how important are comments on your blog?

how important are comments on your blogi thought i’d write this post after having seen a number of forums and chats going on over Twitter on the subject. it seems there are a number of people who feel that the number of comments any blogger receives on a post is a strong indication of how successful any given blog is. i cannot tell you how much i disagree…

in my humble opinion, unless you openly ask for comments (ie: presenting questions or opening up an online forum/topic) on a post – there really isn’t any need to stress about commenting levels. traffic numbers are far more important (although unique users statistics alone are somewhat pointless, and you’ll be seeing why i feel so strongly about that in another post soon) – as are your key word rankings on search engines (don’t panic i’ll be taking you through this too).  in addition your conversion rates with your affiliate links provide better insight into whether your posts genuinely convince your readers a product/service is worth purchasing.

some of my favourite blogs – all of which gain significant traffic – get between 5 and 15 comments per post.  to some people, that would be an indication that they haven’t engaged their audience enough. why? at no point in these blogger’s posts did they ask for feedback – so why use it as a talking point about a blogger’s success?

we all know that commenting is also the easiest (arguably too easy) way to promote your own blog, rather than complimenting another. if we had a £1/$1 for every time we’d received comments including ‘check out my blog / follow me back’ we’d all probably be lounging pool side rather than reading this…

that isn’t to say that leaving a comment on a blog indicates nothing at all – it does show an interest in what a blogger writes and is a lovely way to introduce yourself to people in the blogging community. however, i think it is wrong that anyone be judged by it entirely.  here are my tips on how to leave worthwhile comments:

  1. only leave a comment when you really mean it – make it meaningful. tell a reader you love the recipe idea, love the outfit or have stayed in a similar place and give your feedback on it…
  2. never use a blog to promote your own, although a simple text link is often useful to the blogger to help them see who has commented (click here to see how to do it)
  3. the same goes for dropping a ‘subtle’ hint about your own giveaway on another person’s blog. just no. NO.
  4. use commenting to ask for help about products a blogger has mentioned, eg: ‘did you find this dress fits true to size?’
  5. be nice, no need for ANY negativity on a blogger’s page – regardless of how strongly you feel their skirt is too short… if you can see something you think is fundamentally wrong (ie: incorrect advice or pricings) send them a private email, and again – be nice.

finally, if you are asking for comments and not getting them perhaps think about the hurdles a reader has to jump in order to get their comment pubished. word verification systems are often offputting, and although they protect you from (minimal) spam you might want to consider removing them from your blog.

2 responses to “how important are comments on your blog?

  1. I think this post is super helpful.
    The one thing about this post that made me nod my head like a little dog on a dashboard was the “Be nice” bit. It’s so important that we’re supportive as a blogging community and not negative. While a constructive comment is appropriate, tearing someone apart for their post is not acceptable. “Hi, this dress is not my style but you look amazing and it suits you down to the ground” is just fine, anything more, is just uncalled for.

    Thanks for such a positive blog post. I hope people read this and take heed.

  2. I totally and absolutely agree about the captcha – this is the MOST annoying part. I have no idea why beginner bloggers have captcha AND moderation. It’s like they’re flooded with spam or something?
    About being nice.. In the 5 years that I read blogs I saw 3 or 4 negative comments. Noone gives negative comments. In my opinion the problem is exactly the opposite – a blogger will almost never get a honest opinion on a post that regards him/herself, like outfit post or haul post. So I say – for personal style blogger, significantly less comments than usual means that noone liked what you just posted.

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