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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:

Download a Free Mp3 With Tips on How to Get More Comments

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)?

Download a Free Mp3 With Tips on How to Get More Comments

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.
  • Pingback: 8 Tips for Building Community on Your Blog()

  • I love these tips on this site. I just started a blog and want alot of
    comments. These tips will definitely help.

    oilfield equipment sales

  • Thanks I think I will use some of this for my goofbucket.

  • Isn’t it really the case that when people leave comments such as “Thanks for that Darren” or “Wow! thanks Darren. Nice blog” that all they really wanted to say it, “Darren, I didn’t realize there was a nofollow attribute to the PR4 linkback to my website and it doesn’t really result in much at all. I think I may be wasting my time but I left a thank you anyway.” That’s probably more honest, or why leave anodyne comments at all?

  • May be you should add disqus comments plugin.

  • 999

    Isn’t it really the case that when people leave comments such as “Thanks for that Darren” or “Wow! thanks Darren. Nice blog” that all they really wanted to say it, “Darren, I didn’t realize there http://www.air-shox.com was a nofollow attribute to the PR4 linkback to my website and it doesn’t really result in much at all. I think I may be wasting my time but I left a thank you anyway.” That’s probably more honest, or why leave anodyne comments at all?

  • hii!,..

    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.

    Blogging News – Blogging News Information You Can Use

  • I find that the comment policy really helps us. We tend to get a lot of spam comments but I really encourage people to comment and often thank them and interact with their comments they leave. Anything that is a little bit spammy or just short one line response I tend to delete because I know when I am on other blogs I will leave if I feel like it’s just full of spam!

  • I noticed this was written over two years ago and still gets comments! I always appreciate your tips! I often wonder if it takes one of two comments to get the ball rolling. Are people more likely to comment if others have already commented? How do you get that FIRST comment then?

    Thanks again for the tips!

  • Thanks for the info. Blogs are a great way to advertise posts but one thing i would like to include is – it’s a free place to link to your site however don’t just add a random post to your blog. If you’re going to respond to a post, it’s no big deal to go for the cheap plug but, if you going to reply (for demonstrational purposes)

    21st Century Breakdown! Coming 2009

    And leave – it’s not relative to the posts and the admins can very easily remove your post, and for good reason.

    Try to at least reply with some informational material relative to the blog.

    Thanks, great information.

  • Wolfgang Loss-Wells

    Imagine, a post about comments and It’s got so many comments! I think you have summed it up very well!

  • I found the best way to get more comments is to give them something free and then asked how they liked it. I just gave out some free books I found on Free Book Quest and they ate it up.

  • i have gone through all the tactics and comments about how to get more comments on blog…i my view the best to get more comments is leave something curious to visitors to share their experience and knowledge.

  • Good tips, I have also had success with getting comments when giving something away in my twitter competition.

  • Thank you! Nice article .
    Actualy it’s very usefull for any new bloggers like me.It is the point we must know to beguin any site. This will help alot.
    regards,
    3arabax.blogspot.com

  • Verry good job. I will apply on my blogs. Thanks again.

  • Funny how posts about getting more comments are always the ones that get loads of comments? Nice idea should try it some time…

  • Sometimes I guess that the captcha doesn’t really stop spammers from spamming though. Seems that even when I closed my comments box, spam comments still keeps coming in!.
    I guess 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.

  • Really breathtaking further informative topic. Thank you seeing sharing this.

  • Very good information. I plan to incorporate a number of these suggestions in my blog.

  • I find it hard to belive that only 1% of people comment, it seems like you have had alot of visitors :)

  • I like your suggestion of having a comment policy. I tend to get tons of spam comments, instead of productive ones, which is a little frustrating. But when people do take the time to write, I make an effort to thank them or answer their question in the comments section. It seems like people are more likely to leave comments if there are already some there – so now I will work on making it a comfy place for people to leave comments in the first place, and get the ball rolling. Thanks!

  • I am still working on getting people to comment on my blog. I will follow your tips and hopefully will get some comments soon. Thanks for the great advice!

  • I’ve tried responding to each comment and sending an e-mail reply to most of the people who comment on my blog.

    And, when I first began blogging, I routinely left five comments a day on other blogs.

    Both work.

    The interesting thing is that I wrote two list posts for the 31-day workshop, and I asked a question on each.

    I’m receiving comments! I’m really happy about that. My comments have gone down recently, which I think may be caused by people spending so much time on Twitter.

    I blog at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide at http://boomersurvive-thriveguide.typepad.com.

    Rita

  • I definitely agree with you on the whole registration thing, I mean it absolutely annoys me when I have to register just to make a comment. I leave my blog open to anyone to comment if you want to register, you register if not then whatever. Getting people interested is such a – you know what? Thinking about adding some sort of giveaway or something…

  • I’ve noticed almost immediate comments on my blog when I come from a truly emphatic position. Almost always will my visitors respond when I am passionate about the topic at hand. A great headline I used on Twitter generated a great response. It was “I’m so sad so many people feel it’s so important to get as many followers as possible as if it was some popularity contest” …
    Jerry

  • Hello there
    This 10 techniques are very usefull to get more comments on your blog. Thanks again

  • What a great way to make money! Thanks for the tips.It really promote small business and also give a in depth idea money making online for new comers.

  • Jim

    great post! our blog is relatively new and we are new to blogging. therefore, we will heed and implement your advice.

  • I do respond to comments in my comment section and if they have a direct email will often respond through that as well. I used to also dedicate a post at the beginning of the month to thank all who commented the previous month with links to their blogs, but it got to be too many and sometimes I felt people just left insignificant comments to get mentioned, it did increase my comments though. Here is a sample of my last one: http://zemeks.blogspot.com/2009/02/thanks-for-commenting-in-january.html

  • Hi Darren,

    These are helpful tips.

    I’m glad you mentioned that you don’t leave a comment if you have to sign in. I don’t either. I wonder if those who require a sign in get many comments?

    The 31-day workshop is increasing the hits and comments on my blog. I’m happy about that.

    Rita

  • I won’t comment if I have to register or if I don’t get the word verification on the first try. I took off word and comment verification from my blog 9 months ago and have gotten no spam.

  • Good topic that I have been looking for-Thank You

  • Good topic thanks for your valuable information
    Wayne

  • Sometime you need to register…

  • About one month ago I found this blog. 10 techniques to get more comments on your blog. Oh well what the heck I’ll post cause maybe it will get me some traffic from problogger.

    What I didn’t expect was that the ideas posed would stick. And most of all make my blog(s) more sticky themselves. I started by remembering to ask questions. Then took this to open ended questions at the end of the blog.

    Now a month later two of my blogs on goofbucket have graduated to full use and populated groups with videos, pages, albums, and polls. Just from using 2 of the techniques. Not bad for a blog that’s 3 years old.

    Point being, thank you for the tips and to others that come and read this blog, can you afford not to that these techniques to heart?

  • Nice!! You incorporated all your sayings in this post..left it open ended, and I saw a response adding another point or two!! and the number of responses on this post is proof enough of what you say!

    I am glad I joined your 31 day blog challenge.

    Thanks Darren!

  • I agree with the registration hurdle.

    I use IntenseDebate on my blog, but by now means is it required. If you don’t have a account with them then you leave a comment just as I’m doing here now.

    Great content Darren!

  • I forgot to ask.

    You talked about a comment policy. Have you placed this somewhere on the blog or is it just your own moderation guidelines?

  • Thanks for this post – I have struggled with this as I have NO comments yet on my blog and in some ways feel badly about that (until i read your posts about this) and yet I see there is more that I can do. I will participate more in other blogs and ask MORE questions (I do ask some) – also I like the idea of asking a question in the heading. Lots to think about but I would like to engage with readers and think comments is a great way to do so.
    WD
    Twitter: wald12

  • This 10 way increase comment numbers on your blog its very use –
    full for me and then i like this concept

    Thank you

  • I’ve tried all these steps including commenting on otherblogs.. but I never got any comments on my post. Hard Luck for me.

    -mohit

  • Thanks for the tips…!
    but i agree wiyh mohit so hard got any comments on my post.

  • This was a wonderfully helpful article! I am just starting out with my blog, and I decided to learn about readership early on so I can promote it as it begins growing.

    Your tips will definitely come in handy. Thanks for writing a great article!

  • Good tips. I have tried may things but none has worked except when I wrote something controversial last year. I am even offering free gifts so come on down!

  • Nice! I will participate more in other blogs and ask MORE questions .we will implement at your advice

    Thanks and Cheer

  • Great post…Thanks for give me good advice for a blog posting

  • It’s funny, that sometimes the most simple tips are often the best!

    I have no trouble getting people to sign up to my newsletters, but I struggle to get them commenting on my blogs! ARGH!

    I will take these tips on board and see how I go. Thanks for this post!

  • I love listed tips like these, it makes creating and keeping a blog seem more manageable.

    I think I’ve got most of that down, but my blog is still really new, so I’m not sure if I’m going about it the right way or something.

    Ah well.