5 Easy Ways To Get Readers To Leave Comments On Your Blog

“How do I get other bloggers and readers to leave comments on my blog?” This is a question I get asked a lot.

During the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve found many ways of getting readers to interact with me. Today, I’m going to share with you what I believe are the five most important and easiest ways of generating comments.

In one of her recent blog posts, blogging expert Janice Wald says that search engines such as Google and Bing are attracted to blog posts that contain at least 30 comments. Why? Because they show that the blog is active.

Janice goes on to say that value-added comments can bring in lots of extra traffic and boost the post’s SEO ranking too. Comments help lengthen a blog post, and search engines are attracted to long posts rather than short ones.

Long posts Vs short posts. Which one is best?

Some readers shy away from reading long posts, saying they don’t have the time to read them. However, for me, it’s the content that counts, not the length of a post.

I’m more likely to read and leave a comment on a long post that grabs my attention than read lots of short posts that don’t motivate me to leave any comments.

The definition of a long post is anything that contains over 2,500 words.  

Remember what Janice said? Short posts can be lengthened if they have lots of comments left on them. As bloggers, that tells us that we should do all we can to encourage readers to leave comments.   

To be beneficial, comments do need to be at least a couple of sentences long, prove that the content of the post has been read, and it helps if they contain keywords. 

Short comments and those that include nothing but emojis are not ‘search engine’ friendly and are ranked lower. It’s one of the reasons why I do not approve any comments that contain nothing but emojis.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I believe that on their own, emojis belong on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

I don’t mind the odd emoji in a value-added comment, but not when they are on their own. I either send the comment to the trash bin or edit the offending emoji out of a comment.

I think many bloggers will agree when I say that most of us want our readers to leave comments on our posts. It goes a long way in proving that our posts have been read and that we have an active blog. 

Content will always be king.

Not only do successful bloggers believe that content is king, but there are other reasons why I’m mentioning it. 

I come across many blog posts that have little content to strike up a good, value-added comment or conversation, other than maybe a few dead comments such as ‘Thanks for sharing’ or ‘Great post!’ In fact. many of these posts either have no comments or are just full of dead comments.

Likewise, some posts have been so poorly put together and rushed into publication that they leave me wondering why they’ve been considered for publication in the first place. If only the author had spent a little more time on them.

Don’t publish a blog post just for the sake of publishing one. Make the content of the post work and bring you results.

Early on in my blogging journey, I was told something straightforward and which every blogger should take onboard –

‘The quality of blog posts is far more important than the number of blog posts you publish.’ 

It’s true. Those bloggers who care about content and quality soon reap the benefits of blogging.   

If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you may have noticed that many of my blog posts get lots of comments left on them.

According to WordPress, the average number of comments my blog posts have attracted so far this year is 64.

That’s a lot of comments to respond to, but remember that this number also includes my own comments when I’ve replied to those readers who have left them.

Of course, I’m delighted with the results because it’s precisely what I wanted to happen when I first started to blog. Interacting with your audience is a key factor of blogging. 

I like to think my blog is like wandering around a second-hand store. Why? Because you never know what you’ll come across around the next corner. Plus, when you do find something, you’ll hopefully want to ask me a question or leave a comment about what you have found.

Get you readers involved and ask them questions.

One of the easiest ways to get readers to leave a comment is to ensure you ask a question (or questions) in your post. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Ask them what they would have done or if they have any suggestions or tips on what you have written about. Likewise, encourage them to share with you if they’ve experienced something you’ve written about.  

I’d recommend you leave questions towards the end of a post. That way, readers won’t forget what you have asked and, of course, always ensure questions relate to the content you have written and published.

Don’t make your blog a one-way street.

Once you start getting comments left on your posts, do everything you can to respond or acknowledge those comments as quickly as possible.

Never, never ignore comments, although there is nothing wrong with showing you’ve acknowledged a comment by ‘liking’ it. This is an especially good way in acknowledging comments that you’re not sure how to respond to, or don’t have the time to respond to straight away.  

Of course, we can always respond by saying ‘thank you’, but I think it much better to respond to comments by saying more than just a simple ‘thank you.’ 

Getting into a conversation with your audience is better than cutting them off dead with something they can not respond to. And, when I say ‘conversation’, I don’t mean something that has nothing to do with the contents of the post. Take those types of conversations offline.        

If somebody has taken the time to leave a comment, not responding or acknowledging them is a sure way to put them off from leaving any further comments. Nobody wants that, do they?  

If my comments do not get a response or acknowledgement, I stop leaving comments on the blog I’ve left them on.  

I much rather spend my time reading and leaving comments on blogs where I see the blogger does respond. After all, dialogue should never be a one-way street that leads to a dead-end, should it? 

Reading other blogs and leaving comments.

As well as building your own blogging community and responding to comments left on your blog posts, you can also try and persuade other bloggers to leave comments on your posts by reading and commenting on their blogs. 

This is probably the single most reason why some bloggers fail to get any comments left on their own blog posts.

If you don’t visit, read and leave comments on other blogs, then you’re unlikely to get other bloggers to leave comments on your blog. 

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

Being a part of other blogging communities is one of the best ways to get people to come and visit your blog.

Never be afraid to make the first move by leaving a comment on a blog you’ve never left a comment on before. The majority of bloggers are friendly and will give you a warm welcome.

However, never feel you have to read and leave a comment on every blog post somebody publishes.

If you don’t have time to read and comment on other blogs, make some time.

I recently spoke with a blogger who told me she was going to ensure she spent at least 20 minutes a day reading and commenting on other blogs. Why had she told me that? Because nobody was leaving comments on her blog posts. 

20 minutes is better than not visiting, reading and commenting on other blogs. Even if it’s only reading and leaving one comment a day, it’s better than not reading and leaving any comments at all. 

I also like to promote which blogs I’ve left comments on by highlighting them in the widget bar on my blog.

If you take a look at the widget entitled ‘Check out these awesome posts from other bloggers‘ you’ll see the last 10 blog posts I left comments on.

I also promote these blog posts by sharing them on my social media accounts.

By leaving comments, you’ll soon become part of other blogging communities. In turn, this will help you build your blogging community.  

However, remember only to leave value-added comments. And never be afraid of responding to the comments from other bloggers and striking up conversation with them. Interaction with other bloggers is the name of the game. 

Blogging challenges

One of the easiest ways to become a member of a blogging community is to participate in a blogging challenge. 

Over the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve participated in hundreds of blogging challenges hosted by other bloggers. Not only were they fun to participate in, but they also brought lots of new visitors to my blog, some of whom left comments.  

There are hundreds of challenges on WordPress. Click here to see some I mentioned in a previous post. 

#writephoto #writingprompt
Logo for the weekly #writephoto Photo Prompt challenge hosted by Sue Vincent
© Sue Vincent
#SundayStills #photography
Logo for the weekly Sunday Stills Photography challenge hosted by Terri Webster Schrandt
© Terri Webster Schrandt
#flashfiction
Logo for the weekly 99-word Flash Fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills
© Charli Mills

Even if you only participate in one challenge a month, I can guarantee it will bring new visitors to your blog.

Likewise, seek out blog link parties where bloggers invite you to leave links to your blog posts. One blogger who hosts a weekly linky party is Esmé, at Esmé Salon. Click here to join this week’s link-up.   

Some of the new visitors to your blog will leave comments on the post you have published in response to a challenge or the invitation to leave a link. 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? Share them in the comments section at the bottom of this post. 

Looking for more blogging tips? Click here to join my blogging tips magazine on Flipboard, and here to read them on Mix.Com.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

201 comments

  1. I can see by your writing and I can feel it in your words, that you do enjoy writing and maybe most importantly, enjoy helping others. Thank you for this post. Informative and also a helpful read.

  2. I’ve only been blogging since September and have been using all your tips and advice so far Hugh. This one’s a great added bonus as I was only looking at my stats earlier today. I’ve been wondering how to increase comments as I’m only at 26 per post on average (that’s including mine). I think I manage 3 out of 5 of the ways you’ve suggested, so maybe I need to look at my content and perhaps I’ll give some of the Challenges a go.

    1. 26 per post is a great number, Caz. 30 is the magic number, as that’s when SEos then class blog posts as ‘long reads’ and boost them up their search pages. The number of comments I get per post varies widely, but all five tips in this post should help keep those numbers healthy.

      1. Ah, brilliant. Thanks Hugh. Remember that question I was going to ask – well here goes lol. I’m thinking of changing my blog to ‘mental health from the sides’ (If I’d have taken my time in the beginning, I would have thought of this one). How would I do this and would it confuse things for people or now SEO etc?

        1. You can change the name of your blog by going to My Sites – Design – Customize – Site identity. You’ll find the ‘site title’ box there where you can update or change the name of your blog. You can also change the tagline of your blog there, too.

          If you’re going to change the name of your blog, let your followers know about the change and why you decided to change it, in a blog post. That way, they won’t get confused by it. It won’t affect the SEO of your blog. In fact, it may improve it.

    1. I’m not sure why, but WordPress sent your comment straight to my spam folder. I’m glad I check it at least twice a day. It may be worth checking if the comments you leave on other blogs are also disappearing into the spam folder. They may not be, but it’s worth checking.

      Here’s a link to a post I wrote about the problem.

      https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/09/25/what-to-do-if-all-your-comments-are-ending-up-in-the-wordpress-spam-folder/

      I hope it helps.

        1. A lot of bloggers never check their spam folder or tell those who end up in there that their comment went to spam. I’m always glad when somebody lets me know that my comment ended up in spam. Sometimes it can just be the odd one, but when they all end up in there then I know there’s a problem.

  3. Wow! Everything in this post rings true for me, Hugh. I’ve only been blogging for about a year, and I’m at that point where I’ve nearly maxed out on the blogs I can follow. I don’t understand the philosophy of “following” someone if you never leave comments. I can only surmise these are people who are trying to add to their massive lists.

    I know many blogs exist for the sole reason of selling something, but that’s never going to be me. The best part of blogging for me is to connect with interesting people around the world. In a day and age where common decency is lacking, I enjoy the friendly interaction and exchange of ideas that I find from blogging.

    1. I agree, Pete. Why follow a blog if you’re never going to visit it? It’s one of the reasons why I cut down on the number of blogs I now follow. I used to follow over 500, but that number is now down to just over 130. That’s far more manageable for me. I try and visit at least a few of those blogs every day, and rather than leave comments that are pointless to have even left (such as ‘Great post’), I’ll leave a comment that I hope adds value to the post I’ve read and one which gives the author some feedback. I love getting into discussions in the comments sections of blogs, so it’s another reason why I now only ever leave valuable comments.

      Thanks so much for joining this discussion.

  4. Hugh, I’m pretty sure you took your own advice for this post and used all five suggestions. Based on the number of comments, I’d say you also up’d your average significantly! Participating in Challenges has definitely increased followers for me, as has being diligent about reading and commenting on other blogs. Thanks for sharing what works for you.

    1. Yes, I’ve used all five of these tips, Suzanne, and I continue to do so. The number of comments can vary widely on each of my posts, but that magic number of 30 is the one we should all aim for. That’s the point when SEOs such as Google start to pick up your posts and boost the rating so that it shows higher up the results page.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on these five tips.

  5. This is one of my favorite blog posts! Sharing on my blog post The Weekend Edit over the weekend.
    I had no idea about some of the facts you shared! Thank you! Laura in Colorado

    1. You’re welcome, Sue. I thought this post was worthy of another airing on my blog. Your #writephoto challenge must take up a lot of your time, so thank you so much for hosting it every week.

      1. There are a good many posts at your place full of very useful advice, Hugh.
        As to the writephoto challenge… it is a real pleaure to host so many and varied responses every week 🙂

  6. I just came across your blog! This is such a great post and so helpful! I’ve also started dedicating about half an hour to reading and commenting on blogs. It’s already helped by allowing me time to come across your site and feel comfortable to leave a comment. Thanks again!

    1. I’m so pleased to hear you have put some time aside to read and leave comments on other blogs. It can be a slow process, to begin with, but if you continue to read and leave comments on the same blogs, many of the bloggers will eventually return the favour. You’ll soon find yourself a part of many blogging communities. Good luck with it.

    1. Thank you, Carol Anne. I’m always pleased when people tell me that my blogging tips posts have helped. Thank you for the reblog.

      Your comment went straight into my WordPress spam folder. I don’t know why, but it’s just as well that I check the folder daily.

      Have a lovely weekend.

        1. I also discovered on three occasions that all my comments were going to spam regardless of which blog I was leaving them on. WordPress sent me some information on what to do. You can read about it by clicking on the following link.

          https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/09/25/what-to-do-if-all-your-comments-are-ending-up-in-the-wordpress-spam-folder/

          Hopefully, it’s not happening to all your comments, but it may be worth checking with some other bloggers if your comments are going to their spam folder.

  7. Hugh,
    Time is so precious and with 24 hours, it is very easy to plan and schedule a frequent blog commenting plan.
    I have realized that leaving comments on blogs is like mini-blogging. Hence see what comments being the lifeblood of blogging means. Though you will see others who leave four to five words comments. I started to comment on blogs interrelated with main topics in our blogs’ niche. This is true if a blog touches on the interests of our clientele.

    We will start to promote blogs that I have left comments on the website. This is a brilliant idea. We were only using social media and other sharing platforms. Learning knows no end.

    1. I like what you say about how leaving comments on blog posts is like mini-blogging. I’ve often heard it said that some comments can be turned into blog posts. It’s one of the reasons why I enjoy not only leaving comments but also reading them.

      I don’t like leaving comments that add no value to a post I’ve read. Likewise, I will do all I can not too leave any comments which are less than a few sentences long. I believe that those types of comments belong on social media sites such as Facebook. Interacting with one another is the key, but make sure the interaction is not started with a dead comment.

  8. Lots of fabulous tips here Hugh and I absolutely agree with all of them. I’ve cut back from my blogging this year due to freelancing commitments but when I do blog I love the interaction and will never (deliberately) leave a comment unanswered. Sometimes I wish I had more time to read other blogs but I do try and least read a few a week. I guess we do what we can. Hope all’s well with you.

    1. Yes, we can only do something with the time we have to do it, Miriam. At least you are still reading and leaving comments on other blogs. It’s better than not doing it at all. I see the interaction between other bloggers as the launchpad for blogs to take off. It’s great when you get regular comments from readers who don’t blog. That shows that your blog has gone on to reach people outside the world of blogging.

      I wish you good luck and much success with the freelancing. Did that happen because of the blog?

      1. Thanks so much for your good wishes Hugh. I’ve been freelancing for a number of years now so I wouldn’t say it’s happened because of my blog. But it’s certainly ramped up this year. I consider my blog a wonderful bonus on top of it. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  9. Brilliant post, packed full with fantastic advice! Wishing I’d had all this information when I first began blogging. Alas, much of these things, I had to learn through trial & error, time & experience along the way. Still learning but thankfully, we have great articles like this to help us along our way.

    1. Same here, Laura. I wish I’d known much of this when I first started to blog. Luckily, there were bloggers out there who wrote and published free blogging advice, so much of what I learned was picked up from those bloggers. I’d never have believed that I would go on to write, share and publish tips which worked for me. These posts are my way of saying ‘thank you’ to all the bloggers out there who support my blog by reading my posts and leaving comments.

  10. Comments are fun to get because we get to interact with readers. That’s why I don’t want emoji comments, on my blog or on my Instagram account.. I also don’t want a comment because I left a comment on someone else’s blog.

    1. I completely agree with you. I see too many bloggers using their blogs as they do their Facebook accounts – I’ll comment on and like every post you publish because you comment on all my blog posts. Many of those comments are just a few words long and add no value to the blog post or contain nothing but emojis. Commenting just for the sake of commenting should be left to Facebook. I much rather read comments that add value to the post I’ve just read and which open up a good discussion or debate. For me, that’s what blogging is all about.

  11. Thank you that was informative for me. I often leave a question at the end of a blog post and it does work. Makes it easier for people to respond with a starting point. Replying to comments is a throw back from my mother and answering letters – you respond to people (her words).

    1. Your mother’s words are wise words. She was absolutely correct. We should always make time to respond to people.

      I’m glad the post has helped and that you’re already benefiting from the results of asking questions in your blog posts.

  12. Hi Hugh,
    Are you exclusively in the blogging niche now? Personally, I hope so. Your tips are stellar!
    Congratulations, this post won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party. You’ll be featured on my site tomorrow.
    Janice

    1. Hi Janice,

      No, I’ll be doing a few blog posts about other subjects too. This week will see the last of my blogging tips posts until the New Year.

      Thank you for the excellent news about my post winning the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party.

      Have a great week.

  13. These are great trips to engage other bloggers with your blog, Hugh. I agree with you, I rather read a long post than a short post, and then leave an insightful comment. In a sense, the comments you leave represent who you are and your blog – and if you take the time to leave an insightful comment be it on a long or short post, I have found the blogger is more inclined to visit my blog. I didn’t know that emoji-only comments were not ranked that well in search engines, and will keep that in mind.

    Also agree that content is king. When I decided to scale back blogging, I worried that I’d lose my audience’s engagement. Most of the time posting more means more views, more readers and hence more comments. Over time I felt that if I took the time to research and write a post and posted less, I’d still get comments from readers which I am thankful for. I guess good content will speak for itself. Over the next year I forsee myself to blog even less due to lifestyle circumstances, so it will be interesting to see how my blogging interaction will fare.

    Also agree with you on not ignoring comments. Sometimes I’d leave a reflective comment on someone’s blog, only for them to not respond at all. I do appreciate a simple thank you but like you, I do prefer more engagement especially if I really liked the post and took the time to comment.

    1. Thank you, Mabel.

      I love what you said ‘…In a sense, the comments you leave represent who you are and your blog – and if you take the time to leave an insightful comment be it on a long or short post, I have found the blogger is more inclined to visit my blog.’

      That is one of the best comments left on this post and goes out of the way of genuinely stating what insightful comments mean.

      Like you, I’ve cut back on my blogging. Since August 2019, I’ve cut back to writing and publishing one blog post per week. Both the number of comments and ‘likes’ my posts have got have increased, which makes me very happy because engagement with readers is what it’s all about. I’m a firm believer that content is king and that bloggers should take their time drafting and researching posts before publishing them.

      I’m not a fan of saying just a ‘thank you’ to anyone who leaves a comment. I much rather engage with the reader. However, some comments that are left can be difficult to respond to. That’s when a simple push of the ‘like’ button comes in handy.

      1. Thanks for your nice words, Hugh. Insightful comments not only showcases if you’ve took the time to read a post but also who you are and (possibly) your intentions with your blog.

        It is wonderful to hear your blog engagement is as strong as ever despite blogging less. Content really is king. Like you, most of the time I write longer posts. I don’t expect readers to read the entire thing but I don’t mind that at all – I’m really happy with them reading a section of it and commenting insightfully on that. In that sense, content is still engaging.

        Indeed some comments are difficult to respond to. I usually acknowledge their view and thank their time for reading.

  14. Hugh
    This is such a breath of fresh air. Each one responds to how busy they are – not able to read a blog post and leave a comment. Those are shoes I wore for quite a while.

    As a student and avid reader, I leave notes as I go along. But there are times when reading that 400-page book is not possible and blogs that give a summary save my day.

    I appreciate you for putting together this list. These are quite simple ways to get readers to leave comments on a blog post. I am challenged to pull up my socks. I try to leave authentic, relevant and well-thought comments.

    I am going to look up those blogging challenges and blog link parties.

    1. Thank you. Time can be an enemy to all of us. It’s why I mentioned that reading and commenting on just one blog post per day is far better than not at all.

      Blogging challenges are great fun to participate in and bring in new visitors to our blogs and websites. I’ve participated in hundreds over the time I’ve been blogging and have always had great results from them.

  15. Thank you for sharing your tips, Hugh. All great tips, that’s for sure. I liked your tip on liking without commenting when you don’t have time to respond. I didn’t consider the part about liking first. I use the (forgive my lack of correct terminology) Side Reader in WP (in the WP.com site), so if I like a comment, it appears read, so if I want to go back to reply later, I’d lose track of which ones I hadn’t replied to yet. I’m impressed with the # of comments you get, so what you’ve suggested doing obviously works!!

    1. Thanks for sharing what you do with regards responding to comments, Shelley. I try and make time to leave a comment, especially if the post has motivated me to do so, but sometimes I will also share the post via social media if I don’t have anything to add. Comments are the lifeblood of blogging.

      Yes, I get lots of comments, hence why I wanted to share what I do to generate them. “How do I get readers to leave comments on my posts?” is the number one question I get asked the most. Now I have a blog post, I can refer people too when they ask me the question.

      1. You’re welcome. I appreciate your words of wisdom, Hugh, it is a gift to all of us that you compiled them in a well-composed post we all can share with others to learn from!

  16. As always Hugh lots of good ideas…I love comments it is the essence of blogging I think we all need that interaction it makes for a very pleasant experience…I didn’t know about emoji’s though and I do use them although not on their own as to me that doesn’t indicate that I have properly read the post Do you mind if I use your stir up Sunday image I will, of course, link back to you 🙂

    1. The odd emoji in a lengthy comment is okay, Carol. It’s when the comment is just made up of emojis or is included in very short comments such as ‘Great Post’ “LOL’ ‘Thanks’ etc., that they become not search engine friendly and have the opposite effect. I don’t approve any types of those comments anymore because they really don’t mean anything and, as you said, does not indicate that the post has been read. Plus, I believe comments like that tend to make our blogs look more like they belong on Facebook rather than a blogging post. Best leave them for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

      Please feel free to use my Stir up Sunday image. I have another photo of the finished puddings which I’m going to tweet today. I’ll tag you on the post. Feel free to use the new picture, too.

      1. Lovely thank you, Hugh…I am sure it will taste delicious I am aready savouring that first mouthful I can taste it but will have to wait..haha…Although I am going to make some pies very soon and they will definitely be eaten hot from the oven …I think I may adopt that stategy of deleting just emoji…Good advice .

  17. Your posts always seem to have a lot of comments, Hugh. No wonder! I have learned so many great blogging tips from reading your posts. I do tend to have a lot of comments on my posts. I think it is because I respond to each comment and I visit the commenter’s blog and leave a comment on his/her blog as well. Every time.

    1. Yes, you’re right, Laurie. Responding to all comments in a friendly manner will result in readers leaving more comments. Once they know you respond and that you’re friendly, they’ll feel part of your blogging community and be frequent visitors. I’m delighted to hear you’re already getting the benefits of leaving comments. It’s a big part of the whole blogging process.

  18. Thanks, Hugh. Great advice. I’m not one for challenges, I must admit (I’m not focused on writing at the moment, and I prefer long pieces to short ones, in general), but sometimes participating either on a blog tour or on a joint event with other bloggers is another great way to discover other bloggers and to be discovered by new readers. To your enduring success and thanks for sharing.

    1. I’ve never participated in a blog tour for my own books, Olga, but I can see how they help discover new blogs and help get us in front of lots of new readers. I’ve hosted several authors doing blog tours but have never found out if it resulted in new book sales for them. In any case, any promotion is better than nothing at all. I’ve also enjoyed hosting guest bloggers as it helps promote them and their blogs and also helps me in freeing up some time from the blog.

      Sorry to hear you’re not focused on writing at the moment. I’m going through a similar experience, although I don’t seem to have lost any desire not to blog. I have cut down to publishing just one post per week, though.

      Hope all is well with you?

  19. Hi Hugh, as always I have enjoyed your thoughts and have taken your advice in the past on how to increase the number of comments I receive. I must say I appreciate your thoughtful and fulsome comments and understand what you say about commenting on other blogs to increase your own interactions.

    I enjoy reading reading a wide range of blogs and leave comments only when I have something to say about the post, I don’t comment just for the sake of it. I agree about questions in a post but I often feel it seems a bit formulaic in and unnatural when I do it. I think I’m getting better at it!

    I also enjoy participating in linkups and challenges but am finding I am veering towards the same old few and need to mix it up. I haven’t been to Esme’s for a while so I might get back to that one. I have just today published a post for Terri’s Sunday Stills (thanks for your comment) and find lots of inspiring bloggers this way.

    I love the interaction and engagement that leaving a comment can lead to. Your experience is well worth sharing! Thanks for your helpful suggestions.

    1. I’m glad you feel you’re getting better at leaving questions in your blog posts, Debbie. I don’t see anything wrong in encouraging our readers to interact with us. In fact, I think it makes a reader feel a part of the community and makes the blogger asking the question seem friendly. Readers are more likely to keep coming back.

      I know what you mean about participating in the same link-ups week after week, but I’ve discovered lots of new blogs by participating in them. I’m always on the lookout for new ones, although some do have strict rules about who and who can do join. Just like not having too many social media accounts, we need to be careful and not spread ourselves too thinly. I’ve also come across some blog linkup parties on Twitter, so I’m in the middle of finding out whether they are any good for bringing in extra traffic.

      Thank you for joining in with the discussion on ‘blog comments’, Debbie.

  20. I think your point on blogging challenges is the most helpful from the entire post. Challenges bring people from different blogging communities together and it’s a great way to get introduced to new perspectives. But sometimes, even when you spend a lot of time reading and responding on other blogs, it isn’t very helpful in building your own community and that’s when people tend to give up after arriving in a slump.

    1. It’s very interesting what you say about leaving comments on other blogs because I’ve had great success in making new friends and gaining new followers when I started reading and leaving comments on other blogs. Other commenters on this post have said the same thing. I’ve also gone on to meet some of those bloggers in real life. That was, without a doubt, the best thing of all. If I hadn’t left that initial comment (or they leave a comment on my blog) and started building up a community, I’d never have met many of the bloggers I’ve been fortunate to meet. Some have even gone on to become close friends.

      As for blogging challenges, you’ve captured exactly what they are all about. I’m glad they’ve worked so well for you.

  21. I had to chuckle at your advice to ask readers a question as a way of encouraging comments. I’m a teacher, and when someone directs a question toward me, even though I’m only one of many readers, it’s a knee-jerk reaction for me to answer it!

    1. I think many readers will feel the same way, Liz. I know I do. Most readers like to be asked a question because it makes them feel the author of the post is involving them. I’m surprised by just how many bloggers never try to engage with their readers. It should never be a one-way street that leads to a dead-end for readers.

  22. Hugh, I totally agree with you. It is way to easy just to leave a short sentence, i.e. nice work, great post, but that does not mean much to me as many times, I feel that the person leaving the comment, did not read the full post and made direct comments or asked a question re the post itself. I must admit, that due to limited time I do not get to as many blogs as I wish to and do not leave enough comments. I will have to prioritize and make more time for actively engaging and commenting on more and more posts. As you rightfully mentioned in another response earlier, even if I leave one comment a day, (preferably more) that you are engaging already and this should help all involved. Blogging for sure is not a one-way street and as Renard pointed out your blog needs to be inviting and your posts should be informative and help your readers.
    I love reading your blog. Yes, I know I do not leave comments on a regular basis, (as mentioned, purely due to the fact that I still work full time and time is my biggest enemy at present), but I promise forthwith that I will do better.

    1. As I’ve mentioned to other bloggers who said that time is a problem, I think it is an enemy to most of us, Esmé. It’s one of the reasons why I cut down to just publishing one blog post a week. I saved myself a lot of time by doing so, but much of it is now used up in drafting my weekly post. I’ve seen great results from making the change and think I’ve found the perfect blogging balance for me (for now).

      Of course, responding to comments also takes up a lot of time, but only publishing one blog post a week has helped me gain back some time from responding to comments too. I now don’t have as many comments to respond to. However, I always value comments and have never had any problems in the time taken up responding to them. Interaction with our readers is the name of the game.

      Read and comment as and when you can. Don’t try and rush and read as many blog posts as possible in the time you have. Not only will it spoil the enjoyment of reading blog posts, but it also forces you into leaving short, dead comments that add no value for anyone.

      1. Hugh, again, you are totally on point here. Do not rush and try to do as many posts possible. I am doing my utmost to read, fully take in and then leaving a well thought out comment appropriate to the post. You are an absolute inspiration to me, so thank you for all your insight, support and tips.

      2. Thank you for sharing your tips at #senisal and also again promoting it in your post. This is truly a gem of a post and I would like to learn more, have more time to respond appropriately to all posts and comments. I will just continue to do my best, share and comments on as many posts I can, and one day, not sure when though, when I retire and do not have a full-time day job, that many days can be up to 10+ hours, have more active time reading and commenting on blogs. Thanks again for your continued support, well-crafted posts with tips and how to blog, as I am always learning and benefiting from your posts.

  23. Great collection of tips, Hugh, as always. What I struggle with most is time, time, time. I enjoy (and always have enjoyed) blogging about my adventures and experiences on the road and on the water – sharing that less than ordinary lifestyle of ours. (I even thought about you when I posted the blog of our dog adoption in June, feeling sad you were on a blogging break that time, so you wouldn’t get to see it.) Often, these posts are not very valuable to others, apart from the beautiful glimpses from around the world. But, they are “easy” to write and compose, showcasing photos of the experiences.

    Coming up with “better” content requires more thinking, creating, editing. More time. Yes, I’d like to do this in the future. Also, I’d love to join these link-ups or challenges, in the future. And, I enjoy reading and engaging with more blogs than the twenty or so I religiously follow and comment to. Again… I need more time for that.

    For many bloggers (especially when they’re retired), blogging seems to be their main hobby or activity, or a means to their profession in the case of authors, for example. Unfortunately, no matter how much I wish it, I am not in that position. Yet… (I was going to add a smiley face here but I’ll refrain from emoticons.)

    1. I had no idea about the dog adoption, so congratulations and thank you for giving a dog a home, Liesbet. I’m sure you’ve already discovered the many benefits of owning a dog.

      Time is an enemy to most of us, but I still like to make as much time as possible by freeing it up from other places. It’s one of the reasons why I cut down to publishing one blog post per week. Much of the time I saved in doing that has been used up in drafting posts, but I’ve seen some brilliant results from doing that. I don’t read and comment on other blog posts every day, but I try at the very least to read at least seven a week. I also free up time by not reading and commenting just for the sake of reading and commenting. If I start reading a blog post and don’t feel inspired to say something, then I’ll move on to the next one. I may still share the post via social media, though.

      I’ve no problems with the odd emoji in a comment. It’s when a comment is nothing but a line of emojis or is made up of just one emoji that we need to avoid. Since finding out they are bad for referral traffic, I’ve stopped them appearing in the comments on my blog.

      Thanks for joining in with the discussion. It’s always great to hear from you.

  24. Thank you for this blog post. I read blog site the art of blogging about following, commenting on other bloggers site to help create traffic. Though new, I have not been a steady blogger but I find this piece inspiring.

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