You write what you think is a meaningful, important post on your blog. Then you wait. And wait. And wait.
What are you waiting for?
Comments also show that people care enough about what you’re writing to read it and take the time to respond. You even get to participate in the discussion with the people reading your blog. It’s a big motivator for blogging.
But sometimes you wait and the comments don’t come. It’s disappointing and frustrating. A lack of comments may even, over time, make you want to quit blogging. Don’t quit. Instead, try these methods to get more comments on your blog.
End each post with a question
Every blog post should end with a call to action. In other words, you should ask your readers to do something. The most common way to end a blog post is to ask an open-ended question for your readers to answer. This gives your readers an invitation to participate and discuss the content.
Create a conversation
Use a commenting system that allows readers to not only comment on your post, but to have a conversation with each other. I use Livefyre for commenting.
Make commenting simple
You want to make it as easy as possible for readers to post comments. Don’t use CAPTCHA or require comment approval or registration. Readers will move on if you make it difficult for them to post their thoughts. They’ll just decide it’s not worth their time.
Participate in the discussion
You should respond to readers’ comments, asking further questions and encouraging a deeper discussion. The more you engage with your readers, the more they will feel valued and want to continue engaging on your site.
Some bloggers disagree with the idea that you should respond to everyone who comments on your blog. I only support this approach if you have so many comments that it’s unrealistic for you to respond to them all. Otherwise, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t thank the reader and participate in the discussion.
Don’t feed the trolls
You can’t make everyone happy. Some people comment on posts just to be trolls. You can either ignore them or just thank them for commenting and move on. You shouldn’t get upset when people disagree with you. Different viewpoints are part of healthy discussion. Participate respectfully in any educated, well-mannered discussion.
On a related note, you should think carefully about moderating or removing comments from your blog. Doing either discourages participation and seems censoring. The best way to protect your blog and its readers from offensive negative comments is to proactively write a comment policy and display it on your site. That way, if you remove a comment, everyone should understand why.
Comment on other blogs
The best way to increase your blog’s readership and the number of comments you receive is to leave good comments on other blogs. The blogosphere (ugh, sorry for the buzz word) is a reciprocal community. What this means for you is that, if you comment on a blog, that blogger likely will comment back on your site.
It takes time to build your blog’s readership and increase engagement. I’ve been blogging for seven years and still don’t receive nearly as many comments as I’d like. Perhaps that makes me appreciate the ones I receive even more. Either way, I plan to continue applying these strategies and writing posts I hope with encourage readers to engage.