This post is part of the weekly Q&A section. Just use the contact form if you want to submit a question.
I have noticed that on almost all your posts you have dozens of comments coming in. How do you do this? I get an average of 11 comments (but most of them are from my friends)
This question seems to pop up every once in a while. First of all let me tell you that an average of 11 comments per post is a very good number, even if those comments are coming from your friends. I would say that 80% of the blogs out there average less than 1 comment per post.
I just checked my numbers on the Dashboard, and Daily Blog Tips has an average of 30,2 comments per post. You ask: How do you do this? Well, it boils down to two things mainly:
1. Growing the blog as a whole
2. Building a community around it
Let’s talk about each of them individually now. By growing the blog as a whole, I mean that you should focus on growing the reach of your blog. This involves:
- increasing the quality and amount of content that you have available on your blog
- increasing the traffic levels (daily uniques and page views)
- increasing the number of RSS subscribers
- increasing the number of backlinks and domain trust
Why one should focus on growing his blog as a whole to receive more comments? Because this is a numbers game. Some topics will naturally generate more comments than others, but overall only a tiny fraction of the people that will be exposed to your content will take the time to leave a comment.
This is a fact. On some blogs this fraction will be 0.1%, on others it will be 0.5%. But as you can see the number is be damn small no matter what. So the first thing that you can do to get more comments is to get more people exposed to your content.
Suppose you receive 1,000 uniques daily, and that on average 0.5% of those visitors will leave comment. If you write one post per day, this translates into an average of 5 comments per post.
Now imagine after 6 months you managed to increase your traffic to 10,000 uniques daily. Even if the fraction of people commenting remains fixed at 0.5%, now you would be receiving an average of 50 comments per post, without implement any tricks.
As you can see the first and most efficient way to increase the number of comments you get is to increase the overall reach of your blog. Most blogs get very few comments because they also get very few visitors.
Apart from growing your blog, though, you can also influence the number of comments you will get by trying to build a community around it. How do you do that? By interacting directly with your readers and by making them feel part of your blog. Here are some practical things that work in this direction:
- ask questions to your readers
- use their answers on your articles
- link to the blogs of your readers
- engage in discussions that your readers care about
- use polls and other interactive widgets
- answer to the comments
- answer to the emails
- share your personal experiences
- write in the first person
- tell stories that your readers can relate to
- connect with them on social media
All those actions will bring you closer to your readers, and vice-versa. When you make them feel part of a community, they will be more likely to put laziness aside and to take some time to talk with the other members of that community.
But then again, you need to have visitors in place before trying to create a community around them, so making the blog grow as a whole is always the first step.
Do you have any other tips for increasing the number of comments on a blog?