During the WordCount Blogathon, I’m re-running popular posts every Sunday on subjects that readers ask for.
When I polled WordCount readers recently to find out what they wanted to see more of here, how to get more comments on blog posts was one of the most-requested topics.
It makes sense: if you spend your time and energy putting your thoughts out there for the world to see, you want feedback, right?
Here are some tips for getting more comments, and links to posts I’ve done on the subject:
1. Be radical. If you want comments, take a stand. Don’t be afraid of expressing opinions some people won’t agree with. They can tell you that in a comment and you can respond in kind – that’s the start of a conversation, and that’s what readers like.
2. Blog about what people are talking about. The most commented-on posts I’ve ever done had to so with the merits of writing for Demand Media, Associated Content, Helium and other so-called content farms. Some writers swear they’re ruining the profession. Others love them because they provide pitch-free work and bring in extra cash for easy work they can do while they watch TV.
- Freelancers, do not write for content aggregators
- Counterpoint: Yes, freelancers should write for Helium
- The great freelance debate continues
- Novice freelancers, instead of Helium, try hyperlocal news
3. Blog about what people are reading. The most popular post I’ve ever written is on J.K. Rowling’s writing style. Someone just Stumbled it again this weekend and page views for that day doubled from what they were the day before. People love Rowling and the Harry Potter books and movies, and with the final movie in the series coming out, they’re going online to look up information about it. Lesson learned: blog about bestselling books, movies, TV shows, and other popular culture. Some of this year’s blogathoners are doing just that: they’ve writing on blogs in the voice of Sookie Stackhouse, Anna Paquin’s character on True Blood, and I’ll wager they get some nice traffic to their websites because of it.
4. Write about things people can relate to. People leave comments when posts are on a universal topic everyone can relate to, the time I wrote about being too sick to work. People also leave comments when you share information they can use to improve their business, such posts on getting more customers or learning about search engine optimization.
5. Comment on other people’s blogs. Remember the saying you learned in kindergarten: if you want to make a friend be one? Well, it you want comments, be a good commenter. Find bloggers who write about what you write about and leave comments on their blogs. Look at the links coming into your blog, click on them to see where they’re coming from and if any are from bloggers you’d like to get to know leave a comment. Start a conversation. Become someone’s blogging buddy. Make a pact to comment on each other’s blog.
6. Create a blogging circle. A group of writers I know made a deal to regularly comment on each other’s posts as a way to build traffic on all their blogs. At the American Society of Journalists and Authors writer’s conference I attended last week, one presenter who runs a cat blog talked about the blogging alliance she formed with six other pet writers. They started out commenting on each others blogs and over time built up so much traffic they were able to go after advertisers.
7. Ask. If you really want comments, ask for them. Include a line at the end of a post saying something like: “What do you think?” Some bloggers run question posts on a regular basis – in such a post, you pose a question and then ask readers to answer and their answers form the meat of the post. Susan Johnston, who blogs at The Urban Muse, does this on a regular basis in what she calls Open Thread posts. Surveys are another way to solicit comments. Build a post around a poll, and include an “Other” area for readers to leave a comment.
What tactics do you use to get more comments on blog posts?