Thursday, May 03, 2007

How can I get readers to leave comments on my blog?

I have a restaurant review blog at http://restaurantmom.blogspot.com. I probably get about 20-30 hits on my blog each week (so I know people are reading the posts) but I rarely, if ever, get comments on each review. I've even asked for comments and still nothing. Has anyone else with a restaurant review blog had success with garnering comments from readers? Any tips? Thanks.

This Post was written by Restaurant Mom from CENTRAL FLORIDA RESTAURANT MOM

14 comments:

Derrick said...

I find that my most commented-on posts (aside from lard rendering, my record holder to date) are those where I ask my readers for advice. People love sharing their opinions.

Even so, it's rare for me to go above 10 comments on a post; my readers simply don't comment very much.

Kirsten said...

It is hard - comments feel so nice, and if you genuinely want or need comments, then it's frustrating.

I agree with Derrick, ask for advice or feedback.

Also, outreach to all the local bloggers or message boards in your area and leave a note with your blog.

Perhaps consider hosting a reader's choice restaurant poll? Publicize it on other blogs/message boards in your area?

Also, leave comments for other bloggers...people usually tend to feel more inclined to comment when its reciprocal.

One final thing...just like in traditional media, controversy brings feedback. If your reviews and info are straightforward, informative and non-controversial, people may just not have much to say!

Good luck!

Susan said...

Try not to take a lack of comments personally. People comment or not for a variety of reasons that usually have nothing to do with you or your blog. Also know that others will not necessarily acknowledge comments you have left on their blogs, either. Again, you can’t take it personally. If you follow stats on your repeat visitors, you may find that you have a loyal readership who regularly enjoys your posts but don’t feel compelled to leave comments. As previously noted, it is important to participate in the community so that others know you exist to begin with, to broaden your readership and enhance the odds of comments. I’ve only been blogging for a few months, but have noticed an increase in visibility and rapport since I started contributing regularly to blogger events. There must be events, forums and blog directories geared to restaurant review blogs that would connect you to others in your particular blog specialty.

SusanV said...

What they said. It seems that most comments are left by fellow-bloggers, so be sure to leave comments on the blogs you like. Eventually, some of those bloggers will drop in on your blog and return the favor.

Sean said...

It's also a numbers game -- blogs that get dozens or even hundreds of comments also get ginormous amounts of traffic. As your traffic grows, so shall your comment count.

Sam said...

And your ability to respond them will lessen. I answered every comment for almost 2.5 years until I became overwhelmed to the point where I can barely answer comments at all, even though i read everyone and would love to be able to answer them all individually onece again.

Restaurant Mom said...

Thanks for all the advice (and pep talk!). I'll definitely start checking out other local blogs and posting there and I like the idea of a reader's choice restaurant poll.

Steamy Kitchen said...

People always seem to comment on blogs with beautiful food photography - adding the visual element certainly stirs up more emotions. I have found that my most commented posts are the ones with great food porn.

I also agree with others- get to know other bloggers by being regular contributors to their sites. They will certainly return the favor and contribute to yours. Find bloggers who have something in common with you, similar interests. Good luck!

bluechillies said...

I tend to only comment on subjects that are local to me or that I know of. I love your site because we travel but most of the places that are listed I have never visited.
I love the fact that you describe everything and include information for/about kids. As a mom it is very helpful.

Trig said...

Quality is more important than quantity. One person who has read what you have written and makes a comment through genuine interest is worth 10 comments saying that your cooking looks divine and they will try it themselves one day if they can work out where to buy potatoes. I'm exaggerating the point, but you know what I mean. As several people have said, try to make interested comments on other peoples' blogs and they are sure to respond. And a bit of being different with a little controversy always helps.

Cybele said...

I just pulled a few stats from my own blog.

I get about 60-100 commments a week. 5% of those are spam (or just too weird/off-color to leave up.)

So figure about 10 a day. Only about 75% of those are on posts on the front page of my blog. (I have about 800 posts total in my archives.)

I think I have a pretty chatty bunch of readers. My daily average is about 6,000 hits a day.

The commments here about developing your relationships with your readers and the other blogs you admire is good stuff. Just keep at it.

By far my most commented-on posts are those involving giveaways. But after that it's not always what I think will touch my readers enough to react. Even after doing this for six years (only two in the candy arena) I realize I have no clue what people will do.

Curt McAdams said...

I read several blogs regularly, and I think I see a trend, not to sound gender biased, that women's blogs get more comments than men's. I know it's a generality, and I could be wrong. I don't know if writing styles have a more inviting 'feel' in women's writing in general, and maybe a lot of men are too 'here's my info' about how they write. It could also be that a lot of men's blogs I read are more barbecue related than food in general.

Just a bit of an observation, though it could be faulty in its conclusions. and maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better about not getting more comments. :)

Betty C. said...

Your blog is very recent, so you shouldn't feel bad about the lack of comments. It took me a good 6-9 months to get any sort of regular comment activity going.

Also it seems you have a pretty locally-oriented subject, so you might want to focus on visiting (and commenting on) other blogs from the Orlando area, not just food/restaurant blogs.

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

It's difficult because people only comment when they have something to say. If they're not local to the restaurant, they probably wont have anything to say about it.

Maybe you could try weaning in a second topic into the article and ask the question "what do you all think?".

Then it's all down to traffic!