Three Easy Steps to Convert Your First Time Commentators into Loyal Visitors

"Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them" – Orison Swett Marden

Comments in title and opportunities in starting? Either John has not reviewed this post or the guest writer is mad! I am sure you have same thoughts in mind! Well, this is my strategy to get you deep inside the post. Starting with quotes is a good way to attract readers to read full post, you see!

OK, enough of chit chat, let’s be serious and get straight to the topic, turning the first time commentators into loyal readers. I used the quote because I wanted to convey that every first time commentator is an opportunity for your blog. While ordinary bloggers let this opportunity pass, you should not. In 3 simple steps, you can convert this opportunity into a great occasion.

1. Comment Redirect

First time commentators are usually readers who like your blog and may easily become loyal. Redirecting them to a custom "Thank You" page can prove beneficial. By using a simple WordPress plugin called Comment Redirect, you can redirect only first time commentators to a custom page that can have a Thank You note, elevator pitch, Subscription box, in short anything that impresses reader.

Here are some ways you can use your redirect page for maximum benefit:

  1. Elevator Pitch: An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea or product. In this case, you can put overview and central idea of your blog. A good elevator pitch can impress your future loyal reader. Read in detail about elevator pitches in this post by ProBlogger.
  2. Subscription Information: Information about Subscription for Feeds or Newsletter can also be put on your redirect page. If you offer a free ebook/product with it, then also include a screenshot and see subscriber number grow.
  3. Testimonials: Reader will surely be impressed when they read how your blog helped Mr. X earn more or Mr. Y attract more traffic. Although not applicable to all niches, testimonials are best way to get reader impressed(just keep them believable!).

2. Replying and Notifying

Out of sight, out of mind. Once reader leaves your blog, you can not be sure that he/she will remember your blog. After all, there are millions of other websites and blogs waiting to grab attention and distract him. Be prepared for this.

Firstly, you must have a "Subscribe to Comments" option under comment area. Many readers really like the conversations and will come back when someone replies to their comment. If you do not have this feature, you can use Subscribe to Comments plugin for WordPress. Blogger users can use Disqus commenting system to enable this feature.

After this begins the second part, replying to comments. As a blog owner, you should try to reply to all comments. This sparks the conversations and bring the "live" feeling to blog.

3. Thank You Mail

Sending a "Thank You" mail to readers is the most effective and converting step. You have two options to choose:

A. Automatic Mail Through Plugins

There are plugins for everything! And so is the case with Thanks You mails. You can use a plugin that automatically sends personalized mail to first time commentators. Thank Me Later plugin for WordPress is a good one and it lets you set the time after which mail is sent. Usually, one day waiting time is good to remind readers.

However, this may have negative effects too. First, mails will seem funny to people using keywords as name. Who would like to read a mail starting with "Hello Blogs For Sale"?

Second, this can even make you lose the reader if not done correctly. This once happened with me when I commented on a blog that had good content. The mail had lot of sales pitches in it and this enraged me! Result? I have not visited that blog again!

You do not want to have blunders like these! So, this brings us to the second(and better) option:

B. Personally Written Mail

Let me make this clear, this is highly converting and best option(if you have time). Not many people do this, so it is also very effective! But it is also very time consuming and if you have a big blog, it will eat up lot of time. If you still want to give it a try, here it is:

WordPress and most blog platforms record the commentator’s email address. You can use this to send a personally written message(please, do not spam!) to commentator. Here are some tips to make sure that your mails impress commentator and at the same time benefit you, the blog owner:

  1. Visit His/Her Blog: Visiting commentators blog and (optionally)commenting will encourage a return.
  2. Tell that You Visited: Tell that you visited the blog and like XYZ thing about blog. If you are in related niche, you can also add some advice.
  3. Use Real Name: If commentator is using a keyword in place of name, either guess real name from email or visit the about page of blog to find the real name.
  4. Add Related Posts: After all this, include some related posts from your blog. Since reader is interested in topic(that’s why he commented in first place!), he will follow up in most cases.
  5. Signature: Include your short elevator pitch in the signature. It will surely attract some traffic.

That’s it. With these 3 easy steps, you can have lot of loyal readers. Have anything in mind that I missed? Be sure to add it to the comments.


Ishan Sharma is the blogger over at Blogging With Success and he invites you to see a working demo of these steps (and get spammed with personal mails!wink) on his blog.


65 thoughts on “Three Easy Steps to Convert Your First Time Commentators into Loyal Visitors”

  1. John, this is priceless for me. I had bits of the jigsaw, but the plugins you mention are invaluable to me. Thanks a lot.

    1. That is true for me as well. I had many of the pieces and the pieces I had I failed to follow through on.

      This will be the basis of a new effort that I am making.

      Thank You John Chow.

      Not John Chow’s last blog post: World For Fun – EntreCard Advertiser on Not John Chow dot com

      1. Jake Stone says:

        I hate jigsaws.

        Jake Stone’s last blog post: Sales stories carnival volume 14

    2. It is indeed very good tips. I was able to recognize most of them on myself. But for some obvious reason I can’t use my real name. I just don’t want to for now. Some day when I recoup all my lost on my trading then I will. Hopefully that day is coming soon 🙂

      StockTradersBlog’s last blog post: Roubini VS Buffet

  2. The are some great tips! A lot of blogs I read daily sent me thank you emails the first time I actually made a comment on their sites …some were actually personal ones while others generic, either way, it was a reason that I opted to return to their sites

    another good plus that makes me into a loyal visitor to some sites is the fact that my comments are actually replied to. Having a connection with the poster and engaging in a convo makes the site more welcoming

    [email protected] last blog post: Freebie Monday #27 – Free Road and Track for 1 year (USA)

    1. Cam Birch says:

      When you receive an “I agree with this” type comment, how do you respond? I am looking at replying to comments more often on my blog, the issue for myself is that most commenters are of the “I agree” type.

      Cam Birch’s last blog post: China “Greening” The Internet With More Filtering

      1. Ishan says:

        If you see most “i agree” type comments,
        1. Most probably, they are spam.
        2. You can say “Thank You for Compliment” and include some encouraging message(“Hope to see your views/thoughts next time/feel free to ask questions”) in reply or personal mail.

        Ishan’s last blog post: 125×125 FAQ: 10 Most Asked Questions

      2. Jake Stone says:

        Hi Cam,

        The ones that come through spam filter and say “GRRREEEAT STUFF” or “Love your blog” I just trash. Sometimes I just email them back with the same comment. Occasionally there are short and banal comments that still justify as “valid” comments. To those I might answer something relevant like “Go home and grow yourself a temporal lobe”

        For some reason most of the comments I get are intelligent and vivid often contributing something to the topic discussed. Thanks guys.

        Jake Stone’s last blog post: Sales stories carnival volume 14

        1. grrrreeeeat reply Jake! lol…(sorry, could not resist haha)…I got a lot of those SPAM comments but that ASKIMET (sp) plugin takes them all away from my blog…then if I get some comments that are generic spam, I just manually block the IP to decrease them..although, I do like what Jake suggests…a nice harsh comment in return could be warranted.

          [email protected] last blog post: Simplified Sunday #21 – Learning to Let Go and Cutting Losses

  3. I’ve heard that a lot of the “thank you for commenting” plugins can make your blog go ridiculously slow. Is this true?

    Comment Redirect is an interesting one though.

    TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

    1. Ishan says:

      Which slow are you referring to?
      1. Slow at sending Mails: You can set interval with Thank Me Later after which mail is sent(1 day, 1 hours etc.)
      2. Making Whole Blog Slow: It never happened to me. They do not affect blog speed at all.

      Ishan’s last blog post: 125×125 FAQ: 10 Most Asked Questions

      1. Yeah, I meant making the blog slow. I heard some people complain about this with the Comment Relish plugin.

        TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  4. The Thank You email auto responder is a great idea because some people forget who’s blog they comment on.

    Gold Coins Blog’s last blog post: 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins For Sale

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Like the article wrote, I also think that it is not so much about forgetting but pleasantly surprising that someone sees the trouble to contact you personally.

      Jake Stone’s last blog post: Sales stories carnival volume 14

  5. Great information, I’m currently using “Comment Relish” plugin as my thank you redirect, it will send an automatic email to the commentator.

    But since you say the name is using keywords seems to be funny, I found a way to re-accomplish your “personal written mail.”

    Simply this: use “Hey friend,” or “Dear Friend,” relationship is important between you and the reader, and by NOT using the author’s name (which is keyword), is better to just use “friend.”

    And of cos, in the mail, I usually thank them for commenting and immediately NOT ask for sales, but giving them the option to subscribe to my RSS Feed.

    Oh… an ideal just strike me, and that is, sending them to a download page for a free gift for taking the time to read your post and comment.

    I hope my comment, could give anyone reading it, to spark more creative ideals and share around….

    1. Ishan says:

      Thanks for adding idea of sending to download page. Hey Friend and Dear Friend are of course better that “SEO tips” etc.!

      Ishan’s last blog post: 125×125 FAQ: 10 Most Asked Questions

  6. PV Reymond says:

    Hey, it is a great post with fantastic tips!

    I use to read some blogs and from some of them I receive a Thank You message every time I leave a comment and they are automatic mails using plugins.

    What can really makes the difference is sending a personally written mail, the point is that it can consume a lot of your time… the solution is outsourcing it.

    Receiving Thank You messages every time you leave a comment on a blog can be boring. I prefer to do it only the first time someone comments.

    Thanks,
    ^PV Reymond

    PV Reymond’s last blog post: Laid-Off? Here’s Your BIG Opportunity

    1. Ishan says:

      I agree with you at the point of getting bored if you receive the email again and again. That’s why I have suggested doing this only(mostly) with first time commentators.

      Ishan’s last blog post: 125×125 FAQ: 10 Most Asked Questions

  7. Ron Givens says:

    This is a really well written and informative article. I have already picked up some very useful tips that I will use on my blog!

    My hat is off to Ishan Sharma

    -Thank you

    1. Ishan says:

      WOW! This is first time someone has said that to me! Thanks to you(and your hat who got off! 😉 )

      Ishan’s last blog post: 125×125 FAQ: 10 Most Asked Questions

  8. Clear and concise. Well done! I’m an RSS subscriber now!

  9. This is just the info I was looking for. A lot of times I have readers leave comments in which they ask me questions and after I respond I always wonder if they will return. While I have sent a personal e-mail to them every once in a while, the subscribe to comments plug-in for WordPress will help me so much more.
    Thanks!

    Fernando Montalvo’s last blog post: Seaplane crashes on takeoff from Anchorage seaplane base.

  10. Pheak Tol says:

    nicely written and was very helpful – i think i will add some of these plugins to my blog as well.

    Thanks Ishan Sharma

    1. Ishan says:

      Thanks for compliment. Feel free to contact me if you need any help with the plugins.

      Ishan’s last blog post: 125×125 FAQ: 10 Most Asked Questions

  11. Great point about using the automate plugins… most visitors will use a keyword related name… just like I just did 🙂

    1. Ishan says:

      Using Hello Friend or something similar is good idea if you want to automate. Thanks to The Bad Blogger for idea!

      Ishan’s last blog post: 125×125 FAQ: 10 Most Asked Questions

  12. EarningStep says:

    you are jenius john , this post make me love your blog more and more

    EarningStep’s last blog post: Webgrader | Free seo tool | Analyze for your blog/site

  13. Cam Birch says:

    Excellent idea’s. I have been thinking along that line lately.

    Cam Birch’s last blog post: China “Greening” The Internet With More Filtering

  14. Cool plugins! I will definitely be taking a closer look at them today. Thanks 🙂

    Eric Clickbooth’s last blog post: Featured CB HERO: Ashlee Pendleton

  15. Zemalf says:

    Nice guest post! Made me go check your blog right away 🙂

    Personally written mail to the first time commentator is probably the most powerful tactic. Comment redirect can be a good tool too, especially with those testimonials you suggested. Just gotta make it easy on “selling”

    Zemalf’s last blog post: Top 10 Bloggers to Follow on Twitter

  16. Curtis says:

    Wow…tip #1 is awesome! I’ve never heard of such a plugin…I didn’t even know it was possible to redirect like that for comment posting.

    Excellent guest post, thank you.

    1. Ishan says:

      Thanks for Compliment! Make sure you share your results with us here!

  17. DirectAgents says:

    John, great post with a lot of helpful information for readers! I especially agree with your thoughts about the value of redirecting first time commentators to a “thank you” page.

  18. I am saving this one as this one is quite useful post by you. Will read at night.

    ZK @ Web Marketing Blog’s last blog post: SEO Marketing Guide by Google covers 98% of Internet Audience

  19. Nice post John,

    I really like your strategy when it comes to convert your commentators.

    Thanks for sharing

    Money Blogger’s last blog post: Blogging for Profit Begins With a Long Term Plan

  20. Dino says:

    This was a very resourceful read, i am surely going to apply some of these methods! Bookmarking!

    Dino’s last blog post: BriefCase Joe – Eminem and Jimmy Kimmel

  21. Your quote rings true-strong men make opportunities. As a “Newbie on the Blog” your comments are valuable, especially the’elevator pitch’ , an opportunity to start an ongoing blog relationship. In the past, I’ve made email opportunities slip away, then felt paralysed to reply after procrastinating too long.
    Your tips are timely Ishan. Thanks.

    1. Ishan says:

      No problems, you can start anytime. Just make sure you put value in your e-mails(link to related posts from archives and other sources!). Readers will definitely come back!

  22. Melody says:

    I think my readers literally know I love them cause I say it at the end of each post…lol..may be mushy but whatever..

    However, I hate when some sites automatically subscribe me to their comments, then regularly for a couple of weeks I get emails with comments unrelated to mine..

    Melody’s last blog post: Preview To My New T-shirt Design Line

    1. Ishan says:

      Now that’s an truly evil strategy! Usually, there is an unsubscribe link in such e-mails. If their isn’t, you can always hit that big red(OK, it’s not red) Spam button to stop getting mails into inbox!

  23. D-Smooth says:

    Thanks a lot for the tips, will most definitely be implementing these into my own blog.

  24. Asswass says:

    I don’t like point # 1 or point #3:
    Point #1: I don’t appreciate a Thank You note since it’s clearly a sales scheme.
    Point #3: I don’t like being mailed just for commenting on a blog.
    I only believe on point #3.
    Well that’s just me 🙂

    Asswass’s last blog post: Radical Marketing Post #4: Second Quality of a Radical Marketeer

    1. Ishan says:

      #1 It might now be! For example, my “Thank You” page just has links to popular posts and then a subscribe box(now, subscribing is not selling!)
      #3 That is a personal preference! Some people may like it(and come back) while some may not!
      Thanks for Commenting!

  25. Karl Foxley says:

    Great tips as always…

    I’m already implementing all of the above so seeing your recommendations gives me the chuffed satisfaction of knowing I’m on the right track…

    Thanks for sharing,

    Karl

  26. I like the personal follow-up approach, I’m going to start using that immediately. Very useful post thanks.

    Paul @ FiscalGeek’s last blog post: Is your printer robbing you blind? Calculate your Electricity Usage with a Kill A Watt

  27. I got a personal email from a blog I commented on not long ago. I had been thinking of giving up on the blog, but the friendly personal contact changed my mind.

    On the other hand some people (Hi Jonathan Volk!) send (badly-formatted) auto responder emails after every comment, which turn me off and are just annoying.

    Valuable post, thanks.

    needmoney.com’s last blog post: Viral marketing series – Part 1, Definition and Discussion

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    Ecommerce Help – Tyrone Shum’s last blog post: Podcast: Gideon Shalwick From Become A Blogger

  30. game-girl says:

    The strategy implies better communicatin with the visitor s of the blog and opportunities for business.

    game-girl’s last blog post: Призраки в Коннектикуте скачать фильм онлайн

  31. Linda says:

    Yes, I like thank you emails. I’ve only ever had a couple out of thousands of comments I’ve left over the years. And they are the ones that I remember.

  32. fas says:

    Well some nice tips there. You can use Comment redirect and comment relish. But mostly people dont give true email on blogs.

    fas’s last blog post: Start Your Online Business Now

  33. Subscribe to Comments plugin you mentioned seems to work fine at my blogs. I try not to bother my commentators with the letters, I think they are annoying

  34. Nice one, installed it today…working perfectly…

  35. Caden Grant says:

    Great post… I’m gonna try the Comment Redirect plugin and the Thank Me Later plugin as well.

    Caden Grant’s last blog post: 8 Ways To Get More RSS Subscribers

  36. Dion says:

    There are many ways to get loyal visitors to our blogs. We can choose one or combine them since people have different behavior.

    Dion’s last blog post: Do Not Follow SEO Bad Techniques

  37. Awesome Tips John. I am sure i will straight away start sending Thank You emails to blogmy commentators.

    Ricky Peterson’s last blog post: Increase Affiliate Marketing Sales Using 6 Effective Strategies

  38. Mikehts says:

    Excellent post. There are a lot of these things that as a blogger you “kinda” know you shoudl be doing, but don’t really systematize. This post is great for clearly laying out all the steps necessary to follow on an ongoing basis. With a list like this it will be much easier to make sure that I’m covering all the bases. Thanks.

    Mikehts’s last blog post: 30 Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts

  39. Jugsi says:

    I was happy to find this wordpress plugin…i already tried it..but I have 1Q: how can I make my custom “thank you” page disapear from my page menu or categories?

    Jugsi’s last blog post: BING gets Bigger and Bigger

    1. EarningStep says:

      hey … i have the same wish with you , i wonder how to delete the link

      1. Ishan says:

        I am a bit late but here’s how:
        There’s a WP plugin called pageMash. You can use it to hide pages from menu!

  40. jan geronimo says:

    Some notes:
    1. Reply to every comment. Check.
    2. Visit every commenter. Check
    3. Write a personal email to commenters. Check.

    What I don’t have is this Comment Redirect plugin. Maybe I should give this some thought. Thanks for the valuable tip. 🙂

    jan geronimo’s last blog post: Question and Answer With WritingToExhale

  41. Bong says:

    Very helpful tips. I’ve installed all the WordPress plugins recommended in the article and been getting very positive feedback from readers/visitors of my blog since.

  42. Custom Essay says:

    Be in contact with your top commentator through e-mail or messenger. It will make them keep coming at your blog. You can even tell them what is new or what is coming next. Commentators gives a good idea, what to post and what not to post. If blogger is connected to commentators, it makes very effective social community.

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