So you’d like to get more comments on your blog?
I’ve got good news and bad news for you.
The bad news is that every blogger wants to get more comments. Some sources estimate over 1M (million) new blog posts are published every day.
The good news is that the vast majority of these blog posts do not use the right techniques to get more comments and traction. The write about lunch in ugly paragraphs and don’t use proper structure to inspire readers to comment.
In this post I’ll show you how to beat out other blogs published each day and make sure you attract comments to your blog posts. At the end I’ll drop off a link to the first post I ever wrote that I can remember getting comments (one of them, at least) so make sure to see that one for a laugh (and share your posts if you’d like to share in the laugh a bit).
1. Display the comment count
As a blogger, you should pick a WordPress theme that clearly shows comment counts by default. Pick a theme that displays the comment count for each post on the homepage. Many readers myself included look at how many comments a blog gets to determine if content is worth reading. It’s not the best indicator of valuable content (and I read a ton of great posts with little to no comments) but it’s an old habit for many of us to check out comment stats and doesn’t hurt to show off comments.
2. Edit the comment count
Once you’ve got a theme that shows readers your comment counts, you can edit the text within your comment counts to inspire more comments. For example, here I am on our Sydney theme demo and one blog post has 0 comments, so it says “Leave a comment”.
But what I want to change that text to say, “Start the Discussion” ? That’s not hard at all!
To make a change like this, you’ll often need to edit your single.php file in Appearance > Editor. Once there, do a command F (or control on PC) for the original text your theme uses. That will help you find where to write in your new text. Backup the file before editing!
Note: Sometime it is harder to find the right section of your theme and it’s text that you might think! For Sydney, for example, I had to go into my HostGator cPanel > wp content folder > themes > Sydney > inc > template-tags.php file to find the “Leave a comment” text to edit. After a few tries of successfully editing and Editor files, you will gain confidence and always find the right section 🙂
A good page to visit to learn how comment counts are display is this one.
3. Ask yourself if people will want to talk
As a new blogger it’s really tempting to just write, write, write to fill an empty blog. You have a ton to say when you create a blog, but it’s not always entirely made of gold.
In short, the things you want to write will not always get you the things you want. If you want to write about lunch, your pet or something you found funny on your train ride home, be warned: other people may not care.
However if you ask yourself this one simple question (will this post make people want to talk more about this subject) before writing, you can probably come up with content that will generate comments. Especially if your topic is already a hot one.
4. Create a provocative post title
Another simple step, another one vastly botched on many, many blogs. It’s incredibly important you title your post according to a. what it’s about and b. in a way that will peak interest. If you write a great article with amazing points buried within and call it “my thoughts” or “a great Wednesday” it literally does nothing to help people find your post or get excited about it. You will end your great Wednesday commentless.
So before you publish a post, or better yet before you write it, think for 2 minutes about a title that will get people excited or even a title that contains 1-2 popular keywords for Google’s sake.
5. Guide skimmers with headers
A huge part of how to get more comments is simply getting people to the end of your post. Afterall it’s at the end where your comment form exists!
By breaking up each chunk of text (every 2-5 paragraphs or so) and adding clear headers (which flow from the title, which in itself is just a header) you can help people who like to skim, that’s most of us, get to the end of your post faster and with a clearer idea of what your messages where.
6. Don’t just add a “conclusion”
Really basic. For your last header you’ll be tempted to use “Conclusion” but you can be more clever! You’re not writing an 8th grade journal entry afterall, are you? Try some creative text like “A final word” or “Let’s hear from you”.
The possibilities are endless. Just make sure to avoid mediocrity in this crucial section of the blog where people may decide if they’ll leave a comment or simply not. And, make sure to add your call to action here…
7. Ask for comments when you share
So as I just said, the other really important part of the last paragraph in your blog posts is a call to action. In this area you should include 1-2 sentences telling people to post a comment and even why they should post a comment.
Along with this closing call to action, it’s a good idea to include a call to action in your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc shares. The more people see a little prompt that you’d like them to comment, the more likely they will be to post a comment.
You would be amazed at how even the biggest names online still ask people to comment. It’s not something you should be ashamed of doing because everyone does it (they often just create a really cool way of doing it). 🙂
Repetition is key. Even the best strategies may not work the first try. Stay confident and be happy with small successes. Keep going. You will get comments on your blog.
9. Comment on other blogs
If you just start a blog and still aren’t sure how to get the comments flowing, there are support groups like Bloggers Helping Bloggers where you can simply post your new post link and people will comment on it, provided you reciprocate. It’s a great step to build popularity on your blog and meet like-minded bloggers, one I’ve used too!
Or you could simple email your blogging friend and say “Hey mate, let’s comment and share eachother’s posts!”
10. Close the comments
A final a slightly more advanced strategy you might employ after a year or so of getting blogging comments is to close the comments on your posts.
The idea here is that readers will know they only have a few day so to get their comments in and discussion underway. The urgency, if you can create it, can definitely increase comments as it gets those people who might usually way to (never) post a comment to take action and post a comment right away.
A final word (and link) for you 😉
You will publish some posts that get lots of comments, some that get a few, and some that get zero comments. It’s sort of the natural way of the blogosphere – we can’t always be amazing. The key is to get out there and start publishing using the 10 tips above, and with a little bit more focus and direction, watch your blog posts get more comments.
Do you think you can use this advice to increase blog comments? Did we miss anything? Let us know down below with a comment!
p.s. Here’s that blog post I mentioned in the introduction that’s one of my first ever to get comments. Old Blogger style URL and everything. Jump around on there for lots more embarrassing articles by me and other college bloggers. You can see the lows I had to stoop to in order to get comments! 🙂