Blog Comments: How To Get Them!

7 Blog Comment Generating Tips

Blog comments are nirvana for bloggers. They’re a form of validation and praise. Blog comments show that readers care enough about your writing and thoughts to take the extra step and share their perspective with both you and the public. More importantly it takes a blog from being a one sided monologue to being a forum for social interaction.

As a blogger, bear in mind that most readers will just read your content or share it with colleagues. Don’t underestimate the value of these lurkers because they make up the bulk of your visitors and they do spend the time to read your posts.

So how do you get more blog comments?

Here are seven tips to follow:

  1. Include a call to action at the end of your post. Ask readers to comment where it makes sense. If it’s relevant, create a controversial hook that begs them to respond.
  2. Leave comments open. While many bloggers may be reticent to do this, a good percentage of bloggers, including many participants on Sunday night’s BlogChat, feel strongly that an open approach encourages comments. The rationale is that commenters get more satisfaction when their response appears immediately on the post.  (Of course, you can delete negative and other inappropriate comments later. If you do so, you should have a set of Blog Comment Policies. Please see below.)
  3. Respond to comments in a timely fashion. Just as you want to be acknowledged, so do your readers. Don’t just say thank you, use the comment as an opportunity to broaden the conversation.
  4. Take advantage of involved readers. Use the commenting process as a way to encourage readers to dig deeper into your blog or sign up for related information. Here’s a useful example of post-commenting upsell by Joanna Paterson of Confident Writing.
  5. Ask friends to contribute their perspective. Although this approach can take time and may not yield the results you desire, especially if your friends aren’t consistent with your core audience, it’s still a good idea because it gets you more comments.
  6. Form a blog support group. Join with a group of like-minded bloggers to support each other’s activities, to give them suggestions, cross comment and tweet each other’s material. This is your social media tribe.
  7. Give readers a way to contact you outside of commenting. This can be important if the comments won’t post. It allows you to find out about site issues and opens up further conversation.

Provide blog comment guidelines for interaction along the lines of the playground rules you had as a child. As a starting point, head over to Becky McCray’s Small Business Survival site to see how to craft a set of blog comment policies. Like the playground, the main point is to keep the bullies away. Here are a few starters:

  • No use of foul language. There’s no reason to throw four letter words into the mix.
  • No discrimination of any sort.
  • No outright promotion of your blog, services, etc. (In other words, no “me, me, me”)
  • No comment spam.

Before you post your blog comment policy, get a colleague to review it to ensure that it makes sense and has the right tone because you don’t want to sound like a truant officer.

That said, most posts on most blogs get a limited amount of comments. It takes strong content and large, loyal following to keep the conversation going. One inspiring exception is Lisa Petrilli’s early post entitled, What I Learned About Networking When I Asked a Stranger for a Kidney that generated over 50 comments including well known bloggers like Chris Brogan. Examine the comments and you’ll see that about half of the comments are Lisa’s. What this means is that you can easily double the number of comments on your site by responding to others.

Use these suggestions to encourage comments on your blog posts. But don’t get discouraged if your efforts don’t show significant results. Remember that it takes strong content and a large following to consistently get lots of comments.  Also, your readers may be satisfied just reading your content.

How do you encourage your readers to leave comments? What works for your blog? Would you please share your suggestions in the comment section below?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Tip of my hat to Mack Collier for curating Sunday’s blog chat, Becky McCray for her great policies, Joanna Paterson for her post comment landing page, and Lisa Petrilli for showing how to respond to comments with grace!

For more related reading, please check out:

Photo credit: alwitt via Flickr

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  • http://www.davidleger.ca David Leger

    As a new blogger, just wanted to say thanks… Getting comments is something I’m struggling with right now…

    You’re right… Comments are a way of validation and knowing what your readers think.. It helps guide you as to where to focus your energies.

    I found your blog from a comment on Chris Brogan’s site… Look forward to reading more !

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      David–Thank you for stopping by. As a new blogger, it’s important to remember that growing blog comments can take time. Bear in mind that most people just read your blog and move on. It’s a good idea to set blog goals and metrics that are attainable when you’re first starting out. Just because blog rockstars like Brian Clark, Chris Brogan and Mack Collier make it look easy, it takes a lot of hard work to build your blog and an equal amount to market it. I suggest that you check out my other advice on blogging. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://www.LisaPetrilli.com Lisa Petrilli

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post, Heidi – I always appreciate your support and I enjoy seeing your and sharing ideas with you on #blogchat!

    All the very best for the holidays,
    @LisaPetrilli

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Lisa–You’re one of those members of the social media ecosphere who continually helps others achieve their goals, blogging and other wise. Thank you for your inspiration. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://www.strategicdriven.com Joseph Ruiz

    Heidi you are always providing such solid information. Thanks for all the ways you provide practical tips.

    These tips are very helpful. Thanks for sharing them.
    Joe

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Joe–Thank you! I aim to help others in a way that allows them to make progress with their work. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • Jim Fierce

    This is timely because I just posted a very simple blog whose purpose is to solicit comments. I set a goal of 100 which is definitely a stretch goal but I’m going to try very hard to achieve. It is sort of an experiment and I have no idea how it will turn out but it will be interesting to see where it goes. I did apply several of the guidelines you noted in the post and I think they are all excellent. If nothing else I am more inclined to comment on other blogs now that I am “trolling” for comments on my own.

  • http://collegefinancialaidadvisors.com Jodi Okun

    Heidi,

    As a new blogger I keep posting and receive no comments…I will continue to read all our tips on improving and growing and look for mentors to help along the way.

    I have fav several of your blogs today and will try to take a way at least one item from each and implement into my future blogs.

    I do attend #blogchat on Thursday it is fast and helpful.

    Thanks
    Jodi Okun