Don’t you hate it when you have written a great post and no one comments on it? If your site doesn’t receive many comments it is not because nobody likes your content, it is most probably because you simply don’t have a large enough audience. In most online communities, 90% or even more of users are lurkers who never contribute, some 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the discussion.
10 tips to increase comments
On the way to increasing the number of comments on your posts, you would need to build traffic first. If your site already gets traffic, here are 10 ways that will help you increase the number of comments.
- Encourage interaction by asking your readers questions. If you want people to leave comments, invite them to do so by simply asking for their opinion or suggestion. When you ask people for their opinion, they are more likely to give it to you. A way to do this is to conclude your blog post with a good open-ended question like “What is your experience with this?”
- Participate in the conversation. Be approachable, answer the questions and write your thoughts on your readers contribution. Recognizing your readers will encourage them to keep commenting on your blog posts and will encourage others to join in the conversation.
- Use WordPress threaded comments option. It enables blog users to reply to an existing blog comment and the discussion will be displayed threaded or nested. It also sends a notification by e-mail when reply is available. The advantage of threaded comments is that it makes it easy to follow and respond to conversations.
- Thank your commenters. When a user comments on your blog, you can send them a personal thank you email. One of the most downloaded WordPress plugins, Comment Relish helps with this. Another way is to redirect them to a thank you page. Comments Redirect plugin helps with this. Recognizing your commenters will help creating a community and a tribe feeling. This way your readers will be encouraged to keep coming back and keep commenting. More tips on plugins to use to enhance your comments area are here.
- Post thoughtful comments on relevant posts on other blogs. This will make the other blogger notice your site and visit it. This might result in the other bloggers returning the favor and posting a comment on your site. Also include outbound links to other posts in your articles. Seeing another blogger link to their post will surely get the attention of the other blogger. It results in the blogger most likely stopping by to visit your site and read your post, eager to see what the article is about and why you linked to them. Probability of them writing a comment on your post then will be pretty high. Plugin CommentLuv can help encourage other bloggers to leave a comment as their latest post will be shown along the comment.
- Does it say “No Comments” underneath your article? Does that sound inviting to your ears? It certainly does not, even though it is the text on the standard WordPress installation and most probably on your site as well. Open your comments.php and edit the “No Comments” to something more inviting and encouraging like “No comments yet, but your thoughts are welcomed”.
- Let your blog users subscribe to comments and the ongoing discussion. Subscribe To Comments plugin allows commenters on your blog to check a box and get e-mail notification of new comments in the discussion. Install this plugin as it helps create a community and a tribe feeling around your blog by encouraging blog commenters to come back and stay engaged in the discussion.
- Give rewards to your top commenters. It is not the most long term solution to encourage comments by giving money prizes as once the prizes are gone, people won’t be motivated to comment any more. What can be done instead is linking to your top commenters in your sidebar. Show Top Commentators plugin helps with this. Another way is rewarding good and insightful commenters by featuring them in one of your upcoming posts. This rewards people already contributing to the discussion but also inspires other readers to join the conversation and be the next “featured commenter”.
- Be controversial when writing posts. Don’t be afraid to go against the norm and against the conventions. Having a strong, different, unconventional opinion and perspective in your posts is a great way to encourage visitors to comment and voice their opinions on your posts.
- It is important to be patient when waiting for that first comment. After the first comment, everything becomes easier. When visitors to your post see other people making comments they are more likely to believe there is something valuable at your site and start writing comments themselves.
These simple 10 steps should hopefully increase the number of comments to your post. I hope you enjoyed it and now go enjoy the conversation with your visitors.
Image by Premasagar.