Where Are All The Comments?
Your blog is amazing. Right? (Right.) Every post is interesting, funny and thought provoking. But why aren’t people leaving more comments? It’s a question every blogger will ask themselves – so many of us will judge the success of a post based on the number of comments. Here are a few reasons why people might not be leaving comments on your blog, and a few ways around them…
Who are you?
You might not be getting comments on your posts because no one really knows about your blog. While you might be talking about it occasionally on Twitter and Facebook, the likelihood is that only a few people are going to click through and read that post, and a smaller percentage are going to comment on it. The best way to combat this is to leave comments on other blogs. As we said when we set the commenting challenge way back in June, if you get excited when someone leaves a comment, then other people are going to be just as excited when you do it and they’ll probably come and visit your blog. (Just don’t be too spammy like the example in this post!)
It’s too difficult!
For the average blogger on WordPress, this might not be so much of an issue, but for Blogger users, you should consider the ways that your readers can leave comments. The simplest option for most people is to use the “Name/URL” if they’re not Blogger users, so make sure that option is selected. This does mean that your blog is also open to Anonymous commenters – and while we hope that all anonymous comments left on your blog are from friends that do not blog, it is up to you (of course!) whether you are happy to take the risk of mean comments. Obviously though, there is nothing stopping the mean commenters either leaving the comments under their own name, or setting up a separate account to do it!
Consider using a different commenting system than the one built into your blogging platform, although some people do find they have problems with those systems. We’ll be looking into the different systems like Disqus in a future post so you can think about changing over.
There’s nothing to say!
Some blog posts will generate a discussion easily, but some might not. You could ask a relevant question at the end of your posts to get people talking, but try not to over do this – putting a random question at the end of each post is as bad as not having anything to prompt a discussion because your readers will just end up ignoring it!
You’re over moderating!
Maybe you’ve been hit by too many spammers or mean comments so you’ve set every single comment to be approved by you. This is fine if you’re only expecting comments that don’t interact with any other comments, but if you’re looking for a discussion to happen in the comments, then moderating will hinder that, even if you’re constantly approving comments. One way around this is to have a good commenting policy and retrospectively moderate. Clearly set out to your commenters what sort of thing you’ll allow to be said and you shouldn’t need to moderate so much. (Looking for an example of a policy? Here’s ours!)
You don’t ever reply!
Commenters want to feel loved. If they’re asking a question in your comments, then reply to them! If it’s something that other people might be interested in (e.g. where something in your post is from) then leave your reply as a comment (and maybe update your post so people don’t have to hunt through the comments to find where that scarf is from) but if it’s something specific, then maybe tweet or email the commenter to let them know.
We’re going to follow our own advice to finish this post and ask you a question – what puts you off leaving a comment on a blog?