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7 Ways to Turn a Blog Post Upside Down and Get More Comments

In the early days of a new blog it can be frustrating to put a lot of time and energy into the writing of posts only to find that it seems as though no one is listening. While you feel you’ve said something worthy of some discussion the comments section of your post resembles a ghost town with tumbleweed blowing around.

I’ve previously written a post with 10 techniques to get more comments on your blog (one of the most commented upon posts I’ve ever written) so I won’t go over all of that again – however I wanted to share one simple technique that I’ve always found to be effective at getting readers interacting. It is obvious and very basic – but so many bloggers don’t do it.

The technique is simply to turn a post upside down and make the comments the primary focus of the post rather than what you have to say.

Here are a number of ways of doing this with some links to examples of where I’ve done it:

Do feel free to add to the list in comments!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. TH says:

    The idea of turning the post upside down and making comments the meat is an interesting idea. I suppose it’s what made blogs like post secret wildly popular, but it’s something that most bloggers (myself included) don’t think about. Thanks!

  2. Jacob says:

    That does work esp with topics on politics. If one is running out of questions to ask on blog, they can simply head over to Yahoo Answers and search for their main site keyword.

  3. Starting a debate is a great idea. Picking a side of the debate that isn’t popular with the general public is a way to expand on this. Might get some hate comments, but it’ll draw out spirited opinions.

  4. Tumblemoose says:

    I’ve employed most of these techniques at one time or another and they do work.

    For a new blog – don’t worry too much if the comments aren’t there. Remember that a far greater number of readers come by without commenting.

    Cheers

    George

  5. zeeshan says:

    great great great post, both your posts on comments. I have noticed that people start commenting on my post when i don’t expect any comments, and when i expect them , they don’t comment. Its like when you want to share something, share a part of it, and leave other part un disclosed, and let the your visitors share the next part, or wait for them to comment and than share the rest.

  6. Puspanjali says:

    Such simple steps yet so powerful.
    The best part is you explain the tips with the relevant blog posts on your blog.Even a novice will be able to incorporate these tips in his posts.Thanks Darren.

  7. Mr Javo says:

    Basically to gain comments in your articles it is important to call to action. That 7 points you mention Darren always work, no matter if your blog is old or new, people will react.

    Other thing I do with great results is converting the title of the post in a direct question. For example:

    - How do you find niche markets?
    - It is important to be a guru to start giving tips?
    - X topic: Myth or True?

    Of course at the end of these articles you need to make a question (again) asking for feedbacks…. This way the article will be like a conversation between you and your readers and it will be pretty interactive, generating a good discussion there…

    That always works to me

  8. Elliot says:

    This is just the kind of advice I was looking for, im always trying to get more comments at my blog, and not just the “you suck”, and “I’ve seen better blogs in a swamp”, oh no, I’m looking to get real good ones!, its so lonely over at my blog, its like speed dating for recluses!.:)

  9. roman says:

    Those are great tips. Just as long as you keep the focus on the content and not on inciting comments.

  10. Very Evolved says:

    Humans are really social animals – from the most trivial gossip to collaborations that build a civilization, it’s all about connecting with others.

    Every single one of the points you’ve mentioned Darren involve one simple thing:

    Just asking.

    People love to be involved, it’s in our genes. On a forum it’s taken for granted that you should comment – that’s where all the content comes from. But on a blog, well it’s more like someone’s home.

    Invite readers in for a chat and it’s as simple as that.

    Patrick

  11. The power of just asking sometimes works wonders. if you leave it in the readers hands often times they will respond.

  12. I think the best way to encourage comment is to have plugins or widget that let us put comment section or place for our readers to argue our points at the side of the content.

    Therefore, our readers can leave their arguments or thoughts while the still within their attention/concentration span and interested on our writing.

    If other than that, probably we can create a blank post that let our reader leave their comments, thoughts, opinions and let the debate spark first.

    Then, after that, the blogger himself create proper content out of the previous ‘blank’ post. Therefore, our readers will know that their voice is being heard and then, they will still give comments on the second-proper-content post.

    But I think, this method will only effective for those blog that has a big group of supporter like you Darren (n_n).

    What do you think, Darren?

  13. Great tip – I find that an edge / controversial blog gets great feed back.

    If you want comments you can always ask!

    What do you think?

  14. Writer Dad says:

    This absolutely works. Every time I’ve attempted this, with any of the above suggestions, I’ve had comments in the double digits before lunch time.

  15. SEO Tips says:

    The primary way I get people to comment on my blog is through asking for their experiences or opinions at the end of each article however I do hope to try asking for people’s tips and own advice soon too.

  16. I used the “Start a debate” approach today on my blog by asking the question: “Should Pastors Drink Alcohol In Public?” http://bigisthenewsmall.com/?p=1010

  17. Gennaro says:

    “One gives nothing so freely as advice.” ~La Rochefoucauld

    No doubt that asking for the opinion of your readers will bring in a slew of comments. A controversial post will do the same though that may or may not be a good idea based on your niche and loyal readers. There is a fine line between being provocative and driving your readers away.

  18. tammy says:

    I have used some of those same techniques on the bulletin boards of my site; and they were very useful in getting people’s attention and responses.

    However, as the internet has changed and I’m late jumping on the blogging band wagon, it seems that hardly anyone (and I’m getting about 1500 visitors per day) is posting in the bulletin boards forum…..so in order to keep up with the times, the way people are using the internet and keep my google ranking up – Im just recently getting into this and appreciate all the great info coming from Darren.

  19. JanSimpson says:

    Nice post, albeit the debate blog – you need to warn your readers that debating is not like a debate class in college – it can and will turn ugly. Very hurtful words can be said – they need to prepare themselves and not take it personally no matter the attack. The person is normally angry and is just lashing out at the post.

    Also, watch for stalkers.

    Good job

    JanSimpson

  20. Marc Rohde says:

    How many daily readers do you need to make these tips stick? It seems that this you would need a recurring following to compel readers to engage in debate and discussion.

  21. Tiggy says:

    You’d need enough readers that want to take time to comment to make this work!

  22. What a great way to look at it–turning the post upside down. One of my favorites is to ask my readers for their favorite something, like a book on a specific topic. I can really see where making your readers’ participation the whole point of the post would result in a most delightful (and valuable) conversation!

  23. Shane Hudson says:

    I started off getting about 15 comments daily. This has now drastically gone down (it has been 1 month and a day since I started this blog). I have been trying to start debates and ask questions in every post, but it seems if you do not have a few loyal commenters then no one else will follow.

    So my plan is to stun them all.

  24. Kayla says:

    I’ve noticed a big turnaround in just asking for comments, in anyway. You’ve noted a few specifically, even some that I haven’t tried yet. Posting a poll is a great idea…I do the cliche poll-in-the-sidebar feature. I think posting my next poll will be my next venture.

  25. LoneWolf says:

    I’ve tried this but I did it too early in my blog’s history so I don’t have enough traffic to make it work 8=(

    I did get one comment on the post but nothing further. I need to generate more traffic before I try this again, but I will because I think it is a good idea.

  26. Another good idea: Top Ten lists. Commenters love to argue about the choices Top Ten lists; often, you don’t even need to provide any of your own commentary, just the list itself. When you ask them to provide their own counter Top Ten lists, or to point which of your choices they disagree with, you’ll generate even more comments.

  27. I think asking questions is the best way to get people to leave comments. It lets the reader know you want them to do something. Plus it creates a good amount of conversation between the readers, which is the best part of all.

  28. Thanks for this summary of how to generate comments. I know some of them, but the others are new to me.

  29. Luca says:

    i use some of those tips on the other blog (2gemelle.blogspot.com) and… they worked! ;D

  30. redwall_hp says:
  31. Very Evolved says:

    @ redwall_hp – Funniest comment I’ve ever seen on this site!

    You’re more than welcome to come and poke fun in my corner of the web anytime!

  32. Personally, I like asking questions and seeing all of the responses from my readers. Some of the things they post are really interesting.

  33. Juan Bielsa says:

    In my experience you can get a lot of comments talking about other people’s work and linking to their blogs or websites. In short: annihilate your ego, don’t talk of yourself or your work (who cares about that?) .

    You can write a wonderful post, but maybe nothing happens, you can write a poem to the infinite, but still nothing happens. But you begin to raise to the infinite other people’s egos and blogs, and you certainly get a lot of comments.

    Juan Bielsa

  34. Jonathan says:

    I definitely want to do the controversy thing

  35. Jonathan says:

    Though, I write about a controversy topic every time I write: Jesus!

  36. Carla says:

    I think the main point is to actually engage the readers. I try to post questions I want answered in bold, but I know I can do a better job.

  37. Another great tip to all you bloggers out there.

    Read this blog. Great post by the way.
    I love it when a post gets my thoughts going.

    Max

  38. Darren:

    Your opening paragraph sums up brilliantly what we are experiencing on our site as new bloggers. It seems that current visitors are jsut comfortable dropping in to read the posts, but are not interacting through the comments section. It is a bit frustrating because if there is no feedback then you are not sure how your posts or content are being received.

    We will continue to work at it and hopefully our readers will begin to interact some more.

    I liked the suggestion of turning your poll results into a post. That seems like a great way to connect with the readers of the blog.

  39. Danielsmonde says:

    Very interesting post. I will try some of these techniques on my own blog. thanks

  40. Inspiring tips. Maybe later I would implement your tips on my blog. I am sure your tips works well. Well, maybe if your tips shortened in three words will be “Communicate with readers”

  41. Mike Flip says:

    Great and informative post. I do believe that the controversial posts work the best to inspire readers to comment, since I have seen the greatest results by doing so. But, sometimes that can be difficult to do when your blog topic doesn’t call for that. Once again, great post.

  42. Good ideas. I have a blog about love/relationship issues (kuyakevin.com). One of the most popular segments is called “Learning the Hard Way,” In which readers share their stories/experiences.

  43. I like the idea of playing ‘Devil’s Advocate’ and keeping things ‘edgy’ with just the right hint of controversy. Without naming the ‘guilty’ it seems the current popular approach to this is declaring a popular / hyped technology to be ‘dead’. This worked wonders!

  44. Building a connection with your readers is the best way to improve a blog. Asking questions or starting “hinting” small debates, help kept the readers intruiged and usefull for/to the blog. Like Steve said, this does work wonders if done.

  45. Geoserv says:

    Excellent post and tips, some I do now but others I will need to work on.

  46. This is one of those great methods that bloggers often forget to use.

    I tried this once on a blog a bit too soon (before I had any traction), and ended up banging my head against the wall because I got no responses. It was a while before I got up the nerve to try it again :-).

    If you have built up a decent flow of traffic, though, this method does work wonders (and usually brings you some new subscribers, too).

  47. Robyn says:

    I especially like the suggestions of asking for advice, tips ,examples, experience. These are reasons I love reading other peoples blogs – the incredible learning experience and sharing of ideas.

  48. Neil Hocking says:

    My idea was to offer a free service for the first or nth commenter. Hasn’t worked but hey, it might tempt me!

  49. Controversy is king when it comes to make the blog more famous with comments. I have usually tested this and it has shown positive reaction. Just dont agree about apple and see the number of apple fan boys argue, yeeho!

  50. Rahul says:

    The main thing is interacting with your visitors. The above points will help the web master to interact with their visitors and hence turning them to regular viewers and also as their indirect mouth-to-word marketing partners.