Understanding how to get more (real) blog comments is a struggle for most beginner bloggers.
I know this because I was there!
Sure, I don’t get 200 comments per post like Marie Forleo does, but I consistently get comments on every article I publish.
This isn’t by accident.
What I’m about to show you will A) push your readers to finally leave a comment and B) help you build a vibrant community.
Why Do Blog Comments Matter
Blog comments are the “life” of your blog. From an SEO perspective, blog comments keep your pages “fresh” because the user-generated content is unique. From a psychological perspective, blog comments are social proof. When someone sees a blog post with tons of comments, they subconsciously believe that the blog is authoritative and their trust is immediately heightened.
People naturally feel more comfortable when they know that someone else has already done something. In this scenario, if your blog already has blog comments, people will be more likely to leave one. If your blog is a ghost town, the likelihood of someone leaving the first comment is extremely low.
The formula is simple:
No comments = low perceived social proof = inaction
Many comments = higher perceived social proof = action
Therefore, the first step of getting more blog comments is to increase your social proof.
20 Ways to Get More Blog Comments
1. Get Everyone Involved
Open up excel or a Google Doc and create a list of family members, friends, and co-workers who you are willing to reach out to. If you’re struggling to get blog comments, I want you to do this right now. After you have this list, you’re going to ask them to comment on your blog which will help to build up your social proof! This is the single easiest and cheapest way to get comments.
That’s right. Just ASK your readers to leave a comment. Having a clear call to action at the end of every article is completely necessary. After awhile people will begin to comment on their own, but having a clear CTA will get things rolling.
3. Leverage Your Email List
Many bloggers have already started building lists, but are still struggling to get blog comments. One of the easiest ways to get more is to simply ask your subscribers to leave comments on your new posts. Whenever you send out an email about a new blog post, make sure to leave a call to action in the email like: “After you read my newest article, make sure you leave a comment so we can continue the discussion.”
For some industries, this simply won’t be enough. Bringing me to my next point…
People respond to incentives. If you’re really struggling to get comments, then you may want to consider creating some type of contest or incentive.
For example, if I were to use this technique, I would say something like: “BIG NEWS: we are running a contest on our blog!
The top 10 people who participate the most on our blog will receive (insert incentive here).” Remember, you only need a small amount of social proof to get the comment train rolling.
5. Comment Funnel
You’re probably used to offering free value in exchange for someone’s email address, right? Well, what if you did the same thing in exchange for someone leaving a blog comment?
Here’s what you do:
Download the Comment Redirect plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/comment-redirect/. After the plugin is installed, create a landing page for your first-time commenters. On this page, you should offer something of value that they don’t have access to on your blog.
You can either send your list an email, create a status on social, or change the terminology around in your comment section letting readers know about the opportunity. I would say something like: “If you’ve never left a comment on the Gotch SEO blog, then there’s something really special waiting for you when you do…”
6. Have a Comment Subscription Option
Many blogs do not come equipped with this option and it can kill your discussion. Install this plugin, so that blog commenters can subscribe. When they subscribe, they’ll receive an email notifying them when new blog comments are published.
7. Content Value
First and foremost, you must produce content that is actually valuable. “Value” comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be a 7,000 word guide on anchor text, a simple 100 word blog post about anything interesting, or an amazing infographic.
Readers must actually see value in whatever you’re publishing if you want to see more blog comments. Sorry. Most people aren’t interested in your “agency culture”. Your blog should be to serve your readers and to produce content that moves them forward in their lives.
When you start caring about actually helping people, you will start to see more comments.
8. Content Length
Monster articles tend to get more blog comments. For example, my anchor text article, which is nearly 7,000 words, has attracted the most comments out of any other article. Just make sure you don’t start creating long articles for no reason. A long article is necessary when there are many different points to cover.
Don’t fluff up your articles just for length.
9. Have an Opinion
Your blog is a medium for expressing yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the most influential person in your industry or the most unknown. If you have an opinion and are willing to take a side, people will begin to follow you.
Your blog should NOT appeal to everyone.
There are people who will agree with your opinions, and people who won’t. Don’t be afraid of the trolls.
10. Get Controversial
Nothing attracts more “buzz” and comments than posting something completely polarizing. To get the comment train rolling, consider attacking a popular belief in your industry. This doesn’t mean you should be disrespectful.
It just means that you should create a well thought out article explaining a unique perspective on a controversial topic. Do your research and be prepared for a battle in the comment section.
11. Link Out
You should link out to other blogs who produce high value work whenever you get the chance. After you do, always make sure to reach out to them and see if they would be willing to comment on your latest blog post.
Don’t be annoying and don’t just link to them for your own personal gain. Link to them because you genuinely believe that their content will help your readers achieve their goals.
12. Change Up the Format
If your articles aren’t getting any traction, then maybe you should consider using a different format. Sure, you can probably modify or improve your writing, but changing formats can spice things up. You may want to consider infographics, videos, podcasts, interviews, webinars or even slidedecks.
13. Don’t Give Everything Away
Your blog posts should be jam-packed with value, but sometimes purposely leaving out key points can provoke discussion. Sometimes people don’t comment because your content was TOO thorough.
14. Get Rid of Social Sharing
You probably think I’ve lost my mind, but stay with me for a second. With social sharing, many people will love your content and take the easy route (a social share). To eliminate this issue and to narrow their focus, you can remove social sharing buttons.
When you get rid of the option to share on social and you add a clear call to action for blog comments, you will see new activity.
15. Comment on Other Blogs
Commenting on other people’s blogs gives you exposure and creates an environment of reciprocation. Create a list of 15-20 blogs that you can regularly leave high-value comments on. After you’ve done this for a few months, you can reach out to them and let them know about the amazing content you’re producing on your blog.
Most importantly, ask them to comment on whatever article you’re letting them know about.
16. Participate on Forums
Like commenting on other blogs, participating on forums will bring your website exposure and likely result in new blog comments. Work to build your rapport in the community by providing value on the forum. Readers, subscribers, and comments will follow.
17. Make it Simple
Don’t make it difficult to comment on your blog! I’m sorry, but all these annoying comment plugins that force you to use your social media account or even worse create an account are terrible for getting people to comment on your blog. All a person should have to do is leave their name, email, website, and their comment. That’s IT.
18. Respond to All Your Blog Comments
Since the day I launched my blog, I have ALWAYS responded to new comments. To this day, I still respond to every single comment. That’s because I want my blog to be of the highest value imaginable. But most importantly, I want people to know that I actually care about helping them.
If you want to create loyal followers and have people consistently commenting on your blog, you need to respond to them with value!
Your job isn’t done after you hit the publish button.
19. Say Thank You
When a new person comments on your blog say “THANK YOU”. Wow, what a novel concept… You should be extremely appreciative that someone took time out of their day to comment on your blog. Be grateful because getting blog comments is hard.
No matter how big you get, you should always respond and be grateful that people actually care about leaving their opinion on your blog.
20. Provide Massive Value in Your Comments
Every time your fingers hit the keyboard, you have an opportunity to provide value and help your readers reach their goals. Your blog comment section is a perfect opportunity for you to display your authority and show that you can answer challenging questions on the spot. Take your comments seriously!
Now, it’s your turn.
What strategies have you used to get more comments on your blog?
Let’s keep this conversation going in the comment section.
P.S. don’t forget… Gotch SEO Academy is launching November 1st! The date was pushed back because the program is way more extensive than we originally thought 🙂
Sign-up for the waiting list because the academy will only be open one time per year.