Everyone always talks about how important it is to use your blog to develop and facilitate a community. Getting comments and a personal investment from readers helps you to develop a loyal audience and makes a blog more interesting and effective.
However, knowing that you need more comments is only half the battle – you need to know what you can do to make those comments happen.
Use your posts to ask questions. This kind of call to action helps overcome that little barrier to initial participation. It’s easy to incorporate questions into all kinds of posts — if you write a post about tips on being eco-friendly ask readers to contribute their favorite green cleaning tip.
If you review a product ask readers for their opinions and recommendations.
You can also write posts that are entirely designed for questions and comments — say, outlining a problem you have encountered and asking for their ideas on how to solve it.
Develop a Back-and-Forth
Getting a comment from a reader is just the start of increasing comments. You should respond to them in the comments as well, so that the comments become a conversation.
Value Their Contributions
Use comments from readers to inspire future posts, and link back to the post where the comments started. Let readers know that you value their input and will use it in the future.
The success of the online tabloid Daily Mail shows how controversial statements can draw in commentators. This doesn’t mean you need to say something completely abhorrent — but consider taking a look at a contentious issue in your niche. If you want to be even more provocative, invite someone whom your readers don’t agree with to make a guest post on your blog explaining his or her view — your comments will definitely light up!
Play With Others
Head over to other blogs in your niche and start commenting yourself. Don’t ever be a spammer, but it’s usually okay to link to one of your own posts as long as it makes a useful contribution and you are doing more than just dropping a link.
If you are really meticulous, you can build a feed around blogs that you get results for commenting on. Spend a few days commenting on some big blogs or other reasonably popular blogs in your niche, and see which ones are great sources of incoming traffic. Pare down your list to ones that provide a steady stream of visitors and comment whenever you have something useful to say!
Do Your Research
While you are off commenting on other blogs, do some research — which posts have the most comments? Which posts did you feel most drawn to comment on? Try to figure out what it was that sparked off the discussion and try to use those tactics on your own blog.
Make It Easy
The easier it is for people to comment on your blog, the more comments you are likely to get. However, you are also more likely to get spam, offensive comments and other unwanted contributions.
You need to weigh up the benefits of captchas, registration, and moderation in preventing unwanted content against the way they may discourage people from commenting.
Brankica’s note: Comment Luv plugin integrated GASP plugin in the new version. GASP prevents non human commentators from leaving a comment with a check box you mush check to confirm you are human and post a comment.
Reward Your Commentators
Plugins like CommentLuv, as you see in use on Online Income Star, encourage comments by rewarding your readers. When someone makes a comment, CommentLuv allows them to attach a link to something they posted recently on their own blog.
If they share the post with one or more of their social networks, they are given even more options for what post to share. The Top Commentators widget (included in CommentLuv plugin) can further reward your readers by linking to the websites of the people who have commented the most in the last month.
Used correctly, these tips apply across the board, whether you run a niche making money blog or a community for parents. How do you encourage people to comment on your blog posts?
Adrienne is a blogger and internet marketer at WebpageFX SEO Company. When she’s not blogging about tech and social media, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.