Many amateur and seasoned bloggers underestimate the power comments can have within their blogs. The comments section of a blog gives a huge clue into the content and quality of a blog. Many readers will click on a post title that they find interesting and before reading the actual piece scope out the comments section of the post. Reading what others have to say about a piece can be a great way to determine whether the piece is worth reading yourself. Before we see a movie we usually check out the reviews or see what other people are saying about it. Blogs can work in much the same way. However, often times the commenting section can work to a blogger’s disadvantage. A post with very few comments can be a deterrent for some readers. Following these four tips can help any blogger gain readership to their blog and encourage more meaningful discussion within their posts.
Respond to Comments You Do Get
While comments can be rare (especially on a young blog), learning to manage the comments you do get is one of the fundamental steps in successful blogging. If you are not willing to use the comment section of your own blog, how can you expect your readers to use it? Try to interact with all of the comments you receive on your posts. As your blog becomes more popular, this task can become more daunting. However, interacting with your readers and inviting them to be a part of your discussion is an important part of pleasing your readership and gaining readership. Many bloggers feel that they do not need to respond to comments until their blog becomes more popular. This is a mistake. Interacting with your readers when your blog is still young is hugely important. Work to create an environment in your blog that is interactive and friendly. Make your readers feel welcomed with personal attention. Once you have generated an environment that encourages interaction and discussion your readers can take over some of the burden of responding to comments.
(Maybe)While this is not always advisable, it is no doubt a surefire way to gain more comments. Of course, you have to keep in mind that this may not gain you the kind of comments you desire. If you are simply looking to gain more comments and ignite discussion, then it may work. However, you run the risk of losing readership who does not agree with your viewpoint. Personally, I think that a little controversy can be beneficial. Heated discussion about important issues can be fun and interesting. Don’t post things just to inflame people, but do consider discussing slightly touchy subjects just to get the dialogue rolling.
Leave Things Open Ended
If writing inflammatory blog posts isn’t quite your style (reasonably so), try leaving your posts fairly open ended to encourage comments. If you completely exhaust a topic in your post, then you will likely get very few comments. Of course, you shouldn’t just leave things out, hoping someone will comment to make up for the hole. Practice open ended writing, leaving room for readers to become experts on the topic. Let readers feel like they have something to contribute (which most certainly do) and let the conversation flow.
Make it Easy
Finally, you have to make commenting easy. The simplest way to deter readers from commenting on your piece is by making the commenting process difficult and drawn out. Many sites require a user to register or login in order to comment. The fact is, internet users expect speed and ease. If commenting is going to take time or be even the slightest bit difficult, many won’t do it. While the reason for a registration process is typically to combat spamming, it can really combat participation from legitimate readers as well. Try your best to keep your comments section as simple to use as possible to encourage as many comments as you can.