Getting Readers to Comment on Your Blog
Without comments, your blog is dead. After all, it’s the interaction that makes blogging such a popular tool for communicating. Everyone gets their opinion heard, and the contributions of the readers are just as important as those of the author.
So, if your posts aren’t getting comments, you need to change things up pretty quickly before your blog fades into oblivion. Here are a few tips that will help you get the conversation going.
- Interact with those who comment—What reason does somebody have to comment on your blog if you’re just going to ignore them? Commenting is about engaging in a conversation, so it’s your duty as a blogger to take the time to interact with those who do comment on your post. Not only does this show the readers that you respect their opinions, but it also keeps the conversation going, opening up new topics for even more comments.
- Ask for comments—You can’t expect your readers to take action (comment) if you don’t ask them to. Asking your readers to leave a comment is like a call to action in traditional copywriting. It’s simple, but you’d be surprised at just how effective it is.
- Force readers to take a side on an issue—Too many bloggers play it safe on controversial issues because they’re afraid of what those on the other side will say. Who cares? Stop walking the fence, and start letting your opinions be known. No one wants to read posts from a blogger who never offers his or her own unique insight. Take a side on the topics you blog about, and you’ll start to see more people jumping in to comment (whether they agree with you or not).
- Leave room for additions to your post—Sure, you want to provide your readers with the most comprehensive information possible on a topic, but you don’t want to say so much about the subject that there’s no room for your readers to contribute anything. Leave your posts open-needed enough that your readers can add in their .02 cents worth as well.
- Don’t be overly defensive—Look, at some point in your blogging career, someone is going to disagree with you. Shocking, right? When that happens, make sure you don’t overreact and come off unprofessional. Instead of shutting down the person who disagrees with you, take the time to thoughtfully engage them in a meaningful conversation. Always be respectful, and take the opportunity to look at things from their perspective.
- Showcase the best comments—When someone leaves a particularly good comment on your blog, reward them by making mention of it in a future post. You can do this in any number of ways. For example, you could write an entire new post based off this comment (mentioning the comment of course at the beginning of the post). Or, you could have a weekly post that highlights the best comments from the past week. Rewarding your readers for commenting just gives them an extra motivation for doing so.
- Comment on your readers’ blogs—Chances are, some of the people commenting on your blog have blogs of their own too. Follow their links, and return the favor by commenting on their blogs. This will help you build up your network, and it will keep these readers coming back.
- Promote your posts properly—According to a Nielsen study, only 1% of blog readers are active participants in the conversation. That’s right: just 1%. What does this mean for you? It means you need to get more people to read your posts so that you can get more comments. You can do this by promoting your posts through the various social media outlets available at your disposal. Just make sure you promote your blog to people who actually care (i.e. your target audience). Remember, quality traffic beats quantity every time.
What tips would you add to this list? Leave a comment with your favorite strategy!