Not every reader has the inclination to comment after reading your blog posts, as we all certainly know!
So we need to give them some help. One way would be to give your readers some examples they could use, to stimulate a response from them.
And these call to action questions also have the benefit of guaranteeing better quality comments than if your readers was left to their own devices.
Read the infographic below:
And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
Let's examine these call to action questions more closely.
Q1. What tips/points have I left out?
This comes from how complete the post is. Have you included absolutely everything in your post, and left nothing out?
I know it may seem important your post should be as informative as possible for your readers. But you run the risk of having said everything there is to say, there is nothing left for your readers.
So asking your readers to think of a #11 to a list of 10, or to add anything that is missing, means they will also be able to share their knowledge as much as you.
Q2. What are your thoughts on [the post's subject]?
Sometimes if you don't put the idea into your readers' heads, they won't feel compelled to have their say. It also encourages them to re-read your post to find something they could think about.
Reading the post again is always a good idea. The majority of readers would have scanned the post to glean what is relevant to them. Going through it again more carefully will enable them to form an opinion on a particular point that resonates them them.
Opinions form the basis of commenting. All the reader needs is a bit of encouragement if they are not already forthcoming with an opinion of your post.
Q3. What's your #1 advice on [something mentioned in the post]?
I keep going on about the importance of helping others through commenting. This question gives your readers that opportunity to share the knowledge that could change another reader's life.
People are generally happy to offer their #1 point of advice on a subject. Some may even provide more than just one! All they needed was a little nudge to get things going.
These kinds of call to action questions give readers a chance to showcase their expertise to any who reads the post and the subsequent comments. They could even spark off other comments in return.
Q4. What's the first thing that comes into your mind after reading this post?
This again forces the reader to re-read the post (unless they have already formed an opinion when they reach the end). It is a reactionary question, hopefully suitably open to encourage a response.
However, if you're like me, I will probably spend quite of a lot of time thinking 'what was the first thing that comes into my head?'. Which really defeats the reason for the prompt!
But some people may be better at this sort of thing than me, and will already have a thought primed and ready to go! These are the ones who are more likely to leave a comment.
Q5. If you could change [a point mentioned in the post], what would it be?
There are some readers who will respond to an opportunity to change the status quo. These kinds of call to actions questions give them the chance that they crave.
This opinionated people may want to change the whole post's subject, or offer an alternative to the main point. Or if they're feeling controversial, stick a pin into the proceedings to see what happens.
However, the quality of comments that arise from this question will show the intelligence of the readers, and how much they actually understood the post in the first place.
Q6. Are you an X or Y person? or Do you do X or Y [that's relevant to the post]?
Giving your readers an either-or question forces them to think about themselves in relation to the post's subject. How do they position themselves within the scenario presented to them?
It may be easy to give them a split option of two, but sometimes the plot thickens when readers can think of a Z in the argument. Or even A, B and C.
Here is the opportunity to explore their experiences that relate to the post's subject, and be given a space in which to express themselves.
Q7. What's your biggest problem with [a point raised in the post]?
This doesn't have to be the biggest problem. It could be a positive scenario – a favourite or a preference. Think carefully how these kinds of call to action questions can be adapted to suit your ideal readers, as it is these your post should focus on.
Here is a chance for your readers to spill the beans, tell a story, relate a good or bad experience – offer something a bit more than the usual 'Nice post!". More content is always welcome to both the blogger and the search engines alike.
Again the reader is forced to re-read the post to find their biggest problem or whatever, and to adjust it to fit in with their experiences and how they relate to the post's subject.
Do you have any better call to action questions?
Here's another of the call to action questions you could ask - get your readers to offer some of their own. Well, the comment box is below, so if you do have any, we would be very pleased to read them.