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13 Types of Posts that Always Get Lots of Comments

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.

1. Competitions

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: I’m a Mom and Exposed.

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.

5. Hacks

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).

11. Humor

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: I took 1,973 pictures of my children on vacation and all I got was this lousy blog post (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).

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. ldii says:

    Great tips. Above all quality is the key. I always read and leave comments on useful, attractive and information-rich post.

  2. Sordid World says:

    My opinion-column-style blog tends to attract others with strong opinions, and I frequently receive hate-mail-type comments. Two of my past blog articles have generated a lot of traffic and comments, and when I check out my Sitemeter info, these two postings are the ones that most often bring people to my blog. I STILL receive comments about these posts, and they are more than two years old. The first most popular is “Please No Children in the Workplace” (http://livinginasordidworld.blogspot.com/2008/01/please-no-children-in-workplace.html). Evidently I’m a jerk because I don’t want my co-workers’ kids running around my office. The second most popular is “What Went Wrong With Generation Y?” (http://livinginasordidworld.blogspot.com/2007/04/what-went-wrong-with-generation-y.html). According to the majority of (Generation Y) commentors, I’m a jerk because they shouldn’t have to work menial jobs and work their way up to better jobs. I love my hate mail; the commentors usually only reinforce my point made in the article.

  3. John Sternal says:

    Thanks for some great insight here. I actually try to do a lot of this stuff on my blog. I have noticed a lot more comments lately. First and foremost, though, it’s always going to be about do what you have to do to get traffic – then the comments will come.

    John Sternal
    @sternalpr

  4. Ha! Thats not hard for me. It was when I hosted a giveaway on my blog from Build-A-Bear. A rep had contacted me via Twitter- giving me my own Frosty the Snowman and then was going to send one to one of my readers. I asked a very popular mommy blogger of freebies to tell her readers about this giveaway as well and I had almost 100 comments on that post. That was a great kick-off to my FIRST blog giveaway.

    Now, I can barely get anyone to comment! Even when I ask them. But my blog isn’t very old. Will keep pluggin’ away!

  5. daydreamlily says:

    other then my giveaway posts this was one of my most commented posts
    http://www.daydreamlily.com/2009/07/love-vs-career-love.html

  6. fat mum slim says:

    I am having a giveaway at the moment and that is generating great numbers in the comment section: http://fatmumslim.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-giveaway.html

    It’s nice to see all the lurkers to come out of the woodwork, and to realise that they were there all along.

    Other non-contest posts that are popular are ones where I have bared my soul. It’s usually about Mummy stuff, the sleep deprivation… normal parenting stuff, but people relate and want to support.

    So lots of warm, fuzzy feelings all round. xx

  7. srikanth says:

    Very useful post. Thanks for sharing with us

  8. The post that seemed to draw people out of the woodwork for commentary was one titled “What’s in the H1N1 Vaccine Anyway?” It was completely unexpected by us. We have a hard time getting our scientist readers to comment regularly, and they would not have considered this post contraversial. However in the more general audience this most definitely is a topic of debate, and apparently we attracted a broader audience with this post. http://promega.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/what%E2%80%99s-in-the-h1n1-vaccine-anyway/

  9. Mike Skel says:

    Some “How to” posts got good comments in my blog.

  10. I have found that when offering something, people pay more attention. Like it or not, we are by nature wanting to know what’s in it for us. That is why I created Fun FREE Giveaways. I thought this would not only be a great way to bring traffic to my own business, but a great way to help other independent business owners as well.

  11. Leefe says:

    I suppose this post counts as a type ’3′ ? :)

    My most commented and most viewed posts are actually quite different. My most commented is about discovering that some feminine hygiene products come with trivia like Christmas crackers: http://leefe.ratestheworld.com.au/2008/01/29/odd-spot-538-christmas-crackers-every-month/

    Although the most viewed post was to correct people’s use of English. A point many people seem to need to check: http://leefe.ratestheworld.com.au/2006/08/28/incase-or-in-case/

    So, I suppose, I just need some way to combine the two. :)

  12. I’m new at blogging and appreciate your advice. Thanks!

  13. It was a MEATY POST that has had the most comments for me.

    Total at 25 at the moment. Lots of meaty content in one post certainly works. A good layout helps too !

    You can check out the post here.

    http://gerrywalter.com/tips-for-website-traffic/ten-golden-rules-for-getting-massive-website-hits/

    Regards

    Gerry

  14. SMiGL says:

    types cover 80% of all possible topics:)

  15. Suraj says:

    Thanks Darren for sharing your knowledge. Because my blog lacks comments, I will try these techniques on my blog I hope they will work.

  16. Peter says:

    Hi, good information but I find that many times blogs can be one directional and that’s fine to. We share a little tips and thoughts on the site and are happy as long as people read them.

  17. freeblogger says:

    I could never have a dull moment reading problogger.net

    Hi Darren, i’m glad to have your type in this blogosphere. You are really a gem.

    I’ll definitely incorporate what i have learned here. I am making them part of my “2010 Blogging Resolutions”

    My most commented post is http://adesojiadegbulu.com/lessons-learnt-from-cobhams-asuquo/ . It falls under the category of personal story

  18. I’m a niche blogger in the quilting/family side of things, but I have a good following thanks to this event
    http://parkcitygirl.blogspot.com/2009/10/quilt-festival-fall-2009.html
    giveaways are great for drawing out comments
    http://parkcitygirl.blogspot.com/2009/12/giveaway-day.html
    and posts that show a finish or inspiring project, draw comments out of people
    http://parkcitygirl.blogspot.com/2009/10/color-wheel-project.html

    I always look forward to your posts when I get to my reader :) Thanks for sharing all that you do!

  19. Scentsy says:

    I think you just did it, by creating a blog post with a question that was interesting and engaged people to respond. Not only was your content interesting but it encouraged me to want to respond. Nice job!

  20. Michele says:

    My most commented upon post really stirred up a horne’ts nest. I wrote an article entitled “Adsense Kills Business”. My point was that many small business owners send mixed messages about their product or service when they use Adsense – it dilutes their message, implies that they themselves don’t believe in their offerings and that the revenue one gains from them may be severely harming their more profitable core business.

    I used the controversial headline as an experiment on Digging. It ended up hitting the front page and tempers raged as many did not understand the point and only thought I was attacking Google’s program. Ironically, commenters on both Digg and my blog were arguing with each other. Fortunately, Google didn’t ban me that day as people were actually clicking on my ads to try to ban me. It was truly a crazy couple of days and my follow-up email also went to the front page of Digg but received far fewer comments.

    I learned two things from that post – if you want to get folk’s attention over on Digg, be controversial and attack Adsense. LOL

    Here’s the article – http://www.blogaboutcrafts.com/archives/67-Adsense-Kills-Business.html

  21. Scentsy Team says:

    I love ad sense. I never thought of using it in a controversial way, but I can see where it could get people’s attention, as well as anything on “the edge.”

  22. Michele says:

    Scentsy Team – I admit that I was trying to grab attention with my headline but I had absolutely no idea the firestorm it would stir up. It did prove interesting how using a controversial title and example could drive traffic to what was originally a simple post about promoting a business and how to not give up a real sale for a click or two.

  23. FFB says:

    By far my most commented article is: 25 Traits Of The Not So Well To Do http://freefrombroke.com/2009/05/reasons-not-rich-wealthy.html

    I list out 25 reasons why most people aren’t wealthy. I was fortunate to get picked up on a couple of bigger sites which snowballed to some other large sites. I think the combination of the list and my somewhat honest/scathing comments about each item in the list either got readers agreeing with me or fighting back.

    What was really great was seeing readers answering other reader’s comments. The whole thing really took off!

  24. So far (and keep in mind my blog is in the early stages), the post on my blog with the most comments is, ‘How I saved almost $800 on my daughter’s glasses’. It’s a very outlandish statement, it sounds impossible, plus the concept of saving nearly $800 is appealing to just about anyone. But, more importantly, I was able to back it up, and it wasn’t a ‘trick’ title, lol. I think it’s been the most popular topic for me so far, because of the potential it has to help people.

  25. Not sure what category this would fall under, but one of my most visited posts and my #1 post for comments has to do with a local TV personality leaving the market.

    Justin Farmer to leave WFAA
    http://www.casadeblundell.com/jonathan/misc/justin-farmer-to-leave-wfaa/

    It was just a random post I did with content primarily from another source. Apparently my SEO is/was working better because the original poster only has 30 comments where as mine is over 70.

  26. Theresa says:

    lots of great advice here ! Thanks!

  27. For me I have seen quite a bit of success with the contreversial posts to have lots of comments. I think the easiest way to do these is take the opinion of the masses and then you take the opposite viewpoint. People get crazy angry and passionate, and leave a ton of posts. For example on one of my blogs I wrote a post about how much I despise Robert Downey Jr, and wow did people ever come to his aid:

    http://dorkandbeans.com/robert-downey-jr-is-the-junkie-that-lives-downstairs/

    The post got 22 comments which is pretty big for me.

    My other category would be the ‘I relate to that’ type of post. I wrote about how I have troubles identifying Gary Oldman [http://dorkandbeans.com/will-the-real-gary-oldman-please-stand-up/] and received 59 comments which was again huge for my blog

  28. For me I have seen quite a bit of success with the controversial posts to have lots of comments. I think the easiest way to do these is take the opinion of the masses and then you take the opposite viewpoint. People get crazy angry and passionate, and leave a ton of posts. For example on one of my blogs I wrote a post about how much I despise Robert Downey Jr, and wow did people ever come to his aid:

    http://dorkandbeans.com/robert-downey-jr-is-the-junkie-that-lives-downstairs/

    The post got 22 comments which is pretty big for me.

    My other category would be the ‘I relate to that’ type of post. I wrote about how I have troubles identifying Gary Oldman [http://dorkandbeans.com/will-the-real-gary-oldman-please-stand-up/] and received 59 comments which was again huge for my blog

  29. Jack Perez says:

    Thanks for this post – I find that I already employ a few of the 13 and will work to figure out some of the others that might work for me.

    My most commented upon post on http://www.marketingsmack.wordpress.com is “Can You Camouflage a Tiger?”

    The thing is that many of the comments took place in different groups in LinkedIn and on FaceBook. Currently trying to figure out how to get all my comments back to my MarketingSmack site.

  30. Jack Perez says:

    Useful tips – I find that I already employ some of them and look forward to figuring out how to incorporate others.

    My most commented upon blog was http://marketingsmack.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/can-you-camouflage-a-tiger/

    The only issue is that most of the discussion happened away from my site – on LinkedIn and FaceBook. I need to figure out how to capture all that and centralize it back to my MarketingSmack.

  31. Thanks so much for this list. All of the thirteen are very practical and have definitely helped me generate a lot of ideas for posts. I’m having a lot of trouble, though, coming up with “creative” posts. I will certainly incorporate posts in these topics for a long time! This is definitely one of your better posts!

  32. Oh, by the way, I didn’t give which post was most commented on because my blog has just started and barely has any readers yet, so it obviously would not be a good judge.

  33. Good, now I’ve got a new post, thanks to you!

  34. I think these days, blog posts about blogging got the most comments due to the large number of webmasters in the field. Many people are interested in learning from some informative blog posts about blogging and SEO. Meanwhile, they are also looking to share their experience and views with others via commenting.

  35. Lucy says:

    I have a post about a Dr. Oz statement on women and fibroids. Hysterectomy is the number one surgery that women are getting prescribed and dont need.

    My blog was only 5 months old and it drew in around 2000 visitors. I only received a handful of comments but the amount of visitors was mind boggling for me. They would stay on the site for a long time too. Im still getting visits to this day because of the post. No more comments but I take the lengthy reading time over commenting anyways.

    Here is the post http://postpartumillness.com/?q=node/142

    Thanks for this 52 blog tips to kick off 2010. I love it.

    Lucy

  36. Greg Taylor says:

    My most commented on posts are my Concert Photography 101 Series. Everyone either wants to give their tip or ask questions which lead to more comments.

  37. My blog is still a baby, so I really cannot put forth any meaningful data, but I’ve been getting a lot of comments just by interacting in the community (i.e. commenting on blogs I like and participating in forums).

    This comes at a good time since I am just now working on a huge list post. I enjoy challenging myself and creating something that is 4,000-5,000 words. It’s tough but you learn so much.

    Thanks
    RAJAMOHAN

  38. It’s the craziest thing to me, but my blog post with the most comments is “HTML Code for Musical Notes” at http://rockstarlifelessons.com/189/html-code-for-musical-notes/

    When I first started Twittering in 2008, I wanted to learn how folks were able to create tweets with musical notes in them, a la blip.fm. After finding someone else’s how-to blog post on the subject, I wrote my own post on my indie musician blog.

    I probably rank high in Google for creating musical notes in html, because ever since then, I get at least one comment a month with nothing else but a musical note, such as ♫

    It’s kinda cute, but totally bewildering all the same!

  39. notasheep says:

    “A few clicks will help @TWLOHA win $1 Million for suicide prevention. Please share this with others. Vote here:http://bit.ly/7si7Be

  40. ahmet asar says:

    i did not see any info about comment spamming. it is taking more time to clean them than to answer posts.

    great tips though

  41. Andy says:

    I’ve read your articles and found it true, based on my own experience..Thanks for the info anyway. Now, i am doing some short description of something bigger than it is in my blog http://www.indotraveltips.blogspot.com. I just write my posting shortly to get more comments…at least, anyone will be eager to know more about it by asking some question from me. is it good idea too?

  42. Another post which always gets the comments is :-

    A POST RELATED TO MONEY

    where cash is involved, the readers automatically get involved

  43. Wally says:

    Most of my contents today tackles about my own experiences. I am happy that they can relate to the love stories. I am planning to add more color to my blog by adding some quiet personal experiences.

    My blog is miscellaneous but they are set in categories.
    Problogger. Heads up to you! i dont know if you are doing this all by yourself, but you really have good words. I idolize you.

    @karan bantra. you’re right.

    http://wallyibong.blogspot.com/

  44. Also another thing sells well…

    7 tips on how to

    OR

    10 tips on how to start your own blog / website etc…

    nice post

  45. I think, that the 13th method is the hottest, because I’ve experienced that myself :)

  46. Totally agree with # 2 especially if the readers can relate with you – you get alot of eyes there.

  47. I’ve always loved reading and commenting on the big list posts. I’ve noticed a lot of people will bookmark these posts for their usefulness even after commenting. It’s a nice source of some return traffic.