photo credit: Seesmic.com
When people look at your blog, one thing they use to determine how credible they think you are is the number of comments your posts get.
If you get a lot of comments, chances are people will think your blog is more credible than if they looked at your site and found that nobody has left any comments.
The number of comments you get isn’t caused strictly by traffic. There’s of course a corrolation, but low-traffic blogs can often get more comments than high-traffic blogs.
Here are a few tips for getting more comments to your blog, without having to bring in more traffic.
Tip #1 – Give Free Stuff Away
Giving stuff away is an easy, surefire way to increase audience participation.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be related to your topic. Many blog authors have found that they can offer to give something small away and in return get a lot of blog commentors. Let your readers know that you’ll choose the best comment from the bunch and give that poster a small prize.
For example, if you run a travel blog, you can offer to give away a free old phone that you had lying around the house. Travelers from the United States often need new phones when traveling because their old ones are carrier-locked.
If you run a parenting blog, you could offer a surprise baby gift. If you run a “make money online” blog, you could offer a 10 minute phone consultation.
These are just a few examples. Let your imagination run wild. Many of these gifts can be free or just old stuff you have lying around your house. Even if you decided to buy gifts, you don’t need to buy prizes worth more than $5 to $10 to get more audience participation.
Tip #2 – Answer Every Blog Comment
One big mistake blog owners often make is getting in the habit of ignoring comments. Naturally, if you ignore your comments, people are going to feel like you’re not listening when they write.
If you make it so that your time is perceived as scarce, but that your readers can reach you if they commented on your posts, they’re very likely to do so.
This isn’t an “instant tactic” for getting more comments. For your readers to get the sense that you respond to comments could take weeks or months. But this habit is also what will help you build a loyal following that constantly reads your posts.
Tip #3 – Make it Easy to Comment
Have you ever visited a blog that makes it so difficult to comment that you really just don’t want to bother with it?
Avoid asking your users to sign up for an account. Don’t make them link their Facebook. Don’t make them sign up with Gravatar. Don’t make them verify their email. Just let them comment with one click of a button.
A lot of people will comment on your blog on a whim, but wouldn’t comment if they had to go through a long ideal to do so. Make it as easy as possible for your users to comment on your blog.
Tip #4 – Ask Specific Questions
A lot of people who like your posts might not comment simply because they have nothing to comment about. They could read your article, love it, nod to themselves and leave your website happy – Without commenting – Simply because you never asked.
One easy way to increase your comments is to ask your readers one or more specific questions. Questions can help you get more comments and spark heated discussions in your comments.
To take it a step further, every once in a while ask for your readers’ advice. People love sharing knowledge and if there’s something you genuinely need help with, don’t hesitate to turn to your readers. They’ll help you with some great tips while simultaneously boosting your blog’s popularity.
Getting More Comments – Last Words
If you’re not getting as many comments as you’d like right now, address the issue like you would any area of your business. Start tracking your metrics (comments,) set goals and experiment with different kinds of strategy until you find one that works consistently for your business.
Garnering a following that actively comments on your blog posts takes some hard work in the beginning, but once people get in the habit of interacting on your site most of the work will take care of itself.