Over the last week I’ve had a couple of record days of getting comments on my own blogs. Here on ProBlogger my ‘win a book’ competition drew in 1512 comments while on DPS asking my readers if they had a photoblog and giving opportunity for them to promote it drew in 592 (although this will go a lot higher tonight when I send my newsletter out).
It’s no surprise that these types of posts got a lot of comments – for one I specifically asked for comments and there was a tangible benefit for commenting in each case (the chance to win something and the chance to promote something) – but what other types of posts get lots of comments?
I asked my followers on Twitter to share some of their most commented upon posts to see if I noticed any trends on types of posts that drew readers out of lurking mode to react with a comment.
Here are 13 types of posts that were most common in people’s responses with a few links to examples.
Note: some of the examples could have been used in multiple categories and some get more comments than others – but that’s because they are from smaller blog where the blogger doesn’t normally see loads of comments. I could have found bigger more well known blogs as examples but decided to go mainly with ‘normal’ blogs from readers as I think it is probably more useful than highlighting just mega blogs that get lots of comments on most posts.
Lets start with the most obvious – give people the chance to win something by leaving a comment and you’re well on the way to drawing people into leaving a comment. Example: Giveaway: SKIL 4-piece Power Tools Combo Kit.
2. Personal Stories
Sometimes sharing something personal really draws people into what you’re writing. I know when I’ve shared something from my personal life on my blog – either as an off topic post or as a way to illustrate something that I’m talking about that it always draws people in. This is particularly powerful if you share a problem overcome, a failure or something that people can relate to. Examples: Exposed.and
3. Show Off Posts/Share a link
These types of posts ask your readers to show or share something that they’ve done, written, created etc. The ‘show us your photoblog’ link above is an example of this. So to was another of my posts – ‘Share Your Best Photo‘.
4. Creative Posts
posts where the blogger has gone to extra lengths to do something out of the ordinary and creative often have a ‘wow factor’ that gets people commenting. Example: Disney’s “A Whole New World” Sung in Pictures.
Walk people through a process or show them how to do something for themselves (DIY). These types of posts are great for traffic but I find that they also tend to get reactions – particularly if it’s a good and helpful hack. Example: Apparently My Bling Likes to Swing.
6. Meaty Posts
It was fascinating to read through the 80-90 links to most commented upon posts that people sent me – one thing I noticed is that it was often quite long and in depth posts that seemed to be getting commented upon. Longer resources that really looked deeply at a topic or that gave comprehensive advice. Example: How NOT to Suck at Blogging (this post probably fits into some of the other categories too – it is strong, opinionated and pretty in your face – all of this Elicits a strong response).
7. Relatable Posts
Many of the posts talked about were on topics that a lot of people would have been able to relate to. Not always personal stories – but on issues and problems that lots of readers might face. They draws out people to tell their story or personal reflection on their own experiences with the topics. Example: Why Do Women Let Themselves Go (this post also has a strong headline and perhaps some controversy attached to it).
8. Question Posts
Ask a question and those who hear it are wired to answer it. I find when I include a question in the title of my posts that comment numbers tend to be at least double normal posts. Do Young Entrepreneurs Need to Go to Collge? (a post that had a question it its very title – as long as some opinion and meat to it). Also What Camera Gear Would You Buy if you were Given $1000 to Spend? (this post not only asked a question but was a hypothetical/fun post on a topic that I knew would also create some debate between readers loyal to different types of cameras. Also Net Worth vs Self Worth: The Passion Paradox (while this post isn’t a pure question post there’s a strong call for people to react in it and the blogger highlights other people’s posts on the topic/reactions).
9. Debate or Controversy Posts
Put two or more opposing arguments to your readers and step back to see what happens. Example: Which Digital Camera Manufacturer is Best? (this is an old post when we only had a few readers – I’m too scared to post the question again as this question always gets people so fired up). Also Adam Lambert’s Jacket Auctioned for $2000 (not a debate but certainly stirred up some controversy).
10. Opinion Pieces
Expressing your own strongly held opinion on an issue will generally have your readers examining their own opinions. If you do express it strongly you can expect your readers to share what they think strongly also. Example: I like Dave Ramsey, But He is Still Wrong. Also Why our Current Education System is Failing (also some controversy/debate in this one too).
Humor evokes a natural physical reaction (smiling and laughter) which sometimes also comes out in other ways (like sharing a reaction, passing it on to a friend etc). Example:(also a personal type post).
12. Group Projects/Challenges
This is one I’ve used quite a bit over the years – getting readers all to go and do something and then come back and share the results. Examples: Top 5 – Group Writing Project, Enter the Passion to Profit Challenge and RED: Weekend Photography Challenge.
13. Mega Lists/Resources
There is nothing like a mega/over the top list of resources or links relevant to your niche to draw in traffic and comments. These posts are a lot of work but tend to do well in social media – but also at getting comments. You get comments from those in the list, from those who want to be in the list, from those who find the list useful, from those who think your list is skewed and biased…. etc. Example: 87 Great Photography Blogs and Feeds.
What Was Your Most Commented Upon Post?
Of course these 13 types of posts just scratch the surface – I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d add.
I’d also love to see your most commented upon blog post. Dig back through your archives and find 1-2 examples of where you had comment numbers way above your normal average and share the link below!
Further Reading: 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog (ironically another of my most commented upon posts ever).