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5 Official Secrets To Getting More Blog Comments

  |   Blogging Tips, Business Tips   |   60 Comments

How do I get more blog comments? Here are 5 secrets behind a busy combox + why you want one on your blog.

 

In assurance to makers, doers, and dreamers everywhere, they say “if you build it they will come.”

 

But I’m about 102% certain that whoever the heck “they” is never had a blog.

 

(Picture who you may at this point, but all I see in my head is a young, baseball-playing Kevin Costner.)

 

"If you build it, they will come!"

 

See, I don’t know about you, but I’ve built a large number of websites in my day.

 

…And only a handful came to most of them.

 

(Especially that fun — but ohhhmyugly — “I-am-so-darn-fed-up-with-Britney-Spears!” site I created as a 15 year old. Ha.)

 

Along the way I did learn what it takes to steadily attract website visitors and get noticed online, but getting blog traffic is — to continue our corny baseball + Costner theme we have going on here — like only getting to first base on the baseball diamond.

 

So what’s second base?

 

Getting engagement (otherwise affectionately known — probably only by me — as blog comment luv).

 

 

The baseball diamond of blog success! Olyvia.co

 

Before I “pitch” you the steps to get more blog comments (oh I crack myself up), let’s be clear: simply because you don’t have much engagement on your blog DOES NOT mean you can’t make money from it or that it’s one colossal failure.

 

You can monetize and sell successfully through your website as soon as you’ve started bringing in some visitors, and the fact you have little to no comments coming in right now doesn’t necessarily mean your blog is failing you.

 

HOWEVER, there are good, business-y reasons for wanting engagement on your blog, which I will explain to you later on in this post.

 

With that, let’s get to the 5 secrets to getting more blog comments!

 

1. ADD PERSONALITY

 

I’ve read about 131 blogging tutorials on “How To Move Your Blog From Blogger to WordPress.”

 

(I’ve never actually moved a blog from Blogger to WordPress, so I have NO clue as to why I’m reading these things. I blame it on internet rabbit holes.)

 

Do you know how many I remember?

 

Nada.

 

Why is that?

 

One reason: they were dry, lackluster, “do this, do that, done” posts that had the personality of a Microsoft troubleshooting manual.

 

When I read posts like that, I just can’t get myself worked up to leave a comment because it feels like a real person isn’t even actually there.

 

But if someone had written a post like that while telling her story about how the first time she attempted it, everything went HORRIFICALLY wrong, she was locked out of her website for 3 weeks, and she had to eat 10 gallons of neapolitan ice cream to stay sane?

 

I would LOL.

 

I would follow her on all her social networks + maybe even sign up for her email list.

 

And then I’d leave an epic comment.

 

2. SPOIL YOUR READERS’ ROTTEN

 

The blogging world has become an enormous ocean of information; there are tips, tidbits, and how to’s adrift EVERYWHERE.

 

But I’ll tell you one thing that’s hard to find.

 

Info that gives a meaty, comprehensive amount of value at no additional cost.

 

It’s difficult to get people’s attention — or their gratitude — with another 400 word post that’s as shallow as the 50 they just zipped through before it.

 

People are not moved to action by mediocrity. They are moved by superiority.

 

how_to_get_more_blog_commentsCTT

 

Write something product-worthy (yes, something someone would be willing to pay real money to read + benefit from — even if it’s just $2) and I guarantee you: you WILL get comments.

 

WORTHY EXAMPLES:

 

WordPress vs Squarespace: The Ultimate Showdown of the Pros, Cons, and Making a Decision by Latrisha

50 No-Fluff, Content-Rich Blog Post Ideas by Elle & Company

The Extra Official Guide to Launching a Blog on a Budget by Regina

How to Get More Pinterest Followers (+ Repins) by moi

 

3. TAKE A STAND (& STICK TO IT)

 

There’s something dreadful about reading a blog post that takes a position of mild controversy, but then the blogger gets to the end of the post and says something like:

 

“Errr, yeah…even though I made you believe I am in support of all the above, I’m really not that passionate about it. And actually, I could definitely agree with you if you held a radical opposing view. In fact, I’m just going to discount everything I said and take your side now, OK?

 

I’m not exaggerating for humor’s sake. I swear. I’ve witnessed it more than 11.3 times, which makes it a real thing.

 

This milk & cookies, “let’s sing kumbaya and pretend this never happened” attitude is the most depressing thing you can do for your audience.

 

And for engagement.

 

You might get a person offended by your original stance who comments with a, “Right on! Thanks for agreeing with me in the end. I knew I was right.”

 

But the reaction from everybody else (who were cheering up and down on their couch cushions in paragraph 3) is going to be one of deflation.

 

What’s the point of commenting on something so timid? Wishy-washy, tepid views don’t inspire anybody.

 

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4. GET IN YOUR OWN COMBOX

 

Have you ever gone to a party where the hostess was so consumed with her self-imposed, semi-neurotic tasks of making sure the fête went “just so” that you could never have a real conversation with her?

 

After fruitless attempts in trying, you’d just give up, right?

 

Blog comboxes are a lot like that.

 

When people get in there, they’re trying to make a connection with you.

 

If you never respond, two things happen:

 

1. Those commenters stop making the attempt.

2. Other readers who see that you never respond will figure it’s not even worth trying.

 

On the other hand, if you’re relatively active in your comment section:

 

1. Those commenters will be rewarded for their attempt, and be more inclined to do it again.

2. Other readers who see that you do respond will be eager to make the effort, knowing that you’re there, listening and engaged with your community.

 

The thing is, we’re not Kate Middletons or Taylor Swifts here.

 

People aren’t going to chase us down no matter what, just thrilled that they’re able to leave a few words for us in hopes we read them.

 

If we want more comments, we have to be a part of our own community — not above it.

 

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RELATED POST:

 

Why You Shouldn’t Shut Down Your Blog Comments (+ What You Can Do Instead)

 

5. MAKE THE ASK

 

When I help people upset about the fact that no one is commenting on their posts, this is the most frequent oversight I see:

 

They’re not asking for them.

 

I don’t mean that you should say, “Would you comment on my post now?”

 

That seldom works, as it sounds too pleading.

 

What I mean is that you need to give people a conversation starter.

 

You need to reach out and ask a question to draw people in.

 

Most posts I read cruise along, telling me great things, and then…shut the door. It’s over.

 

If just like that the article ends — what else am I supposed to do besides click the X on my browser tab and go on somewhere else?

 

But the posts I engage with? They nearly always end with a request for my specific input on a topic.

 

You HAVE to tell people what you want from them. If you want comments, tell them in detail what it is you want them to talk about!

 

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TRY STARTING WITH:

 

“What do you do when…?”

“How do you handle….?”

“When did you last…?”

“Why do you….?”

“Who is your…?”

“Where have you…?”

 

NOW, WHY DO YOU WANT TO GET THESE COMMENTS ON YOUR BLOG?

 

Everyone wants more blog comments, but do we even know WHY?

 

When I was a beginning blogger, I sure didn’t. 🙂

 

I just knew that others had them, so I wanted them, too. (Oh! The peer pressure!)

 

Of course, that’s not a good reason to want comments.

 

Who really cares if others have comments? In that sense, they don’t matter. You can take ’em or leave ’em.

 

But as I grew older and wiser (I’m in my early 30s, I can say that), I discovered actual, bonafide reasons for encouraging engagement on a blog.

 

They are:

 

1. The engaged reader is FAR more likely than one who isn’t to help you promote your blog (that means tweet out your posts, Pin your images, and all that happy online stuff).

 

 

Why you want more blog comments: People who comment on your blog are more likely to promote you.

(pin this)

 

2. The engaged reader is also more likely than one who isn’t to hire your services or buy your products (or even just use your affiliate links). 

 

 

People who comment on your blog are more likely to buy from you.

(pin this)

 

 

3. Getting more comments on your blog is a social proof helper. In plain words, it tells people “hey, others like this person, too!” — which is a signal to them that they should be liking + following you, too.

 

 

More comments on your blog will help more people trust and follow you (social proof!)

(pin this)

 

 

So, all things considered, it is a SMART goal to try to build interaction on your blog.

 

And while there are some blogs that are successful without a lot of engagement in the combox, I have never — not even not once — seen someone who has thrived like crazy online yet struggled to get engagement going on SOMEWHERE.

 

(I prefer to see it strong on a blog because that is your home base. Social networks and the access you get to fans there can be unreliable; just look at what happened with Facebook fan pages.)

 

Now I’m turning it over to you guys. What have you done to help increase your blog comments? If you don’t get many blog comments, what tip in this post will you be trying?

 

 

Erika Madden

(Chief Olyvia)

 

  • Lauren Simonis

    I think I’ve been looking for a post like this without realizing it. THANK YOU!

    • You’re welcome Lauren!

    • I agree Lauren, just stumbled on this nugget today… Thanks Erika!
      I think that for me… I was doing a few of the above [even had number 5 right], but my audience didn’t seem to engage… now that I have a few people interacting, it has encouraged others to do the same!

  • Excellent break down, Erika! This is all great advice! I’ve seen a greater increase in my comments recently just because I’ve been more proactive about engaging on OTHER people’s blogs.

  • Rachel Akers

    Great advice. I agree that most readers want real. Don’t read like a tech journal but instead write about how it happens. But in a fun turn of events, I just turned off all comments on all my blog posts. It is kind of freeing not to worry about comments.

  • I need to be better about hopping back into my comments. It’s hard when you get a negative comment, or even just a really generic comment, though! I’ve noticed that ending with a question helps, too 🙂

    • I hear you; it is hard when that happens. It can be discouraging.

  • As always I’m amazed about how completely awesome you are. Thank you so much for this article! I pulled my website off Wix and transferred it to WordPress because of tip number four as Wix didn’t notify me when someone placed a comment. That was definitely making it almost impossible to actually engage with them which sucked. Engagement is high on my list of things that are important.

    • Oh wow Amber, I didn’t know that about Wix. That’s a definite drawback – in fact, that’s why I switched to Disqus. My old commenting system stopped notifying me suddenly and I couldn’t fix it! So I retired it. 🙂

  • debbielq

    I try really hard to reply to commenters, especially those who go beyond, “hey, good post!” And hopefully I engage my readers enough to inspire an occasional comment. And another good reason to want comments? They feel good. A thoughtful comment is like a pat on the back that says we’re doing a good job.

    • Yes, it is so validating! Which is why it’s as important to consider leaving comments as it is encouraging others to leave them. 🙂

  • Sarah @ Sarah’s Bake Studio

    Very interesting read. I already ask questions and respond to my comments. I am going to try to be more proactive with your other tips though and try to be more engaging with my questions and comments as well. Thanks!

  • Rochkirstin Santos

    I think adding more engaging questions to the content will encourage readers to provide feedback and leave a response to the post. Showing personality is also one good way and this one makes the blogger feel much connected with their followers. Receiving a lot of comments is a reflection that you’re doing a good job. 🙂

  • What great advice! I am new to the blogging world and would like to make sure that I engage readers and feel like what I am posting helps someone out. I have been asking direct questions at the end of the post to give a topic of discussion. And I do really appreciate people who take time to answer my comments/questions that I leave.
    I would like to have more readers and commenters and will be trying to spoil my readers rotten in the future!

  • Jennifer Juro

    This is all sound advice for blog comments!! I know sometimes it can be hard to find time to respond but it’s important to respond to the reader’s comments. Asking a question at the end of your post is a great way to encourage interaction as well.

  • jameshills

    Great job outlining ways to get more blog comments. For those who are new or have never started a blog it can be mysterious and a bit magical when that first person arrives and makes a comment. It’s not magic – as you pointed out – it’s by design!

    • That is such a perfect way to put it: magical!

  • Thanks for this post, Erika! This isn’t really answering your question, but I’ve really appreciated how answer and interact with your readers via the comments. You’re right that it is difficult to feel engaged with a blogger when you enthusiastically leave a comment and receive crickets every time. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    • Jennie I appreciate that. I know how discouraging it can be to leave comment after comment and receive nothing in return, so I try to truly engage with others as much as I can (though I’m far from perfect). What I appreciate about YOU is that you’re always leaving such excellent, supportive thoughts. It encourages me so much!

  • This is a great post! I’ve seen an increase in comments by commenting on other blogs, and by joining link parties. I also think that ending a post with a question works really well. And I find that as you suggest, my most active posts are the ones where I’m honest and personal. Recipes are cool, but when I write something heartfelt about what it’s really like to live abroad, people really relate to it and interact with me.

    • Bringing in emotion/getting personal is a fabulous way to engage readers! I think we’re all looking for someone out there who we can relate to, and being willing to open up is a natural magnet for people. Thank you for mentioning that.

  • So, this crazy lady (ahem, me) tweeted this and HAD to pin all the graphics. I scheduled them, so everyone relax and return your tray tables to their upright position. I LOVED this post. So often I hear that commenting isn’t worth the time. I disagree. You just have to go about it the *right* way. Thanks, as always for making your content, shareable and commentable <—did I just make that up? I think I did! Happy weekend!

    • Haha you are awesome, Cristina. 🙂 🙂 And love your invention of “commentable” — such a perfect way to put it!

  • Amber Valencia

    It’s so true, Erika!
    I’ve rarely interacted on a blog where I wasn’t prompted by a question from the author! I knew I wanted to ask questions to readers, but besides their questions or struggles being a lead into future posts, I wasn’t sure how else it benefited a blogger! Thank you 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Amber. 🙂 On the surface commenting can seem just like a vanity thing or a way to learn more about your audience (which is actually quite a smart thing to do, and another comment benefit), but it really does help boost EVERYTHING about your blog/brand.

  • Fiona Naughton

    These are really great tips and thanks for imparting your knowledge. I try to add my personality into all that I share and write on the blog and it seems to be working judging by the wonderful comments I get – really makes my day a little brighter reading those 🙂 I also try to comment back on peoples blogs who comment on mine, it’s great to engage with readers and fellow bloggers.

  • Blog comments are definitely a part of my strategy since I know that brands are looking for reader responses on my sponsored posts. I make sure that I have an engaging post with a question that readers can answer!

  • Great posts! I definitely struggle with writing with personality on my blog. Which is kind of weird cause I´m pretty funny when I talk, but when I start typing, I start sound like a VCR manual -not only boring but also old. I guess I´ll have to keep trying.
    Btw, I love that you take the time to answer our comments. I´ve actually unfollowed somme blogs because the owner never answers. I mean, I can understand that you won´t be able to answer them all if you get 100+ comments, but when you´re just starting and only 2 people took the time to write something and encourage you, it seems pretty self absorbed to ignore them.

  • The Mini Office

    This was a truly great read. I am so happy I came across your blog, I absolutely love your writing style. You’ve inspired me to do better!!

    • Oh wow, thank you so much! I appreciate your comment. 🙂

  • Excellent tips (as always!!)…I always leave a call to action asking a question and I definitely reply back to all comments left (I aim for within 12 hours, but sometimes it might be longer, but rarely, if ever, for more than 1 day).

    I’m getting better at adding in my own stories and personality. I can tell I get more engagement and comments when I do and I know it’s because it gives folks something to relate to! I’m starting to evaluate my post ideas by asking myself if I do indeed have a story to share. If not, I put it on the idea list for down the road when I can share something on the topic. 🙂

    Do you find commenting on other people’s blogs help? I try to do this as much as possible (but only when I have a genuine comment to share), but with so many blogging tasks on my plate and working fulltime, it’s the one area that ends up suffering, so I don’t have as much time to do that as I’d like!

    • I think it can help, Vicky. It doesn’t always work that way since not everyone you comment on will be your own ideal reader, but it is effective in making connections with others. It might not result in comments on your own blog, but I’ve seen it helpful in terms of raising awareness + getting followers and promoters of your blog on social media.

      I understand what you mean, though: it is difficult to find the time! I wouldn’t get too stressed about it. A few well-placed, thoughtful comments will do more than 20 hastily left comments!

  • DAYCREATES

    Thank you so much for this post! It makes a lot of sense that readers would just leave the page after reading, especially if you do not try to engage the reader with some kind of prompt. I will definitely be using this tip on my blog!

  • Awesome post! I’ve been working on including more of my personality into my posts. I write a lot of tutorials, and have recently learned that tutorial doesn’t have to equal, dry and straight to the point. A little personality goes a long way!

  • ClothesandCamera

    I’ve stopped asking questions on my blog a while ago because on a popular fashion blog I read that it’s “so 2008” but then I noticed that this may be true for her as she is popular enough to get comments no matter what she writes, so I started asking questions again. In fact I’m not afraid to speak my mind but with just fashion and beauty subjects it gets hard to say something valuable all of the time… :/
    xx

  • I love your list! Awesome! I do agree with all of the tips you have given. One thing I have to add is if the writing is thoughtfully written and very well done I will be captivated to return again and again. 🙂

  • I love this post and I love your TOV 🙂 Thanks for some epic tips – you are a true creative ninja! Cx

  • Thank you for this!! I was lucky + received quite a few comments on my first blog post, but I wantedto know how to keep it up + get more over time, so thank you for sharing! Biggest take away for me was the simplest: just ask them a question, and in turn you’re asking them to comment. Simple, easy, + gets the convo going. 🙂

  • Fabulous and valuable info! Thank you!

  • I’ve read posts on posts on posts were people veered from their opinion at the end to keep from offending readers. There’s no point in writing the post if you’re going to scrap it at the end! All these points are great, thanks for sharing!

  • Ilene Ordes Van Gossen

    I’m just beginning my art blog and only have 3 posts so far. But my aim is to build community and have ads of interest to my readers. So far, only my Facebook friends know about it and they comment on Facebook!!! Obviously I want to go further with my blog than with Facebook. That’s a personal place for family and friends whereas my blog is open to the public.
    Your information has been very helpful, Olyvia. I appreciate it.

    ilenevangossen.com ilenevg@mac.com

  • When I FIRST, FIRST started blogging, years ago, I actually took the stance that I should never respond to ANY comments. My thinking was that I already was dominating the conversation with my posts, I should leave the comments to the readers. Massive mistake on my part! =)

    • Ha! Oops. 😉 I can see the logic in that thinking — but yes, it definitely helps to get in there and converse when you can!

  • Charlotte

    Thanks a lot, that were a lot of tips on creating engagement 🙂 I already ask a question now and then, but I’m going to do that constantly now! Also I really like the way you have those tweet & pin quotes, I’m going to try that too 🙂

    • Oh I hope you do, Charlotte – they’re really helpful! I just make my own graphic and then go to Click To Tweet, create a tweet with a link, and then make my image link to it. It’s easy and def helps with the Twitter shares. 🙂

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  • ASouthernLegacy

    I just started blogging about 2 months ago and really appreciate this post. Thank you

  • I’m definitely still on the “trying to get traffic” part of the diamond (first base? Not too sure, I don’t know baseball) but this post was a hugely motivating thing for me, so thank you so much!

  • Jean Coelho

    All of your wise words and helpful info have been percolating inside my head since I found you a month or so ago. I just didn’t have the time to put my plan into action. Since forcing myself to be more active on most of my social media accounts, I have found an amazing tribe of women that are the mentors I have been looking for…even if you all are virtual! Thank you for the value you bring to the table! I just decided to put my kids back in school after 5 years of homeschooling (after Christmas break). Now, I will have the time to do more with my business! I am so glad I found you. Thank you so so much! I can’t wait for 2016! All the best!
    Jean

    • Jean, I don’t know how I missed this (I’m so sorry), but thank you so very much for your comment. I’m thrilled that you find something of value here, and if I can ever be of help, please — let me know. I’m happy to do what I can to help point you in the right direction + get the info you need. 🙂

  • Jessica Fancy

    This is the BEST post on getting more blog comments that I’ve ever read. You break everything down, AND ARE ANYTHING BUT BORING! I love your writing style. Definitely a new fan!

  • This was a great read and I really appreciated the post, I also love how much personality you put into your work, love it gurl 😀 – Sammy @ http://Www.bargainbaglady.com {xx}

  • You are a great encourager, thanks for the practical tips

  • Jacquelyn Steen

    Wow this was so incredibly helpful! I’m a year late to this party but I made it! Thanks for all the great advice! I can’t wait to put it into action!

  • Tim Davis

    100% agreed on taking a stand and not being wishy washy with your posts. That way you do attract both sides of the subject. Pro and con. I have build another way of getting comments to your blog at http://exchange.101info.org/. It’s a blog comment exchange. But again, this is just one of many ways to approach it.