Do you have tons of posts without any comments on them?
When I was first getting started with this blog, I would go for days (and sometimes weeks) without a comment. Then I would head to popular blogs and see posts that had 150 comments. Ugh. Why did they get all the comments and I didn't?
You may have no comments because of a simple mistake.
Over time I figured out that most of the issue was me. I was making some of the most common mistakes anyone could make to limit commenting. So here are the top four mistakes I was making and you may be currently making if you're not getting any comments on your posts.
Mistake One: Your title stops me from reading the post
Imagine you saw a tweet, email newsletter, or Facebook post that had titles like this:
- 3 reasons you should stop sending business mail from your AOL account
- You should stop using WordPress – right away!
- Combinatorial mathematics: counting without counting
I don't need to read the first post because I totally agree. It would be a waste of time. So why read it? And if I don't read it, I won't be commenting. Right? The second post is one I completely disagree with. So why read it? Same logic—my lack of interest will result in no commenting. The last article sounds interesting to someone, but it's probably not for me. So again, I won't be commenting.
If your title doesn't draw interest and beg you to read the post, it could be the reason why there are less comments than you want. So work on those titles.
Mistake Two: You don't interact with existing comments
Another common mistake is that you haven't engaged with the comments you already have on your site. So when a person comments and doesn't get an answer, why should they comment again?
At one point I was managing comments from my phone and without realizing it, the iPhone app had gotten disconnected from my site. So it stopped alerting me to comments and I went for a week or two without commenting.
Eventually, I figured it out, but in the comments was this little comment, “I'm not sure it makes sense to comment on this if you're not going to engage.” Ouch! But it's true. If you don't engage with the comments, you'll likely see them all disappear from your site.
Mistake Three: You don't end posts with a question
This sounds like a no brainer. But honestly, if you don't have a conversational tone to your post and you don't end with a question, people will often just assume that the post isn't a two-way dialogue and they won't comment.
The way around it is to write in a voice/tone like you were talking to someone across the table from you. I often, in the middle of a set of sentences, will write: “Right?” It helps people feel connected in a way like we're talking. So then if I end the post with a question, they feel much more compelled to reply.
So end the post in a way that begs for a response.
Mistake Four: You never take a side
Remember when I said, in mistake one, that some posts aren't worth reading just based on their titles? Well, the same is true from a commenting perspective and the body of the post. If it's a bland read, I'm likely to just skim and take off.
Posts that are opinionated or meant to convince me of something are far more interesting and have a greater chance that I'll comment on. Because if I agree I may thank them or share another reason for my agreement. If I disagree, I may comment and challenge some assumptions.
But if the text is not compelling or opinionated, there's really no reason to comment.
So there you go—four mistakes, any one of which you may be making. None are ultimately fatal and you can recover from all of them. The trick is seeing that you're doing it and making a change.
So let me ask you this—is there a fifth I missed?