If you have a blog, receiving your first comment (that wasn’t spam), is pretty exciting.

Receiving a comment, validates that you are being heard. Comments can give you motivation to keep blogging. Comments can also develop into cyberspace friendships. Comments are also very important to fellow bloggers, so don’t forget to leave comments on other blogs.

My first comment on my OM blog, came within just days after I started blogging. It was a thrill. To make matters even more exciting, the comment came a girl, by the name of Jomay in the UK. I have no idea how she found my blog, but that was actually irrelevant.

Unfortunately, a lot of people may be reading your blog, but they won’t comment.

During all of my years of researching, I would often encounter, what I now know are blogs, but I would never comment. I would read the comments, but I never “joined in”. I was a typical “surfer”, who was usually “on a mission”, and would just move from one site to another. To me, time was of the essence.

Now that I blog, I realize the importance of comments.

During a recent email conversation with Ian, I became inspired to write this lesson.

Why don’t some people comment?

Today’s Lesson

12 Reasons why most people don’t comment:

Your reader….

1) May be shy
2) Doesn’t want to leave their real name. (And as we know, they don’t have to).
3) Doesn’t want to leave their email address, thinking they may get spammed, or have their email address sold (Get a free email address through MSN, Yahoo, or another service)
4) May feel their opinion doesn’t matter (maybe, due to low self esteem)
5) Has nothing to say on the subject…..just browsing
6) Has poor grammar or spelling, and is afraid of making a mistake
7) Feels you are competition, and is trying to learn “secrets” from your blog.
8.) May disagree with your opinion, but doesn’t want to be controversial
9.) Does not understand the topic you are discussing
10) Is on your site for research or educational information only, and has no time to write a comment
11) Does not want to be the first one to comment
12) Doesn’t understand the concept of a blog, and don’t know they can leave a comment.

Oftentimes, one comment will germinate into a slew of comments.

So, what can you do to get that first comment?

Today’s Assignment

1) Leave a comment on your own blog (use a different name, but don’t use your URL) This technique is kind of lame, but it may help to generate more comments on a post.
2) Ask a friend or colleague to comment on your blog
3) At the end of a post, encourage your readers to participate, by commenting
4) Visit other blogs and leave meaningful, traffic building, comments, and hope that generates traffic back to you, and those new readers will leave a comment
5) Write a controversial post that will hopefully initiate an exchange of opinions

Try these techniques, then come back to my blog, Leave me a comment, and let me know if they worked 🙂

BTW: Check out the other great comments on previous posts. Feel free to “have your say”.

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  1. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    That’s a great post and list of reasons why people don’t comment.

    Out of all of them, number 12 strikes a chord.

    People who have a blog will more naturally spot the comments section. Those who don’t may not even spot the interactive nature of a blog.

    While it is second nature to someone who has a blog already, it isn’t to someone who finds it from Google or wherever.

    When small businesses engage in direct mail, they often make the mistake of forgetting to include a “call to action”. In others, “to buy, simply call us and we’ll get one in the post for you straight away”.

    It is the same in blogs.

    You get into the habit of writing for the regular readers I suspect.

    And you forget the “non-blogging” visitors.

    I often end my posts with a simple instruction or opinion request, but also state the obvious to the regulars, but what isn’t to visitors – namely “Click the comments link at the bottom right to give your opinion anonymously or otherwise”.

    I forget to do this myself, but I also think back to when I was new to blogs and didn’t see the comment options.

  2. These are great tips Barbara. When I first started my blog, I used to think nobody was reading, because I got no comments.

    And I think Ian was the first regular commentor. Probably for a while he was the only commentor. But I think that eventually encouraged others to join in, which was brilliant.

  3. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Ian and Catherine,

    Isn’t it great to get comments? You then know you’re not just blogging to an empty cyberspace.

    Comments, for me are so inspiring, and encouraging. Plus, they give me more ideas of topics to blog about.

    Thanks again for your loyalty and great comments!

  4. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    And isn’t it contagious when you see more than one person commenting?

    When I see a blog with lots of comments against a post, I want to see what the fuss is all about.

    But then again, if I see the first few comments as “Great post” or “I agree, rock on!” etc, I sense that there are lots of transient visitors who just want to perhaps get links or click-throughs etc.

    I agree with you Barbara. Quality is key. If people can agree and say why from their own experience that that adds something to the conversation.

    If they can go further and add more than that – or better still disagree, then that aids a healthy debate which can help everyone.

    Thought provoking and intellectually challenging blogs like yours and Cath’s fire my enthusiasm to keep on blogging!

    One day I may even wake up at 3AM and pen a poem!

  5. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Ian,

    I’m looking forward to that 3 a.m. poem.

  6. […] you will see some eloquently written comments on this blog, your comment or question is just as important to […]

  7. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I’m glad I stumbled across your blog. I am trying to earn an audience. I have been blogging since September, and thanks to a statcounter, I know a few people are stopping by. To date I have had a total of 3 comments and a couple people responded to my email instead of commenting.

    I invite people to comment, and often times ask a question or invite readers to relate a story or experience. I would really interact with people. My blog is not about any one thing specifically. I have pictures, recipes, coupon & grocery stores savings, musings about what we’ve been up to and links to other places I visit. I’ve tried to make it attractive and interesting, but apparently something is lacking.

    I do post on other blogs when I enjoy what I’ve read/seen, have something useful or informative to say or ask a question. I don’t just plop down a comment on every blog just for the sake of “being seen”.

    If you would like to check it out and give me some tips, or just say “hello”. That would be great.

    Thanks a bunch, and I’ll keep reading here.

    Linda

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I just left your marvelous blog. Great job!

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. For someone looking to get found and gain more comments, getting “out there” is a great place to start. I do agree, plopping down comments just to be seen can hurt us more than help, especially if that’s the only reason we’re commenting.

      With your blog not being a niche blog, I would suggest to continue what you’re doing; visiting other blogs you enjoy and sharing your thoughts.

      Asking questions at the end of a post makes for a great ice breaker, as does establishing a presence on Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites. Although some bloggers do get found quickly, for myself it wasn’t until I started commenting on other blogs and linking to great blog posts I was reading, that I began to get noticed.

      One thing you’ll find is the bloggers who comment on this blog all have marvelous blogs so if you’re looking for a place to start, I’d suggest clicking on their names or the CommentLuv link and check them out.

      I also noticed you commented on an older post. Although I don’t close comments and appreciate any comment I get, what I’ve found is by also commenting on the current post (if it’s something that moves you) the other bloggers who comment may read your comment and click on your link. I can’t guarantee it will drive more traffic to your blog, but it will help to get yourself in front of others as on most blogs the “action” is on the most current post.

      I hope this helps and hope to see you again soon.

  8. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Thank you for taking the time to check out my writing, and for your kind words. I appreciate your input and suggestions. I was so interested in the content that I fell into, that I didn’t even notice the date. It was the kind of information I needed. I’ll be checking back from time to time.

    Thanks again,

    Linda