The Top 6 Reasons Why I May Not Be Commenting On Your Blog
Today I’m going to get straight into the topic at hand:
Your blog and the top 6 reasons why I may not be commenting on it.
Buckle up, I’m going to be shooting straight here!
Now here’s the thing. I’m a big advocate of blogging and utilising it to establish yourself, brand yourself, get your message out there, connect with other people, build your list and all that good stuff. Yet, there are blogs that I simply won’t comment on.
No, I don’t mean that I’m sabotaging anything! Rather, it could be you yourself who is sabotaging your blog!
Why on earth would anyone sabotage their blog?
I’m sure that no-one would sabotage their blog intentionally, but during my time blogging I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers who really aren’t doing themselves any favours. The disturbing thing is, this trend seems to be on the increase, at least in my observations.
Let’s establish something here from the outset:
You don’t want to be doing anything that will put people off visiting your blog and interacting once they get there. Now, of course your blog won’t appeal to everyone. You’re an individual and your visitors are all individuals. You will all have different viewpoints, tastes and opinions, so there are bound to be people with whom you just won’t resonate. And that’s fine.
However, there’s much that you can do to lessen the potential for frustration among your visitors.
You see, comment activity on your blog is its lifeblood. But, without realising it, your blog may be haemorrhaging.
Let’s consider a few of the things that I’ve noticed personally on my blogging travels and are the make or break factors as to whether or not I leave a comment.
1) Commenting is Disabled
This is an obvious one – if your comments are disabled then no-one will be able to comment. Now, there could be different reasons for this. Why someone wouldn’t want comments on their blog beats the heck out of me. But then, I suppose it depends on what the purpose of your blog is.
You may not feel that you need the commenting element and you are getting on just fine without it. Okay, but I would always recommend having them enabled if and when possible.
Don’t underestimate the relationships that can be built solely on the strength of interacting with people who visit your blog and vice versa.
One reason I’ve come across is that the blogger is a newbie and they simply haven’t realised that commenting is turned off. Perhaps it’s been done by a plugin, a theme or simply by their inadvertently turning it off in their settings. But if you’re a newbie, you’re doing everything else correctly and after a quite a long while you still aren’t getting comments, it might be an idea just to check that you do actually have the facility enabled.
2) Your Blog is Confusing
What do I mean by “confusing”? I mean blogs that have submenu within submenu within submenu, 98% of which are unnecessary. Column after column after column. About 1982098737 categories. No search option. No clear way to work out which part of the site is actually the blog part and, once you get a clue, you’re not sure how to find the latest post.
Now, I know that some people may argue that a more complex, interconnected site can be good for SEO and can keep people there for longer, which is also good for SEO.
But all the SEO in the world doesn’t count for much if the people who land on your site aren’t actually doing much to connect with you once there.
If I come across a good blog with good content, that’s easy to navigate and is active, I will be sure to put it into my RSS reader to be kept abreast of updates so I can visit again. But if I land on your blog and can’t work out where things are and where I’m supposed to be going, I’m just going to think, “Oh, I just can’t be bothered!”
In a nutshell: don’t make things unnecessarily difficult for your visitors. (See point number 6.)
3) Your Blog isn’t Engaging
As mentioned in point number 1, you want people to comment on your blog. But you should also be replying to their comments. And, when possible, return the favour by visiting the blog of someone who’s commented and be sure to share their content and leave a comment on one of their posts.
If I visit a blog and it’s deserted then I’ll be less inclined to leave a comment. Not always, but it’s definitely more attractive to get involved in an active blog rather than feel that yours is a solo voice reverberating around a ghost town.
Of course, if people aren’t leaving comments in the first place, you won’t have anything to reply to!
So, what if you have comments enabled, your blog isn’t confusing and you are prepared to interact with your visitors, yet you aren’t getting any comments?
Well, the next two points could answer this:
4) I Don’t Know Your Blog Exists
Yes, you could be doing everything by the book on your blog, but still you’re not getting comments. Well, here’s a question for you: what are you doing to bring traffic to your blog? Notice that I didn’t say “drive”. Rather, I said “bring”. Yes, you need to get out there and actively bring and attract visitors to your blog. How can you do this?
Simply put, get yourself out there and involved on forums and/or other people’s blogs. Make your presence known by giving valuable help and leaving valuable comments. If you have a signature at the bottom of your forum posts or are able to leave a link back to your blog in the comments you leave on other people’s blogs, then you WILL get people clicking on those links and checking out your blog.
An important point here: ignore the naysayers. This strategy DOES work and it works well. For those whom it doesn’t, well they’re doing it wrong.
5) Your Content is Drivel
Yes, that’s right. It could be that your content is complete and utter garbage. If you’ve just scraped some bits and pieces of articles and lumped them together in a post that comprises of two or three paragraphs of sterile, unoriginal content, with each post following the same format, then I’m going to spot that a mile off and this will give me no motivation to comment.
If your ‘post’ is nothing more than a thinly-veiled plug for an opportunity or product that you have linked at the bottom then again, I’ll spot this a mile off and I’ll have no motivation to comment. Now, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t take the opportunity to promote things, of course. But it has to be done in the right way.
If your post has the depth of a puddle and is nothing more than a, “I’m doing this. I want to you to buy it too. Here’s a link.” type of post then how can you expect people to get involved in a discussion? I mean, what is there to actually discuss on a post like that?
I appreciate that not everyone finds writing easy, but be honest – you know if your content truly stinks or not.
You need good, solid, value-packed, actionable, thought-provoking, original, well thought-out content that makes people think, “That was great! I want to add my thoughts to this!”. Augment this with well-placed, strategic calls-to-action.
But if you listen to all the hype about ‘this’ and ‘that’ piece of auto-scraping, spinning and posting software, or listen to what your ‘opportunity’ tells you about slapping up practically any old blog post so long as you lead into the offer, then chances are your content stinks. I’m willing to admit there may be exceptions, but those will be few and far between.
Write for people, not for SEO or sales.
6) You’re Forcing People to Comment Using a Third-Party Commenting System
This one is something that I anticipate some may disagree with.
Bottom line: if the only means of leaving a comment is by using something like Disqus, LiveFyre, Facebook or basically anything that involves me having to use a third-party account, I am not going to comment, plain and simple.
It doesn’t matter how awesome your content is, how fantastic your blog is or how wonderful you are as a person, if I can’t comment easily then I won’t comment.
It’s nothing personal, but it’s just too much of a hassle. Or it could be that I don’t want my personal social media linked up in this way. Or perhaps I don’t want all and sundry seeing everything I do because a third-party platform links everything together and makes it publicly viewable.
The built-in WordPress commenting system is more than adequate and you do not need anything else. If you wish to have something in addition to that which gives people an option, then fine. I’ve seen some bloggers do this and it seems to work for them. What I have noticed in these cases, though, is that the number of comments using the WordPress system usually far outweighs the number using the third-party system.
Surely that should tell you something.
Here’s the thing: why would you want to do anything that you know will alienate a segment of your potential audience? I know that if I used something like Disqus, there would be those who wouldn’t use it and therefore wouldn’t comment, perhaps not even bothering to come back.
But I’ve yet to hear of anyone who won’t comment because there is only the default WordPress system and there ISN’T a third-party system in place!
Think of it like this: a particular TV show could be really good, with great acting, gripping storylines and engaging characters. Now, this TV show doesn’t feature any X-rated language. Do you think that there would be anyone who would say, “Oh, this show’s great and I love the stories, but I’m offended because there isn’t any bad language, so I’m not going to watch it!”.
I doubt it!
A TV show without bad language can appeal to a broad section of people. But if that same TV show was full of bad language then sure, there would be those who wouldn’t care, yet there would be a lot who would find that offensive and not watch it.
So my point is, why put people off commenting on your blog? The fact of the matter is that third-party platforms do exactly this. Yet the default system allows any and all to comment.
Dita Irvine wrote what I feel to be one of the best lowdowns on the drawbacks of using third-party commenting systems. I recommend you check it out, it’s a very interesting read.
Another excellent post about this subject was written by Gary Korisko. He wrote specifically about Disqus and the reasons why he was forced to drop it. Again, it’s an interesting read and contains some insightful points from the point of view of someone who was using Disqus but realised the need for change.
Why Make Things Difficult?
When all is said and done, it can be a big enough challenge in itself to get comments on our blog. So why make it more difficult?
Why place obstacles in the way that needn’t be there?
At the end of the day, it’s your blog and your rules. You can run it any way you wish and that’s how it should be, of course. But remember – your blog isn’t worth a jot if you’re ticking off your visitors or making them jump through hoops just to leave a comment.
Yes it’s your blog, but the people are your audience. And you need to take care of that audience.
Take care of your visitors and they’ll take care of you.
I’ll leave you with that little profundity. 😉
20 thoughts on “The Top 6 Reasons Why I May Not Be Commenting On Your Blog”
Glenn, I’m sorry about that. Of course, your name is not John 🙂
Robin Strohmaier recently posted…How to Stop the Crop on Your Instagram Photos
No probs, John’s a nice enough name. 😉
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Can You Really Make Money Blogging?
I’m stopping by via Triberr and this is my first visit. Love your article. It is amazing how some blogs make readers jump through hoops, isn’t it? Your point #4 is a big one and your advice is perfect. I’m so glad that Triberr sent me your way. I look forward to reading more of your articles!
Robin Strohmaier recently posted…Low Quality Content: What it is and How to Fix it
Welcome to my blog, I’m glad you found me. 🙂 I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion my name is John, but it’s okay, I’ll answer to pretty much anything! 😛
I’m glad you like point number 4, I’m really big on that one. I do get tired of all the talk about “driving traffic” and although yes, I know what people mean by it, I think it can obscure the true objective by having the mindset of just sheer numbers being of importance.
Thanks for visiting and commenting (even though you called me John! 😛 ), I hope to see you again soon.
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Can You Really Make Money Blogging?
love your blog you have been obviously working hard on it….so much helpful information….keep at it, I will check it out often….looking forward to hearing about your successes……Stay well Jennifer
Welcome to my blog! 🙂
Yes, I’ve been slogging away at this for more than two years now. I enjoy it though and am always pleased to hear when people enjoy my content and that it helps them.
I’m looking forward to checking out your blog when you get it going! 😉
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…How to Setup a Gravatar
I like that list – will keep it in mind when I write my next piece, and definitely want to avoid drivel… Picking up blogging myself and always struggle with the balance between the depth of the content and the simple message.
Keep up the good work, I will keep an eye on your postings!
Richard recently posted…The Link Between Obesity and Sitting Down Too Long
Welcome to my blog, I’m glad you were able to stop by. 🙂
I think that the balance between depth and simplicity can be won by always being yourself and being sincere. A blog post doesn’t need to be long to be deep, likewise simple doesn’t mean a lack of depth. If we always write out of a genuine interest for our readers then this will come across and our readers will appreciate it. So long as we write good quality content that’s genuine and of value to our reader, we’re on the right track.
Thanks again for stopping by and thanks for your comment. 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…3 Approaches to Online Success
I’m with you bro on a number of points you made. If your content is helpful or valuable, then I’m with you all day. But if it’s just a bunch of junk or as some would say “malarky” over here in the states, I can’t an hang with you.
The bottom line is that your content should be written for your reader in mind. If your reader enjoy your content, then they will let you know that in hopes that you would create more.
But if you put huge barriers in the way and prevent the interaction, you wasted your valuable time, effort and energy in doing that post.
Why? Because you forgot about the primary reason you have the blog in the first place. FOR YOUR READERS.
Why is that so hard to understand?
The other thing that strikes me odd is when as you say, suppose you do get through to leave a comment. The blog owner never replies or acknowledges your feedback.
Tragic! Utter non-sense and will be one of the quickest ways to get people to NOT visit your blog in the future. Again, why would you write it, and allow people to respond and then you don’t respond?
Doesn’t make sense and one of the very reasons why most bloggers don’t do so well. They have no vision of what they are trying to accomplish and that’s
“SERVE THE AUDIENCE” what they need and want.
Great post Glenn, and thanks for your key pointers.
Jerry Handy recently posted…Do You Think You Have Value To Offer?
Yep, I’m totally with you on everything you say. I can’t work out either why people do things that will put visitors off from commenting. Totally screwy!
I like the idea of serving the audience. It’s like serving a meal. A good host wouldn’t put a meal out but make it difficult eat by not providing utensils. Neither would they ignore their guests if they tried to engage in conversation. Also, if their friends were to invite them back to their home for a meal, they wouldn’t simply not bother.
Yet all this is what people are doing with their blogs when they don’t write and behave with their audience in mind.
Hmm, all this talk of food is making me hungry….. 😛
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Churn and Burn Blogging – Should You Do It?
As always terrific post and I am learning from you. I am so grateful that you send me an e-mail, letting me know you have a new post, because your posts are full of massive value.
I’ll admit, I fall into a some of these reasons, like my blog isn’t engaging. I have to remember that I’m writing for the reader and I really need to take this into consideration. when blogging.
I love the thought you had take care of your visitors and they will take care of you. That’s keeping it real simple. I love CommentLuv, what a great tool to have.
You have an awesome Sunday!
Linda Schrier recently posted…Keeping An Open Mind
Sending an e-mail out is something that I kept seeing advised but I didn’t do it regularly for a while, thinking it wasn’t going to be very well received. But you’ve highlighted that yes, subscribers do appreciate hearing when a new post is out. I, too, am subscribed to the lists of other bloggers and I appreciate being notified of their new posts. So it just goes to show that we should never assume something simply based on our own ideas of what other people may or may not want!
I’m so glad you find my posts valuable. I try to keep on coming up with the goods! 😉
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Do You Need Knowledge to Be an Authority?
Very good points you raised in this post. Some are obvious, others not so. I agree with every one of them. I would also add that if I notice that the blogger never comes back to my blog, to check it out after I comment on his or hers several time, I will not return, or at least I will not leave a comment.
You are so right with the third party commenting platform. I will never leave a comment even though I would like to and I am ready to add one. The minute I see third commenting platform such as Disqus, I leave (that’s not to say I would not re-visit the blog and even bookmark it).
I forget who it was, but it was someone who has enjoyed a lot of comments all along. After experimenting with a third party they noticed a significant drop in comments and the comment that were left were not of good quality. They reverted back to the regular WordPress commenting system.
By the way, Glenn, thank you for your mention. Take care.
Dita recently posted…How To Create A Table Of Contents In WordPress
Yes, I’ve heard similar things about a drop in comments after introducing a third-party system. I can’t understand why people don’t see that? As soon as you start putting barriers in the way, you’re segregating your audience and it’s totally unnecessary.
Of course I had to refer to you when I made the point about commenting systems. As I mentioned in the post, you gave an excellent lowdown on the subject and I think it’s honestly the best, most objective and most well-researched overview on the subject that I’ve read.
I hope you’re well and had a good weekend. Talk soon! 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…10 Top Bloggers of 2014
Great post, as usual.
After reading this post a couple of time, I can honestly say that points #1, #2 and #6 aren’t issues on my blog.
As far as points #3 and 4, I’m still learning this blogging game and, yes, my blog does look kind of like a ghost town as I’ve only had yourself and a couple of others comment on my posts, so far. I know that part of it is the fact that I don’t have a lot of material for people to read and I haven’t worked hard enough yet to bring people to my blog through the forums and blog hopping.
As for point #5, I have just recently tried to think of things to post to help people become better at whatever they choose to do, personally or professionally, by using memories like I talk about in my recent Flute Lesson post or by using common sense as in my Technology post. I only hope that it doesn’t come over as garbage.
I should probably start posting more about IM since this was why I started the blog in the first place, to help me make a name for myself and succeed in this niche by helping others to do the same.
I just feel like I need to go a little further before I can honestly help others.
I’ve fallen back into some old habits of saying I’m going to do something and then haven’t yet. I know what I need to do and it’s time to get to it. You have it here in print. Time to kick myself in the butt and finally get that time management product I mentioned a while back done and out there to help others and get hopping to those blogs.
Sorry, I digress. Anyway, this post has really opened my eyes to where my weaknesses are in my own blog and on my journey to success.
Thanks for that.
Have a good one……..Chris
Chris DeeWaard recently posted…Relying too much on today’s technology can be costly.
I think you’re on the right track with what you’re doing. After all, you pick up tips here and there from me, so you must be doing something right! 😛
Seriously, it’s all a learning curve and you’ll get better as you go. Along with that will be bigger and better results.
In terms of content, I don’t think there’s any danger of your content coming across as garbage. You write from your own, personal experiences and you’re up front and open. People will appreciate this kind of stuff far more than some sterile piece of junk that’s been churned out through some software.
With regards to knowing what to write about, just write about your experiences as you’re learning. It doesn’t matter how insignificant you may think they are, you may be surprised just how much of an interest or how helpful they may be to someone else.
Any new thing you’ve learned, write about it. Any new result, wrote about it. Any mistake or frustration, write about it. Observations, product reviews, motivational pieces, videos, infographics – all these and more can be content for your blog posts.
Also make sure that you get into the habit of writing stuff down. If you get an idea for a blog post, jot it down, whether it be on paper, in your smart phone or wherever.
If you want some ideas, why not check out my early posts? I look back and I’m amazed at how different things were back then – my style of writing, my formatting, my goals. There are elements that have remained constant but comparing those early posts to where I am now, it’s clear to see how much things have changed. It’s also interesting to see how things started to really take shape at the moment I joined (what was to become) iPro.
If you click here you’ll be taken to my very first post.
Keep on rockin’, Chris! 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…What a Busted Shoulder Taught Me About Reaching Your Goals
I am new here and thanks for the post.
The mistakes we make while blogging are spot on.
look after them in future .
ebijayashanti recently posted…How to choose SEO Company
Welcome to my blog, it’s lovely to have you here. 🙂
There are certainly mistakes that we can all make when blogging, Iknow that I’ve certainly made a few since being on this journey. The key is making adjustments when necessary, always being prepared to learn and always keeping your readership first in your mind.
Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a great weekend! 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Two Big Reasons You May Be Failing In Your Online Business
This just flat out makes sense. Why build barriers to commenting? Why not make it easier to comment? Why not ask folks to comment, thru each post, with a question? Make it easy to comment. GO with a system that benefits commentors. Com Luv, or whatever. Think like a reader, a blogger, and you’ll get more comments than you can dream of.
My latest post as 35 comments within like 14 hours of publishing. It went live, and got a ton of chats, fast, because I tagged a bunch of folks and featured them too yet I make it easy for people to comment on my blog through different channels. Still working on mobile as my new theme is taking shape, via my developer, but still, I want NOT people to jump through hoops to share their thoughts. Think like a reader,a blogger, and how you can benefit these folks and comments will come a flowing your way.
Glenn, well done!
Tweeting from good old Bali.
Ryan Biddulph recently posted…Make Money Blogging: 19 Fascinating Bloggers to Follow
That pretty much sums it all up, especially this: “Think like a reader, a blogger”. I think this is where many people fall down. That’s not to say that bloggers who, for example, use things like Disqus are failing because this simply isn’t true. I know of people who run very successful blogs who use Disqus. But the fact of the matter is, they ARE losing out on so many MORE visitors and commenters by doing so! And as you say, why not use a system that benefits commenters? The way I see it is someone has taken the time out to visit my blog, read my content and contribute a comment, then they deserve something in return and I’m happy to oblige by allowing them to drop their link using the default system and CommentLuv. But things like Disqus prevent that and I don’t think that this is fair to my visitors.
I look forward to seeing your new theme! I saw that you have a new post out but I haven’t had chance to check it out yet. I’ll try to make sure I hop along there later for sure. 🙂
Thanks for the support, my friend, it always brightens up my day to see you stop by! 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…EMA 001: The Number One Newbie Traffic Mistake That Could Cost You Thousands (And Your Sanity!)