Is the comment section of your website a virtual no-man’s land? Do you sometimes feel like you’re the only person online? With so much back and forth on the web these days, it can be frustrating to think your little corner is the only one devoid of interaction, but you’re not alone. Most new blogs, and even many old ones, don’t get many comments at all. Let’s look at where to focus your attention to get a better response.
1. Write Better Content
What type of effort are you putting into your content? If you’re churning out new articles every single day about boring, generic topics in an effort to please Google, don’t be surprised if people aren’t responding.
If you truly want to communicate, spend more time on your articles and give something people to talk about. The best writers put an entire day, if not several, into their blog posts, and the fans go wild in response.
2. Make Your Content More Sharable
People on social media like to socialize, and that’s really what you’re trying to achieve here. So make sure that you are connecting with social platforms, from both ends.
That means making your content easily sharable for your readers, and it also means putting it out there on social media in the first place to get the ball rolling. Set up accounts so your articles get posted on your favorite platforms as soon as they go live.
3. Increase Your Traffic
You can’t expect your readers to go abuzz with comments if you don’t have many readers to begin with. Believe it or not, even on the biggest blogs, the people who don’t comment are far more numerous than those that do. Some experts suggest that only 1 in every 100 visitors leaves a comment.
So if you’re not getting the response you want, maybe it’s traffic generation you should be working on.
4. Find Ways to Encourage Dialogue
For some great examples of conversation-generating strategies, check out Tim Ferris’ blog – he constantly creates contests and giveaways that involve his readers. Sometimes he even bases them on the comment section, making contribution there a requirement for inclusion or choosing the best response as the winner.
Even asking the right questions and getting people to think about the material in the post can go a long way towards getting the ball rolling.
5. Keep Your Comments Spam-Free
Coming upon a website with a bunch of spam comments does not encourage new readers to throw their own into the mix. They want to know they’re talking with other people, not robots. Show that you care about your comment space by filtering and deleting the garbage.
6. Build a Readership
As mentioned above, not everyone comments – most people don’t. So who does, then? Well, there are certainly those who wander around the web leaving comments on random blogs that strike them, but it’s mostly the raving fans who keep coming back again and again. The people who follow your every blog post.
Do you have a readership, or just a website on the net that catches a reader from time to time? Are people excited to read what you have to say? If not, why?
7. Don’t Make it Too Hard
What type of information do you require when people want to comment on your site? Forcing people to enter their name, email, address, name of their closest cousin, and a CAPTCHA is not very inviting.
Require as little as possible, within reason, to create a streamlined process.
8. Use a Comment Auto Responder
People who comment are often more likely to do so again, especially if they’re emotionally tied to the argument that they’ve made already. If you’re requiring emails, you can use a comment autoresponder that shoots out a message to them when new contributions are made or their own are replied to.
This gets them coming back to the site later on and encourages them to stay involved when they may otherwise forget and move on.
9. Don’t Be Overbearing
Some blog owners can be real jerks and develop a Napoleon Complex with readers who challenge them. Jumping into their comments to aggressively argue with and belittle everyone who dares challenge them and overall creating a hostile environment.
It’s easy to let your ego get carried away when you start building a reputations online, but practice some humility. You don’t have to shoot down every comment that goes against your stance. And let your people talk amongst themselves from time to time.
The mix of viewpoints goes a long way towards furthering the discussion.
10. Cause a Stir!
Controversy is one of the most effective ways to generate buzz out there. It’s distasteful to make outrageous claims you don’t really believe just to cause a stir, but if you come across controversial topics or have certain beliefs that get people talking, by all means, put it out there and stir the pot!
The right topic with the right viewpoint stated strongly can even go viral…
Using an “if you write it, they will respond” strategy for comments makes about as much sense as taking an “if you build it, they will come” approach to traffic generation. You’ve got to be more creative than that. You’ve got to inspire your readers, get them thinking, and shake them up a little.
Have you managed to increase the comments on your website? If so, in what way, and how has it affected your income?