When readers comment on your blog it not only gets them more engaged with you and your content, it gives your blog more life and may even help it rank better with the search engines.
Here are a few quick tips to encourage blog comments:
Ask questions. Near the end of your post, ask readers for their opinions or what has worked for them.
Take a contrary position. Go against the conventional wisdom and be a little controversial.
Dofollow comment links. Most blogs use the “nofollow” tag in comments, meaning that the links do not pass search engine juice. Making your comment links “dofollow” means that more people will be interested in commenting. You can even post your blog in dofollow directories to encourage traffic and comments. (Of course, you will also encourage spam comments, so you may need to moderate comments to keep out the junk.) Get the plugin to dofollow comments on your WordPress blog at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sem-dofollow/
Form a blogging alliance. Darren Rowse recently wrote about joining with other bloggers who write blogs in similar niches to support each other. One of the things alliance members do is comment on each other’s blogs.
Interact with commenters. Keep the conversation going. Respond to comments readers leave on your blog. Let them know you are listening. (This applies to your guest posts on other blogs, too. When you guest post, watch the comments and interact with the blogger’s readers.) Respond to a blog comment and you continue a conversation that will keep the commenter coming back to your blog.
Tweet your blog posts and ask your followers to share their opinions. Use other social media (e.g., Facebook, FriendFeed, Plaxo, et al) to spread the word about your latest posts and get people to join in the conversation with a blog comment.
So what have you found works in getting readers to interact with your blog by leaving comments? Leave your comments below. ;o)