Creating an engaged and active blog audience can help boost the popularity, ranking and social relevance of your site, but what are you to do if your blog is a ghost town? You’ve spent countless late nights crafting brilliant blog posts for your website, yet no one seems to take the time to comment on them.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to this sad, silent blog experience, but often times they go unrecognized. We’re going to take a look at why your blog is receiving so few comments (or none at all), and explore what you can do to help encourage a more talkative and engaged online community for your site.
It’s important to keep in mind that commenting is something readers do voluntarily. There’s no magic trick you can use to force people to comment on your blog. But there are plenty of ways to create an environment that welcomes commenting and encourages people to take part in a dialogue. Follow these tips to help increase your blog comments.
1. Choose a good comment system – Take a close look at the comment system you are using. Is it easy for someone to leave a comment or do they have to jump through hoops? Do commenters have to log in or create an avatar? Do comments have to be approved by a moderator? These can be massive barriers for an engaged audience. To start, stick to basic commenting systems that only require a commenters name and email. This way you can avoid spam comments, while making it a quick and easy process for someone to comment. In some cases you may find it helpful to approve first time commenters or require word verification tests, but only if spamming issues arise. There are a wide range of comment systems out there to try depending on your needs, including Disqus, and the Facebook comments plugin, which can be used on most sites.
2. Keep your site design clean – If a cluttered page of links and sidebars overwhelms readers, and the comment section isn’t immediately visible, they won’t likely bother to comment. Streamline your blog so that the space to comment is immediately visible. Also, be sure to show the comments that other people have left to encourage new commenters and comment interaction. The WordPress standard comment feature offers a sleek and clean option if you’re using WordPress for your blog.
3. Ask for comments – It may seem obvious, but posing a question to readers can be one of the most effective ways to invite comments and yet many blogs don’t bother to do so. At the end of your blog post ask the readers for their thoughts on the topic as a call to action. Keep your request specific and unique to the blog post, rather than a generic statement like “post your comments below”. Challenge your readers to really think about how the blog affects them personally and let them know their input is valued.
4. Say something original – Even if you’re discussing a topic that has been covered a million times, put your own original spin on it. People want to read and respond to new perspectives, not the same old tired material. Also, make sure your writing style is active and not boring. Create blogs that are personal, clear and concise. Offer your readers something of value, so that they feel their time on your blog is well spent and they’ll be more likely to make a commitment to voice their opinion.
5. Take a stand – Often bloggers stick to safe and predictable topics and content for fear of offending or driving away readers. Quite often, however, the opposite is true. Taking a strong stance and having an outspoken opinion on a topic is a great way to engage readers. Whether or not they agree with you, the more open and truthful you are, the more likely people are to respond. While you don’t want to be sensationalist or offensive just to get a rise out of people, leaning into controversial territory is a great way to invite interaction.
6. Respond to comments – By writing a blog you’re starting a conversation, so don’t let that conversation drop off or fall silent by ignoring comments. To help build your blog community, do your best to respond to every comment within one business day. You don’t need to write a lengthy response to every person, but acknowledging his or her input and time goes a long way to encouraging further discussion. Make people feel good about their contribution by using positive language and welcome divergent opinions from your own. Even if you disagree with a commenter’s opinion it’s important to make all voices feel welcome.
Creating an active blog community is not only exciting, but also important to keep your site relevant, elicit feedback, establish authority, invite backlinks and help boost your SEO ranking. Help your blog community flourish by taking the time to remove the barriers to commenters and by creating the best content possible.
How do you encourage people to leave comments on your blog? What aspects of your favorite blogs make you feel more inclined to leave a comment?