8 big audience development ideas for getting more useful blog comments
Let’s face it, every blogger wants people to comment on their blog. No matter how big you are, how much revenue you’re bringing in, or how many hits you’re getting on an article – you want feedback. It’s a perfectly normal feeling and not at all having to do with how big or small your ego is. When you spend hours every day on a blog post, comments legitimize all the hard work you put in into each post.
Beyond that, comments also increase your SEO rank in Google because they “update” your post, keeping it fresh. Our most trafficked blog posts on Mequoda also happen to have the most amount of comments, and you better believe that all that traffic comes from Google.
So, how can you increase the amount of comments on a blog post? Well, if you already have tens of thousands of visitors every month, you probably don’t have to do much more than follow these three guidelines:
- Ask: People love to give their opinions, so just ask and ye shall receive.
- Respond: Let them know you care, respond to their comments and provoke further communication.
- Rewards: Add a ranking feature that allows users to rank comments by helpfulness, or, if you have some seriously devoted users, rank users by number of comments posted.
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Have a bit less traffic than that? Not to worry. According to Jacob Nielson, 90% of online community users are lurkers (read or observe without contributing) with only 9% of users contributing ‘a little’ and 1% actively contributing.
- Feedback: Providing the user with an “Email me responses to this thread” link is a fabulous way to get people to come back to your site and stay interested.
- Ease of Use: It’s possible that you’re simply not making it easy enough to comment. You’re seriously hurting any chances of getting comments if you require people to register for your site before they leave a comment. Try removing the firewall and even installing Facebook Connect on your site and allowing people to comment via their Facebook profiles.
- Controversy: Controversy will always start a conversation. Even titling your post with a provoking headline can get people immediately interested in leaving a comment. Opinionated articles are often the most commented upon posts.
- Blog Sight-Seeing: There are communities of bloggers who simply read the blogs of one another. Becoming a part of that community is as simple as starting to read and comment on other people’s blogs yourself.
- Write Personally: Blogs that include a personal story are proven to generate more blog comments.
As a daily blogger who spends most of her time writing, I truly enjoy when people leave feedback, even when they’re disagreeing with me, or correcting something that I said.
If you hated this article, let me know in the comments. If you loved it or think it was just OK and want to correct my grammar, that’s fine too. More importantly, if you have a great idea for getting more blog comments that I failed to mention, you should definitely be jotting that down in the comments section below. We’re on the same team, right?