4.5 Ways To Make Your Blog Comment Section Hotter Than Your Neighbor’s Red Ferrari

Besides the obvious – always ask for them and reply quickly – how do you get more comments on your blog? You can’t respond to thin air!

Comments are the heart of your blog – it’s where small business owners like you build your community. But no matter how great your posts are, your blog will look like a ghost town without comments, and readers will leave.

(Sadly, a reader that leaves without converting is a lost customer opportunity.)

Since only 1 in 100 people actually leave a comment, I want to show you the best 4.5 (yes, 4.5) ways you can not only kickstart the comment train, but feel like a blogging rockstar because you’re finally getting the recognition you deserve!

So, what are you waiting for? Make sure your coffee’s hot and join me for the next 3 minutes as we learn how to make your comments section hotter than your neighbours red Ferrari.

1. Add Disqus

Disqus is a free commenting plugin that anyone can use with their blog. You can see what it looks like here.

Why will it help you get more comments?

One of the biggest barriers for people to leave comments is the technology associated with it. (If they have to create an account on your blog to share their opinion, you’ll probably lose them). Disqus makes it easy for readers to connect and share, both with you on your blog and other readers on other blogs. Any time you visit a blog that uses Disqus, you’ll see responses to comments you’ve left on other blogs (that also use Disqus) in your Community section. This encourages discussion across the blogosphere, so you’re immediately part of a bigger community and not a lonely blog in the corner.

Showcase and Reward Top Commenters - Get More Blog Comments - LKR Social Media

I could go on about the benefits, but why not try it yourself? Follow this link to get started, or learn more with their quick start guide.

2. Get a Blog Commenting Buddy

Even if your blog has a comments section, it will be difficult to get someone to break the ice if no one has left an opinion yet. It’s the classic chicken and egg problem. Except this one’s easy to solve – get a blog commenting buddy.

What’s a blog commenting buddy?

Simple – find someone writing a blog in a similar field, and make a commitment to comment on every post they publish, and get that person to do the same for you. It takes less than 3 minutes a post, and guarantees none of your posts will look lonely.

And yes, we’ve even made it easy for you to take action! Go ahead and use the email templates below (personalized, of course) to send to a friend or someone in your industry to ask them to be your blog commenting buddy. Blogging is a community, once you dive in you may be surprised at how supportive other bloggers will be.

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 2.53.39 PM

3. Forget To Say something

The goal of your post is to create a dialogue. If you cover everything, what’s left for your readers to say?

This is why some bloggers purposely leave out key arguments, as it prompts their readers to jump in and start the conversation. Why not give that a try? The next time you blog, forget to say something and leave a question at the bottom of your post to hinting at what you’ve missed, sparking your readers to respond.

4. Showcase and Reward Top Commenters

Most of us like public recognition, especially other small business owners and bloggers.

A great way to build a community is to showcase and reward people for doing something you want them to do. In your case, publically thank people for commenting on your blog. (LKR Social Media does a great job of this on their sidebar.)

Disqus Community - How To Get More Comments - LKR Social Media - August 2013

There are a few ways you can do this. You can post a “thank you message” on your social networks or share a section of their comment in quotations (including a link to your post). Disqus makes this easy to do with Twitter, but you can do this for any comment by choosing a section of what your reader said and sharing it on your networks.  You can also include a few of your favourite twitter comments at the bottom of your post.

Plus, if you thank someone on Twitter (and use their Twitter handle), there’s a good chance you’ll get a retweet. This is a simple way to increase your social mentions, which can help you grow your online reach and get more readers for your blog. We just started doing this and our readers love it!

4.5. ALC

Always. Leave. Comments.

This sounds backwards – you’re trying to get comments on your blog, not leave them on other blogs, right? But there’s a reason blogging pros like Darren Rowse (founder of ProBlogger) do this on a regular basis.

By getting in the habit of leaving a comment on every post you read (even if it’s short), you’ll practise writing fast (a valuable skill to cultivate), get your name out there (so you have a higher chance of being recognized), plus you’ll see how other people respond to comments (and can implement these best practises on your blog).

p.s. Curious how you can leave better comments? Check out this resource.

But…no one reads my blog.
While getting comments are great, maybe you’re still nervous about your lack of readership?

Don’t worry, Laura has you covered! Check out her awesome post on How to Reach Hundreds of New Readers with One Blog Post. You can also review one of my favourites, 10 Obvious Ways To Increase Your Readership That You Might Not Be Doing.

So, what are you doing to encourage more comments on your blog?

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0-1Alexandra Skey is the co-founder of Spokal, an award winning marketing automation platform designed for small businesses. She also worked on the international best-seller Store Wars: The Battle for Mindspace and Shelfspace and is lead author on the next ecommerce book in the series. Alexandra is obsessed with tea, horses, and imagineering. You can connect with her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Great ideas :) I especially like the idea of a blog buddy, better yet, a group of like minded people (maybe 4 or 5) that does this for each other. A private FB group is a fantastic way to share links as it helps remind the group of their task :)

    I always end with a specific question and the call to action to leave a comment.

    Thanks!

    • Tammy, I love the idea of using a private Facebook group to share and promote each other’s blog posts. Thanks for sharing.

      And yes, ending with a specific CTA or question is a great way to start the conversation rolling.

  2. another good idea is to use https://ifttt.com/. it lets you know as soon as something happens on the internet, like your favourite blog just posted something new, so you can be the first to comment!
    Simon

  3. Hi Alexandra,
    Nice post. But Im not sure about using third party comment platforms.
    Just last week I discussed this with Jon Morrow, Matthew Woodward and Caleb Wajcik about using this kind of plugins, since I was tempted to use it in my This Life Socks site, but we agree in a couple of things:

    1. What happen if these services change their information policies, or their services disappear?
    2. You can loose comments from users that don’t have the time to sign up to some service that probably they don’t even know.
    3. Comments, this valuable content, should always be on your side.

    What is your point of view on these conclusions?

    Best,

    • Hi Frank,

      Those are totally valid concerns! If you use WordPress, the comments are also stored in your site – that way you can completely uninstall Disqus, go back to stock WordPress comment system and all your comments will still be there. Try it out on a test site!

      In terms of losing comments – that’s not been our experience (I am Alexandra’s colleague and co-founder) – Commenters don’t need to register with Disqus, they can, just like the default WordPress comment system simply enter a name and email address to leave a comment, or even quicker 1-click to login via twitter or facebook. If anything it makes the commenting process much faster for many commenters.

      Hope that helps!

      • Thanks Chris, completely agree with everything you said!

        Frank, one more thing. There’s always a risk when you integrate a third party plugin or software into the operations of your business. At the end of the day, you have to weigh the opportunity you’d loose without using the service against the likelihood of that service being cancelled. For established companies with larger customer bases, the risk of them abandoning their service is significantly less, although that is always a remote possibility.

        Thanks for the great questions Frank. Looking forward to continuing our conversation.

  4. I actually just turned off he comments on my blog. I was getting sick of getting so much spam and so few real comments. Is it really such a big deal?

    • Hannah,

      Disqus or plugins like Akismet (or others) should reduce (nearly eliminate) the spam problem.

    • Hannah, yes, I believe it is a really big deal.

      The comments section is where you give readers a chance to respond and engage – it’s where we participate and create a community. Simply look at this blog to see the value. By giving us (myself included) a chance to share our opinions and engage with others, the blog becomes the starting point of a conversation, which is the real value. This is why the social web is so powerful compared to a printed magazine or newspaper.

      I understand spam can be prohibitively frustrating. But it’s something that can be solved fairly easily with the right tools. Feel free to use Chris’s recommendations to assist with that and reduce your spam count.

      Best of luck!

  5. I’ve been using Disqus for a couple of years now. I’m a huge fan. I do think people don’t realize that you’ve got to be active, reading and commenting on other blogs. Just blasting your links isn’t necessarily going to bring people in and inspire them to read your stuff. It’s about community building. Love the idea about taking a section of a comment and posting on Twitter to show appreciation. I’ll have to do that.

    • Jen, thanks for sharing your story! I’m glad you’re a Disqus fan too. It’s amazing how much more we’ve been able to engage and share with our readers since we started using it.

      I agree blasting links isn’t going to build a strong community. What do you do on your blog to maintain a loyal following?

  6. I saw the title of this blog and thought you must be reading my mind. I have been a little frustrated with this myself. So thank you! Can’t wait to give these a try.

  7. Thank you…My wife forward your post to me because we were talking about this very issue. We take so much time and care to create blogs that matter and no comments.

    I am using a Facebook plugin so the comments show up on that page too. Is DISQUS better to encourage comments?

    Gene

    • Gene, do you and your wife co-author the same blog? That must be an exciting project to work on together.

      Yes, I believe Disqus is a great way to encourage comments, because your readers are notified of responses to their comments when they’re on other blogs, which makes your blog more visible. And we all know visibility is a key aspect to building a popular blog.

      Re Facebook plugin for comments, that’s an interesting idea. We haven’t tried that yet, but if that was me and I wasn’t having luck with it, I’d ask myself :

      a) Do our followers on Facebook want to comment on our blog post on Facebook, or would they rather engage in another way?
      b) Have we given this project enough time to test? What are our goals?
      c) What else can we do to promote comments using our social reach?

      In addition to the suggestions in this post, I’d spend an hour reading the most popular blogs in your industry, and looking at their comment ratio. Some industries have more engaged users than others, and that doesn’t necessarily reflect the level of interest from your readers.

      Also, I’d study the blogs with the most comments and try to see if there are patterns you can mirror to increase your comments. For example, how long are their posts? Do they have headings? Do they end in questions? Are they part of a series? How do they use images? Where do they promote their posts?

      That will give you a better idea of what you can expect from readers in your niche, and how you can increase the engagement on your blog.

      Hope that helps!
      A

  8. I removed Disqus from my blog, Go Backpacking, after 2 years because readers and fellow bloggers would say they don’t leave comments on blogs that require you to log in to do so.

    The WordPress commenting system works just fine, so why complicate matters?

    You cited Problogger.net, but you’ll notice Darren still uses the regular WP comments, not Disqus. Copyblogger is the same. If it’s good enough for them, I’ve decided, it’s good enough for me.

    • Dave, great point re Darren and Copyblogger. Everyone has their preference on what works for them. If you find WordPress comments work well for you, and you’re happy with the level of engagement from your readers, then absolutely continue with your course of action.

      Blogging is as personal as the clothes we wear – everyone has their own style, and successful people are no exception. I’d also argue that while Darren and the Copyblogger team don’t use Disqus, their blogs have reached a critical mass, so they could use almost any commenting platform and still gain traction. Whereas if you’re a blogger starting out, you’d benefit from a system that makes it as easy as possible to engage with your readers and spread your thoughts online.

      Plus, since Disqus is a global commenting platform, once you’re logged in on one site you can comment on any blog that uses Disqus, so you don’t need to login every time.

      Gene, thanks for being honest and sharing what works for you. All the best!

  9. Thanks for sharing. I love the idea about “forgetting something” #3. I will try that with my next post.

    Coline

  10. Alejandra, love that idea! How long have you been a member for?

  11. Catherine Pooler says:

    Thanks for the great ideas! Sometimes I ask my readers a question. Definitely results in comments!

  12. Forgetting to say something is very clever and I think very effective if the writer can do it. Not always easy to do :(

    • Emory, I know exactly what you mean!

      It’s surprisingly harder than it looks, especially if you leave out something juicy. But it’s an effective strategy, definitely one I try to add (or rather delete) from my writing on a conscious basis.

  13. You said we should leave comments on every single post we read, so here I am – leaving a comment. Great resource for sure although I personally am not a fan of Disquis and prefer WordPress comments since they don’t require the user to log in.

  14. Some great ideas I’ve never thought about–especially the blogging commenting buddy!
    Thanks,
    Gena

  15. Gena, glad you enjoyed the read! Good luck finding a blog commenting buddy. Let me know if you have any more qs about the process.