There are essentially four reasons why people don’t comment on your blog:
- They don’t know it exists
- They don’t read your posts
- They aren’t compelled to comment
- They think it’s too hard to comment
There are likely other reasons, but overcoming these four hurdles make it much easier to get people to comment on your posts.
So how, exactly do you get more comments on your blog?
Well, instead of talking in theories, I’m going to share with you specific examples from across the blogosphere that worked like gangbusters. Ready?
1. Get Other People Talking About It. My friend @mrsfatass (we went to high school together, so I mean a REAL friend, folks) became part of the #ashamed revolution that’s been making waves in the recent past, and not only did her post about the Georgia billboards stir up comments on her blog, it got a quote from that post on the front page of CNN.com, as well as HLN, and The O’Reilly Factor. You can read about the hulabaloo here. She’s also added a follow-up post that got additional comments and awareness for the cause.
2. Make It Controversial. In addition to what @MrsFatass accomplished on her blog, have a look at what TMZ has posted about Whitney Houston’s ex, Bobby Brown. Fifteen pages of comments in less than 24 hours. Especially on a high-traffic blog, it takes powerful headlines to garner that kind of commentary in such a short period of time. Powerful headlines compel readers to engage with your writing and speak out (as an indicator, I don’t read TMZ, but did a google search for blogs about Whitney Houston. Even her own website ranked lower than the TMZ article.)
3. Bribe Them. @Sarahrobinson, curator of several powerful blog series, including her latest, 28 Days to Building Fierce Loyalty, kicked off her blog series by giving away a copy of a book by one of her guest contributors. A bribe shouldn’t be used regularly, however, or it loses effectiveness. Sarah brings in great minds to contribute on a galvanizing topic that stirs her readers to comment. The ‘bribe’ is just to prime the pump, so to speak.
4. Bring In Reinforcements. In the spirit of Sarah’s blog series, reach out to your network, and ask other people to contribute to your blog. It’s not as easy when you’re first getting started, but if you’re building relationships with other smarty pants folks, you can find people that would love to write for your blog. My direct sales blog has a collection of regular contributors, and I’m a regular contributor for @carlayoung‘s MOMEO community.
5. Remove The Captcha. If you want it to be easy for folks to comment, stop putting up barriers to entry. Captcha codes are designed to eliminateMy own blog uses disqus, which brings the blog to the commenters. If someone leaves a comment, they get an email when someone replies, keeping them in the flow of conversation. @unmarketing wrote an entire rant on the woes of captcha codes a while back. It’s even more relevant in the hustle and bustle, noisy environment of today’s blogosphere.
Make it easy for people to comment. It’s the first “barrier to entry” most prospective clients will encounter. Before they’ll fork over an email address or any cash, chances are good, they’ll first try to leave a comment on your blog. Don’t make it TOO hard for your future clients to do business with you.
6. Make It Personal. One of the most commented posts in my own Be Your Own Guru blog series was my husband’s story of putting his first child up for adoption. He didn’t open a vein, but he certainly shared in a way that deeply touched my community of readers at that time. As I continue writing about my spiritual journey on my personal blog, I get a lot more comments on the intimate stuff than I do the basic, how-to stuff. Looking around the blogosphere, that’s not an uncommon trend. Guys like @JohnnyBTruant took his book marketing strategy and made it personal. There’s always a way to make a topic personal. You may have to work a little, but it’s doable.
7. Leave A Gap And Let Them Fill It. As you’re about to see in this post, sometimes the best way to get comments is to ask for them. Sure, you can just say “hey, leave a comment” and that can work, too. But if you’re serious about getting folks engaged, try asking them to finish a list with their own ideas, or better yet, to shoot holes in your theory, if you’ve got one.
I’ve only hit on a few of the ideas that I’ve been testing for the last few months – because I could point to some substantial evidence you can steal and use right now. What about you? What are your ideas for getting more comments on your blog? I’d love your thoughts and comments. And if you think I’ve got it all wrong, I’d love to hear that, too. Speak your mind in the comments – no captcha required!