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How to Get 80+ Comments on Your Next Blog Post

This post is by The Blog Tyrant.

My blog is only 22 posts old but I already get close to 100 comments on most of the articles I write. I recently wrote about how to increase conversions and got over 250 comments in about six hours. It’s a surprising amount.

You only get one shot
Creative Commons License photo credit: aqsahu

So why is my blog getting so many comments? And more importantly, what can you do to replicate the commenting frenzy on your own blog? Let’s take a look.

Why comments matter

The first thing I want to talk about is why comments are important to a blog. It’s quite simple—one word in fact: community. Blog comments are a sign that your community is healthy and functional. The post I linked to above was the 18th article I had written on Blog Tyrant and I hardly had to participate in the discussion: my readers did it all. I just put up a post and watched my amazing community help each other out with their questions and concerns. I felt like a proud dad.

I’ve found that if you can increase comments on your blog, you’ll often find that traffic, subscribers, and all the other nice metrics rise as well. In fact, when I look in my analytics I see that the posts that get the most comments also do the most converting and bring the most visitors—not the other way around.

Let’s say that again: more comments lead to more traffic, conversions, and sign ups.

How I get people to comment

I want to share some simple little strategies that I use on my blog to get comments, and lots of them.

1. Close comments

Wait a second … close comments? Yep, close them. After two weeks I close off the comments on my posts so that people have to wait for a new post if they want to start commenting. Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? In fact, just two weeks ago I got an email from another blogger who asked:

Why do you close comments on old articles? What if people want to add to the discussion? You may as well close comments entirely.

I visited his blog and, quite ironically, almost every post he has written has zero comments. Unfortunately this guy has underestimated the power of scarcity. People are much more likely to interact with a product or a blog if they perceive it to be scarce or limited. That’s why car companies release limited editions and the big clothing stores have “one day only” sales. If you close comments your comment section automatically becomes more alluring.

2. Show up every single day

At least once a day I get an email from a reader thanking me for personally replying to their comment. In actual fact, I make it a policy to reply to every single comment that I get on my blog, unless it has already had some good replies. I do this because I want to show my readers that I care and that I really like getting comments from them. Replying individually, every day, shows them that I am interested and the karma of that action is that they want to comment more often.

You might also see a slight trick here. By replying to every comment you also increase your comment count. So instead of having ten reader comments, you might have 20 with your own individual replies. Not all of my posts are like this but in some of them, 30-40% of the comments are from me. Tricky huh?

3. Write full and detailed articles … but don’t finish them

In my 7,809 word series on how to blog, I told my readers to write comprehensive articles but not to finish them. This little trick is something I picked up years ago when I decided to sell a blog for $20,000: long but incomplete articles really attracted a lot of interest amongst visiting traffic.

Here’s the deal. If you totally exhaust a topic, you leave your readers with nowhere to go. They already have all the answers from your post, so why would they comment? The reverse of this situation occurs if you write articles that are too short and incomplete. In that case, you aren’t going to rouse enough passion and interest in order to generate some discussion.

The ideal situation is to write comprehensive articles, but to not quite finish them. Don’t complete every topic and always finish the post so that the reader wants to learn more, research further, and talk to you about what you have written.

What’s worked for you?

Have you ever heard the saying, “the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know”? I have been blogging for a long time but still, every day, I find new strategies and techniques to improve what I do. I get totally embarrassed by the fact that, after years of blogging, I still don’t know a thing!

Please leave a comment and let me know what strategies worked best for you on your blog. Is there any reason why your most commented articles did so well? Or is it totally random? I’m looking forward to hearing what the ProBlogger community has to offer!

The Blog Tyrant is a 25-year-old guy from Australia who has sold blogs for large sums of money and now writes about dominating your niche. Subscribe by email or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

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Comments

  1. Closing comments definitely does not work for me. How do I know? There is a strange, intermittent bug in WordPress (testing right now to see if it recurs in 3.0.4) that turns off comments on all posts and changes a few of the discussion settings — with no admin input. It’s been going on for a few months now and literally killed discussion on one of my blogs, even with me manually opening up recent post comments multiple times per day.

    I understand this isn’t what you were suggesting, but I’d carefully test that theory! Really though, by far most of my comments are on the newest posts, so perhaps just the urgency does help.

  2. Some posts where I ask for help solving a business or personal problem seem to result in dozens of comments. People love to help.

    So I don’t hesitate to ask.

    A recent post at http://publicityhound.net/?p=7601 explaining my frustrating problem trying to figure out why my Facebook Fan Page suddenly disappeared, with more than 2,500 fans, resulted in lots of suggestions, some of them helpful.

  3. Great tip on leaving something for the reader to ask about/comment on. I’ve been happy to see the number of readers increasing for my posts, but no comnents. I’ll definitely give this a try.

  4. Duby says:

    wow ! there are a LOT of comments on this commenting post :)
    I enjoyed this article as my blog only gets a trickle of comments here and there …

    Can you give an example of a blog post thats “not finished?”
    ive tried leaving an open ended question at the end of my blog – but that hasnt seemed to work … so im wondering if you could give some links to examples so i can see.

    thanks !

    • Sparkie says:

      I’d like to see an example of this too!

      • Blog Tyrant says:

        Hi guys.

        Almost every single blog post on my site is like this. Check out the latest one and you’ll see what I mean.

        Thanks for stopping by.

        BT

    • I think this is such a great request, because this particular blog post is unfinished in a few ways…
      1) three very simple tips are not necessarily all it takes to get tonnes of comments, so this post leaves a lot of room for the author to continue at a later date. It also increase the interest in getting comments, and the authors obvious expertise in getting comments, so it will encourage the reader to go through some of his other tips and techniques
      2) He asks an open question at the end, sharing the reality that even the best of authorities are always looking for ways to improve and, perhaps their audience can help them do just that!
      3) His writing encourages the reader to stop, think and then ask questions. Not everything is answered. For example…when you close comments, should you tell your readers ahead of time so that they KNOW there is urgency? Does the fact that there are a lot of comments, even through a significant number of them are your own, create a snowball effect to get more comments? What effect does the ratio reader:author comments have on your following?
      4) The author actually give you two links to places that you can further research the very idea of creating the desire to further research.

      I think it is a great post, with great ideas and I had fun going through the comments!

  5. trailsnet says:

    For some reason, I’ve noticed I get more comments when I have statistics, charts, or graphs in my posts. I guess people like to wrap their minds around numbers. If I just mention that I’ve found a great new trail, I might get a couple comments; but if I back that up with facts & figures about usage, or visitor density, or cost per mile to construct… then I get more feedback.

  6. Sadly, nothing here is mentioned about writing good content.

    That, above all else will get you comments. If you write compelling content, it gets spread. If it’s compelling enough, 1-3% of readers will comment.

    People don’t leave comments because you’ve left out some content, as you advise, they comment because for the most part they have been provoked mentally enough to leave one. You don’t necessarily want comments to be questions about missing content, you want comments to be enhancements to your original post.

    I average 100+ comments per post as well, but 40-50% of them aren’t me replying. I take a stand for most of my posts and allow the community to either stand beside me or against.

    Passion provokes, not the fact that I may close down comments two weeks after the post was uploaded. I think that’s a bad tip to give people. Have you done a split test to see if a post gets more comments with the threat of closing them down, or remain open?

    I have never read a blog from someone and said “I wasn’t going to comment, but damn, he’s shutting her down in two weeks! Better leave my two cents!”

    Or maybe this is a big ruse, and you left many huge holes in this post so we would comment. If so, touche.

    • Keith says:

      Hey Scott,

      While couldn’t agree more that writing compelling content should be top on every “blog tips” article, as a matter of fact, I think a blogger should start there and not worry about anything else until they can do that first.

      I do disagree that sometimes you can put too much in a post, if there is nothing to argue, nothing left to say…. then why comment?

      Just one un-blogger’s opinion though ;-)

      • Anna says:

        There are plenty of calls to comment without leaving out important details. There is a difference between a “cliffhanger” and posting an incomplete thought. Scott is right on the money here in my opinion. But who really cares about getting 100 comments and 1/2 being from the author? Are they actionable? Do they generate a desired action … such as conversions > revenue? Who cares if you get 100 comments… you could have 10 comments, but they could be the 10 best comments ever and move you forward. The numbers war with comments, followers, facebook friends/fans, etc… it’s not totally meaningless, but it’s not indicative of quality.

    • Blog Tyrant says:

      Hi Scott.

      I really wanted to write something a bit different than the old “write good content” post. That gets done a lot around Problogger and the community here already does a great job. I just wanted to share a few other things I do to get the comment count up.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Tyrant

      • I loved the blog post. I agree that good in fact great content is essential, and I would argue that that is like the “understood you” in our high school English classes.

        So both would be needed. Great content, and then also a cliff hanger of sorts…leaving people asking [litterally] for more:)

        So glad I found this!

    • Elliott says:

      i don’t agree with you scott. these are tips for people who “aren’t quite there yet”. a lot of us are writing what we think is compelling content, yet we are looking for some strategies to help get people in there. it’s easy for you to preach from the top.

      i think closing comments after a certain time is a good idea anyways because if a lot of our posts have no comments on them, this removes a bit of the look of tumbleweeds. i am closing them after 30 days now, not to rush people into commenting, but to help improve the ‘social design’.

  7. Brandy says:

    I am loving these tips!! I am now trying to determine if there is a WP plugin to close old posts, I have tried to figure out how to do that but had no luck … Love the tips and now to read the posts link within this post too!

  8. Interesting post. Not sure I can agree with closing comments on old blog posts. I suppose it depends on the content you’re writing, but for a lot of us, closing comments would instantly make old articles less useful to a lot of people.

    Due to my niche of sharing bargains, a lot of the posts I write are basically irrelevant after a week or two. However, I do create a lot of other content with the intention that it be valuable long-term, and frequently link back to those posts.

    I can’t imagine linking back to an old post that has closed comments. What if the reader appreciates the posts, but has a further question that’s relevant on that old post? It’s like of like saying “here’s some helpful info, but don’t dare ask for more help”.

    In my opinion, telling people to close comments and then “show up every day” is kind of contradictory in many situations.

    However, I do appreciate the different perspective and am mulling over how it might be implemented a bit differently for differently blogging styles and niches.

  9. I agree that comments have value, but their importance might be overstated. There are plenty of blogs with “quiet” communities. These bloggers still have ardent fans, are still making money, and still grow their traffic regularly. Personally, a lack of comments would not keep me from coming back for more compelling content.

    In fact, I recently had several posts show up on the Yahoo! homepage and found the majority of comments to be an absolute waste. I realize this is a result of syndication, and not a conversation with regular readers, but it was still quite disappointing.

    I didn’t love this post, but you DID get me to comment, so well done!

  10. Interesting post. I try and reply to all comments left on my blog – but lately, there have been very few comments. I do like the idea of leaving an opened question at the end of my posts. I think also a statement at the end of the post encouraging it – like the one that Suzanne Myers (http://www.affiliatetreasurechest.com/1081/should-i-make-a-niche-site/#more-1081) has is great, as well. I want to do something like that on mine!

  11. Stuart says:

    Ah the genius of Blog Tyrant strikes again!

    Seriously, great post that all bloggers, young and old, can incorporate into their daily routines.

    I see you’ve met your promise on this post as well ;-)

  12. Hank says:

    I just wanted to get this comment in before you closed it. :)

  13. Baby says:

    Stupid articles are stupid.

  14. Craig says:

    I like the idea of closing comments to increase the scarcity or timeline to get in on the discussion. It’s something I do with a forum I run. After 30 days without a comment the thread automatically closes so that a user would need to start a new thread and new discussion instead of resurrecting what may be a year old post!

    I’ll have to work on #3 – that’s a balancing act between not enough and too much information…

  15. Fred Tracy says:

    I like the idea of making an open ended article. Sometimes I like to end my posts with a question to get more comments. There are some really good ideas here, thanks!

  16. Naomi Trower says:

    I like the idea of leaving more for later. I have done that a few times because I don’t like long blog posts on my blog. I have left an ending statement that says stay tuned for the rest of the article in another post. Here is another idea that I use often is to create a resource list within my list. This has created a great amount of comments due to the owners of the resource coming to blog to comments of appreciation. Here is a great article of my friend Kristi Hines who does this with this article. http://kikolani.com/women-in-blogging-125-fearless-female-bloggers.html which has 265 COMMENTS!!

    • Naomi Trower says:

      Opps!! Sorry I meant to say a resource list within my niche. :)

    • Naomi Trower says:

      I also forgot to mention that comments are great but different niches communicate differently. I don’t mind if I don’t have that many comments because most of my readers send me emails asking for more info or they call me directly. I think it’s interesting that different niches have different communication styles.

      • Jodi says:

        I agree! My blog doesn’t get slammed with comments because a lot of our readers are also facebook fans and prefer to interact about the post over there. Our community is really more on facebook than the blog.

  17. Open-ended posts–something I hadn’t thought about. I invited comments by asking questions and asking for shared stories, and I do get that trickle of comments, but a flood would be lovely.

  18. Hmm, interesting. Never thought of closing my comments. Not sure I’m brave enough to try. I get a decent amount of comments. I like the idea of leaving an open ended post, especially as the one I tried tonight, I couldn’t finish satisfactorily – perhaps I should let me readers do it for me. Hmmm, again…

  19. Anne Galivan says:

    I think it is hard to know what posts will generate a lot of comments (and believe me I get nowhere near the number you are talking about – but I think that has more to do with the niche difference than anything else).

    I focus primarily on producing content that is practical and draws people in (hopefully) to share their own practical experiences as well. I usually make a point to ask for comments (or ask my readers to add their own practical tips in the comments) and sometimes that seems to work better than other times.

    In addition, in the rare case where I just throw out a humorous post, i.e., something for fun rather than practical, those posts usually get comments, I think partly because they ARE a rare departure.

    When I started out blogging a few months ago I would get so depressed because I wouldn’t get any comments. Within a few months I was getting comments regularly on my blog which is always an encouragement.

    Participating in blog post link-ups and blogger forums like SITS Girls has certainly contributed to that. But the bottom line is, it starts with writing posts people want to read.

  20. Julian says:

    I have just started blogging and at this stage only get a trickle of traffic, let alone comments..I hope to learn a lot here. The logic to me seems you need traffic and compelling content, then a fair share of comments will come.

  21. I can’t really “not finish” a post. We cover technology news, so if I leave out something I will get called on it. However, I do usually try and ask for comments at the end of the post.

  22. Toby says:

    I thought some very interesting ideas there. I might put some into practice and see what results I get.
    Many thanks

  23. Antriksh says:

    If you go see my blog at http://rightnowintech.com you’ll probably not see any comments at all in any of the posts. I have installed DISQUS, which makes signing in using Facebook, Twitter and more so simple (even anon posts are supported), but it doesn’t work too.

    The problem is that I don’t have a strong reader support. All the visits I get are mostly one-time or maybe two-time visitors. I really need help in getting persistent readers.

    And congratulations for getting so many comments on this article too!

  24. Meghann says:

    I don’t think I post often enough for people to notice if comments were disabled.

    I’m an artist, so I usually only update with a work-in-progress or final. Like the previous comment, I don’t know how I could exactly leave a post unfinished. The most I can do is hope they come back to see the finished painting.

    Is it better to leave it open to Anonymous comments or require sign-in?

  25. Facemot says:

    wow just like this article more than 80 comment !

  26. Heather says:

    I write a blog daily, what worked for me in getting comments was writing a piece that kind of blew up certain attitudes in the industry I am in.

    I went from 15 to 335 hits in a days time and I went from 0 to about 11 comments. Sure now that the hoopla has died down (thank goodness) it’s less, but I’m still averaging 50 hits a day and I got 4 subscriptions out of the deal :)

    Interesting article though!

  27. John Garrett says:

    Very interesting, but I think it really does depend on the kind of niche you’re in.

    Like Matthew Weber commented, sometimes I have some tech stuff, and I can’t close comments because things keep changing. I might get comments 6 months later with an update or solution to a problem. I just got one today on a post I wrote last year in July.

    That said, I may try it on some of my other types of articles that wouldn’t benefit from further discussion, like art posts or something. If people think they have to get in quick to slam the artwork then they may just go ahead and leave a comment :)

  28. Marci says:

    I would love it if my readers interacted with each other in the comment section :)

    I’d add emotion to more comments. If it brings out positive emotion/inspiration, I find people really want to add their reaction. Otherwise, I haven’t figured out why or why not…

    • Blog Tyrant says:

      Sometimes it helps to ask Marci. Just shoot an email to your most loyal readers and ask them to help you out with the comments. It can help to kick things off.

  29. Fred Tracy says:

    I actually did this on my latest post this morning. So far I’ve gotten a couple. I can see getting a ton of comments if I had more traffic. Awesome tips. :)

  30. angioletto says:

    Hi. I have a foodblog and I’d love to have lots of comments :( It’s more than one year since I began blogging and I actually have about 150 -170 visits per day. My site is only in Italian, but Italians do like food and cooking!!! I put recipes and photos on it and a little introduction when I tell why this recipe, where it comes from and some funny story about it.I write about 3 recipes a week, change graphics, put new things and so on. In the index I write the introduction, then I put a “read more”, so the post is incomplete, as your advice ;) and, in the next page there are the recipe and the comment form. My readers are very shy, I think: they visit my pages and don’t leave a message. I don’t know if they like or not my recipes and my posts. What to do?

  31. Tristan says:

    WTF? I wrote a blog post with almost this exact same title (“How to Guarantee 100 Comments on a Blog Post”) two days ago!

    • Blog Tyrant says:

      Dude that is weird.

      I submitted this post to Georgina about three weeks ago and its been in queue ever since. We must have been thinking the same stuff.

      I’ll go and check yours out now.

      Tyrant

  32. I like the idea of closing comments –assuming you’ve mastered the art of “blog reader engagement.” Realizing much has to do with the quality of content and the “what’s in it for me,” do you think that these tips work across blogs that are not quite as buzz-worthy as Social Media Marketing? Some topics are going to incite a buzz..while others are going to likely take longer to find the right audience and write “interesting and/or informative” articles around a not-so-sexy topic…

    Thoughts?

  33. Holley says:

    Scott,

    I found your blog very informative, but I have to agree with some of the other commenters and say that this is helpful for blogs that already have a foothold, but not as helpful for those that are just starting out. For example, your tip to close blog comments is not that helpful to me as we haven’t had any comments thus far!

    Our blog is 5 posts old and we already have had about 200 views, which is not horrible, although I would really love for this to just take off! I have a personal blog on which I wrote a post about socks with heels (really?) and got a ridiculous amount of comments. No idea what I did to strike gold, though! Can you give us start-ups some advice on how to successfully monetize, promote and grow a new blog? Any thoughts on my blog and what I can do to improve?

    H.

    • Tisha Oehmen says:

      I agree, I have a relatively new blog that is not garnering many comments. What tips and tricks to you have for gaining comment traction in a new blog, where the blogger is not (yet) someone with enough of a following to get people jumping right in?

      Thanks for all your work – I enjoy reading your blog!

  34. Hey BT,

    Saw your tweet about cracking 200, and since I get that you are one of those kinds of people who genuinely likes to help other, I would like to do the same, but it wouldn’t be right if I posted a gratuitous comment without anything significant to offer, and I think most of the people who have already commented know more about this than me…

    But I must say, reading the comments here has been an education. I have been following links to other people’s blogs all over the place. Regarding turning off comments? I think I would need to see a lot more traffic than I do at my total newb blog.

    Best, Rick
    Latest: It’s Not About Me

  35. Thanks for this article! My only other tip that has worked for me is- write about things that you’re truly passionate about. If what you’re saying is coming from the heart, people will pick up on that.

  36. RoyalPen says:

    Are comments to your blog posts directly proportional to the frequency of your article posting on your blog? Just asking because one of my health blogs seldom got a comment, I only update it weekly with an average of 40 visitors per day. It is a one-year-old blog…

  37. It’s pretty amazing that conversations can continue for years and years. I definitely see the advantage of closing comments – though it limits the life of the conversation and what new visitors might be able to chime up about, it might be a nice place to promote a few things.

    One thing you might consider promoting in the “the comments have been closed” section might be email updates, rss, or your newsletter.

    This might encourage first-timers to get more involved by staying up to date with your latest content. That said, if you’re more interested in promoting a product or service, this might be a good place as well – however, your first-timers are probably not likely going to purchase your goods until you prove you’re worth their money.

    Nice post, Tyrant – let’s get this post to 200 comments before it closes!!!

    :D

  38. Anne Fulmer says:

    I enjoyed reading all the comments, and know I’m guilty of not commenting enough, yet I hope people will comment on mine. So I’m off to do a blog post or two, and then do some meaningful commenting!! Thanks, Tyrant

  39. Nina says:

    I find that if i comment on other peoples blogs the same people comment back

  40. Dipesh says:

    Congratulations!!!
    Can you tell me does this apply to specific topics or the content can be generalized? Since the Topic of the new blog is important and only based on that we can get comments. I try putting content, news and events for http://www.dipeshpatel.com of course its not that old as far as the content is concerned but let me know your views.

    Please share your thoughts.

  41. Blog Tyrant,

    Thanks for the tips on the comments, I really liked the part about closing them after 14 days. On our news site- blog http://mtnweekly.com it seems that anytime I write a story that moves people they are motivated to comment. It feels empowering when you make people react by replying.

    Mike Hardaker

  42. Hey Blog Tyrant,

    You have some sound advice here. Your tip to close comments in order to create a sense of scarcity is actually an interesting idea. I don’t think I’d ever close off my comments until I start getting over 100 after each post though (or maybe not even then). I just don’t think it’s fair to those who caught your post later after it was closed off. But that’s just my opinion of course.

    I also like your suggestion to respond to every comment. I make it a point to respond to all of the comments I receive (and also comment on their blogs as well if I find value there). My point of view is, if the person took the time to read and comment on your blog, the least you can do is take the time to reply (even if you don’t give his/her blog a visit).

    Great read!

    Christina

    • Blog Tyrant says:

      Thanks Christina!

      • lm says:

        I am having such a hard time having the comments work for me – people are emailing and ASKING if they can comment and ask questions on my advice blog. But on Blogspot, the comments only come up on the actual post. So if people have the link to the Main Page, you won’t see the “comment here” box or ANY of the comments unless you click into the actual posting. Does anyone know what I mean? How do you work around that? I want people to be able to immediately click onto the newest post and see the comments without having to click around – seeing them right away is what will get people commenting…….

  43. Brian Davis says:

    Some great ideas here. I’m trying to get more traffic for my blog and although I can’t use all of these. I think some of the tactics will prove useful. Would you say it’s generally better to write long posts, or short posts? How about posts with pictures? My blog is a photography blog and I’m wondering if pictures can pull traffic as well as written content.

  44. Rick Upshaw says:

    I think the author has made his point right here in this post. Look at all of the comments here. Great discussion across the board because of what he wrote and the way he wrote, which probably includes what he left out. Nice job!

  45. Sietse says:

    interesting thoughts. I don’t think closing comments works on websites that don’t get much comments yet to begin with (like the guy that emailed you) so I won’t be trying that just yet :D have to keep it in mind though.

    Anyway, responding to comments is very important indeed, keeps the discussion going.

    Great job! Thanks for the tips.