You’ve done it. You’ve just written the most mind-blowing, insightful, inspiring blog post ever to grace your niche or industry. You hit “Publish” and then sit back and wait for the comments to roll in.
…Except they never do.
You check under the hood of your blog to make sure everything is working as it should. No technical troubles or hosting hiccups. Your post should be the topic of conversation on the lips of every authority and social media superstar in your field, and yet your comments are still stuck at zero.
What’s happening here, and how can you fix it? Let ‘s take a closer look:
First, I’m assuming that you’re already getting a decent amount of traffic to your blog, it’s just the comments section that looks like a ghost town. If your traffic is tepid, you’ll need to take a closer look at where people are coming from, and if those are the people you want to attract to your blog.
If traffic is solid, it’s time to look at underlying causes — namely, the content of the posts themselves. No one is doubting your expertise, however, on closer inspection, your comments could be flatlining because:
You’ve Said Everything that Needs to Be Said
This is the biggest problem I encounter with blogging. You’ve written a fantastic, in-depth, educational, entertaining and engaging post. And in doing so, you’ve said everything that needs to be said. No one adds anything to your piece because…they don’t need to. There’s nothing to contribute.
The best way to counteract this is to ask your readers for their perspective, their experience or their recommendations. This is also where it can pay to hold something back and let them step up to the plate and fill in the gaps. Not only does it demonstrate humility on your part, but it also makes your readers feel more involved in the process.
Don’t Hold Back Your Passion
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the people who hold so much back because they’re afraid or reluctant to share too much information. If you’re passionate about something, whether it’s reading books or riding horses, letting your passion show is what connects you with your readers. It tells them, “it’s okay to ‘geek out’ on this kind of thing. You’re with like-minded people here — open up and share your story!”
Likewise, if someone else has written a post that gets you fired up, don’t go into a diatribe in their comments section, take it as an opportunity to write your own post on the matter — and link back to theirs in the process. Not only is it good blog etiquette, but oftentimes the blog owner will get a notification when another blog has linked to them, and their curiosity will compel them to check it out.
The fact is, everyone wants to be liked and feel welcomed. Make sure your comments section is the place where they can do just that.
And on that note, you may want to ditch the third-party plugins like Disqus, IntenseDebate and Talkatv, as oftentimes they require people to register on their own platforms or otherwise jump through flaming digital hoops in order to leave a comment. And while they profess to help blog owners get rid of spammy comments, the tradeoff may be that they’re limiting your users’ ability to leave real comments on your blog as well.
Share the Spotlight
One of the best things you can do on your blog is to branch out. Not every post has to be your opinion or your recommendations. While it is your blog, sometimes the best comments come when you open up the platform a bit and share the spotlight with someone else. Who’s another blogger, product creator, or up-and-coming influencer in your industry who you feel doesn’t get the attention they deserve?
Your blog could be the perfect place to highlight them. If you’re getting moderate amounts of traffic, it’s clear that people are looking to you for answers, recommendations and perspectives – and the more and varied these are, the better you and your audience will be for reading them.
Don’t Shy Away from Controversy
Now, a lot of these “how to get more comments on your blog”-type posts will tell you to stir up controversy to get people talking. I’d advise against that direct approach unless you have something worth getting controversial about.
For example, if everyone is raving about this new online tool or service, and you just don’t see the appeal – talk about it. If you think it will open up the floodgates to something worse — talk about it. Don’t just have a dissenting opinion purely for the sake of stirring the pot, otherwise your “controversy” will come across as shallow and weak. To see real life examples of this, just search for “The Death of _____”, where _____ is something everyone uses, like Facebook or Google or iPhone.
And, if worst comes to worst and you just can’t get the comment needle to budge, you can do what many aspiring bloggers do, and bribe your commenters with things like free giveaways, contests, sweepstakes and so on. But don’t fool yourself. People are there only for what you can give them, and not for your clever wit or detailed review. That’s why you should focus on following my original suggestions first, to make sure the odds are in your favor, right out of the gate.
These are just a few of the many ways to get more people to comment on your posts, but these suggestions are by no means an exhaustive list.