Getting comments on your blog is an important part of building your reputation online. That interaction provides you with social proof, allows you to measure your influence, and readers are more likely to return if they have left a comment and thus interacted with you and your brand.
But actually getting people to leave comments can be a difficult process.
In the first place, when nobodys visiting your site, its literally impossible; the first requirement is to have a regular traffic flow, which means you have to promote. Promotion is something youll need to do over the course of your blogs life, whether you run a Google AdWords campaign or use the free - but time-consuming - social networking methods.
Once youve got people visiting your blog, you have the potential to get comments. The generally accepted figure is that one out of every hundred visitors will leave a comment. You can reach, or even surpass, this ratio by preparing your blog properly.
Dont Create Obstacles to Commenting
Blogs that require users to sign up rarely ever get many comments. There are a few notable exceptions in the blogosphere, all of which have huge amounts of traffic and the standard 1 comment to 100 readers ratio is much lower for them.
Make it easy for readers to comment; most people are more than willing to chuck down their name and email address (so long as you promise to keep it private) in order to post a comment, but registering an account is a big no-no.
2. Ask For Them
When you ask for comments, people are much more likely to take the time to do so.
Its a simple matter of putting the idea in their head where they may not have previously thought to do so.
If you use a well-crafted, unambiguous question to prompt comments, youre much more likely to get them. If people have to think too much, they dont bother - unfortunately.
Craft your question in a way that provokes their mind to immediately form a response or opinion.
Ive used a tactic where, if I had invites to service thats still in beta, Id offer one to five readers who left insightful comments. This has quadrupled my comment count in the past.
3. Reply to Them
People love it when they leave comments and you respond.
Interaction and discussion is what the blogosphere is about, and it allows your readers to form a more personal connection with you. Readers who may find your content useful but have no connection with you might stick around; readers who find your content useful and have that connection definitely will.
Highlight Good Comments
Have your readers strive to post better quality comments by highlighting the best ones in your posts. Put a reader in the spotlight when they submit anything that makes you think or laugh out loud - if you reward them, you will be rewarded.
5. Create a Controversy!
If you know something is likely to create a bit of controversy, say it! People will respond with their thoughts in record time.
Avoid topics that are so emotive that they cause alienation, though - this can lose you readers.
The full-length feeds versus summary feeds topic is a good one. Its not hugely emotive but people have strong opinions on it in different industries; depending on which sphere youre in, take the opposite side and blog about it.
Comment on Other Blogs
If you take the time to comment on other blogs, not only will you generate extra traffic to your site and form relationships with other bloggers (a very important asset), but youll often get people following through to your blog to leave comments - most often, the blog owner.
These are some tips for attracting comments using sound strategy, without cheap gimmicks and tricks - I hope you enjoy your increased comment count!
About the Author (text)Joel Falconer is a well-known blogger who is a Contributing Editor for top 50 blog Stepcase Lifehack and his own blog at http://www.joelfalconer.com, and has been published on Problogger.net, the Sydney Morning Herald and many more. Joel can teach you how to write and blog successfully.