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2.2 Get more comments & subscribers

Ways to attract and keep vis­it­ors com­ing

2.2.1 Disable nofollow

You like people to link to you right? Every­one likes a link back to their own site, for example when com­ment­ing. By default, word­press has nofol­low enabled on many links, which pre­vents search engines fol­low­ing them. Dis­abling nofol­low will encour­age people to com­ment on your site. The easi­est way to achieve this is to use the Do Fol­low plu­gin. A more detailed dis­cus­sion of the mer­its of dis­abling nofol­low can be found on the same site.

2.2.2 Consider using Feedburner

Word­Press includes full sup­port for feeds already, but Feed­burn­er provides e-mail sub­scrip­tions and more advanced feed man­age­ment. The gen­er­al con­sensus is that feed­burn­er is bene­fi­cial, how­ever, there are dis­sent­ers with good counter argu­ments too, for example an art­icle on hochstadt.com (which I no longer link as the site goes up and down like a yoyo, but you’ll find it eas­ily on google). The choice is yours, we even­tu­ally opted not to use feed­burn­er.

2.2.3 Ask people to comment

The most effect­ive way to increase the num­ber of com­ments on your posts is simply to ask for opin­ions at the end of each post! We always ask for com­ments at the end of our art­icles. If you want to auto­mate this you can do it with the plu­gin yet anoth­er ran­dom quote. Install the plu­gin, add some var­ied ways of ask­ing for com­ments in the plu­gin set­tings and then edit single.php (and page.php) and add the code <?php yarq_display(); ?> after <?php the_content(); ?>.

2.2.4 Offer e-mail subscriptions

Give people the option to sub­scribe by E-mail in addi­tion to via RSS. If you use feed­burn­er this is done for you, but if you choose not to use feed­burn­er than the subscribe2 plu­gin will do this for you. Hav­ing a short­er domain will reduce the chances that for­war­ded e-mails will con­tain broken links (see sec­tions 1.4.12 and 2.1.9)

2.2.5 Display newest comments first

This is a simple idea that I think I first picked up via my Yoast sub­scrip­tion (but now I can’t find the link, if any­one spots it please drop a com­ment in and I’ll add it). Vis­it­ors like to be rewar­ded for their com­ments — see­ing their com­ment at the top is a reward. You’ll be rewar­ded in return with more com­ments.

2.2.6 Reply to comments

Com­ments are an oppor­tun­ity to start a dis­cus­sion.  You, or your read­ers might learn some­thing, and com­ments can even lead to new con­tent on your site.  They’re a great way to encour­age people to revis­it your site.  On the oth­er hand — if you don’t reply then people will think you aren’t inter­ested, and are far less likely to com­ment again or to revis­it.

2.2.7 Enable related posts

You want your read­ers to keep com­ing back, so you want them to find oth­er con­tent on your site use­ful.  If someone found the con­tent of an art­icle inter­est­ing they’re likely to be inter­ested in related con­tent. The more they stay on your site the more likely they are to sub­scribe, com­ment, and revis­it.  Use a related posts plu­gin if your theme doesn’t include it.

2.2.8 Enable most viewed posts

You won’t know what your most pop­u­lar posts are going to be. Let the tech­no­logy do it for you. A pop­u­lar post, by vir­tue, has wider appeal, so draw the atten­tion of new vis­it­ors to your most pop­u­lar art­icles.  As with related posts, if your theme can’t do this there are plu­gins that will.

Got some thoughts of your own? Indulge yourself below by commenting! If you would like to subscribe please use the subscribe link on the menu at the top right. You can also share this with your friends by using the social links below. Cheers.

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