Marketing December 20, 2011 21 Reads share

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

Lorna Sixsmith

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.

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