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The BEST Way to Generate Lots of Comments on a Your Next Blog Post

Posted By Darren Rowse 4th of March 2010 Writing Content 0 Comments

Last week on my Photography Tips site we published a guest post titled Three Lenses Every Photographer Should Own.

The author of the guest post emailed me a few days later amazed at amazing amount of comments left on the post. While the average post on dPS gets a reasonable amount of comments this post is climbing up towards 200.

Why did it do so well in engaging readers?

There are a few reasons. The guest poster didn’t really set out to do any of them – but stumbled upon one of the best ways to get readers interacting on a blog post:

  1. He Expressed an Opinion – the post shares one persons opinion on which lenses each photographer should own. While the post itself did indicate that it was his own personal preference and that others would find other options more suited to their situations – whenever you express an opinion you’re going to get other people reacting with their own.
  2. He Made a Claim – the title was key in generating this discussion. It made a claim that every photographer should own 3 lenses. I’m not sure how intentional this was but make this type of claim and you’ll almost always get a reaction because you’ll almost always have someone who doesn’t quite fit into what you’ve proposed – and they’ll want to tell you why. Write a post about ‘essentials’, or ‘the best’ or something ‘everyone’ should do – and you’ll generally get this type of response.
  3. He Invited a Response – the post finished by asking others what they’d include in their ‘must own’ category of lenses. This is the perfect invitation for an ongoing discussion.
  4. He Chose a Topic People Had Invested Heavily Into – the last thing I’d say about this topic is that he stumbled onto a topic for the post that readers had strong opinions about because they’d invested into the topic. Camera owners carefully research their lens purchases and put up considerable dollars to buy them. As a result they tend to feel quite strongly about their lenses and often feel the need to defend/explain their decisions.

Keep in mind that while when you write these types of posts you will almost always get a reaction from people that you need to be willing and ready to hear some strong opinions back – something that are not always easy to hear.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Wow! nice actions.
    ill apply those to mine, thanks for the tips


  2. One more i want to say is, people will give their comment if they are understand what they read. In my opinion, people who read without understand seems won’t give their comment and just type ‘nice post’ or ‘great job’

  3. Cheers Darren.

    Great things to keep in mind when I’m trying to layout and plan a post.

  4. Controversial topics always help, state something on which almost nobody can agree with.

  5. Saying something that you know will initiate a response is something I’ve done for years, in normal conversation as well as articles.

    I find it’s a great way to find out how someone really feels about a topic. Instead of treading the well worn path chuck something into the mixer, if someone has a differing opinion great. In voicing it you’ve managed to involve that reader as well as getting them to add to the information on the page.

    Getting comments is definitely one of the biggest aims for my blog. I don’t know what the consensus is but I’m usually about as interested in the comments as the main article when I read. I find it really useful to see what other people’s opinions are, it makes it easier to see the big picture.

  6. Prior to the 2008 election I wrote a post on the Palin/Biden debate. It wasn’t about what they said, more the type of language the used (something called the Milton Model) and how they delivered it.

    My comments went through the roof as people jumped in to the fray wanting to talk politics. It was fun to begin with until I got an abusive e-mail telling me to **** off back to England and people started arguing with one another etc.

    Similar stuff happened when I wrote a post on God and a couple on the Law of Attraction.

    Now I’m struck between thinking it’s great to have lots of comments, but quality comments are much better even if they are fewer. It’s all about expanding the debate an adding value.

    I have learned so much from my readers and I love it when they tell me I’m wrong and more importantly why, because it makes me think.

    Whereas banal comments add nothing imho. I mean seriously, if I see one more comment along the lines of, “Great post this couldn’t have come at a better time for me” I think I’ll burst into tears.

  7. @Darren would hitting on someone’s emotions help also?

  8. Nothing is better than asking for a response. It;s amazing what a “what do you think?” at the end of the post will do for traffic. Thanks so much for the reminders on a very important subject.

  9. I’m often surprised how Politically Correct many blogger are, especially women bloggers (I know, my opinion!), who go to great lengths not to rock the boat.

    Not sure why…. but this PC approach stops their blog having an edge, a strong opinion… and in turn the feedback you’re talking about above.

    Others, of course. go to excess to SHOCK but that can be a bit tedious after a while.

    So, why are girl bloggers so PC?

  10. Making a claim. That strikes a nerve. I like it. I’m just trying to figure out how to weave it into one of my topics. Opinions and Responses seem pretty normal for most bloggers, nothing new. But that claim does sound like it would open the flood gates. I also like the concept of being heavily invested. That I can do, especially with my niche. Thanks for the tips. I love it when the rusty gears start turning… :)

  11. Great topic. These are all basic things but I certainly overlook them more often than I should.

    Thanks for the tips!

  12. I feel over my time frame of blogging I have learned to Expressed an Opinion which creates that atmosphere where one leans with you and the others wants to lean the other way and let you know exactly how they feel. That is the great thing though, because next thing you know you have a very explosive article generating tons of comments.

  13. Funny, I just wrote a post on comments, and titled it 5 Ways to Reduce Your Comment Count. It’s basically the exact opposite of what a blogger SHOULD be doing. Writing it in this way, and then completely contradicting my own (bad) advice and asking a question brought the comments pouring in. People were quickly adding things I hadn’t thought of and responding to each other’s comments.

  14. What a horrible, limp dick of a post! Just kidding, but I love how people leave cheesy, self serving comments on the same blog that preaches not to do that!

    “Wow! nice actions.
    ill apply those to mine, thanks for the tips


    What a d-bag

  15. I’m completely in favor of lots of comments, but I do get tired of meaningless comments. These tips sound like they actually work to enhance the discussion around the topic and that is much better than just growing your number of comments.

    I would rather have 25 comments that actually ask questions, share experiences, and interact with the author and other members of the conversation than to have hundreds that say nothing more than “Great post!”

  16. Agreed – it’s not necessarily the QUALITY of the post, but often the way that the content is presented. On my own site, some of the content is much more suited to comments than others. One of my writers wrote a very nice review of Glacier National Park. It’s a nice article, but there’s nothing particular controversial about a review of a nice place to visit.

    On the other hand, I have four political writers on staff – obviously their content is a bit more controversial.

  17. I definitely think if you don’t invite folks to comment at the end of your post then they probably won’t. People like to answer questions and debate interesting topic, they only need to be incited to do so…:)

  18. Fair play that’s some good info. Yea i can see how that plays out.

  19. Good points there, as they say if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So the call to action really does work a dream.

  20. It even doesn’t have to be facts you’re stating in your post, because often times your opinion will be challenged by others.

    Another great way is to approve your negative comments as well, because often times your readers will back you up and leave rebuttals for you.

  21. good points
    but i thought today reader have been understand that giving comments is compared to giving thanks to the author

  22. I guess this comes down to balancing between hitting a nerve and saying all the things that seem correct to the general public.Truth can only be one, and false can be many. Of course, you can’t please everyone, and get everyone to agree with you. As long as conversations are dealt with in a professional way so that truth is brought forth without being hidden. Although some may disagree to a certain truthful topic, others would have been searching about it for ages.

    Wonderful content, Darren. :)

  23. Hi Darren, I’ve also noticed this trait among blogs that have high amount of comments. The writer usually express an opinion of the topic their writing about and invite a response from the readers like asking a question to them. It usually seems to be a good strategy to generate stimulating conversation between the writer and the readers.

  24. prince says: 03/04/2010 at 5:22 am

    I must say i was attracted to this post by the header, That’s the most important part on any writing, if the topic is not captivating, then there is no real incentive to read further, firstly capture your targeted audience with a great opener, then go further in engaging them, and you are sure to get a tremendous amount of remarkable responses.

  25. Very helpful. Yes, you make a claim. Yes, you cause some controversy. Yes, you ask for opinions. But what do you do if your topic is a little embarrassing? How do you get people to get over their shyness?

    When I talked about tips to spice up intimacy (especially with altoids), I may not have gotten a lot of comments, but those that did really had a lot to add.

    Thanks for the post.

    Sarah Baron, member of the Anonymous8

  26. Hi Darren.

    Some great and very easy points to adapt for my blog.

    This is something I am working on now, to learn more about how to create better interactions on my blog.

    Working on trying out a different comment plugin, and some other techniques I read about. So will try your suggestions here out also.

    Cheers.. Are

  27. I’ve been trying to make effort to write more engaging posts lately in an effort to generate more comments.

    I run a men’s humor blog so I’ve been trying to write more blog posts that feature a debate on a topic men are interested in.

  28. Great tips.. pissing people off is always a good way to get people talking..lol

    You either want comments, or quality comments from people that will come back.

  29. Asking people to comment about things they enjoy is always a winner.

  30. It’s interesting that it didn’t matter how controversial the opinion was (the poster wasn’t recommending people throw out their lenses), just that people cared about the subject.

    Methinks it’d be a good idea to try to figure out what your readers are invested in. Where have they spent their money? What do they care about?

  31. Another thing to think about is the actual format of the blog. If your bog is designed in such a way that it seems hard to figure out where to actually make a comment, it can deter people from leaving there opinion. This is something that I have found with my own blog template and am going to be re-arranging for just that purpose in the newar future.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  32. I like what he did. I think that these are very actionable steps and I am going to apply them on one of my next post tomorrow just have to restructure my post.
    Thanks for putting this together will see how my comments go. Well I don’t have many readers so I am hoping for some comments at least.

  33. @Joshua I would be deterred from leaving a post if you’re gonna talk about your bog and all.

  34. some posts are more contriversial than others. Some deserve a comment based on what others say.

  35. This is interesting. I started my blog Sep last year and it is getting more popular and it is slowly getting more readers. While I do get people occasionally commenting on the blog, I have written opinion pieces, I have asked the reader direct questions, I have blatantly asked them to comment yet people still are not commenting as much as I would like them to. I have provided very clear call to actions – I even offered a free book to my readers to encourage more comments on one of my posts. Yes some people did comment but I expected much more than what I received. So this is still a mystery to me. I know blogs take time to grow and for people to trust you and to consider you credible and to respect you as a blogger but it is still an area that is baffling me. I believe I write engaging posts although I do acknowledge I break some of the “rules” eg my posts are too long, I need more subheadings etc

    I also get people commenting to me through personal email and facebook. I have also asked everyone politely to please make any comments on the blog rather than email/facebook but people still do :) Also people tell me to my face they have read my latest post and what they think of it but seem to hesitate to make comments. Interesting…

  36. Hi there Darren, I followed these recommendations after reading your e-book (31 days to build a better blog) and I can attest that it works well for my blog.

    I’m getting a lot of additional comments although some of them are just simple kudos and stuff. Maybe I can let my readers post more sensible comments if I try building posts around numbers 2 and 4 on your list. I’ll let you know how it went.

  37. i agree 100 % that choose the right topic is important and invite a response will make the readers fill welcome.

  38. Hearing people’s comments is always good because you can get a lot of info from them.

    As I wrote in one of the other blogs that I visit often

    Hearing negative things from people is something that I love.

    The reason why I love it is because:

    a) It just shows me that I am not perfect (which nobody is anyway) and that I need to work on some things to become as perfect as I can be :-P
    b) Some negative feedback can also encourage me to fix things so than I can ” cut down ” the negatives and increase my positives which is always good as well 8)
    c) Negative comments are usually the ones that bring out the discussions which increases the popularity of whatever I am doing :-P .. and who does not like to be popular :)

  39. Thanks Darren! I am very new to the blogging scene but am soaking up everything i can from experts like yourself :-p

    I’ll try to start implementing these.

  40. It is interesting. It’s kind of viral marketing you post here Darren. Controversy. May be I should write something about this as well. :P

  41. Everyone has opinions and everyone wants to be heard. This is a great tutorial on just plain communication. It really gets the mind to brainstorm on ideas for posts that will induce at least some passion for readers to say what they think.

    It’s definitely a good outline for us bloggers to use… sort of a reference when we really want some good user interaction.


  42. Hi Darren,

    I think what attracts people is the list concept; something about naming a number in the title makes people wonder what that number represents.

    I think people intuitively look at lists as winning lists, something like “the world winning 3 best lenses are…”

    Be a Blogger | REAL-TIME Blogging Report

  43. A timely post! What you say makes great sense. Thanks for the article.

  44. Its intresting..

    Right topic and giving a chance to make online discussion like post question related to topic will surely works

  45. We have different perspective on how to convince readers leaving a comment on a blog post. What he did was actually right.

  46. Open ended blogs are always preferred by people and more so in cases where the author communicates with the people who put their comments out there.
    Very rightly put and we all know that this is the correct way if one wants their blogs to exist out there on the web.

  47. Yes! We should be ready to accept any comment from the readers. I have a blog related to cancer. Sometimes, my readers will ask me to give them the medical advice. Yet, I will ask them to refer to the medical doctor for proper advice.

  48. Hi guys

    i really enjoyed reading these tips into generating more blog comments. Though if you could wipe out my spam comments over night i would pay a lot for it!!!

    kind regards


  49. I agree with all of these. Another I’d like to add that worked for me recently, was to write a piece in humour that others found themselves able to relate to quite strongly.

  50. For a general purpose, any Controversial or debatable topics will work to get lot of comments but when it comes to your business point of view, it will not work.

    I found very tough to make an attractive title than writing a blog when my business is something like Training. Your blog should give good and useful information then only good and relative visitors will comment on it.


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