We know that comments are the thing that validates a blog’s existence. Comments allows us to see what other people think about our posts, inspires new ideas and, above all, it does not make us feel like an idiot talking to our self. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build an audience that cares enough to speak up. Is your blog struggling to get responses from readers? Then you may be committing one or more mistakes listed below.
1. You are not responding to comments
You come into the room, make your little speech, and leave the building. No one wants to talk to a wall (except in Facebook). Commentators will expect reply for their comments and if they don’t get that they will not be interested in commenting on your blog. The blog conversations are not meant to be one sided, if we are not willing to use our own comment section why our readers would? Don’t hesitate to interact with your readers. Your blog’s comment section is where the relation between you and your readers begins. Replying to comments may consume some of your time, but it is well worth it.
2. You make it too difficult to comment
Make your comment section an easy place to access and hang out. A combination of Akismet and GASP plugin prevents spam to almost 100% then why we need to add captcha’s and puzzles? We can’t expect readers to stay in our blog solving puzzles whole day, so adding captcha’s will pull back them from commenting. Comment implementations like Disqus and Intense Debate may help you to manage comments efficiently but at the same time it can also set a barrier to comment. Even too many options are confusing and prevent people from commenting. Do you want readers to login to comment on your blog? If you really like the idea of having a login system, host a forum!
3. You don’t network with other bloggers
People who blog themselves will be much more likely to comment than those who don’t. Reach out to other bloggers by commenting on their blog and linking to their posts on your blog. Treat people like you wanted to be treated, so be generous with your own comments on others blogs. When the blog owner sees you contribute a relevant comment, then they’ll be happier to leave you a comment on your blog in return. It’s the concept of “give and take”.
4. You are not rewarding commentators
Let’s accept the fact — many blog commenters are self-serving and looking for links back to their own blog. There is nothing wrong in that because they are spending their valuable time for dropping a comment in our blog. As the blog owner it is our duty to reward them for their time. If you give them what they want, then they’ll be happier to leave a comment. CommentLuv is a fantastic plugin which helps commenters get more out of their commenting experience. It includes the commenters’ last blog post link at the end of their comments, which is an “incentive” that encourages your readers to leave their comments. You have to give special recognition to your top commentators and Top commentators plugin make it easy.
5. Readers do not comment because there is no comments
It isn’t fun to go to a party with no people at it. We feel more comfortable getting to the party after a few people are there. The same is true for your blog also. Our world is populated in such a way that there are more followers than leaders. Most people want to become followers rather than leaders. It’s easier to add a comment when somebody else has been there. The first comment is the hardest one to get, but there is an easy way to get it – simply do it yourself 😉 Get a cute name, gravatar and leave the first comment yourself.
6. You don’t ask for it
If you want readers to speak up, ask them a question or two at the end of your post. If your post is so complete, readers may not know what to say except ‘good job’. So instead of commenting they read and move on. Don’t close a post such that your readers will be in confusion whether you want them to comment. You can ask a simple and related question at the end of the post, and ask your readers to share their thoughts.
As you can see, there are a lot of different reasons that people might not be leaving comments on your blog. Comments play a huge role in the structure of a blog, and if your blog has no discussions going on, you have to realize that something is wrong with your blog. Experiment different things and find out what works best for you.
What techniques do you use to encourage your readers to comment? Let’s chat about them in comments.
This article is written by Rojish Roy. He is a 21 year old blogger who loves to write about blogging tips, affiliate marketing, SEO and his favorite CMS – WordPress.