Creating Comment Friendly Blog Posts

blog post commentsNot everyone wants comments on their blogs.  Some blogs are designed to be search engine magnets – attracting traffic via the search engines and then monetizing those visitors in one way or another.  Those types of bloggers usually don’t care about comments.

Another type of blog is the blog which is functioning as a CMS (Content Management System).  I’ve launched many blogs in this style – where the website owner wants an easy to use, easy to update website and WordPress is the perfect, search engine friendly CMS for their website.  These blogs are a variation of the type of blog listed above – except the blog owner wants to “monetize” the traffic by converting visitors into clients or customers.

However, there are bloggers who see comments and covet them.  They see a blog with lots of comments and wonder why their blog isn’t getting any comments.  I will admit, when the posts on  my flagship blog at Virtual Impax started getting lots of comments – I started having prospective clients comment on how “impressive” my website was.

There are several things to keep in mind about comments.  First, you will find that 90% of the comments made on your blog are made by other bloggers and website owners.    Many of them are leaving comments to leave a breadcrumb trail back to their blog or website.

I’ll share here what I tell my clients – it’s YOUR blog and YOUR sandbox.  If you don’t feel a comment “Adds” to the conversation – delete it.  You don’t owe ANYONE a voice on your blog.  Some people will act like TROLLS and leave comments just to stir up a debate.  If you want to allow that on your blog – go ahead.  Like I said, it’s YOUR blog.  If you choose not to allow such sport on your blog – again it’s YOUR blog!  You’ve got the gold and you make the rules.

There are a few time honored ways to encourage comments on your blog.

Getting More Comments Tip #1: You can end your post with a question.

Ending your post with a question is a GREAT way to encourage comments.  Even a question as simple as “What do you think?” can get the comments flowing.

Getting More Comments Tip #2: Leave your post unfinished.

I know – I know – this one is HARD to do.  However, when you write the definitive “how to” you make it hard for people to add their two cents.  I was just at a blog today that did just that.  The only POSSIBLE comment I could leave would be the lame “Great post” because the blog post author tied up every possible loose end.  Then, as if to discourage comments, he took the first two people to make comments to “task” – correcting them sternly.   Which brings me to  the third point:

Getting More Comments Tip #3: Respond to comments

Comments are conversation starters – so go ahead and respond.  (But please, oh please, DO NOT berate those who wish to engage you in conversation!)  Sometimes, you can really get the comments “flowing” on a particular post when you start a conversation there.

Getting More Comments Tip #4: Install Comment Encouraging Plug-ins

If you’re using a WordPress self hosted blog (and you know you SHOULD because all the successful bloggers are using WordPress) there are several plugins which will actually ENCOURAGE people to leave comments on your blog.

Here are just a few of the plugins that can make your WordPress blog comment friendly:

  • Comment Luv: This plug in will display the comment author’s latest post.  (Because I’m telling you that 90% of your comments will come from OTHER bloggers!!!)
  • Subscribe to Comments: This allows people who comment to be notified when someone else comments on a post where they have left a comment.  This is how full blown conversations happen within the comment section of posts.
  • Edit Comments: There’s nothing worse than leaving a comment and realizing you’ve made a typo.  Now your poor spelling (or typing) skills are on display for the world to see – unless you have this plug in installed so people have time to edit comments they’ve made .

So here’s your invitation to leave your suggestion on what YOU do to encourage comments on YOUR blog.  What do you do?  Do you have a favorite plug in I haven’t shared here?

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Kathy Hendershot-Hurd is a digital dinosaur who's been playing on the web since 1994 - and working here since she founded Virtual Impax where she shares many resources you can use to create a successful blog.

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