Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blogcrafting: 10 ways to get more comments on your blog.

Building up a blog? Ignore the cool stats feature on Blogger (or whatever your blog host gives you). The real measure of whether your blog is reaching folks is the number of comments you get.

Why is that? It's because many folks hit your blog while Googling for something else. On this blog the perennial top search term is 'david tennant naked', followed by 'anton yelchin naked', 'billie piper pregnant' and 'billie piper naked'. (But never 'billie piper naked and pregnant' or 'john barrowman pregnant' for some reason). Since my blog does NOT feature naked sci-fi celebrities except for that shirtless John Barrowman picture, most folks don't stay.

A comment means that someone has not only found your blog but has looked at it long enough to want to make a comment. This is great, even if the comment is hostile rant! Hostile rants often spur more sympathetic readers to defend you, and those readers are likely to come back for more.

How to get more comments:
  1. Comment on other blogs, especially blogs in your niche. Comment both on the more popular blogs and on the lonely struggling blogs. And make them good comments--- not just a 'nice post' or 'interesting blog'.  Mention something interesting in the blog post and react to it.
  2. End your blog post with a question, if only a 'what do you think?'.
  3. Write good blog posts of general interests. Even if it's your own author blog/book blog, it shouldn't be all about you/your book. Study articles on ProBlogger to learn how to write better blog posts.
  4. Join NetworkedBlogs on Facebook and publish your blog posts in your Facebook feed. This works best if  you have a good number of Facebook friends. NOTE: you will get some of your blog comments on Facebook instead of your blog. This helps your blog also, so don't worry.
  5. Make it easy to become a follower of your blog,  with the Google Friend connect widget AND one from NetworkedBlogs.
  6. Have good blogrolls. I have one for those who follow my blog, and my big blogroll of all the blogs I follow. They show both blog title and most recent post title. Blogger makes it easy to set up like this.
  7. Respond to your commenters by follow-up comments and by visiting your commenters blogs, if they have them. This helps turn your blog into a community. 
  8. Be positive and friendly when interacting with commenters, even hostile ones. Take the high road!
  9. Allow for commenters of different opinion. I've seen blogs where the blog-authors forbid 'debate' in comments. This scares off a lot of commenters as they conclude you won't accept any comments other than 'I agree completely'. Remember, even hostile comments help.
  10. Delete comments only when needful, as in the case of blatant spam comments and comments with excessive swearing and blasphemy, death threats or the like. I've also reserve the right to delete comments with personal attacks on me that I just can't handle at the moment, but if you are thicker-skinned, I'd recommend against that. Remember, comments are good!

I'm sure other bloggers out there have found other ways to increase their comment count. What works best on YOUR blog?

Blogging prompt: Every blogging day, choose one item from the list to increase your blog comments and do it. Go through the list. If you still don't get many comments, go through it a second time.

Welcome to my new blog follower, covnitkepr1, who blogs at AccordingtotheBook. Please check it out!


Amanda Borenstadt said...

Yeah, my mustard blog gets many hits from people searching for hats, Harry Potter, and the Roper Steam Engine. I don't know if they stick around to read the posts.

My Catholic blog is a different story. I get tons of hits from people using search phrases about fetal gestation, such as "9 week fetus" and "abortion at 10 weeks." I expect my posts that touch on those things are helpful and if they're searching that, maybe they aren't in an emotional state to comment. That's fine. I'm putting it out there for educational purposes.

I also get quite a few hits from people searching about attending a First Communion for non-Catholics. I wrote a post specifically about that. I hope it's helpful for the searchers even if they don't make comments.

Maybe I should make commenting easier- not have word verification? I don't know.

nissa_amas_katoj said...

I've been wondering about the word verification. I have difficulty reading the word verification words on other systems, but not the Blogger ones.

It did seem to help when I stopped moderating the comments except on old posts.

I'm not sure about dropping the WV permanently, but may try it during the CSFF blog tour this month and see what happens.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Good idea.

BTW, I nominated you for an award at my Mustard Blog.

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