7 Strategies for Increasing Your Blog Comments

There’s nothing worse than writing something you think is important, posting it on your blog, and then waiting for comments … and waiting … and waiting. Conversely, there are few things more rewarding than having people comment on your post and engaging directly with your readers. More than any single factor, I think it is the one thing that has kept me blogging for all these years.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Kronick, Image #6428830

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Kronick

But how do you get more comments? How do you get your readers more engaged? I am definitely not an expert, but I get a fair amount of comments. Here are seven strategies that I have found helpful.

  1. End your posts with a question. The more open-ended you can make your posts the better. I have found it helpful to simply end my posts with a question. I try to do this on every single post. It’s like sending your readers an invitation to participate. This is a technique I learned from Pete Wilson, who uses it to great effect.
  2. Use a threaded comment system. This allows your readers to comment “in-line” and reply to other readers. A great blog is not a monologue (just you talking to your readers) nor a dialogue (allowing your readers to respond to you). Instead, it provides a mechanism for hosting a conversation, so that your readers can respond to one another. I currently use Disqus on my blog for this.
  3. Display your comment count prominently. I can’t explain this, but I can tell you that since I started displaying the comment count next to my post titles, the number of my comments has increased dramatically. If the number is low, people want to jump in and be among the first to comment. If the comment count is high, readers think the topic is hot and want to get in on the action. Either way, you win. (I did this on my WordPress blog by modifying some code originally posted by Mitch Canter.)
  4. Make it easy to comment. Yes, comment spam is a problem. But most modern blog systems catch this without making it difficult for your readers to comment. (If you are using WordPress, you can simply install the Askimet plugin.) If you are serious about this, don’t insist on approving comments before they are posted live on your blog. Don’t require registration and don’t use some annoying technology like CAPTCHA to prevent robot spam. It is no longer necessary. If you think it is, you are on the wrong blogging platform.
  5. Participate in the conversation. I talked about this in my post, “Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Blog?” If you start the conversation (your blog post), have the good manners to stick around and participate in the conversation. Your readers want to engage with you. They will engage with other readers, but they are more likely to comment if they know you are reading the comments and replying to them. Yes, this takes time, but it is the best investment you can make if you want to get more comments.
  6. Reward your best commenters. This is one of the reasons I do book give-aways. Admittedly, this is a little easier for me, since I am the CEO of a publishing company, but you can also reward commenters. You can list your top commenters in your sidebar. You can recognize them publicly. You can do other kinds of give-aways or hold contests (though you need to be careful that you don’t run afoul of the various lottery laws). Be creative. People love getting something for free—or even a discount.
  7. Don’t over-react to criticism. If people see you as sensitive, defensive, or rude, they will not feel free to participate in the conversation. This is true in real life; it is true on your blog. If you let people openly disagree with you, it adds to your credibility and encourages more engagement. The only time I delete comments—and it is very rare—is when they become snarky, offensive, or off-topic. I have an official comments policy, so that people know what is acceptable and what is not.

There are probably many other ways to encourage comments, but these are some that I have helped me. What about you?

Question: What strategies do you use to encourage comments? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

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  • http://www.jodyfransch.com Jody Fransch

    Hi Mike

    Since I’ve been reading your blog I’ve also started ending my blog posts with a question to engage and challenge my readers. It works!

    I now want to start implementing a couple of the other strategies that you’ve shared. Thanks for this post!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. I think the question at the end of the post is a huge help. In fact, if I had to pick one strategy, that would be it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BookDonkey John D Kittles

    These are very good. Some of these I never thought of doing on my blog. I am planning on trying these strategies. Very good Mr Hyatt.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Daniel_Tardy Daniel Tardy

    Hey Mike, thanks for this post…it's a huge help. I've been working on doing some of this but still need to improve on a lot of it.

    Why do you think people are afraid to comment?

    I get a lot of readers who will email me, tweet me, text me and almost everything else about my posts except for comment on my actual blog. When people see me in person they will spend 5 minutes visiting about a post but rarely actually comment even when I do what you've listed here.

    Thanks again!

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    My own logs indicate that only one in 100 readers will comment. So you have to keep that in perspective.

    If I get emails, Tweets, or texts, I try to encourage them to post that as a comment, assuring them that others likely feel the same way or have the same question.

    I would also ask if you have unwittingly created some friction in the commenting process like requiring registration, etc.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/lantzhoward Lantz Howard

      The 1:100 really puts it in perspective. Thanks for that tidbit.

    • Randy Bosch

      I'd like to suggest that it is time to encourage a term other than "lurkers", which carries images of "stalker", etc. and is demeaning. Many people gain great insights from posts and comments without a compulsion to see themselves in print, or without anything constructive to add.

      I always try to remind myself, before commenting (usually but not always successfully): "Aut tace aut loquere meliora silencio" (only when the words outperform silence)(hat tip to NNTaleb).

      Please, please think about a constructive replacement synonym for "lurkers"?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/joannamuses joanna

    One thing I've seen used to encourage comments which i like is a pluggin called commentluv. For those who include a blog address, it includes a link to their newest post (with post title) at the bottom of their comment. It integrates with intense debate and i think it can be used with other comment systems.

    • http://www.garymo.com Gary Molander

      Great idea Joanna. I’ve seen that, but I didn’t know what program works best. I’m downloading it now. Thanks again!

    • http://www.garymo.com Gary Molander

      Great idea Joanna. I’ve seen that, but I didn’t know what program works best. I’m downloading it now. Thanks again!

  • http://confirmtheworkofourhands.blogspot.com Shelley

    One thing I've learned is that if you comment on other blogs, then they are more apt to come and visit you and leave comments too. This isn't always true, but I have done that in the past (when I was a little more free with time, etc.) and it worked. Unfortunately, I don't get the chance to visit too many blogs lately, so my comments are pretty much down to little to none – I am back where I was when I first started blogging and had no followers :o(.

    I've tried the question at the end of several of my posts on one of my blogs, but it never seemed to work for me (yes, they were opened ended questions). I haven't done that in a little while now, but I might start it again.

  • http://confirmtheworkofourhands.blogspot.com Shelley

    I have had that happen to me too. I might get readers, but they don't leave comments – or they will email me if I leave a comment on their blog, and they don't actually come over and return the favour on my blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawneda Shawneda Marks

    This is why I love your blog…thanks!

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com Women Living Well

    Not sure where my comment went ?(I saw it come up and now it is gone) – but thanks for this post! It's very helpful. Keepem' coming!
    Courtney

  • http://www.dianeestrella.com Diane

    Great post. I'm trying a bunch of these today. :O)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    I didn't realize this was already an IntenseDebate plugin! I just activated it. Very cool.

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com Women Living Well

    I re-read your comment policy (since I've noticed a few times my comment not posting). I habitually leave my web address under my signature – but should I refrain from doing that here on your site? It's the only thing I can figure as to why my comments go up and then back down. Thanks for your help! And I apologize if I've been breaking the rules – ooops! I'm not typically a rule breaker :-)!
    Courtney

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    Sometimes it takes a few moments for your comment to appear. That's one of the disadvatages of using an external commenting system like IntenseDebate. I am going through a blog redesign now, and we are considering ditching it for this very reason.
    My recent post 7 Strategies for Increasing Your Blog Comments

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    Ya, you might try it again. I am seeing a lot of blogs doing it now.

    Also, commenting on other blogs definitely works.
    My recent post 7 Strategies for Increasing Your Blog Comments

  • http://swmackey.blogspot.com Steve Mackey

    Hi Mike,
    I have been working on driving growth, but find getting comments more challenging. I find that the content drives comments as well. I have the stupid review before posting rule set on my blog – being turned off today.

    I also like that you still default and reserve the right to delete snarky comments. Thanks for sharing your lessons, It make us all better
    Steve

  • http://true-small-caps.blogspot.com Derek

    My blog is a book review blog and so probably gets fewer comments than an issues and opinions blog. I'm curious to experiment with asking questions at the end, though.

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com Women Living Well

    Okay! I do like your system though – it's so neat how you can comment right back to the commenter! Thanks for the quick response!
    Courtney

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    That moderation feature is tempting. Some people are concerned about letting their comments go "wide open." But I have rarely experienced a problem with it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    No, this is not a problem. In fact, I would encourage it. I just amended my Comments Policy to make that more clear. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/ScottWilliams @ScottWilliams

    Well said Michael… Darren Rowse over @problogger wrote post this week which shared 7 Questions to ask to get more interaction on a post. Here is the link: http://bit.ly/4CVmhQ
    My recent post Why Short Blog Posts Are Better!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    Darren’s blog is one of my favorites. A must-read blog if you are serious about blogging.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Daniel_Tardy Daniel Tardy

    Good to hear about the 1:100 ratio.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/leonderijke Leon de Rijke

    Excellent list! This helps me too: not closing each and every part of your story. If you leave some parts for the commenters, they are more likely to comment.

    Do you experience this too?
    My recent post Door: 11 Shortcuts to Becoming a CEO « Shrinking the Camel

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Daniel_Tardy Daniel Tardy

    Good to hear about the 1:100 ratio.
    My recent post What if you’re not Tiger Woods?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/stubbyd Stuart

      Hi Daniel – I too suffer from the same problem in that very few comment yet I always try to ask a question (sometimes one can't) to encourage discussion.

      I've tried most strategies and the only ones of Micahels's that I don't do is reward my top comment makers.
      My recent post Remove Microsofts Ribbon Bar

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    Yes, but it is tough. I like to “button everything up” and close the story. It takes discipline to intentionally leave some holes—or space—for your readers to comment.

  • http://rosacola.blogspot.com Rocco

    It is so good to hear these things. I am in my infancy stage of blogging and am applying these concepts.

    I love following your blog!

  • http://forrest-long.blogspot.com Forrest Long

    Thanks. These are helpful. I wonder sometimes if anyone is reading my blog because I get few comments. But I enjoy doing it and won't give up. Eventually I will get more readers. Now I have more ideas to help it out.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Most blog software provides some basic ability to count visitors and page views. Google Analytics, which is free, is the best solution, in my opinion. That will tell you how many readers you have. Then all you have to do is convert them to commenters!

  • http://www.kendavis.com Ken Davis

    How fascinating! I am putting final touches on my new blog and wondering if I can put a comments link right on the blog page! Well, why not check where my friend and expert blogger Michael Hyatt puts his. I go to your website and the topic for the blog is Strategies for increasing comments. Great post! Still wondering if I can put a comment link where the post occurs on the front page of my website.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Ken, you definitely should be able to do this. Just tell whomsever is building your site to do it!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/klreed189 Kyle Reed

    Questions are a big one for me, mostly because my blog is more about interaction and conversation.

    As well, I use intense debate and have the top commentor's on the side. But I think the question at the end is huge

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Agreed. That is my #1 comment driver for sure.

  • http://cherylbarker.blogspot.com/ Cheryl Barker

    I've found it helpful to post comments on other blogs. Some of my main "commenters" have resulted from visiting other blogs as I have time and getting to know people online.

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  • http://www.jennifervalerie.com Fruitfulvine2

    I do end some of my posts with open-ended questions and use disqus for threaded comments and greater interaction. The disqus system catches the spam so I don't use the captcha or moderation. I respond to each and every comment but have yet to see interaction between commenters though. Not sure how to go about having them do that.

    Rewarding the best commenters is a great idea. I'll have to work that in and think about a great gift to give maybe to ring in the new year. Also I'll have to look into how to display my comment count more prominently.

    Thanks to @brandonacox for tweeting about it.
    My recent post Election Fever!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    I almost installed Disqus here. Both it and IntenseDebate are good. However, I am thinking about going back to native WordPress, just so I can speed up my page load times.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com Jody Hedlund

    Hi Michael,
    On my blog post yesterday I have a total of 63 comments. As I mentioned last week, I just cannot keep up with responding to them. I appreciate the suggestion to engage in the discussion and am trying to add in my own thoughts from time to time and I do answer questions. However, I know MANY of my readers don't come back and re-read the comments. They're too busy, much like I'm too busy to go back and re-read the comments on their blogs.

    However, THE biggest factor in getting comments (at least for me), is visiting other blogs and leaving comments on theirs. That's where the socializing and interacting takes place. For everyone who visits my blog, I *try* to repay the visit and comment–maybe not every time, but at least sometime. For the average blogger like me, this is perhaps the best strategy for gaining blog traffic. (And then having good blog content is a way to keep bloggers coming back!)
    My recent post Insecurities Of The Writing Life

  • http://hookembookem.blogspot.com/ Mark Young

    Thanks for these suggestions. I’m starting a blog in the near future and will take these suggestions to heart.

  • Nathan

    Tremendous wisdom. I liked this content so much that I had to click through to your site (from my Google Reader) in order to comment.

    This highlights a drawback to RSS readers in that you cannot “Make it easy to comment.” Furthermore, I am less likely to read comments because I use Google Reader. If only someone could bridge the technology… :-)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Good point. I would love this myself.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    Rule #8 – don't be a lurker.

    If you comment on other people's blogs, they are more likely to comment on yours…. unless you're an uber-blogger, then people don't expect you to comment on their blogs!
    My recent post Why Michael Hyatt is NOT My Idol

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think that is true. When you comment on other people’s blogs or retweet them, it create “social capital.”

  • http://twitter.com/Dion_Govender @Dion_Govender

    Love it! you've inspired me to start my own blog a while back. I feel I have a long way to go but with post like this I'll soon be on my way. Great Stuff Michael.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/quinnschilling quinnschilling

    Hmmm. I like the the concept of intense debate. I also want to make it easy for the commenter. I hate when I go to comment & I am not just recognized by my gravatar, etc. It is a pain to sign in. Sometimes(often) I just leave. On my blog I use Comment love & WordPress gravatars. Many of the people I follow are on blogger & many do not even recognize self hosted wordpress ids…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Can we just make a rule that if you blog, you have to use WordPress? ;-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MichaelSGray MichaelSGray

    Your blogging advice has helped me tremendously.

    I found it funny when you mentioned that people love low comment numbers because they would like to be the first to comment. I had that experience just last week with your post inviting people to apply for your mentoring group. When I clicked to comment, your indicator read zero. By the time I hit send, I was already down to eighth.

    Being the first commenter on a Michael Hyatt blog post is quite a challenging task. :)

  • http://twitter.com/batowens @batowens

    Thanks for sharing the wealth! I really appreciate your ever inspirational posts. Stretching my brain again. Can't wait to put these into effect on my blog.

  • http://memberhub.com Matt Harrell

    Indeed this is good stuff. We’re starting to ramp up our blog over at MemberHub. It felt really good today as we had some very engaging conversations about the church model over at http://blog.memberhub.com/is-your-church-like-a-a/ Thanks Michael.

  • http://terracecrawford@gmail.com Terrace Crawford

    Michael,

    Great stuff. I agree with your strategies… and have found that ending with a question is the best way. Your post may have also convinced me to switch to wordpress… or another provider instead of blogger – which is limited when it comes to plugins.

    –Terrace Crawford
    http://www.terracecrawford.com
    http://www.twitter.com/terracecrawford

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I switched to WordPress from TypePad. It was a challenge to get all my old posts transferred. But in the end, it was well worth it. I am SO glad I made the change. WordPress rocks!

  • http://www.michaelmccurry.net Michael McCurry

    Hi MIchael,

    This really is a terrific blog post…. some really excellent points here. I have modeled many of the things I do with my blog site around yours, as the quality and professionalism of your blog speaks for itself.

    Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom with us… it is much appreciated.

    @michaelmccurry
    My recent post What is Future of Printed Media??

  • http://www.bloggingbistro.com Laura Christianson

    The most-cited reason people tell me they decide NOT to blog is because they're afraid of getting critiqued, lambasted, bashed, disagreed with, told off (you get the picture) in the Comments.

    Yes, it will happen, even when you write a post that you assume isn't remotely controversial. If you want to blog, you need to develop a thick skin, and use the comments as a learning tool.

    If you're open to learning with and from your readers, your chances of developing a core of loyal readers is much greater.
    My recent post Using Gender Labeling to Make Your Brand More Desirable

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I do get some criticism, for sure. But honestly, this has been much less than I would have thought. I am amazed at how respectful, grateful, and helpful most commenters are. In my opinion, the good far outweighs the bad. Thanks.

  • http://www.takingheart.net Taking Heart

    Thanks for the advice… I have been blogging for a long time and just now trying to get used to this shameless self promotion aspect of the trade. It's amazing what blogging has evolved into… and suddenly i've become very, very small. I've been on twitter for a while and have even picked up some adverstisers… I've never really been comment driven… but have noticed when I visit blogs, several return the favor. I did get involved with The Blog Frog… but am looking for other ways to expand without depending on them so much.
    My recent post Where are you Christmas?

  • http://www.bloggingbistro.com Laura Christianson

    Michael,

    Thanks for sharing info about Intense Debate. I haven't come across a blog with threaded comments before, and I find this system a bit cluttered looking, but intriguing! I may try it or recommend it to my business blogging clients.

    I also want to add a strategy for increasing comments: Ask a question in your post's title. It has to be a legitimate question — one that you are truly seeking input on. I did this earlier this week, in a post titled, "Help Me Solve My Credit Card Conundrum." Received comments on the blog itself, via e-mail, and from Twitter. People offered lots of great advice. Generally, blog readers love to be helpful, and they appreciate it when they know you need them.
    My recent post Using Gender Labeling to Make Your Brand More Desirable

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think you would be happy with IntenseDebate. They are constantly improving the system. It is also owned by the same people who own WordPress.

  • http://mosaicmercy.com David Knapp

    I try to ask a question at the end of posts. I have noticed that people usually respond to short posts as opposed to longer ones. I also use commentluv to try and encourage people to leave comments.
    My recent post Have You Been To Another Country?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think that is one of the values of shorter posts.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jackalopekid jackalopekid

    good stuff man. thanks

  • http://www.frenchcreekpress.com Shoshana Kleiman

    After everyone else saying what I want to say, it seems pointless to add another comment – except that I am another person that appreciates your writing. People often don't comment because they feel they have nothing original to say. They don't realize that saying the same thing is not only ok, it is good and stands on its own merit.
    My recent post Doom and Gloom or New Beginning?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for taking time to comment. Even if you don’t have anything new to add, it allows you to provide a link to your blog—which is great!

  • http://www.theheartofwriting.blogspot.com Cynthia Schuerr

    Hi Michael,
    I learn so much from you. Thank you for putting your knowledge and information out there for us.

  • http://faithfamilyandfun.com Heather

    Oh my. Now, that’s communicating! (But, most days, you should use your time to write more great posts) I just love your blog! Thanks for responding. It really is a neat world:)

  • http://sharonmostyn.com Sharon Mostyn

    Great post! I really like the idea of a comments policy. Thanks for sharing.
    My recent post Cyber Monday Mayhem: Bigger Is Not Always Better

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/roxannerollins roxannerollins

    Michael, thank you for recommending intensedebate. I was dissatisfied with the convoluted comment system on blogger.com. It was really hindering any one from posting comments. Installation of intensedebate was so easy.

  • http://www.LifeGems4Marriage.com Lori Lowe

    I was going to reply that if the number of commenters is high, I would be less likely to add my 2 cents. This is usually the case, but you proved me wrong since mine is the 69th comment. Thanks for the good tips.
    My recent post Time Travel for a Better Life and Love

    • http://www.excellerate.com Trevor

      I'm right there with you. I feel a certain obligation to read all comments before I say anything myself, just out of respect to the conversation and so my own ideas contribute to the current discussion rather than trying to hijack it and make it about what I want to say.

      That's why large volumes of comments tend to turn me off.

      But, as you say, our comments here prove us wrong to a certain extent. I'd have to say the distinction is that of "sunk cost." In this case, the post was a bit longer, so I already had some time invested and I'm a motor mouth in print (but silent in person), so I want to say something, and that means I'm more willing to read and try to comment in this case. But, if the first few comments had bored me, or if the article wasn't interesting enough to make me want to comment and put in the effort to do so, I would have left.

      Maybe that's why we both went against our preferences and commented after so many postings.

  • Randy Bosch

    I'd like to suggest that it is time to encourage a term other than "lurkers", which carries images of "stalker", etc. and is demeaning. Many people gain great insights from posts and comments without a compulsion to see themselves in print, or without anything constructive to add.

    I always try to remind myself, before commenting (usually but not always successfully): "Aut tace aut loquere meliora silencio" (only when the words outperform silence)(hat tip to NNTaleb).

    A constructive and respectful replacement for "lurker" might be encouraging. We don't have to be stuck with inappropriate labels originally applied to the medium by less than graceful originators!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Point taken. (I don't think I used this term; I think it was one of my readers above.) Thanks.

      • Randy Bosch

        Thanks, Michael – I do know you don't use that term, it was a reader.
        Still, words have meaning and impact, and I know from your posts over several years that you show great integrity in maintaining a "higher level" usage of our beknighted language.
        I thank you for that, and encourage thought toward a future on-line discussion that would with positive construction help others in that regard, as well.

        All the best

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  • Anthony Harden

    Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
    Proverbs 17:28

  • http://www.stillforming.com Christianne

    I used to be on Blogger and recently moved to Squarespace. Already I've discovered its limitations. Now you're making me think of moving to WordPress!

    Question for you (and other readers) about Intense Debate: One reason I don't think I like it is because I'd never know if there were new replies added to an earlier thread. When I get here and there are 70+ comments already, I read through them all, along with their individual replies, and then I would never know how to find the new comments that show up after I visited because (I think) they would be attached to the original comment somewhere in the long list of comments.

    Know what I mean? Does anyone have any opinions about this?
    My recent post Learning the Limits of Our Love

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      If it is topic that really interests you, you can subscribe to the comment RSS feed. New comments will be pushed to you as they appear. The subscribe button is at the very top of the conversation or in the comment box itself.
      My recent post 7 Strategies for Increasing Your Blog Comments

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rwscold rwscold

    I've been considering blocking entire country IPs based on the volume of spam that my blog gets. I guess I should consider setting up akismet instead of manually moderating all comments.
    My recent post Before you get into business……

  • Ed Snyder

    Michael, I have followed you on Twitter for some time and now just started reading your blog. I am really enjoying it. I have you bookmarked.

    Thanks and keep it coming,
    Ed Snyder

  • http://www.shrinkingthecamel.com Bradley J. Moore

    Others have mentioned it in the comments, but I was surprised your post didn't mention the obvious strategy for blogging beginners: Commenting on other folks' blogs. I am amazed at the number of zombie blogs I visit where I am the only one commenting, and then the author NEVER stops by my own Blog to make a comment themselves. Guess what? I never return again to their Blog. The blogger then loses my traffic, and comments. I realize you can't do this when you are "famous," but for beginner Bloggers this is a most fundamental rule of Blogging etiqutte, it seems.
    My recent post Reality-Check: Leadership Is All About Power

  • http://twitter.com/TianaKrenz @TianaKrenz

    This is a great list of ideas…thanks!

    I'm a new blogger, and I've had a couple of posts that have received a lot of feedback, but that hasn't always translated into repeat traffic. Any suggestions?
    My recent post Real or Pretend?

  • http://www.the-writing-bug.blogspot.com Kerrie Flanagan

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing them.
    My recent post Character Sketch

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  • http://www.homeiswhereyoustartfrom.blogspot.com Jenny in Ca

    really good advice, I recently decided to work on my blog with more intention, as opposed to quitting…and so, I am working on making my blog better. Comments, or rather, lack of comments makes me a little sad. I have been trying to ask more questions in my post, and I took the letter-verification thingy off, in a quest to make commenting easier. Your suggestions are mostly new to me, I am eager to try them out. Thanks.

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  • http://twitter.com/adaliaj @adaliaj

    I am glad I found your post. I am already using two of your tips and the other four I am going to implement with the next couple of weeks.

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    yep these are great strategies to increase comments on blogs, not just comments but useful information through comments useful content that adds value to your site, great

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  • http://www.JimMagwood.com Jim Magwood

    And guess what? He used a question (actually two) at the end of his post.

    Thanks, Michael, for the message. I’ll be tweaking my blog re this. http://www.jimmagwood.com/index.php?p=1_17

  • http://twitter.com/toddburkhalter @toddburkhalter

    Thanks for the insight. I have tagged this site to favorites. Got to this site through the Catalyst Conference site. I am looking forward to attending one of these events. My company is at http://www.catalystwealthmanagement.com , but my blog is http://www.toddburkhalter.com

  • claudia

    Hi,

    Just wanted to say thanks for a great post. One tip you didn't leave – mention in your post that you have great commenting software, and it will make people (me!) want to try it out!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, the software really is important. Thankfully, there are several good options available, including IntenseDebate, which I use.

  • http://www.ajandmarquita.com AJ & Marquita

    Great Tips! Thanks for sharing… Blogging is so essential for success in your online business!

    AJ & Marquita
    Online Marketing Heavy-Hitters

  • http://reneeosborne.blogspot.com Renee Osborne

    This is good stuff. Thanks so much for posting it.

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  • http://mystrengthmyportion.blogspot.com/ Ryan Bilello

    wait did michael do point 5 and participate in the convo?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Of course, silly. ;-)

  • http://www.benefitsgrowthnetwork.com Kevin Trokey

    Thanks for sharing your strategies Michael. Lack of blog comments is certainly frustrating and I'm pretty certain a fatal reality for many a blog. Seems to me part of the answer is the readers themselves finding the confidence to openly share an opinion and claim a position. At times, blogging seems to be much of a spectator sport rather than one of participation.

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  • Lynn

    Thank you for sharing your expertise, Mr. Hyatt.
    I starting using WordPress (whose format I like) in January of this year, so I'm a fairly new blogger there. It was hard to know how much to say until I read somewhere that no more than 500 words works best. My traffic is still LOW, but I started early by closing almost every post with a question to invite readers' participation. Interestingly, the one that had no question is the one that received the most comments .. because of the content. I always respond to comments my readers take the time to write, I want them to know I appreciate them. Having commented on others' blogs, and in finding no responses from them when I check back, I'm not inspired to return.

    For awhile I was not posting often enough to my own blog, but I've increased that recently. There is a validity in letting readers know I am around and interested, and I enjoy the interaction. A few of my 'followers' are people I met through posting on their blogs, which is rewarding. Also, a strategy I am trying now is through Twitter. I'm hoping to draw attention to my blog by 'tweeting' when I have a new post up, such as my last one at http://lynnadavidson.wordpress.com

    The idea of a giveaway appeals to me, but I don't know what I can do with that yet. Something to keep in mind. Thanks again for sharing your ideas. Blessings. :)

  • http://www.therextras.com BarbaraBoucher PTPhD

    I routinely do numbers 5 and 6, but will have to re-visit number 4, again. Been through the CAPTCHA loop so many times I hate thinking about it. I have to look and see if Number 3 is possible on my platform. Numbers 1 and 2 have not made a significant difference for me. – Which makes me think, in combination, it might not be possible to really evaluate the effect of any one of these techniques. hehe – like therapy techniques….

  • http://www.theothercolumn.com Theresa

    Thanks for sharing, Michael. I started a blog in June and don’t quite have the hang of WordPress, other than its basics. I’ll have to play with it some more to implement your technical suggestions.

    My readers are reluctant to post comments publicly, choosing instead to privately message me through Facebook or approach me in person, blaming shyness or an inability to “find the right words”. I do remember overcoming that problem myself. (I also accept that I’m doing several things wrong in the blog, as well).

    My blog automatically posts to Facebook, which is proving a blessing and a problem, insofar as those who are brave enough to write comments, or press Like or Share, tend to do so through Facebook (and that activity doesn’t appear on my blog itself). Can you suggest a way that would retain the benefit of the Facebook interface, but not the downsides? The other issue is that most people don’t feel the need (or even realise the opportunity) to subscribe to the blog itself, if they’re getting updates through Facebook. People who aren’t on Facebook but who know of my blog, simply google me or search for the website of http://www.theothercolumn.com
    Thanking you,
    Theresa

  • http://www.mutuellesante.org sante mutuelle

    Interesting article and nice blog you have too!

  • Sarah

    I see the value in your first point about adding a discussion question to the end of a blog post. The only thing is, I feel REALLY lame when no one answers. Will start working on the other points you listed and hopefully those points will remedy point number one!

  • http://twitter.com/itsonlybarney Andrew B

    I’ve always tried to end my blog posts with a question, however I really believe that traffic is another important aspect of getting comments on your blog.

    At the moment, I am more interested in building readership than comments, a larger readership will always lead to comments is my experience.

  • http://www.yourockmom.wordpress.com Ellen

    I never comment on your blog but I certainly have enjoyed reading your pointers lately. My learning curve is slow but you have helped speed up the process. Thank you! Ellen

  • Stephanie

    Excellent advice, Michael!

    I especially agree about using a threaded comment system. It’s so fun when readers can interact with EACH OTHER in addition to engaging in conversation with the blogger.

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  • http://shine4himphoto.wordpress.com Nicole

    Great thoughts! I actually started adding questions to the end of my posts because of one of your other posts on the topic. Thanks!

    As far as making it easy to comment, what is your take on WP’s standard setup of only letting you moderate the first post of each commenter? I know one of the biggest comment communities on the net today, the Cheezburger Network, uses this approach. That’s how my blog is set up at the moment.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think they do this because once you have replies, you disrupt a lot of content if you moderate.

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  • Jacqueline Lyew-Armstrong

    I like your advise about making it easy to respond by not requiring registration. Google blogger requires registration and I think most people don’t bother to leave comments because of the complicated registration process.

  • http://www.deiricmccann.com Deiric McCann

    Thanks M ichael – solid advice: this was a great steer

    Appreciate the help
    Deiric

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    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I am glad it was helpful.

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Came here to read from a recommendation on today’s post. More great information on blogging. So rich. Love how your blog leads me to other places for more great content. Almost like it’s by designed. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Guilty as charged.

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    Just read this as a refresher. I’ve taken some of your advice (and more than a few visual cues from your site). I’m hoping today’s post gets some comments going.

    http://bretmavrich.com/2011/06/3-things-you-must-do-to-raise-funds/

  • Dale Aceron

    Michael, if I am practicing 8 out of 10 of those tips with still no results, is it more of a reality to assume that it is my content that needs some revamping?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that is what I would assume next. You might read my post, Anatomy of a Blog Post.

  • http://www.nosuperheroes.com Chris Lautsbaugh

    Great advice as always Michael.
    FYI -the link on #7 is not working. (I can tell from your blogs you would like to know this) :)
    Thanks for serving and educating!
    Chris

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Chris. I have fixed the link.

  • Rob Sorbo

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve been trying to get back into blogging after a long absence (robsorbo.blogspot.com), and I’ve always found that I’m more motivated to blog when I have a lot of comments. To me, if there are no comments, that means there are no readers (based on twitter and facebook responses and the stats that I get from blogspot, I know this isn’t true, but when is perception ever based on reality?)

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  • Dave Hess

    This is really helpful Michael. Thank you for the suggestions!

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  • David Gerber

    Do you recommend Disqus over facebook comments? If so, why? I know facebook uses edgerank so it would seem best to use facebook comments synced with the blog so it posts on the blog and on facebook. Thoughts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Personally, I love Facebook comments. But, last time I checked there was no way to get my thousands and thousands of legacy comments into the Facebook system. If I were just starting out, I would use Facebook, provided I could sync them to my blog. If Facebook decided to stop supporting this product, I’d want to know I still had my comments.

      • David Gerber

        Michael, thank you so much for your thoughts!

      • David Gerber

        Do you know if it is possible to have Facebook comments synced to your blog?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          I’m sorry, I don’t.

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  • http://www.danielbryan.info/ Daniel Bryan

    I’m having a lot of trouble generating comments or discussion. It seems like most of the people who read my posts just read and move on or maybe one or two people will comment. How can I generate more comments if few are commenting in the first place?

  • http://www.todayicanchange.com/ Robb Gorringe

    I know this is an older post, but these are some great tips!

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