6 Tips for Attracting More Comments

We’re often asked “How do you get more people to read and respond to blog posts?”

Good question!  We all gain more out of blogging when we comment.

Comments motivate, provide feedback and advice, challenge our thoughts and views, make us reflect on what we’re learning.

The challenge is how do we attract more comments?

Below’s my tips for attracting more comments for personal educational blogging.  Check out Kathleen Morris’s tips for ‘Attracting blog comments’ on class and student blogs.

What are yours?  Would love to read your tips in the comments below!  Or your thoughts on reasons why people don’t leave comments!

1.  Become a better blog citizen

Blogging is as much about reading other blogger’s posts and commenting on posts as it is writing your own posts.

Besides being a valuable source of ideas for writing your own posts it helps develops relationships with others.   Interaction with other bloggers and their readers, in comments, often leads to new readers of your blog.

You can’t expect people to read and comment on your posts if you aren’t doing the same on other people’s blogs!

Here’s how you do in 3 simple steps:

  1. Start reading other people’s blogs – make it time efficient by setting up Google Reader or using FlipBoard
  2. Make an effort to write comments on other people’s blog posts - Don’t comment for comment sake.  Comment to share thoughts, expand on post comment and use subscribe to be notified of new comments if the option is included.
  3. Reply to comments on your own posts – replying to comments demonstrates you read and value their comments. It also builds relationships with your readers.

2.  Build your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Personal Learning networks are important for educational bloggers because:

  1. Educators are more social than ever and more likely to use links shared by friends on social network sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as their main source of blog posts worth reading.
  2. Educators who are already connect online are more likely to read and respond in comments to your posts than work colleagues, friends and family who aren’t as connected.

Here is how you do it in 2 simple steps:

  1. Enable social sharing on your posts – make it easier for readers to share your content on their social networks (we use AddThis Social Share plugin)
  2. Build your PLNlearn how to here, look at how you might use social networks like Facebook to interact and make sure you include building relationships with educators on Twitter.  Most educational bloggers tweet the link for their latest post (here’s an example) and tweet other people’s post they’ve enjoyed reading.

3.  Write better blog posts

Not every one who visits your blog post reads it.  Even if they do read –they often don’t read it all.  Did you even read what I just wrote then?  :)

To keep your readers attention……

  • Every post title
  • Every paragaph
  • Every heading
  • Every word
  • Every image

……has to count!

It’s even more important to be attention grabbing for readers like me who use magazine style apps, like FlipBoard, Zite or Pulse, for all our blog post reading on our mobile devices.

Here’s why:

Here is how you do it in 2 simple steps:

  1. Learn how to write better blog posts – here’s our tips to help
  2. View your posts how readers are reading them - visitors to your blog only make up a small portion of your total readers.  Set up Google Reader (to see what it looks like via RSS) and use FlipBoard (if you have an iPad or Android tablet).

4.  Write posts that encourage readers to comment

Most readers are relucant commenters, not because of lack of time, but because they feel uncomfortable leaving comments.

However, some posts are more likely to make you want to comment than others.

Here’s 2 simple steps that help:

  1. Don’t cover everything – incomplete posts are more likely encourage readers to comment than a comprehensive post that make readers feel that have nothing to contribute.
  2. Invite readers to share their thoughts – ask readers to comment by finishing your post with some simple open-ended questions on information you would like to know.

5.  You First, Readers Second!

One of the biggest reasons why new bloggers fail is they focus entirely on writing posts to please readers.  Every post becomes a chore because they aren’t writing about what interest them but what they think interests others!

Stop worrying about others -  just blog, enjoy, have fun and learn!

Focus on:

  • Writing about what you feel strongly or passionate about 
  • What you’ve learnt — if you didn’t know than it’s likely others didn’t either
  • Don’t stress about it being perfect -blogging is a work in progress!

Accept not all posts will be commented on.  This doesn’t mean readers don’t value them or the posts aren’t being read.  The posts I write to encourage reader comments are very different from the posts that readers like to share, bookmark and refer back to.

6. Practice makes…….

Hopefully I’ve still got your attention?

None of my tips help if you don’t put them into practice!  Here’s your chance to practice!

Choose one of the following tasks and make it your goal to do it:

  1. Write a comment here to share your tips on either ‘ Reasons why readers don’t leave comments on blog posts’; ‘What makes a good comment?’ OR ‘Your tips for encouraging readers to comment?”
  2. Leave a comment on another person’s blog post then come back and leave a comment with a link so I check out the post(s) that made you want to comment.
  3. Write a blog post on your thoughts on anything covered in this post, your thoughts or what you’ve learnt then come to leave a comment with a link to your post so I can read your post!

Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

9 Responses

  1. Beth says:

    As a novice in the world of blogging, I am trying to grow in my blogging endeavors. Thus, although I don’t have much experience or most likely any new tips for seasoned bloggers, I am responding to this post anyway in order to “put the tips into practice.” One simple method I am using is to ASK people to comment on our blog. When I visit other blogs, I don’t leave it to chance that my host will respond to my comment and visit our blog; I come right out and ask them to visit my new blog and leave a comment. We started school 5 days ago, and I am asking parents to leave comments, and asking the kids to invite their friends, cousins, grandparents, etc., to leave comments. We will also have a BLOG PARTY when we reach our goal. Our first goal is 500 visitors. Our next goal is 500 comments. So, anyone reading this comment, please visit and comment on our blog! It’s called “Hey, Kids!” and you can find us a http://www.bdonofrio.edublogs.org. (I welcome any help in rotating photos on Photo Peach.) We are starting a new blog as well called Teddy Tours at http://www.teddytours.edublogs.org Teddy Tours is designed to be a series of “post”cards that a dog named Teddy (a.k.a. my students) will write from his travels around the world. I hope kids around the world will look forward to reading postcards from Teddy, and they will write back to him. That blog should be up and running by the first week in September. You can find it in its initial stage of development now to get the idea of what it is all about. Please visit us and Teddy!

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Beth, what classroom bloggers like Kathleen Morris and Linda Yollis do is they have activities like Family Blogging month which they find works really well. If you check out the link to Kathleen’s post she has a lot of other tips and ideas for attracting comments on class blogs.

      The travels of Teddy sounds really exciting and the students will enjoy it!

  2. Martha says:

    I really like this post as I have recently began blogging. Seems I am providing tips and tricks to my readers to help them do their job better. Which is important but maybe just not interesting.I am not very proficient, and currently do not have as much time to devote to blogging as I would like. What small fix ups could I apply quickly to spruce things up? In another month things will slow down and I will have more time to learn this. I want to blog better. Until thenI want to appear to blog better!

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Martha, welcome to blogging! When I first started blogging I did worry about the expectation I needed to blog a lot. Nowadays I’ve learnt it’s okay not to be proliferic and my readers aren’t worried about how often I blog. Although I have to admit times when I have been a more prolific blogger have helped me improve.

      Types of fix ups that will spruce things are making sure your theme looks nice and your sidebars aren’t too cluttered (if it is a personal educators blog) — slightly more cluttered sidebars are quite normal on class blogs. Other quick things that help are focusing on the visual look of your posts using headings, bullet points, number lists and images. Things like this help make your posts easier to read.

      Hope this helped?

  3. Glidingeagle says:

    Hi there,

    I know you probably wont read this but I am really interested in improving my blog and was hoping perhaps you could have a look and give me some tips?
    http://glidingeagle.edublogs.org
    I love the advice you post.

    xxGLIDINGEAGLExx

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Glidingeagle, I read every comment but occasionally I confess that I may miss responding back to a comment :(

      One thing I noticed when checking your blog was you do have a few posts where you’ve had images and they are missing. I’m guessing you may have deleted them from your media library due to storage space issues and this is why they are missing. If you resize images to 450 pixels wide using Picture Manager before uploading to your posts they won’t use much storage space and you will be able o use images on your posts again.

  4. Florin Muresan says:

    You have to write articles that evoke emotions, that make people say “wow”. This is the stuff that makes people talk. Of course, all your tips are great and thanks for sharing.

  5. johnson says:

    I read lot of tips for improving the blog, but most are vague and not at all useful. But this article is completely different from others and will recommend this blog to most of the novice bloggers.

  6. cordeskiki says:

    Thanks for these tips. I am always looking for ways to get more people to read my content and try my tips on how to turn obstacles into opportunities.

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