Dukeo » Blogging » Blog Activity: 10 Strategies To Get More Visitors To Comment

Blog Activity: 10 Strategies To Get More Visitors To Comment

Steven 18 responses Blogging
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A 2006 study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group found that, in most online communities, 90 percent of users are lurkers who never leave a comment, 9 percent will comment occasionally, and only 1 percent of your readers will comment on a regular basis. While these statistics remain pretty steady, there are some things you can do to get more comments on your blog.

1. Ask For Comments: Most of your readers just don’t think about leaving a comment. It’s not that they don’t want to or don’t have anything to say. They just aren’t in that habit. Give them a nudge and ask them to tell you what they think.

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2. Ask A Question: Again, give your readers a reason to leave a comment. Some people are shy and some don’t want to appear to be rude and “interrupt.” Ask them a question to let them know you really do want to know what they have to say.

3. Leave Them Hanging: You don’t have to complete every thought and your post doesn’t always have to come to some kind of conclusion. Don’t leave out key points, but don’t necessarily tell them everything you know. Leave some room for your readers to join in the conversation.

4. Reply To Comments: The first step is to reply, but don’t stop there. Ask another question and keep the momentum going.

5. Post Commenting Rules: Some bloggers have noted an increase in comment activity after they’ve posted some commenting rules or guidelines. Knowing that flamers and trolls aren’t going to be allowed to participate makes your readers feel safe enough to open up with their thoughts and opinions.

6. Show Your Weaknesses: Let your readers see that you’re human, too. Admit that you don’t know everything there is to know and ask them if they can help out the community by sharing their experiences.

7. Be Gracious: Critiques and negative comments are going to happen. Don’t take them personally and accept them gracefully. Never respond in anger on your blog. In fact, the more gracious you are, the more the rest of your readers will disregard those negative comments.

8. Be Controversial: A controversial post always generates more comments but be careful and be prepared. Always make sure you can back up your controversial viewpoint, don’t just start bashing blindly. And be prepared for controversial come-backs from your commentors.

9. Spotlight Commentors: Use that good comment as springboards for another post and give a shout-out to the person who left it. Everyone loves seeing their name in print and more people will start leaving more valuable comments so they can be the next commentor your highlight.

10. Remove Comment Obstacles: Make it as easy as possible for your readers to leave comments. If they have to register and then log-in to Facebook or Twitter so they can log into your blog to leave a comment, and then include their email address, their link and verify they’re human and… it’s just not worth the hassle. Limit the steps they have to take and you’ll get more comments on your blog.

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18 Comments

  1. I like number 9. I haven’t thought of doing that yet.
    10 is huge. I normally comment on blogs, but ones that take too many steps, a complicated login-first procedure, are frustrating (cough – blogger – cough), I pass on.

    I mean, hey, why do I have to go to all of the trouble to comment and then “comment is waiting moderation.” Ugh.

    1. Bridget, I’m glad if I gave you a fresh idea with number 9 ;)

      I agree with you, some bloggers are really making it too complicated to comment on their blogs. I understand that they want to protect themselves from spammers, but they forget to think about the best interest of their community.

    2. I’ve “spotlighted” tweets that I’ve received in my blog but I haven’t thought of using a comment on a blog as a springboard for a new post.

      It’s a great idea.

      Unfortunately, I get more volume on Twitter than blog comments. :(

    3. Don’t sweat it, it’s only natural because tweeting and re-tweeting takes a lot less effort than actually posting a comment. You’ll always receive more tweets than comments.

      Featuring tweets is a good alternative to get your started.

      Well done.

    4. Hey. Thanks for the encouragement. I really do appreciate it. There are so many schools of thought regarding commenting and comments and moderation and dealing with spam.

      Sometimes I feel like I just waiver.

  2. Great point on showing your weakness. Not a lot of authors consider that. It’s a great way to show your genuineness in your content or work. It helps build trust with your audience.

    Awesome tips, Steven!

    1. Thanks for your comment Carlo.

      Sharing your weaknesses and mistakes is a great way to create a deeper bond with your audience.

      Show your readers that you are human too and that you make mistakes like everyone else.

  3. Kelly Sirois

    Good tips. I will start following these suggestions and see how it goes. My favorite is 6,7 and 8 because it delves into behaviors of a blogger. Being gracious is key because no matter how controversial you are people will still feel safe to banter.

    1. Kelly, when I was just starting to work online, I used to take all the critiques very personally.

      As a result, I was losing my temper and things were escalating quickly.

      I have now learned to never reply to a negative comment on the spot. I wait until I’m able to give a proper reply before approving it.

  4. Sally

    Thanks for the tips. I ask for those who comment to fill in the two words thing. I am happy to do this on other sites too, but do you think some folk are put off by the inconvenience?

    Leaving it open risks spam comments that I mightn’t see soon enough.

    1. Sally, I am absolutely sure that you are stopping some people from commenting because of your captchas.

      This system makes it very complicated for spammers to get through, however, it may also make it very difficult for “humans” to post comments. (Especially the people whose native alphabet is not Latin).

  5. Kara Kelso

    Great list of ideas! I know one of the biggest things I notice on a blog is the quality of comments. If it’s full of spam and unkempt, I will disregard the blog all together.

    I do, however, understand a bloggers need to keep the spam down and require moderation. I am currently battling auto-spam on older posts, and debating on a few ideas to combat the problem without irking real people wanting to comment.

    1. Thanks for your comment Kara.

      In order to prevent spam on older posts, you can use a WordPress built-in function to close comments on all posts which are older than X days.

      The idea is that most of your readers will comment on your posts when it’s fresh.

    2. Kara Kelso

      I’ve thought of using that option, but I also don’t want to crop the discussion before it starts. Most of my posts are not time sensitive, and still have value years later. Looking for a better option that stops spam but not real comments.

    3. The first thing to do is using Akismet. However it may have some false positive and send some comments by legit readers to the spam folder.

      I think another thing you could add is a basic “math question” plugin. It might stop some spam but don’t forget that you’re making life more complicated for regular readers as well.

  6. Cynthia

    I love the one about showing you are human. That is a hard one to do because no one wants to be appear too vulnerable. I have really been changing my style and the length of my articles. I think that was a major obstacles for me. I am hoping that it will help increase my comments.

    1. Thanks for your comment Cynthia.

      People don’t want to appear vulnerable, but at the same time, your readers want to know that there is a real person behind the blog they love so much.

      They don’t want to connect with yet another big brand that’ll give them canned responses.

  7. Hey Dukeo, I continue to enjoy this blog. Kudos!

    I love all the shared points. All really standout and I so resonated with them. But I still would like to single out just 1 or 2.

    Showing your weakness really is a big one. When you do that, it encourages readers and yes…..your visitors to wanna leave comments. They think…”This dude seems to be a good guy”. Even though some might be like, “So he knows nothing after all”. It’s kinda complicated thous but it still is great.

    The spotlight idea also is great and it’s a great way of generating new posts and active followership.

    Nice share all in all my biggest buddy. Just keep it coming okay. (I will continue to hand here). :D

    Sam