How To Become A Successful Blogger: Part 5 – How To Get Readers To Leave Comments On Your Blog Posts

The question I get asked most about blogging is “How do I get other bloggers and readers to leave comments on my post?” It’s an interesting question and one that can produce many different answers.

Most bloggers want readers to leave comments on their posts. Over the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve found many key elements of how to get readers to interact with me. However, today, I’m going to give you what I believe are the three most important.

Content

Is this a no-brainer and something nobody needs to tell you? I think not because we probably all come across posts which have little content to strike up a comment, or posts that have been badly put together and leave us wondering why they’ve even been published.

From my first days as a blogger, I was always told that the quality of the posts I publish was going to be far more important than the quantity of posts I publish. You’ll notice that many of my posts get lots of comments left on them and that makes me a very happy blogger because that is exactly what I wanted to happen when I first came here. I like to think my blog is like wandering around a second-hand store because you’ll never be quite sure what you will find around a corner and, when you do find something, you’ll want to ask a question about what you have found.

Once you’ve got the quality of your post right then one of the easiest ways to get readers to leave a comment is to ensure you ask a question in your post. Ask the reader what they would have done or if they have any suggestions or tips on what you have written about. I’d recommend you leave the question towards the end of your post and always ensure it relates to the subject you have written about.

Comments

Once you start getting comments left on your posts then do everything you can either to respond or acknowledge those comments. If people have taken the time to leave a comment on one of your posts then simply reading and not responding or acknowledging that comment is a sure way to put that reader off from ever leaving any further comments on your blog. If a comment doesn’t warrant a response then, at least, acknowledge you have read the comment by liking it.

I don’t know about you but if I find my comments do not get a response or acknowledgment, then I’ll stop leaving comments on a blog because I know I’m wasting valuable writing time or could be reading and leaving comments on another blog where I know the author will respond.

Reading other blogs and leaving comments

As well as building your own blogging community and responding to the comments being left on your blog, you’ll also need to read and comment on other blogs. This is probably the main reason why many bloggers fail to get readers to leave comments on their own blogs. If you don’t visit, read and leave comments on other blogs then you’re unlikely to get people to leave comments on your blog. Being a part of other blogging communities is a sure way of getting people to come and visit your blog.

Don’t have the time to read and comment on other blogs? Then make time!

I remember reading a comment from a blogger who said she was now going to ensure she spent at least two hours a week reading and commenting on other blogs. Why had she said that? Because nobody was leaving comments on her posts. ‘Only two hours?’ I thought. Well, it’s better than not visiting, reading and commenting on other blogs at all. Even if it’s only ten minutes a day, make sure you read at least a couple of blog posts and become part of other blogging communities. Only leave a comment if you have something that will add value to the post you have read and never be afraid of responding to other comments left on a post.

We’ll look more closely at comments in another post I have planned for this series.

One of the easiest ways to become a member of a blogging community is to participate in blogging challenges. There are hundreds of challenges on WordPress and even if you only participate in one a month, I can guarantee it will bring traffic to your blog. Some of those visitors will leave a comment on the post you have published in response to the challenge in which you have participated and they may even start to follow your blog.

What about you? Do you have any suggestions, advice or tips on how to get readers to leave comments on your posts?

How To Become A Successful Blogger

Also from the series –

Part 1 – The ‘About Me’ page

Part 2 – How To Create A PingBack

Part 3 – How To Ensure Readers Will Keep Coming Back

Part 4 – Why Republishing, Reblogging and Rescheduling Your Posts Will Always Work

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179 comments

  1. That’s true, I don’t read so much. Thank you about your post makes me think about my blog need to work more

  2. Thank you for the tips. I enjoy reading you and I am glad to hear that I am doing all the right thing so far… Should see progress on the number of comments on my blog in a near future!

  3. I also put my blog posts and their links on social media. It hasn’t increased my audience a whole lot yet, but it’s slowly attracting readers, so I hope with time that may improve a little. Being active in the WordPress community has been the biggest help for me so far.

    1. Building a social media following can be tough, but using hashtags and participating in events such as #Mondayblogs and #SundayBlogShare certainly help. There is also some blogging Facebook groups which are very successful, but I’m not on Facebook so can’t join them. However, I’d try and stick to just using two or three social media sites for your blog as they can eat into your writing time. The most successful ones for me have been Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Flipboard. With time (and some work) they will bring traffic to your blog.
      And, yes, being active and a member of WordPress communities is one of the best things a blogger can do.

        1. I hope you can come on over, Elizabeth. It’s taking place on June 9th, so plenty of time to organise. We had some international visitors at this year’s Bloggers Bash. It would be wonderful to have more at next year’s event. 😀

  4. As a blogger, student and ‘multitasker’ I know it’s often hard for me to be present all the time. So, I created a special ‘space’ on my blog ‘DAILY PILLS’ where my followers can enjoy awesome quotes from me anytime, as they await my next articles, poems or stories. So, when I’m not online, I have that confidence that my followers/visitors will not be starved of good posts on my site http://www.thesecretroomtalk.wordpress.com. Though, I’m new to the world of blogging, but, I enjoy every lessons I learn other bloggers.

    1. I don’t think any of us should apologise for not posting on our blogs on a regular basis. Indeed, I have taken a few breaks from the blogging world, but I’ll always announce my intention of leaving for a while so that nobody gets worried that I’ve disappeared for no reason. Even during my absence, I still get visits and even seem to gain new followers. Those who have followed me for a while say they read older posts that they may have missed. Don’t feel pressured to publishing posts every day. One of the first rules of blogging I was taught very quickly by well-established bloggers is that the quality of posts is far more important than the quantity of posts. I’m still learning lots about blogging but will continue to share blogging tips and advice here.

      Good luck with your blog and your writing. Do what feels right for you. My tips and advice don’t work for everyone, but I enjoy sharing what I have learned. I wish you much success with it.

  5. Hugh, I so agree with you. A blogger must respond to comments and take time to visit other blogs and make meaningful comments. I’ll be at this seven years in February 2017, and as my readership has grown, the amount of time it takes to respond to comments has grown. But I feel it would be rude not to respond to my readers. Interacting with them is what makes blogging enjoyable. I’ve had readers who ask questions or make requests and some who have emailed me photos when they’ve made one of my recipes. I love it!

    1. I’m very pleased to hear it, Jean. All too often I’ve left questions in the comments section on a post and get no response. It’s as if I’ve been invited round for coffee and then just ignored.

      I understand that answering comments can take a long time, but if bloggers find it a problem then they can always switch comments off. Yes, I’ve unfollowed a few blogs because they don’t respond to my comments, but I think the worse are those who do not respond to comments on their ‘about me’ page. Just by looking at the comments section of an ‘about me’ page tells me if I should or should not follow the blog.

      Thank you for joining this debate. 😀

  6. Thanks for this, Hugh. I’ve thought for quite a while that my font on my travel blog was too small but didn’t realise I could customise it on a free theme. I’ve changed it and am happier with it. I might play with it a bit more but for now it’s definitely better than it was.

    1. You’re very welcome Kayleigh, and a big welcome to my blog.

      I hope you find the rest of my blogging tips posts just as useful. I’ve written quite a few and they can all be found by clicking ‘Blogging Tips’ on the menu bar of my blog.

      Best wishes,
      Hugh

  7. Just the post I needed to read. Great advise on how to engage readers. A great reminder for new beginners, like myself. I would love to one day be able to engage my readers more. After a year of blogging I see the importance of interacting with other writers/bloggers – there is no going around that if one wants to succeed in blogging. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter!

    A.B.

    1. Hi, Amina, and welcome to my blog.

      I’m so pleased to hear you found this post helpful. I’ve just gone past two years of blogging and I’m still learning as well. I’ll be passing on many more tips and advice for this series.

      Best wishes,
      Hugh

  8. Brilliant post on engaging your blog readers and audience, Hugh. Agree with all the points here. Having an engaged audience and one that will respond to your content is a two way street. If we make the time to read someone’s blog post and comment on it, we are making the effort at striking up a conversation and putting ourselves and our blog out there.

    Sometimes what irks me is when readers go, “Nice post” or “Nice photos” on my posts. If I had just posted up one photo and that’s it, then fair enough. But if I’ve written quite a bit on a certain topic, then I might be inclined to think that person wants a “comment for a comment”, similar to a “like for a like”. When I Like a blog post, I make sure I’ve read it. When I feel like I have something to say about the post, I will leave a comment that touches upon the blogger’s question or at least one one of their points in the post.

    I generally spend 30 minutes to an hour each day reading and commenting on blogs – and it is genuinely because I want to, want to learn something and it is always by reading other blogs I get inspired to come up with original content for my blog. Then there is responding to comments on my own blog and on other blogs which also takes up a heap of time…I think I spend too much time on my blog 😀 With a full time job and writing my first book, it is hard. But I wouldn’t have it any other way as my blog plays a big part in the writer whom I am today.

    1. So nicely put, Mabel.

      I agree with the “great post” comments. That’s what the like button is for. If I think it’s a great post then I’ll tell the blogger by pressing the like button. I often wonder if “great post” comments are simply the person who wrote it telling you that they’ve clicked on your blog and probably not even read the post. I’ve always gone along the line of don’t comment unless you really do have something of value to say about the subject of the post or if you are answering a question the blogger has asked. In fact, I’ve even seen a trend in certain bloggers only ever leaving comments that say “great post.” You get to know who those bloggers are after a while as you tour the blogs you follow.

      30 minutes to an hour a day is far better than not reading and commenting on other blogs. As you, and others, have said you get back what you put in.

      Thank you very much for your comments on this subject.

      1. I share a similar sentiment about the Like button. If I don’t have anything to say but I have read a post and enjoyed it, I’d push the Like button. I too feel that sometimes when someone Likes my post they have not necessarily read it.

        It does take time to read a post and write an insightful comment. But at the end of the day, a lot of us behind out blogs are real people and that is why I don’t mind taking a little time out of my day to read and comment – it’s like talking to an old friend after you get to know the blog and blogger after a while 🙂

  9. Thanks for this very interesting and helpful post Hugh. I’m like many other bloggers who love interacting with people. I write and post for myself but enjoy seeing others appreciate my posts too. I always reply to comments and enjoy the followup when it happens. I would rather have a comment left but I’m not going to complain about anyone popping by my blog, reading and simply indicating that they liked it by hitting the like button. I also try to make time to read other blogs and leave comments for them if I feel I have something to say. Blogging is a wonderful activity to be a part of and I’m glad I’m here reading posts like your which aim to help.

    1. You echo what many others say, Debbie. Time is of the essence and we all lead busy lives, but we should never take those that comment on our blogs and those that we follow, for granted. They are, after-all, what keep us writing and blogging.
      Thank you for your comments.

        1. heh hugh,I have written 2 poems that I have from a catalogue of poems I would like to put them in a book and publish them,I have 2 on my blog,titled,I NEVER KNEW and HOW COME.they are under mysoulspeaks2016.com.can you read them and give me your honest opinion please and thank you.

  10. My suggestion is pure bribery. No, but really, I agree with you whole-heartedly, Hugh. You have to at least try to be engaged whenever possible to that blogger/blog or community, and even for me, with my much-smaller readership, it is overwhelming. I don’t have the magic answer or key, either, but even for me, it’s more like 2 hours a day, and even that is probably not enough. It would probably be good, at this point, for a person to be a planner rather than a pantser; sit down and outline or otherwise figure out how much time, in general, you want to devote to (whatever you want to call it) your platform and marketing your blog. Come up with a solid goal (say, I want 1000 new followers in a year and this is how I’m going to get there); then be ready to massage that along the way, as circumstances arise and evolve. The only other tip that I’ve come up with that works well for me is that I like to read at least 1 ‘new’ (to me) blog a week and, if I can, become something of a follower AND make sure (again, this works for me) to follow outside my genre. I think you’ve talked about it before, Hugh, in the context of possibly ‘levels’ of followers. Much as I’d love to comment on and read everyone and everything, it just can’t be done unless every day miraculously becomes 40 hours long and children stay in school for at least 20 of those hours and our capitalistic system wherein money has value vanishes! Sorry for the long comment; you bring up a lot of excellent things to think about and discuss, Hugh, as always.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Leigh.

      You’re on to something else here because how many times have we all read a blog post that promises us lots more readers and followers? I’ve even written some of these posts myself and (as far as I am aware) I’ve never mentioned that with more readers and followers come more work and more of our time to answer comments and to try and return the favour and read and comment on the blogs of those who do the same on our blogs. However, for me, responding to comments left on my blog takes priority because I don’t want to be seen as taking those that do leave comments for granted. I can’t possibly read and comment on every single post of the blogs I follow and, in turn, I understand that those that follow my blog also can not do the same.

      It’s been pointed out to me that there are successful blogs out there who choose either to ignore or not have the time to respond to comments, but other than promoting my own blog by leaving a comment on those blogs I can’t understand what the attraction is unless every post is always an interesting read. For me, ignoring your audience is not only unpolite but can also be seen as being unfriendly.

      Thank you for joining in the debate. I’ve no problems with anyone leaving a long comment because, for me, leaving a comment is one of the best things a reader can do when you’re a blogger.

  11. Reblogged this on Just Can't Help Writing and commented:
    Here’s a post on an important question for bloggers: What persuades readers to comment? I’m curious—do you comment for the reasons Hugh suggests? Or does some other motivation prompt you to start a conversation? I’d love to know!

  12. Hugh, I did it. Took ten minutes, well maybe a half an hour or more, but I was rewarded ten times over by inspiration with words of wisdom. Thank you for inspiring me while pushing me along. Love to you, Hugh.

  13. You are so right, Hugh. I appreciate comments highly and always respond. My worst problem is lacking time to read other’s blogs, something I enjoy and managed quite well not so long ago. I’m taking your ‘ten-minute rule’ to heart. Wonderful advice! Thank you, Hugh. 🙂

  14. Once again, Hugh, you share your knowledge and look at the # of comments? The post screams “comment on me!” Most excellent advice, Sir! One tip I learned that is easy to add, is right before your sharing buttons at the bottom of the post, one can add a customized comment. Under admin, then settings, go to sharing settings and scroll to the sharing label and create a customized comment/call to action. Mine says “If you liked this post, feel free to share.”

  15. Yay, I am number 102! Great job, Hugh! Your comment post brings lots of comments… haha! I was laughing when I read about spending two hours on reading and commenting. Gosh! I have nothing to add but to confirm it all which is again not necessary since you already got confirmed by experience… and now I stop rambling in order to not make my comment completely meaningless…. lol!!!

    1. Not quite, Erika, as there were some comments waiting in line, but it’s always great to hear from you.

      Yes, when I read that comment from that blogger that they were dedicating two hours a week to reading and commenting on posts, it did make me laugh. But, at least, that blogger realised their problem and did something about it. Even if it’s just 10 minutes whilst having a coffee, respond and/or acknowledge your comments and those people will come back and leave further comments. If we’ve no time to answer and respond to comments then we should seriously think about closing comments off. Then nobody will feel that they have been ignored and what is stopping us from writing similar posts and allowing people to comment? 😀

      1. Yes, absolutely true. Reading posts and commenting/replying is not only part of the deal, it should actually be a natural part of our blogging habits out of a joy. If you don’t feel that joy then stop for a while. I was smiling reading your reply… sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s right now writing this. 😊

  16. How could one not leave a comment on a post like this!! Great advice Hugh – I agree wholeheartedly. And you’re so much better at practicing what you preach, than I am!

    1. lol. Jools, visit as and when you can but don’t ever stop not replying to all the comments left on your posts. I know you won’t, but it seems some do for various reasons. For me, that’s like inviting you for coffee and then ignoring you. Nobody likes being ignored especially when they’ve been invited to participate in leaving a comment.

  17. I’ve unfollowed a few bloggers that I’ve decided are on ego-trips and don’t care about anything but promoting themselves. I find that the downside of being someone who enjoys visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs, is that you can feel a terrible failure and, in some way, letting your blogging friends down when life gets too busy to do more than read the posts on your mobile, without commenting. It doesn’t mean that you are not appreciating the posts a great deal. It’s just that the other person doesn’t know that you’re reading them, let alone appreciating them.

    1. If only we had more time, Sarah. Quite rightly you have pointed out that nobody should think that somebody else has not read one of their posts simply because they have not left a comment or a like. I, for one, certainly don’t always comment or like a post when I have read one. The ‘like’ button can be misused in so many ways. For example, some of my 1,000+ word posts have received likes within seconds of me publishing them. There seem to be some super humans out there who can read a whole book within minutes. However, what I do is sometimes show I have read a post by sharing it on one or more of the social media platforms. There are days when I’ll grab a quick 10-minutes, have a coffee and read some posts and then there are days when I seem to spend all day reading and commenting.

      As I mentioned in other comments nobody should ever be made to fell unappreciated. The successful blogger will always understand that not all of the posts they publish are going to read and commented on by every single one of their followers, more especially those who do regularly comment.

      1. Oh, so you’ve had that experience, too, of the superhuman blogger who can read in two seconds long posts that we’ve spent an age working on. Do you remember Lieutenant Commander Data in Star Trek and how he could read reams of stuff in a flash? I’ve come to the conclusion that the two-second likers are really androids 😉

        1. lol, I also remember Steve Austin ‘The Six Milion Dollar Man’ who could do exactly the same, Sarah. Perhaps WordPress should introduce a system that allows the like button to only be pushed providing somebody has stayed on the page for at least two minutes? I’m sure that would bring a lot of it to a stop.

  18. Thank You! As a fairly new blogger, I love comments and I also like to leave them. I feel like I’m being heard when people comment, and I feel the same as when I read other bloggers post. The love the community building aspect of blogging.

    1. It sounds to me as if you are well on your way with becoming a successful blogger given that you have a passion for building and becoming part of blogging communities. It’s great to hear from a new blogger as many of my blogging tips posts are aimed at new bloggers. I remember when I first started blogging how finding tips and advice blogging posts was like finding treasure. I learned so much from them and now it’s a pleasure to pass on all of that information.
      Good luck with blogging and never be afraid to ask for any blogging advice. There are many bloggers out there who would be delighted to help.

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