Comments are awesome. I love comments. They make me feel that blogging is worthwhile! It’s not much fun having a conversation if I’m the only one talking right?!*
But have you ever sat down and kicked your heels because you CAN’T figure out how to get more comments?
LET ME HELP! I’ve gone from having a blog with 5 comments maximum per post, to over 50 comments per post. It is awesome. (And I appreciate everyone’s comments so so much.) It didn’t “just happen”, though. I worked really hard.
So what’s the secret?!
Oh, oh, I’m so glad you asked, my botanical blogglings!** I have a most wonderful post for you.
* Although my voice and opinions are, of course, beautiful.
** I do not, in any way, think you are plants. I just like alliteration. Unless you are a plant, in that case, congratulations for being the most intelligent plant in the universe. I acknowledge your leafyness.
1. GO COMMENT ON OTHER BLOGS
If I can only give you one tip, THIS IS IT, MY FINE FRIENDS. Go comment on other people’s blogs! Visit! Leave meaningful comments. Follow a ton of blogs. When you join in linkups, go and visit a dozen other blogs. JUST GO TALK TO PEOPLE. It works.
In 2013, I averaged about 5 comments a post. In 2014, I started commenting on a bunch of blogs. I followed. I commented regularly. I was a pesky barnacle with friendly things to say. Now in 2015, I average on 50 comments a post.
But pleasepleaseplease don’t just say “Cool post!” and leave a link to your blog. That’s not what I mean. It’s okay to leave a link to your blog, but make sure your comment is about THEIR blog. (Short comments are okay, too. You don’t need to leave epistles! Just be meaningful.) Also, when you follow a new blog, do tell the blogger! It’s totally fine to introduce yourself and your blog and leave links.
There are tons of blogs who do “Bloggers Commenting Back” which is basically I-comment-on-your-blog-and-you-comment-on-mine. It spreads the love and encourages conversation. IT IS AWESOME.
2. REPLY TO COMMENTS
This is really important because you acknowledge your audience! You’re saying, “Hey you! That’s a smart and intelligent thing you just said and I appreciate your opinion.” Everyone wants to be acknowledged.
It’s also furthering the conversation!
I, for one, have been really ticked off (totally curled into my corner of sadness) when I’ve commented faithfully on blogs and had the blogger ignore me. It’s like talking to a wall. Why would I bother?! I quit that blog and focused on talking to people who actually want to talk to me.
3. ASK QUESTIONS IN YOUR POSTS
You could just say “pie is the best, life is pie, there is only pie” and end your post there. OR, you could say “pie is the best, but chocolate cake is glorious too, ack, decisions…which do you prefer?” The latter invites discussion and comments!
People love having opinions! (HELLO. We are bloggers. Why else do we blog?!) They love to express these opinions. I get specific about my questions in my posts. I write a list of questions at the end of a post for people to reply to! If I can’t think of any “discussion questions” then I know my post is too one-sided.
4. CARE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE
This comes out in tone and phrasing of your post…and I think it’s important! I like to read blogs where I don’t feel like my opinions is going to be discarded instantly. And you can usually tell from the tone of the post. If the blogger has gone off on a discussion/rant and are constantly underlining how right they are and how perfect their opinion is, I know they’re not going to care about mine.
When you blog, make sure your audience feels welcome to speak their minds in the comments. Don’t write like you have the only opinion in the universe. (It helps if you present multiple opinions in your post, too, for readers to mull over.) Be genuine about wanting feedback or critisim or other opnions. You don’t have to agree with the commenters, but you do need to be respectful of their opinions. Just because it’s the internet doesn’t mean you can be rude. NOT EVER.
5. HAVE A SIMPLE COMMENTING PLATFORM
This is REALLY important, peoples! There is nothing more frustrating than reading an awesome post and going to comment and realising…oh. I can’t because this commenting platform is weird/confusing/descends-from-martians.
The main thing you want is to have anyone and everyone be able to comment. You want a commenting platform that, ideally, doesn’t need you to sign in.
COMMENTING PLATFORMS TO AVOID:
- Google+ – This one is ridiculous because you can ONLY comment if you have a google+. Lots of people don’t! (I don’t.)
- Blogger – Oftentimes blogger is set so only blogger uses can comment. You can change this in your “comment settings” and have it so anyone can comment. (I totally recommend doing this if you’re on blogger.)
- Free WordPress –
this is the same as blogger, usually it only let’s WordPress users comment. If you have a blog that ends with wordpress.com, you’re limiting your commenters to wordpress users only. BAD IDEA! Lots of people are on blogger and still want to comment! [EDIT: Apparently I was mistaken for this and it’s not true! So IGNORE ME. ha. ha.]
BETTER PLATFORM OPTIONS:
- IntenseDebate – Installing this one is quite easy and there are great tutorials! It allows anyone to comment without signing in. YAY. Downfalls are, if you switch commenting platforms later on, you lose comments. (I lost all my ID comments when I went from blogger to wordpress self-hosted.)
- Disqus – Disqus is pretty darn awesome in appearance and fastness. Speedy! YAY. You can have an option to NOT sign in, too, but you have to switch that setting.
- WordPress self hosted – This is what I have and, obviously, it’s awesome. (Although, truthfully, I still have people tell me WP eats their comments or they disappear or whatnot, so it’s not perfect.) I love this one because you don’t have to sign in, and I’ve got it on a setting so that everyone gets emailed my replies. I also use commentluv so I can easily find commenter’s blogs and visit!
So there you have it…you know all my secrets.
It’s not hard! It does take a bucketload of work though. And, hey, it’s okay to fall behind or make mistakes or slack off. Just know: if you work hard, you’ll get the comments.
And there are always posts that are going to do better than others. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense why some posts get comments and others don’t. JUST GO WITH IT. (Although if you ever find the secret to writing the perfect post, let me know. I want in on that.)
SO. like i said…discussion questions are important! can you add to my list?? on your blog, what do you do to get more comments?? which posts do you find to super-uber well? and which seem to sink? do believe in commenting-back? OH. and are you okay with being referred to as a plant? LET ME KNOW ALL.
Cait @ Paper Fury
…is currently feeling very proud and professional because she only used two gifs in this post instead of, like, 9428 of them, because she realises she probably uses too many. But, pfft. Over-gifing is liable to happen tomorrow so WATCH OUT. Also to everyone playing the game in yesterdays post, Cait plans to announce scores tomorrow! Currently she’s reading Snow Like Ashes.