How To Be the Kind of Blogger That’s Drowning in Comments

How can you maximize comment participation on your blog? Start by asking yourself why do YOU leave a comment on a blog?

Perhaps the blogger told a story from his point of view and yours is different, complimentary or a mixture of both. Regardless of why, you ended up commenting on a post because it was missing your view on the matter.

So, you want people to start commenting on your blog more? Well then, you need to stop trying to anticipate their comments and get back to writing well thought out, even controversial, opinion pieces.

What you definitely do not want to do is start anticipating comments to your post in an attempt to cover all angles of potential arguments that haven’t even occurred yet.

More often than not, it’s what an author doesn’t say that inspires you to comment on their blog.

Go On a Diet

In your attempt to get more comments, you’re probably hoping to see ones that compliment your narrative and your ideas. Guess what? That’s 50% of your comments GONE!

Why cover every possible objection to your article within the article. Wouldn’t it be better if your audience had the opportunity to duke it out in the comments defending or disagreeing with what you had said instead?

Writing in anticipation of comments is adding fat to your post that doesn’t need to be there.

Expect, Don’t Project

It’s ok to have a conversation in your comments and to defend yourself there, but not in the post.

You want more comments on your blog? Well then you need to make people feel that it’s ok for them to disagree with you in the comments of your post.

By stating things “aggressively” and making the case against possible objections to your post within the body of the post, you are basically calling out anyone who would be stupid enough to openly disagree with you.

I personally do not want to argue with someone who appears close-minded, but I would much rather have a discussion with someone who defends their arguments simply by stating their position clearly.

There is a subtle difference between making the case for your opinion and attempting to stifle all argument against it.

Poll This

Polling your readers is the last way you want to get comments.

If the entire basis of your post is to poll the opinions of your audience, then you are wasting everyone’s time. Readers would much rather see your opinion on a matter and then share their own; it’s sort of a “you go first” kind of mentality.

People are far more comfortable sharing their opinions in a crowd, and you know what the smallest sized crowd is? You guessed it, two: you and the first commenter.

Don’t poll your audience, but rather, create content that begs them to share their own experiences.

Comment on Comments

Will a post about comments actually spark a conversation?

What I’ve done with this post today is represent my perspective on blog commenting in (I hope) a respectable and thought provoking manner.

I have not put down those who might disagree with what I have to say and in doing so I have left the door wide open for a discussion to take place.

People are the secret to blogging success and the sooner you realize this then the sooner you will start getting more comments on your posts!

Having read the main points of the post, there must have been times where you thought to yourself, “Self, I have had an experience similar but different to Chris’ observations.”

  • Now is the time for you to chime in and share your experiences, whether they coincide with mine or not.

After all, a comment is really a chance to build a relationship with someone new, but in a very public manner that shows other potential commenters that you care about what they have to say.

Even if your blog has no comments, there’s still an opportunity to change your ways and start replacing the tumble weeds on your blog with a vibrant, community building discussions.

  • Here’s your chance to be heard, ask questions, argue, seek help and even share your personal experiences.

Christopher Antoni

Chris helps people navigate the treacherous roadways of the Internet on his own blog with heavy focus on how to get traffic and get noticed in the noisy blogosphere. He is a full time blogger and an experienced online-community builder. Visit him at The Traffic Blogger.

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  • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

    Hello Chris. Nice to meet you.

    • http://profiles.google.com/freebeertomorrowonyxia Markco Polo

       Hey there Stan! Thank you Dino for giving me the opportunity to post this.

  • http://twitter.com/lorigosselin Lori Gosselin

    Hey Chris,
    I like what you say about focusing on the writing first.”create content that begs them to share their own experiences.” This is what I hope to do. My blog is about life (www.lifeforinstance.com) and of course that means we want a mix of opinions – everyone has one. 

    I am careful to not cover all aspects of the issue I present and notice that I don’t have to worry about that because the points I leave out, and others I haven’t thought of, are raised by the people getting into the conversation.

    We really haven’t raised controversial issues until recently. We’re verging on the discussion about Free Will, a post I have slated for Thursday, but which has been brought up in the current and last post (maybe I waited too long to run with it!) 

    I don’t “write for comments” but just look for life issues that many people will be dealing with. Sometimes the posts are lighter, like the post on hugging, and soon to deepen with the discussion on Free Will.

    One last point. I don’t want to ASK for comments in the post. I always end with a few questions, but I feel strongly that the post itself should inspire the comments. When I’m reading a post that captures my imagination and has my fingers hovering over the keyboard before I’ve even finished, the writer has inspired my comment; they didn’t have to ask for it. That’s the way I think it should go. No amount of coaxing “Don’t be SHY!?!” will get me to type when I haven’t been inspired by something the writer has said. What do you think?

    Nice to meet you – you covered the topic very well!
    Lori

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      That is interesting Lori.  You dont ask for comments and yet your posts regularly get 100s of comments. Could there be a connection?

      One of those, “if you dont care, it just comes to you” types of deal?

      • http://twitter.com/lorigosselin Lori Gosselin

        Oh I care, alright. But What I focused on with each low-comment post was two things 1) what we could do better, in terms of topic and title and format and 2) writing my heart out even if nobody was reading. If I didn’t love it, who would?
        You are very good at keeping the conversation going! I noticed how well you did it over at Danny Brown’s today!
        :-) 

    • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

      Free Will and Blogging? Thomas Aquinas just turned over in his grave. [grin]

      I’m just teasing, Lori. Let me know personally on Twitter when you publish that one.

      • http://twitter.com/lorigosselin Lori Gosselin

        Hey Stan,Yes, it’s something I feel very strongly about and I was saving the topic until I felt we were ready to discuss it. There will be different opinions for sure! LOL I’ll look for you on Twitter to let you know but unless I lose my nerve (I don’t really want to upset Thomas Aquinas) I’ll be publishing it Thursday! 

    • http://profiles.google.com/freebeertomorrowonyxia Markco Polo

       Very good point at the end there Lori, asking someone to comment really doesn’t make them comment. It’s the stuff that happened in the post before the person was asked that actually makes them comment.

      • http://twitter.com/lorigosselin Lori Gosselin

        Hey Markco, (or is it Chris!?)Thanks! It’s just the way I feel about it. Sorry I’m so late in returning – I didn’t get an email that anyone was talking to me :o  It’s nice to meet you! Did I forget to Tweet this?! Remedying it now!

  • http://www.getting-unstuck.com/http://fearlessdating.wordpress.com/http://www.getting-unstuck.com/ RILEY HARRISON

     Hi Chris,
    I’m not too sure what I’m willing to do (or least do without great reluctance)  to get more complements other than write a quality blog that’s consistent with who I am.
    Riley

    • http://profiles.google.com/freebeertomorrowonyxia Markco Polo

      That works Riley and I used to think just like that. However, once I started writing things that went one step further and encouraged a discussion (a real challenge as a blogger), things really took off for me.

  • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

    Hi Chris,

    To answer your first question I started to leave comments on blogs to
    get myself noticed I suppose, everyone seemed to be advising that it’s
    the right thing to do so I thought I had better join in. It takes a
    while to get some confidence in yourself and start to add comments
    because you feel you have something to say rather than just being there
    for the sake of being seen and I hope that is where I am moving to now.

    Having thought about what you have said I guess that when I am writing a
    post I don’t really think about how many comments I might have or what
    conversations I might be provoking, I just write and hope the rest will
    follow. So it’s an interesting thought that I should maybe leave
    something out so that there is a space for someone to jump in and fill.
    It feels a bit risky but I would imagine there is a technique with these
    things that I need to learn and polish to make it work rather than just
    leaving a killer point out in the hope that someone raises it.

    Would like more conversations in my posts too but sitting waiting for it happen isn’t going to work, need to to be out there engaging (like this!) and taking more care over my own replies to people who comment over at my place.

    My own experience is that I haven’t yet been able to identify what works and what doesn’t in my posts, will try to mix things up a bit more to provoke more reaction.

    Dammit! I was hoping to leave a controversial comment criticising everything you said but the problem is I tend to agree with you and will look to take some of your advice to improve my posting and commenting.

    Looking forward to your reply and perhaps a heated debate to follow :-)

    Tony

    • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

      Tony,

      Better than waiting, trying things out, and losing time, just beg/invite/ask 12 people to come on over and tell you why they don’t want to comment on your three favorite posts (give the urls). Do it here. Do it now. Get ‘er done.

      • http://profiles.google.com/freebeertomorrowonyxia Markco Polo

         Totally agree with Stan here Tony. Show us your work and we’ll give you some tips!

  • http://learn-to-blog.org Mandy

    Great post.  I often end my posts with a question which provokes responses and often dialogue.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

    • http://profiles.google.com/freebeertomorrowonyxia Markco Polo

      Thanks Mandy will do, glad you liked and I certainly will enjoy the journey :)

      (PS: This is Chris, I just have my nick name on my google profile for discuss sorry!)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Some people come to a blog for conversation only. They dont even read the post. They simply glimpse the last few lines, hope they find a question or the gist of the point and comment based on that.

      You will see this on blogs that use comment luv and dofollow, but its not exclusive to it.

      So asking a question at the end can be a good way of giving these conversation hunters an anchor to work with. Keep doing what you’re doing :-)

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Write what you love and write with passion and good things come from it. Comments aren’t always a good way to judge whether a blogger is loved, hated and or influential.

    • http://profiles.google.com/freebeertomorrowonyxia Markco Polo

       This is very true, but for brand new readers who are skimming your page, having no comments can be a bad thing. There’s a happy middle ground I’m sure, but why not aim to drown in comments?

      • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

        @google-0c55bb39f1ebd3eb6224dc347b95db44:disqus  I can show you blogs where the content section is filled with people insulting each other and camouflaging self serving spam. My stats show that my posts are similar to icebergs. What I mean by that is that 3/4 of an iceberg is located under water. 
        Most of my posts are read by many more people than those who comment. I expect that to be the same throughout most blogs.

        I just don’t like comments as a metric for success.

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          Hi Jack,

          You’re right. Comments are not a metric for success. And plenty of blogs are HUGE without a comments section or with few comments only.

          Also, everyone’s comments section is an iceberg. The old Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) has been replaced by the Wikipedia Rule, which states that only 1% of users are contributors, the other 99% are lurkers.

          What Comments ARE a sign of, is engagement. Not necessarily of the commenters, but of the author.

          Hop that makes sense…its just my 2 cents :-)

  • http://www.lsgeekster.blogspot.com Kira Permunian

     Bravissimo. I always get excited everytime I visit here in this blog. The posts are really appealing with great unique presentation. I’m sure that Blogger who is drowning with comments is Dino! because he together with is guest bloggers never run out of ideas with fabulous presentation. Oh I think I get you guys drowning with my appreciation. 

    Writing with passion is all I need too. Thank you. 

  • http://www.thenerdynurse.com The Nerdy Nurse

     I couldn’t help but comment on post about comments!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      haha…that IS why bloggers write these…didnt you now? lol

      • http://www.thenerdynurse.com The Nerdy Nurse

         geez dino, my comment didnt even have time to cool off. You’re on it with the quickness.
        Are you ever away from your computer?

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          Did my girlfriend talk you into asking that question? :-p

          • http://www.thenerdynurse.com The Nerdy Nurse

            @dinodogan:disqus  I’m so hurt! I thought YOU were my Bloggy Boyfriend! 

  • http://www.expatlifecoach.com/blog John Falchetto

     Hey Chris

    I recently said why I prefer comments to RTs and I have to agree fully with what you say above, community building and discussions is what it is all about.

    I do agree with Jack B when he says comments aren’t always a good judge of if a blog is loved or hated. Some of the big A-list bloggers have tons of comments simply because people want the links. Nobody cares if they write about basket weaving or social media.
    Others develop strong bonds with their community, like Mr Dino here and the comments are more like a conversation between friends.

    • http://profiles.google.com/freebeertomorrowonyxia Markco Polo

       Hey John I’m going to check out your post on RT’s now.

      Comments being a conversation between friends can make it so much easier to get new comments, mainly because it takes some of the fear away and makes the environment more open to newcomers. Great points!

  • http://www.sfihomebizz.com Kavita

     I do not go into detailed conversations like chatting but do comment on comments. I tried to add a poll to one of my posts but there was a cold response and so I dropped the idea and after that have never used a poll. I am comfortable asking readers to share their views pro and cons to a topic in their comments. Thanks Chris for an article on lighter side

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      That CAN be disheartening, cant it? You put a poll together and then no one responds…I feel for you…been there :-)

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    While I would agree that having shorter, less complex posts would generate more comments, I am guilty of writing very comprehensive posts and have no shortage of comments. IMHO, the best way to have an active blogging community is to use CommentLuv.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I wish DisqUs would have CommentLuv type features…I think its lame that they dont. I’ve even asked them about it but they told me they have no plans of developing it. Seams so basic, right? I mean, wth?

      As for being comprehensive, Im all for it. There is the depth of the topic that should be covered for maximum result.

      Writing about a topic and covering it from all perspectives (in a shallow or comprehensive way) can be detrimental to comments tho. It can also translate in a more …well, boring content.

      My friend who blogs about beauty products tells me how she finds her own writing boring because she tries to cover things from all angles.

      On a totally different note, you’re becoming quite at home here on DIYB, Gail. I love it and its an honor to have such an accomplished blogger in my comments section.

      Thank you so much :-)

       

  • http://www.hollandz.com Brad Holland

    I’d like to comment on your post about comments but my comment may disagree with your reasons to comment.

    You seem to have contradicted yourself when you said to state your position agressively in the post but defend it in comments section. Then you go on and tell us that” I have not put down those who might disagree with what I have to say…”

    Umm, isn’t that the same as saying, “here is my stance, but I didn’t offend you, so we’re cool” Well, how do you know that people don’t disagree with you? You don’t until we tell you.

    Either way, I enjoyed to post and hope to hear your comment on my comment in the comments area.

  • Pinkjeans

    This blog has caught my attention,  I even bookmarked it. I just realized those few negative comments I received were useful. It opens up another horizon from your blog post & allows you to further illustrate to your readers/followers how good you are in your craft. When you know how to respect each & everyone’s opinion and is still able to maintain your rationale, you are inadvertently attracting more comments & followers. I felt good upon reading this blog, thankful that I listened to every comment, be it negative or positive.

  • http://www.bestoffiverr.com Charleen Larson

    Oh, you’re just trying to get comments.  :-)

    I’ve spent about a week reading blogs non-stop.  It’s sad to see a blogger get discouraged and give up because he doesn’t get many comments.  I think you have to find solace in the fact that whether publicly acknowledged or not, your blog does add to the conversation.

  • http://www.tracyshaffer.com tracetime

    ‘I personally do not want to argue with someone who appears close-minded, but I would much rather have a discussion with someone who defends their arguments simply by stating their position clearly.” Fantastic. I comment because I enjoy the discussion. It varies, of course, by topic and some I recoil from if the tone is hateful or overly aggressive. Your points on how to garner a discussion is going to haunt me as I write… at least for a few days.