According to Nick James article, Google says that a healthy, active online community is one of the signals they look for to determine your blog’s quality. Comments are considered part of your content, so the better they are, the better your blog does in search results.
The problem is, of course, that a lot of comments are either spam or they don’t add anything to the conversation. For example, “Great post!” and “Love it!” might feed your ego, but that’s about it. They don’t give you anything useful, they don’t let you know what people really think, and so on.
So then, how do you encourage people to leave thoughtful, well-written comments? How do you make people care more about the topic enough that they want to add to the conversation?
The answer to that is very simple. All you need to do is to use a seed question.
This is how it works. Once you upload your post, be the first one to comment on your own post. For example, let’s say you wrote a blog post on 7 Ways to get Free Traffic.
Your comment might be, “Thanks for checking out my post. I thought I’d kick off discussion with a few questions about how you get free traffic. What’s your favorite technique? How much time and resources does it take? And how effective has it been so far? I would love to hear from you on this.”
By starting out the conversation, and laying out the terms on the table right away, people will know what to say. They’ll have a topic to anchor their responses on.
Once you do this, sooner than later you’ll likely find that more of the comments you receive actually ADD to the conversation. There will be less of those unhelpful “Hey, great post!” or “Loved this; keep on writing!” comments.
If you want to keep this going for longer, here’s one more thing you can do. This is a little sneaky, but trust me when I say it really works. Just upvote your own comment; that way, you’ll keep it at the top of the comment thread. Odds are others will begin upvoting it as well, but even then, it doesn’t hurt to add your own upvotes.
If you think this is cheating, don’t worry, because it isn’t. It’s just a way of putting your starting comment on top. Again, you want this comment to be the first one people read, so they’ll know what to talk about in the comment thread.