Blog commenting is one of the staples of WordPress and it's beneficial to you as a webmaster for a number of reasons.
One such reason is that on a social level, blog comments are a great way to develop a community on your site, and the larger your community, the more people you regularly have on your website reading your content.
Additionally, having a lot of comments on your site is also a form of social proof as this is the mark of a heavily trafficked website which is obviously popular.
Also, people who comment are much more valuable than your other readers because these are people who took time out to not only read your content but provide some feedback as well. Using Optin Comments, you can automatically solicit people to sign up for your email list every time someone makes a comment for their first time. This is a great way to beef up your email subscriber list and make money email marketing if you know what you are doing.
SEO Blog Comments
Let's not forget about the impact which blog comments have on SEO. Comments which are relevant to the discussion and contain your keywords can look like more natural placement of the keywords you're targeting on your page. Let's also not forget that blog comments make your content appear updated and fresh every time a new comment is left which search engines positively love.
So now that we've covered the importance of getting comments, let's consider a few ways to get blog comments.
CommuntLuv is a WordPress plugin which encourages your readers to leave comments because the plugin publicly displays your recent post of choice.
This is an extremely effective way to entice webmasters to leave comments and particularly quality comments because not many people will click on that link if the comment is spammy. If it's a high quality and informative comment then someone would be much more inclined to check out other content from that person.
The downside is that it gives your traffic potentially dozens if not hundreds of extra exit points on every new post which you make on your site.
Subscribe to Comments
Subscribe to Comments is another nice plugin which can notify your commenter via email when there are new comments to that thread so that they can see how a comment thread plays out or how someone responds to their initial comment - a great way to encourage further discussion from that person.
Give Your Comment Policies
Have a place on your blog where you lay out your comment policies so that people can easily find it. Some people will be more inclined to comment when they know your policy on comments. If possible, slide this into your comment section or include a link to it so if you get a first timer, they'll get a better idea of what your policy is all about. This will also deter spammers from leaving spammy comments, albeit a small few.
Ask For Comments
Don't discount the power of efficacy of simply asking your subscribers for comments. By asking your subscribers to input their two cents after you finish a post they can see that you value comments; do so and you're much more likely to see someone go ahead and take the time to write.
Don't forget that one of the easiest ways to spark a discussion is to post about a controversial topic which will polarize people or a topic on which a lot of people have differing opinions or things to input.
Answer Existing Comments
Remember that whenever you chime in the discussion section of your own site, people will take notice. A lot of people like the fact that you're accessible and will be more likely to comment themselves if they feel that they have a good chance of hearing from you personally. Reply to the best (or not best) comments which you receive and make sure to thank those commenters for voicing their feelings.