Four Ways to Encourage Comments on Your Blog

Most visitors won’t stick around for long at a blog that just talks at them. People want to be involved in a conversation, so get people involved in your blog. They want to feel that their thoughts matter just as much as yours do.

  1. Ask a question at the end of your posts. Ask if people feel the same way, have more suggestions in the area or what’s working for them. Once you have people interested, you can even admit that you don’t know everything—or even anything—about the topic in question. Ask for help.
  2. Remove barriers to commenting. How many times have you read a great blog post, got all excited about the comment you were going to add, got to the end and found this:
    forcing people to login to comment is just mean
    I don’t think I’m the only one who will either a.) turn away disappointed or b.) go through the stupid sign up process, give away all my personal information and then have forgotten what I was going to say.

    As a blogger, you should try to make it easy for readers to join the conversation. If you really want people to say something, don’t force them to sign in or leave your site or do long division (simple addition or typing a word as a spam catcher is okay, though).

  3. Respond to comments to keep the conversation going. Again, don’t just talk at your readers, talk with them. In my own experience, I’ve received more comments when I respond to comments on my blog as well as commenting on others’ blogs.

    You certainly don’t have to respond to every random spammer or troll who happens by your blog. But it’s always nice to show your appreciation for commenters. It’s especially important (not to mention only polite!) to respond to commenters who ask questions.

  4. Write about something interesting and universal. As obvious as this sounds, it’s important not to just write about yourself and your family. Of course, your life will be the main source for your blog, but take your posts to the next level by appealing to something that applies to more than just you and your spouse.

    For example, don’t just say “I had Kix for breakfast,” say, “I had Kix for breakfast. What’s your favorite cereal or breakfast food?” You could even end a post about your kids with “What’s the cutest things your kids have done this week?” or “Did your kids do this at this age?”

By making it clear that you pay attention to what people say on your blog and that you value their input, you’re subtly encouraging others to add their 2¢ to the conversation. You show that you’re interested in what others have to say on the topic. By seeing that you are willing to continue the conversation in the comments or via email, your visitors will form an individual relationship with you. That is the strongest reason why people will continue to comment on your blog.

Another bonus: you might get more post ideas from that conversation with your readers!

Adapted from my free guide to increasing your blog’s stickiness, “Get Your Visitors to Stick!

63 thoughts on “Four Ways to Encourage Comments on Your Blog

  1. This all makes sense, but I have to confess that sometimes I feel *very* self-conscious when replying to commentators. I know it shouldn’t –since they are my readers after all– but it just feels a little weird.

  2. Thanks for the information. It’s nice to know I’m doing something right! :)

    I always try (but don’t always succeed) to email first time commentators on my blog. I’ve struck up some nice friendships that way, and I notice the readers I’ve emailed tend to keep coming back.

  3. @Madame M—I feel the same way sometimes. It depends on how the comments have been going. If they’re all “Oh, this is so wonderful!! You’re the best human being EVER, Jordan” . . . oh, wait…. But seriously, it can be weird. Maybe with pratice it gets easier?

    @Lynnae—that’s a great idea! Do you use the Comment Relish Plugin? I do!

    @Kailani—me too. That picture is from the most prominent blog in my industry, and even when I can add to the conversation, I just roll my eyes when I get to that part.

  4. Jordan –

    Thanks for the great ideas in this post! I’m glad to see that I’m doing several things right. I hadn’t thought about putting an interactive question in a post – nice tip. I’m pretty new at blogging and your site helped encourage me to get into some group writing contests, projects and carnivals – which I have thoroughly enjoyed! I can always count on your blog for some great ideas for taking things up a notch. It will be fun to think of some ideas for non-family related universal post topics. Thanks for such an informative post!

  5. I’m still at the stage where I find it odd when “strangers” comment on my blog. I’m not sure whether to be flattered or skeeved when they keep coming back 😉

    An email from the blogger makes me feel more comfortable (and less intrusive) visiting a blog regularly. Jordan – you were a stranger when I first started visiting your blog, but your emails make it obvious that you WANT the company. And the combination of business and family posts make it a friendly place to hang out. When people post solely about their family, I feel like a voyeur reading the blog.

  6. Great tips! I totally agree with removing barriers to comments – I will not register to comment unless it is a blog I visit frequently.

  7. Thanks for the tips! I’m new to blogging, and it seemed like I was trying to fill my own comment boxes by responding to each–I’m going to use your example in the comments on this post (responding to several comments with only one of your own.) I’m also going to add an email contact link to my template–some people’s profiles aren’t enabled/can’t find an email on their blog, and they may prefer a private or more personal response.

  8. Great tips! As a relatively new blogger, I don’t get many comments, but it’s so exciting when I do! I will definately try your tips. Thanks!

  9. Ah, here’s a subject that’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been struggling with the issue of comments lately and would love to get your advice:

    I’m a big fan of having open comments where people don’t need to register. Unfortunately, I have one or two regular commentors who evidently have lots of time in their schedules to “troll” my site. They never miss a chance to write in something hateful anonymously. I don’t mind what they say about me, but unfortunately it always derails otherwise intelligent discussions among the other commentors. Since as a busy mom I don’t have time to carefully moderate comments, I decided to just make it so that only those who register can comment, so that way my other commentors will at least be able to see that it’s the same one or two people causing the trouble and can ignore them.

    Anyway, all this is to say: any expert advice here? I really wish I could have open comments, but since I can’t moderate it I just don’t think it’s an option.

    Also, if you’re ever looking for new subject matter, I’d love to request a post about how to handle trolls — especially those who leave comments that are mean-spirited and unproductive, yet not quite bad enough to warrant deleting. I know it’s a subject near and dear to many bloggers’ hearts. :)

  10. Funny! I never thought to ask a question either. It makes perfect sense though to get people involved.

    I am really enjoying my blog right now. I hope I get some readers! :)

  11. @Jennifer—That’s a really tough situation. In my opinion, on a personal blog, there is no reason to hesitate to delete comments that are abusive and deconstructive. It’s a wonder that if they’re so dedicated to tearing you down, they haven’t taken the time to register. I would imagine that most people so dedicated to hatefulness would take the time to register.

    On many other blogging platforms, you can ban people by IP address. There’s a Blogger hack to do this, though I can’t vouch for it. There are also a bunch of limitations to it, but it’s worth a shot: http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-ban-person-from-your-blog-or.html

    You also have the option of switching to Haloscan, which can also enable your blog to accept trackbacks.

  12. When I receive a first comment I usually respond by reading their blog and commenting back, thanking them for the visit. I like the idea of the back and forth in the comments, but I get an email to remind me to check my comments again. I have wondered if readers have time to be checking my comments section in the days after the post. I post almost every day, and it’s hard to keep up with the blogs I read, let alone follow their comments days later. I like the box you have here at the bottom. How did you set it up?

  13. Hi Jordan – Andy’s wife here.

    Nice list of tips.

    I have to agree that if it is a pain to comment, then I am far less likely to want to comment and/or return to that blog.

  14. These are excellent tips to attract comments. I think I will have to make a conscious effort to do them. I love getting comments on my post, but will have to use these tecniques to make them happen more often. Cheers!

  15. Thanks for the tips. I just started a blog today, and have been looking for ways to get more visitors to my site, and to get them to comment and all of that. This will probably help…I hope. Thanks again.

  16. I read blogs everyday and leave comments because I really enjoy their posts. I wonder why my blog posts do not get as much comments and I am glad that you brought these tips. I really hope I could improve the comments on my blogs not just the spammers.

  17. Maybe my blog is just to new. I need to be patient. I have been having on average of only 10 views a day. I think that is ok since I just started blogging. I finally started posting my blog to facebook and twitter. I think that helped a little. Still no success on the comments.

    I use the majority of your tips already. Maybe my down fall is because I speak about my family. But it is a family blog.

    Thank you for trying to help new bloggers out. :-)

  18. It’s really nice to have interaction with your readers, and getting them to comment on your post means you’re sharing something useful, and it feels good right?

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