How to Increase Blog Engagement With Comments
If you are spending a lot of your time creating quality blog posts that no one is reading, it’s time to make some changes. It’s not that your content is not valuable, but you could make some small tweaks to it that would encourage more engagement and make your blog more visible.
There are many ways to improve blog engagement, but one of the best is with the comments section at the end. Comments help to create a buzz around your blog and indicate to search engines that your content is valuable. Here are some simple ways to encourage comments.
Around 90% of people using the internet are known as “lurkers,” these are people who read or observe your blog post but don’t actually engage with it. An engagement can mean a like, comment, email subscription, or sale of a product or service. This means that you need to encourage lurkers to take action on your blog with calls to action and by inviting comments.
There are two reasons why inviting comment is a useful strategy. One, an invitation to comment on a blog post in the body text of the article triggers something in the mind of a lurker that can lead to engagement; they think, sure, why not. The second reason is that some newer readers will not be aware of the possibility to comment, so it’s worth spelling this out to them in the text.
The mind is very mechanical and regularly operates on automatic pilot. For instance, if you ask yourself a question and then forget about it for a time, your brain will operate in the background, and sooner or later, the answer will arrive, this is a common experience of most people, including school children using sixth grade worksheets, so encourage question from early on.
If you make the title of your blog a question, your reader puts that question at the forefront of their mind, but then, your blog article takes them away from the core question to discuss other aspects of the subject; this process takes the reader’s mind off the question but generates answers in the background. When they reach the end of the article, they are ready to comment.
Stay Open Ended
Whatever your subject is, don’t cover it comprehensively in your blog post; leave some room for your readers to fill in the gaps themselves and support comments at the end of the blog. Of course, a comprehensive blog post has its advantages, it makes you more of an authority in your domain and improves your search engine ranking, but it can backfire for newer bloggers.
Comprehensive articles are better on more established blogs looking for domain authority and better SEO, but newer bloggers are interested in ranking better on the search engine index; for that reason, comments and engagement is more helpful. Even if you have a college degree on a subject, leave out a lot of it and ask questions of your readers throughout for more comments.
Comment interactions help you to engage with your audience and create a hive of commenting around your subjects; this is exactly what you want because it indicates that your blog is active and relevant, helping you to rank higher. As well as encouraging comments, you need to be ready to engage with your audience, answer questions, and manage the occasional debate.
Don’t worry about being a little controversial either; you might find that living on the edge with certain subjects encourages the kind of debate and dialogue that can keep your blog post lively for days or weeks. As with any comment or interaction with your blog, it’s important, to be honest, humble, sensible, and kind. Learn more about conflict resolution to manage comments.
The Twittersphere is well-known for its internet trolls and hateful comments, which is one reason people are reluctant to get involved with commenting on belongs and websites; it’s also why many internet users appreciate a moderated comments section with a clear policy over what is acceptable and what is not. Consider a comments policy for the blog before permission is given.
You can see this system in action in many social media groups because the administrator cares about the comments section; it gives readers a little more confidence for engaging with the group or blog; this is the same culture you want for your personal or business blog. Create a comments policy and ask readers to acknowledge it; you will notice an increase in comments.
Nobody likes a know-it-all, so if you are coming across as one on your blog or website, it might be time to change your style a little. Showing humility is also a great way to encourage more comments in your blog posts; people are more willing to engage with you if you have something to learn as well as them. So, how can you cultivate humility in your writing and in your life?
When you write a blog post, you set something in motion, a topic, a question, a debate; but it’s not like you have all the answers on any subject, even if you are an expert. In fact, most experts recognize there is always more to learn, and they are unlikely to close off any avenue of investigation. Create space in your writing for your readers to engage in dialogue with you.
Whether it is acknowledging a spelling mistake or making a U-turn on an argument, showing gratitude is important. In these instances, you have made a mistake that can be difficult to acknowledge; however, showing gratitude to someone for noticing the error and bringing it to your attention is an opportunity for gratitude. When you show gratitude, you engage others.
Vulnerability is strength, and when you show your readers you are infallible, they respond with kindness, understanding, and engagement. Instead of viewing your gratitude for mistakes through a lens of weakness, see it as a strength; after all, your reader is helping you to improve the quality of your writing or filling the gaps in your knowledge when it comes to debates.
Controversy can be powerful, but it can also mean playing with fire a little. On the one hand, controversial blog posts get people thinking and make them more likely to comment at the end; on the other hand, you might put people off reading and silence the more introverted end of your readership. That said, when it’s used wisely, you can encourage comments without a reaction.
If you keep your controversy minimal and blend it into the article rather than making bold statements, you stand the best chance of encouraging debate without overwhelming the readership. In short, don’t make your article overtly controversial. With controversy, it’s especially important to remain open-minded and encourage healthy debating in the comments.
Rewarding comments is an excellent way to acknowledge contributions and encourage more comments. People love it when their words and ideas are acknowledged and appreciated; it welcomes them into the dialogue and gives them recognition. It’s important to use rewards such as likes and “good comment,” but it’s also important to use them wisely so they are more valid.
If there isn’t an opportunity for a “good comment” at the end of your post, you could always thank them for their comment or give them a like; it all depends on the nature of the thread. However, in the interests of encouraging comments at the end, it’s a better idea to comment yourself; creating a “thanks for the comment “ post at the end will encourage further comments.
As with most things online these days, it’s better if the process is streamlined and easy instead of a hurdle to overcome; but there’s a problem. Creating hurdles is also part of the modern internet experience; blog owners require emails for newsletters or compliance for the comments sections. Make the decision, but remember, easy comments will get the blog more engagement.
If there is an interesting debate ongoing in the comments section, a reader might be willing to input their email address or move through some gated content; but it’s highly unlikely with a blog post that receives very little attention anyway. Consider the nature and status of your blog and decide whether you want to encourage more comments or create a gateway for gathering data.
If you are in the early stages of your blogging career, you need the algorithm to notice and rank you better; one of the best ways to achieve this is to increase engagement in the comments sections. The search engine algorithms consider these comment interactions a ranking factor.
There are many ways to improve the comments section of your blog, as outlined in the article. Start with the way you construct your content and include plenty of questions in the body text to encourage thoughts and debates. Remember to moderate comments for the best results.
This post is in collaboration, however all opinions are my own.