• blog commentsBack when I first started blogging, I was obsessed with blog comments, and the comment counts on each post. I remember being excited every time I received a notification of a new comment. It felt like progress. It felt like I was doing something that mattered.

    And of course I got into that mind set. How could I not. Every big, successful blog about blogging was talking about the importance of blog comments. I knew I had to do everything I could to start attracting comments to my blog.

    Comments eventually began rolling in every time I created a post. But was I really getting anywhere?

    In short…no. No I wasn’t.

    I’m not knocking blog comments. In fact, I think the commenting system is on of the core components of the whole blogging platform. It creates a an open forum for communication and discussion of ideas. But if you are blogging, and creating content for business, do comments help you cause?

    I already discussed 4 blog commenting myths in a guest post on Think Traffic, so I don’t want to get into it too much right now. But I do want to discuss the things I used to do, that I don’t any more, in order to attract comments:

    Incentivize 

    Back when I thought comments were the end-all, be-all of blogging success, I provided incentives to spur discussion on each blog post.  I created as many incentives as I could.

    Keyword Luv Plugin. This is a plugin that allows visitors to leave a backlink to their own blog and use keywords rather than just their name. This is essentially trading keyword-rich backlinks for a comment.

    This also has the benefit of looking less SPAMMY. Instead of using keywords for a name, the commenter can use a real human name, and still get keyword rich backlinks.

    Comment Luv Plugin. On top of the Keyword Luv which allowed individuals to get keyword-rich backlinks to their blog, I had Comment Luv installed. This plugin creates a backlink to individual blog posts by using the RSS feed of the blog URL.

    So commenters were getting two backlinks per comment. Not bad right?

    Do-Follow. On top of these two plugins that created a fairly large incentive to comment, I made these backlinks Do-Follow.

    Given that my blog eventually reached a fairly high PR, two Do-Follow backlinks per comment was a pretty nice treat if I do say so myself.

    But wait! There’s more….

    Most Recent Comments. In the sidebar of the blog, I displayed a list of the most recent commenters on the blog.

    Another Do-Follow backlink? You got it.

    Top Commenters. And if that wasn’t enough, I also had a list displaying the top commenters of each month. The top 10 most-frequent comments on the blog each month received yet another Do-Follow backlink.

    Sheesh!

    To be honest, I didn’t realize just how much incentive I was creating for blog comments until I just wrote all of that out. And here I thought people really liked what I had to say :) .

    Getting Onto Lists

    When you add so much incentive, something interesting happens. You make it to certain lists. And  you start getting even more comments.

    The problem is, these lists are for backlink-harvesting software and the comments are automatically-generated SPAM comments solely created for the purpose of getting a backlink.

    It got so bad that I had to turn off the auto-approve for new comments on the blog.

    But at least you’re getting more comments, right? :)

    Communicate

    To be fair, these incentives weren’t the only reason that I received many more comments on the old blog.

    I also used to do a lot more commenting myself. I would probably spend 10 hours a week reading through blog posts and leaving a comment.

    10 hours per week!

    When you’re a one-man show, that is a lot of time to be investing. And for what return?

    A New Mindset 

    I still read blogs. Just not nearly as many as I used to.

    And I don’t necessarily always leave a comment once I read a post either. If I’m reading actionable advice I now go and start formulating a plan of how I may be able to implement to get real business results.

    The Result

    More Traffic. You would think that getting more traffic to your blogs means you should be getting more comments on your posts. This is not the case at all.

    Within 2 weeks of launching CSH, I was getting more daily visitors here than at the old blog (where I am still getting far more comments).

    More Subscribers. Within the first month of launching CSH, I had more subscribers than I had in over a year at the old blog.

    More Leads. More subscribers usually translates into more business leads. But business leads also came through direct contact through emails, as well as purchases of my new product. I would rather have a direct email than a blog comment any day.

    More Time. I spend less time cleaning out SPAM comments. I also spend less time commenting. This gives more time to produce – to create things that matter (like my blog and content marketing strategy guide).

    That Being Said…

    I still think that blog comments are important. This is why I keep the commenting system open on this blog. I like to hear feedback. And not having the incentives for commenting makes me feel more at ease that people are leaving comments for discussion, not for backlinks.

    And this means that the comment form may not get used. And I am OK with that – something I couldn’t say when I first started blogging.

    The bottom line is that comments don’t necessarily translate into business results.

    What do you think?

    50 Responses to “Why My Blog Doesn’t Get Many Comments…And Why I Don’t Care”

    1. Justin Mazza says:

      Hi Eugene,
      I switched my commenting system over to LiveFyre this year and I also turned off the comments for posts over 30 days old.

      Comments and commenting are key for the first year of blogging but after that your time and energy is better focused elsewhere.

      I am not concerned with comments on my blog now as much as I was a year ago. I still comment at least 5 days a week though just no more than an hour a day.

      Probably by next year I will seldom comment on other blogs either. I think it is just part of the growth of being a blogger.

      Last year the majority of my traffic came from blog commenting but this year search traffic has been my number one traffic source.

      take care…

    2. Jk Allen says:

      You mean to tell me that you don’t want your ego stroked by comment trading!

      JOKING!

      All I can say is Amen, brotha! Checkout my latest post on HN and you’ll see exactly why I say Amen!

      I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve shared here.

      PEACE

    3. Kate says:

      Absolutely true; some months we see heavy traffi
      and few comments; recently a post was shared 350x+ on Facebook and still didn’t have a ton of comments. While comments are often validating, audience reach is key.

    4. Stacey says:

      The comment thing is hard. I try not to obsess, but I still occasionally find myself disappointed. But when it comes down to it, you usually have to leave comments to get comments and my time is very limited. So I just try to spend my time where I enjoy it the most. Some days that’s on twitter, some days FB, some days are spent commenting. Great post!

    5. Brankica says:

      I have the same results to report :)

      When I first started, I had all those plugins turned on as well (except dofollow). I have hundreds of comments per post.

      Then I removed one by one and even stopped commenting as much on other blogs (this only because I didn’t have time to do it anymore).

      Results: less comments, more time, less spam, more traffic, more money made, more subscribers.

      I am with you on this one :)

    6. Robert says:

      100% Agree.

      I think all of us who have been around a little while are starting to realise that its much better to pursue a business rather than a community. The bottom line is that fellow bloggers don’t tend to be customers. It’s easy to get into habits of commenting on every single post that a person does, and doing the same back.

      Just like you, on my last blog I used to get excited when I saw a comment in my inbox. Now I’ve realised that it doesn’t actually matter. I want people to comment because they have an opinion on my content, not because they merely want a backlink to their site or they want me to comment on theirs.

      As I said in my post. I could easily get comments on my blog by going to other (small) blogs and commenting on their stuff. But really, what’s the point? It’s just a shallow, time-wasting endless cycle lol.

      Great job man. Speak soon.

    7. Jeevanjacobjohn says:

      Hey Eugene,

      I like your perspective here. I agree and disagree with your points.

      It all depends on what you are trying to do online. If you are doing an online business, then yeah, comments don’t really matter that much.

      But, if you are blogging and writing more for the fun of it and less more the money, then you should care about the comments :D

      I have used some of these plugins in my old blog (and I am still using them for the new one). These things will really increase your reader’s motivation to leave a comment. Yes, I agree, there is a problem of spam comments. But, I took care of them by manually moderating comments (guess that works when you get less than 20 or 30 comments per post :D ).

      I am still using these plugins for my new blog – which is developing. And as you mentioned, I am spending a lot of time commenting on other blogs too.

      If you ask me personally, I would prefer to read or write a blog with an active community – not by the number of comments – but by the number of active people who interact with the blog owner and others.

      Thanks for the awesome post,

      Jeevan Jacob John

    8. Peggy Baron says:

      Hi Eugene,

      I agree with what you say, but I still like getting comments on my blog. Not to stroke my ego, but because I like the interaction. I consider many people who comment as my friends and I like the bantering back and forth. It’s my home and I like it when visitors ring my doorbell.

      I also get questions which I can then answer for the benefit of the one, and maybe the others too.

      Thanks,
      Peggy

    9. LaRae Quy says:

      Leaving comments on blogs and returning comments on my own does take time, but I’m like Peggy – I enjoy the interaction. It’s also why I like “some” LinkedIn discussions – I enjoy the interaction. And I do think that interaction leads to relationship building. Maybe the returns won’t be in immediate $$ or sales, but it creates a bond that will continue to build on itself.

      I also think it matters on the type of product you’re selling on your blog. Some I would never comment on but I might buy the product. Others, I wouldn’t touch the product unless I knew what made the blogger or service provider tick . . . the best of luck on your new strategy!

    10. Sean Malarkey says:

      I have figured out some decent ways to get comments and reactions without having to scour the web for sites to comment on. I think building a personal brand has done for me in the way of getting comments more than the actual content.

      None the less – this post is extremely valid and I agree with all of your points.

      The biggest thing comments do for me is show social proof. I dont blog often so I actually made some of my commented posts show up first – so that when someone who is new to me visits my blog they see that social proof.

      I also removed all dates from my blog (post & comments) so that my content doesn’t feel dated.

      Again – thanks for the great piece. I just tweeted it and am gonna share it in my linkedin group (which you are a member of :)

    11. paul wolfe says:

      Hey man

      I’m with you on this one….I used to be interested in comments and stuff. But I’ve come to the realization that most people (not all, but most) who comment are doing it for a back link.

      Reading through the comment thread here I saw someone say they’d turned comments off after 30 days. What a freaking great idea…recently I’ve been dealing with so much comment spam on older posts. So I turned comments off after posts are 14 days old.

      It’s absolutely crucial to track the right metrics – and that metric will totally depend on your goals.

      Rock on man.

      Paul

    12. Bell says:

      Anyone who comments just to get a backlink is doing it wrong.

      Wrong because commenting on blogs should be about 1) expressing yourself, whether to agree or disagree; and 2) striking up a conversation which may prove fruitful and maybe even initiate a mutually beneficial relationship.

      By “mutually beneficial” I do not just mean financially beneficial. What I’m saying is, you should get something personal out of that relationship. Some appreciation for what the other person has to offer.

      Put simply, my one goal is to say something, to share. I’ve engaged with people who run obscure blogs because I wanted to show my appreciation. That was my sole concern.

      There’s something else, which I don’t think anybody ever discusses — commenting on blogs helps you with your writing. Anybody who wants to become a better writer should engage with bloggers on a regular basis. You have to make sure your comment is clear and intelligible. That it contributes something to the conversation. No easy task, that.

      Improving one’s writing skills couldn’t possibly hurt, could it?

    13. Jason Fonceca says:

      Excellent post on a rarely addressed topic. So glad I found this (thanks Paul).

      I kinda… want it all.

      Quality comments to me, are indicators of an engaged community, spearheaded by my content as a discussion-started.

      Shares are indicators that people feel my message is strong, clear, and valuable enough to spread and reflect well on them as they do so.

      Subscribers are indicators that people desire to relate to me and what I stand for.

      Conversions are people who have made a substantial committment to support me.

      So yeah, comments, shares, subscribers, conversions…

      I want it all.

      Either way, a wonderful, amazing, eye-opening post from someone who’s clearly ‘been there’, thanks Eugene!

    14. Week 2- Blog Comments « good golly miss molly. says:

      [...] Photo from: contentstrategyhub [...]

    15. How the blogging community has changed this year » The Biz Blogger says:

      [...] Eugene’s post on why he doesn’t care how many blog comments his posts get [...]

    16. Tom Ross says:

      Loving the irony of this post having 35 comments ;) . I do agree with your logic in this post, but for me the main benefit of comments is just to keep up your motivation. Literally one in depth comment gives me such a better buzz than 20 shares on Twitter or Facebook. It’s always encouraging to hear from your audience, and if you’re just seeming to blog into empty noise then it’s really disconcerting.

    17. Annie Andre says:

      Eugene,
      Looks like it’s part of the evolution of blogging; to comment a ton and then dial back.

      I defenitely notice that i have more time to do things that matter to my bottom line now. I was so obsessed with commenting and driving traffic. In the end, i did gain a lot of connections online.

      In the least, I think going forward my connections will be key to helping me promote any products (I HOPE). And make a few friends online.

      It’s interesting to see the evolution of other bloggers/business people who started at the same time.

    18. Sergio Felix says:

      Hey Eugene,

      Even though I do comment a lot on other blogs and I get around 30-40 comments on my own blog and I’m grateful for it, I also have to say that this has been a huge time sucking activity for me.

      I am seriously thinking in taking all the commenting ‘rewards’ from my site and even change my commenting system to something else.

      It is not that I want to make it ‘harder’ for people to comment but to me, time is very valuable and I can’t be blog hopping like crazy trying to reciprocate with everyone.

      I really enjoyed reading this and I’m pretty sure I’m going to fix this in just a few more days.

      I’m exactly in the same exact situation you described and I’m not that happy about it right now.

      Thanks and hope you have a great day man!

      Sergio

      PS. Special thanks goes out to Jeevanjacobjohn who recommended this article to me.

    19. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca says:

      Well, it’s been a while, but since Jeevan and friends stopped by, I decided to re-look at this post lol.

      Eugene, you know I’m feelin’ ya, and I’m glad you’re not anti-comment, and still enjoy them.

      I wanted to share this, it’s a guest post I did for Logallot, and it’s my contribution to help the community’s comments:

      http://www.logallot.com/holy-grail-praise-worthy-comments-1/

      Love any feedback from you or your peeps :)

    20. Alan | Life's Too Good says:

      Hey Eugene,

      looks like you let a few spammy comments through on this post before getting to the real ones too – was that on purpose?

      I’m just interested because there is always the social proof aspect too to consider.

      47 comments on a post which is telling us about how you don’t get many comments – not bad!

      Personally I don’t look at it as comments or not comments, what I’m looking for whether on my own platform or elsewhere is meaningful interaction – and that means relationships with real people that are genuine.

      Relationships and community are really important – always have been and I agree with Jeevan, comments are a fundamental part of blogging and are also the way most people get build either of these,

      take care & best wishes,
      Alan

    21. Alan | Life's Too Good says:

      I thought as much – I guess that’s because you don’t moderate them?

      I’m still learning (probably always will be in this vast crazy online world) so moderate all of my comments first – you just made me think about changing that which I think I’ll try for a while ;-)

      I suppose I would still be notified and could always delete any spammy ones after the effect…

    22. Alan | Life's Too Good says:

      Yep, I use GASP too & really like it.

      I knew about the comment settings too but just never thought of it until just now. I’m changing it right now ;-) . I’m sure there was a setting too where you could specify the number of approved comments before you automatically approve them per commenter but I can’t find it any more (was that a previous version of WP or am I imagining it…)

      All done – wanna come by and test it out for me ;-)

    23. Alan | Life's Too Good says:

      Nice one – from now on any comments you leave should be automatically approved. That one wasn’t just because it was your first one.

      Also – glad you seemed to like the article ;-)

      I like the look of your Slideshare article too – I only gave this a quick look in the past so will revisit your article and take a closer look. I can’t do so right now otherwise I’m spending all day just reading blog posts, but will do.

      take care Eugene,
      Alan

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