Are your blog posts generating nothing but crickets? Is the silence on your blog post too deafening to bear?
If you want to create a community of engaged visitors on your blog, there’s no better way to do it than by getting your readers to leave comments.
Comments show other readers that your blog has engagement and encourages them to leave more comments.
Do Blog Comments Increase SEO?
I believe that blog comments are also great for boosting SEO because they create User Generated Content on your blog and because the number of comments on a blog post is an indication of quality and usefulness.
More blog comments also show that your readers are reading your blog post all the way through and spending time to craft their comments, which increases dwell time on your blog – an important search ranking factor.
However, before you allow comments on your blog, you need to implement some ways to prevent comment spam. A spam blocker plugin like WP-SpamShield will help you block spam without adding Captchas that discourage people from commenting.
If you’re using Facebook Comments on your blog, it’s much easier to manage comment spam because people have to comment using a real name, and spammy comments can be blocked.
In this article, I list 18 tips to increase blog comments on your WordPress blog, so you can build community and engagement.
18 Tips to Increase Blog Comments on WordPress
1. Ask a friend to leave the first comment
A lot of readers are reluctant to leave the first comment on your blog because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. If they see other people commenting and you responding to them, it provides social proof that comments are encouraged and welcomed.
This will help to overcome their initial hesitation and encourage them to leave comments. There’s nothing wrong with asking a friend to leave the first comment on your post, as long as it’s a genuine comment that sparks the conversation.
2. Leave comments on other blogs
This tip comes from Jeni Eliott at the Blog Maven. If you want to be noticed as someone who writes insightful comments and is open to comments on their own blog, leave comments on other people’s blogs, she advises.
“When people see you commenting on their blogs, they’re likely to follow the link back to your blog and they’ll be more open to leaving comments when they get there.”
If you spend quality time making thoughtful comments on other people’s blogs, the law of reciprocity takes effect, says Neil Patel.
3. Make it easy to comment
First of all, make sure that you’ve turned on comments on your WordPress blog. You can do this by going into the Discussion settings in your WordPress dashboard and turning on the option to allow people to post comments on new articles.
Avoid captchas and other elements that make it hard to post comments. Use a comments plugin, such as Facebook Comments, that makes it easy and has a viral component to it.
Also try posting a comment yourself and see if you face any issues with the process, so you can understand what your blog readers have to go through when posting a comment.
4. Keep the commenting area free of distractions
This tip comes from Neil Patel at Quicksprout. He recommends keeping the comment area free of other distractions.
“When you try to stuff a lot of different elements at the end of a blog, you miss the golden moment for capturing a would-be commenter. Your site design needs to help encourage comments. A well-designed blog is the starting point for anything good in life, comments included.”
5. Use Postmatic
Postmatic is a plugin that allows readers to not only subscribe to your blog, but also leave comments from outside WordPress via email. It’s an excellent tool for taking engagement on your site to the next level. See a review for the Postmatic plugin here.
6. Change the “0 Comments” status
This tip comes from How To Make My Blog. When a reader sees the blog comment status reading “0 comments” they become less likely to comment because of lack of social proof.
Changing the “0 Comments” status to something more inviting and encouraging like “Leave a comment” or “Your thoughts are welcomed” in your blog theme, can encourage readers to post a comment.
7. Respond to every comment
If you want your blog commentors to feel heard and appreciated, you need to respond to every comment as soon as possible. Don’t let your readers feel ignored. This way you directly increase blog comments count on the site.
Even the negative comments deserve a polite and mature response. Give your reader the encouragement they need to keep posting comments and engaging with you.
8. Send notifications that you’ve responded
If you use Facebook comments, your commentors should get a notification when you respond to their comments. If you use another commenting system, you can install the Send email only on Reply to My Comment plugin that sends an email notification to the commentor when you respond to their comments.
Another plugin you can use for this purpose is the Comment Mail plugin that allows commenters to sign up for email notifications whenever they leave a comment on your site. They can also subscribe without commenting if they just want to keep track of your comments.
9. Reward your commentors
Hold contests for the most insightful comment or give away content upgrades only to those who leave a comment. You can use different rewards and incentives for different posts, but the idea is to spark a discussion and encourage your readers to put some time and effort into their comments.
You can also reward your commentors by linking back to their blog, using the Comment Luv plugin. It automatically places a dofollow link to their last blog post at the end of their comment. You can prevent spammers from misusing this by requiring moderation on first comments and not accepting comments that are not well-written and insightful.
10. Mention influencers in your post
This tip comes from Neil Patel. If you want other influential bloggers to notice you, share your posts and comment on your blog, mention them in your posts, especially when you’re quoting from one of their articles. He also recommends that you reach out to them and let them know of the mention to increase blog comments.
It’s even better if you interview an influencer, because they’re more likely to share it to their large network of followers who enjoy learning about their views and experiences.
11. Post more videos
This tip is also from Neil Patel. Videos are the most engaging form of content. People who post video, like Derek Halpern, generate 100s of comments per post. Of course, you need to ensure that your content is as engaging and interesting as Derek’s videos to increase blog comments.
12. Use a Ratings Plugin
Allowing your readers to rate your blog posts, and tell you how it made them feel, is a feedback method you can use in addition to commenting.
There are a number of ratings plugins that can help you increase feedback on your blog. They could also encourage those who don’t usually leave comments to leave feedback in a different way.
13. Be controversial sometimes
I’ve noticed that controversial posts get the most comments. So don’t be afraid to take a contrarian stance on your blog. Even if you get negative comments, take them in your stride and answer them politely.
Taking a contrarian stance on some topics can boost conversation and also get people linking to your blog post to reference it in their own. Just make sure you don’t overdo it or it will lose its shock value.
14. Be vulnerable
People want to connect with other people online, not with a faceless business. Be real and genuine when you post about your work or your business. Being vulnerable and sharing about yourself, increases comments from people who want to share their own stories.
15. Write an incomplete post
If you write an incomplete list post and ask your readers to help you complete it, they’ll be more likely to post comments. If the comment is useful, you can add their contribution to the main post with credit to the commentor.
16. Ask for feedback
Every time I write a post, I have taken to asking for feedback at the end of the post. It shows my readers that I don’t think I’m the authority and am open to their opinions. The format of my question is something like this.
“If you have any of your own tips to (mention blog post title here), please leave them in the comments below.”
I’ve noticed an increase in comments on this blog, ever since I started posting this invite to readers.
17. Ask an open-ended question
This tip comes from Michael Poh, at Hongkiat. He recommends ending your blog post with a question. It doesn’t help if you ask a very specific question, because the answer might just be yes or no. An open-ended question encourages conversation on a topic and makes it more likely that readers will leave a comment.
18. Don’t feed the trolls
If you feel that some commentors are adding comments of little value or trolling you on your own blog, feel free to delete them. Trolls create a negative environment that can spread and contaminate the environment on your entire blog. They are best removed and blocked so that those who post positive comments feel more encouraged to respond.
Blog comments are literally useful. People relate to them as they showcase the real world problems of thoughts of people. So, it is highly important to increase blog comments to gain that trust with your readers. These tips have worked wonders to almost everyone who wanted to increase blog comments on their WordPress blogs. I will keep updating the list if I find more tips and with your help also.
Did you find these tips to increase blog comments useful? Do share your own tips in the comments below.