Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How to get more Blog Comments

This picture has nothing to do with blog comments, but it's cute, so enjoy!

We all want to feel like someone is reading our blog & connecting with what we have to say. Sometimes we want answers to a question, sometimes we just want thoughtful conversation & sometimes we just want to know that someone is thinking, “Me too!!” All in all, with blogging, this comes down to comments. When people are commenting on our blog, we feel like they are connecting with us. So how do we encourage these connections & make them happen? Well, I have 5 ideas of my own based on my experience so far!

1. Visit & comment on other blogs
You will find me saying this over & over. Visiting & commenting on other blogs is incredibly important as a blogger, but you have to do it thoughtfully & sincerely. If you have something to say or contribute, a question or a piece of advice, some way that you connect with this post, then leave a comment. If you are just looking to leave a link to your blog (spamming) or a comment that is geared toward stirring up an argument (trolling), then I’d say move it along. If you just liked a post & agreed with it, try to say something like that - something more than “great job.” Pick out something specific you liked about it & mention that because then it lets them know that you really read the post. The more sincere you make yourself, the more that person is going to be interested in visiting your blog & most likely leaving you a similar thoughtful comment.

2. Ask questions
Asking questions gives people a great starting point for leaving a comment. It tells them what you want to know & a great way they can contribute to your conversation. I try to add a question at the end of all my posts because I really am looking for connection. This way if they’re thinking, “great post” & can’t think of anything else to say, you’ve left a question that they could reply to. This isn’t always possible, but when it is - ask! Especially if there really is something as a mom that you need help with! I have gotten some great advice through comments!

3. Make your posts relevant to the reader
I think it’s hard for people to find something thoughtful to say to random stories about what my kid did on Tuesday afternoon. I mean, it’s cute & fine for every once in a while, but how does it apply to the reader? So when you come to my page, I’m going to try to make it relevant to you. I’m going to try to say something that you will either have an opinion about or a perspective on or some advice or a question, etc. Make your posts relevant. I am still going to post about milestones & I am still going to post about funny things she does or great stories because I - like many of you I would assume - am also using my blog as a digital baby book to keep track of all these great memories! I would just suggest making it something the readers can connect with in order to encourage comments. They’ll have something to say or they can learn something from your experience. For example, when I have shared Isis’ experience with solids so far, I definitely posted just a cute video of her first taste, but I’ve also included a review of our Beaba Babycook & some great resources & ideas I’ve found. It tracks a milestone, shares our experiences & gives you something to take from it & hopefully a starting point to offer me some advice or experiences with your child.

4. Ask for comments!
Want someone to leave a comment? Ask them to! Tell them how much you value their opinion & their input into whatever you’re sharing & then make it easy for them to leave a comment. I’ve recently disabled the word verification for my comments. I decided that I’d rather weed out the spam than make everyone do that each time. But that’s a personal preference. Also make sure that you are ready to receive whatever comments you may get. When I posted about my post-partum hair loss & stretch marks, I was aware that there are many women out there who had much worse post-partum experiences & may have negative things to say. I can only share based on my own experiences, so I tried to keep that in mind, but also be mindful of the different views on that topic. So ask for comments, but be understanding of different viewpoints. (This is not in any way condoning trolling, which is a completely different ballgame.)

5. Respond thoughtfully to comments received
One way to get people coming back to your site is to make them feel appreciated for being there. Especially make an effort to let them know that YOU know that they visited! I really like to respond to comments through email. I have the email notifications set up so I receive an email each time I receive a comment. If your email is linked to whatever format you chose to log in to leave a comment (I don’t allow anonymous comments), then I can just click “Reply” & respond to you right then! (Adriel at Mommyhood Memos taught me I could do this!) I feel like that’s more personal, but if you don’t have your email linked, I try to respond in my actual comments section of the post. Either way, I make an effort to reply to my comments & then to visit the page of the person who left it & comment on the posts of theirs that I relate to! Whatever method you choose to use, just let people know you appreciate their comments & I believe they’ll keep coming back!

What tips do you have for getting comments on your blog?
Comment with a link to a post on your blog with the most comments & maybe we’ll see a pattern in comment-worthy posts!

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*josie* said...

Yes that's true, it's a good thing there's the "will be publish upon approval" method or else spammers will make a heyday. :)

The Planet Pink said...

Great, relevant advice! I definitely notice an increase in comments when I take the time to comment myself.

I currently have two posts with the most comments. They are different from each other but both inspire comments in their own way I think.

The first is concise, funny and includes pictures: http://www.theplanetpink.com/2010/06/no-willpower.html

The second is well thought out, thought-provoking and encourages discussion and conversation:

vanita said...

Really great ideas. Thanks for this post. I plan to come back and review #5 again, because I can't seem to figure out where to sign up for the email notifications.

Busy Working Mama said...

Great tips - I liked this article. I have found that visiting other bloggers will get them to visit you. Personally I always check out the profiles of commenters on my non-giveaway posts to see what they're up to and if they have a blog.

Have a great week!

Asashia said...

Thanks for pointing out #5---I've been trying my hardest to figure out how to do this. I'll have to keep looking.
Another thing is that people's comments can inspire me on what to write next, depending on what they say. So yes, comments are valuable and appreciated!

Cluttered Brain said...

You said it all...Comment Comment Comment and a blogfrog community. Do YOU have a blogfrog community?

And I video blog. That seems to create comments as well...:))

I am so glad I found YOUR blog!!!

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

These are all great tips, thank you. I started responding by e-mail to my comments too and I'm so glad I did. You are right about leaving a thoughtful comment...you can always tell if someone has actually read your post or not. Thanks again.

Amy said...

These are wonderful ideas. Thanks so much! As a new baby blogger this is so helpful. I don't like the "comments just to comment" thing. I have to really feel compelled to leave a comment if I'm going to at all. I'm gonna try to start the email thing. Good idea!

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