Blogging, Engagement
14

Why You’re Rejecting Blog Comments (And How To Change It)

more blog comments pleaseA blog can be a really lonely place. You’re putting your thoughts and opinions in writing for the Internet to read and when no one talks back it feels like you never really said it out loud in the first place. It can be pretty heavy on the self-esteem of a new or low-traffic blogger.

There’s no feature that calls out a deserted site more than the comments section. For some, “be the first to comment” and “0 comments” seem to be the most frequently found terms in search. But what you might not realize is that you’re the one rejecting the comments from happening. You’re keeping people from taking part in any real conversation, which is what a blog is meant to start.

The last couple weeks I’ve been working with my New Year New Blog Bootcampers and the ones with existing sites and traffic all seem to have the same issue. Low, dead-end engagement.

But they’re sharing content consistently. They’re promoting to a social media community that’s 3-4 figures large in social media. So why is there no conversation happening?

Let me ask you if you have a similar situation on your site? Do you have any blog comments? Have you ever received one? And what did you do with it? Did you leave it to rot? Did you dismiss it as the first of many that never came? What you do with the comments you get is extremely important to the health of the engagement that moves forward for your community.

When someone leaves a comment on your content, at the very least you should be responding to them in a reply comment. 

For one thing, they want to know you’ve heard them. So why wouldn’t you let them know? If they took the time to write a response to your thoughts, why would you not continue the conversation on the wavelength that is their thought process on the subject? I’m giving the commenter the benefit of the doubt that they left more than a “This is great. Thanks for what you do here.” But even those guys should get a little ‘like’ or smiley face as long as they aren’t spammers.

A second and possibly even more important reason to reply is for the future visitors. If they see you leaving a reader stranded with their own ideas in the deserted island that is your comments section, why would they join in?

This may sound like a no-brainer and I even think my bootcampers are kicking themselves because they really meant to reply but just hadn’t had the time or maybe didn’t get the alert email from their blog. But you just can’t let that happen. You can’t just start a blog because all the gurus told you to. You had to do it because you care about what others think of your industry as well — especially those who you expect to pay you at some point.

Sidenote: Oh and if you’re worried about negative commenting (which BTW isn’t happening because you’re not inviting it per this blog post and would be considered a victory the first time!) I wrote about that here.

I don’t have thousands of blog comments, but it doesn’t matter. Each and every thought someone decides to leave me is a stepping stone for my community to grow and I’m going to be verbally thankful each and every time until it’s virtually impossible… and then I’ll hire a professional commenter. Seriously.

Here are some more ideas you can use to increase the comments on your blog. Because if that’s what you’re waiting for, then you need to start acting and stop expecting:

  • Use a more interactive commenting platform instead of the default that comes with your blog. I like Livefyre. It makes it a lot easier to ‘like’ comments, see who is listening quietly, and share comments to social networks which ultimately promote the blog.
  • When you’re done thanking the commenter in a reply, paste the blog link in a tweet or Facebook status and give them credit for their thoughts and ask what others think of it. This is great for getting other points of view together for a really interesting conversation.
  • Comment on other blogs. When you are intelligently sharing your ideas with other communities, there’s a great chance that other engagers will take notice and click your link. If they want to engage that blog and then like what you do, you can be sure they will be joining the conversation with you shortly.

What are your thoughts on the comments section? Share them… in the comments section! I promise to reply.

 

 

photo credit: So gesehen. via photopin cc
Amy Schmittauer Visit Website
Amy is the Founder of Savvy Sexy Social and President of Vlog Boss Studios, a digital marketing agency specializing in video content creation. Connect with her on Twitter.
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13 comments
MDSimages
MDSimages

So livefrye didnt work so well with my ProPhoto4 theme. The ability to comment didnt show up....strange. Ill look into it later. I am taking the time to respond to the comments though....finally!

 

Great post today :)

MDSimages
MDSimages

Great tip and action will be taken. Thanks for the Livefyre tip as well. Going to install it now :)

 

JacobkCurtis
JacobkCurtis

Ayo Amy! Decided to stop by and say hello and this article called out to me. I only just started to receive comments on my blogs and I actually had to stop and ask myself:

 

"Dude are you seriously getting comments on your blog now!?"

 

It's a great feeling and I think your advice of start acting and stop expecting is solid.

 

Not responding to a commenter whatever the case may be is something I don't understand. Like you said, they at least deserve to know you're listening! It's like if someone was to walk into your store and ask you about a product and you stood their with a blank face...they'll end up leaving and never return.

Let's not forget part of being social and blogging is creating a "dialog" between two people.

 

One tip that you've done a great example of in this post, is to ask questions through out. Even though I'm continuing to read, I'm still multitasking and thinking of answers to the questions you ask in the middle of this post even if they are rhetorical. It makes me want to finish the post to put those ideas into writing in the form of a comment.

 

Also, nothing works better for comments then controversy! So if you're not receiving any comments, try to stir it up a bit to make it less boring. Include your personal opinion if it makes sense regardless of if your readers agree with you or not, they'll be sure to let you know in the comments...and that's the whole point.

edebont
edebont

I started a blog. Haven't been promoting it yet, because I want it to have more volume before I go public. I have however made comments, delete comments on forums, sss, twitter, facebook, instragram etc... and probably made every mistake in social media communication you can make.  

 

 I like your article and I have a few tips as a person who writes comments to the blogger:

- As a blogger If you do not understand a comment. Just ask. You can say thanks as a blogger (as being polite), but that what's the point in that if you don't understand it. It's the interaction that gives a blog something extra.

- Keep in mind that you have (because of the Internet) an international audience, meaning that comments can also come from non-native english speakers (like me). This can create sometimes some misinterpretation of a comment due to the level of english of the person who writes the comment or due to a different cultural background. A comment can be insulting because it's misinterpreted while it was not intended to be insulting. If you think that is the case. Always ask if you correctly understood the comment.

- If you think a comment is inappropriate or the writer is acting like an idiot. Tell him or her the comment is inappropriate and you do not like his behaviour. This gives the writer at least a change to correct his comment. In most cases you will also get support from other readers who don't like his comment which gives the writer a strong signal that he is doing something wrong.

 

But first and foremost. Be honest !  

 

Keep up the great work Amy. It's very much appreciated.

Tim Smith
Tim Smith

I thought because I was a reject

edebont
edebont

 @JacobkCurtis You're right about "nothing works better for comments then controversy", but I would say to be careful when "you try to stir it up a bit". Keep in mind the a commenter can think exactly the same and he will stir it up to. Before you know it this will give a you complete blowback of your actual goal, which is a sincere genuine comment about the article you wrote. 

 

I hope I made myself clear, if not, just ask.  

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

 @JacobkCurtis Great points! And thanks for picking up on those questions! That's what I love about blogging. Let's keep this thing going and continue to enlighten any readers that may find us! I totally know the feeling you're talking about. Those first blog comments are so overwhelmingly awesome... you just have to remember what to do with them when they come so you can keep the pattern going. Great tip about the controversy. That's a good one as well. Really gets the passionate people talking.

 

Thanks Jacob! 

pemelendezu
pemelendezu

 @edebont

As a non-native English speaker myself, I have to say that I had had the opposite experience. It is just anecdotic, but once I let know my condition as non-English speaker and beg for patience, the general feedback is positive. I have the feeling that since I am not confidence with my English skills to redact a comment quickly, I tend to check what I've written several times, which would result in a decent text in terms of language.

 

If that were the case, the condition as a non-native English speaker seems like an advantage. What do you think?

 

 

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

 @edebont Such a valuable comment, Erik. Thank you for sharing. I agree with you that non-fluent speakers can get classified incorrectly because Americans are used to a certain language. It makes sense to clarify because as long as it's not a durogatory or spammy conversation it's worth working on. I hear you loud and clear! Thanks as always for your support.

JacobkCurtis
JacobkCurtis

 @edebont Luckily as the page admin you can filter comments out if people aren't adding to the conversation and are just being trolls. I think an experienced blogger would be able to tell if the comment is actually going to benefit the post/conversation or not.

 

As far as blowback goes, if you get peoples feelings involved they're more likely going to say what they link, which is genuine, and what will end up happening is a forum of others commenting back and fourth and you as the blog admin simply moderating those conversations.

 

 @schmittastic , what's your take?

 

 

 

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

 @pemelendezu  @edebont I re-read my comments over and over as well and I speak English fluently! lol It's important to make sure how your comments will come off to the best of your knowledge. Good point, Pedro.

pemelendezu
pemelendezu

 @edebont  @schmittastic

 Yes and I'm absolutely agreed with you. I would go a bit further and say that, that might happen even between native English speakers.

 

I had the chance of spending a whole summer in Scotland and if something I learn from that experience, is how different can be two cultures even if they share the same language.

 

Good comment Erik :)

edebont
edebont

 @schmittastic  @pemelendezu It's part of it what I meant to say. Let me try to explain. If a subject becomes more controversial, cultural background kicks in. I will try to explain it with the following example.

 

You see someone singing on a youtube video who sounds absolutely terrible. He requests a comment on what you think about it. Your goal is to explain to him that his singing is not good and it's not a good idea to put this video on the Internet. He get three responses 

 

1. Your singing is terrible and your crazy to put it on the Internet -> Direct, full throttle, no strings attached. Let's call this the Dutch way ;-).

2. Well you have made a great video, the colors are great, and the sharpness is great,  and the recording of the sound is really good... -> Avoiding the controversy at the beginning and pace very slowly to what you really want to tell. Let's call this the French way.

3. You say nothing and you just smile. -> You don't want to insult the singer, so you just say nothing. Let's call this the Japanse way.

 

Of course the above examples are over-exaggerated (no offense to the Dutch, French and Japanse), but all of them are right or wrong. For example: If you use comment 3 on a Dutch person he get's offended, because you're not telling him what you really think which keeps him guessing  If you use comment 1 on a Japanse person he gets offended because it's too direct, and you don't critize someone in Japan like that.

 

So you have three different comments which say exactly the same thing, but in a completely different way. That's what I mean by a different cultural background.

 

So if your read I comment and you know someone's background it usually clarifies his comment a lot more.

 

Do you understand what I mean ?