Monday, July 4, 2011

4 Ways to Gain More Comments

We all want hits on our blog. We want people to read our words, we want to know we are doing something right and we want to feel like we are part of this great community. There are three ways we know someone has visited our site: a simple hit counter, the site stats, and comments.

Comments, of course, are the most obvious sign not only to ourselves, but to everyone else who visits. I especially love the long, thoughtful comments, the ones that make it clear someone read a post in full and thought about what I said. They don’t have to agree with me. I also love the amusing comments, insightful comments, even the brief, hi-I-was-here-and-appreciate-your-posts comments. Commenting encourages the writer – and writers need a lot of encouragement.

Lurkers are less obvious. They don’t throw themselves as much into the community, but they still appreciate our words. Writers are good with leaving comments because we love to write, however not everyone is a writer. As our blog grows we start to pick up a broader readership and so we will gain more lurkers. I love my lurkers. I wish there was a way of getting to know my lurkers a little better. The only thing I can do is encourage comments.

Ways to encourage comments:
1. Leave discussion questions at the end of each post.
2. Respond to the comments -- and always respond in encouraging ways even when the commenter doesn’t agree with you.
3. Be active, be seen and be helpful.
4. Leave comments on other blogs.

What kind of comments do you like? What kind of comments don’t you like? What is it that encourages you to comment?

Congrats: A huge congratulations to Amie Kaufman for signing with Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

54 comments:

  1. Yeh! Trying these steps only! :)

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  2. I love getting comments. The only thing I don't like is when I answer a point someone's made and they never come back to respond.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino

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  3. Yep, having questions at the end of a blog helps the readers focus and have something to respond to. If they want to say something diff, they can! But it's a jumpstart.

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  4. I'm two months old in the blogosphere and still learning. I kept forgetting (still do) to check the e-mail follow-up box, so I have to hope that I haven't upset anyone by not responding.

    I respond to every comment, even if just a quick thank you. It means a lot that someone stopped by, and I try to reciprocate as well.

    What scares me is this. How do you people keep up with 500+ followers? All donations for extra hours can be made to the BDPS! Ha!

    A comment: I LOVE your blog. It's been very helpful, this post just one example. Have a great week!

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  5. I appreciate any kind of comment! I know some people respond to comments through emails, but I prefer to respond on my blog - more interactive. And I'm not the blogging Ninja for nothing - I visit around a hundred blogs a day. I know that scares some people, but I just have so many cool friends here online. I want to keep up with all of them!

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  6. I love comments (who doesn't?). I always try to leave a series of discussion questions and *try* to respond via email, but sometimes it's hard because I get sort of overwhelmed by the demands of work and the day. I also try to leave comments, but it always helps when there's something generalizable to respond to, or some useful content (you're great at that, Lynda!).

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  7. Great points! I also find that the subject of the post has a lot to do with how people respond. Some topics just really fire people's enthusiasm better than others. :-)

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  8. I try to remember to include some sort of discussion point in my posts somewhere, but at times I forget and so it's AAAALL about me. No doubt that means I miss out on some comments...but oh well. ;)

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  9. I totally agree with this post. I like when people comment because it reminds me to visit their blog. It's an easy way to build relationships. Since I have so many followers and can't visit all blogs all the time, I can't reciprocate as often with the lurkers.

    In the beginning, I didn't ask questions at the end of posts. Now I do sometimes.

    When people write comments as long as a post, I'm honored.

    I'd add that it's important to make the blog easy to read - decent contrast and font + not too long. Then I figure more people will read it, and therefore, more comments!

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  10. Great post. I have to admit I'm not very good about leaving a question at the end of my blog posts. Will have to try and do that more often.

    When I look at the blog stats, from time to time, I notice I must have a lot of lurkers. I can wind up with 2-3 times the looks as I have comments left.

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  11. Good ideas, all of them. Now I just have to do them!

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  12. I like a comment in anyway... I am thankful for anyone who takes a moment to leave their mark. xx

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  13. I usually reply to comments by email as I never know if they will return to look for answers. I know I rarely return, but would like to know if replying on my comment section is considered sufficient.

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  14. Thanks for the suggestions, Lynda. We spend a lot time writing our posts and it is always good to find ways to get them read by more people. Thanks!

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  15. When it comes to comments, I learn you get out what you put in. I like any comment - it makes me happy to know that someone cares enough to say something, whether its short or long. Leaving questions to stir up discussion is always fun, too. :) I'm encouraged to comment because I know I'm meeting so many new people through the process.

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  16. I'm not very good at responding to comments. I feel really odd commenting on my own blog...Guess I need to toss that monkey off my back though.

    Thanks for the advice.

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  17. Kushalashok, great

    Mood, yeah, time is short for everyone. I guess many times they'll pop back but won't make a second comment.

    Carol, yes exactly

    Bryce, I think those with 500+ followers (me included) can't visit every blog every day. We tend to have our favourites, return to those who have been most loyal over time, and anyone who comments.

    And thank you soo much for your kind words. You are doing well for 2 months of blogging!

    Alex, yup, you scare me (and inspire me) ;)

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  18. Sarah, I like the questions because I want to be able to say more than, 'yes I agree!' when I comment (and some days I'm too tired to think for myself lol).

    SP Sipal, absolutely. Some posts go viral simply because of the topic.

    Trisha, lack of questions doesn't necessarily mean you miss out on comments but you may not get as involved responses than if you'd posted a question. (I have no scientic proof of this though hehehe)

    Theresa, great points. Yes, an easy-to-read blog means people will be more likely to read it and thus comment.

    Susanne, try to avoid the yes or no questions too. ;)

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  19. Emily, thanks

    Michelle, here, here

    Shandra, I dont send out emails because time is super short, but those who know my blog realise this about me pretty fast. I will also visit their blog and leave a comment.

    Pam, so true

    Madeline, yes, it's the interactivity and meeting people and getting to know them which I love as well.

    McKenzie, there is no rule that you have to respond to people on your own blog. Not everyone does. Many feel it's enough if you visit their blog of leave a comment in return. And not everyone does this either.

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  20. (apologies if this is a double post)

    All comments are fine by me :D I often find myself being a lurker rather than a poster, since I usually want to contribute more than just 'Hi!' though I appreciate being on the receiving end of these :)

    I always try to put a question at the end of my posts as a springboard for discussion too.

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  21. Ooh..love this post and love the comments that I get on my blog. I don't respond via email, but I make it a point to visit and comment on each and every person who has taken out the time to read my posts and leave a comment.

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  22. Thanks for coming up with this list. All great, valid points. I'm still new, so still learning my way through!

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  23. Jamie, I'll admit to lurking some times. When I do, I'll try to retweet their post (if they made it easy).

    Rachna, yep, I do think that's important.

    Nas, still new? Really? You surprise me because your blog seems so successful.

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  24. Vigorously nodding my head in agreement.

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  25. Good sensible advice! I love receiving comments, and always return the favour. It might take me a couple of days but I will visit.

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  26. in my case, due to the nature of my blog, I have 99% or daily regular lurkers and 1% of commentators :)

    None of the advice you've given works for my blog, since I already do all of that,but those advice do help among the writing and book blogs.
    I think that leaving comments on other blogs is probably the basic rule and most important thing for getting comments yourself, although there are lots of bloggers who don't really return comments nor following :(

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  27. As long as people are leaving comments then I'm happy. I almost always reciprocate when someone leaves a comment on my blog.

    My comments are in direct proportion to the comments I leave on other people's blog. The more I'm out and about, the more people who visit me. So you get out of it what you put into it.

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  28. I love getting comments too. I really do blog because I like the interaction. I play a lot on my blog and like to tease people when they leave comments. Can't help it. It's all in fun.

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  29. Comments are great unless they make statements that are unrelated completely to what you write. It is insulting to me that people just comment for the sake of commenting.

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  30. I love comments (especially when I can see that the commenter read my whole post). I also love replying to comments.

    Recently, I started to reply by e-mail, but I'm still deciding if that's a smart way to do it...

    :-)

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  31. Excellent advice as usual, Lynda! I know a lot of people are emailing responses to comments these days, I do it too, sometimes, but I still think the favorite response among bloggers is to return the favor and comment on THEIR blog!

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  32. I love all comments, the good, the bad and the ugly. It validates that someone out there is reading my drivel.

    Glad to find your blog, keep the advice coming.

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  33. Great advice, as always. I visit as much as I can, but admit that I have not been able to keep up with blog commenting like I used to. I do hope people will forgive me that as long as I continue to provide content that helps them grow as it's the best I can do right now. :)

    Have a wonderful 4th!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  34. This is great advice. :) Making sure the comments are thoughtful also helps - people put effort into you when they know you put effort into them, you know? Also, someone may really just like what you have to say. :D

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  35. Wonderful post, Lynda. I love it when someone comments with some kind of similar experience of their own. Like, if I'm talking about my WIP, I love it when a writer speaks on their own WIP; or if it's not a writer, when they find some way to compare it to their own life/experiences. What I don't like? When people argue for the sake of arguing. That doesn't really happen to me, but I have seen enough of it to know I frown (and say a few choice words, too...) when I notice it on other bloggers sites/posts.

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  36. yay for lurkers and commenters!! I love all the blogs I follow and try to comment as often as they post!! It's hard work! LOL!!

    Hello to all lurkers out there!! take care
    x

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  37. Lion, hehe

    Ellie, same

    Dezzy, yes, your blog is the perfect example of the lurker. You get SO MANY visitors because your blog is so interesting to a wide range of people. I don't understand why people don't follow back in the very least. For every 2 I follow I get one who follows back. I guess that's just the way things are.

    Stephen, yep, there's only a few bloggers whose rep alone works for them.

    L G Smith, to me it's all about the interaction.

    Siv, yeah, I do have issues with self-promotors and spam.

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  38. Misha, I know some love the email thing, and some don't like getting emails too (generally those who already get a lot of emails). It's hard to know.

    KarenG, yep, I'm not a huge fan of getting an email response in place of a blog visit.

    Wanton, haha yeah. When I first started blogging and had no clue it felt like empty space out there in the blogsphere ;)

    Angela, Time is a big issue for all of us. I visit your blog often because it's so helpful plus you have a gazillion followers so you should know you are definitely doing it right.

    Bethany, yes exactly! It can be gratifying for both parties.

    Alyssia, I've only seen that once or twice. Never on my own blog.

    Old Kitty, yes indeed it IS hard work. So worth it though.

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  39. I love getting to know other writers through their comments on my blog & visiting theirs. I feel like I've gotten to know so many wonderful people around the world :)

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  40. Sometimes I lurk but don't comment for different reasons.

    I like a comment that tells me the reader has read, understood and thought out their response. Of course, there's not always time for this, so it's also good to hear from those who stopped in simply to say hello.

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  41. This is a very helpful post, Lynda, and so are the comments. I learned a new blog term - lurkers! Or did you make it up? I love it!

    I've been blogging for 7 weeks now and am still learning, and apparently Bryce, who's only been blogging for 2 months, has learned more than me because I wasn't aware that there an email follow-up box that I should be checking! Is that on Blogger?
    Or is that for when you're on someone else's blog and want to receive an email with further comments left on the blog?

    I love reading the comments left on my posts. I realize that people are super busy and don't always have time to say more than hello, and that's fine with me. I'm happy that they stopped by.

    I agree that it's all about the interaction. There are some blogs that I've left numerous comments on and have never once been acknowledged. To me that's like saying hi to someone, only to have them not respond. And as I follow more blogs (there are so many out there that I feel like a kid in a candy store!) my time is more limited, so why would I keep visiting those same blogs who don't acknowledge that I exist?

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  42. Oh, I forgot to say, Lynda, that I notice that for every two blogs I sign up to follow, I might get one to follow back, if I'm lucky!

    With all these comments, I'd say you hit on a good topic in this post!

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  43. Having a question or something does help. I think remaining positive on our own blogs as well as other's blogs helps, too.

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  44. I always feel a bit awkward commenting on my own blog-- for some reason it seems egotistical, but I guess I'd better get over it. As for comments, at this stage in my blogging I'm excited no matter what the comment is! Thankfully I haven't gotten anything rude, though. :D

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  45. Jemi, it's great isn't it? I'm meeting people I wouldn't normally have met :)

    J L Campbell, usually for me time is the biggest reason I might lurk rather than comment... oh, and distractions. hehehe.

    LynNerd, my advice to all new bloggers is don't wait for someone to follow you, just follower AND comment on all the blogs you like and you'll pick up a following fast enough. Like any community you get out of it only as much as you put in.

    I don't use the email followup thing. I believe you can find it in blogger if you go to settings, mobile and email, and I think it's comment notification email. I think. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    M Pax, yes, absolutely

    Jasmine, I know some people won't come back if they don't get any response at all. To be honest I don't think it matters how you respond -- in email, your blog, their blog, or all of the above -- as long as you respond.

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  46. Comments sure are nice! Though I'm not really upset if people just read my posts without leaving a comment. Knowing they read is more important to me. Still. Comments are nice! Haha.

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  47. somehow, you got me with the word lurker lynda but indeed you have great posts, it just sometimes i'm quite dumb with what to comment., thanks for sharing this...

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  48. I keep trying to improve on this. I know that I try to visit as many blogs as I possible can but it's difficult.
    I think I get more comments on posts that relate to writing or entertainment though rather than book reviews. If that helps...

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  49. These are great tips! I try to keep my posts short and to the point, and yes, posing a question at the end helps!

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  50. Great tips! This really helped me get some ideas to improve my posts and make them a little more interactive.

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  51. This is apparently working for your blog Lynda:) Great tips, thanks for sharing.

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  52. For me the biggest one is commenting on others' blogs. It started out as just a menial task, but eventually I found a group of bloggers whose posts I actually found interesting and enjoyed reading!

    Every so often I go through a withdrawn period where I visit and comment less, and that's always reflected in my own blog traffic.

    Great tips!

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  53. Marieke, yes they are hehe

    Fire, even I struggle to comment on some posts.

    Clarissa, I also get a lot of comments when the post is about social media.

    Talli, yes! I love short posts -- and humorous ones ;)

    Emily, that's great

    Toyin, thanks

    Meagan, yep, I do the same and it does show.

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  54. Thank you! I'm delighted :)

    I love the comments that show somebody's really read what I wrote--something beyond 'great post!'. Originally I commented to draw people to my own blog, but these days I wouldn't miss reading all the great blogs I've found, whether I had my own or not. There's just so much to learn!

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I'd love to hear your opinion. Thanks for leaving a comment.