How to Write Engaging Blog Posts That Generate Comments

One of the biggest assumptions when it comes to blogging is that you either need to be a widely read blog to generate comments, or you need to spark controversy to bring in more comments. While it is true that blogs with a high traffic volume often have a lot of comments, and even more true that upsetting or offending readers will result in comments, the good news is that there are many other ways to generate comments.

Blogs have become one of the most widely used platforms for individuals and companies to share their views and grow their readers. From informative posts to humorous posts; promotional posts to education posts, the range of blog post styles is almost as broad as blog topics. Companies in almost any industry have the ideal platform to reach a larger number of readers through meaningful blog posts that engage their audience on a deeper level. This can only be done however, with quality content that inspires readers to comment and share.

Why No Blog Posts Are Created Equal

As the growth of the internet has made it possible for just about anyone and everyone to have a blog, including teenagers, movie fans and spammers, good blog posts are not always easily found. In order to engage readers and generate comments, blog content needs to reach audiences in a targeted way. The huge volume of online content on the web means that readers are a lot fussier than they were a decade or so ago.

If you have not caught your audience’s attention in the header, chances are high that they will not even click the link if they see it in the SERPs or on their social media channels. If they do decide to click through, and you do not grab their attention sufficiently in the first paragraph, they will not bother reading the rest of the post, let alone feel moved enough to leave a comment. So how do you ensure that your readers keep reading and comment on your posts?

  • Create compelling post titles – use persuasive headlines that inspire interest to read more, from numbered lists to post titles that use ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘what’. People need to have a reason to open your link in the first place before they read and comment on the post.
  • Create content that is easy to read – readers get bored if they see large chunks of text with no breaks, headers or lists that make for easier reading.
  • Create quality, well-written content – if you read a story that is boring, irrelevant and not remotely helpful, would you want to comment? Unless you want to tell the author how terrible you thought their writing was, most likely you won’t bother finishing reading, let alone comment.
  • Create an atmosphere that readers can relate to easily – write from the point of view of your reader, and put them in situations that make them think while they are reading. Allow them to use their imagination, and use language such as ‘you probably’, you may have’ or ‘you might be’.
  • Create open-ended questions to encourage discussion – rather than waiting for readers to comment, give them some encouragement with leading questions. What would you do? How has this helped your strategies? What other tips would you use?
  • Create value-added content that provides solutions to common problems how-to guides, helpful tips, interesting ideas and other relevant topics that outline problems and then offer solutions are all ways to add value to your blog posts.
  • Create easy ways for readers to comment – don’t limit your readers by only offering Facebook comments – include easy to use comment systems that make it easy to add a comment without having to go through extensive steps.
  • Create buttons and images to entice comments – whether it is a simple graphic indicating where readers can comment, or a customised signature that encourages comments, your readers need a little reminder sometimes.
  • Create blog posts for your readers, and then the Search Engines – that doesn’t mean you can skip blog optimisation. Instead, what it means is that you should always write with your readers in mind and THEN the Search Engines. Use language they understand. Avoid jargon. Keep a conversational tone. Make them enjoy reading your content.

Writing high quality blog posts that engage readers can be a challenge if you are not a writer. With a bit of thought and planning however, and plenty of practice, you will be able to create alluring posts that inspire quality comments.

2 Comments

  1. ChrisM

    March 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the post RoxB – I think people underestimate the power of an engaged blow. Do you, by chance, have any links to useful articles that assist with learning how to write in such a manner? Something that I could read to learn from perhaps..

  2. RoxB

    March 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Hi ChrisM,

    You are very right about how often the engagement factor is not taken into account when writing for blogs. Oddly enough, engaging content can actually be very natural and not too hard to achieve though!

    Over the past seven or so years that I have been writing for the web, I have picked up loads and loads of useful resources. The interwebz are full of how to articles, tips, Google guidelines and many, many other advice on how to write – mostly this info is targeted on optimisation rather than comment generation.

    The best advice that I ever got was not in an article at all, but from my mentor, way back when I first got into web copywriting. He told me that really good content has to have an emotional effect on readers. There are a few types of emotions that generate comments:

    – Humour (make people laugh, and they will want to share the funnies)
    – Fear (present a scary problem, then give readers the solution)
    – Empathy (put across point of view that target audience can relate to)
    – Anger (spark outrage to prompt comments and debate)
    – Sadness (generate sympathy by moving readers)

    I will do a proper post on the above approach soon, but in the meantime, another resource that I have always found helpful is the hypnotic copywriting tips by Joe Vitale. It may seem a little ‘sales letterish’ at a glance, but these tips are pure gold. Basically, it involves the use of persuasive words that catch the reader’s attention.

    There are some good tips in this article database (check out the recent and ancient articles especially):

    http://www.mrfire.com/hypnotic-articles.html

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