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10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 12th of October 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Only 1 out of every 100 Readers Comment on your Blog

Below I’ll outline 10 ways you can increase the participation rate in the comments section on your blog.

comment

Jakob Nielsen’s latest study finds that 90% of online community users are lurkers (read or observe without contributing) with only 9% of users contributing ‘a little’ and 1% actively contributing.

So 1% of your blog’s users are actively engaging with your blog and the rest are at best occasional contributers.

The study isn’t just on blogging so the actual numbers could be more or less than these and would no doubt vary from site to site anyway – but the principle is true. The vast majority of readers leave a blog without leaving a comment or contributing to it in any way (and some bloggers like it like this and switch comments off – read more on whether to have comments on or off here and the up and downsides of comments on blogs here).

To some extent this is just the way it is and we probably need to just get used to it – however when it comes to comments there are some ways to encourage more interactivity on your blog:

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10 Ways to Increase Comment Numbers on Your Blog

1. Invite Comments – I notice that when I specifically invite comments that people leave them in higher numbers than when I don’t. To some degree this confuses me as most of my readers know that they can leave comments on any post – but I guess inviting a comment triggers a response to some extent. Also keep in mind that new readers that are unfamiliar with blogging don’t always know about comments or how to use them – invitations to participate in well laid out and easy to use comments systems are good for helping them participate.

2. Ask Questions – Including specific questions in posts definitely helps get higher numbers of comments. I find that when I include questions in my headings that it is a particularly effective way of getting a response from readers as you set a question in their mind from the first moments of your post.

3. Be Open Ended – If you say everything there is to say on a topic you’re less likely to get others adding their opinions because you’ll have covered what they might have added. While you don’t want to purposely leave too many things unsaid there is an art to writing open ended posts that leaves room for your readers to be experts also.

4. Interact with comments left – If you’re not willing to use your own comments section why would your readers? If someone leaves a comment interact with them. This gets harder as your blog grows but it’s particularly important in the early days of your blog as it shows your readers that their comments are valued, it creates a culture of interactivity and gives the impression to other readers that your comments section is an active place that you as the blogger value. As the activity in your comments section grows you may find you need to be slightly less active in it as readers will start to take over on answering questions and creating community – however don’t completely ignore your comment threads.

5. Set Boundaries – I noticed that shortly after I set the rules for my comments section (with a comments policy) that my comment numbers jumped up a little. I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence or whether readers responded to knowing what was and wasn’t acceptable. It’s just a theory but I think a well managed and moderated comments section that is free of spam and that deals with well with people stepping out of line is an attractive thing to readers. I personally don’t mind people expressing different opinions to one another in comments but when I sense things are getting a little out of hand and too personal I often step in to attempt to bring some order to the situation (I rarely delete non spam comments). I find that people have responded to this and that comment threads generally stay constructive as a result.

6. Be humble – I find that readers respond very well to posts that show your own weaknesses, failings and the gaps in your own knowledge rather than those posts where you come across as knowing everything there is to know on a topic. People are attracted to humility and are more likely to respond to it than a post written in a tone of someone who might harshly respond to their comments.

7. Be gracious – Related to humility is grace. There are times where you as the blogger will get something wrong in your posts. It might be spelling or grammar, it could be the crux of your argument or some other aspect of your blogging. When a someone leaves a comment that shows your failing it’s very easy to respond harshly in a defensive manner. We’ve all seen the flaming that can ensue. While it’s not easy – a graceful approach to comments where you admit where you are wrong and others is right can bring out the lurkers and make them feel a little safer in leaving comments.

8. Be controversial? – I put a question mark after this one because it doesn’t always work (and I personally avoid it as much as I can these days) – but there’s nothing like controversy to get people commenting on your blog. Of course with controversy comes other consequences – one of which is the risk of putting off less vocal members of your readership.

9. ‘Reward’ Comments – There are many ways of acknowledging and ‘rewarding’ good comments that range from simply including a ‘good comment’ remark through to highlighting them in other posts that you write. Drawing attention to your readers who use comments well affirms them but also draws attention of other readers to good use of your comments section.

10. Make it Easy to Comment – I leave a lot of comments on a lot of blogs each week – but there is one situation where I rarely leave a comment – even if the post deserves it – blogs that require me to login before making a comment. Maybe I’m lazy (actually there’s no maybe about it) or maybe there’s something inside me that worries about giving out my personal details – but when I see a comments section that requires registration I almost always (95% or more of the time) leave the blog without leaving the comment that I want to make. While I totally understand the temptation to require registration for comments (combatting spam in most cases) something inside me resists participating in such comments sections. Registration is a hurdle you put in front of your readers that some will be willing to leap but that others will balk at (the same is often said about other comments section requirements that go beyond the basics). Keep your comments section as simple and as easy to use as possible.

So – what do you think? How have you increased the levels of comments on your blog (had to ask)?

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Also – check out our Blogging for Beginners Series for more blog tips and ProBlogger the Book for a comprehensive guide to improving your blog and deriving an income from it.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Nice Post!

    Do you mind if someone takes out your sharing knowledge on your posting article, but no participate in a comment.
    In fact, most people aren’t leaving a comment even more less than 1%. On the other hand, most people have purposes when they leave a comment.

    Finally, thank you for your sharing article, it’s very useful for me.

  2. this tips and comments really better than the other blogs comments and their tips, thanks

  3. I must say that these are very good points that I will use later on in my blog posts. I had to google this and read this post. I was getting and am still getting around ~70 unique hits a day on my blog and still have not got one comment… I have even checked that the visitors are not bots. So I hope that maybe these points will help increase my inflow of comments.

  4. The comment quality would have to be really good for it not to be recognized as spam. For the prices quoted, it may actually rise above the normal level of comment spam, especially if they’re hiring third-world spammers with some education.

  5. It’s funny that I stumbled on this post. I was JUST talking to my husband this week about this very topic. I was saying…well complaining ;) ….that I can see I have readers everyday, but very few comments. I even want bad ones, because I want to know where I can improve. If I have no feedback I might not experience the necessary growth I want to achieve without a little direction. Then bam!…I ran into this post.

    Great advice!

  6. Two other methods that can help to encourage comments are allowing DoFollow links (removing default nofollow attributes so that “link juice” is passed to the sites) and installing the KeywordLuv plugin, which significantly helps commenters with SEO because it allows them to choose the anchor text for links.

    Overall, it is a good thing to encourage comments because the extra content provided by other people adds more keywords to your posts, which in turn brings in more traffic from the search engines without costing you any more time than it takes to write the original post.

  7. i have a question why do you need to increase number of comments in your blog?

    thank you so much :)

  8. Two other methods that can help to encourage comments are allowing DoFollow links (removing default nofollow attributes so that “link juice” is passed to the sites) and installing the KeywordLuv plugin, which significantly helps commenters with SEO because it allows them to choose the anchor text for links.

    Overall, it is a good thing to encourage comments because the extra content provided by other people adds more keywords to your posts, which in turn brings in more traffic from the search engines without costing you any more time than it takes to write the original post.

    Two other methods that can help to encourage comments are allowing DoFollow links (removing default nofollow attributes so that “link juice” is passed to the sites) and installing the KeywordLuv plugin, which significantly helps commenters with SEO because it allows them to choose the anchor text for links.

    Overall, it is a good thing to encourage comments because the extra content provided by other people adds more keywords to your posts, which in turn brings in more traffic from the search engines without costing you any more time than it takes to write the original post.
    —————————————————
    john

    <a

  9. The setting boundaries idea is an interesting idea I hadn’t considered. I’ll have to think about how to apply that to my site…

  10. This is very informative, I have been responding to the comments on my blog more lately and it seems to entice a few more people commenting my way, but sometimes it’s a case of posting something that is the “in-thing” to get peoples attention.

  11. This has some great tips, it’s amazing the things that are so simple yet easy to over look.

  12. All very well trying to attract comments, but first of all how do you get people to read your blog in the first place? I have a couple of blogs out there in hyperspace, which should in theory, as they are well populated with things that are of common intereset, I’d expect at least someone to ‘drop by’ on them, but my analytics tell me no one visits?

  13. Darren,you made me put in my first comment on a blog !!! Its a great start.

  14. If you make the post interesting enough wont people comment anyway?

  15. Professor says: 01/10/2009 at 7:02 am

    Quoting Gina “If you make the post interesting enough wont people comment anyway?”

    No

    I have even started taking off the Captcha in an effort to gain more comments. I have several blogs and each is interlaced. I am currently experimenting with several different ideas for reader engagement.

  16. Another way to get comments is to gain a following that will loyally post comments. To do that, having a giveaway works. It makes lurkers climb out of their caves and creates a starting point for commenting.

  17. Excellent, practical posts. I’ve already “Twittered” it and forwarded your link to my clients to spread through their offices. I always gain from such posts. Thanks for sharing.
    I’ll write this excellent post @ http://www.makemoneykingdom.com

  18. Hey Darren

    Great list of hints here to help l will put these to action, lam defiantly open to build alliance with start-ups bloggers who like to reply to me in other words a co-op model, look forward to hearing from some of Darren newby start up bloggers.

    Llets build a great co- op of bloggers in 2009!

  19. Another way to get comments is to gain a following that will loyally post comments. To do that, having a giveaway works. It makes lurkers climb out of their caves and creates a starting point for commenting

  20. Wow there are alot of comments on this blog!

  21. Offer your reader a value and they will comment, this post is ranking 3RD on Blog commenting search term. and that was only because too many people have commented to it. which makes google find it important.

  22. Now I know why people don’t comment on my blogs. I have registration mandatory.

  23. Excellent article. Who can tell better then a guy making a living out of blogging.

  24. Thanks for that Darren. I am new to blogging and this is my first ever comment. As the number of web sites and tools increase for blogging its easy to overlook the importance of content.

    thanks

  25. You are right, great article. And yes, this the first time I have commented on a blog. Good article.

  26. […] previously written a post with 10 techniques to get more comments on your blog (one of the most commented upon posts I’ve ever written) so I won’t go over all of that […]

  27. I find about 6 out of 20 readers seem to comment..

  28. Hey thanks for the great list of the useful links. I’m new blogger, I got best tips to get more comments on my blog

  29. 3 years old and STILL very relevant and great tips! thanks so much! I am going to be giving these a shot for sure. And sharing them with my other authors on our site :)

  30. Thanks for that Darren. I am new to blogging and this is my first ever comment. As the number of web sites and tools increase for blogging its easy to overlook the importance of content.

    thanks

  31. Smartime providing professional services for e-commerce website development, custom web designing, shopping cart solutions, web hosting services, internet database integration, WAP and multimedia presentations and solutions for the small and large corporate community

  32. Darren Rowse thanks i about to write a blog for my site but i was really confused where i start from what should i do for my blog but now i am easy feel after your reading blog thanks.

  33. Registration isn’t really a big deal to me, I’ll happily register to post if it’s a popular blog in a similar topic that I write on.

    Inviting comments and asking questions does seem like a pretty good idea, but I haven’t had any noticeable results myself. I’ve seen other bloggers use this method, and it worked on me. :P

    I understand what you’re saying with being humble and gracious, but at the end of the day people are going to comment on what you write when you are yourself. Be yourself.

  34. Very gooooood post.Yes you are definitely right with you well eyplained 10 step guide.I just started a my Blog in Janaury this year.Some post got digged, but the comments do not come that easy.What you wrote about lazyness is propably right.I could even not attract my friends to leyve a comment.The feedbacks i got were ok and they like my blog, but it seems like : it is good , but just leave me alone with interaction : )))

    Regards

  35. Tips: Ask the questions? That is a good advice, and it’s proven. When we post something without asking questions, it’s just a static posting. It can be a dynamic one if we can ask the questions to the readers indirectly the will pay attention at our post.

  36. Really good post, this will help me a lot to get comments in my blog. Now I know why people do not comment in my blog.

  37. Hi Darren, I agree the best with number 10, because psychologically, people tend to measure the level of effort needed before doing something. And registration is certainly not effortless. I wonder, why some people make it difficult while they can make it easy?

  38. And about commenting, perhaps you will like “How to Craft Impressive Comments” at:

    http://isaacyassar.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-craft-impressive-comments.html

  39. Excellent article, But i think it is the trust factor which you or all successful bloggers have built with their readers which in turn encourages us to leave the comments.

  40. great tips,
    i think “Nice content with good comment marketing idea” is the easy combination for get more comments.

  41. Hey There, Great Information, I think my major problem is I overwrite and maybe leave no room for comments. Please pop by and give me your opinion. I would appreciate the support! Make it a great day!

    Kathy Baka

  42. Thanks for the good tips. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas to make my site sticky. Lately I added a feature that you mention in #9 (Reward Comments). I have a draw for free books. A reader who adds a comment to any of the articles is automatically entered in the draw. It’s starting to gain momentum.

  43. Good tips. Lately I’ve added a quiz. This has attracted many readers.

  44. Very good points..iam just an amature blogger..this post really helped me.

  45. I’ve just finished reading your ’10 tips’ though on returning to my blog nothing had changed?? I don’t think it works.

    Ur’s cruelly

    A. Conman

  46. Thanks for the list Contests is also a great way to get more comments, there’s nothing wrong in giving away something through contests, and you get good number of good comments.

  47. Interesting Tips . really helpfull while writing blogs .

    I will implement these tips and will see the response ( number of comments)…………

  48. Really good post, this will help me a lot to get comments in my blog.

  49. Great suggestions for getting more comments
    registration to comment is frustrating.

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.

  50. Your tips are great. As always one needs to blend them to how one does things. Its all no ‘Verbatum”

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