedule and follow it so people begin to expect it. It then helps build a relationship with your audience.
  9. Try to avoid controversial subjects.  If “spun” properly, it could generate comments as people might take one side vs. the other because controversy breeds attention and passion. But, it could also backfire if people feel alienated or afraid to comment on something controversial.  For me (a personal decision), I avoid it.
  10. Comment on others’ blog posts and “like” their posts if that’s an option. Blogging is very much a social media platform. There are many who will “return the favor” after you’ve liked and/or commented on their posts.

Fellow bloggers, what tips or suggestions did I miss that you can add?

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12 thoughts on “10 Ways to Increase Blog Comments

  1. Arthur,

    This is a great list. I think on my personal blog I fall short on #8 – the regular schedule because my “day job” blog takes precedence, but it is oh so important. I also agree heavily on #9 – I try not to post about (on any social network) or blog about controversial issues (though this week I did post an image of a Bible, and a post about swearing – both of with struck a chord with many). I guess that means I’m living on the edge?

    A great list though and a great reminder – thank you!

    • Thanks for commenting Wendy! I appreciate your great real life example of how a controversial post can generate more comments. Now imagine if you had combined those two into the same blog post . . . ;-)

  2. Arthur

    Love your tips. I think I’ve tried all of them in one fashion or other. One thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes topics unexpectedly bring traffic:
    – I had blogged positively about Planet Fitness, who turned around and put a link to my blog on their website which generated a lot of traffic to my site for about a year.
    - Currently I get a lot of traffic to my site because I have a picture of a coffin (for a post about Netflix) in one of my posts and people who are looking for a picture of a coffin get sent to my site by Google. Never expected that one.

    While these people who get directed to my site probably aren’t who I had intended to target, in both cases I get a lot of “outside” traffic generated by it. So you never know what will cause your site to become popular.
    Michele

  3. Arthur,
    My blog is fairly new; I began it in March and I have done little to promote it. The posts are mostly poetry (that is one rubric) and there are a few other categories that I have added, such as community and travel. I just created a link to it on LinkedIn. Still, I am not getting any readership. Following #9, I have decided to leave race and class out of my blog, since these can be controversial topics.

    I would like people to be interested in my “Culture Collage” :http:;//loridnolasco.wordpress.com which has been recently converted from Tumblr (where everything gets buried) to the more workable WordPress.

    I need to remember #6 especially: the blog is only three months old. And I do not do enough commenting on others’ blogs other than yours and Rob Ewanow’s, Any further ideas to generate interest? As the name suggests, my life has been a collage of many cultures that are being used to entertain and enlighten others.

    Thanks

    Lori

  4. Thanks for your comment. It is like being a performer and knowing your audience. I would not sing folk music to an audience who is expecting to hear rock. Similarly, I need to check out those with interests closest to mine. #keywords on Twitter and topical FB groups would be helpful. I had never considered Pinterest.

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