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

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

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?