How to Encourage More Comments on Your Blog

How to encourage comments on your blog | theblogmaven.com Have you ever published a post, then waited a few days…and only heard crickets?

Feels a little lonely, hmn?

Well, if you’re looking to build your blog, you have to start with the most basic of all things: creating community.  And the lifeblood of a thriving community is the discussion.  Not only does good discussion enhance your readers’ experience on your blog – it’s also great for your search engine optimization (SEO).  The tips I’m giving here aren’t just good for getting people to leave comments – they’re good practice for community building in general.

So how do you get more people to leave comments on your blog?

I’ve got 12 tips to help you get people talking:

1) Step out of the shadows and leave comments on other blogs.  Not just “thanks for the post,” but actual, insightful comments.  Ask questions and engage your favorite bloggers.  Be a friend.  When people see you commenting on their blogs, they’re likely to follow the link back to your blog and they’ll be more open to leaving comments when they get there.

The blogging world is fueled by generosity of spirit. Expect to give long before you get anything back.

2) Make it easy for people to comment on your blog – take as much hassle out of the process as possible.  If you’re blogging on WordPress, let Akismet do your spam filtering and leave out the Captcha code.  If you want to moderate all your comments, be sure to approve them in a timely manner.  Don’t leave us hanging.

3) Take the time to reply to the comments you receive – even just a word or two.  Let us know you care.  If you want to take this a step further, then follow up with not just reactions to your reader’s comment, but further questions.  Encourage your readers to share more.  Bring them out of their shell.  Just try engaging a handful of your commenters in a two-way discussion, and see what it does to grow your community.

4) Use a WordPress plugin like Comment Reply Notification to let commenters know you’ve responded to them.  No one wants to “haunt” a blog after commenting to see if the blogger responds, and if you use this (free) plugin, they won’t have to.

5) Share the love – Some people use comments as a blog growth strategy, and why not make this easy for them?  Use a plugin like CommentLuv (free) or CommentLuv Premium (which I use here) to add a link to your commenters’ latest blog post right below their comment.  When other readers can see the titles of a commenter’s own post, they’re more likely to follow that link and check out that blog.  What a great way to reward your readers for leaving comments!  (Psst – wanna’ give it a try?  Leave a comment below and see how it works!)

6) Feature another blogger’s work on your blog.  When Jimmie (of Jimmie’s Collage) posted about her favorite homeschool blogs, people came out of the woodwork to leave their comments of appreciation.  Generosity of spirit leads to conversation – and new friendships.

7) If you really want your readers’ input on something, create a poll that’s easy to participate in.  We all love to share our opinions, so give your readers a good way to interact with you (and each other!), and maybe they’ll find it easier to leave a comment on your next post.  You can create polls through a third-party site, but if you’re a WordPress user, Polldaddy has a plugin that brings their polls right to your blog.

8) Every once in awhile, take a stance on a controversial issue – it doesn’t have to be aggressive, just enough to “stir the pot.”  Because whether people agree with you or disagree, they’ve likely got something to say.

9) Don’t make your life look too perfect on your blog; Share even your “bad days” that people can relate to.  I recently saw this in action on Gypsy Forest, where Stephinie posted about a tough week she’d had.  From the tone of the comments she got, a lot of people had the same experience.  This is community building in action.

10) Request ideas for posts, or suggestions for things you want to learn more about.  People LOVE to share their expertise, so let them.

11) Don’t sound like the ultimate authority.  If you’re approachable, people will talk to you.  Show your personality in your posts.  You want to sound like a (very nice) person, not a computer.

12) I hesitate to list this last one because it’s so overdone…but it’s okay to ASK for comments.  Just not in every post.

…did I miss something?  What would YOU add?

116 Comments • Leave yours below!

  1. says

    Hi Jeni! You are so right. I haven’t learnt to use comment-luv or even poldaddy, but I like to write comments like a small letters and I’ve seen that my blog friends like that and they also write more to me. It’s like sending short e-mails about our crafts and pets etc. In the beginning I didn’t answer to my comments and thought it’s better to visit their blog, but I realized my mistake, and now I answer all of them and that makes us all good friends. We share in comments our tips, funny happenings and it’s really nice!
    Thank you for your posts! They are always good and teach us something new!
    Finnish wishes from Greece! x Teje
    Teje recently posted..Baby Squares and cat-hair ball?!My Profile

  2. says

    Posing a question for which you want advice is another great comment generator. I had a question on a guest post I did, and I wanted to write an answer to it. But instead of offering all of my ideas, I asked my readers for their tips. My plan is to do a follow up post that includes my readers’ ideas as well as my own. I hope it works!
    (Thanks for the mention.)
    Jimmie Lanley recently posted..Three CM Curriculum Choices that are Perfect on an iPadMy Profile

  3. says

    I recently did a de-lurking post. I knew people were reading from my stats, but there weren’t any comments. Who were these people?!?! So, I just came out and told them that I wanted to gt to know them and I wanted to be friends. I asked them to answer a few questions in the comments. SO MANY PEOPLE COMMENTED!! I’ve been getting emails and making one on one friendships with my readers. It is so great! Now I know who is reading and who I’m taking to. I also feel like I can share more because I am getting to know them as well.
    Mary-My Life in Scotland recently posted..lately…My Profile

  4. says

    I know that when I shared about my emotional finding out of our baby’s gender I was ready for people to say things like my own family had but they didn’t. Not only did I get a bunch of supportive comments I also received a NUMBER of private emails thanking me for letting them know they weren’t alone in feeling that way.

    I wasn’t even going to post that – but I felt convicted to do so and through it I know a number of people who are not Christians were touched by that post and through my difficult pregnancy post that were brought one step closer to the Truth.
    Alaina Frederick recently posted..First Day of {Home} SchoolMy Profile

    • says

      It can be scary to share things that are so deeply personal, and it sounds you have a wonderful, supportive community that welcomes your experiences. A blessing for sure.

  5. says

    Jeni, I just added the comment reply notification to my blog. Does the commenter have to check the “notify me of follow up comments via email button,” or are replies automatically sent to their email? What a great plugin. Thanks for mentioning it!
    Ginny recently posted..epicMy Profile

    • says

      Ginny, you can choose the default settings under Settings > Comment Reply Notification. You can set it to automatically send everyone a notification of comment replies, or allow them to choose (by default checked) or allow them to choose (by default unchecked) It’s pretty self explanatory once you get onto the settings page. Enjoy!

      • says

        Thanks! I set the notification up. But, do I need to add my blog name into the code below for the email subject line notification, or will it do that automatically?
        Ginny recently posted..epicMy Profile

        • says

          It will automatically populate that for you – it just gets the info listed in your General preferences. So you should be good to go!

  6. says

    Jeni,
    As a new blogger, I found your list of 12 ways to encourage comments to be so helpful. (I hope that we can do “comment luv” on the blog that you’re helping me with!) I don’t often read comments on blogs, but in reading the ones above, I got more great ideas. NOW I know to read comments and make comments.
    Thanks and aloha,
    Lori

  7. SARAH BEALS says

    I agree with the commenting back on comments. It is hard sometimes to find time, but I try to “do unto others” in this area. Thank you. :)

    • says

      I like that idea – “do unto others.” I usually call it generosity of spirit, but you’re right: the golden rule really does apply. :)

  8. says

    Great post, with so much good info. I have to agree with the comment reply notification. As a reader, I really dislike having to go back and check if someone wrote me but I don’t want to have to subscribe to everyone’s comment just so I can read a reply to me. That was one of the first things plugins I added.

    I love your idea for requesting ideas for posts. I have done that before on Facebook, but it would be a good idea to do it right in a blog post as well.

    • says

      Do you know what’s funny? I actually won a giveaway somewhere this week – that I completely forgot about. But since the blogger didn’t have comment reply notification, I didn’t know I’d won…until a week later, when she finally tracked me down via my blog! So there’s another reason to have comment replies turned on. ;)

  9. says

    I recently had a discussion with my hubby about how I was getting discouraged because since no one comments on my blog, I don’t know if anyone is reading it. To Mary-My Life in Scotland: How did you know people were reading just not commenting?
    I am going to add the suggested add ons to my WordPress blog.
    Loriann recently posted..Packing UpMy Profile

    • says

      I’ll add my $0.02 until Mary gets here (I tweeted her to let her know) – if you have Google Analytics set up, you can check out your page views and your number of visitors to your website. That would at least tell you how many people have been there.

        • says

          Thanks for chiming in Jeni! Analytics tells me how many people are reading my blog daily, where they are from, how long they stay on my blog, and what they are reading. If you use Blogger there is a STATS button and you can get some general information from there. No set up needed. So, I could tell they were there but no one was saying anything. But since I’ve de-lurked it has been SO much fun! Lots of emails and comments to enjoy. Not to mention I’m following a bunch of new great blogs and I feel like I’m making friends along the way.
          Mary-My Life in Scotland recently posted..lately…My Profile

    • says

      Loriann, I just stopped by your blog and wanted to comment to say congratulations on your new little one!! But I couldn’t, because I’d have to be logged in to your blog to comment. That makes it really difficult for people to leave comments, and I think you definitely need to remove that barrier.

      Another shortcut to viewing your stats (while I’m at it) is to install Jetpack and you’ll be able to see your stats right on your WordPress dashboard.

      • says

        Thanks I’m soo excited! I had added the log in because I was getting nearly 100 spam comments a day even with Askimet setup and numerous sites / IPs blocked. I made the mistake in January to turn on that Google Ad thing. I do not recommend it.
        Loriann recently posted..Packing UpMy Profile

  10. says

    Jeni, you shared such simple but basic ideas here – thanks! And from reading your comments to the comments, you demonstrate how wonderfully personal, specific and encouraging the dialogue becomes!

  11. says

    I love your blog, so much great information. I just found you on no other that Pinterest. I plan on moving to WordPress soon and your site will be a valuable tool. I can’t wait to put all your advice to work.
    Brenna recently posted..I’m Going!!!!My Profile

  12. says

    I don’t reply in my comment section when someone leaves a comment. I don’t know if they will know if that I did, so I send them an email instead. Which is good and more personable, but it also looks like I don’t respond when people read thru the comments…I wonder if there is a plugin that you can hit reply and send them an email and have it show in the comment section. I use Disqus.

    Love all your insights, and suggestions. Glad I found you.

      • April says

        Since you don’t have dates on your blog I can’t tell when you wrote this. Comment Reply Notification apparently hasn’t been updated in over two years (last update was 2010-10-13, and it’s 2013-08-03 today).

        Do you still use it? Has it given you any problems? Is there another plugin like it that you recommend if you don’t use it anymore? All I can find are ones that subscribe you to all subsequent comments (vs. just replies to your single comment), which I think is really annoying.

        PS: Is your “Yes, I’d like to get updates from The Blog Maven!” checkbox a comment reply notification thing, or a way to sign up for your newsletter or something? It isn’t clear.

        • says

          Hi April,

          Comment Reply Notification definitely still works for me – in fact, when I hit “reply” on this comment, it should email you with the message. You can test out different settings on the plugin, but I just have it set where everyone automatically receives notification if *anyone* replies to their comment. But no – it doesn’t subscribe you to everyone else’s comments. Only the ones directly replying to yours.

          The little check box below the comment form is something separate – it allows people to sign up for my mailing list straight from the comment space. I suppose that could be a little clearer in terms of what you’re signing up for, except it varies based on what I’m doing at the time. Basically, you’re on my list, so I’ll send you a note if I publish a new post or find something super helpful to pass along to my readers. But nothing scheduled or official – I keep things pretty informal around here. :)

          Hope this helps!

          Warmly,
          Jeni

  13. says

    I’m on a learning streak this morning! I just installed (I think) the comment reply plug in. I tried to find the free version (our blog is on a fixed budget :) ) of CommentLuv but all I could find was the premium version that costs $67 – $97. I’ve only recently started commenting on blogs, thanks to your suggestions. I don’t know why I never did before, it really is fun talking to others! I am getting ready to go check out Jimmie’s Collage and her favorite homeschooling blogs. That is definitely going to be fun. Thank you ~ once again ~ for all your guidance and wonderful help.
    Stefanie recently posted..Our Space Party!!My Profile

  14. says

    Hi Jeni,
    I just started my writing blog this month. I learned some thinks here. I came to the site though Pinterest and the articles about pinterest and then I clicked on this one. I guess those things you mentioned work eh? :) Have a great day I’ll be back, it looks like there is a fountain of information here.
    Peter D. Mallett recently posted..Trim the GristleMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Peter, thanks for stopping by! Hopefully you’ll find plenty of useful information here. If you have a question or idea you’d like to see discussed as a post, make sure to drop me a line. I do take requests. :)

  15. says

    Just wanted to say thanks. I’ve been getting a ton of traffic from Pinterest, but it’s mainly invisible. I think people are just looking at my pics and that’s it — no new blog subscribers, no comments, nothing…

    So I was googling ways to fix this and came across your Pinterest posts… which then led me around to other things you’ve written, including this post.

    In any case, it always seems rare when you can visit a site and immediately pick up one or two really useful (and valuable) pieces of information/advice (and for free!).

    And I did just that today. You’re a rock star. Thank you!

    Zero Dean
    Zero Dean recently posted..Zero game.My Profile

    • says

      Hi Dean, glad you found what you were looking for. :) Don’t discount all the comments on Facebook, either: if you’re counting “reach” for potential advertisers or another reason, you should include the activity on your FB page, as well. It could be that people feel more free to comment on FB for whatever reason. Anyway, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you if you implement any of the strategies I recommend. Thanks for stopping by!

    • says

      Hi Scott, thanks for stopping by! Glad it was helpful; when you try out some of the techniques in the post, I’d love to hear how it goes for you.

      Warmly,
      Jeni

  16. says

    Wow! So much great information!
    While my site visitors have increased considerably over the last 6 months (I use the Statcounter plugin on self-hosted WordPress to keep track), and I get good pinning activity for some of my tutorials, I still get very few comments (even from my subscribers). I’m a community kind of gal, so I’d love to have more interaction with my readers. I’m going to try your poll suggestion. Maybe there’s something that my readers need that I haven’t considered.

    You are to be commended for giving so much quality information to your readers. I’m a new fan!
    Shannon recently posted..Pinterest Sewing Tip #2: Attaching Sleeves the Easy WayMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Shannon, thanks for your comment! If you try the poll, I’d love to hear how it goes. Please stop back by and tell me about the results!

      Warmly,
      Jeni

  17. says

    Thanks so much Jeni for all of the information you have posted on your blog!! My on-line purse store will be opening within in the month and a lot of your tips will definitely help me to get my business going!!

    Yours Truly,
    Your new Pinterest and Twitter follower!!

  18. says

    What a perfect post to stumble upon! I am just building my blog lovers (aka audience, fans, stalkers – ha ha kidding) and I was brainstorming about ways to get followers and comments! It is a lonely world when you’re posting with no comments:(. Thank you for sharing, I will try some of these tips!
    Jayme Madden recently posted..InspirationMy Profile

  19. says

    Hilariously (to me), this post is a great way to get engagement and responses, to grow your community a tiny bit more. And of course, that’s because it follows the advice in your own post. I agree with what you’re saying, too; community building definitely is the key to a lot of comments, but sometimes it’s difficult to build the community if you barely have anyone visiting in the first place. These tips are great once you have dozens or maybe hundreds or thousands of people reading each article, but in the meantime what do you do?

    • says

      Hi Jason, thanks for your thoughtful comment. You’re right, most of these tips would make you look foolish if you don’t have a lot of readers. There are two things I would do here: first (and most importantly, for a blog with a tiny following!), stop displaying your “posted-on” dates. If you’re focused on writing evergreen content that will still be fresh and useful five years from now, then you want anyone who happens on your site to feel like they’re finding timely advice. (You’ll notice I’ve done that on my blog, even though I have a larger following.) You want new people who stop by to think that perhaps you’ve just published the post they’re reading, so they feel like a comment they leave will be relevant. Second, I would make sure to continue to invite comments on each post. I created a graphic for my blog that shows up as my post signature. It says, “Warmly, Jeni. P.S. Please leave a comment – they make me smile.” I’m careful to engage new people who come by, to make sure they feel welcomed and as though I’ll actually be listening (and I am!) when they leave their comment. I’ve had to think on this one for a few days…it’s obviously a sensitive issue when you’re just starting out. Hope it helps! And thanks again for visiting. :) ~Jeni

    • says

      I’m glad it was useful, Ahmed. If you apply some of these strategies, I’d love to hear how it goes for you, so please stop back by!

  20. says

    Hi Jeni,
    Thanks for all these great articles. I just started blogging and these are helpful tips… though now I’m a little worried that I should have gone with WordPress instead of Blogger! I followed a pin to your site and now I’ve been here for an hour reading one helpful article after another. :)
    Cortney D recently posted..Make Your Memories into a Board GameMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Cortney, I won’t lie – there are definitely advantages to blogging on self-hosted WordPress, but I still think Blogger is a fine place to start. After all, it’s hard to argue with free! :) If you decide to move to WordPress later, that’s always a possibility, but for now it’s probably good to get your feet under you where you are. I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog – hope to see you here for awhile!

  21. says

    It’s funny how much I can relate to the “take a stance” point right now. I recently took a stance on an–apparently much more controversial than I thought–issue about commercial music studios and independent piano studios. However, all the stirring is happening at another really big piano forum because somebody posted a link to my post there.

    Also, from one of your comment replies, so THAT’S why I some of the big blogs I visit don’t include posted dates. Thanks! Haha.
    Kevin Kao recently posted..Piano Performance Coming Up? DO THISMy Profile

  22. says

    Thanks for the tips. I am finding that people comment more often on the Facebook link then the actual post. Not sure why this is though. How do you gently encourage them to comment on the blog?

    • says

      Hi Leslie, if you find that most of the discussion is taking place on your Facebook page, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it can be helpful if you ask a question right there, at the end of your post so that they feel compelled to answer it immediately and not go back to Facebook to leave their comments. The other thing is to make sure that the links you’re leaving on Facebook are going directly to that one post (not to the whole blog) because that way, when they get to the bottom of the post, the comments form is right there at the bottom and they don’t have to go through extra steps to get to it. Hope this helps!

  23. says

    This has been very insightful. I think I am much too small at this stage to encourage sponsorship which is the keyword I search under to find you. however some of your other tips are helpful, to encourage comments and grow my blog. I have never heard of comment luv and an very curious how it works
    Michelle recently posted..Bus Conversion: Frustration sets inMy Profile

  24. says

    Hello. I really appreciate all of the information you are sharing on your blog. I’m new to blogging {about 4 months} and I have a lot to learn. Your tutorials on sidebar images and all of your shared knowledge of how to get and keep readers reading have been so helpful. Thank you. I’m subscribed and will check in often. Have a great day.

  25. says

    Hi, Jeni,

    I have to be honest here. I have an ulterior motive, namely to test Recommendation No. 5 about commentluv. It sounds like a great suggestion. (It hooked me, as you can see.)

    Other great suggestions as well. I intend to try to some of them. They sound promising.

    Comments are the lifeblood of a blog. They prove not only that people are reading what you write but that they care about it. And the interaction and discussion are just added bonuses.

    One thing I’ve done, with rather limited success, is to ask people with some impressive credentials to leave a comment. These are people I know, in some cases only in passing. While it didn’t create a domino effect of more comments, it gave me some nice endorsements to use on Pinterest.

    I truly appreciate not only the ideas you present but the how-to’s of implementing them. I will be reading a lot more.

    • says

      Hi David, thanks for your note – despite the ulterior motives. :) I think that once a blog has a healthy amount of interaction in the comments, it helps feed the blog’s further growth and success. That’s one reason I’m not big on incorporating Facebook into your blog – people tend to leave their comments there instead of right on your blog posts. Also, people want their comments to link back to their blogs, and not to their Facebook profiles. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

  26. says

    Great content! I’m pretty new to blogging and need all the help I can get. Thank you for sharing all the great info!
    ~Pam~

  27. says

    Thank you so much for the information!
    This is extremely helpful.
    I’m still very new to the blog and the website and even pinterest.

    Have a great day :)

    Morgan

  28. says

    Jeni! Thanks for this post and your encouragement. I have been thinking about ways I can feature other bloggers work. I feel nervous about approaching someone or suggesting it. I would love to read a post about this.
    xoxo Ang

    • says

      Hi Angela, I’ve been thinking about your comment since you wrote it, and finally had a few thoughts to share. I don’t think any blogger would be offended or find it strange if you wanted to feature their work. I think that if your motives are pure and you genuinely just want to share someone’s great resources with your readers, they’d be happy to let you do it. There are some guiding principles here, though. If you’re thinking along the lines of asking for a guest post, most people who are out asking for guest posts do so because they’re approaching “bigger” bloggers and really just want the traffic. To make sure you’re not perceived as one of those people, here are a few things to think about: (1) Are you content to point your readers to the content on the other person’s blog, or do you want the content to be published on your own blog? Either way, you need to work this out ahead of time. (2) Are you planning to use images from the other person’s blog? Definitely need permission. (3) Are you wanting to feature work the blogger has already done, or were you wanting fresh content to feature?

      My own work has been featured on several dozen other bloggers’ sites, but almost always in the “right” way. That is, they’ve found something useful here and just wanted to tell others about it, so they mentioned what the resource is, how they used it and the results they got, and then linked people to the post on my blog. This is always appreciated, and I always stop by the blog to thank the writer personally. I also get requests to guest post on other blogs a lot, and while I always decline the requests (I’m too busy doing other things right now!), it never offends me. But if you do want to work with other bloggers, make sure you focus on finding a benefit for THEM. This is the way everyone grows and everyone wins. :)

      Just my $0.02 here – hope it helps.

  29. says

    Loved this quote Jeni – “The blogging world is fueled by generosity of spirit. Expect to give long before you get anything back.”

    The concept of building a community on blogs started with comments. And most of the times, bloggers/publishers fail to realize the effort taken by their readers to leave a comment on their website.
    Sharing, Liking, Tweeting are one-click actions and don’t require effort on a readers’ part. But it takes time to leave a valuable comment.
    I have also shared my thoughts on building a community in comments: http://www.betaout.com/blog/the-art-of-building-communities-through-comments/

  30. says

    Great post. And definitely you know what your talking about by all the COMMENTS! My blog is only a few weeks old and pretty bare, but I’ve changed my comment widget a couple times.
    There seems to be so many choices. May I ask which you use? It looks very sharp. I like the addition of the twitter user name up top? Do you think a facebook log in can be added or when does it get to become too much for the commenter? I would like to make my comments as accessable as possible.

  31. says

    Hey Jeni,

    You are truly generous for sharing such great ideas and helping all fellow blogger’s. Believe me in my mind out of 5 questions about blogging queries you must have answered almost all 5 here and Thank You for that and please do keep writing and spreading the generosity :)

    xx
    Noor

  32. says

    How Jeni! Thanks so much for all of your wonderful tips. I have only been blogging for about 3 months now and have previously viewed your posts about building your site traffic through Pinterest. In the last week I have been putting your advice into practice and it has been working wonderfully! Thank you so much for all your help! It is greatly appreciated!
    Thanks, Sara

  33. says

    I’ve just found your blog and I have been devouring everything! I have already done the spring cleaning (winter cleaning? haha) on my Pinterest and I have made some changes for the better (much better!) on my blog. Today, I’ve just made a quick video asking my readers to comment and give me their opinions on a video that I’m planning to make doing a tour of my apartment here in Ukraine and answering questions. I am so excited! Now, I just hope that people will respond. :) It’s slightly nerve wracking! In any case, thank you, thank you a million times over for what you do and all your hard work. You clearly put a lot of time and effort into it and it is hugely appreciated. I’ll keep you posted! Thanks again!
    Rosemary recently posted..To House Tour or Not To House Tour? I want your opinion!My Profile

  34. says

    Thank you Jeni for this helpful advice. I just found your blog today and I am anxious to look at several of your posts. I have been trying to figure out how to grow my blog and give it a NEW look the first of the year, I am not very good with technical computer stuff, so what I have read has been very helpful. I am also wanting to see how the commentluv thing works. Thank you for taking time to post. I have pinned your post to my pinterest board “Blogging Tips”!
    Rachel

  35. says

    Hi Jeni!
    Thanks so much for this post. I can’t lie, I’ve been a pretty lazy blogger. I need to get focused and organized and then work on the things you listed here. Do you recommend WordPress over all the other website hosts? I’m currently on blogger, but I’ve never been overly happy with it. I’m actually not sure why I’ve stuck around on it for so long. Lol but I’ve been searching for the last week trying to decide where to move my blog to. Unfortunately I have no subscribers, but about 2000 page views, so I’m not too worried about switching over and losing anything.

    • says

      Hi Danielle, I definitely recommend WordPress – almost 20% of websites worldwide are powered by WordPress, and it’s possible to do anything from delivering online courses to selling items from a shop straight from your blog. I wrote a little more about why WordPress rocks here on my site. That said, make sure that if you do move, you go ahead and create a hosted website where you’re paying a low monthly fee to host your files and NOT the free wordpress.com. WordPress.com doesn’t really buy you many advantages over Blogspot for the long term. Hope this helps!

  36. says

    What a great article! Just what I needed to get my blogs and those of my clients on track this year. I am experiencing so much interest in the blogging arena and this article gives Wonderful go-to guidelines.

  37. says

    Love all your tips, thanks so much for sharing! I have a question… I’ve been looking for a customizable comment reply email, that can be used when people post comments on my blog. I installed comment email reply plugin. It works, but the email it sends back in response is pretty standard and I can’t change it. Do you recommend any other plugin to notify my readers when I respond to their comments?

    Thanks so much!
    Heather
    Heather recently posted..Setting Goals for the Month of MayMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Heather, there’s another plugin called “Comment Reply Notification” (it’s the one I use) and it allows you to customize what the email itself will say when it goes out to your commenters. When you install it, it’s off by default, but you just need to check a box that says to notify people “whenever anyone replies to their comment.” Hope this helps!

      • says

        Thanks for the info, I added the comment reply notification plug-in. Everything works great, minus one question… do you know where I can change the email these automated replies come from? Mine are defaulting to a bluehost email account. Your email reply shows The Blog Maven and I want mine to do the same with my blog name, not an automated email address (sadly showing a bluehost email). Thanks for your help, much appreciated.

        Heather

  38. says

    Those are 12 fantastic tips.

    For another one, I think making a sort of game out of your comments is a good way to get return visitors. This is easy if you use a platform such as disqus, because they keep track of the number of comments each person makes and allows their comments to be shared individually and upvoted.

    Implementing the “game” atmosphere smoothly is difficult though. I’m trying it on my blog by wording my call-to-actions at the end of each post in a competitive manner.
    J.T. Smith recently posted..Working two Shifts at my Day Job and Still Publishing this Blog PostMy Profile

  39. says

    I guess you know a lot about engagement. Wow! You get hundreds of comments. I’m going to try lots of these. Tell me, what comment feature do you recommend. I’m using LiveFyre with very little luck. Thanks.

  40. says

    Thank you for these tips. I’ve been struggling with this on my personal blog as well as my cooking one. It’s nice to get comments and I know I need to be better at commenting too. I also really liked number 9 – Bad days happen to everyone or even just bad moments. It’s too easy to want to be perfect and to only show that side of you!
    Thanks again.
    Maggie recently posted..Nepalese Spiced Tea (Chiah)My Profile

  41. says

    Hi Jeni – I’m new to blogging this year and my first attempt at a blog hasn’t spurred much comment love. I’m working to correct that and relaunch with the vision of building a genuine community. Thank you for this post. I’ve pinned it to go through again later and I signed up for the newsletter. I’m excited to see more of your material. -Angela

  42. says

    Hi Jeni,
    As a first time visitor I’m happy I’ve found your site. I will be trying some of the things you suggest with my own blog. A question for you… are any of the plugins you mention work with Blogger blog?

    • says

      Hi Ian, unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t allow people to use plugins – neither does wordpress.com (the other free blogging platform). Only self-hosted WordPress lets you extend the functionality of your site with plugins…which is why all serious bloggers eventually make the switch to self-hosted WordPress.

      • says

        First, I apologize for the poor grammar in my first comment. I have to learn to slow down on the post button. Secondly, thanks for you reply. I figured that was the case. For what I’m doing so far I’m quite happy without a lot of plugins etc to manage. I too have signed up for your newsletter. Ian
        Ian recently posted..WESTIVA 2014My Profile

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