Want More Comments on Your Blog? Spend Less Time There

Daniel Hindin
Daniel Hindin Community Manager, Spin Sucks, Arment Dietrich

Posted on July 27th 2010

Kara Vanskike, a reader of Spin Sucks, the blog I manage, sent me an email recently saying:

Our blog has been up and running for about a year and a half.  We know it's being read through analytics and in person comments, but we really struggle to get people to comment on the posts.”

Despite what many people think, it’s not as easy as starting a blog, publishing a few posts and waiting for the comments to roll in. I know that’s not what Kara thinks, but I have a few suggestions for her, and I thought I’d share them here, since this seems to be a common problem.

I could easily suggest simple things like asking questions at the end of your posts or writing about controversial topics, but the truth is it’s less about what you do within your blog than what you do outside of it.

Most people won’t comment unless a) they know you, b) there are already a bunch of comments when they get there or c) you REALLY piss them off.

The third one isn’t advisable on a frequent basis, and the second one is dependent on the first one, so let’s stick with the first.

Yes, your friends obviously know you, but they’re not necessarily interested in your chosen topic.

So…you’ve got to get out there and meet people who are interested in picking up what you’re putting down. Good news: There’s a whole world of really smart people out there who love to share their opinions! They’re called bloggers.

The first step toward more comments is counterintuitive for a lot of folks, but, trust me, it works. Comment on other blogs! Bloggers like nothing better than to receive comments on their posts. (See Kara’s question above!)

When you leave a comment on a blog, you usually have an opportunity to include a URL. If I want to find out who a commenter is (I always do!), the first thing I do is click on their link, which often leads me to their blog. Now that I’m there, I just may follow suit and leave my own comment.

It actually annoys me when a commenter doesn’t leave a link because it makes it difficult to connect with them.

And that brings me to the next step, which is to interact with people on Twitter.

Gini Dietrich wrote a great post recently about why she loves Twitter. I know of no better way to connect with large numbers of people from around the globe who share similar interests. Find them, strike up a conversation about your shared interest, and next time you share a link to your blog, you might be surprised how many of them click on it – and leave a comment.

Why? Because they now know you. And beyond that, they know that you share similar interests, they know a bit more about where you’re coming from, they’re happy to get a deeper window into your thoughts, and they probably want to share their two cents and further the conversation.

Simple, right? Yeah, it’s not a complicated formula. It takes time, and most people don’t want to spend the time. But if you follow these two steps – well, not just follow, but really put your heart into it – you will start to receive more comments on your blog. I promise!

How do YOU encourage comments on your blog? I would love to hear other suggestions in the comment section below.

Daniel Hindin

Daniel Hindin

Community Manager, Spin Sucks, Arment Dietrich

Daniel Hindin is Community Manager of Spin Sucks, a blog maintained by the team at Arment Dietrich covering topics such as communications, social media and entrepreneurship. He's also a graduate student at Northwestern University, where he studies Integrated Marketing Communications and serves as Managing Director of the student-run blog Vitamin IMC.
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Comments

Posted on July 27th 2010 at 4:53PM

Twitter is awesome for comments and interaction. At my own blog I don't get many comments, but readers do comment directly on my posts through Twitter. I would love more comments at the site, but it's easier for me to stay in touch through Twitter so I'm not too bothered by the Tweet-heavy communications.

Daniel Hindin
Posted on July 28th 2010 at 2:22PM

That's great, Philip! At Spin Sucks, we get a very high percentage of our traffic through Twitter. For us, our audience interacts seamlessly on Twitter, Facebook and the blog. I think that's why the actual comments on the blog come so naturally, because it's just like the conversation is continuing -- but in longer form with more in-depth thoughts.

Posted on July 27th 2010 at 7:18PM

There were 57 comments so far on this post.

I just left a comment to be 58.

Daniel Hindin
Posted on July 28th 2010 at 2:28PM

Cynthia, do you really see 58 comments? It's weird, I only see a few and the time stamps say they were left yesterday, but they didn't show up for me until today.

I originally posted this entry to our own blog, and there we got a lot of comments. I thought it was funny that I wasn't receiving many comments here, but I chalked it up to the fact that in my day-to-day activity, I drive people to Spin Sucks, not to Social Media Today. My bio on Twitter points to Spin Sucks, as do the links I and others from my team leave on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere, as well as the links I leave when commenting on other people's blogs.

Posting it here was sort of an experiment. It looks like it was a fairly successful one. I got more tweets here, but as far as I can see, I got many more comments on the original post.

Posted on July 27th 2010 at 7:22PM

Hi Daniel,

Excellent post.  We've encountered questions from some of our clients regarding blog comments as well.  One tactic that has worked well for one client is sending out a weekly newsletter that lists the most recent blog posts.  He's experienced quite a bit of success in terms of traffic and comments with this tactic.  I will admit however, that he has an extremely strong following, has been blogging for almost three years and promotes his blog every chance he gets.

 

Kristen

 

P.S. Found your post via Twitter, so your point is proven about using Twitter to share blog posts.

Daniel Hindin
Posted on July 28th 2010 at 2:38PM

Hi, Kristen! And thank you! Sending out links on other mediums (media?) is perfect. We encourage people to subscribe to our blog, which allows them to received daily emails with the (usually) two posts we published over the last 24 hours.

One problem we encounter, though, is that they can read the entire post on the email without ever clicking through to the site. This cuts down on our traffic numbers, but at least it gets people reading more frequently, and hopefully they'll feel strongly enough about adding their two cents to click through and leave a comment.

Posted on July 27th 2010 at 9:00PM

Daniel - I find your tip about commenting on other blogs to be the best way I've found to engage readers and other bloggers.

Thanks for your tips. It's encouraging to see that I'm moving in the right direction as I try to encourage more people to read our blog. Recently we shut down comments because one person felt like having zero comments looked so bad she'd rather just shut them down altogether. I'd love to know what you think about that.

Daniel Hindin
Posted on July 28th 2010 at 2:46PM

I can understand that thinking, April, but the problem is it totally cuts off any possibility of interaction. Yes, it's frustrating to refresh the page and continue to see zero comments, but if you would like to encourage comments, shutting down that feature is the last thing you should do.

Getting readers to comment is not something that happens overnight. It's a slow process. What you want to do is get your readers to return to the site on a consistent basis. They need to feel at home on your site to the point where leaving a comment feels like a natural part of the conversation. So they're not thinking "why would I leave a comment" but rather "why would I NOT leave a comment."

But by shutting down the comments, you keep this process from happening. A slow process is better than no process at all.

Posted on July 28th 2010 at 1:43AM

Daniel - thanks.  You know what I like about this?  It's simple.  I guess we're in similar position to Kara - starting the road of connecting ourselves more openly to a wider community (we are generating more content on our blog and can see an increase in traffic - but with very little comment).  Too often the social media strategies I read about sound fine in theory, but can be difficult to achive in practice.  This is really useful, practical advice.  Thanks

Anthony Voigt
Director
Brighton Consulting

Oh - our blog is http://blog.brightonconsulting.com.au/ :)

Daniel Hindin
Posted on July 28th 2010 at 2:51PM

You're welcome, Anthony! I really appreciate you saying that! I find that most good solutions are simple. They may be time-consuming and take a good deal of effort, but the concept itself is not complicated.

Like I said in my comment below, it's a slow build. Just stay the course, continue to connect, be genuine, and the conversations will start to happen.

Posted on July 28th 2010 at 1:53AM

I like this.  I have tried asking questions at the end of the post, with mixed success.  I do like this idea, to help drive a little more traffic to the site.

Daniel Hindin
Posted on July 28th 2010 at 2:54PM

Thanks, Jaime. I do believe in asking questions at the end of the post, but that's further along in the process. Driving the traffic and, like I said below, making it feel natural for visitors to spend time on your site and feel like they're simply continuing the conversation that's already taking place on Twitter, other blogs and elsewhere...those are the first steps. Asking questions is a way to move that process along after that rapport has been established.

Posted on July 28th 2010 at 2:15AM

Thanks for the useful tips.  I have just started my blog and totally agree.  I get more visits to my site when I comment on other people's blogs.  It does take time but so does building a successful business and as I am in for the long haul; think it is a good use of time.

I found your site thru Twitter.  A friend put your URL up and liked the topic so decided to visit.  Just new to all this social media stuff so thanks for sharing.

Patricia    Perth Australia

www.lavenderuses.com

all things lavendert

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel Hindin
Posted on July 28th 2010 at 3:00PM

I'm glad you stopped by, Patricia. Please thank your friend for sharing the link!

You make a great point. It definitely does take time, but if you see it as a key part of building your business, which you clearly do, then it's well worth it. I think a lot of business owners and marketers see blogging as an *extra* thing to add to their efforts rather than a centrally important piece of the puzzle.

Just because it's newer than some of the more traditional marketing practices doesn't mean it's something you just tag onto your plan at the end to fill in any extra time in your day.

If you really want to do it right, it takes time -- just like anything else. Thanks, Patricia!

Posted on July 30th 2010 at 2:45AM

Daniel, thanks for the great article. I think it will really help me get going.

It reminds me of a book I read a long time ago about getting free PR. The best way is to buy ads in the publications you hope to get a news article about your company in. At first, it would seem you are buying the PR but really, you are making yourself known to the writers and giving yourself credibility. People love to do business with people they know.

Posted on July 30th 2010 at 4:33AM

 

Hello Daniel,

Glad to know I’m not by myself trying to get people to comment on my blog. However, I do always comment on other blogs; unfortunately, I have not been leaving my URL at the end of my comments. Oops, it looks like I might be one of those annoying ones. :-)  Actually, this does make a lot of since. Thank you for the insight!

Adriane

http://thesanfordgroup.blogspot.com/

 

PervaraKapadia
Posted on July 30th 2010 at 6:17AM

Hi Daniel, Yes agree with you. Many a times [same as what you ahve shared in your article] i am given blog writing etc and told that the existing blog is good but no one interacts therein. Yes if we want comments at one level we need to encourage people to interact and definitely interact with them on our blog and on theirs as well.

thanks for this

Regards
Pervara

http://pervarakapadiaatmoney.blogspot.com

 

 

Posted on July 30th 2010 at 6:48AM

Ahaaaa so that's the trick!

I get hardly any comments and though it was just because I haven't quite mastered the art of writing comment-able blog posts yet (I'm not that controversial!).

I'll give it a go.

Posted on July 30th 2010 at 7:38AM

Hi again Daniel

I tried to sign up for your newsletter but it wouldn't let me!  Will try again and get back to you if it doesn't work again this time.

BTW  commenting on other ppls blogs sure works.  Someone reading your blog came over and visited me today.....didn't leave a comment though. 

Averaging a few comments every post and as I only have a small following at the moment; I am going in the right direction.

Patricia  Perth Australia

www.lavenderuses.com

Posted on July 30th 2010 at 10:17AM
Many times I do exactly as you did here. I simply ask! On my blog as well as social media sites. Thanks for your insights :)
Posted on July 30th 2010 at 1:54PM

Great post Daniel. Can be tough to make the time to comment on other blogs but you're so right. Thanks.

Lee- agencynewbusiness.com

Posted on July 30th 2010 at 1:55PM

Nice post Daniel.  Can be tough to take the time to comment but you're so right.  Thanks.

Lee - agencynewbusiness.com

Posted on July 30th 2010 at 2:18PM

Nice post Daniel.  It's tough to make time to comment but you're so right. Thank you.

Lee - agencynewbusiness.com

Larry Fike
Posted on July 30th 2010 at 4:47PM

Daniel!  I like the fact that you just exemplified exactly what you recommended!  The result?  I registered to this site.  Very sagacious.

Tia Peterson
Posted on July 30th 2010 at 5:46PM

"Most people won’t comment unless a) they know you, b) there are already a bunch of comments when they get there or c) you REALLY piss them off."

Wish more bloggers would realize this, Daniel! It would save a lot of headache, heartache, and carpel tunnel developed from blogging away furiously every day just waiting for floods of comments to come in.

Good post. You're spot on.

Cheers,

Tia

 

Posted on July 31st 2010 at 3:58AM

Yippee.  Managed to sign up for your business community forum.  Don't know why it didn't work yesterday.  Already read some very helpful articles.  Know I will get some excellent advice from experienced bloggers as everyone here seems to be very generous with sharing with us newbies.....I for one am very grateful :-)

Patricia   Perth Australia

www.lavenderuses.com

Posted on August 2nd 2010 at 5:15AM

Hi' Daniel; First I must confess that I've got to this article trough one of my FB friends, Scott Allen, and at just the appropiate timing. I wrote a post about this same theme in my website's blog (underwatermeditation.info) wondering about this same subject the same as Kara did. I must admit that I knew the basic concept you explained in here, but not as detailed as you described it.Thank you very much for the insight! Adrian 

 

Posted on August 4th 2010 at 4:01PM

I have to comment on what a great article about commenting! I just love how blogging has become the impetus for millions of conversations every day.

Posted on August 13th 2010 at 11:51AM

Thanks for the reminder Daniel! I just started blogging a month ago and have very few comments. You just reminded me to leave comments on other blogs with same topic as mine. I also started asking a question related to the post at the end asking people to comment. This is all new to me. Found you on Twitter. So the big question is how people get to know me?

http://irenesavarese.com/blog/

Posted on August 13th 2010 at 7:05PM

I just started my blog last week. I had a blog 2 years ago and let it go. But now I ready for the long ride and hopefully make a part time income on the side.

Posted on August 22nd 2010 at 4:09PM

A quick comment about commenting... I think the key is getting the first 2-3 comments. Once those come through, the rest of the bloggers follow even if it is a simple agree/do not agree. I notice that most of the comments are about another comment that is left behind. A quick question I have is this.. as my blog is fairly new, the traffic is a lot less than it should be(or hopefully it will be :-) ) I feel like some of my well written articles that would normally attract more comments are kind of being wasted. What is a good way of bringing back an article without looking like you are just rehashing old stuff because you do not have new stuff to write on?

Posted on August 23rd 2010 at 9:40AM

 

Great article. Catchy title!  Reviving my blog after two years and just cam accross the following video on the same subject Why arent they playing in my sandbox MP4?

 Enjoy!

Posted on August 26th 2010 at 2:19AM

Comments are great to have on one's blog. However there could be lot of visitors actually but none of them left any comment. It all depends on the topic of the blog post. Google analytics is great way to check the blog traffic than weighing a blog based on comments.

A original, engaging and how-to articles always bring hundreds of comments and traffic.

Thank you for your article

http://www.planetnaveen.com

Posted on September 1st 2010 at 4:30PM

This is the exact advice I need as a new blogger! I will start making comments and getting more involved in other blogs! Thanks Daniel!

Posted on September 9th 2010 at 9:55PM

Interesting read.

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Posted on April 29th 2012 at 8:29PM

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

rndtechnologies
Posted on November 30th 2012 at 11:27AM

Good thought.