10 tips & plugins to get more comments on your WordPress blog

by Jean. 60 Comments -

Comments are a very important part of a blog: This is where your readers gives you feedback about your posts. Many bloggers loves to receive feedback on their articles, but it’s not always that easy, especially on a newly created weblog. On Cats WhoCode, I got 690 comments for 36 articles, so here’s some simple tips I had implemented on my blog for getting more comments.

1 – Answer your reader’s comments

Imagine that: You just found a very interesting blog post, and you have a question about it. You leave a comment and come back 2 days after to see the author answer. All that you see is comments from other people. The author simply ignored you.

I don’t know you, but I’m pretty sure that I will not come back on a blog where I can get an answer to a question. So, in order to build a community and show respect to your readers, always answers their questions.

2 – Ask a question

That’s a very basic tip, but bloggers often hesitate to ask their reader’s advice. If your blog post is interesting, I’m pretty sure many readers will give you their advice.

3 – Ask your readers to suggest something

If you often read my blog, you probably noticied that on my 20 beautiful dark themes for Gnome and Ubuntu article, I only listed 19 themes, and asked the readers to suggest the last one. That was a pretty good idea and many readers suggested another theme that could be the 20th on my list.

3 – Dealing with negative feedback

Nothing can please to everyone. So, if it didn’t happened to you yet, you can be pretty sure that one day, one of your readers will think that the article you wrote just sucks, and tells you. Negative feedback is less pleasant than positive feedback, that’s a sure thing. But in my opinion, you must never forget that you can be wrong, and that there’s surely someone on earth who knows your subject better than you.

So, don’t make the mistake of having a hardcore censorship policy on your blog. People like to know that their advice is welcome, and that you’re always open to a discution, nevermind what they have to say.
And remember, even is someone leaves you a negative advice, that do not means that everyone will agree him. People have their own opinions ;)

4 – Get rid of the rel=”nofollow” attribute

You got to face it: If leaving a comment can provide some more trafic or backlinks, your readers will be more interested in writing something.
If you own a WordPress blog, there’s a strong chance that the links in the comments are nofollow. Does this prevents spammers to try to post their links for Rolex and Viagra? Certainly not.

Moreover, when one of your readers leaves a comment on your blog, if he has a website, he’ll probably fill the url field and make a link to his own blog. But as the link does have a rel=”nofollow” attribute, it will not receive any credit by Google when they rank websites.

So in my opinion, removing the rel=”nofollow” is a good thing. The Nofollow Free plugin will do that job. I also wrote an article about the rel=”nofollow” attribute some weeks ago.

5 – Provide a way to suscribe to comments

That’s a fact: blogs creates discutions. So when you’re having a nice discution, it’s a good thing to know when someone posted a new comment. For exemple, when I write posts for Hack WordPress, I like to suscribe to comments, so I can answer to HWP readers questions and feedback.

X-OR had the great idea to use the suscribe to comments plugin, and since we installed it on CatsWhoCode, we have more than 15 suscribers.

6 – Use the “recent comments” widget

A good way to tell your readers about current discutions on your blog is to display the latest comments on your sidebar. The recent comments widget is inclued by default in recent WordPress versions, so you just have to install it on your sidebar.

7 – Use the “top commentators” widget

If you just have to remember one tip from this list, it should be this one. Top commentators is a widget that display the X readers which wrotes more comments. Of course, there’s a link to their blog.

The benefit for the reader is very big: As widgets are – most of the time – displayed on all the pages of your blog, if your blog have 100 posts, the reader will gain 100 backlinks to his/her blog. So, commenting on a blog which use this widget is a real gain of value for your own blog. No doubt that if you use it, you’ll get more comments.

Blogs who uses the Top Commentators widget

Want more? Here’s a list, and even another one.

8 – Build a community

A community is a group of readers which suscribed to your rss feed and read your blog daily. They love your blog, and love to share their advices with you.
Building a community isn’t easy, especially for a young blog. You got to produce quality content, implement the tips I listed here, and at last but not least, being patient. Patience is the most valuable quality a blogger can have.

9 – Use the “comment luv” widget

Comment Luv
The CommentLuv WordPress Plugin will visit the feed of the comment author and attempt to scrape the last post they made and display it under their comment, this way you can encourage people to join in the discussion of your posts and give something back straight away.
I chose not to use it here, but I heard that this plugin can provide a lot more comments.

10 – Your own tip

As I said before, a good way to start discutions on a blog is to ask something to your readers. So, I’m asking you, what tip should have been inclued in this list?

Comments (60) - Leave yours

  1. Blog for Beginners said:

    I couldn’t find any other easier and more effective method of getting more targeted traffic than blog commenting. Not only we can build online relationship with fellow bloggers, it’s the least expensive method of blog promotion.

    Great tips you have it here. Highly recommended. Oh ya, thanks for the shout. Appreciate it.

    Yan

  2. Chetan said:

    What a nice article. But let me ask one thing. Does placement of the top commentators widget effect the quality of a the links inside it? For example, if you place the widget in your sidebar instead of your footer will it affect the quality of the links in it?

  3. jbj said:

    @Chetan: for google rankings, a link is a link, nevermind if it’s in the sidebar or in the footer. But I tend to think that links in sidebar should receive more clicks. Glad that you enjoyed the article!

  4. Aibal said:

    This is a thoughtful list, and I have seen many of these techniques at work.

    Another tip is to use provocative images. Not necessarily shocking, or controversial images, but stuff that is likely to draw discussion. These images can be humorous, artful, inspiring or just plain beautiful. Just make sure that they are somehow tied to the topic, even in an ironic or indirect way.

  5. jbj said:

    Thanks for your comments, guys, I’m glad you found this post helpful :)

    @Aibal: Indeed images are very good in a blog post. Never tried provocative images, though.

  6. Jamie Souef said:

    They are some great tips. I’ve used commentluv in the past but found it useless as it added the no-follow tag to the links. Does that change if you use the No Follow free plugin?

    Also, i just found with my install of the bleeding edge version of wordpress 2.7 (hemorrhage) you can reply to comments so that your reply is shown underneath the comment rather than at the end of the comment list. That feature will defiantly suit your no 1 tip!

    Great post :)

  7. jeff said:

    good tips, most of these things have worked really well for me on my site. i am not sure about the nofollow thing though – it may help the commentor but i am pretty sure that links posted to things totally unrelated to the content of your own site will affect your site’s ranking negatively.

  8. jbj said:

    @Jamie: Good question about the commentluv + nofollow free plugins, but since I don’t use commentluv myself, I don’t kow. Do someone here know the answer to Jamie’s question?

    @jeff: I’m not sure that turning your blog into dofollow increases spam. All blogs are spammed, nevermind they’re in dofollow or not…That’s true that many irelevant comments are posted, but you just have to moderate it.

  9. Blog for Beginners said:

    ….All blogs are spammed, nevermind they’re in dofollow or not…

    I simply have to agree on this. It doesn’t matter whether a blog is dofollow or otherwise, spammy comments are inevitable in my opinions. I have 30+ comments askimeted every single day…

    Yan

  10. jbj said:

    Thanks Mozami.
    Will you guys should be interested in an article/discution about how to deal with negative feedback on your blog? This subject seems pretty interesting.

  11. Sommer-Greenandcleanmom said:

    Personally, I rather get an email from the blog author. I hardly ever go back to check comments. I like that plugin (don’t know name of it) that lets you email your commenter. I find this handy and very personal as a way to connect to my readers. I have to get even better and chatting and thanking them to visit though. Yes, you have to answer questions, always! Especially if you launch yourself as an expert at something.

  12. jbj said:

    The idea of an email from the blog author is good, but for exemple, I just woke up and tonight I received more than 15 comments on CatsWhoCode. So, imagine how many comments a very popular blog as such as lifehacker.com receive everyday… It’s not possible to email each commentator.
    The “Suscribe to comments” plugin is a very alternative to this problem, I think!

  13. Jamie Souef said:

    @ Sommer-Greenandcleanmom

    I believe there was a great plugin around for wp 2.3 that allowed you to send a reply to the commenter and also post the reply on your blog at the same time.. for the life of me i don’t remember what it was called or if it is even available for wp 2.5-6

  14. Wei Liang said:

    Great post on the 10 tips. I would like to add on with one more point on creating a attractive headline. Use a headline that people do not expect to get and this will often draw their attention to read and comment on the article. One example of good headline is “Money Making Online Blog are dying off”. Try it and you will get results.

  15. Chris74 said:

    These are awesome tips! I quit using wordpress though as I got frustrated with how complicated it is. I just started blogging about two months ago and I was overwhelmed with wordpress. It seems like you have to know how to mess with the css and all that. So I moved to blogspot because it’s WAY easier. But, I’m begining to realize why people dig WP so much. It’s because of the plugins isn’t it? Cool post man. Thanks,

    Chris

  16. jbj said:

    @Chris74: Since WP is self hosted and open-source, you can do whatever you want/need with it. This is, personally, why I love it so much!

  17. Samsara said:

    I am very grateful for this post and here is why.

    I fear nasty comments. I REALLY do. And my fear was realized this past summer when – in succession – I had three nasty comments on an article in which I talk about “Healthy Communication”…haha… I ended up disabling comments for that series.

    But again…my blog isn’t really a blog but an “article archive” and so soliciting comments was never a priority. I think it all has to do with what you’re trying to accomplish. Maybe?

    But now…Since I am moving my blog and upgrading my WordPress…I have found a Ban Plugin to take care of the nasty trollers. :-)

    [I am SO excited I found your little nook of cyberspace. With my loving cats and being a Leo and all!]

  18. erica said:

    My suggestion would be to make some posts interactive via polls and comments could be encouraged to discuss the polls (why this or that answer)

  19. Brad Hart@Local News and Newspapers said:

    A way to help with your first tip is to use the subscribe to comments plugin for wordpress it will email the the person when more comments are made. Another good tip is when comments are made use the comment redirection plugin and take them to a page that not only thanks them for leaving a comment but politely suggests they subscribe to your feeds to include your comments feed.

    Another good tip is to use a theme or code your them to show the link to every possible feed. I currently show feeds for my blog, comments and on the next upgrade to my simple press forum on every page. on category pages you can subscribe to the specific category only and the same goes for tag and author pages. There are more feeds available on wordpress than most designers know exist you can download my themes on http://bloggingfornoobs.com

    As far as my own tip, it is pretty simple. Comment on other blogs, not just dofollow ones either. A good comment on a popular blog can bring you as much or more traffic than telling everyone you are a dofollow blogger too. (I am and you should read my dofollow policy before getting huffy with me)

  20. web design Brisbane said:

    You know what, the first thing I saw when I click on your site is your template. Looks neat. :) Sorry, but as a designer, I appreciate such beauty. And you have a nice post as well. Thanks for sharing.

  21. free counter strike hack downloads said:

    Hey, this is a great post. Now I know how to optimize my site. Thanks for sharing how to find dofollow blogs! :D Greatly appreciated. In return, if you need any assistance in article submission, let me know! I do not want to spam my url here, so contact me personal at my personal email: josephwhenry@gmail.com

  22. morison dony said:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  23. Megan said:

    How about Lucy’s Linky Love plugin?
    This only allows dofollow after a particular user has posted several times… that way encouraging greater participation and discouraging the hit and runners :)

  24. Jessica said:

    Plugins are one of the reasons that WordPress is so great… they provide a lot of freedom that you can’t really get with other platforms. I’ll be doing a post on my blog soon all about why WP is great, Anyone’s interested?

  25. Andy said:

    Thank your for the great tips. As someone who is new to this, it really helps a lot. I have install these plugins on my website as well. The best thing is that it is a win-win situation. Content for links and it encourages comments.

  26. Meena said:

    I admire commentluv plugin and use it on my main website.. Atleast it gives a reason to users to add comment …
    Though new Google announcement of following nofollow links making me to remove it.. What do you suggest??

    I go through all the comments and see which ones deserve to be there and which ones don’t. I must say that after installing it
    my comments have increased and interaction with some commentators have also increased.

  27. Pritush said:

    Nice tips for blogger like me, i have dofollow in my blog becuz of this i get lots of spam and and useless comment for getting backlinks. I have seen some blog with Good PR having no follow. Should i consider going no follow or continue in do follow.

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