Use Blog Comments to Increase Return Visitors and Build Relationships

Blogging is an amazing way to help increase traffic to your website. I remember writing about Blogging for Business in my Honors Program Final Project about 7 years ago now. Since then many website owners have realized the power of blogging for growing website traffic, and thus, their business. By using tools like Google Analytics website owners can track how many visitors to their site are returning visitors and how many are new visitors.

Use Blog Comments to Increase Return Visitors and Build Relationships

Most website owners should strive for a decent balance in this area. You always want to be generating new visitors. That said, it’s important to you retain website visitors as well. In this article we are going to talk about how website owners can use blog comments to increase the number of returning visitors to your website.

Why Are Blog Comments Important?

Blog comments are extremely important to website owners. For one, it shows that people are paying attention to what you’re saying. It also shows you that they are so intrigued by what you said, or that they have such a strong opinion on the topic, that they chose to take their time to leave a comment on your blog. Think about that for a second. How busy are you? I think that if you walked up to the average person on the street today and asked her how busy she is, she would probably either be so busy that she ignores you and keeps on moving, or tells you that she’s so busy that she cannot possibly take time to stop and chat. Yet, people are taking time to leave comments on your blog… perhaps blog comments are more important than you think?

Here are the top 5 reasons why blog comments are important:

  • Blog comments show that people are interested in what you’re saying
  • Blog comments allow you to learn something new about your readers or hear a different opinion on the topic
  • Blog comments can spark a conversation between yourself, the commenter, and other readers, which may result in greater understanding of the topic
  • Blog comments show other readers that you run an active blog and may encourage others to take time to leave a comment
  • Blog comments help drive return visits to your website, either by the person who left the comment following the conversation and coming back whenever someone else responds to their comment, or simply because they were so intrigued by the topic that they’ve now subscribed to your website/blog and come back frequently to read new articles

Now that we understand just how powerful blog comments can be for your website, let’s review some tips for attracting blog comments.

Tips for Attracting Blog Comments

instantShift - Tips for Attracting Blog Comments

Attracting blog comments on a regular basis is definitely an art for website owners. To my earlier point, people are so busy these days that we are almost lucky that they have taken the time to read our blog articles in the first place. That said, there are things that all website owners can do to help attract blog comments from their readers. Below is a list of the top ways to attract blog comments from your readers. That said, if you have anything you would like to add to this list, please leave a comment below with your advice! ;)

  • As you can see from the paragraph below, the best way to get blog comments from your readers is to ask them. Ask them thought provoking questions either throughout your article or at the end. Ask them to give you their opinion and let them know how to do so. You would be surprised by how well this works.
  • Publish your article to you social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. and ask your followers to leave a comment on the article.
  • Make it fun. Figure out a game or a way to get your readers so excited to leave a comment that they cannot resist. Some people run contests or hosts games to help entice readers to leave blog comments.
  • Get some of your friends to leave the initial comments to help elicit some responses. Some people don’t like this idea, but as long as the comments are insightful and meant to generate a valuable discussion, then I don’t see the harm in it.
  • Respond to your comments. It never ceases to amaze me that website owners do not take the time to respond to comments. If someone takes time to leave a comment on your blog, you should take the time to reply to that comment. Say “Thank you” at the very least.

Responding to Blog Comments Helps Increase Return Visitors to Your Website

Per the earlier paragraph, I am blown away when I see a website with blog comments and no replies from the website author. Your readers are taking their precious time to leave a comment on your blog, you MUST find the time to respond to their comment. Responding to your reader’s blog comments helps you build a relationship with that person. You are basically creating a dialogue with your readers through your blog comments. Think about it. You write an article, they respond, you respond back to them, they respond back to you or maybe someone else weighs in on the topic, etc. By simply taking the time to respond to your readers’ blog comments you have now opened up a direct line of communication between yourself and that person. Over time this effort leads to this reader becoming a subscriber to your website or even a brand advocate who recommends your site to her friends. This is what you want as it will attract new quality readers to your website.

Here are a few different types of blog comment responses that you can utilize to respond to your readers’ comments:

  • Thank you – If the comment doesn’t warrant a more thought provoking response, then simply let the reader know you’re listening and that you appreciate him taking time to leave a comment.
  • Agree and provide additional insight or context to the comment – If a reader leaves a comment that you agree with and can expand on, then do so. This is your opportunity to show that you’re a thought leader in the industry.
  • Use the comment to ask an additional question – If a readers leaves a comment that you can use to further the discussion then go for it. Ask another thought-provoking question based on your readers’ comment.
  • Politely disagree – Sometimes you’re going to receive blog comments that you disagree with. That’s OK! Politely let the reader know that you appreciate the comment and understand what he is saying, but explain that you have a different opinion on the matter. Again, put it back out to other readers to see what they say.

If readers take time to leave a comment on your blog you MUST take time to respond. Responding to your readers’ comments can be extremely beneficial for you in that it helps build a relationship with readers and it can help you attract more new readers.

Handling Negative Blog Comments

instantShift - Handling Negative Blog Comments

I always get the question, “What if I receive a negative blog comment?” My response is always the same, if it is a total uncalled for jab at you or your readers and doesn’t provide any insight, then delete the comment (or never publish it in the first place). If it’s a valid point, but it’s something that gets you a little upset as someone is telling you something you can do better, well then YOU MIGHT WANT TO LISTEN TO THEM! Your readers are your customers. If they are providing you with constructive criticism then you had better pay attention. Too many website owners shy away from negative feedback instead of using it to positively move their website forward. Don’t be afraid of negative blog comments if you can use them to make your website experience better for your readers.

You should want readers to leave you constructive feedback. It will only help you learn more about your readers’ preferences. Don’t shy away from negative feedback. Embrace it. Readers will see that you don’t shy away from negative feedback and they will respect you even more for that. Nobody is perfect. Use this constructive criticism to learn, and improve your site.

Picking Topics that Elicit Blog Comments

The last piece of advice that I can offer is to write blog articles that are insightful, seen as valuable by your audience, on new topics within your industry, and that elicit feedback from your readers. Earlier we talked about how you can ask your readers thought-provoking questions throughout your article and let them know to respond by leaving a comment. That’s great, but the other thing that you can do is to actually write blog articles on topics that people feel strongly about one way or another.

Picking the right topics can go a long way in getting your readers to leave blog comments. You want to pick a topic that people feel a part of and have an opinion on. If you pick the right topic, you can almost be assured that you will elicit at least a few blog comments. If you then utilize the other tips we discussed earlier you will almost guarantee that you will receive more blog comments on this article than any other article on your site. It all starts with picking the right article topic.

Will You Use Blog Comments to Increase Return Website Visitors?

Now that you know just how powerful blog comments can be for increasing the number of return visitors to your website, will you utilize your blog comments more? Remember it is absolutely critical that you respond to all of the blog comments you receive. If your readers are taking time to leave a comment than they expect that you’ll take the time to respond to what they said. It’s only polite. People don’t have a lot of extra time and if they are spending it leaving a comment on your blog, you should feel honored, but also use that opportunity to start a dialogue with that person. Using blog comments to build relationships with your readers can go a long way in increasing not only the number of visitors to your website, but also the quality of your visitors. People want to know you’re listening. Be sure to respond to their blog comments so that they know you’re paying attention. You will be very happy with the results.

Are you using blog comments to increase website traffic? What’s been your experience with blog comments? Leave a comment below to share any insight with our readers. We appreciate it!

Image Credits

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8 Comments

  1. I agree and thank you for the post.

    I also wanted to say that I love how you add the Image Credits at the end of your post. Being an Information Technology major I have learned numerous times how important it is to cite the source. Are those free images to use or did you pay for them? I use the Attribution License Photo’s on flickr for the most part.

    Blessings!

  2. Blog comments are always a good way of communicating with other people who are talking about something related to your niche. It can also be seen as a way to develop your skills in a certain niche. Participating in conversations can also build your reputation as an expert in your niche, especially when you regularly share something that everyone can use.

    = Gerald Martin

  3. i learnt a lot from this articel.
    Maybe i can try to deign a logo myself. but so far i need some logos for my client.

  4. Nice article.Blog commenting is an effective methods to increase page view and draw the readers.Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for the helpful article! At least you proved that you understand what you write about ;) (My comment is proof enough, isn’t it?)

  6. Nice and understandable!!!

  7. very good tips.

  8. Thank you.

    This is exactly what I was looking for. I just received a comment on my blog and was wondering if I should reply to it or not and if so, what should I say.

    You article explained all of my questions.

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