I think the BIGGEST help to gaining new readers and commenters is to be a faithful commenter yourself. Even if the blog is a stranger and you don't know them/they don't know you... you can still say "Hi" and comment on their posts/thoughts. And, then they might come and check out YOUR blog and comment to you!
Other ways, and a little further analysis on how, to receive more comments is as follows: (this is just copied/pasted from my old post last year)
Anyhow, while I usually always get a comment or two on each post I make, I noticed that I often get the most comments on posts where either:
The posts I get least comments on are posts where I either:
I also started to notice that there were many blogs out there that I read, or keep up with, but I don’t always comment on. When I reflected on why I don’t comment on these blogs, I found that it is often because these blogs contained posts that didn’t have anything that sparked a readers desire to comment. Most of these blogs were basically used as "journals" to recap the bloggers life… "We did this today" blah blah. There isn’t anything stimulating to the reader to get them thinking and pondering ideas, topics etc that they might want to post about.
I did a little research, and found a few articles about how to blog in a way to get more comments. Here is the outline. I encourage you to read the full article here.
10 Ways to Increase Comment Numbers on Your Blog
1. Invite Comments (some people who are unfamiliar with blogging don’t realize that you can leave comments)
2. Ask Questions (Post with a specific question/thought in mind… ask your readers THEIR opinion)
3. Be Open Ended (Kind of goes with the above… leave room for your readers to put in their ideas on a topic)
4. Interact with comments left (respond to comments in your own comment section… something I don’t do, but maybe will try)
5. Set Boundaries (aka… comment rules)
6. Be humble (show your weaknesses, life isn’t always peachy keen and no one wants to read about a sugar coated life. People are attracted to humility and can relate more to "real life" situations)
7. Be gracious (if a reader calls you out on something, be careful with how you respond. Suck it up and be gracious)
8. Be controversial (Controversial topics often get readers onto their soapboxes and fired up to chime in. This can also be bad too… it can often turn off the more "quiet" readers.)
9. ‘Reward’ Comments (AH HA! I just did this yesterday with Lina! Who knew!)
10. Make it Easy to Comment (this one is a big irritation to some... to have to do the word verification to leave a comment. It seems that Typepad blogs are notorious for having these settings. So, if you use Typepad… go check your settings. Go to >Weblogs >Configure >Feedback and turn OFF the Typekey Authentication)
Also… here are 5 Blog Writing Tips that might be helpful also.
Try it out! See if it works.