How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts?


Since only 1% of readers comment on blog posts (1 in 100, as per ProBlogger Darren Rowse), bloggers need lots of traffic to get lots of comments! But, there are other ways bloggers can get readers to comment on posts…as revealed by these eight tips for bloggging…  

Here’s a great question from one of my readers:

“I follow my stats and know people are reading my blog, but no matter what I try (create controversy, ask for additional ideas, or whatever) I get precious few comments. Any ideas on getting readers to comment?” ~ Jennifer, on How to Make Good Comments on Blog Posts.





To be successful, bloggers must learn as much about blogging as they can – both by doing and by reading! ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse is probably the best print resource for bloggers that I know of — but I daresay all books about blogging offer at least a nugget of gold. And most books about blogging discuss how to encourage readers to comment, perhaps offering tips similar to these…

How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts? 8 Tips for Blogging

1. Tap into your reader’s emotions, needs, wishes, hopes. In print magazines, the articles that garner the most letters to the editor are those that fire readers up. It’s not all about controversy – bloggers don’t necessarily need to be controversial to get comments! It’s about connecting with readers on a personal or emotional level. To motivate readers to interact on any piece of writing, writers need to relate to them where it matters most.

2. Figure out what matters to your readers. On this blog, my readers want to be more successful freelance writers and bloggers. So, I try to write about topics that matter to them – not what matters to novelists or poets or textbook writers. On Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals, my readers seem to be focused on love relationships – and my most commented post is How to Let Go of Someone You Love. So, I write about moving on after breaking up. Give your readers what they want, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

3. Dust your personality off. I’ve just been offered a writing gig with BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver (yay!), and in the interview I wouldn’t shut up about the importance of revealing the person behind blog posts or articles. That’s what keeps readers coming back for more, and what encourages them to comment: writer’s voice or personality. This is particularly important to me because I’m just learning how to loosen up and reveal myself in my writing and blogging (it took years!).

4. Focus your blog posts on one main idea. I’ve read helpful information about starting a blog, attracting readers, putting advertising on blog posts, and getting a book contract based on the blog – all in one post! That was way TMI (Too Much Information) for one sitting. To encourage readers to comment, keep your post focused on a central idea that they can grasp onto and form a coherent thought about.

5. Reconsider the “Please comment!” request. “People are happy to comment on my fiction; less so on other posts/articles,” says writer and blogger Tony Noland. “My opinion and an open question helps prompt discussion  On fiction, I state clearly that comments and constructive criticism is welcome – such as on The Green Fields of Home.” He adds that on other posts he’s not as overt, and thinks it seems desperate to say, ‘Please comment!’”



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6. Examine why you comment on other bloggers’ posts. Jot down five reasons you comment on blog posts – and force yourself not to stop at the first reason or two. It can be difficult to figure out why you do what you do, but that self-awareness will help you figure out your readers’ motivations. And if you can tap into them, then you can connect with them…and they’ll reach out to you by commenting on your blog posts.

7. Use social media to encourage readers. Writer and editor Bill Harper says, “I post the blog post on Twitter, and figure that if people are following me they might be interested enough to read and comment. Very occasionally I’ll ask for comments, but only if I’ve asked a question in the post I’d like answers to.” Harper also says that he posts questions in his tweets – and never sends “Please comment on my blog post” requests.

8. Ask your readers to comment. I’m with Susan Christerson Brown of Mildly Mystical on this! She says, “At the end of the post I share a question that’s on my mind, to invite readers to respond.” I do this, too, even when I don’t particularly want readers to respond (for instance, on my Quips & Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility blog, I find the readers’ questions and comments too difficult to answer). Even so, I always end my posts with an invitation to respond – and not just because I want readers to comment on my blog posts! I have a totally different reason…and I’ll give a free copy of my e-book to the first person who guesses why correctly in the comments section below (my e-book is Quips and Tips for Overcoming Writing Obstacles, and will be available at the end of next month).

If you’re struggling to increase your blog readership (and we all are, my friends), check out these different tips for promoting your blog.

What have I missed, fellow scribes – how do you encourage readers to comment on your blog posts?






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18 thoughts on “How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts?

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi JM,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree with you on both points: commenting on blogs encourages more blog comments, and commenting on blogs is incredibly time-consuming! I don’t have time to read other blogs, much less comment…and I admire people who do.

  • J. M. Strother

    The biggest factor in getting a lot of comments for me is being engaged with my readers — reading their blogs, commenting back and forth both in my own comment threads and theirs. But that is very time consuming. When life’s demands keep me away the number of comments drops precipitously. And like Tony, I get many more comments on my fiction than on my other posts.

    Hi Tony! Nice to see you here. (Sorry, just wanted to say ‘hey’ to Tony.)

    I think perhaps you ask for readers to respond so you can get good ideas on what to write about next.
    ~jon

  • George Angus

    Oy.

    The comment thing.

    Great content written from the heart, with passion. Those posts typically bring more comments in my experience.

    Respond to the readers who take the time to read your post and comment. Personally, if my comments are ignored often enough, I’m apt to stop visiting the blog.

    Visit, read, and comment on other blogs.

    George
    .-= George Angus´s last blog post ..3 Must-Know Tips for Guest Authors =-.

  • Donn King

    Good, though-provoking ideas on getting comments, especially insofar as they encourage real interaction. In fact, I think that’s one of the reasons you solicit responses from readers–it gets them not only to interact with the material in the post at a deeper level, but also with each other, building a sense of community.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Leigh Ann ~ Thanks for posting the “freebie alert” on your blog! I hope one of your readers guesses why I invite comments at the end of every post…but the main reason isn’t because I want to show them I care. That’s ONE reason, but not the MAIN reason 🙂 My main reason is a little more selfish.

    Hi Donald ~ I do want my readers to feel connected and to interact with me, but my motives for inviting readers to comment are more blog-oriented…

    Thanks for piping up, my friends! Don’t give up…

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts? Tips for Blogging =-.

  • Donald Conrad

    I think you end your posts with an invitation to respond as a way for your readers to interact and feel connected, which will hopefully bring them back.
    .-= Donald Conrad´s last blog post ..Wake Your Cheatin’ Heart =-.

  • Leigh Ann Otte

    Oh, fun! A contest! I think you invite comments because you want to show that you care about the reader–that you’re not writing in a vacuum–to make them feel more connected to you.

    I like point number six. I’m not sure what makes me comment, beyond disagreeing with other commenters. Hmmm … I guess maybe when people ask a pointed question, it at least makes it easier to comment. You don’t have to try to think of something to say.
    .-= Leigh Ann Otte´s last blog post ..FREEBIE ALERT: Quips and Tips e-book and guest posts =-.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Japinder ~ thanks for your comments ~ I’m happy that you were one of the first readers to pipe up! 🙂 I noticed that you’ve commented on some of my other posts, and I will to respond to them soon….but I’m flying to Toronto in a couple of hours and need to get to the airport! But I can’t tear myself away from my blog even though my husband is pulling at my shirt….

    Lane ~ nope, I don’t invite comments from readers to get email addresses! I have a whole ‘nother reason….care to try again?

    Jennifer ~ thanks again for asking this question. I didn’t think I had anything to say, but boy was I wrong.

    Happy blogging,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts? Tips for Blogging =-.

  • Lane Baldwin

    Excellent article, and thanks for the advice. To answer the question you posed near the end, I think you do it to capture email addresses. One great reason to capture these is so you can continue to reach out to them, whether that be for “direct” direct marketing, or indirect to build a relationship with that person.

    Again, thanks for an excellent article!

    Lane Baldwin
    lanebaldwin.com

  • Japinder

    lol….just as I was typing my longish reply, two other commentators beat me to the ‘first comment’ trophy! 😀
    .-= Japinder´s last blog post ..Anjali gets a reality check =-.

  • Japinder

    Laurie, I discovered your blog yesterday and thought it was great. Today, I find I am the first one to comment! Whoo!

    Your ‘reconsider the overt request to comment’ suggestion made me think. These days, I often put a ‘Did you like the story?’ question at the end of each story that I post. In my last post however, which I’d posted yesterday early morning, I’d decided to make it more direct and simply write ‘Please leave a comment before you go :)’ If it sounds desperate, then “Oops!”

    I think I’ll try different post-endings and see which one helps me get the maximum response.

    I think the one point that you missed though was to respond to the comments as soon as you respond to them. After a reader is through with the post, if he reads the comments and sees that the blogger has responded to them nicely and that there is a discussion going on there, he’s more likely to put forward his point of view, right?
    .-= Japinder´s last blog post ..Anjali gets a reality check =-.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Wow, that had to have been the fastest comment I’ve EVER received!! I swear, I posted this article 5 seconds ago….thanks Jane! And, thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it.
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts? Tips for Blogging =-.

  • Jane Dominguez

    Thank for the good ideas expressed in my favorite way; clear and concise. I have had the same experience, I know that a large number of people are reading my better business writing blog articles, but few are leaving comments.