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13 Types of Posts that Always Get Lots of Comments

Posted By Darren Rowse 18th of December 2009 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Over the last week I’ve had a couple of record days of getting comments on my own blogs. Here on ProBlogger my ‘win a book’ competition drew in 1512 comments while on DPS asking my readers if they had a photoblog and giving opportunity for them to promote it drew in 592 (although this will go a lot higher tonight when I send my newsletter out).

It’s no surprise that these types of posts got a lot of comments – for one I specifically asked for comments and there was a tangible benefit for commenting in each case (the chance to win something and the chance to promote something) – but what other types of posts get lots of comments?

I asked my followers on Twitter to share some of their most commented upon posts to see if I noticed any trends on types of posts that drew readers out of lurking mode to react with a comment.

Here are 13 types of posts that were most common in people’s responses with a few links to examples.

Note: some of the examples could have been used in multiple categories and some get more comments than others – but that’s because they are from smaller blog where the blogger doesn’t normally see loads of comments. I could have found bigger more well known blogs as examples but decided to go mainly with ‘normal’ blogs from readers as I think it is probably more useful than highlighting just mega blogs that get lots of comments on most posts.

1. Competitions

Lets start with the most obvious – give people the chance to win something by leaving a comment and you’re well on the way to drawing people into leaving a comment. Example: Giveaway: SKIL 4-piece Power Tools Combo Kit.

2. Personal Stories

Sometimes sharing something personal really draws people into what you’re writing. I know when I’ve shared something from my personal life on my blog – either as an off topic post or as a way to illustrate something that I’m talking about that it always draws people in. This is particularly powerful if you share a problem overcome, a failure or something that people can relate to. Examples: I’m a Mom and Exposed.

3. Show Off Posts/Share a link

These types of posts ask your readers to show or share something that they’ve done, written, created etc. The ‘show us your photoblog’ link above is an example of this. So to was another of my posts – ‘Share Your Best Photo‘.

4. Creative Posts

posts where the blogger has gone to extra lengths to do something out of the ordinary and creative often have a ‘wow factor’ that gets people commenting. Example: Disney’s “A Whole New World” Sung in Pictures.

5. Hacks

Walk people through a process or show them how to do something for themselves (DIY). These types of posts are great for traffic but I find that they also tend to get reactions – particularly if it’s a good and helpful hack. Example: Apparently My Bling Likes to Swing.

6. Meaty Posts

It was fascinating to read through the 80-90 links to most commented upon posts that people sent me – one thing I noticed is that it was often quite long and in depth posts that seemed to be getting commented upon. Longer resources that really looked deeply at a topic or that gave comprehensive advice. Example: How NOT to Suck at Blogging (this post probably fits into some of the other categories too – it is strong, opinionated and pretty in your face – all of this Elicits a strong response).

7. Relatable Posts

Many of the posts talked about were on topics that a lot of people would have been able to relate to. Not always personal stories – but on issues and problems that lots of readers might face. They draws out people to tell their story or personal reflection on their own experiences with the topics. Example: Why Do Women Let Themselves Go (this post also has a strong headline and perhaps some controversy attached to it).

8. Question Posts

Ask a question and those who hear it are wired to answer it. I find when I include a question in the title of my posts that comment numbers tend to be at least double normal posts. Do Young Entrepreneurs Need to Go to Collge? (a post that had a question it its very title – as long as some opinion and meat to it). Also What Camera Gear Would You Buy if you were Given $1000 to Spend? (this post not only asked a question but was a hypothetical/fun post on a topic that I knew would also create some debate between readers loyal to different types of cameras. Also Net Worth vs Self Worth: The Passion Paradox (while this post isn’t a pure question post there’s a strong call for people to react in it and the blogger highlights other people’s posts on the topic/reactions).

9. Debate or Controversy Posts

Put two or more opposing arguments to your readers and step back to see what happens. Example: Which Digital Camera Manufacturer is Best? (this is an old post when we only had a few readers – I’m too scared to post the question again as this question always gets people so fired up). Also Adam Lambert’s Jacket Auctioned for $2000 (not a debate but certainly stirred up some controversy).

10. Opinion Pieces

Expressing your own strongly held opinion on an issue will generally have your readers examining their own opinions. If you do express it strongly you can expect your readers to share what they think strongly also. Example: I like Dave Ramsey, But He is Still Wrong. Also Why our Current Education System is Failing (also some controversy/debate in this one too).

11. Humor

Humor evokes a natural physical reaction (smiling and laughter) which sometimes also comes out in other ways (like sharing a reaction, passing it on to a friend etc). Example: I took 1,973 pictures of my children on vacation and all I got was this lousy blog post (also a personal type post).

12. Group Projects/Challenges

This is one I’ve used quite a bit over the years – getting readers all to go and do something and then come back and share the results. Examples: Top 5 – Group Writing Project, Enter the Passion to Profit Challenge and RED: Weekend Photography Challenge.

13. Mega Lists/Resources

There is nothing like a mega/over the top list of resources or links relevant to your niche to draw in traffic and comments. These posts are a lot of work but tend to do well in social media – but also at getting comments. You get comments from those in the list, from those who want to be in the list, from those who find the list useful, from those who think your list is skewed and biased…. etc. Example: 87 Great Photography Blogs and Feeds.

What Was Your Most Commented Upon Post?

Of course these 13 types of posts just scratch the surface – I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d add.

I’d also love to see your most commented upon blog post. Dig back through your archives and find 1-2 examples of where you had comment numbers way above your normal average and share the link below!

Further Reading: 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog (ironically another of my most commented upon posts ever).

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. A blog post is useless unless someone reads it. Knowing how to engage people is critically important. Thanks for sharing.

    Jeff Ogden, President
    Find New Customers
    “Lead Generation Made Simple”
    http://www.findnewcustomers.net

  2. Mega Lists always works no matter what. Even a small list attract lots of readers and comments. People just love to thank for the resource you provide them

  3. Ironically? For me my most commented post was my theory that DateSim’s had a future in the US. A week before Harlequin’s announcement of a game-tie in to a novel series (not datesim, but mystery).

  4. In my case it’s a blog post announcing that Match Hospitality has been officially appointed by FIFA to handle accommodation for the soccer world cup. It’s strange since this was published in May 2007, yet it only started getting comments in May 2009.

    http://www.travelwires.com/wp/2007/05/2010-accommodation-registration-with-match-now-open/

    These comments which have been coming in since then are from private property owners, seeking to list their homes with Match in order to host soccer fans next year. Daily I get calls about this, which has tempted me to consider creating a portal for this, however based on the mushroom of such portals I’ve been discouraged.

    Another post that generated second most comments, is a face-off pitting two conference centres ‘Durban International Convention Centre vs Cape Town International Convention Centre’. Since Durban is home to the annual Tourism Indaba, it generated a lot of support from readers.

    http://www.travelwires.com/wp/2009/04/industry-face-off-durban-international-convention-centre-vs-cape-town-international-convention-centre/

  5. My most commented post was this:
    Keep Your Personal and Professional Life Separate on Facebook – http://ow.ly/NaQ4

    I didn’t want people to see updates that were intended for my friends, so I decided that I would make a post out if it.

  6. Awesome article as usual.

    And can I just say that it MADE MY DAY that you linked to little old me?

  7. I’m not too different, my most commented posts were contests: http://dailyshotofcoffee.com/community-coffee-founders-gift-set-giveaway/

    But my favorites were ones where I let myself get a little silly and personal.

    http://dailyshotofcoffee.com/sad-day-in-coffee-land/

    This one didn’t get a ton of comments, but it did get people commenting that didn’t usually comment.

  8. I had two blog posts that were neck and neck this year in terms of comments – my comments on Tiger’s crisis and my comments on marketing for 2010. http://blog.waxmarketing.com

  9. I’ve tried at least 8 of these 13 types over the past year, and I definitely echo the Darren’s conclusions and advice.

  10. My most-commented-upon post is a #9 — a debate/controversy post. It’s pretty short, but it pitted two religions baby names, Mary and Nevaeh, against one another. And people have very strong opinions on names. :) Here’s the link:

    http://www.nancy.cc/2008/07/29/nevaeh-vs-mary-what-does-bruce-lansky-think/

  11. My most commented post was about giving Google Wave Invites for every single comment : I got 370 comments on 3 weeks !!!!!

    http://www.leblogger.com/2009/11/google-wave-invitation-100-gratuit.html

  12. Great article Darren and one that I will refer back to often.

    In a bid to help out our fellow creators and readers we spent several weeks compiling a list of ways that artists & illustrators could survive and even build out their audiences during this past economic downturn.

    It received a lot of comments, tweets and backlinks from our peers.

    http://www.optimumwound.com/23-ways-for-a-comic-artist-to-survive-and-thrive-in-any-economy.htm

  13. Hi Darren, This is the first ever comment that I have dared make on one of your posts, but felt compelled to do so this time. I have enjoyed reading your blog for some time after being recommended to by @mikecj from Mike’s Life and have taken many tips away from your posts and used them in my own fledgling blog career. Thank you Darren.
    If I may be so bold as to add another ‘post type’ to your list, which I found after I made an inspired post on my own.
    I run a personal blog about a chronic neurological condition that I have and am having treatment for. I posted on my own about “How to speak to a person with Chiari Malformation” (although it could apply to any chronic condition)
    It immediately raised comments in support, and post length replies offering far more content to my original. In the end it offered a very rounded perspective of the issue.
    It has been discussed and brought up in related forums and took off immediately. It worked out brilliantly and has gone on to help many others approach the issue within their own lives.

    http://www.chiariblog.co.uk/content/how-talk-and-treat-someone-chiari

    The category may relate itself to the ‘personal’ category that you listed, but perhaps could quite easily have its own category of ’emotional’

    Thanks again Darren.

    Chris Downing

  14. Darren,

    Your post was very informative – I will definitely keep your article in mind when I publish future blogs.

    One of my most commented/viewed blogs is a combination of a personal story and humor. It is about my opinion of employment psychological tests. Here it is:

    http://blog.johngriggscomedy.com/2009/06/passing-psychological-test-for.html

    John Griggs – stand up comedian/writer/blogger from Phoenix, Arizona

  15. I really wish I had the original traffic to get all the comments!

    I’ve found that sparking off an argument is a fantastic way of getting those comments, hehe

  16. Great ideas and inpiration! Thanks for the link Darren and thanks for taking the time to chat and take your photo at Blogworld.

    You’re one of our mentors

  17. I always thought giveaways would bring comments rolling into our blog but this wasn’t so much the case… it did bring regular committed readers out of the closet and lots of lurkers unlurked. Even though ours is a momblog I don’t often post personal stuff, but boy when I do the comments roll in!!! Posts that generate traffic are those that are short and opinionated, written in five or ten minutes from the heart!!! I hadn’t had many comments all week and but being a comment junky I thought I would call for some comments by writing an opinionated “gripe” post earlier this week and cleaned up!!!

  18. well then, the question posts didn’t work for mine

  19. Thanks for the heads up!

    My most successful posts have been when I’ve asked a question. But recently, I began posting a “chocolate quote of the day”! Well…everyone loves chocolate! And even those who didn’t, or were allergic to chocolate, had some sort of comment. One gal commented that she’d love to eat chocolate again, but had become allergic. Another FB friend is a health coach and she told her about a substitute solution for her! Whoo Hoo.. Now, chocolate may not be an world changing topic… but it sure did change the world of one of my FB friends!

  20. I like the idea of creating a question post. Just reading your blog gives me ideas to create and write. Thanks. Oh, BTW, my 2 most commented posts are:

    http://www.sweetbusinesses.com/2009/12/15/twitter-profile-page-rank-for-real.html

    and

    http://www.sweetbusinesses.com/2009/10/24/11-tools-to-monitor-your-website.html

  21. This is my most commented post: http://www.rickety.us/2009/01/the-falling-fertility-of-europe/

    I don’t know why. I just thought it was an interesting subject so I blogged about it. When it became my most visited post I followed it up with this post http://www.rickety.us/2009/01/united-states-fertility/ which became by far the most read (but not the most commented) and still is. Again I have no clue why it would attract so many visitors compared with my other posts.

    Thank you for your excellent suggestions about comments.

  22. Confusingly for you, my blog post with the most comments combined a personal story, a giveaway and was part of a blog hop –

    http://obstinatepursuit.blogspot.com/2009/11/blog-hop.html#comments

    My blog isn’t big (by any means) but the posts my readers consistently comment on are part of a new fashion meme I created with another blogger –

    http://obstinatepursuit.blogspot.com/2009/11/everythings-coming-up-roses-fashion.html#comments

    We don’t have a huge number of participants (at the moment) but I definitely think that memes need a separate place on your list as they’re fantastic ways to drive traffic to your blog and gain new readers – especially for the host.

  23. There are also list posts – a bit like this one in fact! Pictures of cute pets may lack originality but always evoke plenty of reaction for me. Does have to be consistent with the theme of your blog though.

  24. Awesome post, of course. And the fact that you linked to my favorite post? Make me adore you even more.

    Thank you! :)

  25. Awesome post, of course. And the fact that you linked to my favorite post? Makes me adore you even more.

    Thank you! :)

  26. The most commented post on my blog is about a hamburger with 3+ patties in Japan. It was so unreal, people just had to comment about it: http://centakume.info/2008/02/17/talk-about-an-epic-hamburger/

    I’m also working on a new post about my experience on a niche forum I used to visit daily. It happens to cover just about everything Darren mentioned: controversial, personal, meaty, and opinionated. ^^

  27. We think of comments as just one kind of reader engagement – usually the first kind a new blogger gets.

    ProBlogger.net gets a lot of comments as a fraction of total engagement – relative to other blogs. In fact the share of engagement form comments is very different from most sites in your area.

    You can see these engagement analytics for the last 30 days:
    http://bit.ly/8cJ3EN

  28. Hi Darren,

    Just bought your book as I have just started my new blog.

    Your posts always inspire me and I’m really enjoying your book. I take it one step at a time and I’m only on day three, but I can see how much value this book will provide for me already.

    Thank you very much for everything you do for the blogging community.

  29. Great tips on how to get comments. I love to get comments on my blog. It is something I get excited about actually. I find it fun to create a post and then the next best thing is to have some comments. To know that someone is actually reading the post and taking the time to comment keeps me going. I think what I love about blogging is the interaction between me and my readers. NOW I certainly don’t get the number of comments you get, but hope to one day. I am not sure how I would handle 1000 comments.

    Thanks again
    Jim

  30. Hi Darren,

    Although my own blog is too young to be able to form any sensible opinion on your suggestions on increasing comments, I would appreciate your views on the nofollow / dofollow issue..?

    From what I have read recently (from reliable sources) it appears that using the nofollow tag in comments just evaporates away valuable link juice ! Therefore is it not better to convert to dofollow and by doing so you are then rewarding your commenters with a little link juice..?

    I know the argument is that this nofollow tag is intended to combat spammers, but we both know that this does not work & from my own point of view and experience, the use of a simple captcha code deals with the spammers admirably.

    For example, the use of the nofollow tag doesn’t prevent spammers from spamming your comment list, it simply stops them gaining any link juice, but it also targets genuine bloggers & commenters also !

    Where as the use of captcha does prevent the vast majority of spamming as a large percentage is carried out by bots, the only downside of this as far as I can see, is that a commenter has to type an extra 4 letters or numbers after typing in whatever they had to say !

    Anyway I would appreciate your thoughts on this issue..?

    Regards Steve

  31. True these 13 types of post really get a lot of comments and specially i really like the controversy or debate posts.

  32. Hi Darren,

    Needless to say that your post makes sense. I blog about everything that has to do with African safaris and the post that received (for my small blog) the most comments was a controversial one. Here it is:

    http://planyoursafari.com/blog/i-work-in-the-safari-industry-but-wildlife-is-annoying/

    Regards,

    Johan.

  33. This is a very useful post. Thanks for sharing with us. We blogger indeed need these kinds of tips.

  34. I’m still a bit of a newbie at this but my best most-commented post by far was an inspirational peace that also used the List post, was meaty, and contained personal stories. It was also one of the easiest for me to write as I enjoyed the process and it seemed to pour right out of me.

    http://www.scribeforthetribe.com/2009/07/05/great-expectations-manifesto/

  35. Thank you for your ideas and thoughts. I am a new blogger (on the topic of leadership) and really took some great ideas from the post. Check out my blog and let me know what you think.

  36. Very nice post. Really useful information. I’ll apply these to my site. My most commented post is:

    http://about-dog-breeds.blogspot.com/2009/12/puppies-feeding-taking-care-of-english.html

    Well all my posts have gotten the same number of comments :)

    Regards,
    Raja,
    http://about-dog-breeds.blogspot.com/

  37. Absolutely true, this always happens to me,whenever i post a comment and look forward to see it again next day its removed or am banned. These things in blog really made me aware of the situation and helped me why it happens, now i will always keep these things in mind.

  38. My partner and I blog up to 5 times a week for a fashion site (www.fabulousafter40.com) and send out a bi-weekly newsletter, that consists of taking our most popular posts over the last 2 weeks. For the end of the year, we went back to see what posts were most commented on for the entire year. We were surprised to find that it was one that had nothing to do with our “niche” of womens fashion but obviously a topic that was near and dear to their heart, weight loss. We are now looking to find a product that will address this obvious hot topic!

  39. Historically, the our most commented posts are the giveaway ones. The next most commented are when we are featured in a big blog carnival called the “Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24” event.

    Comments are a good sign of readership on that particular post, but I think it’s the relationships you build afterward with the readers / commenters that really help build loyalty.

  40. I think LA times have to hire you to write the crime blog. The writing is good, since the reporter personalize every victim, yet hardly any comment.

  41. My most commented on blog included a martial arts promo video I shot called “Batista Crump Workout” that included WWE Wrestler Batista doing a martial arts workout with his trainer Marrese Crump. Yeah… wrestling and MMA fans.

  42. –>This one pulled in a lot of comments for my little blog.

    Title: What? You didn’t have a dog pulling a cart for Halloween?

    http://www.websavymom.com/2009/11/what-you-didnt-have-dog-pulling-cart.html

  43. My husband went on a 10-day hunting trip and was out of cell service and all 4 of our kids got sick. I did a photo/song tribute to him:
    http://thelumberjackswife.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/a-tribute-to-m…hunter-husband

  44. http://thelumberjackswife.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/more-christmas-card-drama/

    In this post I discussed my parents and their lack of technology skills.

  45. This is such a great resource (and a great blog). Thank you.

    I have a new blog on motherhood, family, and crafts. It hasn’t even been up for a month yet but so far, the one post that has gotten the most comments was when I shared a personal challenge I had had, and posited the question: “Am I a bad mother?”

    Here’s the post: http://www.pinkyiloveyou.com/blog/2009/12/04/the-bad-mother-thing/

    Next time I’ll even make the post title a question, instead of asking the question within the content.

    Thanks so much.

  46. For starters, bravo, on creating a post about comments to solicit comments about comments — very clever.

    As for me, what gets comments? You cover most of it, but…

    1) humor – though it also ties into a topic that is easy to relate to — not just humor for sake of humor. And it’s smart humor (makes you think a bit)

    2) useful how-tos

    3) looking at a common topic in a new way

  47. I think this one depends on the global mood of the internet users. But certain posts like, as you mentioned, mega lists, give aways, humor, etc has been the most commented ones irrespective of the website and content. Excellent post.

  48. Jordan Lee says: 12/19/2009 at 5:06 am

    My blog is still young, but on other blogs I find that question and relatable posts are the most useful and get the most comments.

  49. These are some great tips! I will have to bookmark this for reference later. I do see more activity on my tutorial posts than any other type of posts on my blog

  50. You forgot one – America’s favorite topic – Sex!

    I do “Porn Friday” over at my website, and of all my posts, this one never fails to get the most hits.

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