Ratio Analysis For Bloggers 2: Comments per Post Ratio

By Daniel Scocco

On the first part of this series we talked about the Subscriber Conversion Ratio (and also about the usefulness of ratios for several types of analysis, check it out if you want some basic information on that).

On this post we are going to cover the Comments per Post Ratio.

Why Are Comments Important?

First things first, why should a blogger even care about the number of comments on his blog? There are several reasons for it.

The comments themselves might become a valuable part of your content, and a reason why readers visit your blog. Commentators will often expand your thoughts, complement specific topics and offer another point of view, enriching your articles.

Secondly, the comments section of a blog is the corner stone of the community around it. That is where readers will interact both with the author and with other readers. And as you probably know, the more active and engaged the community on your blog, the higher its popularity.

Finally, first time visitors and potential advertisers might judge the success of your blog based on the average number of comments that it receives. Suppose an advertiser wants to buy a banner ad, and he needs to decide between two blogs on the same topic and with a similar number of RSS subscribers. The first blog, however, gets on average 30 comments per post, while the second gets only 5. Which blog do you think will be chosen?

Comments per Post Ratio

Now that you know the importance of comments, let’s talk about the Comments per Post Ratio (CPR). This is a very simple number, which can be obtained by dividing the total number of comments on your blog by the total number of posts published.

Most blogging platforms display this information on the control panel or on the dashboard. Suppose you have 100 comments and 50 posts published. In this case your CPR would be 2.

Applying the Numbers

In order to give you more concrete examples I will calculate the CPR on my 3 “Daily” blogs.

  • Daily Bits has 1,107 total comments and 208 published posts. The CPR is 5,3
  • Daily Writing Tips has 4,688 total comments and 486 published posts. The CPR is 9,6
  • Daily Blog Tips has 24,931 total comments and 861 published posts. The CPR is 28,9

As you can see there is a good spread on the numbers. Daily Bits gets on average 5,3 comments per post, while Daily Blog Tips gets 28,9.

What factors might be influencing this ratio? Here are some:

1. Posting Frequency. A blog that posts once a week will tend to have a higher number of comments post than a blog that posts daily. The reason is connected to the amount of time that each post will have on top of the homepage (where they receive more visibility and therefore more comments).

2. Topic. The topic of the blog will also influence the Comments per Post Ratio. technology blogs tend to get a smaller number of comments than make money online blogs, for example.

3. Traffic. The higher the traffic, the higher the number of comments per post. That is why many advertisers consider this number as well.

4. Writing style and type of posts. Writers that manage to engage their audience will inevitably receive more comments per post. Additionally, bloggers that know how to get their readers involved can significantly boost the discussion on the comments section.

Conclusion

This ratio can be practically used when you make comparisons with a blog that is in your niche and has a similar level of traffic. If your Comments per Post Ratio is significantly lower than that of another blog, you are doing something wrong.

There are several methods and tactics that you could use to boost the number of comments on your blog (without getting more traffic, changing the topic or the posting frequency), including:

  • Asking questions to your readers at the end of posts
  • Running polls
  • Writing about personal experiences and encourage readers to share theirs
  • Writing about polemic issues
  • Giving prizes to people that leave comments
  • Rewarding your most active commenters with a link

What is the Comments per Post Ration on your blog? Do you think you should try to improve it?




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19 Responses to “Ratio Analysis For Bloggers 2: Comments per Post Ratio”

  • SEO Genius

    Great article Daniel, i think though you have one typo on the second bullet point. “runring” instead of “running”.

    Anyways, my view on CPR is that people should try to increase it. Having a growing community can benefit your overall blog extremely.

    I think everyone should try and let the readers participate more.

  • Blogging Millionare

    Nice study! Comments also make people believe that your blog is important.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Will, thanks for the heads up, just fixed the typo.

  • Writer Dad

    Comments on my blog are its biggest strength. It’s only six weeks old, but the ratio stands at about thirty – six per post.

  • Dannie

    I use this plugin to track conversation rate, especially since I have a multi-author blog. Our ratio is 14.2 overall and nearly double (28.2) over the last 30 days.

  • Todd Andrews

    Very interesting, and something I never thought of. Would love to have more people comment on my blog, but I’m afraid my content is simply too smart and witty for the typical reader.

  • Richard Arden

    That’s the first time I heard the term Comments per Post Ratio (CPR), did you invent it? I like this idea. You tips for improving this ratio are really helpful. Thanks for this great post.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Richard, the whole “Ratio Analysis for Bloggers” theory is my authorship 🙂

  • Tim

    Interesting article – I guess I need some traffic before I start to work out a CPR!!!

  • Winning Startups

    Excellent post. I will work to incorporate these suggestions on my blog. Thank you!

  • yatot

    I have problems regarding comment writings by my readers, i dont know, maybe it’s blogspot’s comment widget… i recently switched to haloscan to improve my comment page and it felt like wordpress now… but i still dont attract readers to write in their comments… maybe they are just to lazy to write one… hehehe… great idea! 🙂

  • meghnak

    A very useful analysis.

    My blog has a CPR of 37.5 for the past 6 months.

    I try to have more interaction with the readers and also leave some questions to them, at times.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.

  • Nick

    Wow, This will be very useful, No wonder why no one visits my site. Though It would help if people commented and gave me thoughts! I know I can do better, its just that I’m quite new to this stuff and almost getting the hang of it, but I do need some improvment.

    Thanks for the analysis, This is going to help me out a lot!

  • My Friends

    Hey, great post and excellent tips! I really enjoyed reading this entry. Thank you for sharing your tips about blogging. They helped out a lot! =D

  • Melvin

    hmmm. informartive article… I think it also depends like what youve said.. if a blog is posting thrice a month then probably it would get better CPR

  • Jeffro2pt0

    My comment ration turned out to be 2.9 with 614 total blog posts and 1,812 total comments. This seems pretty bad to me but I’ve noticed on my own blog that some posts may have 0 comments while other posts have 30 comments.

    Perhaps I should revisit all of the posts which have over 20 comments and read them. then figure out what to do in order to replicate that success with every post.

  • Angel Cuala

    This is a very good idea for those who value their commentators like me. However, I did not realized how much it is important to attract more advertisers so I must thank you for that, Daniel. I only thought it is only the number of subscribers advertisers are after.

    Anyway, I have 2 blogspots blogs which are more than 1 year old and I would like to compute for the CPR. But it seems I have to count them one by one.

    Is there an easier and faster way to count them? I also have a WP blog and they have this feature where comments are filed in one page so I can easily count them.

    What about for blogspot blogs? Do you have any idea?

    Thanks!

  • medyum

    Very interesting, and something I never thought of. Would love to have more people comment on my blog, but I’m afraid my content is simply too smart and witty for the typical reader….

  • Ivan

    being a numbers guy, i like the quant approach you use to gauge an engagement ratio.

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