What’s a blog without comments? You might want to argue that it comes with a special kind of bragging right, and I completely agree. Obviously, every serious blogger would love to have legion of comments immediately after a post is published and I won’t be callous enough to completely play down the importance of blog comments but what I do believe is that its relevance has hit a downward spool since the shift in the way we interact with blogs.
Blog comments were generally an effective tool in getting feedback from blog authors as well as initiating a relationship. Seven years ago, using comments to measure one’s success would certainly be a great indicator but these days, the trends have changed and I’m sorry to say, blog comments no longer represents value.
What Has Changed?
The evolution of social media has totally changed the scope of blogging, even to a point where analysts suggested that the rise of Social media would eventually lead to the death of blogging. They said “Blogging is dead,” but in reality, blogging isn’t dead. In fact, Social media became the mega phones of bloggers. It became easier for articles to reach a larger audience with little effort from the author. Readers help spread the word by tweeting or sharing resourceful contents. This was impossible before the growth of Social media. Now it easier to connect and seek answers from blog authors on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and lots of other social profiles freely available to users which was only possible via blog comments.
The amount of valuable comments on popular blogs has reduced drastically. Judging one’s success on the number of comments one get’s is an exercise in futility. It’s vanity! I don’t mean to offend anyone who has this belief, but here is this point; blog success can be calculated with a lot of various factors and not necessarily mediocre comments from human spammer and trolls.
Wouldn’t it be better if more readers share your contents on popular Social networks, rather than leaving a comment that stays under the post forever? I mean, that’s free viral marketing right? More people get to read it and it keeps going, or you would rather believe that comment SEO still does magic, only to watch your blog get destroyed literally overnight by Google’s annoying changes in policies and algorithms.
Research! Research!! Research!!!
Four months ago, I was looking for ways to cut down on my WordPress plugins, and the only place where I could make that happen was my comment area. It was a hard decision, I was left with no options, as staying under 20-plugins was my topmost priority. Disqus was the answer, I eventually got rid of 5-WordPress plugins and what followed was the loss of over 90% of the usual comment rate.
I started studying my analytics, then I got the shocker, my most commented articles were nowhere near my most popular articles. They were in fact, worlds apart! So why should I care about blog comments?
Those were my thoughts. Now, I get fewer comments but each time I see one, it represents value. Comments can do much more to your blog than you can think. Imagine an article full of mediocre comments, but because an author is more interested in comments, he fails to enforce any comment policies and that affects the quality of his article. Most readers scroll to the comment area to get an idea of the article before committing to read and when the general comments effectively defines trolling; comments without objectivity. His perception about the article changes immediately.
One of the few tools that should give you an idea of how your readers interact with your blog is the scroll dept. This analytic tool will show you how your readers are scrolling your article. Deep scroll can only mean that your readers are engaged and loving your articles. When there is a sudden drop in scroll level, you can begin to ask yourself questions and might want to revisit the content of your articles. With this, you can easily have an idea of how far you blog is going on the success path.
So you started a blog and you are wondering why you don’t get tons of comment? Don’t lose your nerve. You should rather prefer the level of social interaction you are having, the incredible growth in your email list, your page views, and the kind of mails you receive. For me, these are better ways to analyze the growth of your blog. There are a good number of great blogs that have entirely disabled their comment area. Yet, they get tons of daily readers. That should be enough indicator that comments are great but not worth any loss of joy when they don’t come as expected. One valuable comment should be better than 10 random bot/human comments with “Hey, I love this article, here is my link.”