Feb 24 2007

5 ways to get more comments and make you smile

Everyone likes comments.

There are bloggers who put comments above visits when judging their own success. I’m always pleased to see in the morning several comments stretched over my blogs. In fact nothing makes the process more enjoyable for me than reading a new commenter and seeing them come back.

Over at Jakob Nielsen they determined that reader participation often more or less follows a 90-9-1 rule:

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute).
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions: it can seem as if they don’t have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they’re commenting on occurs. (source)

Now it’s true that this ratio is something that you’re just going to have to accept, there will always be a much higher percentage of lurkers. It doesn’t matter who you are. There are some ways to improve upon them though. I’ve sifted through a lot of them and here are what I consider the best ten ways to squeeze those comments out of your readers and of course in doing so make you smile (go on it’s ok – at least a grin).

  1. Ask for the comment. Invite your readers to leave a comment or participate. For new readers to your site they may feel a little out of your community. This is your chance to say ‘hey I want to hear what you’ve got!’.
  2. End your post with a question. This gives a springboard for your readers to know what they can say if they want to comment but not sure what to say.
  3. Make it easy to post a comment. If it is too hard to leave a comment who is going to bother? You’re already batting against the 90:9:1 ratio. Don’t make it so your readers have to a particular account to leave a comment. I’m not against the verification text myself to stop spam either.
  4. Make friends with other bloggers, by leaving comments and striking up conversations you will often get loyal readers in return. It’s never a good idea to go out of your way to be negative on someone else’s blog because you’ll only hurt your own reputation in the long run.
  5. Interact positively with your comments.ÂIf someone takes the time to leave a comment you should respond! Even if you don’t agree with what’s said you can always discuss it like an adult without turning it into a negative conversation. Others will see you responding and be encouraged themselves.

As with anything some of these will work for you and others may not. Why not pick one and force yourself to do it for at least 2 weeks to see what difference it makes to the comments.

We’d love to hear how you go so leave a comment! Or if you have your own suggestions please feel free to add them here too.

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  1. Blog About Your Blog’s Most Popular Articles | Blog About Your Blog wrote:

    [...] 5 Ways to Get More Comments and Make You Smile by Lee [...]

    April 19th, 2007 at 11:03 am
  2. The First To Be Scrutinized - Blog About Your Blog wrote:

    [...] 5 ways to get more comments and make you smile The 5 tips are really good and I especially like the 3rd one. [...]

    August 5th, 2007 at 3:34 am
  3. 10 great links to help increase traffic to your blog « Seth Liss — Keep journalism alive wrote:

    [...] 5 ways to get more comments and make you smile [...]

    February 21st, 2009 at 7:54 am
  1. neobluepanther said:

    Thanks for choosing my blog!

    It does indeed feel good to see a lot of comments on you rpost. Sometimes, even one is good, specially if its the first!

    February 24th, 2007 at 6:35 pm
  2. Lee said:

    I’ve noticed on a lot of blogs that there is a rush to be the first lol!

    February 24th, 2007 at 6:36 pm
  3. Michael Yates said:

    Thanks for the tips. They should be very helpful!

    February 24th, 2007 at 6:46 pm
  4. Suzi said:

    Well, here you go. A comment :-)

    February 24th, 2007 at 8:21 pm
  5. Lee said:

    Always happy to be of service Michael and thanks for commenting! And Suzi thank you too!! Anyone who even casually looks at this post you should leave a message and at least get a link to your own site! We’ve gotten around 615 visits on this story in the last couple of hours so at the least it may be some good exposure for your own blog!!! Come on it only takes a minute!

    February 24th, 2007 at 11:25 pm
  6. Ryan said:

    I have read a lot of blogs where the author has wrote a masterpeice, either humorous or whatever – and I’m left speechless at the end.

    That happens more times than not. A lot of people just ‘leave a comment’ without a lot of thought into it for the simple reason they feel they ’should’. I never feel like I ’should’ leave a comment. I would rather go away statistically as a lurker rather than leave a comment that isn’t sincere.

    February 25th, 2007 at 7:00 am
  7. Ed said:

    According to your experience, Ryan, I leave everyone speechless 99% of the time :) I dont think 99% of my work is a masterpiece, but I will hang on to that hope as I stare at comments boxes reading zero.

    Hey Lee, some good ideas that I will try to implement.

    February 25th, 2007 at 7:24 am
  8. Lee said:

    Another method I’ve recently seen is to answer each person’s comment separately. This increases the number of comments making the casual commenter more inclined to comment.

    I have to say I’m not a fan of this myself, it does help for readability. But I find the following method just as easy to follow:

    Ryan – LOL someone has to make up the percentage . Although even a casual ‘hi I read your article’ can be enough to keep a blogger going. 0 comments is the loneliest number…

    Ed – That’s a great way to look at it!!! LOL I’m going to try and keep that in mind as I stare down my zeros.

    February 25th, 2007 at 1:27 pm
  9. Dr. Mohamed Taher said:

    You have been cited in my blog, as you have an interesting perspective to visualize comments.
    And, in my another blog I have commented on reviewing (under the caption: Reviewing a blog – benchmarks? ), and cited your review technique as a sample. Hope this will be reciprocated.
    Best wishes

    March 1st, 2007 at 5:42 pm
  10. Culture Shiok! said:

    I’m using Blogger. Readers can only comment on the posts. How do I get a separate comment page for Blogger?

    March 2nd, 2007 at 6:18 pm
  11. Lee said:

    To be honest Culture Shiok I’m not sure if there is a way to have just comments on the entire blog. I think you’re stuck with post comments.

    March 3rd, 2007 at 2:54 am
  12. Overwhelmed With Joy! said:

    Great tips! Since becoming a blogger myself, I really try hard to leave a comment (sometimes brief, other times lengthy) on the blogs that I visit.

    April 24th, 2007 at 1:23 pm
  13. Andrew Bargery said:

    That first comment is so nice, especially when you’re just getting started on your blog and building a community.

    Comment away everyone, keep the spirit of the blogosphere alive!!

    May 11th, 2007 at 5:14 pm
  14. The Magical Rose Garden said:

    Hi there:

    Thanks for stopping by the Garden recently! Things have been so hectic . . . just now getting a chance to get out and do some visiting. Great suggestions about comments. We try to respond to each comment received eventually, although time constraints sometimes make it challenging. But it is the least we could do . . . we value each and every visitor to the Garden, want the visits to be meaningful and hope that our visitors will return. That includes YOU!

    May 13th, 2007 at 10:58 pm
  15. Stephanie Enders said:

    Hi,

    I really liked this post. Very detailed (constructive tips on what to do to get more comments). I give out too much information without asking any questions. Thanks for the insight.

    Stephanie

    May 25th, 2007 at 12:23 pm
  16. youlki22 said:

    Very informative post. I love figure, (being in academic sector)and your post is very useful and informative. Hope to see more posts relevant to blogging topics.

    June 13th, 2007 at 1:46 am
  17. Suzi Enders said:

    I love to learn how to attact comments to my blog. I appreicate the help. Your advise will inspire others to blog and create an interesting blog for others. Thank you

    August 12th, 2007 at 8:52 am
  18. Charles Lau said:

    Oh you sound so true… Sometimes, we might have overlooked the idea that new readers might feel out of place when they first visited our blog..

    August 12th, 2007 at 9:58 am
  19. Anna Hackman said:

    You said it. Zero is a very lonely number. Do you have any suggestions on how to make your comment box more inviting for people to comment? I saw a plug-in that allows people to automatically put in their own blog address which I think might encourage people to post. What are your thoughts? Nice post. I will try some of your suggestions on my site.

    In my terms and conditions, I tell people to post their websites because if I can give someone free advertising, that is fine with me. Plus the more info the better.

    August 20th, 2007 at 7:13 am
  20. Telling It Like It Is said:

    I’m thrilled that I’ve just found your blog, after browsing around on AdSense Tracker’s blog. As a relatively new blogger, I really appreciate helpful advice and suggestions such as yours, and I look forward to continued reading and putting your suggestions into practice. Great blog!

    September 5th, 2007 at 12:24 pm
  21. Ann said:

    I wonder how a writer knows they have a masterpiece post if people don’t comment on it? I love comments. They let me know people are actually reading the posts and not just passing through. Thanks for these great tips!

    December 29th, 2007 at 8:55 pm
  22. Qtpies7~ said:

    I’ve become bummed as my blog has gotten more popular my comments have gone down. Not sure why that happened. I have the readers. I think I even have the occasional great post, lol.

    December 30th, 2007 at 12:30 pm
  23. Jess said:

    Hey Lee,

    As a new blogger I am sorely lacking in the comments area, but have learnt alot from your blog already. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your brain with us.

    January 30th, 2008 at 7:12 pm
  24. Meanna Blog said:

    Just to prove i’m not a lurker, i’ve added this comment to your wonderful blog. One thing I would add is to ooze personality from your blog. People still like to interact with people and in a strange way they will feel like they know you if you put yourself into the way you write and hopefully will comment more. All the best, Meanna

    February 22nd, 2008 at 5:02 am
  25. Saad Baig said:

    Great list! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    March 17th, 2008 at 11:30 pm
  26. Peter White said:

    I’ve found commenluv to be a good way to get more comments.

    Peter Whites last blog post..What should I write about on Twitter?

    July 24th, 2008 at 3:19 am
  27. Andrea Mills said:

    I’m writing a real estate blog and can post to the general public or only members within my blog community. I find that I get a ton of comments when blogging TO other agents, but none when blogging TO the public. I get read a lot by the public, but it’s kinda hard to get people to communicate.

    Andrea Mills
    http://activerain.com/blogs/drea

    Andrea Millss last blog post..What Sellers Want…

    July 25th, 2008 at 7:27 pm
  28. jackmo said:

    getting more comments is one of my goals now for my blog, I have been thinking about ways to do this a fair bit lately so it is nice to read some tips and techniques to try.

    Will post any interesting results.

    jackmos last blog post..So I quit my job

    August 13th, 2008 at 8:30 am
  29. ankit said:

    I have been trying to invoke reader participation for a long time using various ways but i guess my blog is not that popular to get readers.
    Though,i am still gonna try out the stragegies suggested and hope that i get a better readership interaction.
    I couln’d agree more that seeing people commenting makes it all the more worth-while to blog .

    ankits last blog post..Stock Markets : The Secondary Markets!!The Real moolah

    September 12th, 2008 at 1:04 am
  30. Michael said:

    Great tips on how to get more comments. Looks like you are already getting more comments with this post :)

    October 27th, 2008 at 11:59 pm
  31. Sherry said:

    I’m doing research for an article about getting more comments and this article was helpful. I’ll be linking to it as well. Thanks for your work!

    January 13th, 2009 at 9:09 am
  32. Raul Simionas said:

    Looks like this post has a lot of comments, so we must learn from you. It works for you… Must work for us, too

    July 27th, 2009 at 11:44 am
  33. Russell Chambers Jr said:

    Really Awesome tips. I’m was doing research for an article about getting more comments and this article really helped. Thanks a bunch!

    August 7th, 2009 at 6:31 pm
  34. Russell Chambers Jr said:

    Awesome Article. GREAT TIPS!

    August 12th, 2009 at 8:35 pm
  35. Jack Graham said:

    Wow, Nice facts.

    Also 90% of websites don’t make it big. Not sure hat they mean by “big” maybe enough to live off ?

    October 7th, 2009 at 11:06 am
  36. Steve @ Find Retro Shower Curtain said:

    I like to see comments that express original thought or deal with controversial topics. Then finish post asking for an opinion or asking a provocative question.

    A lot of people like to express opinions if you can get involved in the conversation in their head. Then you are pushing their hot buttons. Once you learn to do this effectively, getting comments becomes a lot easier.

    October 16th, 2009 at 3:17 am
  37. mma pound for pound said:

    awesome, you got comment :)

    December 23rd, 2009 at 12:20 pm
  38. kyle said:

    yup I agree with you. this give a lot of sense to discuss this topic

    December 27th, 2009 at 10:41 pm
  39. tattoo kits said:

    Simple stuff – but over looked by way too many people!

    April 6th, 2010 at 5:33 am
  40. Jane @ Limoges Boxes said:

    I’ve seen blogs that features the most insightful comments of the week. They gather and rank them, then put it together to make a blog entry. Indeed, it feels good to acknowledge and see you comments in the top list. It serves as a reward for your insightful thought.

    April 12th, 2010 at 3:24 am
  41. Video Character said:

    Interact and make friends, those are very important especially if you like to bring people to your own blog. Write interesting topics that will excite readers too. Others may have a blog but they must update and show interesting articles.

    May 10th, 2010 at 7:37 pm
  42. Komodo Dragon said:

    It’s definitely quite imperative to be in touch with your readers and regularly get in on the discussions active that’s about your content. Nothing shows you care more than thoughtful interaction.

    May 1st, 2011 at 2:14 am

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