By: Garin Kilpatrick
Comments are what set blogs apart from old school static websites.
Comments give your blog fresh content, and Google loves fresh content. Getting more comments means getting more free traffic from Google.
The best part about comments is that they build a community around your blog.
But the majority of visitors to your blog will never comment. Only about 10% of visitors ever engage on any blog, and about 1% account for the majority of the conversation.
My strategy is to show appreciation to the visitors who comment on my blogs by rewarding them for their contributions. Everyone who comments on this post will recieve a FREE eBook automatically, a few minutes after their comment is posted.
Here are my twenty top tips that help my blogs get new comments every single day.
1. Install the Top Commentator Plugin
The Top Commentator Plugin for WordPress is a great way to get people competing for the top commentator spot on your blog.
With this plugin the five to ten top people who make the most comments on your blog will be displayed for all to see.
The name of the person commenting will include a link to their website.
This will get people who have websites they want to promote competing with each other so that they can have a free high-visibility link back to their website.
The odds are that the people who are competing for these spots have a blog of their own that they are trying to promote.
2. Get More Traffic to Your Post
The more people there are that read your blog post, the more chances you have to get comments.
Make sure your blog has social sharing plugins installed. The more times your content is shares the more people will see your post, and the more comments you will get.
If your site is something other than WordPress you can use install Tweet buttons, Linkedin share buttons, and Facebook like buttons manually.
Check out these posts for tips about how to get your content shared more on social media, and get more traffic to your site.
3. Reward People who Comment
You can get more people commenting on your blog if you hive them a gift for commenting.
Using the plugin thank me later you can deliver an email automatically to every new commentor with a link to any kind of digital gift you like.
A .PDF is a cool gift to give. If you comment on this post I will give you a free .PDF called 100 Tips for Getting More Traffic and Subscribers to your Website.
If you have a WordPress blog you could create a password protected page with cool content on it, and then use thank me later to email your readers the password to this page with exclusive content.
4. Install The CommentLuv Plugin
I love the CommentLuv plugin. My only complaint is that it does not work with some commenting plugins.
CommentLuv gives your readers the option to include a link to their latest blog post with their comment.
If you sign up for a CommentLuv account you can choose which one of your last five posts you want to share.
If you have IntenseDebate then you can install the CommentLuv plugin within the plugins section of Intense Debate. If you use standard WordPress plugins then you can search for the commentluv plugin within the “Add Plugin” section of the Dashboard.
5. Run a Comment Contest
By offering a prize for the best comment you will not only get a bunch of comment you will also get high quality comments.
The better the prize you offer the more comments you will get, of course.
You don’t need an iPad for this technique. You can also have a contest where you give a prize to the first people who comment.
It does not take very much time to create a .PDF featuring your best blog posts, and this makes a cool prize that you could give to the first people who comment on one of your posts.
Giving away a product you have created gives people even more of an incentive to comment.
In addition to the free .PDF gift that everyone gets the first time they comment on this blog the first 5 people who comment on this blog post will get my latest product, StumbleUpon Traffic Swarm.
I have not even launched StumbleUpon Traffic Swarm yet, so these advance copies are very exclusive.
StumbleUpon Traffic Swarm is an eBook that explains the secrets I have used to get over 100,000 visitors to my website from StumbleUpon.
6. Respond to Comments
If you respond to comments it will show that you actually care about what your visitors are saying.
This is a great way to amp up your comment count. By simply responding to every comment you can double the amount of comments you get on your blog.
7. Say Thanks
Say thank you to the people who comment on your blog.
Simply saying “thanks for the comment” is one way to do this.
If you want to go above and beyond you can say “thanks” by returning the favor and commenting on their blog as well.
8. Ask Questions
I always end my blog posts by asking my readers a few questions.
What do you think of the post? What are some ways that you use to get more comments?
If you ask questions there is a good chance that they will be answered.
9. Simplify Commenting
By installing a commenting plugin with several login options you make it very easy for people who visit your blog to login and comment.
Facebook has over 600 million users at this point so having a Facebook login is a must.
10. Use Guest Bloggers
If you have a guest blogger write an article for your blog the odds are that they will be sharing their article with their network. The best way for this to succeed is to get a guest blogger with a sizeable audience to write for you.
Even if your guest blogger does not have much of an audience they can still stir things up by adding a new voice to the blog.
A place I use to find guest bloggers is My Blog Guest, and I have used this tool before with some success.
11. Buy Comments
This is certainly not my #1 tip, but it still works. If you are paying for comments you can pretty much guarantee that you are going to get them.
I have seen people willing to write 20 thoughtful comments for $5 on fiverr.
Amazon also offers a cost effective outsourcing solution called mechanical turk that I have heard of people using for comments before.
12. Be a More Active Commentor
Often I will comment on the blogs of the people who comment on my blog.
Whenever I do so I try to add an interesting or useful point in my comment, so that it is appreciated by the author.
Insightful comments draw traffic to my blog, and also increase that chance that the person whose blog I commented on will comment on my blog too.
13. Delete Spammy Comments
If you leave spammy comments up on your blog it shows people that you really don’t care if they comment.
The spammier your comments are the less comments you will get moving forward.
14. Spark Some Controversy
If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. Take a stand and don’t be afraid to spark some controversey because not only will it get people talking in your comments, it will also get people sharing your content on social media.
15. Recent Comments Widget
The Recent Comments widget is a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to display recent comments in the sidebar of your WordPress blog.
16. Appeal to Ego
People love to talk about themselves. Work with this fact and ask people about themselves and how their experiences relate to the topic of your blog post.
This trick will get you a ton of comments, but many of them will be low quality, so you will need to moderate your comments actively.
By making your comments dofollow any links that people include will be indexed by Google and will count towards their rankings in the search engine.
To make your blog dofollow you can use the dofollow plugin for WordPress.
If you do decide to go dofollow makesure you add your blog to this dofollow blog directory.
18. Build your Audience
A bigger audience means more comments. Period.
I recommend capturing email addresses with an email marketing solution like Aweber. With a users email address you can let your readers know about cool relevant posts that you have published on other blogs, and you can cusomize the email you send them. With RSS you do not have this freedom.
19. Show Social Media Reactions
A nice feature of Disqus is how it imports social media reactions from Twitter automatically.
You might have four people retweet you on Twitter before you get any comments.
Showing tweets about your blog post will show that there is already buzz and give some social proof that will help spur comments.
20. Ask for Comments
Ask and you shall receive. I like to include a question and a call to action at the end of of every blog post, and I noticed that this strategy helped me get more comments when I first started using it.
What do you think is a good tip for getting more people to comment on your blog?
Let us know in the comments below!