Blog Tips – Getting Comments

dukeo.com

Personally, I never worried about how many comments my blog got until I read a review of Dukeo by George from Seek Defo. His review was a real eye-opener for me, proving once again that even an old dog can learn a new trick every now and then.

In his review titled, “Dukeo, The Insanely Awesome Blog”, George writes:

Secondly what irritates me is the eerie silence over there. The blog seems to have a mute audience, an un-moving mass of spectators so stunned that they are unable to speak anything.

I on the other hand am so dazed that I have to speak out at the wonders he creates.

But if the audience is so stunned then why did it speak in 46 comments on the contest post compared to the persistent, perennial, everlasting and evergreen 0 comments.

And if it did speak then why was there no action- only one chap participated until the follow up post.

The eerie silence makes me wince when I think of guest blogging there, because I feel that the readership won’t bother!

I know I’ve said before that comments breed more comments and activity breeds more activity, but I never really looked at it from the visitor’s standpoint. It didn’t occur to me that zero comments would actually scare people away, for whatever reason.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to focus on increasing comments.

Evaluate active posts: I’m going to look at those posts that have generated the most comment activity and evaluate their content to see what caused those leaps in comment numbers.

Evaluate traffic vs comments stats: I’m going to analyze me stats to see where my traffic is coming from and if there have been any unexplained fluctuations in both traffic and comment frequency. Where is the traffic coming from for those most active posts? Is it referral traffic, direct or organic? If it’s organic, has it dropped? If it’s referral, where’s it coming from and what can I do to get more?

Evaluate comments: I’m also going to look more closely at the comments and each of my replies. I’m pretty good at replying to everyone who comments but I think I could encourage more engagement if I asked more questions and interacted even more.

Evaluate calls to action: After every post I always ask my readers what they think and invite them to leave a comment. I’m going to get a little more specific and start practicing what I preach. I’ve always said that if you want a reader to do something you have to take them by the hand and tell them exactly what you want them to do.

Get back to basics: I’ve written a follow-up post titled, “Blog Tips – Getting Comments – The Basics.” I’ll be using this as a checklist to evaluate my blog, and you should, too.

And now – Scroll down now and tell me what you think I should do to increase the comments at Dukeo. What works on YOUR blog?

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Stéphane Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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24 Comments (Add one)

  1. Elliott Scott
    Elliott Scott

    This is something that I’m really interested in understanding a bit more. I feel that if the “call to action” is more specific and more directive towards the type of response that you’re really hoping to get, then you may get it. You just have to really convey that fact that you truly do want some interaction with this post.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      That’s an interesting comment, Elliott. Indeed, the more specific you are regarding the action you want your readers to take and the more likely they will complete it.

  2. David Rosam

    Writing For SEO has only been going about six weeks, but I’m suffering from my readers standing around the edge of the dancehall, looking shyly at their feet, too.

    I’ve just started trying solicit reactions.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      David, don’t sweat it. 6 weeks is like nothing in Blogging age. It took me over 1 year and a half to start receiving comments consistently.

      1. David Rosam

        Yeah, I know. But I can be a little impatient, can’t I? :-)

        1. Sté Kerwer

          Sure, you can

  3. Kim Maiers
    Kim Maiers

    Your blog does, however, get shared, which shows that many of us feel your words are worth passing on.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      And I take all the shares and comments as if they were gifts :)

  4. Aaron Brinker
    Aaron Brinker

    Even though I am a parenting blog I do a weekly feature on Blogging Basics to help newbies learn more. I know when I started information was the one thing I craved the most (that was easily understandable).

    I just wrote a post that was about commenting and 10 reasons I won’t comment on someones blog. I must have struck a nerve with this particular post because the comments have flooded in through Disqus and Triberr.

    I can not give you one that is particularly more irritating than the other but I will tell you commenting back to me means a lot. I am earning a reputation as someone who takes the time to engage with readers on my site and off of my site as much as possible (their blogs, twitter, facebook) I enjoy visiting with other people about new ideas and want them to know they matter to me (I might not always agree but we can’t agree with everything in life).

    I have told my readers on more than one occasion that I am a stay-at-home dad first and it might take me a day or two to get back to a comment but I guarantee I will get back to it (usually apologize for the delay)

    I have been to blogs that irritate me because they have excellent content, a great site but no engagement with their readers. If someone takes the time to read any bloggers work the least we can do is reply and tell them thank you…..just my opinion of course…

    Aaron Brinker

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Aaron, it looks like you just had first-hand experience with getting comments by being controversial on the subject of blog comments. Well done.

  5. Jan LeBaron
    Jan LeBaron

    Engaging those who comment by asking more questions in my replies is a very good suggestion. Often, many of the comments are from friends and peers who have all grown up using social media. I’m in my sixties and many of my friends/peers don’t even know how to comment on blogs.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Jan, if your readers don’t know how to post comments, they may just need a little educating to start doing it. Did you try to experiment in that area on your blog?

  6. Glen
    Glen

    Strangely ironic how there are still no comments!

    I too have wondered why there is very little engagement with your blog. You clearly get huge amounts of traffic and I ready pretty much every post (when I get time).

    Maybe that’s the issue? Maybe people are so busy keeping up with the content that they have to time to comment?

    It would be great to see more involvement here. I will certainly try to comment more on the posts I find valuable.

    Keep up the good work dude :)

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Glen, the thing is that I reply to every single comment and it takes time. Sometimes it may take 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours. And to make sure I don’t miss anything, comments are help in the moderation queue until I reply.

      If you visit only the latest posts, it may give the impression that there are no comments when actually there are some waiting to get approved.

  7. Gary Hyman
    Gary Hyman

    Tough call on this one but perhaps the communt luv plugin may help the cause. It would be encouraging knowing that I could leave an article link as a breadcrumb trail back to my turf.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Gary, while I see the reason why so many bloggers are using CommentLuv, you won’t ever see it on Dukeo. I understand that bloggers do that to encourage readers to comment, but I see too many poor blog comments written just for the sake of getting another backlink, and I don’t want that here.

  8. Louise Wise (@louise_wise)

    The number one reason I don’t leave comments is of the hoops I’m made to jump through (captcha), another one is because my comments are never replied to. I know ‘thanks for your comment’ is repetitive but you kinda feel ignored.

    :(

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Louise, if people don’t reply to your comment, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t read it. When your blog grows bigger, you realize that it takes a lot of time to reply to every single comment. I’m at this critical moment with Dukeo and I almost always get late by a couple days to reply to comments simply because there are too many of them.

  9. Liza Shaw
    Liza Shaw

    I was disappointed with your article. Your title lead me to believe you where offering tips to getting comments. What I read didn’t answer that question at all, but instead told me you were planning on doing research. The title of this post would be better when you actually have some tips to give.

    Still, it got you a comment.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Liza, I invite you to read the post again because it does offer some advice to get more comments. Maybe you just didn’t see that.

  10. Carolyn

    There is no better way to get comments to a blog than CommentLuv. That plugin rewards your readers by providing a link to their site.

    On the plus side, you probably aren’t getting a lot of spam comments?

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Carolyn, as I already said in a previous reply, I’m not a big fan of CommentLuv. If you want to create a link to your own blog, you can already leave the url of your choice in the “url” box of the comment form. Why add yet another link?

  11. Kelly Jennex
    Kelly Jennex

    While I don’t have suggestions for you to increase blog posts, I am interested to read those that do! Yesterday I found myself annoyed and maybe a little sad after I visited several of my LinkedIn groups and found post after post- of just posts. No comments, no participation, no engagement, a few likes. LinkedIn calls these posts ‘discussions’, yet little discussion is happening within them. It seems as though people are using tools, like LinkedIn groups, as yet another place where they can dump their content & walk away. I think more emphasis needs to be paid to maintaining the ‘social’ in social media, and this will require the audience to read, think, and engage with others and the content. And good on you for paying recognition to the need for comments and to create more opportunities for them :)

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks a lot for your comment Kelly. Understanding that Social Media is about being Social already puts you ahead of 80% of the bloggers. These 80% just dump links all around the place without trying to understand what is really going on.