We all know how powerful blogging can be for your business, but, just like social media, it’s only as effective as your level of engagement. Having great content on your blog may attract people to your page, but if they don’t stick around to read to the end and ideally take further action, your blog isn’t doing its job. That “further action” can be a few things. For example:
- Signing up for your email marketing list
- Reading another blog post
- Following you on social media
- Sharing your content
- Commenting on your blog
Blog comments are great indicators of engagement and incredibly important, but how exactly do you get people to comment?
Why You Should Care About Comments
At one time it was believed blog comments increased site traffic, as they bumped up the amount of content on your pages and improved your SEO. This has since been debunked, as the data shows no correlation between comments and traffic. And yet, encouraging visitors to comment on your blog is still important to your content marketing because it’s a crucial indication of engagement.
If a visitor takes the time to comment on your blog, it means they’re fully engaged with your content, or at least engaged enough to voice an opinion on it. People who comment on your blog posts are much more likely to convert into paying clients. If they’ve invested time in writing that comment, it’s a good indication they will happily invest more. So even though more comments don’t necessarily mean more website traffic, a healthy number of comments on your blog posts is a very good thing.
But, 90 percent of your readers will lurk without ever commenting, while 9 percent will rarely comment, and a mere 1 percent will account for most of your blog comments.
Original graphic courtesy of Hazel Butler for CopyPress
So how exactly do you encourage people to comment on your blog, and make that initial, all-important investment in your brand? Here are six simple but effective ways to get more comments on your blog posts.
Drive Sign-Ups to Your Email List
The majority of your readers won’t comment on your blog if it’s the first time they’re read a post by you. They may not even comment the second or third time. Generally, people start to comment when they feel they know you. Networking helps with this, as people get to know you on social media or in networking groups, and when you share your content they’re much more likely to read and engage. But you can’t personally network with everyone visiting your blog. You need to engage with a wider audience.
The answer? Your email list.
Create a great opportunity to subscribe to your list on every blog post by offering a free content upgrade that includes even more great information on the same subject as your blog post. Content upgrades work because they give people more value and capitalize on the interest they have at that moment as they’re reading.
Once they’re on your list, you can send subsequent posts to your subscribers and, over time, they will hopefully begin to engage with your content through comments.
When you’re writing your blog posts, craft them with the same kind of passion you want to elicit in your readers. Pouring your passions into your words will draw the same kinds of feelings out in your visitors. If you can get them fired up about the subject, they will want to comment, either to offer their opinion, debate the topic with you, or ask a question.
Break the Norm
Providing a little controversy is the most tried and tested means of getting people to comment on something. If you’ve seen the conversations that blow up on viral posts, you will understand this phenomenon. Viral posts can be cute or sweet or funny, but the ones with hundreds or even thousands of comments are controversial.
Shake things up, challenge people’s assumptions, purposefully position yourself in opposition to your audience, and play devil’s advocate for a while to get them thinking – and talking!
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Tell Stories That Play On Emotions
Pulling on the heartstrings of your readers is another great way to get a reaction. Work some personal stories into your blog posts, or tell the story of your brand and its development. Share anecdotes that are sad, happy, funny, or inspiring. Make your readers cry, and laugh, and groan, and shriek, and you can guarantee they will hit the comments section, first to tell you their reaction, and secondly to share their own stories.
Stories are the fastest way to connect with people. They help your audience relate to you, and once you’ve shown you’re willing to be a little vulnerable and tell your tale, your readers will respond and tell you one of their own. It’s cathartic. It’s human nature.
Inspire Your Audience
A lack of confidence and a dearth of knowledge are two things that frequently hold people back in life. These are things that prevent them from doing what they desperately want to do, either because they don’t know enough to achieve it or they are too unsure of themselves to try. It seems impossible.
Think back to the blog posts you have felt compelled to comment on yourself, and I’m willing to bet a number of them inspired you. A great blog post can inform readers and give them all the information they need to successfully do something, and boost their confidence at the same time. Nothing quite makes the impossible feel possible like seeing someone you know actually doing it or hearing about how someone you respect was once in exactly the same impossible position you are, and overcame it.
Once you have that connection and can show yourself achieving the very dreams your readers have, you become an inspiration.
Reply When You Do Get Comments
This one is a bit of a no-brainer but it’s easily overlooked. If you do get a comment on your blog post, reply! Read the comment, answer any questions, offer your own opinions, thank the commenter, and if appropriate point them in the direction of more content they’ll enjoy just as much.
While it may be tricky to encourage them, comments are still vital for your blog as they nurture those all-important relationships with your readers and nudge people closer to converting into paying clients or return customers. If you’re looking for more advice on content marketing or need help with your content creation, get in touch – our team of experts are here to help!