How to Get More Blog Comments?
Asking Questions and Acknowledging Feedback
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Engaging your audience, your customers, your clientele or your viewers is essential, no matter which field, business or walk of life you might belong to. Look around your own self for examples: the most popular person in our social or professional circles is usually the one who can engage and grab the attention of his or her audience.
How to Get More Blog Comments?
We’ve spoke of many different ways in which you can increase comments on your blog, and keep people commenting and coming back to your blog. Engagement is perhaps one of the most important, if not the most important!
Many blogs do this in one way or the other. You can ask straightforward questions about, say, a topic at hand. Or be creative, like start a poll. There are multiple ways of going about this, you could either design your post to be inquiring, or simply pose a question at the end. Polls are self-explanatory. There are many WP tools – free and paid-for – that let you create polls of many different types. Using this way, start a debate or a discussion on your blog. Soon, some people who leave comments will become regulars, getting you a nice flow of continuous traffic. At the end, make sure you ask people to leave a comment or two in the comments section.
If you are wondering “How to Get More Blog Comments?” Ask yourself this: what are the chances of you going back to a blog or a comments section where your comment has been replied to, or acknowledged in one way or the other? The chances are high, most likely. It is always good to receive feedback, it gives you a sense of belonging and tells you that the 2 or 5 or 10 minutes you spent out of your life replying to a certain post meant something to the author, was appreciated and wasn’t simply ignored.
The same goes for your own blog too! Make sure you allocate some time to replying to comments and/or any other feedback left by people on your blog or posts. If there are too many comments, you can choose to allocate a few minutes twice or thrice a day to reply to them. If it’s more than you can handle, you can always outsource it to someone else to reply on your behalf.
Another alternate method of acknowledging feedback includes sending an automated email to anyone who posts on your blog. This is easily do-able with the help of any of the plethora of plugins available for WordPress out there, built for precisely for this purpose.
- You could always spare a minute out of your time and try thanking everyone who comments in a single post rather than individually.
- Try being an active part of the discussion or debate. Connect with people. It’s your blog, and it will do it a world of good.
- Trust me when I say this; saying thanks and acknowledgement in any form whatsoever goes a long way!
‘Outside the Box’
Apart from the obvious, there are dozens of ways you can engage your readers. Social mediums, for one, are a good place to start. Add plugins through which people can share your content on Facebook or Twitter, or respond via these mediums. Allow people to leave guest comments, or log in through their Facebook, Twitter, G+ ID’s to leave comments. Not only does this make it easier to leave feedback, it also encourages people to respond to your posts on a wide range of social mediums, maximizing your blog’s exposure instantly!
Making It Easier to Leave Comments
What We’ve Learnt Till Now: A Recap
Thus far, we’ve looked at many ways of getting more comments on your blog. Stuff like how you can spread the word and increase your blog’s visibility, make your posts more interesting to read, and designing a blog in a way that automatically attracts readers and hence comments.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg really. There’s so much more that you can do, easily and for free! And while at the end, the list of things you end up with for increasing blog posts would be anything but exhaustive, it’s a good start, and you can always add to it, or make it better in your own way with the passage of time.
Make It Easier For People to Leave Feedback on Your Blog and Comment on Your Posts
Very important and something that’s usually ignored by everyone running a website or a blog. How many times have you come across a post that you liked and wanted to leave feedback on, only you couldn’t because there was no clear way of doing so. Usually its because of the following 2 reasons: (a) you have to jump through 50 different hoops, just to say something or (b) there is no clear-cut mechanism in place through which comments can be left.
While WordPress is certainly very comment-friendly, make sure you don’t have 50 plugins to filter spam from comments. It can be frustrating for someone who wants to leave a comment and cannot do so, just because your spam filter is blocking him out. People are busy, have places to be and in all probability cannot spend 30 minutes just to say thanks.
Make sure your WordPress is configured in a way that makes commenting easy and straightforward. For this purpose, go to the Discussion tab in your WordPress dashboard. From there, you can configure all sorts of options. Additionally, if you have any comment and/or anti-spam plugins installed, make sure you have a look at the options and have them all configured properly.
The Comments Section
As for the comments section itself, just ask for the essentials. Usually, boxes for a Name, Email, Website URL and a Twitter Handle do the job. Do not have people filling out useless information.
Also ensure that your comments section remains free of spam at all times. WordPress comes with a plugin called Akismet for this purpose. You can also purchase more powerful plugins, depending on your pocket and/or the spam you get, but like mentioned above, make sure the plugins don’t interfere with genuine comments.
Consolidate Your Thoughts
An interesting blogpost I read recommends you should consolidate your thoughts and put them into a single post, instead of spreading them out to different ones. Debatable, at best, and while I might not fully agree with this particular point-of-view, it might be worth looking at for some.
Leaving Visual Cues
WordPress makes it extremely easy to leave comments, since it has a box that says comments on the top and bottom of your posts (usually with most themes, but depends). Make sure your website does the same as well. Leave visual cues so that people can easily access the comments section and leave one.
A little off-topic, but apart from comments, add a ‘Contact Us’ page, and list out the ways in which people can contact you. FB, Twitter, email, add it all here. Add a form on the page, through which anyone can send you feedback and link this form with your inbox.
Furthermore, if you approve comments yourself, make sure you do this as frequently as possible, or outsource it and have someone else do it for you. A quick comment-approval policy goes a long way, and a comment that remains in ‘awaiting moderation’ status generally leaves a bad impression, and that particular in all probability won’t be leaving another comment again. After certain user leave a couple of (quality) comments, promote their comments to auto-approved.
Getting More Blog Comments: It’s all about the looks!
Having a blog interface that is
- Easy on the eyes
- Attractive – is extremely essential. Aesthetics matter, big time!
However someone who’s been managing blogs for a while would know that it is anything but easy to be able to come up with a perfect blend of the above mentioned!
It is doable though. But at the end of the day, there are some do’s and don’ts you need to consider.
First off, choose the correct theme is very important. If you’re on WordPress (I recommend you should blog on WP), choose a customized theme. There are quite literally, a plethora of amazing-looking customized themes available out there! You’ll probably have to part with a few of your greens for a good theme, but it all depends on your budget and pocket. Go for one which you think goes best with the type of the blog you do and is within budgets as well. Your homepage should be designed in a way that attracts anyone who visits it.
Furthermore, invest in a good banner as well, if need be. Design one yourself or have it designed. Ditto for a god background (if need be).
Your theme determines if your blog is attractive to keep visitors, has a reader-friendly interface, and doesn’t use colors or fonts that are too hard to read. Choosing the right combination of colors and fonts is important.
Easy on the Ads!
Stating the obvious here, but too many ads on your pages are likely to have visitors leave your blog as soon as the page loads up. Ads should only be placed in specific places, away from your content. And it should be ensured that they are related to the theme of your website. Look into other ways of putting ads on your website than the obvious ones (AdSense).
A website or a blog needs to have separate pages for every separate thing. Refrain from putting all content on one page, and instead make multiple pages and divide your content across them all. Each individual page should be easily accessible through a top or a side-bar. Having a proper navigation in place is essential. Your visitors should not need to look for information that they require, it should be readily available and accessible from any page. If there’s too much information, classify it into a few broad categories and use drop-down or pop-up menus to keep it organized and clean.
The Visual Appeal
Like mentioned in the last post, your posts, your pages and your blog/website in general should be visually appealing. Use images and videos for this purpose, but once again, do not over-do it. Use embedded Youtube, mp3’s, GIF’s, anything. But in moderation.
Your blog should be compatible with all browsers out there. The pages should open up in the exact same way across all browsers. A page should not look different in Firefox or Chrome. Before rolling out your website, do extensive testing in this regard. Test your pages using Chrome, FF, Explorer, Safari, Opera et all.
Attention to Detail
Many people choose to completely ignore this. Small details matter people! In fact, making sure you are someone who gives attention to even the minutest of details leaves a good impression on your clients and visitors alike!
Read this excellent piece on how you can improve your blog aesthetics. We would love to hear your thoughts on this, do leave us a comment in the comments section!
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