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.
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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