11 Simple Tips That Guarantee More Comments For Your Blogs
I am sure I am not the only one who burns with envy when the neighboring blog receives more comments than mine does, or even worse, the neighboring blog receives a glut of comments, while my blog can’t even muster one. Apart from making me feel that my blog and I should be living under a rock, it almost makes my persistent fear that my blog has no actual readers fairly real, which is no good for a blog or a blog writer’s self-confidence. It’s every blog writer’s worst, confidence-sucking fear – a post not receiving enough or any comments. So, how can any self-respecting blogger persuade his or her readers to leave [more] comments? To issue a confirmatory sign that all the efforts that go into the running of a blog aren’t in vain? To engage daily in a spot of virtual hand-holding so that the said blogger can grow strong enough to withstand future, commentless days without turning near-suicidal?
My dear fellow bloggers, today, I’d like to let you in on a few trade secrets that can help you garner more comments and increase your sense of blog-worth considerably… You are welcome!
1. Invite Comments – Yes, as simple as that. Let your readers know that you are keen to hear from them. Most blog readers are expert lurkers, spending hours on end at a blog, but seldom letting their presence known with, you know, a comment. Regulars (especially) are usually a little in awe of the writer and hence a trifle embarrassed to comment. Think getting tongue-tied when meeting a celebrity, it’s a similar emotion. So, you the blogger should try your utmost to put your readers at ease, and let them know unequivocally that you’d like to hear from them.
2. Compel Them To Comment – Making your posts conversational, and peppering them with questions that invite your readers to share their opinions on whatever that you’ve written about is a stellar idea. While you are at it, ensure that the topic you’ve chosen is interesting enough; current, popular, even slightly controversial ones will give your readers an impetus to comment. For example, write a post about your take on the Tiger Woods ‘incident(s)’ and all the brouhaha over it, a topic that is current as well as suitably controversial, your readers will be more than eager to offer their two cents worth.
3. Reward Your Readers – You may think that the posts you write are rewards enough, but if you continue in that perception, you might as well bid all hopes of comments goodbye. Setting up fun virtual prizes and awards can help acknowledge your readers’ presence and at the same time express your continued gratitude for it, and hence, can prove to be a surefire way to elicit more comments and evoke more loyalty from them. For example, you could set up Reader Of The Month or Best Comment of the Day awards and have the winners’ name displayed on your blog; it won’t cost you anything, but sure will make your readers feel cherished.
4. Guest Posts From Your Readers – Stir things up on your blog with a little reader interaction. Invite a reader, preferably a regular, to write a post for your blog. That’ll give the other readers something to talk about, you can be sure. In addition to providing more ‘flavor’ to your blog, such a move will help the readers feel more connected to you.
5. Reveal Your Soft Underbelly – Well not literally, of course. Adopting a slightly self-deprecating approach or talking about things you are spectacularly bad at, or even revealing the most irrational of your fears will make it easier for your readers to relate to you, and tell them that you are just like them, with your anxieties and silly fears and everyday problems. Having said that, you’ll have to strike a balance between being relatable and whiney; too whiney, and you run the risk of losing whatever few readers you have (and you don’t want that, no sirree, no).
6. Comment on Others’ Blogs – Do unto others what you wish they did to you; that is the first commandment in The Big Book Of Blog Commenting. Linking opportunity aside, commenting regularly on blogs you enjoy can result in acts of reciprocation. Though not necessarily a quid pro quo deed, you can be assured that if you leave meaningful comments on other blogs, those bloggers will take note of it, and quite possibly repay you in comments.
7. The Comments Thread Is A Live Thing – That’s right, your readers don’t leave comments then just sit back and relax. Through their comments, they are trying to speak to you, and they want, if not expect, you to respond (if you don’t, you’ll come across as the rude neighbor who refuses to acknowledge you when you say hello). Respond to the comments, if not all, then as many as you can. Once you’ve coaxed your readers out of their shyness and made them comment, you can’t just leave them there; you need to ‘nurture’ the thread by posting your responses and make them feel their comments are valued or, at the very least, read.
8. Be Nice! – Such a simple thing to do, but so many of us fail at it. If your posts make you come across as a pompous windbag, all they’ll elicit are spammy comments. ‘Humanize’ your blog as much as possible; make your readers feel as if they are talking to a friend; let them know that the mere act of blogging doesn’t make you better than them; make them comfortable enough to comment without worrying about your turning snarky. Think of yourself as the host and your readers the party guests, now, roll!
9. Make Your Blog Comment-Friendly – Your readers’ primary aim, when at your blog, is to read, not to comment. Commenting comes later, after the reading, depending on how they’ve taken to your post. Not quite an afterthought, it’s usually an activity performed towards the end of your readers’ stay at the blog. At a point when the readers have all but checked out of your blog, they won’t take kindly to having to logging or signing in before commenting; it’s an unnecessary step they’ll have little patience for and can very possibly cause them to take a rain check on the commenting. If you want them to comment, make it easy for your readers to do that without any hassle. Simple.
10. Tried And Tested Topic Does The Trick – In other words gauging your reader reaction, and giving them more of what they have enjoyed in the past will work like a charm. Yes, this presupposes that you’ve had some good-comment days in the past. If you have, trying out this tip will help recapture the ‘magic’ of that past day and bring you more comments today. Analyze your earlier posts to find the topics that usually garner more comments from your readers and write on similar themes. Do note that this method can backfire if your posts begin to seem repetitive and patently rehashed.
11. Birds Of A Feather… – You may not have noticed it, but your readers and you probably have a lot of similar interests, case in point – they coming back to read what you write. So, if you take the effort to check out the other blogs they read and join forum discussions they are a part of, you don’t just learn more about your particular area of expertise or interest, you also get fodder for your posts that can reference these blogs and forums. Your readers will love you more for it and will be more forthcoming with their comments.
Try implementing a few, if not all, of these nifty tips and you’ll see a definite turn in the comment tide, and you’ll soon learn to go through the odd bad-comment day without wanting to give in to tears. And you will see that they can also greatly contribute to your efforts to make your blog more popular. This is my take on the matter, you may have other methods that you find more reliable, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to share your opinions and tips in the comments section below.