December 18, 2012

If you’re blogging for a purpose, you’re likely hoping to attract a high number of readers. But it doesn’t stop there. You also want readers who will engage with your content – read, respond, and share.

Getting responses (or comments) from your audience can help you in a number of ways. You can generate more backlinks, as people are more likely to link to a highly commented blog. Also, people are more likely to partner with you in joint ventures, seek you out for interviews, and even be more likely to comment on your post if they see others doing the same.

So how can you generate more comments with your blog posts?

Tip #1: Write Fantastic Blog Content

The most important tip to getting more comments is to write stellar content. There’s no marketing technique that can replace well-written and engaging content that’s useful to your target audience. Study your target. Know what they need, want and desire. Figure out what problems that have that you can solve and create content that addresses those needs.

Ultimately, the only way you get a lot of comments is by publishing great content regularly.  However, in the short run, the following tactics can also help.

Tip #2: Focus on Getting Subscribers

Getting people to subscribe to your blog updates will give your comments a huge boost. RSS feeds, newsletter signups, and opt-ins make it easy for people who want to follow you to figure out what you’re up to on a regular basis.

How do you get more subscribers? Ask. Ask inside your content. Also, have “Subscribe” buttons and opt-in forms visible and easily accessible on your site.

Tip #3: Write with Passion

The decision to comment on a page is more of an emotional one than a logical one. How do you get people emotionally vested in posting a comment? By being emotional in the first place.

Write with passion. Make sure it comes through on the page. Ask emotional questions, ask for your reader’s opinion, or take a stance that’s not very popular. When you write with passion, people are more likely to want to connect with you.

Tip #4: Share Your Content on Your Personal Facebook Account

When you post a new piece of content, don’t just post it to your blog’s Facebook page. Post it on your personal profile page as well.

Your friends and family are much more likely to actually care about what you’re up to. People from your personal network will often come over and comment just because they like you.

Tip #5: Ask Questions

Ask a simple question that people would love to answer. For example, ask for feedback or ask for advice. Or offer free coaching to those who post a question, and answer them in the comments.

Tip #6: Bribe Them

Ethical bribes, of course. Of all the tactics here, this one is the most effective. But you can’t use it too often. How do you get more comments? Just bribe people. Give away a prize or a gift for the best comment.

The prize could be something small, like a 16 GB USB key or a $10 Starbucks card. It could be a digital product that costs you nothing to produce. As long as it’s something people perceive as valuable, they’re probably going to take 60 seconds to post a comment.

Tip #7: Reward Them

If you have a WordPress blog, using plugins like CommentLuv can reward readers for commenting. This plugin gives commenters the ability to display their Twitter name, include a link to their recent blog post, add keywords to their name, and gain more exposure for their own blog.

These are a few different ways you can generate more comments on your blog. What ways have you found to get more people commenting?