10 Things You Can Do to Get People to Comment on Your Blog
For the blogging community, a comment is a badge of sorts. Every comment you receive represents one person that, regardless of whether they agree with your ideas or not, read your post and felt strongly enough to respond to them. Comments can make even the most jaded of bloggers feel fuzzy inside. So, how does a new blogger start turning those dozens of posts into a field of comments and discussion? It can seem hard at first, but there are a few steps you can take right away that will increase your readers’ willingness to speak up.
For whatever reason, if you ask your readers to leave a comment on your post, they will be immediately more willing to do so. This is just a natural response that the human brain tends to have. People are often in a hurry, or have multiple things on their mind. They might fully enjoy your post, but as soon as they are done, click to something else. If you ask them to comment, it serves as a subtle reminder that they should join in the conversation.
Open Ended Posts
Even if you are an expert on a topic, don’t try to share every possible detail in one post. Be as open ended as possible and leave a few points for your readers to share. This takes a little bit of the humility mentioned below. If you can keep from throwing every fact you’ve ever read about a specific topic into one post, your readers will not have to think about something to say in response.
Ask Lots of Questions
The obvious way to get responses is to ask a question. If you ask your readers what they think about a topic, or for specific people to give their opinion on a lifestyle, you will get more responses. For example, if your blog is about TV shows and you ask a question such as “What shows did you enjoy in the past that are similar to The Simpsons”, you will get many more comments than if you said “I enjoy old shows like All in the Family, because it is like The Simpsons”. Engage your readers by addressing them directly.
Respond to Existing Comments
If someone comments, respond to it. Even if the comment is short and not particularly deep, a quick response can show that you are always paying attention and willing to engage in conversation with your readers. That commenter is now much more likely to comment again.
Most blogging platforms such as Blogger do not have a built in set of rules for comments. The comments section is left open by default and you can make changes to it if you desire. Try creating a commenting policy and posting it on your page somewhere. This may seem like it would lower comments, but by describing what is allowed, readers with potential comments they might not have been willing to share initially are more likely to comment.
Show Some Humility
Don’t try to know everything all the time. Be humble and show that you are aware of your own shortcomings, failings and holes in your knowledge. Don’t be self-defacing, but be willing to say “I don’t really know much about this, but I had a thought”. The best part about blogging is that it gives readers and writers a chance to interact on an equal, real time level. If visitors want to read the opinions of those who feel they are always right, they could buy a book or pick up a newspaper.
It’s a gamble, and you can go too far, but if you want to breed new comments on your page quickly, pick a controversial topic and make a statement. This does mean you need to become political or religious. You could simply say that you disliked a popular movie. Anytime a blogger disagrees with popular opinion, comments skyrocket. Just be prepared to stand up for your opinion and to do it gracefully.
Graciousness, Admit When You Are Wrong
If you make a mistake and someone writes a comment pointing out that mistake, try to accept their comment and admit your mistake. It is very easy to become defensive and angry on the Internet where you have no personal contact with your readers. However, by showing that you graciously accept someone else’s comments and opinions, you show humility and increase the likeliness of return visitors and readers.
Don’t Make it Hard to Comment
Blogger has an option that allows you to require a login for the posting of comments. This is too much work. If you require a login, many people will decide against commenting altogether, especially if they need to sign up for a new account to do so. Instead of requiring login information, you can set your comments for approval before they post. This allows you to sort out comments and delete spam if necessary.
Make It Worth Their While
If you offer a reward for a good comment, you not only encourage repeat comments, you encourage better comments. Mark especially good comments with a comment of your own, or reference them in a new post. This draws attention to your readers and shows you are reading what they say.
If you want to grow your readership and comments section, the best thing you can do is to be involved and pay attention to what your readers have to say. Do these things and you will start to see your comment spaces fill up in no time.