You say something, but no-one takes a blind bit of notice.
It’s as if you’re talking to a brick wall.
Is this how you feel every time you publish a blog post?
No matter how often you blog, no-one ever leaves a comment. You might as well be completely invisible. While other blogs get bucketloads of comments you never get so much as a sausage.
Now if this is YOU then perhaps it’s time you asked yourself this question:
Well, if your answer is NO then maybe you should stop and think about this:
Comments Give Your Blog Credibility
Imagine a prospective client who’s looking for a writer. They check out several websites, each with a blog. None of them has a single comment – except one, which has loads. Which one do you think they’ll prefer?
Comments add a form of social proof to your blog that impresses prospective clients. But they’re not the only ones. When regular visitors to your blog see other people engaged in the conversation they’ll naturally want to join in too.
Comments Build Relationships
We’re building relationships with other people all the time – with clients, with colleagues and through everyday social interaction. But how many of these are with genuinely like-minded people?
But through blog commenting you can connect with fellow freelance writers, website copywriters and bloggers – the people you want to meet, but never get the chance.
OK, unless you write sponsored posts, sell an eBook or offer some kind of training programme, these relationships aren’t going to lead to any direct business. After all, most of these people are selling much the same services as you.
But these are the people who are most likely to share your posts.
They are the all-important advocates for your content. And where they go, prospective clients will eventually find their way too.
Comments Send Positive Signals to Search Engines
Some SEOs argue that comments are bad for your SEO. They say they dilute the keyword focus of your content and pass authority to anyone that supplies a link with their comment.
Perhaps that’s true. But all this sounds a bit old school for my liking. Search engines want positive signals about the quality of your content. And, within reason, a sure sign of quality is when people engage with that content.
→ Build up a subscriber list
Wouldn’t it be great if, every time you publish a post, you have guaranteed exposure to a large number of potential readers?
Well, as any successful blogger will tell you, the solution is to build up a mailing list of blog subscribers. Here’s the basic idea:
- Make it easy for readers to sign up to your blog by showing subscribe buttons in prominent places on your site
- Provide at least one RSS button for people who’d rather subscribe through a feed reader
- Offer an incentive to sign up by offering exclusive content as a reward for subscribing
- Leverage the traffic to bigger blogs that have a far larger audience than yours
Now the last point warrants a whole blog post in its own right. But bottom line is that if you go out your way to help the big-name bloggers – by making insightful comments on their posts, buying their products, submitting quality guest post pitches and sharing their stuff on social media – they will help you in return.
→ Write magnetic headlines
If your headline doesn’t tickle anyone’s fancy then no-one is even going read your post, let alone comment on it.
The web is positively overflowing with tips on how to write attention-grabbing headlines. So make sure you read up and get this sorted.
And, by the way, next time you come across a headline that really makes you want to read that post, stop and ask yourself why.
→ Give your posts a sense of purpose
As I touched on in my previous post far too many blogs are just a series of directionless musings.
Give your posts a clear sense of purpose, so visitors know why they should read it and what they’re going to get out of it.
In other words, offer your readers something meaningful and they’ll respond with something meaningful back.
→ Ditch the corporate tone
You can write a post packed full of insanely good ideas and information – but if your language is as dull as dishwater, it’ll still bore your readers to tears.
So learn how to liven up your writing by adjusting your tone.
Corporate language sometimes has its place. But definitely NOT in your blog posts.
→ Spark a debate
If you have a viewpoint that goes against popular convention then say so.
Some people will agree. Some will differ. Others will appreciate a new way of thinking. But whatever the case, if you make your opinions known readers will naturally respond by adding their own points of view.
Before you write your next post, think about what things get your readers going. For example, have you ever noticed that spelling and grammar are always a hot topic of conversation on other copywriting blogs?
That’s why I wrote 5 Non-Existent Words That Make YOU Look a Halfwit Copywriter earlier this year.
This has still been by far my most popular post to date.
→ Reward people for commenting
When people make useful comments on your blog, check out their own website, share their content, reply to their comments and connect with them on social media.
Or better still make your WordPress blog more comment friendly by installing the CommentLuv plugin.
The big attraction of CommentLuv is that it rewards readers by allowing them to leave a link to their latest blog post below their comment.
It works particularly well on sites related to blogging and internet marketing. Sometimes too well. The bigger blogs tend not to use it. Otherwise they’d be inundated with comments from people who only want a backlink.
→ Give a call to action
Just like a direct mail letter or landing page, if you want readers to do something then give them a call to action.
Remember that getting comments on your blog is like many other things in life – if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Have Your Say
Do you agree that comments add value to your blog? What do you do to encourage them? Let us know your thoughts in our comment section below.
Stuff You Can Tweet:
- Make it easy for readers to sign up to your blog by showing subscribe buttons in prominent places on your site. [Tweet this]
- Next time you come across a headline that really makes you want to read a blog post, stop and ask yourself why. [Tweet this]
- Getting comments on your blog is like many other things in life – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. [Tweet this]
In our next post: We show you a more common-sense approach to tightening up your copy.
About the Author
Kevin Carlton is an IT copywriter and blogger based in Stafford in the UK. He is owner of freelance copywriting service Write Online, which helps technology companies get the most out of their online presence.
Thanks for this! I get views on my site and people are reading it, but I don’t get comments. Thanks for the tips I’ll try them.
In my relatively short blogging career, I’ve focused mainly on the above aspects to my blog rather than on just getting traffic. And, so far, I’ve been delighted with the response I’ve got from the visitors I have had.
So if you’re already getting good traffic then I’m sure a few adjustments, like the ones I’ve mentioned, will work wonders for you.
PS I noticed your comment about your misspent youth on your About us page. That resonates with me – in some ways, that’s just the preparation you need for being a freelance writer.
All great points. I find that all these techniques work really well including magnetic headlines and one thing that I find extremely beneficial is building up a rapport with other bloggers. By commenting on other blogs, you build up that rapport and sooner or later it pays in the form of reciprocal comments and shares.
Gazalla recently posted…The Future of SEO: SMX East 2013
That’s music to my ears Gazalla – backup from a third party that these things really do work.
And, yes, I totally agree that it really pays to build rapport with other bloggers.
Just in the same way I said ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ – if you also don’t help others, you won’t get help back.
I know that some people will argue that comments aren’t important but as you said I think it depends on what you want to achieve with your blog. To me it is about social proof and if you have some interaction going on each post then in my eyes you definitely know what they heck you’re talking about and I’ll just naturally lean toward that person first. They’re the authority figure in my eyes.
Thank you for including my blog post in here. I know that I’ve shared how my blog use to be a ghost town as well but all it really took was for me to put myself out in front of enough people until they finally started paying attention.
I’ve still never done really well with the headlines, I have my moments but I continue to call myself a work in progress when it comes to those. They are important though, especially if you want to grab a new visitor’s attention.
Make those connections with other bloggers and over time they’ll do the same for you. Then that’s when word of mouth starts to spread and the referrals start coming in. It’s such a fabulous feeling too.
Great share Kevin and thanks again for the mention.
When I launched my own website and started blogging last year I never expected to get any comments.
But when people started to leave them I quickly became hooked on this commenting thing.
I soon realised how important building online relationships was and how we’re all in it together. And I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned as a result of engaging with other blogs and people engaging with mine.
I included a link to that particular blog post of yours because it really added to what I was saying. In other words, it helped me by helping my readers.
So thanks to you too.
It’s so hard when you write an awesome post and no bugger comments on it. But I read somewhere once that for every 100 eyeballs only 1 person will comment or something (I probably made that up).
I’ve connected with a few people on Google+ recently who then mentioned ‘oh I’ve been reading your blog for years’. Really? Well why the heck did you comment then??
Comments are coming more frequently for me these days. I’m not sure why. But I find adding a touch of humanity and humour to my posts helps, as does asking a question at the end of the blog.
I’ve just added – every post subscription, so we’ll see how that goes.
Kate Toon recently posted…How to avoid Snake Oil SEOs
I can tell what’s worse than writing an awesome post and then no bugger comments on it. It’s writing a post about how to get comments to your blog and then still no bugger comments on it.
So I really appreciate your contribution here.
And, as I’ve said before, if I don’t have time to make a comment or don’t have much to add then I’ll often share, +1 or Like that post. That way, I can still give that content love in other ways.
I’ve had many days where I scream “Am I invisible?” Thank you for this post. I’ll give these directions a try.
Ann, I’m glad someone picked up on the invisibility sentiment.
OK, it’s hard, time-consuming work promoting your blog and encouraging engagement. But, trust me, it’s very, very rewarding.
Yeah, getting comments is important to the success of a blog. Especially after Google’s latest update. They want to see that people are interested in what you’re writing. One way they can do that is by tracking how long people stay on each site, and whether or not they leave comments.
Getting people to actually leave comments is something else entirely. Some people only want to leave a comment if they get something out of it. They don’t realize that commenting is as important to the other person’s blog, as it is to theirs.
Most of my traffic comes from comments that I leave on other’s blogs. It is my main method of promotion right now. The backlinks you may get are great, but Google just changed their stance on this too. So the main reason that I try to leave an insightful comment on each blog I visit is because it helps them out, and it helps me out because most of my traffic comes from it.
Thanks for the insight,
Josh recently posted…Content Marketing for the Dentist: How to Extract the Best Results from the Web
Too right, Josh. Comments are mutually beneficial to both parties.
I also regularly comment on other blogs in order to show my support.
Yeah and, wherever possible, try to add new insight. It both adds value to the discussion and gets people interested in finding more about you.
This is a great blog post Kevin. There’s lots of good tips and reminders.
Thanks for your comment Paul.
I’ve noticed that, on your own website, you’re gradually moving away from industry news and comment towards articles that are more blog-like in nature. (See my post Blog vs news? The 3-point checklist to help you choose.)
So I’d be interested to see how things develop.
I just would like to point that there are comment communities, kind of like mini forums, where you can make friends and exchange comments on blogs,
I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but if you run a start-up blog and kind of desperate you might wanna check those out, since you got nothing to lost and might built some friends and some traffic,
Mitch recently posted…How to Build A Professional-Looking Resume Or CV In 5 Minutes
Any additional ideas are always welcome on my blog.
So many thanks Mitch.
It took me about a month before I figured out how to get comments. Now I get my fair share. And they are often comments with substance. Sometimes we get a great dialog going where we actually spark some very interesting ideas.
Arlee Bird recently posted…What Can Happen If a Blog Post Goes Viral?…. …… .. … … a few words from someone who’s been there
Arlee, just a month before getting comments coming in is pretty good going. Many still don’t get comments even after several years of blogging.
But if you’ve already built up good online relationships before you start your own blog then you’re gonna get engagement pretty well straight away – especially if your posts give your readers something to think about.
Getting comments can be a tough one, and what makes it worse is that some blogs don’t really offer the social benefit that comes with commenting. For example, I have a women’s health blog and most of the comments I get are from women looking for information meaning they don’t have blogs themselves that I can connect with. Not really a big problem just a different situation.
If you want more comments though I think the best idea is to just ask for them. Asking a specific question that you know your audience thinks about or has an opinion about is a good start.
I like your idea of ditching the corporate tone. If your readers can feel you are talking directly to them they’re more likely to participate with a comment. That corporate, sterile feel doesn’t make readers feel comfortable commenting.
Great post Kevin and have a wonderful day :-)
Liz McGee recently posted…5 Not So Ordinary Tips for Free Traffic To Your Blog
I remember when I wrote this a while back:
Are your web directory listings one big waste of time?
I didn’t think it was the type of post that people would want to comment on.
So what I did was say ‘I want your opinion’ right at the start of the post and then reinforce it with a call to action at the end.
I’m pleased to say readers did contribute their thoughts and they were very helpful too.
Great post Kevin! My blog site is new so I totally know the feeling. :) Thank you for the extra advice. Much appreciated!
Hi Zippy (I couldn’t find your real name on your website)
I can’t tell you how good it is when those comments start coming in.
At long last you feel you have influence with your writing and are making an impact on this world.
Great tips on how to start getting comments. I love getting comments on my blog, it shows readers that people are actually taking the time to read it.
I think that a blog without any comments looks lonely and who really wants to spend time reading a blog no one else reads?
I started getting comments by visiting other blogs and leaving useful comments. It takes time, but eventually you start getting people who come check out your blog.
It’s important to leave useful comments that aren’t spam. I get quite a few comments on my blog that are nothing but spam. It gets a little frustrating to think that people actually take the time to post those comments thinking that I will approve them.
Thanks for sharing this and I hope you have a great day.
Spot in Susan – if you make useful comments then people are far likelier to remember you and check out your own blog.
However, it doesn’t bother me if not every comment adds something new or useful. Some people just want to voice their agreement or say they enjoyed a particular post.
I really appreciate their contribution too. As long as they’ve clearly shown they’ve read my post, I’m happy to approve it.
One thing, of course, that always helps is when the comment addresses me or mentions me by name.
Very nice advice! It’s always nice to hear that other bloggers experience the same thing. Sometimes I get a “Like”, sometimes a comment. Even if it’s just the one, I feel good that someone out there read what I wrote and “Liked” it.
Right on, Michele, Likes and shares are good too.
Sometimes I’ll read a post, but don’t have anything new to add or say in a comment.
So what’ll do is Like, +1 or share that post – which sends a positive signal to the author and helps spread the word.
I’m very late to this particular comment party (reading the post in December…..) but it’s so relevant to me right now – I’m really struggling to get people to comment on my blog and veer between thinking about how I can improve it to encourage more discussion and wondering if it’s all a great big waste of time! I know I need to be more patient (among other things!) but your practical tips are just what I needed to hear at this particular moment in time. Thank you!
Shauna, it’s interesting you should mention being late to this particular comment party.
The earlier you comment and the higher you show up in the comment stream, the more people read what you have to say.
And that, of course, means the likelier people are to click on your own link and check out your blog.
On the other hand, though, bloggers love all positive and useful comments.
So if I’m building a relationship with someone through their blog, it doesn’t bother me too much whether I’m first in line to comment or twenty-first.
It certainly sounds like the more you give, the more you get! Readers, especially your loyal readers are far more likely to want to share their opinion on blog posts that really strike a chord or two.
And obviously the more you can engage as many senses as you can, the more likely to want to routinely leave meaningful comments!
And your insightful (and helpful) tips will definitely help me accomplish that! Thanks for sharing this extremely helpful information Kevin! Will definitely help pass it on!
The more you give, the more you get back – I’ll definitely go along with that Mark.
I’m not sure whether this is always the case in our personal lives, but it certainly seems so online.
Comments will boost up our blogs to get more traffic. To attract more visitors to our posts and comments to our blog we have make sure we post useful articles to our blog. And we should visit others blogs and have to add comments at their blogs by that they will visit our blog and comment on our posts.
I totally agree – in order to build up those relationships you need to visit other people’s blogs and comment on them.
Having said that, you shouldn’t automatically expect people to comment back in return.
But many people will anyway – because they feel they know you, have something in common and can trust you as a source of useful content.
By making insightful comments on their posts, buying their products, submitting quality guest post pitches and sharing their stuff on social media – they will help you in return.
Maybe I should amend this post to put this point across more explicitly.
Very good points. We had the same issue on our own blog. Spark a debate is the key. That not only made people comment on our blog, but also boost our traffic. Smashing article.
Too right. If you just follow the crowd and recycle what everyone else is saying, readers will be hardly rushing to add their two cents’ worth.
Hi Kevin! I’m trying to improve the SEO of my website but… I have hard work ahead, nobody has commented yet :(. Thank you!
Thanks for your comment Inglês
It’s now been seven years since I published this post. Although fewer people seem to be commenting on blogs these days, much of what I said back then still remains true today.
As far as SEO is concerned, leading authorities say there’s no evidence to suggest blog comments are a ranking factor. But, indirectly, they can have a positive knock-on effect on ranking.
And one last point.
When you do get that first comment, you’ll feel all your hard work is finally beginning to pay off. Because you’ll know that what you’re doing is actually having an impact.
Brilliant, Kevin!! I love all your posts. I may not comment on all of them but, read them I do indeed. I hope others will find this post useful just like I did. Cheers!
This is great, thanks for the tips! Everyone talks about the cons of having the CommentLuv plugin but there are also a lot of pros, as it attracts a lot of new possible readers.
Yes, some people don’t like the idea of lots of outbound links from their blog, whereas I’m perfectly fine about linking to other resources.
But the biggest complaint about CommentLuv is the amount of spam you get. But I can’t say this has been a big deal either.