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The Art of Getting Blog Comments

Posted by on 12th Aug 2013 | 19 comments

Blogging in essence is a means of self-expression as well as a medium through which meaningful written interaction can take place. In the early days when blogging was in its infancy, bloggers published posts somewhat in virtual solitude, since the practice of blog commenting was not commonly done or even expected. But as time went on, commenting began to take on a more central role in the blogosphere, to the point now where blogging and commenting are practically seen as two sides of the same coin. Blogs that receive lots of comments are considered to be the “hot spots” of the Web, while blogs that have no commenting activity are viewed as digital ghost towns. This stark contrast reveals an essential truth that aspiring bloggers need to grasp – comments are truly the lifeblood of your blog.

Benefits of Comments

Responding to Blog Questions and Comments

The benefits of receiving blog comments are many; first of all, they assist in creating value by providing additional relevant content to your blog posts. This is a positive on many levels – your readers get a chance to check out other people’s perspectives on your blog posts, and you receive free content that increases the overall relevance of your blog to the topic at hand in the eyes of the search engines. This is a somewhat hidden SEO benefit that many bloggers miss – they are a little too “trigger happy” in their comment moderation, and many times they will delete comments that actually can boost the Latent Semantic Indexing value of their pages to the search engines.

Positive with Negative

How to Stop Spam Comments on WordPress

Many bloggers don’t realize that even negative comments can be great search engine “spider food”, and although a commenter may disagree with their stance, they should be big enough to still approve the comment for the sake of providing additional relevant content to their blog – for free. When bloggers begin to see that blog comments (whether positive or negative) are actually free user-generated content that increases the relevancy of their pages in the eyes of the search engines, it may cause them to rethink becoming a “comment Nazi” for the sake of keeping the conversation geared in their favor. Many times ego can separate a blogger from receiving the benefits of blog comments, because they only want to approve the various compliments and “atta boys” that come from positive commenters. It’s better to allow EVERY voice to be heard, even if it bruises your ego a little bit.
This is not to say that you should approve the crazy spam comments that flood your moderation queue. Remember, we only want content that’s relevant to some degree. Nobody cares about what “buy viagra cheap” has to say, so of course, use your better judgment when it comes to those types of comments.

Inspirational Comments

Another benefit of blog comments is that they provide your blog with a greater sense of community and interaction. Although time zones and distance may separate us as denizens of the World Wide Web, there is still somewhat of a camaraderie that takes place when we’re all engaged in lively conversation over a given topic. Many times the right comment at the right time can not only boost your spirits when you’re feeling low, but it can also be a fertile breeding ground for more post ideas. In fact, one of the best cures for writer’s block is to go through the comments on your various posts and really give thought to w

hat your readers have contributed. This can many times lead to your blog taking on a fresh, new and different direction, and can fuel your own impetus to write more engaging posts.

What to Avoid

Bad Blogging HabitsSince it is obvious that blog comments are vital to the health and growth of your blog, how do you go about getting more of them? There several different theories and methods out there ranging from really good to ridiculously bad, so it would be wise to identify some of the more unprofitable methods first in order to keep you from wasting your precious time. First of all, never stoop to the level of buying blog comments from the various online blog commenting services that are available. The quality of these services is very unpredictable, so you never quite know what you’re going to get. Most of the time you’ll be stuck with a bunch of generic comments that have little relevance to the actual content of your post. The last thing you would want to do is to spend your hard-earned money on a blog commenting package only to litter your blog with such brilliant comments as “Great post!” or “Thanks, this was very helpful.”

Another surefire way to reduce the value of your blog is to publish an insincere or even obnoxious post as “comment bait”. Bloggers sometimes will purposefully “stir up the hornet’s nest” by publishing a post that is way over-the-top as far as controversial subject matter is concerned. They may use some recent tragedy or other current event as subject matter for their post (even if their no

rmal blog content has nothing to do with these types of events), only to incite arguments and feed comment wars. True, you may get a short burst of traffic wi

th this method, but it’s not a profitable exercise over the long haul; it can actually cause more people to alienate your blog rather than be drawn to it.

More Comments The Right Way

If you’re looking for legitimate and sustainable ways to get blog comments, it will be best to stick with more white hat methods in order to add real value to your blog. The blogosphere is littered with the remains of many wannabe bloggers that crashed and burned by using short-term, borderline black hat methods, so staying white hat is the best way to go. It is important to remember that not only do people despise insincerity, but they can smell it a mile away, especially from a blogger that seems hungry to gain a following.

Comment Systems

Intense Debate CommentsSo what methods can you use to get more blog comments? Believe it or not, one of the most important things to establish first is the type of commenting interface that you’re going to use. There are tons of them out there, but due to a possible lack of technical know-how or because they just don’t feel like fooling with it, most bloggers are content with using the commenting interface that comes standard with their  particular CMS of choice (i.e., WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, etc.). There are other third-party commenting systems that have gained popularity in recent years such as IntenseDebate, Disqus, and LiveFyre as well. Social media applications such as Facebook’s commenting plugin are available as well, and they allow you to leave comments by logging into your Facebook account. Although this may seem to be somewhat of an insignificant issue, the ease of use (or lack thereof) afforded by these different commenting modules can either encourage or discourage your audience from leaving comments on your blog.

The reason for this is because most people by nature will choose the path of least resistance. Whether this is a good thing or not is not the point; it simply is what it is. If your blog commenting interface is too complicated or too convoluted to use, most people will not bother to jump through all of the requisite hoops just to leave a comment. If they’ve had to “run the gauntlet” before they even get a chance to comment, you may run into a situation where they simply say “Nevermind” and head for greener commenting pastures elsewhere. Most people despise being forced to log in or having to solve difficult or buggy captchas before they can leave a comment. The bottom line is–make it as easy for them as possible to comment on your blog. This one point alone may earn you more comments, with zero “comment bait” from your end.

Encourage Discussion

Commentee

It’s no secret that readers drop a comment to be seen / heard and quite often expecting or at least hoping they will get a reply. If a reader want to drop a comment on a good post, and see there are already say 50 comments, this is likely to have a two-sided effect. One is the social proof. If that many people leave comments, it is likely to encourage other read ers to drop a comment too. However, the likelihood that one more comment will get any attention / response tend to decrease when the  number of comments posted increase – in other words, the next comment is just a small part of the mass. Avoid this situation by using Commentee – a plugin for wordpress which allow reader to drop comments, questions, suggestions and answers. This way, readers have a better chance to stand out. The blog administrator is also in a better position to answer all questions as he easily can tell one type of comment from the other.

Traction with a Community

Another important practice to employ in order to get more blog comments is to really become serious about developing an online community surrounding the subject matter of your blog. Sorry to say this, but there are simply no shortcuts where this is concerned. This is the “secret sauce” behind many of the uber-popular “mommy bloggers” in the blogosphere; they have simply taken the time to build a  loyal following through actively engaging in regular interactions with the community of people that share their common interest. This means going above and beyond your usual levels of comfort to encourage and interact with the people that visit your blog.

After you have crafted a rich, well-written post with compelling and engaging content–which, by the way, should be the unquestionable standard of your blog posts–ask readers to share any personal experiences that they have in relation to what you have shared. Ask them for their input, and be sincere about interacting with them once they begin to leave comments. If they have taken the time to leave a well-thought-out comment, don’t just respond with a generic one-liner, but actually pick things out of what they said and hone in on them to unearth more topics for discussion. Be encouraging, be sincere, and commit to adding value to them, as they have done for you by leaving their initial comment.

If WordPress is your blogging platform, it doesn’t hurt to employ the use of certain comment plugins such as CommentLuv or KeywordLuv, since they will automatically provide the commenter with a keyword-targeted backlink to their own site. This is an obvious incentive, but if the comment is not hurting your blog, it can only help (remember the earlier statements about the SEO value of comments). Of course, you will have those that only want to drop a generic comment to get a quick link, so again, use your better judgment.

What Goes Around Comes Around

One of the most effective ways of getting comments to your blog actually takes place somewhat “off-site”. It will require you to find blogs that are highly relevant to yours–some might even say that they are your “competitors”–and leave constructive, sincere and well-thought-out comments on their posts. This is one of the most overlooked but yet impactful ways of getting comments to your blog. Call it karma, or “what goes around comes around”, or whatever name you want to give it, but when you are willing to engage in an act of goodwill by being generous with your comments on other related blogs, it always has a way of coming back to you. People are naturally more interested in themselves than they are in anyone else, so when you show them that you can support their work first, it will many times spark them to return the favor.

The best way to find these types of blogs is to use Google and type in the main keywords that are relevant to your blog’s subject matter, and then wait and see what pops up. Many times you’ll see blogs on the first few pages of the search results, often denoted by their Google Plus profile pictures (yes, Google has a bias in that regard). Take the time to actually read their blog posts, and leave thoughtful comments for them to digest. While there are no absolute guarantees that the blog owner will approve your comment, you will put the odds in your favor by adding quality insights to the conversation. Again, sincerity will be your best friend in this regard.

Digital Socializing

Another “off-site” activity that will bring great results (and subsequently more blog comments) is utilizing the various popular social media sites to your advantage. Set up a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a Pinterest page and tie all of them to your website. You must distinguish yourself on these types of social networks by providing genuine engagement and interaction with the people that contact you through these different means. For your Twitter page, find and follow the Twitter accounts of other bloggers who run in the same circles when it comes to subject matter. Find a handful of their tweets that really resonate with you and retweet them. Leave comments on other related bloggers’ Facebook pages through your own Facebook account. Repin and comment on photos from related bloggers that have Pinterest accounts connected to their blogs. Again, these acts of spreading goodwill will only serve to help you in the long haul.

And Finally…

Another effective technique is to make your posts more open-ended. In other words, as it relates to the subject matter of your posts, leave certain questions unanswered. Don’t present yourself as the be-all and end-all of information. If you give readers a flat, static, FYI-type of post, it doesn’t exactly inspire conversation. Use the inquisitive nature of people to your advantage by crafting your content to inspire more curiosity and more questions.

Although many people would like to sell you on the idea that you can apply some type of magical formula and your blog will be instantly flooded with comments, this is simply not reality. Keep the tried and true techniques listed above in your mind as guidelines to help you obtain more blog comments. Sincerity, diligence, patience, and genuine engagement will always win out in the long run

Now please share your thoughts on the above mentioned as well as your own preferred ways get more comments…


Jake is writing on PPI where he share ideas on how to build online passive income streams through Niche Sites, wordpress plugin development and investment / trading ideas. Follow his journey / contact him via his blog.

19 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Mariette's Back to Basics on 12th Aug 2013

    Dear Jacob,
    Love your honest approach in listing all those aspects. In the end, indeed it is ALL about: Sincerity, diligence, patience, and genuine engagement will always win out in the long run…
    Thanks for posting this info for others out there to read and learn.
    Mariette’s Back to Basics

  • Posted by Vizzi on 12th Aug 2013

    Great post and great message.

    While they never seem to work, we are always looking for short cuts:

    How to lose 10 pounds in a week.
    How to become rich in a year.
    How to get a million views in a week.

    No matter how often we’re reminded, we forget that short cuts don’t work. The only way to get more comments is to create posts that are better. More relevant. More engaging. More thoughtful. More valuable.

    The key to more comments is to create better content.

    Creating better content is hard and it takes time; both of which we don’t like. However, it’s the only path to real and sustained success.

    Get better everyday, be consistent, be passionate, and most importantly: be patient.
    Vizzi recently posted..Why Are Children So Creative?My Profile

  • Posted by Tanya on 12th Aug 2013

    I find that if I ask questions to my readers I get more comments.
    Tanya recently posted..Three Key Characteristics of a Smart Social Media PolicyMy Profile

  • Posted by Tony on 12th Aug 2013

    Hi Jake,

    Great information, I feel that it just takes a little time for someone to get comfortable with their comments. Also being honest with there views and opinions even with negative comments at times they could be helpful it depends who writes it.

    Also that goes towards Social Media area, so Jake thanks again for this great post!!!

    Have a nice evening.
    Tony
    Tony recently posted..Anti-Aging PLR ArticlesMy Profile

  • Posted by Sanjeev on 13th Aug 2013

    One of the major mistakes made my many bloggers is to disapprove negative comments, Those comments adds another perceptive and encourage discussions…we should be using them to engage with people and see what they have to offer….
    Jack, You have covered the commenting in great detail and it is helpful for the bloggers to know all the alternatives…
    Sanjeev recently posted..Scribe SEO – Why Its Your Best Friend For Improved Author RankMy Profile

  • Posted by Himanshu on 13th Aug 2013

    Really good post..

    We can use call to action at the end of the blog post like “What do you think about this product” or “Did you tried this product yet ” or “What are the problem you are facing with the product” etc..

    These kind of call to action will really help to get comments on a particular blog..
    Himanshu recently posted..60+ Best WooCommerce WordPress Themes For 2013My Profile

  • Posted by Mark on 13th Aug 2013

    Great article. We’re creating a post on how to get more comments on a WordPress blog and we’ll give you a mention. Great tips!
    Mark recently posted..How to Go to Space By Purchasing a GameMy Profile

  • Posted by Paul Truman on 13th Aug 2013

    I wanted to thank you for publishing this article. I am in the beginning stage of my blogging and have been getting very discouraged. Until, last week when one individual reached out to me to personally thank me for a piece of information I posted. You were correct in your post about a spark of reignition. With only two registered followers it is hard to stay focused. This helped for now and hope to get a few more sparks in the near future.

    Thanks again,
    Paul Truman
    Paul Truman recently posted..Here is my take on one of those viral articles.My Profile

  • Posted by Davide on 14th Aug 2013

    The title should be “The Art of Getting Valuable Blog Comments”. :P

  • Posted by Jitendra Vaswani on 14th Aug 2013

    Great tips shared here. Bloc commenting is an art , it is not spam.
    Jitendra Vaswani recently posted..Some Common and Uncommon Link Building MethodsMy Profile

  • Posted by Chetan Chaudhari on 14th Aug 2013

    Hey Jacob.. Thanks for listing all these aspects honestly. There’s lot to learn for newbies like me.
    Chetan Chaudhari recently posted..Clever Approaches To Designing LogosMy Profile

  • Posted by Amit on 14th Aug 2013

    I am new to blogging so found this post inspirational. Dedication is the must thing that one should adopt for getting success in any business either it is blogging or any other. Your tips are crucial for me. Thanks
    Amit recently posted..Google Starts Promoting In-Depth Article in Search ResultsMy Profile

  • Posted by Dhiraj Das on 14th Aug 2013

    Nice article, some really effective tips, it’s really difficult to attract lots of good comments for new blogs. This tips will definitely give a boost. Will try some -:)
    Dhiraj Das recently posted..Boost Your Website’s SEO With A Good Web HostMy Profile

  • Posted by Bradley Nordstrom on 14th Aug 2013

    Your very right when it comes to posting comments on blogs with the same niche as yours. Posting comments generally give you an advantage for the bloggers to view even your own site.

    Thanks,
    Bradley Nordstrom
    Bradley Nordstrom recently posted..Why is a Niche so Important to Blogging?My Profile

  • Posted by Rohan Mod on 14th Aug 2013

    encouraging visitors always works along with when we response to someone or anyone then it strikes other users too to comment on the blog because they also want to get answers from admin . And between few of them really wants and sick help.so answering to comments sometime brings real and loyal people to blog.
    Rohan Mod recently posted..10 Psychological Blogger Design Tips To Increase Website ConversionMy Profile

  • Posted by Joe Hart on 16th Aug 2013

    Great points Jacob.Encouraging discussions has always worked for me.Add to it a good commenting system and things are quite good on the commenting scene.
    Joe Hart recently posted..Dental Implant Procedure – Steps InvolvedMy Profile

  • Posted by Siraj Wahid on 17th Aug 2013

    Really impressive strategies. I had switched off comments on my blog but i think it’s the time to turn them on again.
    Siraj Wahid recently posted..5 Most Popular Online Payment SystemsMy Profile

  • Posted by Mukesh Agarwal on 18th Aug 2013

    I love how discussions could be a great way to start community participation. It is necessary to be opinionated when you are a blogger, however curbing the nerve to assume that the commenter are stupid is also necessary at the same time. Politeness while participating in communities can go a long way.
    Mukesh Agarwal recently posted..Get Angry Birds for PC with Windows 7 or XPMy Profile