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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?