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!’”

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).

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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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