Top 12 Tips for Attracting More Comments on Your Blog

Do you pull as many comments as you’d like to your WordPress site? Have you been wondering why no one leaves comments on your blog, even after spending hours on end creating content? Are you craving for more comments, more interaction and heated debates in your comment section? Are you ready to kill for at least one extra comment? If so, let’s slay the dragon!

Running a website without comments is frustrating to say the least. Many questions will haunt you. For instance, does it mean no one notices all your hard work? Does a lack of comments mean you were wrong to pursue a career online? Ask any blogger, and they will tell you nothing comes close to the satisfaction of receiving comments.

When you get comments, you feel validated, and when your comment section explodes into a full-blown comment-war, with readers debating, arguing and asking questions, you just might feel like quite the comment god. In other words, it feels incredibly great to get comments to a blog post in which you put so much effort.

That said, how do you get more comments on your WordPress-based website? Are there tips or tricks involved, or how do the gurus do it? In the next few words, we will show you exactly how to boost user engagement on your WordPress blog. We will show you what it takes to pull more comments, so get ready to drink from this cup we’ve prepared.

Build a Readership First

You’d be crazy to expect comments when, in actual sense, nobody is reading your content. That’s akin to getting mad at your TV because the cable line is unplugged. You have to plug in the cable line first to stream.

Similarly, you have to plug in your blog to some form of web traffic to get readers, and eventually receive comments. Getting more blog comments, therefore, begins long before the reader gets to your comment section. Well, without a doubt, the real action goes down in the comment section, but you have to go, and get the reader first. How?

If  blog marketing sprung up in your head, you’re partially right. Partially right? Yeah, before you start marketing your blog and reaching out, you need outstanding content. You need the kind of content that will serenade your readers all the way to the comment section.

How do you create this kind of content? Outstanding content is valuable and relevant. It’s relatable – the kind of content your target audience can relate to, and find useful. It’s personal – you’re looking to initiate a human connection, and coming off as a corporate mouthpiece – a robot per se – isn’t how you do it.

You definitely want to be original, because unoriginal content won’t get you any comments. If you must, infuse a little controversy into your posts because – controversy sells. Additionally, express a strong position in your content. You don’t want your audience to think you’re a flakey person without a stand. Also, you need to project strength (or mastery) in your content.

You need to be on fire. This is Spaaarta kind of fire. In simpler terms, you need your content to be personal, original, opinionated, clear and concise. Then market the hell out of your content to bring in readers in trawls.

With great content in place, comment generation will be easy peasy work. Create outstanding content and promote it, and then get ready for our second point.

Build a Great Blog Design

Whoa, who would have thought great blog design could turn on commenters? For instance, if your comment system is busted, how do you think readers will leave comments? If your design doesn’t encourage commenting, you won’t get as many comments as you’d like. Perhaps your captcha plugin sucks, and discourages commenters.

Perhaps commenters don’t want to login to some system just to leave you a well-deserved compliment. Is your comment section even visible? Is it available on mobile phones? If the potential commenter doesn’t like your design, sorry, but he/she is not going to comment.

If you’re edging for more interaction, go for a WordPress theme, or a custom-made theme that promotes interaction. Don’t complicate the comment process, make it as simple as possible. Don’t head for complicated comment systems; the default Jetpack comment module is sufficient.

In addition, make comments (+ the comment section) easy to find. Trust me, I have seen online entrepreneurs who put the comment section waaay below the post. You might find a chunk of content in-between, and since the comment section is out of view, you’ll hardly leave a comment. Imagine you built a house without doors and windows, and put it on the market. How many serious home owners do you think you will attract? A better illustration is Forbes, a website that has plenty of traffic, but relatively few comments since their design doesn’t favor interaction:

forbes-weak-comment-system

Moving on…

Learn the Art of Initiating Conversations

Let’s say you want to pick up a woman/man, or just meet a new friend. So you spruce up, head out to the club, shopping mall or wherever, and sit at a corner staring at random strangers like an abandoned Pug. Oh my God, who abandons a Pug?

Anyway, if you don’t utter a single word to the next person, or chat up a stranger for their contact details, I can guarantee you’ll have zero success, and a really bad day/night. You have to play the game mate. Want that phone number? You have to ask for it. You can always stalk them on Facebook, but you’ll at least need their name first. Point is, you have to ask! That’s it.

If you want more comments on your WordPress site, you have to ask. Invite readers to comment at the end of your post. Bait readers with a question or a suggestion – anything to get them commenting. Ask your readers to comment, but be smooth about it.

You’re just inviting them to a great discussion revolving around the important topic you covered in your post. Ask your readers to make recommendations, share their opinion and experiences. Ask questions and generally be awesome in the comment section. After all, the comment section belongs to the reader, so welcome him/her.

Invite Connections to Comment

While still on the issue of inviting commenters, let’s look at what your existing connections can do for you in terms of boosting engagement in the comment section. When you post an article that would interest your contacts, shoot all 50 or 5000 of them an email, and ask for their opinion in the form of comments.

If your content is outstanding and they send your link to their contacts, you can only expect great things to happen. Just don’t spam anybody, and ascertain the topic is actually relevant to your contacts or your efforts to generate more comments will be in vain.

Oh by the way, return the favor and comment on their blogs as well – it’s good karma. Moreover, simply showing you care about their business can open more doors for you, not just in the comments, but for your business at large.

Run Contests

Contests are great for online promotion. They are great for getting the word about your business out there. They are great for growing user base, even on social media. They are so effective because they prey on our very own psychology; as human beings, we always want something for free. We also always want to be winners.

organize-wordpress-contests-to-boost-comments-on-your-site

via Skeeze

Put these two psychological thirsts together and you have a marketing tool like no other. You can organize contests or giveaways, and explicitly ask users to comment for a chance to win a special gift – a discount, a WordPress theme, a plugin, a $25 gift card – anything! While asking has more direct impact on engagement, you don’t have to ask if you’re shy – contests are great for driving engagement, just set some ground rules and rock your world.

Contests and giveaways encourage first time commenters, and even repeat commenters, which is exactly what you’re angling for. Tell you what, once a reader comments on your blog, it becomes incredibly easier for the same commenter to leave more comments later on. Psychology baby, psychology.

Take Advantage of Polls

With contests still fresh in our minds, how can polls help you to generate more comments on your WordPress website? See, polls are friendlier than comments. The reader just needs to pick a choice as opposed to writing a comment. Later on, when the reader returns to see the poll results, encourage them to comment on the results.

This is why this works. By taking the poll, the reader gets one foot through the door. When you ask them to comment, it feels easier, or rather natural. After all, they already took the first poll, so why not go the full length? Polls are also a great source of targeted feedback.

Reply to Comments

At times, I fail in this area so I’m not trying to preach water while imbibing pitcher after pitcher of beer. What? I’m only human, and you can only drink so much before passing out pray for me to become a better responder. Okay, I’m making improvements.

And that’s because responding to comments is like shaking the extended hand of a friend who wants to greet you. If you don’t shake their hand, they will probably feel bad and never again shake your hand. Failing to respond to comments on your blog is snobbish behavior that will simply send away commenters.

Get into the habit of rewarding your readers by responding to comments promptly. After all, they chose to leave a comment on your blog out of their own volition. Showing gratitude will go a long way. A simple “Thank you for passing by” is good enough, but don’t stop there. Go a step further, your response can be a great way of pushing the conversation forward.

Ask questions, and add to the reader’s’ contribution. Be a great host because it will encourage other readers to comment too. At the end of the day, appreciating your readers will help you to build a community. Turn on email notifications, which leads us to the next point.

Turn Off Comment Moderation

Holding a reader’s comment for moderation can discourage commenters. It will also keep the conversation on hold. On the other hand, turning off comment moderation will open doors for all kinds of spam. What to do? Well, you should turn off comment moderation first. Then install the super effective spam blocker Goodbye Captcha, and rest easy.

You can have your WordPress blog email you whenever anyone posts a comment, which means you can get rid of rogue spam comments immediately.

Create a Blog from the Best Comments

Let’s say one of your posts gets a good number of comments. Write a blog post and quote a few fantastic comments, and link to the commenters’ blogs if they have any. This will show your readers that you value their contribution. Further, it will encourage more people to comment in the future.

Create a Comment Policy

A comment policy controls the conversation on your WordPress blog. The comments and language your policy allows depend on your business and sensibilities. For instance, a personal blog might allow more colorful language than a formal business blog. Factors to consider when crafting your policy include:

  • Will you allow readers to post negative comments?
  • Will you let people promote their businesses?
  • Are you ready to correct grammar and language?
  • And much more…

A well crafted comment policy encourages readers to engage in conversation, within the remits of your guidelines.

Learn from Others

You can only learn so much by reading blog posts. You can learn a lot more by observing the guys who are naturals at pulling comments to their WordPress blogs. Go observe how they do it and emulate. Shoot them a quick email or tweet, and ask for some tips on getting more comments on your WordPress site, and you just might get the tips of a lifetime.

Notable Comment Plugins for WordPress

Jetpack Comments

jetpack-comments

Considered the default WordPress comment plugin these days, Jetpack comment module is a popular feature of the Jetpack plugin developed by Automattic to super-charge self-hosted WordPress blogs. You can comment using multiple accounts including Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, and Google+.

Learn more…

Postmatic

postmatic-wordpress-comment-plugin

With a superb rating of 4.7/5.0 stars, Postmatic is revolutionizing WordPress commenting by offering you a special feature that’s hardly available in other WordPress comment plugins. Postmatic allows your readers to subscribe via email when leaving a comment, and no, this isn’t the special feature I’m talking about.

What’s the special feature? The reader can reply to replies and subsequent comments without ever leaving their inbox! They just need to hit the reply button and voila! – their comment shows up on your website. How convenient? Additionally, this plugin comes with a number of opt in features that convert visitors into subscribers.

Check out Postmatic.

Yoast Comment Hacks

yoast-comment-hacks

Getting more comments on your WordPress site isn’t all about the front-end. What goes on in the backend comment section can have a positive impact on user engagement. Where does Yoast Comment Hacks come in? The plugin was designed to make managing comments a bliss.

Features include cleaner notification emails, option to email all commenters on a post, a feature to redirect commenters to a thank you page and the ability to email individual comments among others.

Learn more…

Other notable WordPress comment plugins include Disqus, Inline Comments, and IntenseDebate.

Final Word

Getting more comments on your WordPress blog is an art form. It’s easy and you can do it just like the pros. You just need to keep doing more of what works for your blog, and let go of what doesn’t work. Pick your favorite tips from this post and run with, but if I were to impose on you, you should concentrate on creating more outstanding content. With great content, you will get both the traffic and the comments.

It’s Your Turn

How do you encourage readers to comment on your WordPress blog? What tricks or tips do you use? Share with the WPKube community in the comment section below. Adios!

  1. Sumon @ WP Cypher says

    I’m using the default WordPress Comment system for my blog. I have used Livefyre for a while but I’m happy with the default system with CommentLuv Premium enabled.

  2. Jason Lemieux says

    Hey Freddy!

    Thanks for the mention of Postmatic. Sites running our plugin definitely see an uptick in comments… so if that’s your thing give us a try.

    We have a new commenting plugin that was just released as well. It’s called Epoch. It tries to solve the comment design and user experience piece of the puzzle. Think of it as just like Disqus as it replaces your comment template with a pretty, shiny, realtime, ajaxed out beauty. Except unlike Disqus it uses native comments, is compatible with other WordPress commenting plugins (Like Yoast Comment Hacks and GoodBye Captcha), and has excellent privacy/data integrity. The data is yours, and lives in your database. Both Epoch and Postmatic are free and available at http://gopostmatic.com/epoch.

    I’m happy to answer any questions… I’ll try to stick around.

    Jason

    • Jeff says

      Yes,
      Goodbyecaptcha is an excellent plugin. Finally something that really works without captchas.

      @Jason,
      Is Goodbyecaptcha compatible with Postmatic or just with your new plugin(Epoch) ? That would be awesome if you can make it work with both of them.

      Best,
      Jeff

  3. David Hartshorne says

    Hey Freddy,

    This is a nice round-up of some commenting tools out there.

    I’m currently using the Disqus comment system and on the whole I’m pleased with it. However, I have been hearing and reading good things about postmatic, so this might be one to test in the future. And the Yoast Comment Hacks looks good – I’d not heard of that one.

    Thanks for sharing!
    – David

    • Freddy Muriuki says

      Hey David,

      Disqus is a great system even though I’m a fan of Jetpack comments. I have used Disqus in the past, as well as IntenseDebate, and the experience was awesome… Plus they brought in more comments, and the spam blocking was an added plus. Inline Comments by our friend Kevin is cool too, check it out when you get time and let us know what you think. Yoast Comment Hacks is the bomb if you’re looking to improve user engagement straight from the backend. Postmatic is very promising, and when you use it, you will “definitely see an uptick in comments” as Jason puts it. Other than that, which feature do you love most about Disqus? Thank you David for passing by and the nice compliment. Looking forward to your reply!

      • David Hartshorne says

        One of the best things about Disqus is that it filters out spam comments. I also like the fact that you can comment after the post and not have to scroll past all the other comments.

  4. Adrienne says

    Hi Dev,

    What a nice post and I was thinking you had written it but I think Freddy did a wonderful job as well.

    Hi Freddie, nice to meet you and I wanted to stop by and give my two cents worth to what you shared. Dev knows that I’m ALL about comments and I couldn’t agree with you more when you said that getting more comments on your WordPress blog is an art form.

    So you asked the question of how do I get readers to comment on my blog. Let me share from the beginning when I was a nobody and got no comments.

    I write in a way that makes my readers feel comfortable, like we’re having a casual conversation. I ask a lot of questions and of course I ask them to comment toward the end of my post. People need to know what it is that you want them to do, never assume. I never commented in the past because I was never asked.

    Always and I mean always response to all comments. I don’t care how many you get, make each person feel special. Like you’re just speaking to them and addressing whatever it is that they said. Every single person that came to your blog and took the time to not only read your post but also comment deserves your attention. If they haven’t left a decent enough comment that just reiterates what I shared I normally don’t approve those. I want conversations, I want opinions, I want experiences, I want people to speak to me.

    Be that person to them and then go to their blogs and comment on their posts and they’ll definitely feel even more special. That’s how you can start conversations and friendships. Take it to another level if you want and start emailing and hopefully a phone call or Skype will be the next step. You want to make those connections and you’re right, anyone can do this.

    Great share guys, thanks for these tips and hope you both have a wonderful ending to your already awesome week.

    ~Adrienne

    • Freddy Muriuki says

      Whoa! Nice to meet you too Adrienne. What a great comment this is. I’m literally smiling right now, thanks for this. Your point that we should go the readers’ blog and comment is spot on as far as growing relationships and getting more comments go. It’s a great addition to this post. And to be honest, I never thought of taking the conversation to another level via email, Skype or Phone. That’s definitely something I want to start doing. Thanks for the contribution Adrienne, it is an eye opener. Oh, and have a fabulous end of week too!

  5. says

    Hey Freddy,

    First of all I would like to thank you for mentioning GoodBye Captcha in your article.

    It is well known that captcha discourages commenters and… that annoying image is a real blogging menace! It is noticeable how many more comments you can get when there is no captcha in your comment form.

    Yes, it’s important to get comments to a post but to comment on other blogs is important as well. Commenting is the best way build relationships/connections with other bloggers, to drive traffic to your blog or to increase your SEO ranking.

    Best,
    Mihai

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