Why Blog Comments Matter is a very important topic to address. However, before I get into the WHY matter, I want to share with you a brief story about a virus. This virus, (let’s call it Like-20, and no I am not making light of our current pandemic, lighten up), is responsible for the dumbing down of us all. We should have seen it coming.
In contrast, it wasn’t always like this. From about October of 2016 to April of 2017 I was blogging regularly. Myself and my followers had one hell of a community. A community that not only liked what we had to say, but spirited commenting abound. I even used Robmoji to get my point across. I then stopped blogging from April of 2017 until this past September. Since then, I am astounded at the serious lack of comments around our community..
But We Just Kept Hitting The Like Button!
Now I’m not just talking about my own blog here. That would be selfish and self-serving. Many of you who have been following me know that I may be abrasive, but I’m not self-centered (most of the time anyway). The underuse of the comment feature really strikes a blow to our ability to grow and prosper on this medium.
And that just sucks. Take a look this microcosm I from the reader, and you can see what I’m talking about (yes, I do love Flipbooks! :). On average, when we like a post, we comment only 6 % of the time.
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The Nitty Gritty
That’s 584 Likes and 34 Comments. What the heck! The last two pages are statistics from my own blog: 805 Likes and 61 Comments. That’s also at 6%. And don’t forget, that’s counting our comments as well. While there are a small sample of blogs with higher numbers, those numbers are actually working with that same 6% comment rate.receiving an abundant number of comments, that usually correlates to a huge number of likes. That is one pithy number!
The reader doesn’t help. The WordPress reader sucks! I absolutely hate the reader. Why? Its design makes it easy to simply click on the like button, and move right along. Buh Bye.
At the very least, the previews of posts in the reader should not show the likes and comments; I feel we should click through straight to the blog that created it. Therefore, not only would more of us see each other’s blogs, it would encourage a full reading of the post. Wouldn’t we all love that!
That would slow down those who simply click on the like button in the reader, and never actually read your post. Don’t think it happens? Guess again. I am convinced there are certain folks shotgunning their way down straight down the reader, to whatever end. These actions inherently reduce honest reads, and reduce the overall number of blog comments. For them it’s not about integrity, and contributing to the greater good, it’s about the likes, likes likes.
You Could Just Remove The Like Feature, Right?
Considering the statistics, do you really want your blog to go the way of an old west town? Anyway, the other thing that super-sucks about the reader is that it dissuades folks from actually visiting our blogs! How absolutely stupid is that? Some of us have invested in Premium and Business Plans, so that we can use many different mediums to get our messages out on WordPress (Click to see my site snapshot), only to have the majority of our posts viewed in the reader.
Publishing Your Posts As Excerpts
There is a way for you to encourage visits to your site: simply set your blog to publish excerpts (summaries rather than full text) of your posts. That way, folks have to click a link to get the full post. However, given the fact that it seems clear that most folks are merely clicking on the like button, I wonder how many are even bothering to click into our sites. How many folks, when seeing in the reader only an excerpt, are actually clicking through? I could go on and on about this, but moving forward.
Likewise, there are those who either do not bother to respond at all to likes or comments, never bothering to reciprocate and like or comment one of your posts. It’s vexing. It’s ok that we expect reciprocity. Commenting is important in helping each other to grow our audiences.
I understand that there are some folks who will never comment, and some that always comment. Surely we can do better than commenting on 6% of the posts we actually like. Why not spread the love, and grow our community this way?
The Comment Tab In The Admin Panel
You may have inadvertently ignored some of your readers without even knowing it! That’s because most of us view and respond to our likes and comments from the notification panel. That’s not the place to see everything.
One of the best way to engage folks who have commented on your blog is to go into your Admin Panel. In the left column click on “COMMENTS.” You will then see a listing of your comments, and link backs. In each comment space, in the upper right corner, you will see an exclamation point next to “user info.” When you click on that, you will see the commentator’s email and the link to their actual blog! Now that’s a great way to return the commenting favor.
Another reason why you want to review your comment page everyday is this: If someone reblogs something of yours, or links to one of your posts, the only way you will know is from this screen. Instead of the blogger’s picture in the upper left, you will simply see the link icon. The second comment on the image above is a notification of a blogger who linked to one of my poems.
Coming Soon: Part II of Why Blog Comments Matter
I hadn’t intended on blabbering on so much in this pot! In the next part, I am going to deliver on WHY blog comments matter! I’ll share my tips on how you can generate more comments on both sides of the aisle. I’m also going to share the strategy I use to manage my likes, follows, and comments. For now, here is my number 1 rule of engagement:
Always, always, always respond to your likers by leaving a like AND a comment whenever possible. If you are blessed with 50 million likes, try to get to at least 10 blogs per day. It’s not as time-consuming as you think! Then, take note of what happens over the next few days. They will thank you (and hopefully leave a memorable comment as well, and our community will grow, and we can stop the spread of this Like-20 Virus once and for all!