The Secrets To Getting Blog Comments – Part 1

Introduction

A blog is a two way communication tool between the blogger and his readers. However, for most bloggers, their blogs are a one way street. They write the blog posts but for some reason, nobody ever comments. Does this sound like your blog? Want to change it so there are comments after comments whenever you write a new blog post? Then this blog post is for you! In the blogging series, I will give you tips and tricks on how to create a blog that readers will want to comment on.

Comments on a blog are a better sign of activity than how often a blog is updated. A blog can do multiple posts per day but if there are no comments in any of them, a reader will question if anyone reads the blog.

At time of this post, John Chow dot Com has 4,052 posts and 202,202 approved comments (plus 958,241 spam comments). That works out to 50 comments per post. It gets so competitive sometimes that some readers won’t even finish reading the post because they want to be the first to comment.

Nobody Likes a Zero

Have you ever gone to the mall and noticed that some stores have many customers while others have zero? The store with the customers has very little trouble attracting more customers, while nobody seems to want to go into the store with no customers.

The reason for this is because the world is populated by way more followers than leaders. The fact of the matter is most people are not and do not want to be leaders. They will not enter an empty store until someone else enters first.

This same mentality applies to the Internet and blog commenting. Most people will not comment on a blog that has no comments on it. This present a bit of a dilemma. If people won’t comment because there are no comments, then how do you get people to comment in the first place?

The hardest comment to get is the first one. Once that’s done, the other comments will come quite easily because social proof has been established. So how do you get that first comment? The easiest way is simply to do it yourself.

Seeding The Comments

If you want people to comment on your blog, then it’s important to make your blog look active. Sometimes, this mean you will have to seed the blog with your own comments using an alias name. Now you may think this is dishonest but in marketing, perception is everything and the perception is a blog without any comments on it is a dead blog.

I have seen blog posts where the blogger posted a question to his readers. A couple of days later I go back there and there are zero comments to the question. That does not look good. Asking a question in a blog post is a great way to get readers to comment but if there’s no reply after a day, then you should answer the questions yourself using an alias. Letting a question post go for days without a comment is a mistake I see many bloggers make. They would ask questions on their blogs and then wait for comments that never come. This just provide more social proof to the reader that the blog is a dead blog and not worth commenting on.

Having even one comment on a blog post is better than having none. That one comment may be all that is needed to get the comment ball rolling. Here are some other ways to seed a blog with that first comment.

Start a Commenting Group

We all know about Digg groups that get together to Digg their stories to the front page. You can get together with a few other bloggers and start a commenting group or just join an existing one. You all agree to comment on each others’ blogs and this helps to maintain a level of minimum comment activity on your blog.

Setting up a comment group is kinda like taking link exchanges to the next level. Link exchanges help readers and search engines discover other blogs but they don’t create a sense of activity and creating activity is the key to getting blog comments.

This is not to say you should comment on blogs that only comment on your blog. Commenting on other people’s blog, especially the big ones, is a very good way to bring targeted traffic to your blog.

Ask Your Friends To Comments

Your friends reply to you on Twitter and comment on your Facebook updates. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t comment on your blog if you ask them to. After making a new blog post, I send the link out to friends on Twitter and Facebook and ask them to comment on it. Well, I used to do that. Now I just send out the link.

Friends and family are a great source of first comments. You don’t need an army of friends to do this either. You only have to seed the post with a comment or two. There’s no need to go crazy. The key is to get that first comment in the post to remove the pressure of being the first commentator for the reader. When your blog becomes really big, you won’t have this problem because everyone will want to be the first commentator. Until then, you got to seed.

Buy The Comments

If you can’t find a comment group (or you have no friends) then you can try to buy the comments. While you can pay people to comment on your blog, a better way would be to dangle a carrot in front of them with a reply to contest. Whenever I post about a contest that requires a simple reply to enter, I easily get up over 100 comments in the post.

Now, my blog already gets enough comments as it is so why do I still do reply contests? It is all part of the overall marketing plan. A large percentage of readers are new. When they see a post with over 100 comments, it tells them that this is a happening blog and that they should be a part of it.

The main problem with a reply to contest is it only generates comments to one post. It looks very strange to see one post with a ton of comments and the rest with none. The solution would be to seed those other post and give commentators additional entries if they leave a comment in those posts as well.


79 thoughts on “The Secrets To Getting Blog Comments – Part 1”

  1. Kerwin says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for this post. Did not think about the “Commenting Group” aspect of it. How does one find those to join?

    If my hosting company could keep my blog stable, I’d be able to tell you how many comments I’m getting hehe…

    I had a contest once on one of my blogs and it did increase traffic and a few more comments.

    1. Virtual Tour says:

      I would love to know also how you find a good commenting group.

      1. By commenting on same quality and ranked blog, you easily can create a commenting group.

    2. Graham Lutz says:

      I think the best way to go about finding commenting groups is to start commenting on other blogs. Chances are the owners will at least return the favor and you begin a relationship that way.

      Once you’re on speaking terms, bring up the idea of a commenting group to them.

      I have a group of about 12-15 other bloggers that I see all over the place and are the main commenters on my blog, so I’m in a commenting group by default.

      1. Kevin Kimes says:

        Exactly. Build your own commenting group just by commenting on other blogs. Some of them will reciprocate, just keep commenting on those ones.

        But one thing many people forget about commenting, when they’re trying to grow a blog, is they just type some stuff in the box. Leaving “a comment” is enough for them. This is wrong, you need to leave comments as though each one is an advertisement or a branding campaign for your blog.

        1. @Kevin i agree selling yourself out on a blog comment gives you credibility and stands you out

        2. Hi Kevin,
          I just came across your web site by reading your comments here and checking out who is behind the name. Great work.

      2. David Taylor says:

        Just commented on yours Graham as a result of reading this.

        If you can’t find a group, why not just make one?
        I’m not interested in short one liners. I prefer people to have actually read my post.
        The tips in this post are very interesting. I have a small group of bloggers who comment on mine but I’d like to get more.

        Any ideas about groups, i’d like to know.

        All the best,
        Dave

        1. Varnit says:

          I agree with Dave.

          When John has already provided us with the idea of commenting groups, why not make the first commenting group here from the comments section itself? All of us can, once a month, visit one another’s blog and seed comments. Doesn’t take a lot of time and gives all of us what we want!

          P.S. I believe all of us would appreciate genuine comments, after having first actually read the posts.

    3. Nice article John,

      By the way, you have pointed out mostly all the point. and if talking about commenting group, that would be the best idea…

      1. Bogati says:

        You are right

      2. Yeah.. commenting group is an excellent way to increase blog comments.

    4. d3so says:

      Comment groups are a great idea, though I don’t know of any.

      1. One quick way to start a half-official commenting group is to talk with your friends who are also blogging. When you post something, individually contact them and ask them to leave a comment. However, be sure to return the favor without asking. This is a win-win situation for all of you, you will not only have new comments, but a strong support group as well.

  2. Michael Kwan says:

    I know this post is in relation to the blog, but I’m finding it’s also true on FB and G+. The posts/updates with comments generally get pushed higher up the “top news” lists and such, getting more attention.

    1. Graham Lutz says:

      I hate “top news” on Facebook! It is never actually my top news. what is it about “top news” they don’t understand?

      1. Kevin Kimes says:

        I find it useful sometimes, because I’m not looking at facebook constantly. But I always end up clicking the Recent thing sooner or later.

      2. The FB news would make so much more sense if it would also consider the relationship of people. For example, I always wonder how my wife’s posts or people with several mutual friends post don’t make it to the top.

  3. Mate Hegedus says:

    Or give top commentators a valuable do-follow link from john chow 😀

    1. Virtual Tour says:

      I also think top commentators helps out a lot in getting good comments

      1. Graham Lutz says:

        I think top commentators helps in getting a lot of terrible comments. People just trying to add one more to their amount to get the link…could lead to “great post” kind of comments.

        1. Kevin Kimes says:

          Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

          I get some great comments on my blog that are on-point, and I think the top-commentator plugin helped attract them to comment in the first place.

          The most important factor is writing great content with an intent to make readers want to discuss it more. Then provide a little incentive with a top-commentator type widget and commentluv, and you’ll find good comments.

          1. PPC Ian says:

            Top commentators on my blog typically drives high quality comments.

        2. So what if it does? Looks at the comments on John’s posts. It’s a varied mix of great comments and the “great post” kind. Does it really matter? As long as it’s not dominated by the “great post” kind, I don’t really see anything wrong with the top commentators. I think it will (and obviously has) encouraged more people to comment on posts.

    2. Michael Kwan says:

      One thing that I use on my blog is a monthly roundup thanking the top commentators for that month, providing dofollow links.

      1. Kevin Kimes says:

        That’s a great idea Michael. Providing links in an actual article with real keywords is a powerful incentive.

        A step further might be to cognitively evaluate the commentators, and give them your own personal “rating”. That way the “great post thx infoz” comments will be discouraged. 🙂

        1. PPC Ian says:

          I like this idea too! I have done a few comment contests in the past with the reward being site reviews with dofollow links. Need to do more of this!

    3. I didn’t think so. Its increase lots of spam comments.

  4. Commenting can be very powerful if you can get people to comeback and leave more comments..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    1. AvoidErrors says:

      True. Now, I have never thought of asking my friends in facebook to comment.

        1. Yeah.. but there comment quality is not good.

  5. Thanks… I completely agree. When I get a few comments on one post, I find it usually leads to other readers adding their opinion. I also find that asking my readers a question towards the end of the post helps as well.

  6. Mary says:

    I knew I loved you for a good reason! You aren’t afraid to say the truth. I’ve left comments on my own blogs with aliases before, and always felt so “dirty” doing it… but John Chow says it’s ok! Thanks for the other tips, it’s a great push in the right direction.

  7. zool says:

    Wow.. what a nice tips.. maybe I’ll try to use the method..

  8. The idea of a commenting group was a really good idea. I am going to have to start something like that for my new blog that I am starting right now

  9. Sadia Komal says:

    unique ideas 🙂

      1. And that is what will happen with the commenting group, everyone writes a lot of commentators with a few words in the comments. (spam?)

        1. This is not for commenting group. It’s for top commentators.

  10. Commenting group to get more comments sound little wrong for me, comments and articles must be build by quality not by quantity.

  11. Ed says:

    When you are really desperate, approve those intelligent-sounding spam comments

    lol

  12. Health Blog says:

    You got your point again John. Thanks for the valuable post.

  13. fas says:

    John another way is to have facebook comments. Can you guide us how to implement it?

    1. There are no benefit for commentators if you use facebook comment box. That’s why it’s possible to decrease amount of normal comments.

  14. that is brilliant. I appreciate the efforts concerning this post. Blogging is important and to get comments for improvement is equally valuable. Thanks John for quick tips as well.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      That’s a really great way to think about it! Agreed that comments are the life of a blog.

  15. Great post John, to be completely honest I never viewed blog commenting to be much of importance, but now my perspective on it is clearly changed.

  16. Nice info Jhon. Thanks for share.

  17. fazal mayar says:

    nice post, im definitely trying to increase my blog comments. Im surprised you dont use tags but this a hell a lot of comments.

  18. Hugh Kimura says:

    Great tips! There is another one I used awhile back…setup a task on Mechanical Turk. I paid like $0.05 per comment. I asked them to answer the question in my post. $2 got me pretty far without having to do the commenting myself. Then I just copy the task and change the URL to get more comments for another post.

  19. Sir, you never fail to give very useful posts. Let me try this to my blog.

  20. PPC Ian says:

    What a superb post, all points are great and make a ton of sense. I like the discussion about social proof. So true.

  21. Alexis says:

    That’s right John. Blog commenting rocks. It’s a powerful way to explode your blog traffic and popularity.Your tips are spot on.
    Thanks!

    1. Blog commenting not only gives you traffic it gives you backlinks and makes you contron the serps

  22. Commenting on blog, I found to be one of the best way’s to drive traffic to your blog. I usually have some of my internet marketing friends to leave a comment on my blog in order to make my blog get some conversation started. Great Post!

  23. Alvaro says:

    What do you think John, is this like having a Blog commenting Team?

    1. @Alvaro this is already a blog commenting team

  24. This is an awesome Post John…I feel like comments are very important..not only because they get readers involved, but for social proof as well…I’m gonna take your advice…I personally don’t get as many comments as I would like on my blog, but hey, some is better than none!

  25. Forex News says:

    The idea of a commenting group was a really good idea. I am going to have to start something like that for my new blog that I am starting right now

  26. Once I have joined a commenting group for several months. The group was wonderful, but I had a very hard time leaving intelligent comments for all people, as some of the topics were totally unknown for me. And probably they felt the same way about mine. I think it helps to have at least one common interest among all group members.

  27. Erwin Miradi says:

    I read the part 2 and 3 already, now I have to read them all over again sigh. Nice posts anyway 🙂

  28. Thanks for sharing an post about blog comments

  29. arun says:

    Wow, 200,000 comments. would like to reach there one day. Thanks for this useful post.

  30. I think buying content is not a good ways. It can’t make a blog great. Other are really good tips. Thanks for share.

  31. Thanks for the tips about blog commenting

  32. Mercer says:

    What I like about this post is the sheer number of comments! With many blogs, I’ve seen the comment numbers dropping… coincidence they also use FB comments? I confess, I have FB on my own blog now… perhaps I should dump it?

  33. thanks for sharing the tips, it is workout.

  34. Gift Ideas says:

    I did not yet see any post with over 1000 post. Do you have any?

  35. Technary says:

    Ok, the contests for commenting will be a great option.

Comments are closed.