Should You Disable Comments on Your Blog?

You have to make innumerable decisions before you can formally launch your blog. And even once your blog is up and running, the decision-making never stops, because you can always change things for the better. You can always tweak and update. What theme should I use? What color scheme should I use? How can I best promote sharing on social media?

The other day, one of my good friends shared one of his blog posts via Facebook. He has a day job and the blog is just something that he does on the side. Understandably, his blog doesn’t have the same kind of glossy sheen that you might find on a much larger blog with a much larger audience and budget, and that’s okay. We all have to start somewhere and he’s mostly just interested in sharing his thoughts with the world.

The blog post that he shared was a review of a restaurant that I had actually been meaning to try. Since I had a question I wanted to ask him, I went down to the bottom of the post looking for where I could post a comment. And I couldn’t find it. There wasn’t even a notice saying that “comments are closed” on this post. The comment section was missing altogether.

Yes, I could have asked him this question in private via instant messenger or I could have commented on his Facebook post instead, but I wanted to help him expand the discussion and grow the community on his actual blog itself. After all, I appreciate it when people comment on my blog posts too, because it gives this sense of community and connection.

So, I asked him what happened to the comment section on his blog. He told me that he purposely disabled commenting clear across his blog. Baffled, I inquired further. Why would he disable the comments?

His response was essentially two-fold. First, he noted that since his blog was relatively small and didn’t attract huge amounts of traffic, it wasn’t attracting too many comments in the first place. Many of his blog posts had zero comments and he felt embarrassed about it.

Second, he said that some of the comments that he had received in the past were either straight up spam or they came from Internet trolls, trying to elicit a rise out of him. And, as we’ve been told so many times before, we should never feed the trolls.

You see, but here’s the thing.

A blog is not a newspaper, a newsletter or a magazine. It was never meant to be a true broadcast channel where the communication only happens in one direction. A big part of blogging has to do with connecting and engaging with your audience and this means that the discussion can and should happen both ways.

True, the discussion can happen away from your blog too, but you shouldn’t actively try to prevent people from engaging with your content right on the site itself. If anything, you should make it easier. If anything, you should encourage it. Especially in this age of social media where everyone is seemingly connected to everyone else, your blog provides a very powerful channel for open, bidirectional communication.

It can absolutely be embarrassing when your blog posts don’t get as many comments as you would have hoped (or any at all, for that matter). But you’ve got to start somewhere. Give your readers a reason to feel like they are a part of your community, like you value their input and feedback.

Unless you really do see your blog like old world traditional media, as a broadcast channel for one-way communication. But you don’t. Right?

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6 thoughts on “Should You Disable Comments on Your Blog?”

  1. Hi Michael,

    I am a huge fan of blog comment. Buy you knew this 😉

    Unless you have little interest in building a thriving community thru your blog, I would leave comments open.

    I have been featured on:

    – Virgin
    – Forbes
    – Entrepreneur
    – Fox News

    and I spoke at NYU through the comments I published on other blogs and through comments published on my blog. Being visible helps but it REALLY helps to impress big brands if you receive a high volume of engaged comments on your blog. I currently have almost 8,000 comments at Blogging From Paradise.

    I recall a blogger receiving a book deal from a publishing house, with an advancement check, a tour, all the trimmings. The publishing company rep noted how the volume of comments received and responded to by the blogger was the difference maker in offering the contract. The publisher saw she had a tribe, said tribe being invaluable when it came time to do a promo blitz of the eBook, as these folks would gobble it up and promote it to their buddies too.

    Ryan

  2. Suzie says:

    I am also of the mindset that comments should be left on. Blogs are a community, and comments are (still!) the place where that community is built.

    But… it’s also true that having 0 comments on a post is kind of embarrassing. I’m a new blogger, and am in this position. It’s the whole ‘social proof’ thing. Nobody is going to race to post ‘first!’ on my blog 😛

    So, I am sympathetic, I guess?

  3. DNN says:

    I am an advocate for blog commenting. It builds and sustains lifelong relationships, brings people together meaningfully, gets everyone in an open discussion is seeing different viewpoints, and lastly, increases affiliate sales potential. Nevermind building backlinks and improving SEO with blog commenting. The fact that you allow people to comment on your blog is a good thing. Of course, you want Akismet and other spam detection devices in place. But to disable comment on a blog is like kicking someone out after the first date. The relationship just won’t work. I say leave blog commenting on, whether it’s the standard WordPress comments or DISQUS.

  4. Blog commenting has its purpose, to allow the reader to express their thoughts and provide an interaction with the writer and other readers. Of course its detrimental when someone comes and do Spam links but easily blocked.

  5. Chad Brown says:

    Actually I disabled blog comment on my site.
    It started just a few month ago & there is so little audience yet (like your friend 🙂
    But I’m going to enable it in short time.
    I know it can be good tool for easy communications.
    Thanks for good tips..

  6. Truckway says:

    This is very informative and interesting for those who are interested in blogging field.

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