Kick-Start Your Comments

A vibrant blog with active commenters takes more than “If you write it, they will come.” Take the time to create a blog that’s ripe for comments, and your fans will find you.

Blogging is 50% self-expression, 50% community — bloggers who don’t want to connect with others are few and far between, and most of us get a little frisson of excitement every time we’re notified that one of our posts has moved someone enough to leave a comment.

If your comment section is populated mainly by tumbleweeds, never fear! Try one (or all) of these to up the odds of starting a conversation with your readers:

  • Have an opinion. Opinions are the lifeblood of blogs — your unique perspective gets us reading, and reacting to that perspective gets us commenting. You may want to appeal to the widest audience by keeping your blog blandly balanced, but you’ll miss out on the thing that makes blogs compelling: point of view. Without a point of view, you won’t get negative comments… but you won’t get positive ones, either. (Worried about being too blunt? We’ve got some tips that’ll help.)
  • Share a personal story. We read blogs because we get glimpses into the minds and lives of the people behind those blogs. When you’re open about your life, it creates a welcoming atmosphere for readers to open up, too. Humans are storytellers; we love sharing and comparing our experiences. Get more personal in your posts, and your readers will start doing the same in your comments.
  • Link to and quote others. Can blogs have two lifebloods? Let’s say they can: if opinions are one, links are the other. The internet without links is like a road with no intersections; blogs thrive on interconnection. Link to other posts, or quote other bloggers. The person you link to will likely pay you a visit to say thanks or expand the discussion, and they might just tell their own readers about you, too.
  • Ask a question. We don’t just love reading others’ perspectives, we love sharing ours. Your readers will eventually get comfortable engaging with you via comments, but you can give them a gentle nudge by asking them questions. Stay away from vague questions like, “What do you think?” and try asking something specific and direct — solicit readers’ stories, and watch your comments section grow as people react to you and to other commenters.
  • Leave comments. The best way to encourage people to engage with you? Engage with them. Read others’ blogs, and leave the bloggers real comments. Say “Thanks!” or “Great post!”, but then go further and leave something substantive; be specific about what you enjoyed, ask a question, or offer a counterpoint. If reading and commenting isn’t already part of your blogging routine, work in small chunks of “engagement time” each week — call it an investment in your blog.

Once you’ve got some conversation going, make sure you nurture it. Take time to respond, prune out irrelevant or offensive comments, encourage commenters to engage with one another, and show your readers that you’re really listening by grappling with their ideas in future posts.

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  1. Thank you for this, it is very helpful. I myself struggle with commenting and do not comment as much as I should, which is often reflected on my posts, so this is a good kick in the butt to get out there and say something.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I will also add that persistently clicking “like” without commenting is not engaging. Some people trawl through everything clicking like on every post. This is not a good way to engage!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I agree with you. If someone likes the post so much why can they not say why they like it. Its more like a pity hug, the intention is probably noble, but something doesn’t ring true.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I have switched them off so though people can like my posts, they don’t show up on the blog. It is annoying when a blog with no hits can have so many likes and it’s quite amusing when it’s 2000 words long and only went up five minutes ago! You know they could not have read it.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I had been suspecting this for a while and it makes me sad to know now that it is true. However, I feel grateful to have a few regular readers who really do keep up with my work and leave comments sometimes. I’ve learnt to value the quality of this feedback, rather than the quantity.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. I thoroughly agree with you. I wouldn’t mind lesser “likes” as long as I am sure that the readers have at least bothered to read my post. However, it makes me wonder why there will be “like” spammers in the first place. Spam comments or leaving comments to plug your blog without even making any commentary on the post is something I understand. They’re doing it to gain visibility. But, who will care if you only like a post? Only the author of the blog might consider it, as I try to do with my readers. Is that enough to go through this pointless exercise?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. For me, no, because I don’t see “liking” as a form of engagement. If somebody has written a 2000 word post and I read all of it, I would feel compelled to write a comment to show how much I appreciate their efforts. A “like” tells me nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Likes are very much the “hits” in a ballpark. We think they are great. Oh, but comments… well, those my friends are “a hit out of the ballpark.” Fabulous grand slams!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Positive, healthy action rebounds in positive interaction.As a new blogger myself, I’ve narrated personal stories and commented on other’s blogs, while taking cues and ideas from them. A great way to connect. Thank you WordPress!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Until recently I rarely commented on posts, then I decided to set aside a day just to enjoy the works of all the other poets on wordpress, well worth it and I’ve been trying to engage with as many people as I can, though I’ve cut down on it for exam revision at this stage

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, some of the best material I have read lately have been the blogs of fellow WordPressers. And the feedback on comments has actually been great. I think people with the greatest followings value the interaction and respond to comments.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. I think commenting is really an art form. I’m terrible at it although I’m working on getting better. So often, my comment is just generally lavish praise – mostly because so much of what I read really is terrific. I’m trying to dig deeper and be more specific about what worked in a piece. Commenters do that for me and it’s amazingly helpful so I figure I need to pass it on.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Dear me. I think the people who have left comments so far, for the most part, need to learn how to comment.

    Two tips:

    1) Allocate half of your blogging time to reading and commenting. At least half. Ensure you read thecpost and manage something more than ‘great post’.

    2) You don’t need questions. If you need a question to elicit a comment, your post isn’t good enough.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I have started making more comments now, – I think it is useful to give feedback if there is something particular I like and I share my own personal experiences on blogs articles I can relate to

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s so true. Probably 80% of my followers and people who comment on my blog have found me because I first found them and commented something meaningful on their blog.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. April;
      Out of 20% people, I may be one of them who approached you and read your about page and not only that your wonderful blog, well-written post and stunnig images are true pleasure for eyes as well as mind.
      Wishing you all the best……………….

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Having only just started blogging I have yet to get my first comment and reading this I need to comment on others. I was hoping though that some of my blogs would reach out to people with a genuine interest in what I was trying to teach in my photography tutorials.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I tend to comment on a lot of Blogs and have made some friends over the four years I’ve been in the community, but I usually write stories which themselves ask questions about life, and possibly that is an approach which takes a little getting used to with my visitors. I am a published author, and I use the Blog to demonstrate my writing skills

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I like how you always encourage us to open up our lives to others Michelle. I agree with you about getting personal and sharing honest stories, We’re all made up from stories and how they make us or brake us either way they’re even more powerful when folks our heart-wrenching honest!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I am so glad, WP, that it’s you that said this. I am very much of a writer and a reader especially reading the comments people write and sometimes I use them as “Quote and UnQuote.” I don’t pay attention to likers because it does not mean a thing.

    Comment sections is the second most important part of blogging. It’s not just for the writer but as well as for the readers. Readers can interact between the commentators.

    Writing a meaningful comment is the best way to leave your presence in a post.

    So I say, don’t be shy and leave an opinion/comment. You’ll never know when I choose you for my “Quote and Unquote” post.

    Cheers. Perpetua

    Liked by 2 people