How to get more comments on your blog
I know. That was not a nice title and it is not a nice subject matter either and I should not laugh. But understand I am not laughing AT you I am laughing WITH you. Cause I got the same problem over here: how to get more constructive comments on this blog? One of my arch rivals likes to leave anonymous comments and one of them said something to the effect of “ehehehehehe, you don’t get any comments!” And it really burned me because the hag is right. I have about 22,000 spam comments in my archives (no, I’m very serious) and only about 1200 constructive comments and in a few days it will be my third anniversary so that should tell you that there is definitely a dearth of comments over here.
It’s a problem.
So, as I tend to do, I trolled the Internet for answers. And one of the answers is really unpleasant. Seems for some of us, we don’t get a lot of comments because our blog SUCKS. No, seriously. I read that and I just deflated like nobody’s business. I thought “ah, so that’s why?” But see, I don’t believe our blog sucks. I think it’s a work in progress and it can be better but I think we are starting to hit a stride, of sorts. And just because we don’t get as many comments as the Huffington Post doesn’t mean that it sucks. But that is one of the theories. One woman wrote, “if readers are not calling you on the phone wanting to be your BFF just based on your blog, then your blog sucks” and I wondered, who the hell is she to say that? It is so ridiculous, so dramatic. But I still wondered, omg, is it that our blog sucks?
Well, another reason you may not be getting the amount of comments you would like is that you make it too hard to leave comments on your blog. I know we’ve tried different levels of controls over here to control the spam. At one point, it was like we needed a pesticide to eradicate some of this stuff it was so…..it was a lot. But when you put all these walls up, like we’ve done? Including forcing folks to register to comment? (we stopped that) It reduces the number of people who comment on your blog, apparently. WHO KNEW?
Another issue is the fact that you may have more readers than you think but they don’t leave comments because they are shy. Or just lazy (way to get more comments!). Up until recently, I thought that only about ten people read Divorce Saloon. No, seriously. But then, I see some of our posts all over the place and people linking from Facebook and we’ve been contacted by interesting people, including a couple in the media, and so I started to wonder, “hey, wait a minute, maybe I have more than ten readers!” As it turns out, there is a name for people who read your blog and never leave comments. They are called lurkers. And so there are all these articles on how to get lurkers to leave comments. One is to ask them to leave comments. Say, “hey, lurker, can you please leave us a constructive comment from time to time? Apparently that will spur at least a few to leave comments. But understand that only about 10% of people leave comments. And you know what? It is totally understandable because as a general rule, I don’t leave comments unless I know the person who is blogging. It doesn’t mean I don’t like what I read. I just don’t tend to leave comments. And it seems most people are like that. So, the trick for you if you want more comments on your blog, is to start to leave more c on other people’s blogs. That is the way to turn lurkers into part of your community. Oh, and try bribery. Lurkers apparently sometimes respond if you offer freebies for best comments or run comment contests or, something like that. In other words, what’s in it for them? You have to make it worth the lurkers’ while.
What else? Where are all the darned comments, dammit? Well, apparently most people don’t leave comments unless you say something to really get them going and if you are able to piss people off a little bit, they tend to leave more comments. Isn’t that perverse? People respond more to if you piss them off than if you say things that are nice and magnanimous. Which is crazy. Because my reset button is definitely “nice.” And only if I am really pushed do I get nasty enough to piss off people; of course, when I get nasty, it can be extreme – almost to make up for all that saccharine sweetness. And so people get really pissed off. But that works if you want comments. As long as you can stand the stress. I personally don’t like to raise my blood pressure and glucose by constantly being in a pissed off mood so that won’t work for me all the time. Only sometimes. Really sparingly. But if you want more comments on your blog? Piss off people.
What else? Why aren’t you getting more comments? Well, the subject of divorce is not that sexy. Is it? People like sexy topics and controversy. So if you have a blog about divorce, unless you are Justine Musk, who really cares? That demographic of people who search divorce blogs looking for information, aren’t in a talking mood. They just want answers. If they want to contact you, they will do so privately which is why you need to have a good contact us page so they can do so privately. We get a lot of private contacts, but not a lot of comments. Which is interesting. So maybe it has to do with the subject matter and not at all to do with how much your blog sucks. Who knows?
OMG I said 10 reasons. What number am I up to? I’m sleepy….long day….can’t think….why don’t you get enough comments? Well, did you ask for comments? Did you build a community of other bloggers who you comment on their blog as much as they comment on yours? Did you tell everyone in your contacts list that you are writing this blog? Former clients too? I don’t know, I’m running out of ideas because as I said, I can’t figure it out either….
And look, your blog may not even be a law blog. It could be about divorce but it’s not necessarily divorce law. This blog is not a law blog. It’s a……I don’t even know how to categorize it. It is what it is….
And look, maybe you don’t even want comments. You probably blog just to give information to prospective clients and all you want is a phone call and a signed retainer, right? You are not trying to entertain and gossip and all this nonsense like some people I know. You are serious. You are a serious player and this is not about comments. It’s about retainer agreements and billing….which, hey, this post is not for you. You need a post on how to get more paying clients from your blog? Which, I have, NO IDEA….
You know what? I should go to sleep. I’m starting to free associate. And this could be dangerous….
UPDATE: Okay, it’s morning, thank god. Just rolled out of bed (haven’t had the coffee yet) and finished my gardening (damn, it’s freezing out there but those bloody chrysanthemums had to be tended!) and I’ve been thinking about this post (this entire blog sucks up way too much of my life and time and I’m gonna take a hiatus very soon, I’m very serious) and I thought, “You know, we do get more comments than we realize because when someone links to the post from their blog or when they simply lift the entire post and put it on their blog? That’s a comment. That’s speech. That’s saying “hey, that was good, I like that.” So it’s really a question of how you count comments and what you consider a comment.
Further, I was reading somewhere last night before I just fell out, it could have been the ABAJournal and there was this post about comments and spam and stuff like that; and the author and commenters were basically bitching about spam comments and what a lot of them pretty much said is that social media is making the need for comments on a blog obsolete. Seriously. The whole obsession with comments is fading for serious bloggers because it gets in the way of their “professionalism” when too many inane and spammy comments hit; and it gives them a lot of additional work to remove, so they are just disabling comments. Which is really interesting. At least, to me.
And the other thing is, if you blog seriously like I like to think we do over here ( 🙂 ) you kinda have to ask yourself, “why do I do this?” Because blogging is supposed to be fun and light and you are supposed to love it and do it for the sake of doing it. I remember one time I was reading Donald Trump’s blog (I used to have such a big crush on him but I grew up) and he said…well, maybe it was one of his books I was reading and he said, in reference to making money, “I do it to do it.” Which I thought was really deep. And so, with blogging, I almost think you have to love it and you have to do it just to do it, and you can’t worry about comments and stuff like that. Because it is what it is and that’s how it’s gonna be, and so what? And here’s a concept: you can comment to your own damn posts too. Who’s going to know the difference? I mean, if having comments means that much and nobody comments on your blog? Comment on that thing for yourself. Damn skippy.