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WordPress recently wrote a blog post about how to get more comments and it has some pretty interesting and useful tips. I have to admit that I love receiving blog comments (I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way). I’ve talked about comments before and I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the topic. Some of the tips from WordPress and what I think, based on my experiences with my own blog:
Reply to every comment you receive. I reply to all the comments in my blog because I want to show my appreciation when people read my posts and take the time to leave a comment. Also, I think replying to comments encourages more discussion. What I want to add to this is I love bloggers who also reply to comments on their blog. I try to drop by again and check if they replied and if there’s anything else that I can add to the conversation. I love that WordPress now sends notifications when a fellow WordPress blogger replies to one of my comments.
Ask your friends. I don’t ask real life friends to leave comments on my blog but there are times when I’ll send them some links if I feel like I talked about something that they’ll be interested in. It always surprises me when I find out that my friends read my blog. Like when I see them reading something that I’ve reviewed and I ask them where they found out about it, they’d casually say that they saw me recommending it on the blog.
Start conversations. Whenever I put up a non-review post – be it a discussion post or one of the features and memes I participate in – I throw out a question at the end. I’ve noticed that the posts tend to get more comments if I try to engage other people. It’s also a great idea to publish discussion posts about book-related topics from time to time because there’s so much that we can all talk about.
Write a response to another blogger’s post on your blog. Hey, I’m doing it right now with this post. This is an excellent way of starting a discussion post – you can link or quote another blogger (or author) and then proceed by letting everyone else know what you think.
Run a contest. Oh yes, giveaways are really popular in the book blogosphere. I’m not sure if it’s really effective in terms of encouraging other readers to follow the blog? My stats do soar whenever I’m holding a giveaway and that post gets a lot of comments but I’m not sure if those who join end up following my blog (I’ve never made it a requirement). I’m sorry if I haven’t had a contest in a while, I pay for the books that I give away and I’m trying not to spend too much on books so I’m not sure when the next giveaway will be.
Make a post out of the best comments from your readers. I haven’t done this yet but it seems like a great idea. I do get several intelligent comments and some of the lengthy ones can stand on their own as blog posts.
Those are my thoughts regarding some of the tips that WordPress provided and here are some of my own suggestions:
Turn off CAPTCHA. Okay, so CAPTCHA won’t really prevent me from commenting but it’s such a nuisance. I’m not a fan of it. Some of the words that turn up are so difficult to decipher, I feel like I’m trying to understand a foreign language. It’s a good idea to make things easier for whoever wants to comment on your blog. My settings only require a person to type in a name and email address, although I’ve heard from some people that WordPress has been having issues about requiring commenters to login (I have no idea how to fix that).
Link to reviews from other bloggers. It’s helpful to followers who want to find out what others think about a certain book. And it’s also helpful to fellow bloggers because their blog gets more exposure that way. When I get a notification that someone has linked to my review, I drop by to check out the post and comment. Make sure you’ve read the reviews before linking to them though.
Link your blog to other social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads. Sometimes, it’s more convenient for other people to comment on those venues. Like I said, anything that makes it easier for followers to comment is a good thing.
I feel like this is something that all bloggers can relate to so please share your ideas. Do you agree or disagree with the things that I’ve said? Do you have any tips on how to get more comments?