You put everything you have into your post, publish it, then promote the post as much as possible and wait for the hordes of raving fans to comment.
You wait and wait, but still nothing.
Then a few comments trickle through but you’re sat there thinking – is my content even being noticed?
Does this sound familiar?
You’re not the only one who has experienced this, we have all been there.
In this post I’ll share why comments are important and how to start getting far more comments than you thought possible.
A lot of bloggers like to get their audience involved with their site’s growth.
I, for one, often ask questions or invite readers to leave their thoughts in the form of comments.
But aside from their ability to generate useful insights from the community, blog comments also have other long-term benefits.
Table of Contents
Why Blog Comments Are Important
Improved Organic Traffic
A study published by Neil Patel shows that keywords in the comments section can potentially pull in organic search traffic. They’re definitely not as potent as keywords placed in other content elements, but don’t forget that authentic comments are free.
Foster an Active Community
Successful blogging is more than just publishing online content. It’s also about establishing a driven community that help spread brand awareness and push your blog forward. We do not own our presence on social networks and other outposts (for those who resisted this idea previously, Facebook’s continual squashing of brand page posts has hopefully hit it home). Your website and/or your blog should be your central home base of activity – why wouldn’t you want your community to be able to participate there?
Build Your Brand’s Credibility
As I’ve mentioned before, having a ton of comments on your blog will elevate your authority in your niche. This will boost the confidence of visitors on your products, services, and value propositions in general.
Generate Evergreen Value
Keeping the conversation going long after the post is published can maintain the page’s relevance in the long run. That is, of course, you continue to engage comments by answering questions and exchanging ideas with readers.
Decide Your Next Post
In some scenarios, reader input can also be refined into topic ideas you can cover in future posts. The more comments your content gets, the more likely it is to find suggestions that can be converted into topics.
Community Contributions make your Post Better
You might not realize it reading some of the blogs out there, but no one knows absolutely everything about a given subject. Additional tips and advice from the Solo PR Pro community make the posts here on this blog much more useful for future readers. Even if you look at comments solely from a “what’s in it for me?” standpoint, the added information they provide will help drive traffic to your blog.
Discourse Makes us Stronger
On occasion, some readers will disagree with your post. This forces you to defend yourself, which can be time-consuming, but this is part of the discourse that makes the two-way communications of our newly-social world so exciting. Fostering an open dialogue of ideas is part of the contribution a blog makes to its industry (and in some cases, the world
Engage With People Who Know You
Whether you’re a company, a consultant, a thought leader or just starting out, in most cases those who comment regularly on your blog will be your most ardent supporters. Those who “knew you when” are the most likely to be there for you when your time as flavor-of-the-month is over.
Respect Those Who Took Time to Read Your Post
For years, people have accused Seth Godin’s blog of not actually being a blog, because he doesn’t allow comments (and hasn’t from the beginning – making him a sort of trailblazer in light of these recent announcements, I suppose). Most of the early criticism painted him as arrogant for not welcoming feedback.
I don’t know if that’s true, but I will say that listening to what my readers have to say feels like the least I can do. With so much information out there competing for our limited attention, I’m grateful that people chose to spend some of their valuable time reading Solo PR Pro – and if they feel moved enough to want to share their own thoughts on a post topic, why would I deny them that?
Often, the most commented on posts are not the most widely read, or the ones that mean the most to your readership (posts that are opinion-based generate more comments than those that are factual how-tos, for example). But they are typically the posts that foster a sense of community around your blog, which generates repeat visitors and encourages readers to stick around and read more.
How To Get More Comments On Your Blog
Start With a Conversational Writing Tone
The key to maximizing reader engagement is to write top-notch content, but that would be too obvious.
What you need is to make slight adjustments in the overall tone of your writing.
By now, you should know that different bloggers have different writing styles. Some like to keep it professional and avoid colloquial speech, whereas bloggers like me write with a friendlier tone.
You can observe this in the way I write my intros.
With a conversational tone, you’re prepping your audience not just to become readers, but as participants in two-way communication.
I’m not saying you should do a complete overhaul of your writing style. If you’re used to writing with a formal language, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to your comfort zone.
However, you may want to consider sprinkling your content with sentences directed towards your readers.
Always Use CTAs in Your Conclusion
Speaking of addressing your readers, the “conclusion” section of your post is the perfect place to straight-up request for comments.
I’ve tried several strategies over the years I’ve been blogging. Eventually, I realized that I only needed to remember one thing: KISS.
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
You don’t always have to come up with something clever each time you write a conclusion. In numerous cases, I just openly ask readers to leave a comment.
Experiement With Writing Listicles
There’s actually one more CTA that can convince readers to leave comments, but it requires a specific type of content.
You already know what they are — listicles.
Here’s the thing: the majority of listicles out there, even the so-called “ultimate” lists, can still be expanded. As a result, publishing them on your blog is an opportunity to get readers involved and ask them for suggestions.
Make Blog Commenting a Breeze
Let’s step away from content writing tips for a moment.
If you want your readers to leave comments, you must first make the experience intuitive.
For most of us bloggers, a key stepping stone is to learn how to allow comments on WordPress blog sites.
The good news is, comments are enabled by default. But if you hired someone who could’ve switched off comments during the early development phase, you must enable it manually.
To do this, log in to your WordPress dashboard and click on ‘Settings.’ From the sub-menu, click ‘Discussion.’
Make the Comments Section Just More Visible
Let’s say your blog checks all the boxes when it comes to content quality and comment system usefulness.
You finally get readers intrigued enough to leave a comment — but there’s one problem:
Your blog’s comment section is buried at the very bottom of the page.
This is especially problematic for bloggers like me who write lengthy posts. Fortunately, there’s a quick workaround for this issue.
If you’re using WordPress, I’ll show you a nifty little trick that will make your comments section more accessible.
Ready? Here it is:
Create a hyperlink to “#commentform.”
Suppose you want to create a link to your comments section using the anchor text “Click here.”
On WordPress, just type in the words, highlight it, and click the ‘Insert/edit link’ button.
Disable Spam Prevention Methods that Cause Friction with your Readers
If you are using any type of captcha’s that your readers have to fill inbefore they can comment – remove them.
In most cases this just causes friction with your readers and doesn’t stop spam in the slightest.
For spammers, it’s easy to get past captcha’s and there are even services that will solve captcha’s for a small fee (we’re talking just over $1 for 1,000 captcha’s).
Avoid Forcing Registration
I used to see comments that required registration a lot more; thankfully I am seeing this less and less.
This adds far too much friction and makes it much more hassle than it should be for your visitors to comment.
Consider Removing Commenting Platforms that make You Jump Through Hoops
On a similar vein as forced registrations, it’s worth considering how the commenting system you are using impacts your visitors.
An example of this would be Disqus; it’s a great system that stops spam in its tracks but it’s another hoop for your readers to jump through (that’s if they aren’t a Disqus user).
There are positives to using a system like Disqus, which include:
- Email notifications are managed for you.
- You can earn money from the platform.
- You probably won’t need any other comment for blocking spam.
- Faster loading times.
- For those commenting, it’s easy to manage all of your comment replies from one place.
But despite these positives, it’s worth considering how using a platform like this could impact how many comments you receive.
Link to Your Comments Section at the end of Your Post
One of the problems with a lot of blog themes is that you have to scroll all of the way to the bottom of the comments to enter your comment.
And because one of the keys to getting more comments is to make it easy for your readers to comment, we need to do something to make this easier.
You can do this by linking to your comment form at the end of your post,The URL will look like this to your visitors:
But you’ll only need to add #commentform.
Minimize Distractions and Put the Focus on Your Content
I’ve talked about this numerous times in the past and its relevant here too.
When someone is given too many options, they will take the easiest option; no action.
Look at your blog and consider what you should remove – what is really helping you achieve your goals?
I mentioned social proof earlier on and it’s an important one.
If you aren’t getting many comments on your blog yet, avoid drawing attention to your comment counts.
Think About the Audience You’re Trying to Reach
How well do you know your audience?
If you aren’t getting many comments (yet) or you are getting the wrong sort of people commenting on your blog, it’s worth taking a look at who you are really trying to reach.
Are you reaching the right people?
Once you get to understand your audience better and focus on the right areas, your comments will increase.
Write Content that Deserves Comments
I’m sure you are doing this already, but I’ve included this for completeness.
Take a look at your content and ask yourself if you would leave a comment, if not – what’s stopping you? And what can you do to change it?
Leave an Unanswered Question at the End of Your Post
One of the best ways to get your readers to comment is to ask their opinion.
Ask an open ended question at the end of your blog post but most importantly ensure that it’s not a question that would result in a yes/no answer.
Your aim should always be to develop a discussion within your comments – the more discussion, the more it will get other people talking.
Email Your List and Ask Them to Leave a Comment
Your email list is your new best friend.
Your email subscribers are the most likely to share your content and the most likely to comment when you ask them to.
Say Cool Stuff About Other People and Tell Them About it
I’m big on influencer marketing – saying cool stuff about people and linking to their blogs can help you get more shares & traffic, but it can also help you get more comments.
When I say cool stuff about people and link out to them in a blog post, I get more comments – more often than not, these are comments from the people I mention and this brings them into the conversation.
Don’t Lose Your voice to Blog Contributors
Chances are that people follow you because they want to hear what you have to say –that’s one of the great things about having your own blog.
Your readers want to hear from you.
So, let them hear from you.
Accepting blog contributors works great; it can expand your audience,increase your traffic and email subscribers too.
But, the moment that the majority of your posts are from contributors, is the moment that you start to lose your voice.
Your readers want to hear from you – let them and it will help to forge a stronger bond with your audience.
Make an Announcement that You’d love Feedback
People love to feel cared about.
And you should care what your audience thinks, they are the reason your blog is where it is now and they’ll be largely responsible for getting your blog to where you want it to be.
If you’ve made a change on your blog, find out what your audience thinks – make an announcement and ask for feedback.
Contribute to Other Blogs that have an Active Community
When your blog’s community grows, you will get more blog comments.
One of the best ways to expand your own community is to contribute to other blogs within your niche that already have an active community. This could include contributing guest posts or contributing engaging comments.
Writing engaging comments is something that works particularly well, Ryan Biddulph is a great example of someone that does this exceptionally well.
You will get more email subscribers, increased traffic, increased visibility and if your new subscribers like what they read – they’ll comment (as long as you make it easy for them).
Creating a community around your blog can be challenging but it can be done, and comments are one way to do it.
But, the reality is that your community doesn’t just have to exist in the comments section on your blog.
You could create your own membership site and add a discussion forum to it. This could be for free members, or your paying customers.
Another alternative is to run your own Facebook group. While you’re building a community on ‘rented land’, it has the potential to grow faster thanks to Facebook’s built-in audience.
Fitting blog comments into your blogging strategy
Despite the benefits of blog comments, you need to seriously consider how they will fit into your overall blogging strategy.
If you want to take things to the next level, it’s important to remember that every tactic or marketing channel you implement on your blog needs to be part of a cohesive strategy.
For example, there are some blog posts where I don’t actively encourage comments because I have different conversion goals (another idea I touched upon last week) such as encouraging email sign-ups.