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10 Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog

Web Based Virtual Schools and Snow Driving Innovation

If you’re reading this, the chances are you won’t comment.  Most people don’t.  At this point I should invent some statistic that outlines just how many people regularly read blogs compared to how many people comment on them – I’ve read lots of different numbers, who knows which one is true but the take home message is that there are a hell of a lot of people who are consuming blog content by the bucket load and a whole lot less who are actively engaged enough to put pen to paper, or whatever the 21st century equivalent is.

 

This bothers me.  I love the fact that you read my blog, but I’d love it a lot more if you commented.  Your comments add a whole new dimension to each post.  Whether you’re sharing ideas that I’ve not come up, or you’re entering into discussion on an issue raised, your point of view is always valuable and it helps me to learn which posts you like and which weren’t so good so I can improve my blogging.

 

So I set out to try and find some answers.  How can I encourage YOU to comment on MY blog.  And this is what I came up with:

1. Harness the power of twitter

Twitter is a fantastic means of communicating things fast.  Tweeting links to your blog post, with the relevant hashtags where possible is a sure fire way to get people reading your blog.  And that’s an important first step.

2. Be controversial

Have an opinion and don’t be scared to share it.  There’s nothing more likely to make people comment than voicing an opinion that is entirely at odds with their own.  This is a tricky one – like me, you might not want to alienate your readers with extreme opinions.  But that doesn’t stop you quoting someone else’s…

3. Ask open ended questions

You can make it easier for your readers to comment by asking them questions and keeping them open ended.  Asking closed questions which require just a yes or no answer aren’t likely to elicit much response but clearly phrased open questions which get the imagination going should get a good response.  Open questions can also form a good starting point for those readers who liked your post and might be motivated to comment but they just don’t know what to say.

4. Host guest posts

By hosting guest posts, preferably by successful bloggers or well respected names, you can draw in a new audience that you wouldn’t have tapped in on otherwise.  This is also a great way of having new and interesting content on your blog that will keep your readers engaged rather than you just waffling away each day like a broken record!

5. Comment on other blogs

Blogging is a social media and it’s not very social for you to just write your own blog and not interact with other bloggers.  If you take the time to read and comment on other people’s blogs then some of them will reciprocate by commenting on yours.  You can build up a rapport with bloggers who are interested in similar fields to you and soon you will have a pool of loyal readers who regularly comment.  Beware though, blog surfing can be addictive and a real time sink.

6. Ask people to comment

People are a lot more likely to comment if you ask them to.  I’d love to elaborate more on this point but that’s all there is to say.  Simples.

7. Respond to comments left

If somebody takes the time to leave a comment on your blog, always try and respond quickly and fully.  Not many readers are the ‘comment leaving type’ – if you’ve actually motivated someone enough to leave a comment but you never bother to respond or you don’t take enough time to respond fully then that’s probably the last time they’re going to bother.  Also, other readers will notice if you don’t respond to comments and be less likely to leave one.

8. Don’t say everything there is to say

If you’ve said all there is to say on a topic, there’s nothing left for your readers to add.  I’ve read (and hopefully written) some great informative blog posts which are really useful in terms of sharing information but if the post is completely comprehensive and says all there is to say on a topic and asks no further questions, there really is no reason for your readers to interact other than to say ‘thank you’ or ‘great post’ which doesn’t drive the conversation forwards.

9. Don’t make your readers login to comment

If there’s one thing that turns readers off, it’s having to register with your site, or log in to comment.  It’s a real faff and only those readers who are REALLY motivated are likely to bother.  The easier you make it to comment, the more likely readers are to do it.

10. Be original

Write as yourself.  You’re far more likely to engage your audience than if you cut and paste your posts from elsewhere. Include your points of view and your experiences and find your own voice to really talk to your readers.  If your readers feel like you’re really talking to them then they’re far more likely to respond.

 

 

I’ve learnt a lot about how to encourage your comments and I’ll certainly be doing my best to put it into practice.  I really do appreciate it when you take the time to comment – even if it’s to disagree with what I’m saying (in fact, sometimes those are the comments I like the best!)  If you’ve got any further ideas to add, and I’m sure there are plenty, please leave me a comment…

 

…I promise to reply!

 

Thanks to @ricardofraser @susanelkinjourn @mummy_central and @schoolgate for sharing some of the ideas in this post.

 

 

 

17 responses to “10 Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog”

  1. Avatar Guy says:

    While i agree to the signing up to comment. From the otherwise I find that my sites end up covered in spam which I then have to clean up. I guess it’s a trade off.

  2. Interesting, I think, what a creative educational blog should say on this issue. As creative and ed types we should have bags of confidence, willing to take risks, have some fun and experiment, and not too worried about looking a bit silly at the end of it.

    Most of the qualities for making comments and writing blogs, and why I suspect, relative to readership, creative ed sites get loads of comments.

    I would imagine best advice is to focus on the purpose of your blog. Yours is clear and very much about promoting debate. Your advice, unsurprisingly is more generally about developing a sharing culture in your network.

    I’d love it if loads of people began commenting on my site, but main focus is my reflection and, well, something I just like doing. At same time, couldn’t resist a top 10 of tips!

    • Marcus, it’s a really interesting point you make. Maybe I need to write an alternative top ten once I’ve learnt to thoroughly break the rules and made my own, far more creative ones! This list was compiled using advice I crowdsourced about blogging in general so the advice is rather generic. But it’s early days for me so I do hope that I will learn each day how to promote a culture of debate and sharing and that I’ll be able to share that more specific advice in time.

  3. You’re right of course! I love to get comments, I’m nervous about being out spoken & I just don’t seem to have the time to reply anymore! Feel really bad about it but can’t see a way through it. Suggestions?

    • Julia – I don’t have that problem as currently I have far more readers than commenters! You’ve probably noticed that this term I am trying to get back on the Social Media wagon and the best way I have found is to set aside specific time every day. So up until 10.30 each day is the time in which I will endeavour always to write a blog post and reply to anything outstanding and take a look at Twitter. Inevitably it overflows into other times but having a fixed slot is really helpful and makes it manageable. I’m hoping to start using some of that time to start reading more of other people’s blogs again too but we shall see. It’s always so hard to know where to start!

      Maybe we need a trade off.. I’ll reply to some of your commenters if you can drum up some conversation for me ;-)

  4. Avatar karen says:

    You are right. Even the simple act of reentering the name, email etc etc is almost enough to stop me commenting. Even if i have something profound to share. Which is almost never. I feel inflicting mindless, non-too-witty-except-to-me comments must be draining for other readers!

    • I agree with you. I very rarely comment if I’m on a mobile device as it’s a real faff to fill the fields. Having a google ID means that on a desktop mostly those fields get filled automatically or quickly but it’s still a faff.

      Do people tend to read other people’s comments? Do you? As a reader I only tend to read the first few comments, so ironically something that has generated lots and lots of conversation doesn’t necessarily result in me engaging any more fully I suppose. Unless it’s really interesting!

      Your comments are never mindless or un-witty though, just for a record. I always appreciate that you take the time to comment and always enjoy what you say.

  5. Avatar Anne says:

    Guilty as charged, because this is the second time I’ve read this blogpost (the first time I came to it through Twitter and this time via fb) and I didn’t comment before. I’ve been thinking about why. My first reaction was that logging in is the thing that puts me off, because I only ever check Twitter on my phone. As I don’t have a blog, it didn’t occur to me about spam (as that’s not an issue on blip). But it can’t just be that. Another reason is definitely the issue of what my contribution will be. And although I don’t have a blog, and therefore this isn’t a reason in relation to commenting on one, I know on blip I’m sometimes put off leaving comments because I really don’t have time to spend replying, so then I feel rude. That means I pretty much only look at the entries of my existing subscriptions. I suppose it’s different when there’s a work element to it, and you can set aside a portion of your day (I can’t). And yes, I always read comments, although usually only the first page or maybe two. So I do like the “conversation” and to know what other people think about the piece. I don’t think I’ve ever logged in to reply to a comment though.

    • Thanks so much for commenting Anne – especially if you’re a seasoned lurker! Quite a few people have commented either here or on twitter that they’re held back from commenting because they don’t know if they’d have a valid contribution to make. I can totally understand that point of view but I think that every opinion is an interesting one when it’s sharing ideas of good practice which this blog tends to be about. I wonder how I can go about making people feel that their opinion / contribution is useful and worthwhile to other readers?

  6. Avatar karen says:

    when its things like “share tales of when your child most humiliated themselves and you plan to remind them of on their wedding day” I read the comments. Or things that I’ll learn something from. I tend to avoid controversy, so sometimes say my piece and run (and not return so i dont know if people have hated me for my opinion, Netmums is a pig for people slating your opinion, even if you’ve made it clear you’re sharing just your thoughts and not belittling anyone elses).

    • I must admit that I rather like challenging comments and often learn a lot myself when one of my readers disagrees with a post or suggests that I’ve missed stuff. I think that kind of ‘professional disagreement’ is a world away from the kind of attitude you’re describing on NetMums though which sounds very unpleasant indeed!

      And Karen thank you for commenting – you’re a very good commenter though, and I always appreciate that you take time to comment on my personal blog too.

  7. Avatar year3teacher says:

    Some great points raised. I especially liked number 13 because I have found that it prevents me commenting on posts. I have spent time reading great blog entries from a variety of educators, schools, people etc but having to include email address means that I simply don’t bother. It makes the process far too long.

    I really enjoy your posts and have found lots of your material useful and inspiring but unfortunately I haven’t commented because you require an email address too. Sorry

  8. Avatar Fiona says:

    Once again, thanks for helpful post Pooky. I was very excited to get my first comment on my blog last week, to which I instantly responded! I’ve commented on a few blog posts myself because I’m really interested in what I’m reading and feel motivated to either say thanks or comment. I suppose that either happens or it doesn’t and is down to content. Thanks for tips. I am interested to know how difficult it is to post a comment on my blog too – more things to find out …

  9. Avatar Brooke says:

    I’m what you’d call an “intermittent” blog reader. Tend to show up and read a month of posts, then wait a month.

    But i almost always comment. I would say I get a reply, um, once in 15 comments, and that from the same polite 5 people. Generally speaking, and in my experience, people who write blogs don’t even bother to say ‘thank you for commenting”, much less engage. Twitter mentions the same way.

    The impression given is that people are self-centered show-offs who don’t care if they have actual people reading. I think that’s sad.

    I hope people reading here for tips are thinking about being listened to, as well as about expressing themselves. :)

    • I think it’s really sad that you feel like that! I’m never quite sure what is the best way to handle replies here… as often the conversation ends up being between different readers and it’t not my point of view that anyone is interested in! That said, I also have a personal blog (http://www.poorparenting.co.uk ) and I always endeavour to reply to comments there as soon as I can.

      I’m always very appreciative when people take the time to comment and it’s fantastic to hear a new point of view or find a new relevant link etc too.

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