Hey, good job!
You really helped me out.
I love reading your stuff.
I’ve learned some things that I have been able to use, and my business is better because of it.
I appreciate the hard work you put into your blog.
I look forward to reading the articles you write.
OK, who wouldn’t love to read those comments? We all love to hear that we’ve done a good job and that something we created helped people. We want to know that we’ve made a difference, and that all of that time we spent in the office chair was worth it. That’s why comments are so powerful.
Would the Green Bay Packers have enough motivation to play in 20 below zero if Lambeau Field were empty? Would Rocky have trained hard enough to beat Apollo Creed, catch a live, chicken, eat lightning and crap thunder without Mickey in his corner? Would people become better chefs if Gordon Ramsey wasn’t screaming swear words at them? OK, maybe the chef thing is a little over the top, but you get the point.
People who accomplish great things rarely do it without lots of support and encouragement. For those of us who write web content, that encouragement comes in the form of likes, shares, comments, and sales. So, how do we get more of the encouragement we so desperately need to continue publishing epic stuff week after week? I’m about to tell you.
So far this week, we’ve examined some awesome comment hacks. I’ve tried to share as many useful tips as I can and today the sharing continues. Here are 10 Ways to Get More Comments on your blog.
1) Write something original
If you’ve read very many of my articles, you already recognize this as a major soapbox point with me. Stick around you’ll hear me say it often. The best thing you can do to encourage comments is write original material.
People aren’t likely to comment on something they’ve heard somewhere before. They also aren’t likely to comment to you about what someone else said. If they are going to comment about it, they’d rather talk to the person who thought it up.
2) Make sure your content is excellent
Along the same lines as number one, make sure that your content is worthy of comment. Are your thoughts well organized? Are your points clearly made? Is your teaching easily understood? Are your suggestions immediately useful?
Remember 80% of your audience is concrete in they way they use their language. They are looking for useful information that they can use right away to better their situations. Don’t make them jump through hoops or wade through theories. Give them what they want and they’ll be back for more.
3) Write about topics that interest your audience
It’s fine to choose topics that interest you. In fact, you’ll have a hard time cranking out any decent quality or quantity of material if you don’t. Just make sure it interests your audience as well. They are the end users. They have to want it or there’s no point in creating it.
Remember when we said that comments are the difference between publishing great content and talking to yourself? Well, if they aren’t interested, they won’t comment. And, if they don’t comment, guess what you’re doing?
4) Share what you think and why you think it
There are people in this world who think that you should never openly share your opinions. I am not one of those people (as if you couldn’t tell). In fact, I tend to drive those people stark raving mad, because I share my opinions all the time. Love me or hate me, but you’ll never walk away from a conversation going, “I wonder what he thinks.”
Now, there are extremes to everything, and there can be a fine line between confident and obnoxious. However, I really believe that people who read the things we write want to know what we think. Do millions of conservatives tune in to Rush Limbaugh every day for opinion-free news stories? Do millions of people read Warren Buffet’s investment books for opinion-free money advice? Our blogs are no different.
5) Engage disagreement and discuss it
Human beings don’t really like conflict. Most of us prefer not to engage those who disagree with us. Unfortunately, as a publisher, you don’t get that luxury. When someone disagrees with something you’ve written, you need to calmly and intelligently engage that person and discuss the issue.
How you handle disagreement speaks volumes about your confidence in the things you write. If you truly believe in the content of your blog, you must be willing to back it up. When your audience sees that you’re willing to discuss and defend your point of view (which is likely the same as theirs), they will respect you for it.
6) Always end your posts with a question
If you want more comments on your posts, you have to ask for them. I end every post with a question or two designed to elicit comments from my readers. People are more likely to share their own thoughts and experiences when you have clearly given them permission by asking them to do so.
I’ve also found that people are more likely to answer a question than to compose a comment out of thin air. The prompting question lets them know that their answer will be welcome and appropriate to the subject of the post. It’s also just nice to be asked for things, especially thoughts and opinions.
7) Respond to every comment, Like, share, and +1
As important as it is to hear from your readers through comments, it is every bit as important for them to hear from you in response. Responding to someone’s comment is the best way to validate their contribution to the discussion. It shows that, no matter how busy you are, you’ve always got time to appreciate your readers.
I try to thank everyone who likes, shares, or comments on my stuff. Even if they disagree with me. You’d be surprised at how much people soften when you thank them for commenting. A simple, “Thank You,” can turn a fiery disagreement into a valuable discussion real quick.
8) Leave kind comments on other people’s posts
One of the absolute best ways to get more comments on your stuff is to comment on other people’s stuff. Set aside some time each week to peruse one of your Social Media sites for content that you can comment on.
Find people who are using some these suggestions like writing excellent and original content. Then give them a boost by telling them how much you appreciate what they are doing. After all, they’re in the same boat as you, and your comment could be the encouragement they need to keep going.
9) Add commenters to your friends, contacts, and circles
I don’t add complete strangers to my social media circles. But people who have commented on my content aren’t strangers anymore. They’ve risked something personally by sharing their thoughts with me. In my opinion, that’s the same as introducing themselves.
When someone comments, I add them to my friends in Facebook, Contacts in LinkedIn, or Circles in Google +. It’s my way of saying, “Thanks for caring enough to comment, welcome to my world.” I have often found that adding them encourages them to comment more in the future. It also gives me exposure to their other friends who don’t know and love me yet.
10) Join groups that your commenters belong to
People who are like-minded enough to comment on your stuff are often members of groups. Those groups are excellent places to find more people who are interested in what you are writing. Joining those groups can give you much needed access to other like-minded people.
I try to review the groups I belong to on and monthly basis. That way I never go more than 30 days without connecting to new audience members. I also never spend more than 30 days contributing to groups that haven’t yielded any comments or feedback.
I hope these ten suggestions are helpful in bringing more comments to your sites. More than anything, keep creating and sharing great content and people will find you.
How do you get comments on your content? What have you found helpful for encouraging that life-giving response we all crave? Share your thoughts and let’s talk about it.