Simple answer to getting blog readers and commenters

Filed in Blogging 109 comments

Time for new student bloggers and the typical questions: “How do I get more readers?” and “How do I get people to comment?”

My standard answers have been these three:

1)  Comment on other people’s blogs

2)  Announce your new posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

3)  Add a user-friendly comment device [don’t make commenters jump through too many hoops].

However, after reading several of their posts, I have another simple answer — but, first, a story:

My Story about Peter

Several years ago, when I was teaching beginning journalism students at Southwest Missouri State, the students’  daily chore was to write in a log. . . .  and then I read them.

Big mistake — both the assignment and me spending time reading them.

When left to their own devices . . . students wrote about such earth-shattering events as breaking up with their boyfriends and flushing letters down the toilet to buying a pair of boots at the mall to the scores of basketball games in the local conference. Needless to say, I was questioning my sanity for having asked for these papers.

Until Peter, that is.

Peter wrote plays and poetry. Peter analyzed the news. Peter shared intelligent conversations he had had with friends. Peter reported on books and articles he was reading.

And his writing was so flawless that I was envious.

But I loved reading his stuff and looked forward to every entry.

I was in awe of his talent and wondered what I could offer him.

So I went to several of my colleagues to ask their opinions; one comment stood out: “Peter’s stuff is good because he writes about things that are important and interesting.”

When you blog — and you want people to read and comment — WRITE ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING.

Why write about anything else?


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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   21 June 2011
Tags : , , ,
Jun 22, 2011
5:12 pm
#1 pure :

It’s easy to read someone’s blog, but hard to comment it. You have to choose your words carefully.

Jun 26, 2011
8:45 am

For me, commenting on other blogs has definitely brought me many commentators. The other good thing is to encourage readers by giving them some values in exchange for their time (KeyworeLuv OR CommentLuv).

Jun 27, 2011
10:02 pm

You made a good point, but you could also tell others to join a syndication tribe like this one as well. I have to say as a tribe member I still like to read something interesting.


Jun 28, 2011
12:39 am
#4 Lynn Jones :

Hi Shari, Great post! I liked it. So we write about something interesting to us, but what if it is not interesting to others. I think we just have to be us, our real self, authentic and genuine. If people find us interesting that is wonderful. If we have some growing to do in our writing style and skills, then join TSA and at least 9 or so people may comment on your blog. 🙂
Have a sweet and wonderful day!

Author Jun 28, 2011
10:17 am

Yes, Lynn, TSA is definitely a way to get comments on one’s blog, but here’s something to consider: are comment like opinions? Everyone has a right to have an opinion, but are all opinions worth hearing or reading.

Now that you bring this up, I have a problem with people commenting when they really have nothing worthwhile to say. To my mind this simply adds to the “noise” out there. Perhaps TSA and similar tribes could offer Blog Commenting webinars . . . and even “extra credit” contests for the best comments. Now there’s an idea I really like.

Jun 28, 2011
4:14 pm

What an excellent post, Shari! Sometimes pointing out the obvious is all it takes 😉 After all, if a post is not interesting or informative, why would anyone choose to read it?

I think what can happen, just as I suspect happened to your students, is the following thought process:
“Oh – I need to write a blog post. What shall I write about? Nothing much exciting happened: perhaps I’ll just write about what I had for lunch.”

I imagine it’s easy to get into that mode when “required” to write something, say, once a week. For those of us who are not under no such instruction, there really isn’t any excuse: we just create our own stupid deadlines and then get caught with the consequences.

Thanks so much for reminding me it’s about quality, not quantity.


Jul 1, 2011
1:13 am

It’s my experience once one gets through the “ego” of blogging and presents content the reader wants to read, learn from, and enjoy, writing is very easy. I enjoy your style of writing. You bring quality content to your readers in a short concise method. That’s a lesson I’m still learning, write interesting content with clarity and keep the readers attention.

Looking forward to learning more from you-

Terrific Tonya Heathco
National Seizure Disorders Foundation

Author Jul 1, 2011
10:00 pm

I like to hear people say that “writing is easy” but, of course, that will depend upon (1) whether you have something to say and (2) how passionate you are about your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and observations.

Jul 6, 2011
2:24 am

Good points. When writing we need to keep our readers in mind and write interesting things they can benefit from.

Jul 7, 2011
6:28 am
#10 Eldon Beard :

I think the key to getting readers for your blog is to be visible and be a contributor in communities where people in your niche hang out. The key to getting commenters is writing content that addresses the problems or questions people in your niche ask, and offering solutions or direction.

Author Jul 7, 2011
11:10 am
#11 Shari Weiss :

Eldon, re: your observation on getting commenters — I’ve heard it stated that when you touch people’s “pain points,” they will respond.

Jul 7, 2011
10:24 am
#12 PAACY :

Info on Blogging–that I am finding helpful. 1. commentary should represent example of a page identifying an issue in the public interest; 2.find out how that public interest is subverted; 3.engage readers & produce positive results.

Jul 21, 2011
5:02 pm

Hi Shari,

You have some excellent points. Another I would add, for those in a tribe (a “reciprocal program”), is to be in a tribe with your same niche. I am really enjoying my tribe, learning a lot, and don’t want to leave, but at the same time, my niche is totally different. So not everyone is going to share my posts. Some do, though, and that’s good. It’s a start.

What do you tell your students about how long it takes to find your “blogging voice?”

Author Jul 21, 2011
5:05 pm
#14 Shari Weiss :

How long does it take to find your blogging voice is a very interesting question.
From my own experience I would say that one thing to think about very carefully is your target audience. We do need to “speak” in different styles to different sets of people. Like lots of things in life, it is impossible to be all things to all people.

Sep 19, 2011
1:43 am
#15 Yorinda :

Hi Shari,

you are obviously practicing what you teach, what a lot of comments!

I like the example you gave. Providing things of interest and keeping people engaged is where it at.

I do like the way you break up the text so it makes it easy to read.

Thank you for the interesting read.

Author Sep 19, 2011
9:59 pm
#16 Shari Weiss :

Making text easy read is so much more critical than beginning bloggers understand . . . especially if you want people to read . . . and then comment!

Oct 5, 2011
6:56 am

When it comes for blogging i too insist on quality content.your content must be unique,interesting and important regards their topics.
Your story about peter 9s influential.
Tanks for sharing this information.

Author Oct 5, 2011
12:23 pm
#18 Shari Weiss :

Mith, there is already so much triviality online. Why add to it?

Oct 24, 2011
3:18 am

There are different ways through which we can attract readers and its good that bloggers are making use of all those sites. Publicizing or advertising is a must otherwise and you’ve highlighted all the important points. Well written.

Oct 25, 2011
11:12 pm
#20 Raena Lynn :

Hello Shari,

This is a short, yet profound summary of the core of what draws people to blogs. After reading this article it seems so simple to “write about things that are important and interesting.” If we can consistently post article that are relevant, and interesting it would solve the simple answer to getting blog readers and commentaries.

We must make the effort to make comments on other blogs and making sure there is a backlink for a possible return comment.


Raena Lynn

Nov 11, 2011
12:50 am

I agree that when you post something up on your blog you should write about something interesting and important. If you find the right subject it makes people want to read and comment on your blog. I also think that its your blog and you decide to write about whatever you feel like writing.

Author Nov 16, 2011
1:02 pm
#22 Shari Weiss :

Jame, one thing to think about for your viewpoint is to ask yourself whether you are writing for yourself or to communicate to an audience. Next step is to further define that audience. That makes all the difference.

Nov 20, 2011
8:06 pm
#23 Liz K :

Hi Shari:

I absolutely love this blog post. Yes using other social media to announce a new blog post works perfect for me to get more readers. I also agree that the topic discussed should be of interest to the readers otherwise they will bounce as soon as they read the first few lines. Catchy titles are great too but all the same people have to connect with the content. Thanks for sharing.

Dec 7, 2011
9:41 am

Thank You Shari
Great advice, but how do you pick a subject that is not going to be repeated by others over and over again.
Merry Christmas to You and Your Loved Ones and The Best In The New Year

Author Dec 10, 2011
12:29 pm
#25 Shari Weiss :

Sharon, choosing topics to write about is easy IF you are sharing your passion!

Dec 11, 2011
6:40 pm
#26 Marilyn Curtis :

and then comment! I like the example you gave. Good post.

Dec 14, 2011
2:33 am
#27 Teach Jim :

Real content for real people. That makes GREAT sense. Reads and comments come because of the quality. Thanks for the nice list to get our heads a thinkin but I love the way you close it our with real story and hit it out of the park with the close… No kidding. So obvious but so forgotten. Thank you!

Dec 19, 2011
8:00 pm

Hi Jim,

You know in the blogging era content is the king …

if aany hv good content … it ll automatically get huge comment …

Dec 19, 2011
7:11 pm
#29 ivy :

high quality content and very interesting topic being discussed.

Dec 20, 2011
6:56 am
#30 Theuns :

Hi Shari

Thanks fr this great tip.

Yes I agree you need to wright something that people like, not thing that they do not have any interest in.

Good info help people to solve problems.


Jan 23, 2012
3:28 pm

You did the precise thing in this article that can make almost any article compelling: told a story! No matter how good the info is, if it’s not conveyed in a meaningful way, it won’t sink in. And it’s been proven time and again that we as people are storytellers. Smart brands tell a story with theirs. Everyone from speakers to copywriters can make their content compelling with the simple addition of a story. That’s when our ears perk up… we automatically wonder, “What will happen next?”

PS: I enjoyed your story!

Author Jan 29, 2012
2:38 am
#32 Shari Weiss :

Carol, I generally begin my blog posts with a story to provide context, i.e., why I am writing the particular piece.

Jan 31, 2012
11:00 am
#33 Lewis Newton :

You nailed it! I’ve learned a lot from your blog here! Keep on going, I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about.Can’t wait to read more from you! I will keep an eye on it.

Feb 15, 2012
10:25 am

I agree with you that we should comment on other blogs and this can help us to get some readers. It’s also good to focus on SEO and providing valuable content. 🙂

Mar 28, 2012
10:33 pm

Nice article Shari. I have recently started a simple film blog, but I had no idea how much SEO was required. It is very difficult knowing where to start for a newbie. This was very helpful. I thought all I would be doing was writing.

Apr 11, 2012
9:47 am

This is good you have mentioned in your post “Social Media is the good tool to get fam online and you can show your existence in the market.

Apr 13, 2012
1:36 am
#37 Priya Kamble :

Nice tips shari.Really nice post..I like it and your post is very helpful for new bloggers..

Apr 13, 2012
1:20 pm
#38 Jonathan :

Social media has provided a huge new outlet for blog and other business marketing. As useful as it is I’m a strong believer that content is king. Without great content it is hard to grow your readership and as a result, commenters. Thanks for sharing the tips.

Apr 23, 2012
6:03 pm

Be creative! That’s the best tip for me. Using social networks is very important but if you don’t write interesting articles you will use readers fast.

May 11, 2012
6:52 pm

I read a lot of blogs and find that some that limit themselves get in trouble trying to figure out what to post about next.. Or post start to sound the same.

Jun 3, 2012
8:32 am
#41 Craig :

Some great tips. I think the best way is to write something you would comment on or find useful. I know I comment on posts I find useful or controversial.

Jul 11, 2012
11:14 pm

My dad and brother always give me a long, detailed answer and can never understand what they’re saying. So what’s the difference? Remember, quick, simple, easy to read.

Aug 27, 2012
12:24 am
#43 Bonnie Smith :

Thanks for your post. I have not many readers which makes me upset.Finally, I find out. I hardly read others posts let alone comment on others’ posts. Thank you very very much.



Sep 30, 2012
12:24 am
#44 Auberges :

In the end, the conclusion is always the same:”Content is King”. I find it difficult though to have readers emotionally involved and to leave comments.

Oct 13, 2012
10:24 am

First, quality and engaging content is very important. Next, promotion is a must in blogging. If you will not tell people about your blog they will not bother to visit your site especially if it is just a new one. Lastly, it is crucial that you establish a good relationship with your readers and other people in the blogging community.

Nov 4, 2012
6:58 am

Having many posts which fulfil a certain quality is a very good method to get more readers. It’s a good thing to have a timetable and post your texts at the same day(s) every week so readers know when to return to your blog to read your newest post.

Jan 30, 2013
1:31 pm
#47 Lucy Dark :

This is great, good tips. Commenting is key, though tougher than it seems to make it work right.

Feb 28, 2013
11:18 am

Writing about what you are passionate about is of key importance when it comes getting people to read your blog. When someone really cares about what they are writing, their personality and sense of humor really shine through. A reader can easily recognize this 🙂

Mar 18, 2013
6:32 pm

Very nice article. The story of Peter was really nice, it is always nice when you see someone has a genuine passion and flair for writing. The internet is crammed full of meaningless content nowadays, it’s always really great when you find a piece that was written out of enjoyment. It makes reading it enjoyable. Your advice was also useful, when I set up my first website advertising my writings I heavily relied on announcements from my social media accounts to draw traffic into them. Commenting on other peoples posts is also great, but when you are doing it purely for a comment back it sullies the genuine social interactivity I personally find.

May 2, 2013
2:57 am
#50 Pitt Goumas :

Blogging about current events will be most helpful I guess.

Jun 1, 2013
9:57 pm
#51 Phyllis :

Excellent blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a
paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any suggestions? Bless you!

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