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To be honest with you, I can’t remember much about the first comment I ever received on a blog post I’d written. It was back sometime in 2002, after all!

commenting on a blog post

Image copyright sqback, used with permission

What I do remember is the thrill. When that first reader comments on your blog, you know you’ve finally reached someone. Your writing has moved one of the people who’s arrived at your blog to respond.

Whether the comment’s long or short, detailed or simple, it doesn’t much matter: that first real (non-spam) comment is a milestone for any blogger.

Comments are always an issue for bloggers.

When you’re waiting for that first-ever comment, you dream of the days when your blog’s swamped with thoughtful comments the way the A-list blogs are.

But experienced bloggers have other considerations to tackle—and they’re not just about finding time to sift through spam or respond to commenters. As your blog grows, and attracts more comments, you’ll probably find yourself wanting to create the right kind of culture around comments, and that’ll dictate the kinds of comments you send to trash, respond to, and maybe even highlight in posts you write.

So all of us—not just those starting out—need ideas that we can use to generate comments on our blogs, and comments of the right type (no trolls, please!). Recently, I asked some experienced bloggers if they’d share their wisdom with us in a series of posts on generating comments. I’ll be publishing their responses throughout the week, starting today, and I hope we’ll all find it useful!

Update: those tips are…

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. Our blog is about four years old. It was two years before we got any comments and only in the last six months have we received comments with any type of frequency. ( And by that I mean a few a week.) .

    Every now and then a controversial post generates a response, but I don’t want to be known for an angry blog, so I would love to hear from others how the generate more comments without stirring the pot too much?

    • Sometimes joining a community of similar bloggers will drive traffic, particularly traffic that like to engage with publishers. I joined a network of personal finance bloggers and found many quickly started reading my posts and leaving comments :)

      • @ Taline

        Would love to know that ” network of personal finance ”

        Yes agree with you … commenting on same niche blogs and forums is easiest thing to get the recognition.

        Along with this you can also try your hand on Squidoo and Hubpages.

        @ Darren

        Recently we saw a sharp declining in your comments volume as well. What is the reason ? Earlier you used to have 60 – 80+ comments on all post.

  2. I’m generally getting a few comments here and there, but I would like my readers to become more engaged in the topics. As an x-ray tech and instructor, I try to post topics that will get students in the field thinking about some of the abstract concepts that we generally cover, and have successfully done so a few times, but would love to increase the dialogue on my blog.

  3. I love when I receive comments on my site or even on posts in Facebook. Reader engagement is definitely the goal of any blog owner. Currently I’m still searching for more regular commenters, but I’m happy that the current level does let me personally engage back without being overwhelmed. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you Darren over on DPS some posts see hundreds of comments!

  4. It’s the comments and interactions that I find to be the most satisfying part of blogging–not the metrics. The numbers are great, but if no one responds to posts, tweets, emails, etc then it’s like I’m just talking to myself. I have a few posts that have generated some really good discussions and individual comments. It’s not as steady as I would like, but I think as time goes on, and I keep following great advice (like what Darren and many of the contributors here provide) and continue to push forward with consistently relevant & quality content then I won’t have much to worry about.

  5. I am a new blogger (started blogging 5 months back) and I have a bunch of regular readers who have been following my personal blog right from the start. They are now part of my personal journey so comment on a regular basis to help me cope up with the crisis in my life.

    I regularly reply to all comments and many times write e-mails too (when all I want to tell them can’t be fit in a comment).

    I receive very few comments on my posts, but I make it a point to reply to them all because they are words of support/ comfort/ advises to help me.

    Eagerly waiting for the upcoming posts about comments.

  6. When I published my first post, I was shocked to get a comment pretty quickly from cyberspace. That moment of elation was replaced by suspicion when the person’s name was the same as my teenage son’s middle name, and yes, he had punked me! Since then, I have really appreciated all the comments I get from real people out there (unless my son has an elaborate complex life of false identities!) I usually try to comment back and visit the blogs of people who visit.

    • Marc – your comment is great! On my end comments are sporadic at best for my site. In late 2011 I started to write more and comments picked up but I’ve had trouble prioritizing new content – that said last week I put up three posts – best for 2012. Still no comments though. : )

  7. Hi Darren

    Comments is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. Most of the comments I got on my blog were either spam or the sort of comments that just say good post or nice article. I found that going through all these comments was becoming very time consuming and yesterday I turned off comments on my blog.

    But that doesn’t mean I don’t want people to discuss the recent posts, so I’m experimenting with comments on social networks. I’m going to try using comments on G+, so when I publish a new post on my blog this is go out on G+, I then grab the link and display this at the end of the post. Allowing people to easily go over to G+ and leave a comment.

    I know most people aren’t on G+ so I might post links to Facebook too and see how it goes.

    What do you think to social networks comments?

    Thanks
    Paul

  8. I am happy to receive comments on my blog. Especially when they do add insight to my post and additional information which/opinions coming from my readers. I try to respond to each and every commenter and at the same time weed off and remove all the SPAM which I do get together with genuine comments.

  9. Darren, it is exciting when you realize that your blog touches someone enough to leave a message. Sometimes I am surprised by the posts that collect the most comments. At this point, my blog is still a hobby and I don’t know how to turn it into anything else (although I would like to).

    This series looks like one I will be paying attention to. Thanks! Miriam

  10. In every post I have at least 1 comment. And I’m like JEUH!! When I have more, I’m just as happy. It really gives you a thrill.. But sometimes it does make me nervous, will they like this post? Is my blog okay? But I have to think about that I’m blogging for myself at the first place!

  11. I’ve found that when you hit on the right topic with the right audience, it’s not hard to get people to respond. For example, last week I did a series on kindness and giving, and I let the people over at the 29gifts.org website know about it. Suddenly, I had far more comments than usual — because they had so many insights to share! Right now, though, I’m trying to figure out how to keep up the active discussion over time, and how to attract more new readers/commentators.

  12. As I have a photoblog, I mainly post images – and I know people are looking at these. But I hardly ever receive comments on the images I post – or receive them in other venues – like my Facebook page or G+ profile where those posts are often cross-posted to.

  13. My site is growing and I now have a sprinkling of new folks commenting along with my family and friends. I like to respond to everyone, but hope that at some point that becomes unmanageable. I also sift through the daily spammers, deleting as I go, but wish that I had a “drop-the-anvil” button instead of just a delete key.

  14. Just started posting on my website today, so there isn’t much to comment on yet, other than perhaps to tell me to change my theme from the out of the box WordPress theme. :-)

  15. Hi Darren,

    Getting comments is definitely a rubric upon which I judge the quality of my blog and specific posts. Right now they just sort of trickle in – no spam though.

    Interestingly, I recently checked in at Reddit and found a whole string of comments about one of my posts there. There seems to be some interesting implications about how linkable social media relates to blogging. I, for one, will be spending more time checking in and working through such sites.

    • Christopher,

      Can you tell me more about your experience with Reddit? I have a health & wellness blog, but when I looked for subreddits to post some of my articles, it seemed each individual sub was really advanced in their area. In other words, the readers there are SO into their topic, that they know a lot already and just discuss the minutiae. My blog is not about the minutiae, so I really couldn’t find a good place to post my articles. Does that make sense?

      How are you approaching it?

      Thanks,
      Nisha

  16. Thanks Darren Rowse for sharing the nice tips. But my way if you writing an unique post then comments are come automatically.

  17. raghavendra says: 03/19/2012 at 3:02 am

    Well i received my first comment on blog 6-9-10.
    constantly i respond the comments i get,
    no matter is good or bad criticism.
    That’s how i build my readership

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/

  18. Amber says: 03/19/2012 at 3:07 am

    I’ve just started a new blog – only one post so far. I haven’t posted it anywhere or told anyone about it; I’m still not happy with the design and I would like to have a couple of posts under my belt before I really put it out there. But I feel like it must have ended up somewhere weird…I’ve gotten 18 comments so far, most of them in very poor English, and many of them giving the impression that the writer didn’t actually read the post. I’m guessing it’s spam, and I’m not sure if there’s any good way to differentiate spam from legitimate responses. Any thoughts?

  19. Pepper says: 03/19/2012 at 3:12 am

    My comments only come after lots of networking and socializing work. I wish i had more organic comments like I used to get years ago. But I wonder if the era of the rss readers has made comments more rare. Do you notice a difference from before rss readers, darrel? How do you suggest getting your subscribers to comment more? Is there a way to make it easier for them to comment?

  20. I get a few comments per post. I would love more but at the same time it makes for a nice ongoing conversation with all of my regular readers and I love that sense of my tight knit community on my blog, too. So it’s a win-win.

    I do the basic things to get comments – comment on other people’s blogs, include questions at the end of posts, always respond to my blog’s comments, etc. I recently started a Friday Open Discussion where I pose a controversial question (well, controversial for a crochet community) and ask people to add their two cents. That hasn’t taken off quite as much as I’d like but I’m hoping I’ll be able to grow it.

    I do want to take a lesson from some of the people who have had comment parties and other real time comment events but I haven’t quite figured out how I want to work that.

  21. I received my first comment long ago. By long I mean it was last year. And yes it felt great. I was so excited to see that someone, other than my friends, have taken out time and commented on my blog. It was more of a spam though. Not insightful but it still felt great:D For people starting out blogging, I would only suggest to use a good comment plugin. The default commenting system in blogger sucks. And to also comment on other blogs of the same niche. Many a times the owner of the blog will return the favor by commenting on your blog. Unless ofc the blog is pretty famous like this one:)

  22. I love receiving comments that add to the content or maybe ask a question. The one thing I can’t stand are comments left by robots (and it’s easy to spot who they are).

    They will leave a comment like “great post” or “I learned a lot from this post”… all in hopes to get a back link to their site. How lazy!

  23. Thanks for the article! Nothing beats the feeling of getting a few nice comments on your posts :).

  24. I find that people like to comment when the post is either hilarious or very thought provoking. People who think like me will generally comment to show their support.

  25. I have a few blogs, some dead and some newborn, none in between. The old one still gets comments, one of the new ones got its first and only significant comment recently. Rest of the new ones are still virgin. I would love to have comments on those, I guess after you write a post exhausting yourself with the best way to convey what you mean, a nice and insightful comment is something that puts a smile on your face and gets your heart pumping.

  26. Depending on which blog, I usually receive random comments. It all depends on the topic I am writing. And i always try to answer and thank for them when they are useful/insightful for the audience.

  27. I am currently trying to figure out how to get readers to comment. I am trying different things. So far it isn’t working. I will be interested in your tips.

  28. Darren and all you other bloggers reading this, I have a question on spam comments. Do you read through them or not? I’m sure that you like I get dozens or hundreds a day caught in the spam filter. And very occasionally as I glance through them, I see one or two real ones. So very time I hit that Empty Spam button I worry about those honest commenters being crushed with the spammers. Are you going to tell me that you scan through them, page by page, looking for outliers?

  29. In my view, the best ways to get readers to comment is by wring detailed content the encourages though and ideas. Also If the author takes time to reply to comments it will encourage the others to comment too. I dont remember my first comment, when I started my blog it was mostly my friends that commented but now I’m reaching out to a much larger audience and I’m starting to see comments from people on the other side of the world wich gives a good feeling knowing you can reach out and influence someone that far.

  30. I have a month old blog and yesterday I got my first two comments. My excitement turned into disappointment after I saw they were just spam comments. I deleted them.

  31. My blog is young, and I am still learning to differentiate between spam and genuine comments! Real comments are awesome!

  32. I’m just starting out in the world of blogging. I have a very old domain but just recently switched it over to WordPress (Genesis Framework) and I’m still waiting for traffic to build. I did receive a flurry of spam comments within the first few days and had to install a better comment spam plugin, must be it works because now I get NO comments lol…

  33. I have been blogging for just over a month now and I am still waiting for that elusive first comment. When I write I posts I always think that it good post that others could add insight, but no one has yet. I have been trying to ask a question or ask for others opinions in my blog to try to provoke a comment. I think once I write a post that gets a comment I will understand what my readers are looking for. I have received a few comments on Facebook and twitter regarding my posts, but I want them on my blog. Thanks for the advice.

  34. I remember receiving my first comments. It was like opening presents at Christmas. It still is I guess. I’ve been blogging for a little more than a year now, and I love it. I have a group of readers that read and comment regularly. It’s great to have that small fan base :)

  35. Hi I love getting comments I don’t remember my first one either though i am sure with digging I could still find it! I like when people offer ideas or ask questions and thus spark my creativity for few posts I do get my fair share of spam too but the plugin I use works well to curve it

  36. Aliosha says: 03/19/2012 at 6:34 am

    Well done, you are really good at driving people away from your blog. What was wrong with my comment and why did you delete it? Don’t bother answering, I will not come back to see the reply.

  37. Just read the first post. It is great. Even if one knows this things, the objective look on the matter itself is quite enough for realizing some better ways.
    I already have couple of ideas that might work. Will share them here if something does do the trick.
    Here is one thought: Interacting with other beginners on their blogs in your niche might ignite some interaction on your blog too.

  38. I have a handful of comments, but my blog consists of lessons for English as a Second Language students – so it doesn’t really invite commenting. I leave them on just in case somebody wants to post a question, as some visitors have done. But most of my approx. 150 entries have no comments. I’m wondering if I should leave them on or turn them off altogether?

  39. I’m at a great place. I get a fare amount of comments (I always want more) and I can respond to everyone. I may not have the time to visit everyone’s post (I use CommentLuv), but I do respond to everyone. I really appreciate well thought out comments. I’ve started deleting the “nice post” comments (I think these are spam); I crave well thought out comments; even if someone responds with one sentence, it can be a thoughtful comment.

    Kimberly

  40. I get a few comments every week; but I get more likes than I do comments.

  41. I’m still waiting for that all important first comment that will boost my ego lol. You cover an angle I hadn’t thought of though in that once my blog picks up and I’m receiving comments I’ll be able to refer to them in posts or even generate new posts based from the comments I receive.

  42. I wrote a quite in depth post regarding comments on our sites.

    The reality is as you have stated, it’s a case of wishing to encourage quality comments, as apposed to just spammy style entries. I have noticed that, if you have a decent quality post that get’s a bit of air time(picked up out in the blog o sphere) and if an Authority Blog or website figure drops a comment, there seems to be a wave of similarly noted(or close to) people joining the thread.

  43. I find that your comment will naturally go up as soon as you are seen as an expert on a topic or niche. This can come from social, financial or subscriber proof but in most cases people looking for information want to learn from an expert and not someone just like them.

  44. I still try to respond to nearly every one, but most days it takes too much time. So I am beginning to respond more selectively.

  45. As my blogs are still relatively new (less than 1 year) so I am not expecting much comments but do agree that blog comment is important to create a sense of community for the liked minded. I would first focus on writing more unique content and participate more with other bloggers on the platform like ProBlogger.

    Cheers!

  46. It’s good to see a post on comments. I have been more than eager to discuss about that with anybody. I started blogging recently say 5 months back with zero knowledge to be precise. And i have to admit, I haven’t got any comment on any one of mosts till date (except for a single one I coaxed one of my friends to comment..:). I’ll be looking forward to the series of posts on comments. Thanks in advance.

  47. Commenting is one reason why I started my blog on WordPress.com, it’s almost like it’s own mini social network and people come to comment on your blog because the tags are global. A few months later I moved over to self-hosted and took my commentors with me.

    My two tips for getting more comments (which I also shared in the post by Danny are to:
    – Have a comments policy! Once people know what they are and aren’t allowed to do it seems to help them get on and do it.
    – Tell them what you want them to share. This is something I definitely stole from various places around the internet but it can work really well.

  48. Hi Darren,

    Thanks for doing this. I love to hear more tips on how to get more comments onto my website. This is definitely something everyone is looking for.

    Dan

  49. I have to say I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. I’d love to get a few more comments on my blog, but alas, all I have so far is spam.

    I don’t like spam…

    What I find odd, though, is that I just had a pretty big surge of StumbleUpon traffic about a week ago, but still no comments. According to Google Analytics, quite a few even browsed for a while. Not sure what’s up there.

  50. Great post! I’m curious to see what everyone else has to say about this topic. My blog is a little over a year old, and the excitement of getting a comment on something I’ve written, hasn’t faded. Although I am still not getting the number of comments I would like, I do see an increase. Besides trying to write unique material, I try to visit other blogs that are similar to mine and leave my own comments. When I find another blog I enjoy, I link to it in my blog and make an effort to get back every few days or so to see what’s new. Most of us are working hard to put our writing out there, and it’s encouraging to see that someone is interested enough for repeat visits. When someone does comment, I try to visit their page as well, and leave some feedback.

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