10 Tips for Increasing Comments on Your Blog

Blog Conversations In my post Statistics After 90 Days of Blogging I mentioned that I currently have 160 posts, and over 400 comments on my blog. One comment I received mentioned commenting. I have a relatively new blog, but I am fortunate that a good community, is building, that comments on my blog.

Blogs are about conversations. You want to start conversing with people and start earning some name recognition. I say earn, because writing a single comment on one blog does not authority create. People will read your comments over time and see that you have information to add to the conversation. The idea is to entice people to your blog by reading your comments.

Here are 10 tips for how I started encouraging comments on my blog. This process may take a couple of weeks. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t seeing results in the first day or two. Keep with it. After a couple of months, these are tips I am still trying to follow.

  1. Comment on 15+ blogs a day. I find blogs, using Technorati, and WordPress, writing on the same topics or topics I am interested in, and then comment on these posts. Other bloggers also use tools such as StumbleUpon or Digg.
  2. Try to write thoughtful comments. Actually read the post before you write a comment, and after reading the whole post. People reading your comments will start visiting your blog if it seems like you know what you are talking about. Don’t just read the first sentence and then write a comment. Also don’t read one sentence from the middle of the post and comment. Posts are like conversations and can meander. Where a post begins, isn’t necessarily where it ends. Read the whole post, and then comment.
  3. Don’t be afraid to write comments. Your comments don’t have to sound like pearls of wisdom from Buddha. Creating good comments is a skill that may take a while to build. Some may be funny or some serious. Let your personality show through, although keep in mind tip #5 and 6. If you are initially hesitant, keep your comments short – “I like your post and here is why” or even ask a question – “you mention blah, how would that work in this situation?”
  4. Include pertinent links in your comments to posts on your blog if you have them. The key word here is pertinent. Don’t just start randomly adding links to your posts, this practice is commonly referred to as spam, and quite a few bloggers will delete these comments, and then possibly block you from commenting. Some blogs don’t allow links in the comments, you will have to check this out on a blog by blog basis. If you don’t have an appropriate link, don’t add one. To create a link in a comment, use the following format:
    [<a href=”http://Link_to_post&#8221; mce_href=”http://Link_to_post”&gt; Text to be displayed that can be clicked</a>]
  5. Don’t leave the same comment on a whole bunch of blogs. Other readers are locating blogs and topics using the same tools you are. They will read your same comment on more than one post, and consider you some type of spammer or a dullard. Read each post you want to comment on, and write a thoughtful comment.
  6. Don’t be adversarial or a dick, unless appropriate. Allow people to have other viewpoints, and don’t attack them. It is ok to disagree, but at least acknowledge their comment. When I see people consistently being a jerk or trolling with their comments that sends up a red flag to me, and those aren’t the type of blogs I visit. Again the idea is about generating conversations, being hostile is not a great way to build communities, unless you are trying to build some type of online fight club. I follow the living room of posting rules – what do you find appropriate in a conversation in your living room?
  7. Don’t just visit blogs in your niche. There are quite a few facets to blogging such as community, marketing, and writing. Tap into these communities and comment on these blogs also.
  8. You may receive negative comments on your blog. I posted my living room rules for posting comments. I allow dissenting opinions, but will not allow personal attacks, abuse or hostile comments. Don’t Try not to take these personally, there are many posts about how to handle abusive comments.
  9. Link to others generously . . . when appropriate. Link to others to give credit for an idea, or for additional information. Whenever I receive incoming links, I try to comment on that post as well as start reading the blog. From my experience I have found that other bloggers do the same.
  10. Follow up on your comments. This is a multiple step process:
    • If you comment on a blog, follow that post. Your comment may generate a conversation that you may want to continue to be a part. If you find a comment on a blog that you think is interesting, comment on that commenter’s blog also
    • Acknowledge comments on your blog. I always reply to comments on my blog, people like to know they are being heard. Sometimes people will correct your mistakes, which is part of the conversational process. Don’t take corrections personally, this just means people are actually reading your content, this is good.
    • After people comment on your blog, check if they have a blog and comment back. I have meet some great friends this way, and this helps to build the community and generate additional conversations.

Extra Bonus Tips

  • Have fun. Remember these conversations are what blogging are all about. It can be hard work, but enjoy the new virtual friends you will make.
  • If I notice a topic I have written on starting to get hot, search on blogs and comment. Include a link to your post and mention how it adds value.
  • Don’t just comment on the popular, high profile blogs. You don’t know who is going to be the next popular blogger. Building a relationship with them now helps build community.

Summary

Remember the idea is to build name recognition and network.

When you were a kid, you didn’t immediately get to sit at the adults table during holidays, you had to earn you way there. Comments are similar. You need to build your blogger ‘street cred’ unless your name is already known in your niche. As you become more recognized, you will find that people are seeking you out to comment on your blog.

Photo credit – Stephanie Hendrick who blogs at The Sum of My Parts

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17 Responses to “10 Tips for Increasing Comments on Your Blog”

  1. Opal Tribble Says:

    Once again you impress me with the posts you write. I agree with everything you have said.

    I remember reading one of my blogging buddies post where she was talking about her son who passed away when he was one years old.

    Obviously this person who visited had not even bothered to read her post since they were basically spamming, Hey nice blog stop by and visit my place. I’m sure they found her through my blog sure since they had just been to my place and commented after my blogging buddy.

    That really bothered me. Her post at my place was similar and at the time I did not think too much of it. I don’t mind people promoting their websites or articles on my blog. It’s a good way for my readers to learn about other fabulous bloggers. After seeing what she did at my blog pals virtual spot I deleted her comment.

    Was that the right thing to do? I don’t know, but I was annoyed that in her rush to drum up votes for a contest she ignored the bloggers post and just dropped that spam bomb.

  2. Thomas Says:

    Opal – You give the perfect example of why it is important to read the WHOLE post before you comment. The ‘Hey nice blog, visit me” comment on most posts is innocuous, but in this case is thoughtless and insensitive.

    The current round of spamming comments uses a single word, such as ‘nice, interesting, or good post’ with the back link being the prize.

    Was deleting the post the right call? I would say that if you felt that the post fell under the ‘living room rules of posting’ that deleting it would be ok. If you were having a conversation with multiple people, and someone just told a personal story and the next comment is someone talking about their shiny new car, that doesn’t seem appropriate.

    I was hesitant to use the initial language for #6, but then I thought about all the inconsiderate comments I have seen people make.

  3. Snoskred Says:

    Hey nice blog post, visit me! 😉

    Well, it had to be done. 😉

    I do a bit of leaving similar comments, because I admin the Aussie Blogs Community links list. I have specific info I need to get across in my comment so I have a cut and paste thing that I use, but I always try to say something relevant about the blog post I’m commenting on as well. It’s just polite to do that. 😉

    Opal you’ve been seeing Tom Paine and Richard Andrew and today it was Clebsch Gordan or some such name – these are paid comments spamming the do follow lists. I’m deleting them on sight. 😉

    I hate that people sometimes think I am a spammer because I like to leave a text link to my blog at the end of my sign off. I do it so people can find me easier, if they want to. But the spammers have given such a bad name to links.. ;(

    Snoskred
    http://www.snoskred.org/

  4. Thomas Says:

    Snoksred – Your first line made me laugh . . .Thanks. It sounds like you have specific information that needs to be dispersed, so in that case it makes sense that many of your posts would be the same or similar. It sounds like you are also taking that extra step and trying to personalize your comments.

    Thanks for the heads up on the potential spammers, it is always helpful to try and stay ahead of people.

    I personally don’t have a problem with people adding links to their comments. I do have a problem with minimal comment content, and lots of links.

  5. Red Says:

    Here’s my thoughtful comment.
    I dont know what to say.

  6. Thomas Says:

    Red – Sorry for the delay in my reply, your comment was initially caught as spam.

    Welcome to the conversation. I hope you find other posts that spark your interest that will motivate you to comment further.

  7. Red Says:

    Spam? Umm, Spam? NOoooo .. I no spam. Not me.
    I’ll keep reading. I’m sure there’s something I can comment on .. I like comments.

    So here’s another cuz you nice guy.

  8. Thomas Says:

    Red – Nice to have you aboard. I will definitely take a compliment about being a nice guy, although I don’t think my daughter would always agree with that statement 😉

  9. Recognizing Vegan Momma’s Readers Through RSS Feed Says:

    […] 5. Thomas – Technical Blogger Thomas is my favorite Microsoft guy, and I always enjoy popping by his place. I’m always impressed with the quality of his post. If you stop by his place, you won’t be getting an appetizer you’ll receive a full course meal. As with everyone else on my list he writes posts that make you think. Please read his post titled 10 Tips For Increasing The Comments On Your Blog. […]

  10. HawaiiVacationGifts Says:

    Aloha Thomas,
    I am checking out your blog because Opal likes you:) She likes me too, I am on that same post about recognizing Vegan Momma’s readers!

    I thought my blog roll should all be related to Hawaii, but after developing a relationship with the people from different category blogs who left comments at my blog and visa versa, my blog roll is called “My Blog Friends”. It consists of the blogs I check regularly. I only have 7 so far (after 4 months), and am amazed with people who can keep up with a hundred other blogs!

  11. Thomas Says:

    HawaiiVacationGifts – Thanks for stopping by and being part of the conversation. My blog is mostly tech oriented, but I noticed a pretty diverse group of people visit and comment. I have done the same thing with my blogroll – focused more on the community. I just try to have good information so when people click on the blogroll they know what to expect.

    It is hard to visit blog individually, but once you start using a feed aggregator like Google Reader it is much easier. Currently I subscribe to about 100 blogs, but there are people who consume much more.

  12. naisioxerloro Says:

    Hi.
    Good design, who make it?

  13. Thomas Says:

    naisioxerloro – I use the Garland theme created by Steven Wittens and Stefan Nagtegaal. It is one of the default themes available to WordPress users. If you look at the bottom of the page, you will see a link for Steven.

  14. sasha brinkova Says:

    Contrary to popular belief, the end of the year is one of the best times to look for, awesome descion

  15. Thomas Says:

    sasha brinkova – Thanks for commenting, but it looks like your comment was cut short. Please feel free to resubmit your comment.

  16. Blog Hints – Refer To Yourself In The Third Person? | Snoskred – Life in the Country Says:

    […] 10 Tips for Increasing Comments on Your Blog – Excellent article, Thomas. 😉 […]


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