Get More Blog Comments
The most obvious way to get more comments on a blog post would be to get more people to view it. Marketing 101: spread the word, more traffic, more viewership and hence more comments. But that’s not true at all.
If widespread statistics are to be believed, an average blog has a visitor-to-comments ratio of around 1%. This means that roughly 1% people who visit your blog and read a post will actually comment on it – which translates to 1 comment every 100 visitors, or just 10 comments per 1000 visitors!
This is precisely why we come across blogs every day that boast healthy viewership or visitor numbers – often times in the hundreds or even thousands. However the blogs fail to back these up with a good number of comments, or people engaging in discussions. This renders your visitor numbers quite useless.
It’s particularly frustrating (and I say this from personal experience) when one has spent a lot of time and put in a lot of effort into carving and creating posts – which could involve hours of research work, a ton of time spent on writing and making sure everything is grammatically correct, adding images, etc – but there is no feedback whatsoever, maybe apart from the odd post or two saying ‘thanks’ or ‘good job’.
Just, for a moment, imagine if someone like Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, Bill Gates or Barack Obama were to deliver a speech, only to be met by a deafening silence at the end of it. No applause, no feedback, no response, and everyone in the audience remains totally silent.
That’s pretty much how it feels to have no response or comments on your posts.
A man, as they say, is a social animal. We are involved, in quite literally, hundreds of various forms of verbal and non-verbal forms of communication on a daily basis. We speak with someone (individual, group) and then we receive feedback. We talk, hear, talk some more and then hear some more as well. We discuss and interact. We use a combination of our voice and body-language to communicate with others in person. We use the power of written words on Facebook, texting and chat. My point here is that two-way communication is a very natural thing, and applies to blogs as well. When you write something online, you naturally expect feedback. The question is, how?
The following are a few tips which everyone should consider when writing blog posts with the intention of receiving feedback, comments and promoting a discussion. Please bear in mind that (a) the points mentioned below are in no particular order, and can be applied in any order, and (b) all these tips are a combination of what I’ve learnt about maximizing feedback on blogs over the years through reading various other blogs, reading books and my own personal experiences:
- Spreading the word. The more number of people know what you’re saying on the internet, the merrier. You need to have your message put across to a large number of audiences.
- Making sure your posts are interesting to read.
- Making sure your website or blog has a clean and a reader-friendly interface. This involves a combination of having a good theme, font, color scheme and the like.
- Making it easier for people to leave feedback on your blog and comment on your posts.
- Directly asking questions from your viewers in your posts and then asking them to leave their comments in the comments section.
- Leaving visual cues on your blog which encourage people to send you feedback. Maybe make a separate tab that says ‘write to us’ or ‘contact us’.
- Being controversial with your posts (but making sure not to cross the line between controversy and indecency).
- Acknowledge any comments left by people. Ensure that you reply to everyone who comments, even if it’s just a simple ‘thanks’. If you don’t have the time to personally reply to each comment, use an automated system for this, like send an email saying thanks.
- Make sure the comments sections are clean and free of spam. Use tools such as Akismet or other plugins for this purpose.
- Make the comments process more rewarding. For instance choosing one lucky person who comments and give him a prize – upgraded membership/a ten dollar rebate card/all-access pass to the website for a day… anything.
- Take point 10 one step further, and hold competitions, giveaways or the like among the visitors. E.g. A Christmas-tree or a Halloween-costume competition.
Pretty self-explanatory, all of them, but I’ll be looking at each of the abovementioned points in more detail in subsequent posts.
Would love some feedback and to hear from you guys, so make sure you leave a comment or two in the comments section below!