It’s kind of frustrating, isn’t it? Having to scroll for a minute and a half through hundreds of comments on some posts just so you can say what you thought about it.
It’s even more frustrating when your own posts aren’t getting many comments. Sometimes it’s a comment or two. Sometimes none. Occasionally, it seems Lady Luck smiles upon you and you get a few of your readers to say something.
But never dozens or hundreds of comments like some of the other blogs out there.
Maybe it’s all about luck, maybe there’s some trick, some tactic, and you can’t help but wonder…
Am I doing something wrong?
What can I do to get more comments?
Well, first of all it’s not magic. Or trickery. Secondly, let’s see if we can do something about it.
In order to get more comments, one must understand how they work.
Well, there are some factors that come into play:
This one is pretty obvious, right? The number of comments you receive is dependent on how much traffic you’re getting, so if you want more comments, get more traffic.
This factor is all about capturing a reader’s attention, and it’s one of the reasons I do not believe in views that much. Because the stats can’t tell you whether or not someone’s just skimming through your post, not really reading. If they didn’t pay much attention to your content, then the most you’ll get is a like. Consider yourself lucky to even get that.
In order for a post to be considered “engaging” you must maintain a reader’s attention for the entire length of the post.
Makes sense, right?
You’ve got to make people feel. It’s not just how you feel, as the author, but how much of an emotional reaction your content demands.
Most bloggers get so caught up in the story they’re telling or the information they’re trying to pass along that they become oblivious to the level of emotional engagement of their piece. In other words, they’re boring people.
And that’s one of the biggest mistakes a blogger can make.
Let’s take a look at this post of mine: What if I Fall?
It received 369 comments. Why?
Because it made people feel. It’s all emotional and stuff. And I believe that the fear of failure relates to most, if not all the people in the world.
The point is, if you make people feel something, then they have no choice but to comment on your post. They are being ruled by their emotions. The act of commenting becomes nothing more but an emotional reaction, which is kind of cool because you’re basically cutting their brains in half. Not literally. Figuratively.
Anyway, the idea is that all three of these factors have to come into play if a post is to get hundreds and hundreds of comments.
I can imagine one questions popping up inside your head… How do you do that?
Well, here are some tips:
1. Get readers to subscribe: Many folks will be shy about commenting the first time they visit a blog. They’d like to get to know you first, to become comfortable. Getting people to follow your blog is not done by adding “Follow me” at the end of posts, but rather by offering them something for that:
- The promise of future posts that will be so amazing that they’d shoot themselves in the foot if they missed them.
- A freebie, whether an e-book, an online course, or a neat compilation of your best posts.
- A giveaway. I have mixed feelings about them, but they are a valid way of boosting your subscriber count, and it does help if you are offering some of your own products, whether your art, books, or other media.
2. Post less often. This is especially true if you do not have a large following. Why? Because the more often you post, the less comments your posts will receive. You lose social proof, because people prefer to comment on the most recent post. Not having that many readers to begin with ensures that some posts won’t even get a single comment.
One thing I do is have a number of posts that are sticky on the front page. The ones that have proved to have all the three elements of a post that receives a lot of comments. Thus, they provide social proof, which in turn means readers will be more willing to comment on my more recent posts.
3. Resurrect old content. I know it’s easy to be so focused on the next post and the next post and forget about all the great posts you wrote in the past. But it’s a mistake, because most of your audience won’t have read those posts, and so linking to them will not only offer your readers more to read, but it will get those old posts more comments as well.
Enable “Related Posts” to show up at the end of each post. Share older posts on Social Media. Compile a list of your most interesting posts and then share it with your readers. Or e-mail it to your newsletter subscribers.
4. Add more passion to your writing. Imagine your readers. Imagine that they’re stressed from their jobs, probably hangry (hungry+angry) and tired. Your job is to get them to wake up, pay attention to your post, read all of it, and then care enough so they can comment.
Punch the damn keys to the point you become afraid you’ll ruin the keyboard. Or your phone’s screen for that matter. Punch the damn keys!
If you are half-asleep yourself, you’re going to write some mediocre stuff that is never going to make people feel anything other than indifference, which I am not even sure is a feeling at all.
You want a connection with your readers? You want them to subscribe to your blog? You want comments? You want engagement? Then write like it.
Write like the words you are punching now into your computer are the most important words ever written.
If they could save a life, they would. In fact, if your words could save lives, everyone reading them would live forever.
5. Write something a bit more controversial in nature. This is a bit of a balancing act. One of the many paradoxes of life is that people usually don’t know what they want to read until they read it. Another one is that you should always aspire to figure out what it is that they want to read, but you should do it in a way that you shatter a certain myth or belief. Of course, I do believe that telling people they’re wrong requires skill, and being thoughtful, because otherwise you’ll just going to make people mad. And you won’t be changing their minds about anything either.
6. Make them cry. You want a lot of comments? Tell a story that’s heartbreaking in nature, inspiring, or even so upsetting that it brings readers to tears. If you end up crying while writing it, odds are someone else will too. Yes, you have to be a great storyteller to pull it off, but if done right, tears turn into gold.
7. Put into words what they can’t. The best writing is the kind that expresses what we feel but could never quite express ourselves. It gives your readers the impression that you know them better than they know themselves. You make them wish they could be your friends, while being envious of the way you put into words what they wish they had written themselves.
This kind of post requires a lot of empathy. A lot! And a lot of time, a lot of energy. But if you do it right, then that’s going to give you an unfair advantage in the world of blogging.
8. Write a rant. Hate against some entity or person brings people together. What is the thing you hate most in this world? Write about it. If you do it right, you’ll be giving voice to the anger and frustration your readers have always felt but could never express. Not only will you get a lot of comments, but you’ll also create a stronger bond with your readers.
9. Motivate people. You know I love this. I believe that it’s not people’s abilities that hold them back, but a lack of faith in those abilities. It is confidence, it is belief, it is feeling strong, feeling powerful that cripples people and stops them short in their tracks.
Regardless of what the most negative of people would like you to believe, there are few pursuits more noble that doing your best to make others believe in themselves.
Make people believe that they too can achieve the things you have, and you’ll get more comments of appreciation than you’ve ever received in your life.
10. Respond to comments. Many of the people who comment expect a response, and it’s not just the ones who ask questions. If you reply to people, then it encourages them to comment more in the future. And, yes, yes, it’s something I sometimes forget to do. Guilty as charged.
11. Ask a question at the end of your post. The idea is that it shouldn’t feel like you’re quizzing them on whether or not they read your post, or got the point. It’s got to be a simple question, something easy to answer.
12. Bribe your readers. If all else fails, you must resort to bribery. Give away free products, consultations, feedback, a new iPhone — whatever it takes. If you get people to comment, you are taking use of the Law of Consistency, which means that if people do something once, they’re more likely to do it a second time. Commenting also makes your readers feel more a part of your community, and they’re more likely to stick around, share your posts on social media, or buy your products and services. In the long run, it’s worth giving them a little incentive to interact with your content.
Is it really worth it?
I know what you’re thinking. All this effort, all this work to get comments. Is it really worth it?
When you get comments, you’re not only building engagement, or a following, but you’re also creating a community around your blog. Receiving feedback ensures that you stay motivated and on track.
If you’re publishing one post after another, but no one ever comments, it’s easy to become demotivated and lazy, and even to give up, because no one is offering you any feedback.
You might as well throw all your words into a black hole. Wouldn’t make much difference.
Do you want to know a secret? I’ve wanted to quit blogging so many times. It’s not the easiest way to earn a living, especially if you’re a full time blogger, it’s not as glamorous as you might think. But you know what kept me going? Receiving a comment from someone I never met, someone who lives half a world away, telling me that my words inspired them or motivated them or gave them just enough of a push to keep going when all they wanted was to give up.
This, my friend, is worth more than all the money in the world.