Everyone loves comments.
Valuable comments can generate qualified visitors and leads for you. For example, I generated $25,000 from 249 comments in October 2014 alone.
Marcus Sheridan usually spends 5-6 hours a week, reading and commenting on other people’s blog posts. He does this because he wants to make a difference and drive traffic to his social media site. Commenting on industry blogs where your ideal clients and ideal readers hang out is your best shot.
And, you know how it feels when your content languishes for weeks without comments. It’s like being broke.
You spend a lot of hours on your post and you finally publish it. The search engine and social network campaigns drive traffic. Then, you wait for people to read and leave valuable comments. At the end of the day or week, you feel disappointed, because it seems as if no one really cares.
It’s painful. I’ve been there. But, it can change. That’s why I have written this in-depth article to guide you.
Comments may not be a good metric by which to measure the success of your blog but, as Jeff Goins agrees, they are at least one form of search engine currency for bloggers and other content marketers. You want your post to be a social bookmark for others to come back to.
Let’s explore the 25 ways that you can generate more of those valuable comments for your blog posts and improve your search traffic through user experience:
Learn how I used these exact tactics to also build an engaged Facebook fan page, which lead me to grow my traffic by 359,926 visitors per month.
1. Ask open-ended questions (or request)
According to Media College, an open-ended question tends to prompt more engagement – i.e., comments. In other words, you’re giving the recipients the opportunity to express themselves and give a meaningful and complete answer. Active dialogue in comments can result in guest post opportunities.
474 people responded to this open-ended question, because it gave them room to express themselves more fully.
One of the major reasons why a blog doesn’t generate a decent amount of comments is asking close-ended questions. Close-ended questions can only be answered with either “yes” or “no” or with a direct response that doesn’t leave anywhere else to go.
Open-ended questions can have a significant impact on the number of comments that your blog posts generate.
They are not only useful in surveys. In fact, you can use them to equally good effect in your content, especially in your content’s conclusion.
For example, below we have two examples of closed questions:
Question 1: Do you like traveling?
Answer: Yes (or No)
Question 2: What is your favorite color?
Answer: Red (or green)
On the other hand, an open-ended question can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” or a direct answer.
Here are examples of open-ended questions:
Question 1: How do you drive traffic to your blog?
Answer: I research blogs that receive a lot of visitors. Then, I’ll study their popular posts and pitch a guest post. My best strategies for driving traffic are guest blogging and long-tail search traffic.
Do open-ended questions (or requests) lead to more comments? Yes, they do. Ramsay Taplin, founder of Blog Tyrant, uses this approach. In his recent blog post, here’s the question that he asked:
And, guess how many comments he’s generated so far, for that particular blog post? 67 comments. Not bad!
2. Write a top list post
Do you want to improve your search traffic, user experience, reduce bounce rate and generate powerful comments on your blog posts?
For example, Michael Dunlop, founder of Popup Domination has written over 100 top list posts that have been viewed by millions of people. In fact, he gets over 100,000 visitors a month from these “top list” articles and his blog is one of the top earning blogs online. The goal is to become a social bookmark where readers go back to use your information and link back to your page.
How do you create “top list” articles?
Add the keyword that people are searching for in your headline.
Don’t try to sound like an English professor. No one cares how big your vocabulary is. Search users want to get relevant information as quickly as possible. Who is going to search for “eliminate blogging nightmares?” This headline will not attract search traffic:
Top 10 Ways to Eliminate Blogging Nightmares
But, you can use this one:
Top 10 Ways to Build A Successful Blog
Top list articles work. Expert Photography used this strategy to generate over 60 comments on this blog post.
Note: From experience, I can say that in-depth top list articles perform better in the search engines, as well as on social media platforms to drive traffic. But, instead of writing a “top 10” list, make it 15+ and your chances of generating more targeted traffic and comments will improve.
For example, Brian Dean’s earlier post on 17 Powerful Backlink Sources, published on December 4th, 2014, generated 1,456 comments.
The article is 2000+ words and contains accurate data points as well as screenshots. Other top list posts that have generated a lot of comments, within a short time, are:
- 73 Cool Ways to Write Content for Targeted Traffic
- 15 Types of Content That Will Drive You More Traffic
- 59 Free Twitter Tools That Do Pretty Much Everything
3. Do some expert/influencer name-dropping
Name-dropping is the practice of mentioning the names of famous expert bloggers in your content. My recent article that generated over 120 comments used this strategy. In it, I mentioned and linked to over 50 top influencers in content marketing.social media influencers more and not celebrities such as Obama, Jay Z and the rest, is simple: Celebrities don’t always read blogs.
And, they don’t have blogs of their own. They are on social networks to drive traffic to their brand. Yes, they may have a corporate or personal site, but they seldom visit or update it. So, the chances of getting your posts cited or recommended to their network are pretty slim.
But, if you mention an expert who runs a popular and active blog, you’ll not only motivate the person to visit your blog and leave a comment, but you can earn trustworthy links back to your content pages.
Adam Connell, CEO of Blogging Wizard, really knows how to name-drop in his content.
In his recent post that generated over 40 comments, this is how he mentioned Glen Long (a pro blogger) in his post:
In order to successfully name-drop a pro blogger and increase your chances of getting them to link back to your blog or social media site and comment, follow these simple tips:
- Mention their full names (e.g. Glen Long) and link to their blog or guest post
- Surround their name with other top influencers in the industry
- Address the expert properly (e.g. Derek Halpern, Founder of Social Triggers).
- Ask them to check out the blog content and contribute to the conversation (i.e., leave a comment)
- Go the extra mile to inform the expert(s) that you mentioned their name or linked to their site in your recent post. However, your email outreach will be more successful, if you learn how to email busy people and avoid wasting their time.
Another example: I mentioned Ramsay Taplin of Blogtyrant.com on my recent blog post and he was motivated to write a comment. Of course, I replied to him to keep the conversation going.
4. Use video in your content
This strategy may not be for everyone. But, if you can embed a relevant video in your blog posts, you’ll ultimately increase interest, because people will remember 70% of what they see and hear.
Additionally, video could help your SEO. If you want your site’s pages to appear on the first page of Google, you should add video to them.
Over the years, as blogging became extremely useful for acquiring leads and increasing sales, smart bloggers learned that combining different media to connect with readers can work wonders, prevent bounce rate and build social media sites to drive traffic.
According to Exponential Programs, the shorter the video, the longer it holds the viewer’s attention.
When using videos to improve the value of your blog posts or articles, make them short, relevant and powerful.
Several authority blogs are built on this concept, especially those that feature embedded videos in their posts. Marie Forleo is one of the top social media influencers and a cheerful digital marketer. Her posts generate over 100 comments and sometimes even as many as 300 comments. She has her media site machine down to drive traffic.
Here’s some proof that adding videos to your blog posts works and is not just a fluke: Social Triggers’ founder Derek Halpern spends thousands of dollars to create powerful and interesting marketing videos that he then often embeds in his posts.
On a good day, he can generate over 100 comments. See the embedded video excerpt below.
5. Actively comment everywhere
“Be everywhere,” says Pat Flynn.
The “being everywhere” strategy cuts across several media site marketing platforms and tactics to reach your ideal audience and get the social bookmark.
The truth of the matter is that if you spend quality time making thoughtful comments on other people’s blogs, the law of reciprocity takes effect.
As I indicated above, out of the 249 comments I left on other people’s blogs in the month of October, 2014, 224 comments drove 3,891 visitors to my blog. So, another simple way to be everywhere is to guest blog on several niche blogs. That way, you’ll have the opportunity to respond to comments and funnel visitors to your own blog.
If you’re looking for blogs you can follow in order to implement this strategy, just head over to Google and search for your subject + leave comment (e.g. blogging tips + leave comments).
Here are the search results for viable blogs you can comment on:
Note: If you want the blog owners to notice your comment, visit your blog and leave a comment, avoid typing a worthless comment such as “Great article!”
Instead, make your comment count. First, read the article and understand it. Then, write a comment of not less than 100 words. If you’re knowledgeable or skilled in the topic under discussion, contribute and appreciate the writer. Or, simply contribute and then ask a question.
Your comment should be detailed and professional, with no blatant promotion. Use your real name and show that you’re a real person by using a Gravatar. One example that hits all of these marks is this one by Jane on Boost Blog Traffic:
6. Stir up conversation
Communication is powerful to drive traffic or become a social bookmark. A study conducted by Hart Research Associates revealed that 93% of employers value good communication skills more than the candidate’s major in college.
Yes, content marketing requires good communication to get search engine results that convert.
Don’t communicate to be understood; rather, communicate so as not to be misunderstood – Dr. John Lund.
Dr. Lund notes that people will interpret conversations according to three components:
- 55% of the interpretation is based on facial expressions and body language.
- 37% is based on tone of voice.
- 8% is based on the actual words used in the conversation.
As a blogger, these three components still apply to your online conversations, because you have a voice and you write articles all the time. If you have the chance to create videos, then be very careful about your body language and tone of voice, because many people will base their opinions about you on these aspects of your delivery.
When you write content for your blog, stir up a conversation by making it easier for the readers and customers to not misunderstand you.
Your content and website help form a culture of sorts. Your target audience and customers are already familiar with your style of communication, becoming a social bookmark for many as a reliable resource. Consequently, they’ll be more likely to scroll down and write a valuable comment according to the culture that you’ve built with them over time.
Does it work? Of course it works. Spencer Haws knows exactly how to build a community that loves to communicate. This is how he ended his recent post:
Now, take a look at the number of comments for two blog posts that were barely 60 days old:
7. Respond to comments
Think of responding to comments as creating a chain reaction: when you spend 2 – 3 minutes to read and respond to comments, you’ll have more text on your web page.
And, the more text you have on your page, the more organic long-tail traffic you’ll ultimately get. I’ve responded to 50,696 comments on QuickSprout alone (more on the other blogs where I regularly contribute) and will continue to do so.
Why? Because it’s worth it.
You should probably respond to every comment on your blog.
When you respond to comments, you’re telling your audience that you care about them and appreciate the time they spent to read your words and write a comment in response.
8. Use the CommentLuv plugin
Have you heard of the CommentLuv WordPress Plugin?
It’s powerful enough to send floods of visitors and comments to your blog posts and it only takes a few minutes to set up on your media site.
In this case study, Silviu Constantinescu, founder of Net Market Success, saw his traffic increase 8 times when he began commenting on CommentLuv-enabled blogs. And, when he installed the plugin on his own site, the comments on his blog increased as well, from 4 in April to 100 in May 2013.
What the CommentLuv plugin does: First, it motivates your readers to leave a valuable comment, because the tool will pull their recent post and display it beneath their comment.
It will look similar to this:
Earlier, I told you that “being everywhere” is important. If you want to use a single comment to build your brand as well as funnel visitors to your web pages, then comment on these 1,000 DoFollow CommentLuv Blogs.
Sometimes, people decide not to comment on a blog post, simply because they don’t see any search engine or social network benefit attached to it.
But, since CommentLuv is popular in the internet marketing industry, blog readers know that when they write a comment, they’ll get a dofollow backlink, as well as more qualified traffic and they’ll gradually grow their blogs.
After you set up the plugin, your prospects and customers will happily fill out your comment form, all because of the CommentLuv icon.
9. Make a promise in your headline
Politicians, sports leaders, business coaches and consultants all routinely make promises. Sometimes, they keep those promises and other times, they don’t.
As someone who writes content and who wants people to respond to what you write, you can write headlines that make a promise to those readers. False promises result in higher bounce rate and search engine lag.
A promise prompts people to read and find out if you can keep that promise. See how Jeff Goins made a promise in his blog post headline and got 45 comments in 2 days:
Every headline, in fact, makes some kind of promise to the reader.
Simple tips to make a headline promise that increases comments:
- Keep your promise realistic and achievable (e.g. 3 ways to attract clients)
- Reassure readers of your intent to keep the promise in the introduction
- Use images, videos, slide presentations and memes to improve the value of your content
Another influential blogger who uses promises to engage readers and garner comments on his blog posts is Chris Ducker.
10. Write about your failure or sad story
Dare to share your sad story. It’ll captivate your audience.
The science of emotions tells us that elements of sadness in our stories prompt a connected, empathetic response. Kulwant Nagi shared a sad story of how his first niche site failed. His blog is pretty new, but the post still managed to generate over 30 comments.
The brain processes the emotional responses — joy, anger or sadness — that we experience in reading any content. So, on occasion, put aside rational ideas and write emotional content – especially when you’ve lived through painful or difficult life situations.
Failure is an integral part of success. Most successful blogs were built after the founder suffered and struggled for several years.
For instance, Jon Morrow, founder of Boost Blog Traffic, quit his job in April of 2006, because of a terrible car accident that changed his life in drastic ways.
Does a sad story generate more comments? Yes, it does. One of the blog posts written by Jon Morrow on Problogger.net received more than 500 comments. The foundation of that post is the sad story behind his accident that led to losing everything – and how he moved past that tragedy. It became a social bookmark for many to get inspiration and motivation from.
How to make sure your sad-story blog post attracts decent comments:
- Write with an open mind. Don’t hide or horde any detail.
- Offer definitive advice on how people can avoid experiencing the same sad story.
- Use your content to motivate and uplift.
- Make the content about the reader. Even though you’re sharing a personal story, you don’t count – always address the readers’ pain.
- Respond to comments and stir up a conversation.
- Ask an open-ended question.
11. Hit a nerve: be controversial
One of the biggest controversies I’ve ever witnessed was the Hong Kong democracy debate, which saw prolonged street protests. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese and Hong Kong citizens were actively involved in it.
For a second, imagine the effect of this controversy on a piece of content that you create. Just imagine 100 powerful influencers arguing, conversing and doing all they can to be heard.
In inbound marketing, controversial content usually generates lots and lots of comments, social media site shares and even press attention.
For example, SEO wasn’t a terribly controversial subject — until Gianluca Fiorelli wrote a massive blog post for Moz that took on Brian Dean’s Google 200 Ranking Factors.
Fiorelli’s controversial blog post was successful and got 2,500 twitter shares and 104 rich and detailed comments:
Brian Dean even left a comment to make his intentions clearer, as well as to protect his image (kind of…).
A few tips for creating top-notch controversial content:
- Take your time to research your topic.
- Don’t pick on someone just for the sake of it. Respect fellow bloggers’ opinions.
- Get current data to back up your points.
- Mention top social media influencers in your controversial post and request that they share it.
- Avoid controversial content if you’re not certain about a particular topic or position.
- In all, provide immense value and don’t dent your reputation online.
12. Have a strong opinion
Don’t be deceived: Your opinions count — at least to an extent. Don’t ignore your own opinions, especially when you’re building an audience.
For example, you could share social media, SEO, blogging, content marketing and link building trends for 2016. Of course, you should know exactly what you’re talking about, if you write this kind of post.
But, if it doesn’t happen exactly as you predicted, no worries — as long as you backed up your strong opinions. Stand tall. Do it again. Remember that your readers want to know what you think about a particular topic.
For example, Ramsay Taplin’s post: 15 Predictions to Read Before You Start a Blog In 2015 generated over 160 intelligent comments in response.
13. Use attention-grabbing headlines
The headline is and will always be the most important element of your copy because see mainly that in the search engine results. It’s what prompts your reader to click your link and read your content in the first place.
However, there is a difference between attention-grabbing headlines and pushy headlines. 80% of people may read your headline, while only 20% go on to read the entire post or article.
Pushy headlines tend to deceive, even if the content that follows is completely transparent and honest. That’s why neutral headlines generate more engagement on social media platforms.
I’ve written “neutral” headlines that generated more comments than pushy headlines. These days, I spend more time understanding and engaging my readers – which has made it easier to write for them and not to them.
Examples of attention-grabbing headlines that aren’t pushy are:
- SEO Copywriting: How to Write Content For People and Optimize For Google
- This Is Why People Fail to Be The Exception
- How I Use Email Newsletters to Drive Traffic and Make Money
- 10 Writing Tips For Great Social Media Posts
That’s why Pat Flynn’s blog post on 5 Books From 2014 That I’ve Read More Than Once is still very popular and has generated over 1,200 useful, detailed comments.
14. Give immense value to others
How do you measure your content’s value to other people? Well, it may not be easy, but you can simply gauge the level of satisfaction your readers derive from reading a piece of content on your site. When your blog readers (customers) are satisfied, they’re more likely to recommend your blog, products and services to others. You are getting the social bookmark that builds loyal traffic.
You don’t add value — you simply give it.
For example, if your readers enjoy your content and appreciate you for helping them out, then you’ve impacted their lives in a very special way.
Another way to give immense value is to write in-depth articles that cover everything related to a particular topic.
That way, when people read it, they’ll quit searching for answers pertaining to that topic. They’ll simply take action. That’s value.
For example: In one of my recent blog posts where I shared how I generated 518,399 visitors and 16,394 leads from hosting 77 webinars, we found that by removing the bios of the presenters, it increased our conversion rate by 19.3%. I also shared how you can sell during the webinars by first educating people, leaving room for questions and then making a unique offer to the attendees.
Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, gives a lot of value in his Whiteboard Friday videos. In fact, Fishkin receives more comments than other authors. See the proof below:
15. Ask people to comment
According to Warren Berger, “while we’re all hungry for better answers, we first need to ask the right questions.” You’re doing yourself a great disservice if you hold back, for whatever reason. Som just ask, says Active Garage.
If you’re a beginner, it may be difficult to start generating a lot of comments on your blog posts. There are several reasons:
- You don’t have a following and loyal audience yet.
- Your content lacks uniqueness.
- You don’t comment on other blogs.
- Your credibility and expertise is still an open question in the industry.
- Your blog is pretty new.
- And so on…
The only way out is to ask people to comment on your posts. If you’re honest and passionate about your work, then others will see that and reward you with valuable comments.
Most experts still ask their readers to comment, because it works. After all, as the Bible says, “Ask and ye shall receive.”
You don’t have to use the word “please” in your request for comments. But, if you’re humble about it, that would work. Mary Jaksch, Editor-in-Chief of Write To Done, regularly asks for comment in her posts. And, she does it professionally.
Her blog posts generate lots of comments. Just by asking her readers to comment, she got over 80 comments. Take a closer look:
16. Share a case study
A case study is simply a written analysis of a particular project or “case,” providing a thorough, in-depth description of what was done in order to help readers make better decisions in similar situations.
I love to write case studies, because the case study is one of the 15 types of content that generate more targeted traffic and sales. The key elements of a case study are shown in the image below:
If you want to write a case study, follow these simple guidelines:
Do case studies generate comments and traffic? Yes, they absolutely do. In my post on how to build a million dollar business from your personal brand, I shared my journey to $116,319.85 with my personal brand. I wrote about the mistakes I made and how I got my ultimate results.
In simple terms, you share what you did, how you did it and the results that you achieved, within a certain period of time. An effective case study is usually time-bound, not a never-ending experiment.
My buddy, Brian Dean, writes only case studies. And, so far, his blog has been growing at an amazing speed. Take a look at his recent post where he shared how he generated 36,282 readers and 1,000 email subscribers:
Note: Whether you failed or succeeded in any experiment, don’t hold back. Just share it openly and let it motivate others to take action. Use data points, link out to authority sites and capture screenshots to back up your facts.
Some case studies that have generated lots of useful comments are:
- Testing the Hamburger Icon For More Revenue
- How I Built a Niche Site That Ranked #1 In Google and Made $93.32 in 38 Days
- How a Ferrari Made Me a Million Bucks
17. Publish a Series article
If you have a great idea that will benefit your target audience, you can create a series of articles that you’ll publish one at a time. In the same way viewers eagerly anticipate the next “Blood Must Have Blood episode”, your blog readers will await Part 2 of your post. It also keeps social networks active in between posts.
At KISSmetrics, we published the science of social timing in three parts. Here are the stats:
- Number of comments ~ 166
- Tweets ~ 914
- Facebook Likes ~ 127
- LinkedIn likes ~ 140
- Number of comments ~ 163
- Tweets ~ 1,107
- Facebook Likes ~ 34
- LinkedIn likes ~ 444
- Number of comments ~ 642
- Tweets ~ 3,654
- Facebook Likes ~ 106
- LinkedIn likes ~ 1,276
Looking at the content above, if we hadn’t written Part 2 and Part 3, we wouldn’t have generated an additional 329 (166 + 163) comments. And, that’s not even counting all of the tweets, likes and links that the subsequent posts generated.
Darren Rowse uses this tactic to increase comments on his Digital Photography School blog. One of his posts on Macro Photography for Beginners – Part 1 gained 47 useful comments from real photographers.
Part 2 generated over 40 comments and hundreds of social shares.
In summary, write a series article if your topic is wide and you have a lot to talk about (e.g. social media marketing, web traffic, public speaking).
18. Email your subscribers
Derek Halpern was right: If you’re not building your email list, you’re making a huge mistake.
Your email list is the most important aspect of your online business, especially when it’s your #1 marketing tool. Work hard to grow your email list to 5 digits and beyond, because it’s a goldmine that will generate more traffic, sales and engagement for your online business. Email marketing converts better than social media leads and display advertising combined.
However, for your emails to be successful, you must learn how to write email subject lines that will increase your open rates by 203%. That way, you’ll be certain that you’ll generate visitors to your blog post and ultimately increase your blog comments and increase guest post oppotunities.
Email marketing is powerful. For example, in September of 2014, QuickSprout received 103,592 visitors through the emails I sent to list subscribers. Optimize your content to increase your click-through rate.
Whenever you publish a useful blog post, send the link to your email subscribers and ask them to come check it out. I usually get a lot of comments from my email list subscribers, even before other users.
If you want to increase your email list, then make your opt-in box prominent on your blog – or use the Plugmatter plugin to add an opt-in box above-the-fold.
Successful bloggers and digital marketers put email marketing at the forefront of their business. No wonder they’re power influencers and millionaires.
David Risley, founder of Blog Marketing Academy, goes the extra mile with a professional landing page design and uses lead boxes to capture email leads, because it’s the most important thing to his online business.
19. Write with more passion
One of the vital traits of a creative writer is passion.
According to Steve Jobs, “People with passion can change the world.”
Passion is simply an “intense emotion” towards a particular subject or adventure. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and several other franchises, once said, “The best advice I could give anyone is to spend your time working on whatever you’re passionate about.”
“Passion is contagious.” If you can transfer intense emotion to your content, nothing will stand in the way between your readers and comments. They’ll gladly read your blog posts and choose to comment, because they want to share that passion.
As a blogger, you could develop an idea into a useful blog post or simply take an idea from someone and make it better. Don’t hesitate to guest post either. Just like H. G. Wells advised:
Andrew Youderian, an ecommerce expert and founder of Ecommerceful, is a passionate internet marketer. Because of that passion, he shared how a $50,000 bet on website redesign impacted his overall perception.
That post generated over 70 comments before it was 60 days old.
Chris Ducker is another passionate blogger. He’s authored several books related to outsourcing and achieving financial freedom, even as a blogger. The reason: hundreds of people share his blog posts and trust his judgement in the virtual business sector.
Simple tips to write with more passion:
- Define your niche and know your competitors.
- Upgrade your knowledge base and skill set – passionate writers know what works.
- Use the word “you” in your content to add personal flavor.
- Share a personal story (sad or joyful), and align it to your topic.
- Use the M.I.A. principle to write your blog content (start by motivating readers, then inform them, and finally call them to action).
- Don’t be scared to speak your mind or share your own world view (See tip #6. Stir up a conversation).
20. Revive the archives
You can also increase the comments on your blog when you revive the archives. The archive is the collection of your older blog content. Your blog archives play an important role in this digital age.
If you published a particular post in 2011 and discovered that only few people noticed it, you may need to give it another chance on your blog homepage.
Maybe the topic wasn’t trending at the time it was first published. Or, maybe you only had a handful of blog readers at the time. But now, you can leverage the post to garner some fresh comments.
However, make it clear at the beginning of the post that it was first published some time ago (e.g. 2012). That way, you’ll establish yourself as an authority and improve your reputation online. Blog readers want to know the truth and they should get it.
The republished post above has over 110 comments. But, in the archives at YouMoz, it had less than 30 comments.
21. Stand out from the norm
What does it mean to stand out from the crowd? Well, it means different things to different bloggers. For me, I like to go the extra mile to make my blog posts extra lengthy in a useful way. Do something different. Your blog audience will appreciate it.
If I come across a highly popular topic that needs to “come alive,” I’ll research that topic extensively and write an article of 3,000 – 10,000 words, with data points, screenshots and relevant images.
In fact, before I launched NeilPatel.com, my plan was to make it the best blog out there. A blog that stands out. I think I’m on track to achieve the goal, as long as I remain consistent with my schedule and content strategy.
My typical post is 4,000 words long — this post was over 7,000 words. It has garnered 126 comments so far and still counting.
Kevin Duncan also took the same approach. He wrote an 8,000-word blog post, on February 19, 2015. So far, the post has 73 highly useful comments.
When you see a successful blog with thousands of loyal readers and hundreds of comments and social shares, then you know that blogger has consistently produced excellent and impactful content.
For example, Tim Ferriss, author of the classic book The 4-Hour Work Week, went overboard. Instead of interviewing an internet marketer in one of his podcast episodes, like everyone else does, he interviewed the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the topic of psychological warfare.
Take a look at the number of comments that podcast episode got:
The comments were highly useful and exciting, because Tim’s community of readers was surprised. The readers didn’t expect a celebrity of this caliber to open up that much to Tim Ferriss.
Consider this valuable comment from a fan:
A few tips to help you stand out from the crowd:
- Make a promise and fulfill it.
- Write headlines that seem unrealistic, then prove it in the content. For an example, see the post How a Ferrari Made Me a Million Bucks.
- Add a unique twist to an old idea – e.g., Google’s 200 Ranking Factors – The Complete List.
- Understand that your competitors are lazy and may not be able to write a 5,000+ word blog post. That’s your advantage over them.
22. Be unexpected
When you do something unexpected for your blog readers, they’ll gladly share your work with other people and will happily leave you comments. Gifts and kind smiles can make a whole lot of difference.
Johnny B. Truant is a master communicator who does the unexpected for his loyal audience. He gives away his high quality Kindle books.
As a result of this, he gets lots of reviews on Amazon – check out how many reviews one of his Kindle books has generated already:
Paul Shapiro did the unexpected in his blog post, when he analyzed the 3,000 most successful LinkedIn publishing posts. He then documented his findings on OKDork and gained 185 comments.
Here are some of the unexpected things you can do for your readers that would encourage them to comment – the best choice will depend on your niche:
- Spend quality time to write unique and useful content that your readers won’t find elsewhere.
- Give away a free license to your software.
- Ask your readers to send their blog URLs for a free audit.
- Give away your book for free.
- Sponsor an event that’s hosted by your reader.
23. Share your income reports
Although I don’t share income reports on my blog, my friend Pat Flynn does and he almost always achieves significant results. His 2014 Annual Income report generated 146 comments.
More than anything else, by sharing your income report, you’ll establish authority and generate repeat readers who will come back to know how much you’ve made in subsequent months.
Note: If you do decide to share your income reports, make sure that you write about the mistakes you made and the lessons you learned, as well as your successes. Don’t brag, because no matter how much income you’re making, someone else with fewer skills and connections is making much more.
Use your income reports to motivate others. Build them up. Tell them that if you can make it, they can, too. All it takes is the right mindset, a clear road map and hard work. Success is not for lazy people.
Another successful blogger who shares his income reports monthly is John Lee Dumas, founder of EntrepreneurOnFire. Although he doesn’t generate many written comments, his podcasts had close to a million downloads in 2014.
24. Interview an influential person
You can also increase the comments on your blog posts by interviewing an influential person or expert in your field. For example, you could interview a popular expert who has achieved tremendous success online. The power of influence can create a dramatic increase in your blog comments, social shares and referral traffic.
Your readers will definitely be interested enough to share their world view. Again, Tim Ferriss is a masterful interviewer. That’s one of the reasons his blog posts are read by millions of people every month with thousands of comments left by those readers.
Another example: Marie Forleo, founder of B-School, recently interviewed Scott Harrison. The post generated 143 comments and readers were excited to share the post and join the course.
25. Host a contest
And finally, you can increase the comments on your blog by hosting a contest. A contest is simply a competition to find the best among many. According to Julie Neidlinger, a contest is usually a good idea, especially when you’re launching a new product or announcing a new event.
When you host a contest, you’re simply looking for the top contestants who have made a difference.
Pat Flynn shared some good advice on how you can run a contest and make it go viral. Flynn’s contest grew his email list to nearly 200k in just 11 days. That’s a growth rate of 3,418% from a single contest.
Throughout this article, I’ve shown you step-by-step instructions for how to increase comments on your blog posts.
You’ve seen countless authority bloggers who successfully follow these same strategies.
There’s no doubt that these 25 smart ways for getting more comments are proven to work and they’ll work for you. But, you have to be consistent and be willing to learn and adjust your approach along the way. Make blogging a part of your content marketing strategy and don’t expect overnight results.
If I was able to generate $25,000 with 249 comments, you can, too. Of course, you may not get the same results I did, but you’ll certainly improve your online business, generate qualified leads and ultimately get more search traffic, as a result of engagements that come through blog comments.
What other strategies have you used to increase your blog comments?