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Strategies on Getting Your Visitors to Comment for the First Time

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/GregoryRHerman/status/55240306634924032"]

I love it when I wake up in the morning and I see something like this tweet above, referencing this community member’s first comment on my blog!

I know how scary it can be to publicly put your name out there attached to a comment that could be used against you! Sure, that seems like an “extreme” example but many of us remember the first time we commented on a blog and felt an array of emotion as we clicked the “Submit Comment” button!

What is Your Strategy for Getting People to Comment for the First Time?

Scary...!

In light of such a glorious event (and every first-time comment is truly a glorious happening!) I’d love for the community here to brainstorm some ways in which you’ve seen first-time commenters respond and how you engaged them and enticed them to put their name out there!

What have you used that has worked? What types of content has been proven to work better? How do you actively incentivize your community to overcome the fear and potential anxiety to drop that first comment?

And, how do you keep them coming so that it’s not just the first and last time that they comment?

Love to hear your thoughts! Seriously!

What I’ll do is I’ll post excerpts of your strategy in this blog post with links back to your comment and your blog, like this:

Providing consistent content daily is one of my overarching strategies since it provides a consistent opportunity for the community to engage!

John Saddington, TentBlogger

Your turn! Let’s make this post into an awesome community-powered strategy board!

The Community Speaks:

Here are some of the great suggestions from our community!

1.

When I ask readers to engage, they usually do.

Jay Caruso, Caruso Photography

2.

Ending with a question about the topic, or a question enabling readers to finish the post in their own way.

Sam, Dating God

Seth Caddell, Graham Brenna, Jimmy Proulx, Lacey Wilcox, Michael Perkins, Ashley Pichea, Adam agree with Sam!

3.

It’s all about making people feel like they are COOL for commenting. http://goo.gl/BzspK Make sure that you visibly value the active people within your community.

James Brooks, JamesBrooks.me.uk

4.

I try and do a number of things: do giveaways, ask questions at the end of every post, write engaging headlines, respond to commenters, and ask people to promote what they do. I’m still learning, but these have worked well.

David,  DavidSantistevan.com

5.

One thing I’ve found to be helpful is to specifically ask someone for their thoughts on a topic you know they are interested in or where they have some authority. Most of the time they’ll leave a comment AND post a link to your post, generating more comments.

RyanI am an Offering

6.

As a commenter this is what makes me comment:

  • a post that offers true value, because it makes me want to thank the author (many of my comments here have been of the ‘thank you’ variety)
  • a post that shares something personal, because it makes me want to reach out to someone and encourage them
  • a post with a thought provoking question at the end, or one that asks for advice or suggestions (it seems that I am somehow programmed to respond to people who ask for help:) )
  • if the author responds to comments, that really is a big plus because it makes me feel seen/heard/read
  • less than say 40 comments (not including author’s responses) because I feel obligated to read through them all to make sure I have something to say and with that many comments, it actually takes up too much time

RachelYouth Leaders Academy

7.

My strategy is to regularly ask questions that vary in complexity, depth and span the range between humor and serious. This seems to engage the reader on different levels and helps them feel comfortable.

That Guy KC, Some Wise Guy