Is it time to turn off comments on your blog?

I’ve always believed that leaving and responding to comments on a blog is one of the actions at the very heart of what blogging is all about. Imagine my surprise when I then read that some bloggers are turning off comments being left on their blogs for good.

#bloggingtips #blogging

If you’re lucky enough to get lots of comments left on your blog, then responding to them can become overwhelming. In the almost four years I’ve been blogging, I’ve approved and responded to nearly 30,000 comments, and it can sometimes take me a whole morning responding. However, I’ve always had the attitude that if somebody has taken the time to read and leave a comment on one of my posts, then it’s only right and polite that I acknowledge them and write a response.

‘Treat every visitor to your blog, as you would any guest to your house.”

Those were the words I read very early on in my blogging life. Written by a blogger who had a massive number of followers and who responded to all the comments left on her blog, her words have forever remained etched in my mind. Now, one of the first things I do every morning when I open my blog is respond to any comments that have been left. Not only does it makes me feel good (because I know people are actually reading my posts), but I like to think that the person who left the comment will see that I’m a friendly blogger who doesn’t ignore my readers.

Of course, comments come in all shapes and sizes. There are the comments where you know the reader has definitely read all of your post; comments which can spark off new ideas for new blog posts, and then there are the comments that say little if nothing and get you asking if they really did read your post. There are lots of other types as well, but I still acknowledge the latter of those comments by pressing the ‘like’ button. It, at least, shows I’ve read the comment.

More recently, I’ve seen a significant increase in what I call ‘worthless comments’ being left where a link to the person’s blog is also included in the comment. The most popular one is “Great post. Please visit my blog and tell me what you think…” followed by a link. I often see the same comment left on other blogs. Should we respond to these kinds of comments? I believe we should, and will often comment back “Thank you. I’d love to know what it was that you thought was great about the post.” I’ll then remove the link to their blog from their comment before approving it so that it does not appear in the comment section. As yet, I’ve never had a response back to that kind of comment. I wonder why?

“Not answering comments left on your blog, is like inviting somebody around for coffee and then ignoring them.”

Comments can also open up debates between your readers. I always enjoy seeing two or more bloggers commenting between themselves on the subject I’ve written about. Move on to one of those bloggers actually then creating a whole new post out of the subject, and thanking me in their post by linking to my article, and I get that feeling that I’ve done something right out of the post I’ve published.

But, what about the question I posed in the title of this post? Should we turn comments off on our blogs? I can certainly see why some bloggers would temporarily disable comments being left, but to disable comments altogether and never turning them back on? I don’t believe any blog should not give its readers the chance to leave a comment. Afterall, don’t comments allow the reader to communicate with the author, and isn’t that what most author’s want? Wouldn’t it be like talking to an empty room if the ability to leave a comment has been permanently turned off?

Would you consider turning off comments being left on your blog? How do you manage the responding to comments process on your blog?

© 2017 Copyright-All rights reserved-hughsviewsandnews.com.

 

200 thoughts

  1. I don’t think I could turn the comments off because they are such a gift to me, but I do commiserate with you on the amount of time it takes to do a really good job in being present to readers.

    Like

    1. I don’t mind the odd occasion when somebody turns off comments, but when it’s done indefinitely, then I don’t bother coming back. To me, it’s like the author is ignoring their readers (just like when they don’t bother answering comments).
      Thanks for your thoughts on this subject, Jan.

      Like

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with everything that you have said. I don’t think I would ever turn off comments. There have been blogs I’ve been going to lately where I read the whole post and then at the end realize the comments are turned off. I was ready to leave a comment, but couldn’t. I appreciate every comment that is ever left for me, and I like to visit, the sites, that leave me comments.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Natalie. Comments can be like gold dust to many bloggers, especially those that don’t receive many on their posts. I found that once they started coming in and I responded, then more started coming in. It goes back to the quotes I included in this post.
      Thanks so much for leaving your comments on this post.

      Like

  3. Hi Hugh, I am only a few months into the world of blogging but I can say for sure that I love genuine comments and am not likely to turn them off. It’s a gift to know I’ve written something that someone feels compelled to comment about. I love the connection to others that happens with comments. “Likes” are good, but I do realize people use them for various reasons, still I get a tiny rush with each one ;-). Once I noticed a like about 10 seconds after the post so I know that person could not possibly have read more than the blibbit in the reader (they were not a follower, either). Maybe it was only the photo they “liked”? In the big picture, I don’t mind too much about that. I try to visit each blogger who “likes” but I don’t automatically follow them. All depends on if the content is of interest to me.
    I have a few wonderful followers who comment fairly regularly and I feel blessed they’ve found me. Any amount of time they take with my blog is a gift. Those are the blogs I visit first when I have time to read blogs. A few of my friends leave me comments over on my personal FB page and I love that too!
    I use “likes” to let someone know I’ve been there and read. I wish I could leave a comment on each post I read but there’s just not enough time in the day. Sometimes I cannot think of something intelligent to say so “like” feels the best. Trying to balance blogging (writing and reading) with other writing (which is what started the blogging adventure) is my current challenge. So, if I visit and only leave a “like” you can bet I did indeed read 🙂
    Now, I am going to wander around and read more of your posts!
    Namaste

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bonnie, thanks so much for your comments on this subject.

      As a new blogger, I remember well how getting comments were like finding treasure. I also began to learn from professional bloggers how to get comments and what kinds of comments to leave on the posts of other bloggers. Certainly, leaving a comment such as ‘nice post’ and then a link to my blog was not one of those ways. In fact, I read many times from different bloggers that it was something you should never do. Like you, I really enjoy it when a comment clearly shows that the reader has read the whole post. On the other hand, if I read a post and have nothing of value to say then I won’t leave a comment that does not add any value to the post the author has written. Such comments are something like ‘great read’ or where only emojis are used. For me, they serve no purpose, especially when simply pressing the ‘like’ button can say it all.

      Bloggers who leave a ‘like’ within seconds of publishing a post are best ignored. I don’t even visit their blog. Likewise, when somebody likes lots of my posts within seconds of each other, I pass on by. Visiting blogs takes up a lot of time, so I stopped wasting time visiting blogs of bloggers who clearly have not read my blog post despite liking it. It gives me more time to visit the blogs of bloggers who I know support me.

      As a new blogger, beware of certain blogging traps, especially the one where you follow everyone who follows you first. Many bloggers (including me) fall into that trap and end up becoming overwhelmed. This can lead to blogging becoming stressful and making somebody feel guilty for not reading every new post published by the blogs they follow. It’s a subject I’ve already earmarked for writing about.

      I hope you continue to enjoy and gets lots of fun out of blogging. There’s a wonderfully supportive community out there and they far outnumber those who are interested in nothing but gaining followers.

      Best wishes,
      Hugh

      Like

  4. After reading all the comments here, it seems pretty unanimous that we all enjoy reading comments left by our followers. the fun in blogging is in the interactions and friendships with other bloggers. I cannot imagine turning off the comments. Even when someone has several posts a day, I try to find one or two that I want to read and comment on. It is impossible for me to read all the blog posts every day, so I try to visit most blogs once every week or two. I never realized when I started blogging that I would gain so many friends who are fellow bloggers. I get a lot of likes, as well, and enjoy knowing that someone stopped by to read or at least peruse my posts.

    Like

    1. Thanks for your comments, Michelle.

      I agree. There is a wonderfully supportive community here in the blog world which far outweighs those that believe that blogging is nothing more than one-sided. I’ve certainly made some great friendships here and had the wonderful opportunity of meeting some bloggers in person. I’ve fallen into a few blogging traps on the way, but am glad that I managed to find my way out and have become a better blogger for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When I see you have 170 comments on your post I can see why it would be onerous responding to everyone! I only ever have about 20-30 and that is quite doable and helps me feel connected. I’m busy asking myself how many times a week I want to post for next year – and I’m definitely thinking of cutting back to free up my time a bit more. – less comments that way too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never minded responding to comments, Leanne. Yes, they can take up a lot of time when responding to them but, for me, that’s part of one of the reasons why I started to blog. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      Cutting down on the number of posts can certainly help, and I have done that from my earlier days of blogging. For me, quality of posts has always been far more important than the number of posts I publish.

      Thanks so much for your comments on this subject.

      Like

  6. I do not turn off comments. I find it frustrating when I visit a blog, desire to make a comment and they have shut the comment off. It is tantamount to saying I do not care what you think or do not have the time for you. I then rarely, if ever, visit their blog again.

    Like

  7. Wow! What a lot of comments you got on this post, Hugh. I love comments because it is truly the only way I know someone has read and engaged in my content and that is a huge boost to me as a writer. I do no have so many that it is overwhelming but could see how it could be with triple digit numbers. I like how you respond to those who are simply fishing for you to visit their blog. I’ve had a lot of fun leaving comments and have made some great blogging friends by being able to do so – including you! It is what makes blogging fun and interactive.

    Like

    1. And I love them all, Molly. Blogging isn’t blogging without the comments. They are a big part of the whole blogging package and are an ideal way to get your blog noticed when used the correct way.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us on this subject. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel quite passionate about the subject of commenting. It is a priority for me to answer as comments as soon as I can manage. Though at the moment, mine are still manageable. I certainly don’t expect a quick rely from a more popular blogger. I wonder if the ones that want no comment are mainly concerned about traffic via social media sharing?

    Like

    1. Same here, Suzanne. In fact, I don’t expect an instant reply from any blogger. After all, we all have busy lives and, of course, there’s the time difference. However, when I start to see that there are no replies, (especially on a blogger’s ‘about me’ page), then it does rather tell me that there’s no point ever leaving any comments. And, if I can’t leave comments, then I won’t follow a blog.

      I’ve also read that some bloggers prefer comments via a social media page or email. The trouble with social media is that not everybody wants a Facebook or Twitter account so, again, it may stop somebody following a blog. But, I think you’re right in that it’s another way of getting more followers. As for comments via email, a bad idea as far as I’m concerned as that method kills off any prospect of building a blogging community.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I don’t expect quick replies, just that ones with many replies will take longer to do so, I just enjoy them when they reply 🙂 Funnily enough I don’t have many email followers, most family/friends clink on it when they have time to do so. Thanks for the information Hugh.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I have thought long and hard about turning off comments on some of my Blogger blogs. It’s not that I don’t want to get and read comments, but I don’t get notified when they are made. That makes it very hard to reply to them, since my most popular one is a blog I post to several times a week most of the time. With almost 600 posts in the blog’s history, it’s simply impossible for me to check each one for new comments to see if there’s a new one on a two-year-old post. I usually check for the first three days and after I’ve promoted a post on social media. When I do find some of the very old comments when editing a post, I still answer them, wondering if by that time the person who made the comment even cares.

    What really bugs me is when a blogger posts a link to a link-up blogging party where we are supposed to read and comment on a certain number of posts and that blogger has turned off commenting. When the reader gets to the end there is no way to prove he or she read the post, and of course, left the required comments.

    I am trying to manage five active blogs and contribute twice a month to a group blog. It has been my experience that the lame comments are left by two types of people. First there are the ever-present spammers and those that leave the two-word comments with their links. If I think it’s spam, it’s moderated out. I take the short comments on a case-by-case basis.

    Then there are those who are reading blogs they aren’t the least bit interested in because they joined a Facebook group or other promotion group where they are required to read and comment on all other blogs in the thread people have linked to. So if you leave your link for others to promote, you need to also promote theirs. Most of the posts seem to be commercial in nature about products I have no interest in. I use my creative writing skills to come up with some intelligent comment. Then I remind myself not to put links on those kinds of threads anymore. I love helping to promote other bloggers like many I met in the latest Ultimate Blogging Challenge whose posts I really enjoy.

    I’m glad my WordPress blogs notify me whenever someone leaves a comment. That way I don’t miss any of them. I just wish I had a way to get notified of new comments on old posts on Blogger posts. Maybe there is and I just haven’t found it yet. My most popular blog is on Blogger because I didn’t know better when I started it. Actually, back then I don’t think you could self-host WordPress blogs.

    Are you frustrated and disappointed when you leave a comment on an old post and don’t get an answer? The only reason I would turn commenting off is to prevent that kind of disappointment.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for your comments, Barbara.

      I’ve only ever used WordPress for blogging, so I had no idea that other blogging platforms do not alert their users when a new comment has been posted. I can fully understand how that would mean that some comments would go unanswered, especially if the blogger publishes lots of blog posts. Fortunately, WordPress alerts a user when a new comment has been posted on a blog post, although this can sometimes attract gremlins and alerts may not show up. I have over 400 blog posts on my blog and have left comments open on all of them. When I visit a blog and read a post and leave a comment, then I do expect to get a reply (even if it’s a few weeks later). Where I have left comments and do not get any acknowledgement or reply then I will stop leaving comments, although may still follow the blog. I don’t, as yet, follow any blogs outside of WordPress. If I did not want to respond to comments then I would switch off the ability to leave any further comments on the post. Again, this is something that can be done on WordPress, but I’m not familiar with any other blogging platforms so don’t know if it can be done on those.

      I’ve also come across a number of link -ups, where many of the posts are of a commercial nature. I no longer participate in these types of links ups because I found them of little value. Again, too many rules about leaving a link, and I will pass on by. It can become rather overwhelming, although I have hosted a few blog parties and enjoyed the experience very much.

      Have you thought of publishing your most popular blog post from Blogger, on your WordPress blog? Or, have you already done that?

      Like

Your comments are the best awards you can give me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s