Getting Comments Is Your Blog Audience Alive?

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Getting Comments: Is Your Blog Audience Alive?

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.

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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.

My 5-Step Action Plan

1. 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.

2. 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?

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Get back to basics

I’ll be using a checklist of the blogging basics 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?


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  1. 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. Steven

      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. Steven

      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.

    2. David Rosam

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

    3. Steven

      Sure, you can

  3. Kim Maiers

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

    1. Steven

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

  4. 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. Steven

      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

    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. Steven

      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

    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. Steven

      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

    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. Steven

      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. Steven

      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

    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. Steven

      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. Steven

      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

    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. Steven

      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.

  12. Alison

    I read this blog post last night and found it very interesting but didn’t comment. Screaming children, no time. Something was niggling at me though and I finally figured it out at about 2am last night. It’s your comments about CommentLuv and commenting bloggers.

    ‘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.’

    Reading over that, it actually reads much more innocuous than I remember it being, which is very telling. I built it up in my mind, so clearly it left a very negative impression on me. When I was wording my comment in my head (well what else am I going to do when I can’t sleep at 2 in the morning? Actually don’t answer that), the words ‘dog in the manger mentality’ were used, along with ‘mean and pinching’. NONE of this is fair.

    What hasn’t changed with this comment is the feeling that you don’t value your commenters. It seems like you’re more bothered about the prospect of people leaving poor comments than in valuable and insightful posters leaving interesting comments. ‘It doesn’t matter if no one posts any comments; just as long as no f**ker gets a backlink.’

    I’m not saying that’s true at all, but that’s the message you’re giving out here, to me at least. The overall tone of this comment is negative.

    I’m not saying you should install CommentLuv (although I do have a suggestion: see below). I wouldn’t be less likely to post a comment on a blog because of a lack of a CommentLuv plugin.

    I WOULD be less likely to post a comment on a blog because of a feeling that the owner is a negative person who doesn’t value his or her readers (not saying you are at all, just that this is the message you’re kind of giving out). I do think comments like this could be causing people to disengage with you (particularly if they would prefer you to have a commentluv plugin), and therefore less likely to comment.

    And as for CommentLuv, I think it would be very interesting to see whether it really makes a difference to the number and the quality of comments you get. Installing it for a month and seeing whether it makes a difference could make for some interesting results, and you could always uninstall it later (I’m assuming that’s possible; mybe it’s not)

    1. Steven

      Hello Alison, thanks for taking the time to post a comment.

      First of all, I’m sorry to hear that my tone seemed mean and pinching to you. I don’t filter myself much on this blog (it’s my own blog after all), the result might not appeal to everyone.

      I can’t really add any insight when you’re saying that you wouldn’t feel like commenting on a blog because the author sounds negative in one comment. I am however surprised that you would discard an entire blog and the content of thousands of posts because of 1 comment that rubbed you the wrong way.

      What i meant in my CommentLuv comments is that I would rather have zero comment than comments that sound like: “Thanks, I particularly agree with ** insert random quote from article **. Read my latest blog post at”

      Comments are a controversial subject because most people do not comment to add to the discussion, but they comment for selfish reasons.

      I do not blame people who comment for selfish reasons if it’s to build their own authority, but if it’s little more than comment spam, I am not interested.

      There is a reason comments are called “comments” instead of “self-promotion box (anything goes)” or “spam box”.

      I see many bloggers being truly desperate for comments as they want to look bigger than they are, so they will approve even the most empty comments, even if they consist of less than 5 words.

      This doesn’t make that blog community & blog look good… This make it look like it’s open season for people thirsty for backlinks to spam the comments there.

      Sure, they might have big comment numbers, but is there any real substance to them?

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