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?

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