Why Are Some Bloggers Killing Off Comments Being Left On Their Blogs?

I’ve always believed that leaving and responding to comments is the very heart of blogging.

I won’t repeat what I’ve said before about bloggers who do not respond to comments. You’ve heard it all before. But imagine my surprise when I recently read that some bloggers are turning off comments on their blogs for good.

Banner for the blog post 'Why are some bloggers killing off comments being left on their blogs?'
Are you thinking of killing off the comments on your blog?

Hold on. What? A silent blog? No comments? No place to discuss what you’ve just read and interact with other bloggers? Will these blogs become known as ‘library’ blogs? A place where you can read but not talk?

Are some of the bloggers that don’t respond to comments the people turning off comments for good?

What are the reasons for turning off comments?

The number one reason seems to be time. Some claim that responding to comments is a waste of their time; time better spent writing more blog posts. I got really hot under the collar when I read that statement.

If you’re lucky enough to get lots of comments left on your posts, then responding to them can become overwhelming. And I agree that the time it takes responding could be put to better use, but if we manage our time correctly, it should never become a problem in the first place.

How many is too many comments?

In the seven years I’ve been blogging, I’ve approved and responded to well over 40,000 comments. I don’t know if that is too many, but I’m a blogger who craves even more comments.

Sometimes it takes me a whole morning responding to them. I could have spent that time writing more blog posts or short stories. However, I’ve always had the attitude that if somebody takes the time to read one of my posts and leave me a comment, then it’s only polite to acknowledge them with a response.

“Treat every visitor to your blog, as you would any guest in your home.”

Those were the words I read very early on in my blogging journey. Written by a blogger who had a follower number I could only dream about, she responded to all the comments left on her blog. Her words have forever remained etched on my mind.

One of the first jobs I do every morning when opening my blog is responding to comments. Not only does it makes me feel good (because I know people are reading my posts), but I like to think that the person who left the comment will see that I’m a friendly guy who doesn’t ignore his audience.

Are comments all the same?

No. Comments come in all shapes and sizes. There are the comments where you know your whole post got read. There are the ones that spark new ideas for future posts. And then there are the comments that say little if nothing and get you wondering if all they did was click the ‘like’ button without reading your post.

I acknowledge lazy comments by pressing the ‘like’ button next to the comment. It, at least, shows I’ve read what they’ve had to say.

Do I have a good quote about comments?

I think so, yes. I published this quote on my blog many years ago – one which many readers seemed to like and agreed with.

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

Other things comments do.

Comments can often open up debates between readers. I always enjoy seeing two or more bloggers commenting between themselves about the subject of my post. I refer to it as ‘healthy debate.’ Somebody once told me that getting a discussion going on a blog post you’ve written and published proves you’re engaging with your audience, even if some of the comments are not directed at you.

But what about the question I posed in the title of this post? Should bloggers kill off comments on their blogs? I can certainly see why some bloggers would temporarily disable comments. But to disable them all together is something I don’t believe is a part of what blogging is about.

After all, don’t comments allow the reader to communicate with the author, and isn’t that what most bloggers and writers want? – to engage with their audience?

Would you consider turning off comments on your blog? Are there any reasons why you turn off comments on specific posts? How do you manage the responding to comments process on your blog?

Join the discussion. Let’s get talking.


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294 thoughts

  1. I can’t imagine turning off commenting on my blog, it would feel like talking to myself in an empty room! For me a blog is a way of engaging with other people and the more comments and dialogue the better! I do however get fed up with what you call ‘lazy comments’ as I feel I should at least respond with a thank you – I may adopt your system and simply like them. Conversely, if I take the time to leave a considered comment on a blog and all I get in return is a like I am disappointed, and if it happens regularly on the same blog I tend to stop commenting or only do so occasionally.

    1. I get what you mean with the bloggers who do not want to get into conversation with you, especially when you’ve left a valuable comment. Some bloggers who leave the same ‘thank you for sharing your thoughts with me…’ response to just about all the comments left on one of their posts probably do not know how lucky they are in getting comments, especially when many bloggers crave comments and interaction with each other. As well as ‘lazy’ comments, there are also those who leave ‘lazy responses. Like you, I stop leaving comments when I know all I’m going to get back is a ‘lazy’ response.

  2. I love reading blogs and commenting on them. When people comment on my blog, I feel truly motivated that yeah my blog post is good and someone took out the time to write a comment. Love your blog posts

    1. Yes, getting comments is a sure way of feeling all your hard work writing posts has had an effect on your audience. When they engage with you, it makes what you’ve written worthwhile.

  3. Well it’s sometimes understandable when bloggers don’t reply comment due less available time.
    So readers should not have hard feeling but a like would be better just to encourage them
    And also so as not to be offensive

    1. Out of common courtesy, we should never ignore our audience. I acknowledge what I call ‘lazy’ comments with a like, but comments that are genuine and prove the post has been read should never go unanswered. Many who have left comments on this post have said they won’t leave comments if previous comments they have left go unanswered. I totally get that.

  4. You highlighted a genuine problem although I love to connect with other bloggers. Library blogs sounds great😅 and I am shocked 7 years of blogging thats amazing😲🤐👏 I would love to learn from you can’t wait to follow you😃 please give my blog a visit and tell me if I need to improve please in your free time 🙏🙏

  5. Nice article!

    I don’t get a lot of comments on my blog but I would love to talk to my audience. I can’t imagine having a silent blog on purpose.

    1. There are many ways to get your audience to engage with you, the first being to ask them questions in your posts. Readers seem to like answering questions on subjects that interest them.

  6. After 6 years and 27,000+ comments, I turned my comments off at the beginning of June – I just found that they were consuming a lot of my time and energy – and most were from other bloggers who were just “doing the right thing”. I have a note at the bottom directing people to my blog’s FB page and also to an email address. Those who genuinely want to interact use one of those avenues – others have just cut and run. I may turn mine on again down the track, but for now it’s been a lovely respite from checking in every day and my blog has found a more balanced place in my life. Each to their own – and seeing this is comment 237 I guess you’re very happy with having the comments on 🙂

    1. That’s a lot of comments in six years. You’re obviously engaging with your audience in your posts.

      When you say ‘doing the right thing’, do you mean they were leaving comments just for the sake of leaving them? I see this kind of thing happening a lot where bloggers feel obliged to comment on every blog post somebody publishes. Often they are what I call ‘lazy’ comments that add no value to the post itself and where the conversation would be better taken offline.

      It’s a shame that the reason you have switched off comments is that they took up a lot of your time and energy, especially because many readers want to interact. However, it’s good that you have given your audience other channels to engage with you. I’d be interested in knowing if the number who are still engaging with you via Facebook and email is much the same as when you had comments open on your blog. I. for one, don’t have a Facebook account, so I am not able to engage with anyone via that method. And I’d be less likely to use email because I see them as taking up a lot more time than simply leaving a comment. Plus, I’d want other readers to see my comment, especially as I find this helps with the interaction between people.

      In answer to your question, yes, I’m happy with having comments switched on. In fact, I crave the interaction and will be publishing a post next week on how I managed to save time by answering comments.

      Thanks so much for being the third person to leave a comment saying they’ve switched them off and giving your reasons why. I hope you’ll reconsider switching them back on again one day, but that, of course, will be your decision.

  7. I agree! Hugh comments are a form of payment for me. It means they read the post and afforded it the time. It is feedback to help the blogger assess the work. If I could I would turn off pointless Likes, where visitors like and leave, they are in my opinion a measure the visitors laziness or worse indifference. Tell me it is not your thing, or you couldn’t grasp what was being said. Tell me it was not up to scratch … but don’t tick and leave.

    1. I have lots of arguments about the ‘like’ button, Ellen. Over the past few years, it’s become more and more misused. I’ve even had bloggers tell me that they click ‘like’ without reading the post as it shows their support for the blogger. I can’t get my head around that.
      But you’re right about comments. And I like your quote that comments are a form of payment for you. For me, one good comment is worth thousands of likes. In fact, I stopped taking notice of who pressed the ‘like’ button on my posts and those of other bloggers years ago.

        1. I used to do that, but it became too overwhelming for me. It’s a bit like follow for a follow. I’ve cut down on the number of blogs I follow by unfollowing the ones I only followed because they followed me and who don’t really publish anything that interests me.

  8. LOL I am in a hurry, shifting house and still packing. Great article and I also like to read the comments under the blog post, I often learn some more from them. I will feature your post in the next Blogger’s Pit Stop. FYI, the Pit Stop will take a four-week break while I work out my new Internet connection etc. I look forward to your posts when we are back.
    Kind regards,

  9. Hi Hugh. I also recently read someone leaving a link in a FB Group thread and said they have turned off commenting but please read and share the posts. I would have loved to leave a comment asking the why and reasoning behind it, but on an open forum as FB did not think it was the place to do. I still intend to ask the blogger in private the reason why as to try and understand the situation.
    To me, as you also stated, comments are the best gift a blogger can give me by dropping me a note or responding to an email when asked for a response. Yes, I know everybody may get bombarded asking for responses but when I read a blog post and leave a comment or ask a question on a post, which I have done and get no response that irks me. I will leave a comment on the same blog, a different post, a second time, and if still no response, then sorry, I do not continue to try and communicate with the blogger as to me it is then clear they are not interested in my comments or questions I asked.
    I will never turn off comments. I in fact constantly encourage my readers to communicate, ask questions and I will always respond, no matter how busy I may be but responding to a comment, on any platform, not only on a blog post, to me is vital

    1. A few other people have mentioned bloggers who have turned off comments on their blogs and requested that readers leave comments on their posts over on their Facebook account, Esmé. But what about readers (like me) who do not have a Facebook account? It cuts us completely off from leaving comments and means losing contact could become a reality.
      When we first start out as bloggers, most of us crave comments because they show that what we have written has been read. That craving for comments stays with many of us. I can only imagine blogging being a very lonely world without interacting with your audience. And with a pandemic around the world for the last 18 months, I believe being able to leave comments has helped many in their physical and mental health.
      Thanks so much for joining the discussion.

      1. Hugh, I totally agree with you. The more comments I get the happier I am, and I know that’s the same with you. I could just dream of the number of comments you do get on your posts.
        I wholeheartedly agree with you as you’re not on FB that bloggers will not have you participate and share your views or hear from you in the future – that’s sad as comments do mean a lot to many of us BUT to each his own. Thanks for all your support, comments on my blog, and I just love your blog with all the wonderful and insightful, and thought-provoking posts.
        Please keep it up Hugh

  10. Wow, case in point with the amount of thoughts/comments you’ve instigated with this post, Hugh! Like you, I turn off comments when I reblog someone else’s post or one that I’m featured in on someone else’s blog, to encourage comments there.

    You know I’m on the same page with you when it comes to replying to comments – the heart of the blog and the stimulator of (virtual) connections. I could see why article writers or people creating how-to blogs turn off comments. But then again, why? The few comments left on those kinds of posts don’t take much time to respond to.

    I’d never turn off comments to normal blog posts. That would eliminate one of the main reasons why I blog, those connections.

    You taught me a new term: “I got really hot under the collar.” I could just imagine that!

    1. Thanks, Liesbet.

      My ‘How To’ posts always attract a lot of comments, many of which are questions. I never understand why bloggers do not respond to questions left on their posts. I don’t think I’ve ever published a ‘How To’ post and never had a single question left on it.

      ‘..hot under the collar’ could be a British term (if you haven’t heard it before). I use it a lot because it sounds much better than saying, ‘that got me really angry.’

    1. I was shocked when I read about it. Especially because the main reason was that they didn’t have time to respond to comments. We should always make time for our audience.

    1. Yes, I agree. Interacting with other writers, bloggers and readers is one of the best parts of blogging. I still don’t understand why bloggers don’t respond to comments or don’t allow them.

  11. I’m pretty sure I’ve responded to all comments on my blog. But sometimes a short comment such as ; ‘Good post’, or ‘Well done’ only needs me to respond with a thank you. If the commenter then answers with a follow up comment, usually I’ll just like it.
    But I always acknowledge comments. I love the interaction.
    I don’t often comment on blog posts I read though. I don’t always know what to say. Or sometimes I’m short on time, and I have other blogs I want to visit within my time frame.
    The funny thing is, I’ve often really wanted to comment on a post and I’d find that comments were closed. Annoying! 😄
    But honestly, I often don’t mind if a blogger doesn’t respond to my comment, but acknowledgement with at least a like is important!
    I haven’t been very active this year on my blogs, and it’s the interaction with my fellow bloggers that I miss most. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things these days!
    Interesting post Hugh.

    1. Thanks, Gloria.

      Same here – I don’t leave a comment if I have nothing of value to add. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading the post, so a simple ‘like’ will do.

      ‘Closed’ comments are a problem, often done because the post is attracting a lot of spam, but we should never allow spam to cut off our audience. Republishing the post is one way around this. All ‘likes’ and comments are kept, but the spam is stopped because the post has a new URL address.

    1. Are you referring to the person reading the post and who has nothing of value to add, or the post’s author who has had a comment left and doesn’t know how to respond?

  12. I’ve always thought it was very cool to see all the places people come from, and I’ve always like you been very excited to get any comment!

    1. When I first started blogging, getting comments was one of the best bits about being a blogger. And it still is. We’re sociable creatures, so we like to interact. We shouldn’t cut ourselves off from each other. Thanks for joining the discussion, Spencer.

  13. I am new to blogging, also new to WordPress in 3 days. I am glad I came across this very interesting post. It seems to be a learning curve for me. At first I also closed the comment section, but then today I felt guided to keep it open. It then made sense to what you said. And as for my opinion it helps to improve as a better bigger as well.

    1. Welcome to the world of blogging. I’m glad this post (and all the comments) have convinced you to allow comments on your blog. It’s one of the key elements of blogging especially because the majority of other bloggers like to interact with each other. Good luck on your blogging journey.

      1. Thank you. Comment will surely help me to become better with blogging and writing. Which I will definitely be able to grow and be better and understand at blogging writing skills. Love your advice.

  14. I’ve written many articles over the years about this very subject. People don’t respond to comments, then wonder why their traffic’s drying up. I’ve mentioned that not all of us are Seth Godin, who has people reading when he never talks to anyone. There are a few times when I haven’t responded to a comment because I literally don’t know what to say, but that’s the rare event over the 16 years I’ve been blogging.

    1. And that’s exactly why we have the ‘like’ button next to those comments we have nothing to respond with, Mitch. I used it many times when I’ve had difficulty knowing how to respond. And I dislike just responding with just a ‘thank you’ although I do use it occasionally.

  15. The only time I turn off comments is on my older posts that have been spammed over and over again. The post is still there and the ‘like’ button is still there those bas**rds can’t leave their slimly spam there.

    1. Republishing the post gets rid of the spammers. All likes and comments are kept: the post just gets a different URL address when it’s republished, although any links to the old post via social media or reblogs won’t work. It’s worth a thought.

  16. A very well written article.
    Comments are that atomic particle of the content that makes up blog.
    Any blog is incomplete without having different comments from different people on it.
    Comments offers you everything from different perspective to learn something new out of the box.
    I completely agree with you on this.

  17. Such a good question, and I’ve noticed it’s the ”influencers” who most often don’t respond, even if they only have a couple of comments. You would think that if it’s your job (rather than a hobby), even more reason to respond.

    1. I agree, yes. It’s almost as if these ‘influencers’ think they’re a cut above their readers, so they don’t need to respond to their readers’ comments. It doesn’t come over as being very friendly, and I wonder why people still leave comments on their blogs.

  18. If you turn off the comments…. I feel it’s been ignorant to the person who is reading your article and you are leaving no scope for the constructive criticism or a chance for appreciation.

  19. Great thoughts! Possibly the only time I would consider turning off comments would be if the post became controversial in a way that hinders my message. Even then, interaction, connection, and communication is vitally important.

    1. Yes, I agree, Angie. However, I don’t mind having comments from people who may not agree with what I’ve said. Providing their response is done in a professional and kind manner, I’d have no problem displaying and replying to it.

  20. I love having interaction with friends and make new friends online. Everyone can leave a comment on my blog.

    It would be grateful if you could visit my blog as well.

    Thanks a lot. ❤️

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