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Are Blog Comments Really Required

- | 191 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Blogging & Making Money

A girl not allowed to blog comment
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Why should I have comments enabled on my blog? What good does it do to my blog? Do I really need blog comments?

Have you ever had such thoughts in your mind? Many people doubt whether blog commenting helps in any way.

From my experience, I can tell you that blog comments have been good for my blog as they helped me gain popularity, build relationships, and achieve high rank. But are they necessary?

I’d say it depends.

Many top bloggers and blogs continue to rank high despite having few or no comments at all. They don’t even go to other blogs to comment.

Of course, these are people who’ve already attained the authority status and for them blog comments are not necessary. Perhaps they used to comment on blogs earlier, but now they feel they don’t need to.

However, that’s not the case with new and struggling bloggers.

I agree there are other ways to optimize your blog and posts for ranking and promotional purposes other than just using the commenting aspect.

But I can assure you that commenting on blogs along with social promotion can also deliver you the goods. Needless to mention, when I say commenting, I mean quality comments that add value to the post.

I spend a lot of time on blog commenting because I prefer writing meaningful and perhaps long comments, which take deep thought and time.

The labor of commenting on blogs, including your own blog, bears fruits. But that happens at a cost.

Visiting other blogs and writing blog comments on other posts is not a simple process.

That’s because when you visit a blog post you need to read the entire post, understand it, and then leave a valuable comment – all of which is truly time-consuming.

Not only that, if you visit 10-12 or more blogs daily to read and comment, you feel tired and sometimes blog commenting just becomes so overwhelming. Doesn’t it?

Even on your own blog, commenting involves the process of validating the comment, checking for its authenticity, and editing it to conform to your blog commenting rules or standards, if required, and then replying to them.

Everything takes time! No doubt you’d think whether blog commenting is really worth your time.

I enjoy commenting on blogs, but sometimes when I’m too overwhelmed, honestly, I just wish there was no blog commenting to do, or a genie to do it all for me. 🙂

I don’t have a genie, nor can I afford a virtual assistant or an employee to do the task for me. But let’s just consider what would’ve happened if I abstained from commenting on blogs, including mine.

Blog commenters shown as commenting

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What If There Were No Blog Comments

If there were no blog comments, I would use the saved time to do many things.

I would rest more, take care of my health, spend quality time with my family, write eBooks, or increase the post frequency on my blog.

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The possibilities and options are plenty. Extra free time would be like having free cash in hand to spend on anything you like!

From the start of my blogging journey, in a little more than 3 years, I must have made about 4000 comments on other blogs, besides 6000 comments on my own blog.

I haven’t earned the title of “queen of blog commenting” for no reason – my average comment length could be 100 words, while many usually extend to 500 words and beyond!

If you make a simple calculation, I’ve written at least about 1,000,000 words in comments in these past 3 years. Yes, that’s a staggering 1 million words already!!

Had I put in this time and effort in writing posts, I could’ve written about 500 posts of about 2000 words each, which is the average length of my posts.

Do you see what difference saving time by not commenting would’ve made?

Recently I celebrated writing 200 posts on my blog. Instead, I would’ve celebrated 600 or 700 posts, which could’ve been a post every alternate day on my blog!

Would that have benefited me in any way?

Definitely, it could’ve boosted my ranks.

Well, maybe not. I don’t think I can use the word “definitely” here.

I’ve come across many blogs that publish posts frequently, yet do not achieve high ranks.

If you read the recent interview of Ana Hoffman on my blog, you must have noticed what she said about posting frequency. I quote her here:

“About two years ago, I decided to post almost daily to see what happens with traffic. Of course, there were in-depth posts by any means; more like quick tips.

My traffic did go up; unfortunately, the quality of that traffic went down. The bounce rate was high, conversions low, and I was exhausted!

Now I can definitely say from experience that sticking with less frequent quality posts is the way to go.”

So, even if I close comments and post frequently, things may not really work for me.

Anyways, even if I’d written quality posts every alternate day, would you come to read them if there were no comments allowed on the blog?

It’s a million dollar question, or you can say a million words question for me. 🙂

Tell you what, I’m envious of +Leo Babauta. In case you haven’t heard of him, he manages a top-ranked personality development blog called ZenHabits.

Now, there is no option of commenting on his blog. Not only are his posts devoid of blog comments, but even the social media buttons are missing.

Then, what do you think makes his blog rank so high?

Maybe he’s just lucky or an exception.

Nevertheless, I still think that blog comments are not useless, and you could be missing more if you do not comment on blogs, including your own.

“Blogging is a conversation, not a code.” ~ Mike Butcher

Comments menu option of WordPress

What Would Happen to Your Blog Without Blog Comments

Blogging is not only about writing content. If it were so, then why do you have a blog, why don’t you have a website instead?

If you think only writing posts without enabling comments can make you a problogger or an authority, you’re wrong.

Not everybody is Seth Godin, Leo Babuta, or Amit Agarwal!

In any case, if you’re a newbie or struggling blogger, having no blog comments would eventually mean death to your blog. I’m sorry to use such a harsh word, but your blog would definitely be lifeless.

Do comments bring life to your blog? Absolutely! For me and for you too – they are the lifeline of a blog!

The reader’s reactions and opinions make the post more interesting. Discussions bring dynamism to the otherwise static posts.

Without comments, it’s not a conversation anymore – it’s like you’ve to listen to somebody but you can’t convey your thoughts, feelings, or complain about anything.

Seriously, only two kinds of people can have such kind of blogs – celebrities and top-notch experts.

People are willing to read whatever they write, even if there’s no opportunity to contribute to those posts in the form of comments.

Though a blog can have posts in the form of a journal and not have comments, which would be like reading a diary, but we picture a blog to be interactive in terms of engaging dialogs, don’t we?

For us, a blog is a way to be social, and you can’t have that without the blog comments, can you? I doubt you’d visit to my blog, if you can’t read or write comments. Would you?

Not to mention that bloggers consider the opportunity to leave links of their blog as a reward to have read the post and contributed to it qualitatively, on CommentLuv enabled blots especially.

It’s a token of appreciation of the time they spent on your post.

You have blog commenting systems like Disqus and a few others where you can’t directly leave your blog links.

So, it all comes down to quality content. If your content is great and writing is compelling, people will come to your blog, no matter what commenting system you’ve enabled, or even if you don’t have it at all.

Agreed, but to get to that level, you first need to develop relationships with others to create awareness among people that you write well.

You can do that by commenting on their blogs, and have comments enabled on your blog, so they can give a return visit and comment at your blog too.

More so, when people visit your blog and read your posts, and they find valuable and helpful posts full of knowledge, they’d always stop to comment, provided you have a commenting system enabled.

If not the traditional commenting system, have you ever thought about having an alternative to the comments on your blog?

Alternative to Blog Comments

Well, +Brain Clark of Copyblogger did. He recently closed his blog for comments. Yes, you read it right – you cannot comment any longer on Copyblogger. Read more about it here.

Though he’s not the first one to do it. +Seth Godin did it long back in 2006.

Many business blogs and popular bloggers have done it too and the debate to have or not have comments on your blog is ensuing for a long time.

Here’s an example of one such debate between +Pat Flynn and Everett Bogue. It might interest you.

But here’s a twist in the story. Instead of not commenting, Brian wants you to take the conversation on to Google+ or Twitter.

What’s more, +Sonia Simone mentioned in her post that after reading the blog posts at Copyblogger, you can discuss your ideas on your own blog.

Now, that’s interesting, isn’t it? Would you call it a good marketing tactic?

Of course, if people talk about your post and blog, it definitely catches the eyes of Google and you benefit. If bloggers link to your post, you gain more than commenting on their blogs.

If you’ve observed, even +Ana Hoffman has the Google+ commenting system on her blog. And she prefers it more than the usual, native commenting system, which doesn’t get very many comments.

She takes the conversation to Google+, which she says is the hub of influencers or people with authority. They matter more than general folks, because Google values them and rewards you more when you connect with them.

So, it’s obvious that pro bloggers are getting their strong grip on social media. They already know that Google is going to treat social signals as strong ranking factors.

It’s more beneficial to have the conversations on Google+ than on your own blog – you get a wider reach, more social signals, and contact more influencers.

Also notice that the pro bloggers are converging on Google+ and Twitter, while almost isolating Facebook.

This is not all, it seems like the linking business is coming to a near end. Co-citations and co-occurrences, or associations are becoming more important.

Therefore, even if you have comments disabled on your blog, you’re getting ranked because you’re being talked about and referenced by influencers.

That gets you organic traffic, and people automatically start following you or come flocking to your blog.

These pro bloggers are thinking ahead and putting their money where their mouth is.

However, I wonder if having no blog comments will hurt the loyalty factor and weaken your blog community?

If you want to know more perspectives on this new development, read this post here, that is a direct response by Alisa Meredith to Copyblogger’s recent announcement.

What are your thoughts on this issue and what do you think of the Copyblogger act of removing comments? Could his strategy work for you too?

If you want to know whether blog comments are really worth the effort, then read this post here, which gives you all the “for and against” arguments.

Do you think you should use the social media instead of blog comments on your own blog to further the conversation?

Are you thinking of doing away with commenting too?

Don’t Remove Blog Comments from Your Blog

If you’re a newbie blogger and still trying to get a hold in the world of blogging, then don’t do it yet – don’t copy Copyblogger!

I understand why they did it – to save time and resources and deal with other important matters than spam and useless comments.

Probably, when my blog becomes their size, I too might be tempted to take a similar step. When you reach the next level, your priorities change.

But you need to do what is required at your level.

I did say in the beginning of the post that blog commenting did a tremendous job to boost my blog.

Whatever and wherever I’m today is due to this particular important tool of blogging. In fact, Copyblogger too rose to success using blog commenting as one of the aspects all these years.

Commenting helps you to create relationships and develop a community. It helps you launch yourself and your blog.

Remember that there may be exceptions, but it’s better if you follow the general rules in the beginning. Your comments are still worth the effort, read here to know why.

Considering that you now value blog comments, here’s how you should treat them.

“As I have repeatedly written in one form or other, blogging is not about writing posts. Heck, that’s the least of your challenges. No, blogging is about cultivating a mutually beneficial relationships with an ever-growing online readership, and that’s hard work.” ~ Alister Cameron

Outline of people discussing and commenting

How to Use Blog Comments for Your Blog Success

Blog commenting isn’t worth it if you don’t do it in the right way.

If you’re interested to know how to become an expert on commenting on blogs and benefit from it, then read my guest post here.

Use blog commenting efficiently and smartly on your own blog.

Treat comments as an extension of your blog posts

Sometimes, it is not possible to include all the aspects and finer details of your topic in the blog post.

The comments you write on your own blog post while replying to the visitors comments, give you an opportunity to expand on your topic.

I do this sometimes and it helps me to make the blog post more wholesome, while it facilitates the reader to get more information out of the post.

More importantly, the commenters too add their knowledge and experience related to the topic and that adds different perspectives and more value to the post.

Thus, the comments are a valuable resource.

Treat comments as conversations you have with your blog visitors

Comments are your way to talk to your blog visitors and develop relationships. Don’t miss on this opportunity!

Always value and respect each comment as that in a way is valuing and respecting the commenter, even if you disagree with their views.

The longer and more your conversation, the better and more are the chances of developing a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship.

Some pro bloggers don’t have the kind of time to reply to all the comments, or interaction with readers hardly matters to them. That’s entirely their choice, isn’t it?

Accepted that you need to copy the habits of pro bloggers to become successful like them, but don’t copy the habit of replying curtly or not replying to the comments at all.

You can’t afford to do that at your level. You can take the liberty to do that later when you become a pro blogger, when and if your priorities change, and it might not hurt you or your blog.

Treat comments as a means to increase the SEO of your blog

When you reply to comments, you can explain your topic in different ways and use semantic variations of your keyword phrase. Just adding the keyword might not help you much.

The more you talk about the topic of the post, more valuable it seems to the search engine bots. Comments also increase the interaction and engagement, and the time people spend on your blog.

These are all factors that Google considers for ranking of your posts too, no matter how small they may be.

I’m sure the comments add SEO value to the post. I can observe my SERPs getting better as the comments increase on my blog posts. Of course, they reach a saturation level after some time.

Treat your comments on other blogs as your blog ambassadors

Each comment of yours has the potential to improve or degrade your image. Your personal image is directly related to your blog traffic.

If you make good contributions through comments on other blogs by adding value to the conversations, you’ll get noticed and people might check your link to visit your blog.

I get a lot of traffic from various blogs where I comment, so can you. 🙂

The owner of the post where you commented might even mention you in the comments or a future post, that will not only earn you backlinks, but even credibility and recognition.

Or even a third-party might be impressed with your comment on a blog and build a story on it. Here’s a post by Ankit Singla about the types of commenters, and I got a free mention there.

Eyram wrote a blog commenting guide on his blog, and he pasted a comment of mine that I had made on Neil Patel’s blog, which probably impressed him.

I get many useless comments on my blog, which obviously the commenters submit for getting backlinks.

Little do they know that more than linking, it’s the image and relationship that matters through your contribution.

If you use the blog comments in these ways, you’ll certainly feel that they are necessary for your blog as they’ll bring success to your blog.

“I believe the term “blog” means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume.” ~ Michael Arrington

Okay, before you go, take this poll!

What do the results tell?

I hope by now you realize that blog comments are necessary for those who aspire to be successful in blogging.

Blog comments are dialogs that you should not ignore. I believe having comments on your blog turns the post into a useful resource that is helpful to any reader as all the information is available at one place.

For some bloggers, the number of comments on a post becomes the benchmark of the usefulness or popularity of the post. However, that may not be true in all cases.

In the end, I guess I’m giving what Sonia wanted – a post about my take on Copyblogger’s idea, and a link back to their site. 🙂 But would this work every time for them?

Can’t say. But it did give me a seed thought to plant another thinking tree. 🙂

Concluding lesson: Till you’re not a pro blogger, remember quality blog comments are important for your growth as a blogger and success of your blog.

Over to You –

Do you think blog commenting is overwhelming? Do you favor a “no blog comments” approach? Do you believe you can take up the social media as an alternative to blog commenting? What tips would you suggest to make best use of blog comments? Share in the comments.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos, 123rfphotos

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191 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Adeel Sami

    June 10, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Hello, Harleena!

    Oh my gosh…. Why I am seeing this post so late???

    Truly awesome! You expressed the real need of the blog comments quite great!

    Whether most bloggers think blog comment is the waste of time… But the reality is, it is not.

    I have seen many bloggers turning off the commenting system but they then re-enabled as they admitted the traffic went low.

    I know there are many authority sites and even the authority bloggers who first have the commenting option closed and don’t do the comments on other places.

    They hardly get the comments back on their content. Yes, they would have done it aggressively in the past but that’s not working for them right now.

    And I am hitting hard on the comment thing because I am not utilizing it to the max.

    I am still active in leaving the blog comment but not so good at replying back to the comments which I receive on my blog.

    And that’s the reason the bond is not building up with my readers.

    I will so work on it! Will definitely work on this weakness from now!

    Thank you for the awesome one, Harleena!

    Happy to share! 🙂

    And see me often!

    ~ Adeel

  2. Muhammad Ahmad

    April 6, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Harleena Ma’am,
    Interesting post indeed 🙂
    Blog comments are essential for any blog. In my view, blog comments are the simplest way to connect and hang out with the readers 😉
    Thanks for putting up your thoughts!
    ~ Ahmad

  3. Yogesh Shinde

    April 6, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Harleena ma’am,

    I would say an Epic post.

    I think comments are really important for any blog because we get feedback from readers and these readers adds different perspectives to our posts. Many people point out things which we never thought about and that’s an addition to our knowledge base.

    I had used Disqus on my blog but I was not getting many comments though I have decent traffic. Now I am using CommentLuv to see if Disqus was the issue for my readers. You know as a blogger we have to test lots of things to see what works and what doesn’t.

    I have started commenting on blogs and I have seen a drastic improvement in my Alexa ranking. I have seen my blog metrics such as MOZ, backlinking, Page Authority etc.

    I have seen many blogs do not allow comments but they have their own reasons. These blogs have huge traffic and they don’t want spammy comments.

    Copyblogger not only disabled commenting but they don’t have Facebook page either. Can you believe that?

    I think, blogging is about sharing, networking and community and that’s why every blog must have comments.

    Thanks,
    Yogesh Shinde

  4. MarkDeafMcGuire

    April 5, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I came across this post via a comment you left on Pat’s SPI post about using Disqus. For some reason, when I read your comment there, it stated you were sold on the CommentLuv system which does not seem to be active on this site.

    I found that interesting. Granted, that comment was 2 years ago and it appears you have successfully grown your blog to a point where you don’t feel the need to use it anymore. But after reading all the comments here, I can understand why.

    Just like any product in the real world, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer and sometimes, it’s a matter of “changing planes” to get to your designation. What I am particularly interested in at the moment is how people responds to my comments.

    I had zero responses to my comments using Disqus, somewhat slightly more than zero responses to my comment using Jetpack, and a better response to my comments by those using either CommentLuv or an “email notification” like you are using.

    They all seem to be on the same airplane, a jumbo jet carrying a lot of “growing” bloggers, except for those on private jets who never responds. The funny thing is that they do respond at their hubs (Twitter, Facebook, etc…)

    Maybe the commenting sphere is too big for anyone to conquer?

  5. Louise Hunt

    January 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Very informative thank you, Comments are very important especially when you’re new to blogging. I remember the elation of receiving comments on my first blog, just to get an acknowledgement that people are reading your content! It’s a shame copybloggers have got so big/successful that they can no longer reply to their audience, I was part of a company that started small that we all knew one another to a multinational company that no one knew the person sitting next door to them which is the reason I left. Anyway, my “comments” box will remain.

  6. Asaolu olubayode Andrew

    August 9, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    What nonsense! how will i disable blog comment section on my blog? That’s selfishness, that shows you don’t care about your readers. Blogging is a world, blogs are solution centers. Like what you quoted @Harleena, blog is a play where people read and write, like a school where you learn and a must, views must be made known.

    Copyblogger, got to where he is today because of his readers. Must you have to disable commenting because you want to build other channels, because this is how am viewing it. The question now is do copyblogger still have email lists of his subscribers? because he can’t tell me he wouldn’t be doing some promotions and marketing, link adverts with those list.
    We just have to realistic, if they know they can’t handle numbers of comments then there are plug ins that set available numbers of comments that can enter a blog, then i think limits should be put on numbers of comments, not disabling commenting.

    Well, i don’t blame copyblogger….

    Thanks for the post harleena, you are awesome.

  7. Jay Patel

    July 18, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    It took a long time to read out the whole post, but I enjoyed it and learned something new about comments. Actually I am not a good commenter but this helped me a lot

  8. Akshat Verma

    May 24, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Quality and good comments are signs that your post is getting popular and is being loved and read by many people, so they are must for a blog.

  9. Mohd Arif

    April 25, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Hi Harleena Mem,

    These day google organic and informative content, and if post have have post associated result then these type post easily get high ranking into google search result, I think commenting participating great role for make engaging content. inside this article I learn some useful tips about blog commenting.. hope next time I can implement into my blog.. such a nice article..

    Regards
    Mohd Arif

  10. Adeel Sami

    March 28, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    Wow! I can never ever for heaven’s sake think of disabling comment. Not any sooner and later.

    Same as you, I believe blog commenting is not just about leaving the link and disappearing in the desert BUT to make a loyal readership, fans and relationship to help you in your blogging journey.

    Those big names are above par, they do have worked from long when we had a little idea of what was the internet.

    So, my advice to everyone; don’t copy anyone. Use it to attract your readers.

    ~ Adeel Sami




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Are Blog Comments Really Required

by Harleena Singh time to read: 13 min