How to Increase the Number of Comments on a WordPress Blog
As a WordPress blogger I feel my time writing an article is validated when it generates lots of comments, many of my articles have hundreds of comments (a few have thousands!), but others have none :-(
Also makes me more money from my websites since the WordPress theme I use turns larger comments into articles (see Stallion SEO Super Comments) in their own right which generate their own search engine traffic. More comments my blogs receive equals more Google SERPs, kerching :-)
Here’s some tips and tricks in no particular order I’ve picked up over the years to generate comments on a blog.
Turn Comments ON
Not much of a tip I know, but if you don’t have commenting turned on or the software you use to run your blog doesn’t allow for comments you aren’t going to get any comments.
The blog CMS WordPress has a robust commenting system and is highly recommending for blogging.
Respond to your Visitors Comments
I own over 100 WordPress blogs, keeping up with the comments on them all is a big job, but on my important sites I make sure comments are responded to promptly and it pays off with more user comments.
There’s nothing more irritating than spending your time providing feedback on a blog post for the author not to provide a response when your comment warranted a response. When that happens to me I won’t comment on that website again.
You might even pick up a few online friends or joint venture partners via your comments, I have.
Maybe you have an example where responding to your users comments has made you money or a useful contact?
Make it Easy to Comment
As a WordPress blogger I COULD insist all commenter’s register to comment or fill in capatcha’s or puzzles to prevent comment SPAM. This adds a barrier to your visitors making a quick comment that will put many off, those capatcha’s in particular are a pain in the ####! I have perfect eye sight, but regularly get capatcha’s wrong!
Just look at what Google suggests when you type Capatcha’s into Google:
Captchas are Annoying, Hard and Don’t Work so are Stupid :-)
Use the free WordPress plugin Akismet and over 99% of SPAM comments will be automatically filtered, no need to make your real commenter’s jump through hoops.
External commenting systems like Disqus and Intense Debate can make managing your comments easier, but your visitors will have to sign up to those services to comment! You also loose control over how the comments are used etc… my comments have comment titles and are turned into “Super Blog SEO Comments” by the Stallion theme, wouldn’t be able to achieve this using external commenting systems.
Would you sign up to a forum to make a single sentence comment on one post? If not don’t make your visitors register to comment on your blog.
No Comments Because No One Has Commented Yet
Who wants to be the first person on the dance floor?
A post with no comments is less enticing to comment on than a post with a few comments already. If a post isn’t generating comments consider adding some yourself. Log out of your sites WordPress dashboard and make a couple of leading comments with another username/email address (can be fake), comments with questions or a polarizing viewpoint can generate more comments than “I agree comments”.
Nothing better than commenter’s with opposing viewpoints, generates debate.
Ask Your Visitors to Comment
Try to put a few questions in your articles, ask your visitors what they think.
For example see the last paragraph of this article where I ask for how you generate more comments on your blog. Make it clear you want comments.
Commenting for Traffic and SEO Reasons
In many niches, especially the make money online type niches many of your commenter’s are commenting to benefit their own websites (they want a backlink). With a standard WordPress blog using most WordPress themes the author URL will be rel=”nofollow” and links added to the comment body will be rel=”nofollow”, see WordPress SEO Comments and rel=”nofollow”.
Rel=”nofollow” results in the link passing no link benefit (PageRank/PR) to the commenter’s website, (the commenter receives no SEO value from the link) but the links can still be clicked and so can generate direct traffic. Unfortunately nofollow links delete the link benefit that would have flowed through the links, so every nofollow link provides no SEO value to the commenter and damages your sites SEO by deleting link benefit! For this reason we should not use rel=”nofollow” on any links within our sites.
There are Dofollow WordPress plugins (dofollow plugins remove the nofollow from comment links) that can remove the rel=”nofollow” from the comment links turning a blog into a dofollow blog (the comment links pass SEO benefit). There are even websites and services devoted to finding and exploiting do follow blogs for backlinks, so if you go do follow and your sites have reasonable PR you’ll find you get more comments.
In my experience with sites that total over 50,000 comments between them providing dofollow links to visitors looking for backlinks to their websites is a mistake. You have little control over what they link to, they might link to banned domains that have the potential to damage your sites SERPs. The comments tend to be very low quality, the visitor isn’t commenting because they think your article is worthy of a comment, but because they want a backlink. These comments tend not to generate further debate and from a user perspective make it difficult to read through a set of comments, I find they damage the sites user experience resulting in less quality comments.
If you run a do follow blog what’s your experience regarding the quality of the comments?
Comment on Similar Niche Blogs
As mentioned above most blogs have their links nofollow, but there is still benefit to you in commenting on similar niche blogs. Strike up conversations with other bloggers via their comments and some will find their way to your site and comment.
Comment on this Article Below :-)
What methods do you use to entice your visitors to comment?