Do you want more comments on your blog? Let’s assume you already know how valuable comments are to your blogging experience. But how do you get more of them? Here are 31 ways to increase comments on your blog. Some are concepts I use regularly on my own blogs. Others I know about from watching other bloggers. (Note that I don’t necessarily endorse all methods. You have to decide what is right for you.)

  1. Take a Stand – Most bloggers wallow in moral cowardice because they fear backlash. Take some time to outline your beliefs on an issue that matters to you and publish your thoughts. (Do this sooner rather than later. It’s best to get the mistakes out of the way while you have a smaller audience.) Readers love watching to see if you’ll lose your cool in the comments of a post. (You will the first few times. It comes with the territory.)
  2. Ask For Help – Do you have a problem that you could use some help with? From athletes foot to banana bread, most readers are happy to look your question up in google and give you some resulting tips in a comment. (Asking for medical advice online is high on the scale of bad ideas unless it’s a medical community site…good for lots of comments and a follow-up post though!)
  3. Attack Somebody – If you’ve got beef with somebody, publish it! Know the difference between a flagrant attack and a thoughtful post that calls another’s behaviors or beliefs into action. Both will get a lot of comments but the first might garner a lawsuit. (I call this an “attack” because readers will nearly always view a post that includes names as an attack even if the content is very much about a concept and not a person. Know what you’re stepping into.)
  4. Congratulate Somebody – There’s a lot of arrogance online and any post that says, “I want you to check out this person and here’s why” will often win some comments about how much of a nice person you are. (Sure, you could be posting about somebody because you care about them…but there are many non-public ways to show you care that are often considered more meaningful. Go ahead and post to boost your own brand, just make sure you reach out to the people you care about in a genuine way.)
  5. Link Up – It doesn’t take much time to incorporate a few links into your posts and most blog platforms automatically notify the sites you linked to. If you want to go the extra mile, take a quick look at the sites you’re linking to and use terms related to their sites in your links. This is a great way to get noticed by larger sites that know enough about SEO to appreciate your effort. (Know that any comments you get from big blogs you link to will often be short and add little to the conversation. They’re just tagging you back…which is the point of your links anyhow.)
  6. Disappear – Most bloggers post too often.  They start getting regular comments and decide to increase their posting schedule from weekly to twice weekly or even daily. If you’ve bludgeoned your readers with too much content lately, take a break. Disappear for a week or two and come back with a really thoughtful post. They’ll welcome you back with open arms. (Posting thoughtful content less frequently is a much better way to build a vibrant community than retching rubbish onto an RSS feed. The internet will be okay if you don’t post for a bit.)
  7. Avoid Guest Posts – You’re not a genius editor with a huge network of willing writers who trust you to make sensible changes to their articles. Until that declaration no longer applies to you, hold off on the guest posts and focus on creating content that makes sense of your own ideas. (You can get the community jollies of guest posting by trading articles for edits/suggestions before posting your article on your own blog.)
  8. Accept Guest Posts – If you can find somebody with a great social network who doesn’t blog regularly, ask them to write a guest post for your blog. They’ll be excited about posting on a blog and push their entire network to read and comment on the article. (Quality doesn’t matter so much. You’re just cashing in on the “first post” rush that every blogger gets on a new blog…except you’re hijacking it for your own blog. Snazzy!)
  9. Try Different Media – If you always publish text posts, try making a video or drawing a cartoon to make your point. If you’ve been messing around with photoshop and have some cool cat-zebra mashups that you’re proud of, post away! (If you decide to do a video, PLEASE don’t begin with, “well, I wanted to talk to you about …. today.” Just get into your topic and rock it.)
  10. Kill Your Retweet Button – Giving people an easy-out is, some would argue, a comment-killer. Give your readers only one way to respond and they’ll be more likely to take it. (This only works well if you’ve got amazing content and are hoping to snag the fence-sitting readers who know they want to respond but aren’t ready to commit to a comment.)
  11. Kill Friendly Spam – Disqus, Chat Catcher, Twitback, etc all pull luscious bits of rubbish from various platforms and splooge them into your comment thread. Clear out the noise and let your readers know you’re serious about interaction and don’t just want to grease the slide for whatever comments come your way. (When readers think you value their input, they’re more likely to return and participate in multiple discussions on your blog.)
  12. Add Friendly Spam – If you’re looking just to boost comment counts and not discussion quality, there are a lot of friendly spam-gathering plug-ins available to pull social media reactions into your comment thread. (If you’re of the “more is better no matter what” school of thought, this is probably the best route to getting your comment count up.)
  13. Add a Retweet Button – If you’ve decided to go with #12, you’ll want to add the RT button so you can accelerate the Twitter-blog-Twitter visitor cycle. Every tweet is a “comment” so push, push! (I’m using an ordered list that makes me have a #13 and I’m pretending to be superstitious today….bear with me.)
  14. Ask for comments - Email friends, beg on Facebook, promise to film naughty twitvid’s in exchange for comments. Remember when you posted your very first article and begged your friends to read it and comment? It works even better now that you’ve got some friends who actually know what a blog is! (This actually works. I had a friend email me earlier asking for a comment on an article she’d written that was in an area of interest for me. Guess what? I commented gladly!)
  15. Close comments – Not on all of your posts. Just on some of them. If you post regularly but have trouble keeping interaction levels high, it might be a good idea to close comments on the blurbs and silly pieces so your readers know when you’d especially like their input. (If you’re a “social media blogger,” beware of closing comments. People will say you’re anti-interaction and throw moist cybertowelettes at you.)
  16. Respond to comments – Seriously, if you’re deciding between leaving comments on another blog and responding to comments on your own blog, choose your blog. If you can’t carry a conversation in your own home it doesn’t make much sense to try and start them in other places. Responding to remarks on your own blog lets readers know that you are truly listening and care about what they have to say. Obviously, that will often lead to more comments and repeat visits. (Don’t look to “A-listers”–especially in social media–for examples of good behavior when it comes to comments. They’re busy doing other things.)
  17. Extend Comments – If you get a bee in your bonnet while reading another blog, don’t waste your passion in a long comment. Put your thoughts into an article for your own blog and link back to it in a short comment on the post that inspired you. “Extending” a conversation in this way means more comments for everybody involved. (Linking back to the inspiring post is good business and makes up for any self-promotion you might have done in the comment that linked to your article.)
  18. Write About Death – The deaths of blogging, twitter, social media, advertising, traditional media, and celebrities are all good comment-catching topics. Even a thoughtful post about death in general would do quite well as it’s something most of us think about on a regular basis. (Writing an article about how you wish death on a particular person is a bad idea.)
  19. Write About Life – Find something that inspires you and write the living daylights out of it. Not only will you enjoy the process but readers will often pick up on your enthusiasm and choose to rock out with you in the comments section of your article. (If you’ve been writing about death recently, try stirring up the morgue with a few posts about thriving existence.)
  20. Write About Your Fears – Is there something besides death, failure, and drowning that scares you? Fear is something we all have in different amounts regarding different things. If you have a morbid fear of choking on celery, open up and share it with your readers. Most won’t directly identify with your particular fear but, between the laughs and jokes, you’ll find a level of connection you’d miss out on with an article about your strengths. (Readers generally respond to articles that portray some sort of risk to the author. Take a risk and enjoy the comments!)
  21. Write About A Failure – People love observing disasters. There’s nothing more enjoyable than reading about somebody crashing and burning when you know that they’re okay now so it’s alright to enjoy the story. “What I learned from burning my own house down” is a title sure to gather comments. (If it’s coupled with a post about the promised events.)
  22. Curse Often – Shock and awe is a tactic used by many bloggers who have trouble producing quality content. You can often make up for bad writing by cursing a lot and using odd flips in logic to keep readers guessing and entertained. Readers who find you disgusting will comment as will all the readers who find you terribly amusing. Comments galore! (I don’t adopt this tactic personally but I know of many bloggers who use it regularly.)
  23. Buy Comments – Using comments as a way to enter for a great prize is fail-safe way to get comments. If you want to force readers to surrender some value in exchange for your sweet schwag, make them respond to a thought-provoking question in their comment. (In spite of all the schwag hag hooplah circulating, I think give-aways can actually be leveraged into something that’s good for a blog-centric community.)
  24. Start a Comment Cluster – Groups of bloggers who always comment on each other’s articles are great for higher comment counts. Coment clusters form naturally over time but can be built with a little push and thoughtful effort on your part. Start out with one blogger and work your way up until you’ve got 10-15 bloggers in your cluster. (This only works if you have a group of bloggers that post articles with the same frequency. Otherwise one blogger “gets” more out of the deal and things go sour.)
  25. Trade Comments – Come right out and offer to leave a comment on any article chosen by readers who leave comments on your blog. Most comments are left out of either interest or a sense of reciprocity. Acknowledging the reciprocity and taking the initiative to leverage it into more comments for your blog is an effective way to boost comments. (Just be ready to read some really weird stuff and post comments on blogs you might not read otherwise.)
  26. Write About Blogging – If you’ve come across something useful or have an idea about blogging in general, the blogging community is introspective enough to happily clamber all over your article. Blogging about writing often has similar results. There are so many different ways to go about writing articles and publishing them on the web that sharing your perspective is certain to garner some attention. (You don’t need to be terribly helpful or offer a lot of insight. Just tell things as you see them and your readers will invariably respond.)
  27. Write About Twitter – It’s rare to find a regular Twitter user that doesn’t have an opinion or two about the service, company, or community that is Twitter. If you write an article about Twitter that fewer than 100 bloggers have written about already, you can be certain of comments from the Twitter-crazed masses. (Go overboard on this and you end up the mockery of your readers.)
  28. Write Short Articles – A best-case scenario involves a visitor spending 3-5 minutes on your blog. That’s just enough time to read a 300 word article and craft a brief comment in response. Learn to pack a lot of goodness into a small space and you’ll reap the benefits of comments from joyful readers who gladly reply to your blurb with a comment.
  29. Be Unexpected – Find a way to surprise your readers and they will always respond with a comment. How can you do this? Ask them to disagree with you or provide some evidence that you’re wrong about something. (Readers are often glad to disagree with you if they know you won’t take the disagreement personally. Surprise them with a welcome to disagree and watch the discussions pile up!)
  30. Make Announcements – Marriage, weightloss, death, celebrations, etc. Announcements are great comment-getters for two reasons. 1. They’re usually quite short and to the point. 2. Readers don’t have to think long and hard about the appropriate response. (Make it easy for readers to contribute and they often will!)
  31. Write For Yourself – The best way to get more comments than you know what to do with is to write articles that you personally find interesting. Use the social media platforms you enjoy most to share those articles with others and don’t stress out when comments don’t pile up on every article you publish. Life isn’t fair, the internet is full of weirdos, and it’s likely that your best article (in your estimation) will be one of your least-popular ones. (This is very true in my case.)

You may find some of these concepts boring and old hat. However, I’m hoping there are a few new thoughts in the mix that spark some ideas about how you can encourage your readers to interact with you more. Take the good bits home to your blog and play around with them. Find out what works best for you. A sustainable and interesting blog is one written by an author who truly takes joy in the blogging process. Best of luck!


photo: wim314

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