Whew! I made it! 6 months of blogging. [I did a post at 3 months.]. So now I'm way past people just visiting my blog, I want them to comment. Don't you just love comments? :)
I did a little research, both online and through some books I found at the library. Here are 13 ways to get more people to comment. These are not exhaustive. Some I've tried, some I haven't.
1. Write short posts. Especially if you want people to read through your entire post.
2. If your topic is really descriptive, add pictures to sustain interest. And keep important points at the beginning of the post.
3. Ask questions. Try to do it subtly in the beginning and at the end. People love to answer questions. Somehow "what do you think?" is a better call to action than "let me know what you think".
4. Respond to your commenters. Reply to their questions. Visit their blogs. Familiarity breeds participation. Whenever I participate in memes, I always visit blogs of people who have left me lovely comments first because I remember them..:).
5. Relevant content. Content can be targeted for a niche group of people or to a wider audience. People like to respond to something they can relate to. Just last month, I blogged about something as mundane as scissors and people commented and answered my questions. I guess it's because everybody has a pair somewhere.
6. As much as you wish to be thorough, leave your post a little open-ended so that readers will comment to point out to you what you missed out.
7. Have a giveaway. Personally, I haven't tried this but by observation, this seems to work. Have you tried it?
8. Ask for help in solving problems...people are generally helpful and sympathetic.
9. Visit blogs and leave meaningful comments. This really really works. I no longer leave meaningless single word comments that add no value because you really get what you give...:)
10. Disable the word verification function. Apparently this is a turn-off for a lot of people. Personally, when I experience difficulty in leaving a comment (because blogger sometimes hangs at this stage), I just don't. I've disabled this function for two weeks now and so far no spam and a few more comments I think....:) Have any of you had problems?
11. Substantiate your posts with relevant links. Check to make sure the links work.
12. Be positive. No one likes to read a whiny post. Vent if you must but stay generally upbeat. I gave up visiting a blog entirely because the writer blamed everyone else for her "miserable life" and the language was totally offensive. Have you had such an experience?
13. Be yourself. You don't have to be an open book but people respond positively to authenticity.
I leave you with this post on how to leave a great comment. There's a hilarious YouTube video in it that you must watch! Oh yeah, before you go, have you left a comment on my post? ;)
Inspired by Thursday 13.