What to write to increase comments count on my articles?

Hello and happy new year to you,

I’d like to pick your brain about a topic that is bothering me a little, that is how to increase the number of comments on my articles? I know that you can direct people, prompt them to take action by using specific language and action words.

On the CMS I use (Drupal) the sentence before the comment box is simple, like “Comments” something very simple just to indicate that the commenting comes next. I’ve switched to a long sentence I have noticed that the frequence of comments both from members and visitors has slightly increased, but I also had some negative comments about the wording, like begging for comments…

Here’s what I have now:

"
WRITE YOUR MESSAGE HERE - Saying something - anything - to the creator of this page is actually good behavior. Please do not leave this page without sending a message… It feels good to say what we have on our mind sometimes, try it! It doesn’t even have to be relevant to the topic of this page, you can open your heart to us, do it now. Please, pretty please?
"

Now, what would you recommend to do? Simplify this sentence? Make it longer? Shorter? More serious? Even more casual/funny?
And what have you done yourself that you saw brought good results?

Cheers,
James

I think it’s a great idea to actively encourage people to comment, and I’m convinced it helps if you reassure people that their contribution will be appreciated - almost by thanking them in advance, really.

But, to be honest, I think your wording does come across as a bit creepy and desperate! :wink:

Perhaps something a bit simpler might work better? Of course the style and tone depends on the style and tone of your blog, so I won’t suggest anything specific.

Paul

For me comments seem to come when I do any of the following:

-misspell something
-post something controversial and not the popular side
-call out another blogger via a post and then reference it via a comment on their blog

I have noticed that comment plugins etc can have a drastic effect on your commenters.

If its too difficult or you require them to register etc.

I agree with Paul, but at the same time I am wondering how many page views you are getting. That is, is anyone reading your posts? I clicked on the last link in your signature and ended up at a page that wanted me to register. Entrance pages like that are a sure fire “back out” for many users, me included. If you want comments, first make your articles easy to access. Then make them easy to read and interesting to your target visitors.

Don’t be wordy in asking for comments or in any other aspect of your writing. A simple “Please comment” is an understandable and courteous invitation.

Thank you for your feedback.
I have to specify something of importance it is that my articles are indeed not written by myself. I run several sites where members write the articles, so I can’t be specific to the topic of the articles.

If I were to write the articles myself, I could end them with a question to the readers, a question inviting them to react to the article, I have seen it works on blogs who do this on every post.

I need to find a generic sentence to put at the end of each articles that would invite readers to react in the comments.

I hear your critic about the childish/begging nature of my current sentences.

Perhaps something lighter such as:

“Your opinion is important to me. What do you think I am missing here? Please leave your message below…”

?

That sounds much better.

Another simple point is - the first comment is the hardest. Once you’ve got one comment there, you’re more likely to get others to follow, because (a) it’s more obvious that you can leave a comment, and (b) it shows that there are other people reading the site.

Having received another suggestion from another webmaster forum, I’ve settled to this good text (in my opinion) :
YOU ARE IMPORTANT! Please take a moment to speak your mind by leaving a comment… We value your opinion very much.

Also I agree that one comment is important to get things started.

@Shyflower: I’ve changed the link in my sig :slight_smile: This site is getting significant traffic (over 10,000 UVs a day) but the one I am thinking about currently is the first link in my sig and that’s where I’ve put the text now, if it works in prompting comments I’ll copy it in several sites.

To that end, you could always go the unethical route of “salting” your comments with one or two fake accounts posting neutral comments or discussion leads.

Controversial posts always helps to get comments. Besides this hot topics, new ideas also inspire the readers to post comments.