Comments are of great importance for all types of WordPress sites. Although it is controversial that comments have direct influences on the search engine rankings, they do increase the freshness of your content, improve the user engagement, and help with community building.
Since you are landing here probably for the effective yet simple ways of getting comments, we have prepared what you need by collecting the best tips from our blogging experience and the ideas of our readers and peer bloggers. You can try all the tips below because you’ll never know which works best for you without enough practices.
Before Trying Getting Comments
Before taking any action, make sure that you are ready for comments. This means much. For example, your blog has to be content rich, containing fresh and original content instead of suspicious ads. Besides, you have to pay attention to the following tasks.
Build an audience
Traffic is the basic of building an audience for your blog, as more visits mean more chances for you to receive feedback. Therefore, before you are able to get more comments, you have to increase the traffic first. This takes some time, but the following deeds will certainly help.
- Share posts on social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Make your content shareable for visitors.
- Allow readers to subscribe to updates.
- Publish fresh content on a regular basis with the proper frequency for you.
- Try paid search, guest posting, news, etc.
Find valuable or interesting topics
This is about making your content comment-worthy. People tend to respond when the topic is relevant or appealing to them and the content is valuable. So you should think carefully about the possible interests of your target audience, and then write about these topics with some freshness and creativity in your writing.
Also, those topics which have already attracted much attention and generated interaction on other blogs similar to yours are good ideas. Never stop learning from others.
As soon as you are well-prepared, you can start taking the following tips into practice.
Make Your Blog Easy to Comment on
Sometimes things do not need to be complicated. If your comment section is hard to find, or you require visitors to complete a lengthy form before they can leave a comment, you are stopping your blog from getting comments. To deliver a better experience, you can take the following suggestions into consideration.
Require the minimum information
Look at the fields that have to be finished before a comment can be published, and ask yourself whether you are willing to fill in them when you visit a website that you’ve never visited before. Our opinion is that you should only require the name and email for commenting, which can be configured in Settings > Discussion.
If you have added CAPTCHA to the comment form out of the worry about comment spam, you can choose to remove it, and instead, requiring manual approval for the first comment of all visitors. This should stop most of the spam. You only need to make a small change to the discussion settings in the WordPress dashboard.
Allow social logins
Most blogs require people to log in before leaving a comment. However, this stops many readers from commenting on your blog because some do not bother registering a new account just for one comment.
A solution to this issue is to allow social logins, so that visitors can log in with their existing accounts on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo!, LinkedIn and more. It helps achieve a balance between your requirements and the visitors’ convenience.
Also, you can add the anonymous comments capability to your blog in case that some people do not want their real name to be displayed.
Encourage Conversations in Your Post
Do not write posts in a way like talking to yourself and then wait for comments, because you will be disappointed to see no or little responses. To get more comments, you should ask for responses from your readers actively by sending them an invitation with some polite and encouraging words saying something like “What do you think?” or “Do you have a better solution?”
There are some tricks for encouraging interactions, and below are the most effective ones.
- Ask a question at the end of each post to get readers thinking and talking about their ideas. This could also be a comment request which is unique, polite, and encouraging.
- Raise a problem that stays controversial or unresolved and ask for solutions from the readers. This lets them know that you value their information, which is great for engaging them in conversations.
- Share your experience or stories with humor. If some funny things happened or you had a failure doing something related to your blog topic, share them with your readers, and you will be surprised at how they will share their experiences with you, too. The common interests are the best starting points for meaningful and lasting conversations.
Reply to the Comments Your Receive
Conversation builds relationships. If you reply to comments, the conversion will continue, which not only impresses the reader, but also makes the conversation last. Besides, your replies show your respect to readers and your attitude of valuing their interaction with you and your blog. The interactivity will then add value to your blog and get more readers participating in.
After receiving comments on a post, try to respond to each of them as soon as possible. WordPress comes with a feature of sending you email notifications when a new comment is posted. You can turn the notifications on in the discussion settings.
It could be hard to reply to each comment if you receive dozens or hundreds of them each day. In such a case, we still suggest you respond to as many comments as possible with respect and courtesy.
Bonus tip: To make those who have left comments more engaged in the conversation, you can ask them to subscribe to their comments, so they will receive email notifications each time their comments are responded, and possibly visit your blog once or several times more. This would bring huge traffic. If you don’t know how to do this, read this tutorial.
Award Your Readers for Comments
Offering prizes is a great way to stimulate comments from your readers, especially the first-time commenters and new visitors. People are more active when there is a motivation. And generally speaking, when someone has done something for the first time, he/she will find it easier to do it the other time.
Below are three creative ideas about awarding commenters. Of course, you can work out a unique one, too.
Run contests on your blog
A good suggestion is to write a post about the prize, stating what the prize is and what the competition rules are. For the selection of the winner, the easiest way is to select a random one from those who leave comments during a given period of time. This does not require any technical skill. Just ask your readers to take part in.
Make use of polls
Interesting polls attract people and bring a large number of participants as they only need to make a selection among the available choices. This does not seem to contribute to comments directly, but the more participants you have in a poll, the more people will come back to your site for the results and leave comments about the topic/result.
Creating polls is easy in WordPress because there are many plugins dealing with the technical parts.
Display a commenter ranking
You can add a points system on your WordPress blog so that each time when a user posts a comment or replies to a comment, he/she gets a certain amount of points. Then, you can display a ranking of the users with the highest scores in the sidebar, and offer prizes to those commenters gaining the most points during a given time. If you don’t want to try user points, the Top Commentators Widget provides another way out.
Displaying a ranking tells potential commenters that you value their comments and their contributions to your blog, which will in return accelerate the building of your community.
Besides the tips discussed above, there are still some other methods you can try to grow the comments on your WordPress blog, for example, leaving thoughtful comments on other blogs with the similar topic as you.
No matter which way you try, remember that interactions are important. Your respect and the sense of value you deliver to the commenters are the motivations for people to respond to your content. With these conceptions in your mind, the barriers to comments can be got rid of soon.
At last, getting comments is a natural process of building relationships with your readers, so try not to be harsh with yourself or any reader.