Several of my social media buddies—smart, passionate people—were debating the value of blog comments on the Web this week.
But whether we believe that getting comments is key to a blog’s success or not, most of us like to get them.
I love to get comments. Much of the learning happens with the rich interactions in the comments section of my blog. And the more comments, the more new readers and subscribers I get.
Now I’m not going to tell you that you need to care about how many comments you get on your blog. But if you do care, here are some things bloggers do that make me run away before the discussion starts.
10 Reasons I Won’t Leave a Comment on Your Blog
1. You make it too hard for me.
If you make me copy letters and numbers I can’t read—even in a sober state—recite the alphabet backwards to prove I’m not an evil robot, or give you the name of my first born child, sorry. The barrier to entry is just too high.
And why should I have to register for an account, just to comment on your blog? You are asking for three minutes of my life for no good reason.
2. I can’t think of anything to say.
Your post is so complete, so perfect, that I don’t know what I could possibly add to the conversation. And since I don’t want to comment with a lame, “Nice post. I agree with everything you said,” I just quietly disappear.
Of course, if you are writing an opinion or taking a controversial stand, I’m more likely to jump in and say something.
3. You don’t ask me to.
I’m not a mind reader. If you want me to speak up, ask me a question or two at the end of your post. If you don’t, I’ll just think you wanted to educate me, inform me or help me solve a problem. (And that’s cool, too.)
4. You are driving me away with too many outbound links.
I appreciate that you want to give me links to all these other great blog posts and articles. But when you throw in 4 or 5, I get confused. Do you want me to stay on your blog or leave?
And sometimes, well, that other site is just so darned interesting that I forget about going back to your blog, finishing your post and leaving a comment.
5. I don’t see my comment for hours (or days) when I do leave one.
Whether it’s your overambitious comment spam filter or you are just too busy to approve your comments , I like to be recognized with something other than that annoying, “Your comment is awaiting moderation” message.
“Yes, Judy. You left a comment. I like it.” Or, “I hate it.” Or, “Here’s another way to think about that.” But for God’s sake, don’t make me feel invisible. Because I don’t like to talk to walls.
6. I don’t want to be the first to leave a comment.
I don’t want to show up all by myself. I feel more comfortable getting to the party after a few people are there.
Besides, what if I showed up and nobody else did? That would be too embarrassing. I’m much more likely to chime in if other people are already talking.
7. I have no reason to speak up.
It’s like that old joke my dad used to tell. This couple had a son who never talked. Years went by and, still, he never said a word.
One day, when he was 13, at the dinner table, he blurted out, “Please pass the salt.”
Dumbfounded, his dad said, “Why didn’t you say anything all these years?”
The boy said, “Because everything was okay up until now.”
Like the son who finally spoke because he needed the salt shaker, when I have something important to say, I’ll comment.
If not, I’ll just be the quiet one in the room, the one in the corner, just watching and listening.
8. Because you tricked me and now I hate you.
Okay, maybe “hate” is a little strong.
But if you reeled me in with a sensational headline and then didn’t deliver the goods, I’ll not be sticking around. A headline is a promise that your posts must fulfill.
There is a difference between having a little fun with a blog post title and deceiving me about what your post is about.
9. You made me feel like I’m outside the circle.
Yes, it’s middle school all over again. I don’t get to sit at the ‘cool kids’ lunchroom table. Certain people are dominating the conversation. And I’m not in on the inside jokes. Basically, I’m not feeling loved.
10. You didn’t make me laugh or cry or get particularly hot under the collar.
I’ll speak up when something you said makes me feel something. In fact, you won’t be able to shut me up. Because you have touched a passion, a love, or an emotion.
There you go. 10 reasons I may not leave a comment on your blog.
If you need help getting more readers and comments, I invite you to pop on over to the CatsEyeWriter blog coaching page.
What about you? Are comments important to you? How do you make your blog comment-friendly?
Share some of your strategies in…the comments! (See, I asked you.)