Creating a Comment Worthy Post
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Building up readers, comments and unique visitors can be some of the most important aspects of a blog. I want people to read what I write, and I want to be able to engage them in what they are reading.

Despite my best efforts, it seems that people are visiting - some are even sharing what I write - bur RARELY do I get people to engage.

Any suggestions on how to make a blog more active?

  • Janis, I am mesmerized by your writing. I really should be getting ready to meet with a client but my hand keeps clicking on the next post. I can't even stop to leave a coherent comment. Yesterday I was devastated that I couldn't access your site for some technical reason that seems to have cleared up today. When I clicked on the RSS icon it took me to a page of gibberish, as has happened before with another blogger. We couldn't diagnose the problem. I MUST subscribe, but how? I'm not familiar with the workings of a non-Blogger site.

    Consider this "a bite" from this site, with many more nibbles to come.

    Best regards,


  • Man, Beverly, thanks for that reference to Intense Debate.  I've seen that Comment Luv on other blogs and just thought it came with their template.

    Kathryn, many bloggers who want to increase their readership are diciples of Kristen Lamb now.  I certainly have drunk the Koolaid.  She's great at telling writers how to create a good blog and connect with readers.  How writers should do it is different from how promotional websites and blogs do it.  Go to her blog and subscribe.

    Find blogs you really like, whether they cover you particular niche or not, and see what they do to engage you and make you come back for more.  I looked at your blog and it has created a nice niche (proverbs), which is difficult to do.  But you might look at how you present your topics.  For example, since we're writers we should be story tellers.  Can you tell stories that tie into your posts?  What made you decide to write about this today and not that?  Kristen says that our focus should be on creating relationships (her books and blog give all kinds of fantastic strategies for that).  In other words, what is your voice?  What kind of person do you want to be on the screen?

    At the end, you need to invite comments.  If you go to my blog you'll see at the end of each post I ask readers to expand on what I was saying, or tell their own stories, or the like.  I have a long way to go to become a blogger like my favorites.  But reading Kristen's books can help speed up success.

    And -- notice all the links I used in my answer?  Link love can bring people too, when they see you offering so much extra information.  Good bloggers are friends and they are clearinghouses for information.

  • Intense Debate is free, and has pretty easy to follow directions for installing to Blogger.  I think it's, but if that doesn't work, go to my blog, there should be a link at the bottom of the commenting system to it.

  • What you said! Plus, thanks for the tip about Intense Debate, Beverly. Is it free? Where do we get it? I tried to allow Facebook comments on my Blogger site by copying code and following instructions to the letter. It was an epic fail. My Facebook peeps comment freely on my blog link in Facebook but simply won't go to the blog itself. I think they're self-conscious, and FB is their comfort zone.

  • While I don't usually have hundreds of commenters, I usually have a solid dozen or so.  Here's what works for me.

    1) Installed Intense Debate, which allows people to login and comment in a variety of ways(through WordPress, Intense Debate, FaceBook, Twitter.  I use Blogger, and the consensus is that people HATE that built in commenting system.  Intense Debate, as does Disqus & WordPress, allows for a CommentLuv plug-in that offers commenters an easy way to link a follow-back to their own blogs.  So there's one immediate pay-off of leaving a comment on my blog - not only I, but other readers just might follow a commenter back to his/her own blog.  The second is I can (and do) reply to your comment and you know it, via e-mail.  After a few months of being in the blogosphere, I learned that I didn't have time/energy memory to return to blogs where I'd commented to see if there was a reply - and neither does anyone else.

    2) ASK for comments.  Try to end each post asking at least one, possibly more questions of the reader and their experiences.  If i share a snippet of a WIP, I don't just plop it out there.  I ask the reader if they bought into the character or romance, if the dialogue worked, if the situation felt too contrived...  When I visit a blog and there is simply a poem or short story or story fragment sitting there, especially if it doesn't really move me, I won't comment because I don't want to hurt the author's feelings, but I also don't want to post, "Oh, this is great!" if I don't feel that way.  I'd rather be able to say honestly, "I loved X, X and Y, but it slowed down for me a little bit at Z."  Without a clear invitation from the author, I don't feel comfortable doing so.

    3) Don't be afraid to be controversial.  Take an unpopular stand on something, use a provocative title or headline.  (Just don't bait and switch - if you use Justin Bieber in the title, he'd better be tied into the text somehow, some way.)

    4) Visit other blogs, and comment on them.  Most (not all) bloggers understand there's an implied courtesy of returning a visit and comment.  There are some blogs, including some by SheWriters, I have stopped visiting and commenting upon because I know I've been to "their place" 5-7 times and the author has NEVER come to comment at my place.

  • I recently read that commenting on blog posts is becoming passe and that more people are just commenting via Twitter.  I don't know how much truth there is to that.  Seems every time I get one thing figured out, we move over to another.

  • Great question, Kathryn.  I'm still working on this one myself.  I joined this group (and this site) so that I could drum up some readers, ideally writer-readers.  But I haven't gotten a bite yet from this site (on my blog or otherwsie.)  What's your blog url?  I'd be happy to read your latest post.  Mine is

    I hope we'll hear from someone else!