For a long time, when I first started blogging, I’d visit these other blogs that would have dozens of comments on every post and I wondered what I was doing wrong. Try as I might, I never seemed to get many comments, even though my traffic numbers were gradually increasing. Finally, I decided to really start looking into this issue. What were those other blogs doing to get all that activity? And why wasn’t my blog getting all those comments?
The first thing I discovered was that it’s not really important how many comments you get because those numbers can be deceiving. If you look closely at some of those blogs it’s easy to see that many of those comments come from the blogger’s family or friends. A lot of them also come from other bloggers who are all competing in the same niche and they’re just leaving comments to build back links.
Next, you’ll notice that a lot of the same people leave comments on every single post, just because they like to leave comments. And a lot of those commentors are using that blog as a gathering place, like their own little social network.
Most, if not all, of these people will never buy anything from these blogs. It’s nice that they leave comments because it makes your blog look active and exciting for other visitors. However, there’s no reason to be envious of all those comments because they really are not a key indicator of the number of conversions on that blog.
That being said, there are those blogs out there that have an extremely active community. Loyal followers who visit the blog because of the information it provides leave comments on a regular basis and they engage each other in conversations in the comments section. This is the kind of community you want to strive for on your won blog and it’s not the numbers that matter – it’s the quality of the traffic and the conversation.
How do you attract that type of traffic and get those comments?
First, it’s important to understand that it’s a numbers game. Only about 1-5% of your visitors will ever leave comments. So, obviously, if you want more comments you need to focus on extending your reach to increase your traffic.
Next, if you want people to start leaving comments, handle your blog posts like you would a conversation. Ask questions, or end your post with an open ended statement, just like you would if you were talking to a group of friends face-to-face.
I recently ended a blog post without actually answering the question, just to see what would happen. I gave two different viable options for the outcome and then asked my readers what they thought. It was my most-commented on post ever. I even had one reader berate me for “leading him on” and not answering the question and then he went on to give his own opinion, which brought in even more comments.
Reply and become an active participant in the conversation that’s going on there in your comments section. Don’t just thank people for commenting. Make a statement about their comment and tie it to another comment. A good host always helps keep the conversation flowing by including all members.
Treat your blog commentors like you’d treat guests in your home. If you see someone being bullied, delete and block the offensive blogger so everyone knows your blog is a safe environment. Be courteous, polite and professional and never talk down to your commentors or belittle them if they disagree with your opinion. New visitors will be more inclined to leave a comment when they see your blog is safe and happy and they’ll be treated with respect.