10 ways to encourage more comments on your blog

How to encourage readers to comment on your blogIt sucks whenever the comments section of one of your blog articles appears to be a barren wasteland.

You spend a lot of creative time writing your blog posts and you want a clear sign that readers find value in your content. You want to interact with your readers directly. You want them to contribute to your blog and help deepen the conversation. You want to convert the passive reader into a loyal commenter. And when that doesn’t happen, it stings.

But here’s the thing, a sparse comments section doesn’t necessarily mean that your content isn’t interesting, helpful, funny, or… whatever it is you want your blog to be. It just means you’re not doing a great job encouraging those readers to actually leave comments.

How to get your readers to leave more comments on your blog

1. Ask a question – Many readers may get to the end of your blog post and think “good article” — and that’s the end of it. If you don’t prompt them to interact with what they’ve just read, they’ll exit your blog without leaving a comment. By asking a question, you’re inviting them to join the conversation. Plus, you’re making it easy by giving them some framework within which to contribute.

2. Leave room for your readers to add to the discussion – You’re not the only expert. Ask your readers to share their own experiences. If you’re writing a list post, acknowledge that it may not be definitive. Tell your readers they’re more than welcome to add their own items to the list.

3. Reply to comments quickly – By responding to comments, you demonstrate that you actually care about the conversation and that you value your readers’ time. By responding quickly, you’re more likely to keep the discussion lively since new readers will see that you’re actively reading and moderating comments.

4. Prizes, prizes, prizes – People love to be rewarded for their efforts. So give them something in return for commenting. Maybe you can ask for readers to share their stories or advice, and you’ll pick out a few favorites to highlight in a future blog post or share via social media.

5. Don’t make it difficult to comment – Consider the pros and cons of making a reader login before commenting. More accountability? Sure. More hoops to jump through? Absolutely. You don’t want to create obstacles for your readers; they’ll get frustrated and lose steam before writing a single word.

6. Point/counterpoint – Put your strong opinions into your blog posts. Get controversial. If you stand on one side of an issue, you’re inviting comments by default. Folks on the other side of the argument will want to dive into the debate.

7. Publish guest posts – When another writer contributes an article to your blog they’re going to share it with their followers, thus increasing the chances that you’ll have a whole new set of readers commenting. And guest posters are usually pretty good about replying to comments on the articles they write for other blogs.

8. Be open and honest – Despite all the 1s and 0s, the internet is still (usually) about human connection — and your readers don’t want to communicate with a stoic cyborg. By revealing your own weaknesses, knowledge gaps, and vulnerability, you’ll show you’re human too.

9. Comment on the blogs of your frequent readers – Do your readers maintain their own blogs? If so, be sure to comment on their articles too. You comment on their blogs, they’ll comment on yours. Reciprocity!

10. Post frequently – The more content you create, the more you’ll condition your readers to be on the lookout for those articles. So create a blog schedule and stick to it for three months. I’ll bet you’ll see the number of comments per post increase with the number of posts you’re publishing.

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How do you encourage your readers to leave comments? What’s worked best for you? Let me know in the comments section below. (See what I did there?)

[Keyboard photo from Shutterstock.]