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Do Blog Comments Matter?

Writing regular blog posts can be a challenge and often requires a plan or strategy in order to maintain the momentum. However, it can be disheartening if an absence of comments makes you feel very few are reading your posts even though the site statistics say otherwise. Is it important to receive comments on your blog?

Here we discuss the merits of that comment box and if, indeed, comments actually matter. Comments provide an invaluable method of interacting with your customers.  They provide you with feedback on your content, readers can pose questions or respond to other comments.

It seems to me that European blog readers aren’t as inclined to leave comments as our American counterparts. Why are we commenting less? Does it necessarily mean that we aren’t going to become customers?

My Experiences of Blogging & Commenting

How many blog posts do I read/skim in a week? In excess of a thousand.

How many do I comment on? Probably less than thirty.

Why don’t I comment on more of them? It’s often due to lack of time.

Which blogs do I tend to comment on? The personal blogs of friends and particularly interesting business posts.

When I started my Garrendenny Lane blog four years ago, I was commenting on a selected number of blogs, all written in a similar theme to my own.  Without realising it, I had become part of a community of up to one hundred bloggers and we read and commented on each others posts.  Since I have reduced my level of commenting, the number of comments I receive has reduced drastically too. However, I now find that I receive feedback with notes on my facebook page and/or tweets instead.

I started two new blogs 3 months ago:  

  • One is a personal blog that is read by friends and as I often comment on their personal blogs, the reciprocal relationship is there.  Of 32 blog posts, it has received over 100 comments and 1,300 views.  
  • The other blog is an ‘experiment’, it focuses on wallpaper, one of the products I sell from my online store and I am using the keyword analysis tool to drive traffic to it. Of 44 posts, it has received 7 comments and just over 3,000 views.  It has also generated visits across to the online store and a small number of purchases.

While it may be experiencing a ‘lack of community/personality’, this blog is nevertheless reasonably popular for an unknown, new and non-publicised blog due to a focused use of the keyword research tool. Hence, the presence or absence of comments does not necessarily signify the levels of readership of any blog.

How to encourage readers to comment:

  1. People will comment if you are an established guru. After all, they want you to visit their blog.
  2. Other bloggers are much more likely to comment if you have left a meaningful and engaged comment on their blog.  This is the means to becoming part of an online community but it can be very time-consuming.
  3. Posing a question or asking for your readers opinion at the end of your blog post should result in some comments on that post or feedback via twitter/facebook.
  4. If your content is ground-breakingly good.
  5. If your blog post contains some details that people have engaged or empathised with.

Feedback is Important

Everyone likes getting comments on their posts, it means a lot that people have taken the time to engage with our writing.  However, I would argue that while comments are useful and your response to the comments will demonstrate your levels of customer service, their absence doesn’t mean that your blog isn’t effective. Your statistics will show the numbers of people visiting your blog and website.  If you have set up some funnels within google analytics, you should be able to see the direct relationship on sales.

I believe that people now see it as quicker and more ‘communicative’ to send a tweet or write a brief comment on your facebook page which is why each of the social media platforms have an important role in any social media strategy and they should be used in tandem.  As long as you are getting feedback for your content by means of sales/leads/tweets/comments/facebook/verbal, it doesn’t matter which form it comes in.

I’d love to know what you think – either in the comment box below or via twitter or facebook 😉

“Image: Comment button on the keyboard/Shutterstock.”


Lorna Sixsmith is a social media trainer at Write on Track, providing mentoring, training and content creation services to SMEs. Particularly passionate about blogging and Pinterest, Lorna also teaches these courses online at We Teach Social. Married to a dairy farmer in SE Ireland, Lorna recently self published her first book 'Would You Marry A Farmer?', a humourous look at life married to an Irish farmer. http://www.writeontrack.ie

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Comments
  • Hi Lorna, interesting stats! I think commenting on other people’s blog is one of the best ways to network and grow your own readership online. Also, the point you make about people now engaging elsewhere (Facebook, Twitter etc.) is well made. The lesson perhaps is that we all now need to be publishing our content on there too. 

  • Very interesting post, particularly in relation to the way commenting has become more spread between social media platforms. It is an excellent reminder too that commenting is often (and is much more likely) as a reciprocal relationship. It’s all very well writing blogs and hoping for them to get commented on, but if you make the effort yourself, then people are much more likely to comment.

  • Anonymous

    Great post Lorna – I have no doubt that we (Irish) tend to leave far less comments on blogs and your point about finding a way to engage more with those who do comment is spot on. For instance, I’ve only got into the habit of asking questions at the end of all blogs in the last few months and it seems to make quite a difference. 

    Speaking of questions, I wonder if Europeans are more or equally active in Facebook conversations vs US users? If yes, could it be that people struggle to find our blogs as readily as our friends in North America?

  • Hi Lorna, the time element is a difficult one. A ‘like’ is much quicker and logs our appreciation, but a comment takes time and a higher commitment level. I agree with you – if you take the time to comment on other blogs, then they will take the time to comment on yours.

    Glad you mentioned funnels, as they will show the route to particular goals. I’m finding these days that standard websites are gaining huge hits their blog which indirectly brings in sales (and that’s without commenting!), so it definately is not a wasted effort. PLUS, the more posts, the more online love.

  • I like this post very much Lorna, I do read quite a few blog posts over a normal working week, but I tend to only comment when A) its an area that I have experience in (and therefore I know ‘what I’m talking about’) or B) a post which inspires me in some way or C) I have the time (which tends to be the biggest factor). 

  • I wonder too, Eamonn, what the reason is for Europeans not commenting as much.  Being personal within our blogs or asking questions usually evokes some response though.

  • Móna Wise

    I agree Lorna. You get it of it what you put in. The traffic, the readers, the buyers all flow in the same direction it is just a matter of engaging a fan and converting them to a ‘true’ fan of your products.

    I get plenty of comments on the blog but, like you, as soon as I slow down my activity on Twitter and FB and engaging readers the comments slow down. Great post Lorna. Merry Christmas!

  • There is no doubt that blog commenting is very effective and fast
    way get do-follow and good page rank back-links. In this scenario your
    post is very important and helpful to learn more about blog commenting
    and its technicalities.

  • Lorna, thanks for this insightful blog post. As to what encourages people to comment, my experience is that your list of things works in this order: 4,5,2,3,1.

  • Leaving comments of value and relevance to the posted content is essential in establishing authority and expertise in a niche. Blog comments are ‘social items’ which are important part in marketing not only a service or product but in marketing the trustworthiness of a marketer. In addition, the greater benefit of this strategy is building relationships. 

  • xiao wu
  • Wilhouse

    Great post.  I, too, have started a new blog and site recently. I’ve been managing a fantasy sports blog forever and couldn’t figure out why I didn’t the traffic that most any other blog site had been getting.  So i did my research and found that commenting on other fantasy blogs that I could get my name out faster.  I went around and commented on 3 different blogs a day (21-25 a week) and found my site traffic tripled in 3 months.

    So I’ve created another blog @ http://www.2guys1ad.com where I will soon be getting that one going to help people and companies around the web drive more traffic to their sites.

  • Super post Gary. I never had a boss like that, but would aspire to become a boss like that. Trust and empowerment will bring the best results from you co-workers, but also the buck has to stop with you. If mistakes are made accept them, learn from them and move on.

  • It is scary how few bosses there are like the one I had. I actually had him early on in my career (luckily) – and not had anyone as great since…

  • Great post, Warren – I agree, bad communication is at the heart of all business relationships gone wrong.  Many managers I’ve known with struggle to communicate what they expect from their team. Because communication is two-way, when it fails: for me, both parties are at fault. I think you also raised a very important point around ownership, needed to own things is entirely counter productive when working as a team. 

  • Great post John!
    Some great insights here. Thank you.

    As parents, we have a huge responsibility not to pass on our fears, judgments and negative beliefs to our children. As a parent yourself, in a changing world, how do you avoid defaulting to this kind of behaviour and promoting a healthy, creative culture?

  • I love it! Give to give. Forget whether you get or not. That was the creative answer for me when faced with “selling.” What would my “pitch” be? When I realized I was just there to help, I forgot the pitch and finally had fun. Just help, and if there’s a match between what you may have and what they may need, it becomes clear.

    Fear is also a poor motivator where learning is involved. When creating a time management training system, I tossed fear and discovered a creative way to motivate the learners: “faith.” NOT a vague kind of religious “faith” usually equated with “believing,” but a clearly-defined process: “a clear assurance of something you hope for.” 1) When they really wanted something (relief from time/work pressures in this case), and 2) were shown that it was acheivable, and then 3) shown exactly how to achieve it, and 4) they saw that it was actually doable for them, they were highly motivated. No rah-rah cheerleading required.

    Thanks!

  • It sounds as if you and I are making similar discoveries! Many thanks for your observations and input. I am finding that I am enjoying business much better now that I have adopted this attitude and, perhaps not surprisingly, I find I am attracting exactly the kind of work I want!

    Good to meet you, Kevin.

    :0)

  • “Expansive Minds lead to Expansive Organizations” I love this blog for its refreshing reminder on how to live authentically – Am glad someone had to the courage to stand up and call out the fear. It also brings to mind notions like Karmic justice. On a practical level they have proved that getting out of your comfort zone through creative means and inspiring yourself to Re-wire your brain with new modes of thinking and doing is actually good for your health. Also good for your brain and staving off old age dementia regardless of what it does in business.

  • Brooke Brown

    Thanks for the warm welcome Sian. This post was geared towards businesses, but thank you for your feedback.

  • Oh absolutely. Being self employed and mostly working from home I would theoretically be a business – although obviously not needing big downloads thankfully

  • Brooke Brown

    Not taking anything from being self employed from home. Just wanted to share some insights into internet connections themselves.

  • guest

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  • rianto

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  • jual crystal x di tangerang preferred to use the Disqus commenting blog platform because it is simple to use.




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