One of the areas with my blog that I’ve recently put a lot of love and energy into is creating community. As bloggers, we want our voices to be heard, and I know that for a long time, it felt like I was just posting content to a Bloggy Black Hole. That can be frustrating! Even as my traffic started to grow, I still found myself wondering…is there anybody out there?
I’ve been working hard at increasing interactions with my readers – readers are the most important part of a blog! When a reader leaves me a comment, I love it…someone is taking the time to offer their thoughts or opinion on something I wrote, and this gives me a chance to connect with them. And connecting with readers is what blogging is all about!
Here are 6 simple things you can do to increase comments on your own blog.
- Make sure your commenting system is not driving people away. This is so important. SO. IMPORTANT. You want it to be super easy for a reader to leave you a comment. If they have to search the page for the comment section or jump through a bunch of hoops to get their comment published, most people will just leave. This means avoid commenting systems that require registering, CAPTCHA, or using Google+. Download my Commenting System Checklist to make sure yours is easy to maneuver.
- Ask your readers a question. End the blog post with a call to action. For example, at the end of this blog post, I’m going to ask you a question about your blog commenting habits. Asking a question (especially when an opinion is involved) is a great way to engage readers.
- Offer readers an incentive for leaving a comment. I use the commenting system “CommentLuv” on this blog. When you leave a comment, it requires a name and email address. It also gives you the option to leave your blog’s address, and if you fill that section out, your most recent blog post shows up in the comments. This can potentially drive some traffic your way. CommentLuv is free, and can be installed on WordPress and Blogger.
- Respond to your comments, and install a plugin that notifies readers when you’ve responded to them. It’s no fun if you don’t respond to comments! Responding to comments shows your readers that you appreciate them – but most of the time, they won’t even know you’ve responded unless you’ve got your blog set up to notify them when you respond. There are a bunch of plugins out there that will do this, but I use Comment Reply Notification. If you comment here and I reply, you’ll get an email with my response.
- Make the comment section easy to find. Seriously…it’s not worth commenting when you have to scroll up and down the page three times and peek in every nook and cranny in the post to find the “Comment” button. Make it easy! I love it when blogs have an easy-to-find “Leave a Comment” button in a conspicuous location!
- Comment on other blogs. When I first started getting serious about blogging, I tried to find other blogs that seemed similar to mine, both content-wise and size-wise. This is a great way to support other bloggers and find yourself some new supporters, too.
I’ve also found that certain types of content will get me more (and better) comments than other types of content.
Personal posts that people can relate to or are intrigued by (like weight loss and funny parenting stories) are likely to get comments. Helpful posts (like posts about blogging, or sponsored posts about products people are actually interested in) also seem to generate sincere interest and comments.
But what if you’re writing lots of great content you feel like no one is engaging? What can you do to get things going?
Join blogging support groups. Not a support group in the “My name is Carrie and I spend too much time blogging,” sort of way. Blogging support groups are groups on Facebook and Google+ where you and other bloggers promote each others’ content. It’s a way to get your posts out there for the world to see. If you need a place to start, we’d love to have you over at The Blogging Bunch Facebook group!
You can also link up to relevant linky parties. Not only will this bring in a little extra traffic, but the party hosts will usually visit your blog and leave a comment and maybe even share your stuff on social media, too (if you need a place to start, I host a weekly linky party called Wordy Wednesday – come link up!).
Be sure to download my Commenting System Checklist (especially if you have a new blog and want to make sure your commenting system is up to par) for more information.
What inspires you to leave a comment? Or what drives you away from commenting?