After going seven days without comments, Kumiko has made an updated on what it’s like to have a blog that doesn’t allow comments. After laying out her findings, Kumiko contends that Cash Quests is better off without comments. While I respect that decision and reasoning, you won’t see me turning off comments on John Chow dot Com anytime soon. Here’s why I allow comments on my blog.
Your No. 1 Communication Tool With Your Readership
Nothing gives instant feedback like the comment system. Yes, you will have to contend with some spam and other negative stuff that comes with offering blog comments but those downsides are far outweighed by the upside. Without comments, the only way your readers can talk to you is via email and I get enough emails as it is.
A Blog Without Comments Isn’t A Blog
A blog is a two way communication tool between the blogger and its readership. By removing the comments, you turn off the number one way readers communicate with the blogger. Comments and blogging go hand in hand like peas and carrots. I dare say that a blog without a comment system isn’t a blog.
Without Comments, Your RSS Readers Have Very Little Reason To Visit
Kumiko said her RSS subscription increased by 5% since turning off the comments seven days ago. That’s great but the real money is made on the blog itself because monetizing a RSS feed is far more difficult. The best way to make money off the RSS is to get readers to visit the blog and comments are one of the best ways to do that.
Unless a reader subscribes to the comment RSS, he would need to visit the blog in order to check out the comments. If there are no comments allowed, there’s isn’t much reason to visit the blog. This will result in a page view decrease, which was exactly what Cash Quests experienced.
User Generated Content Means Less Work for You
I find that my daily page views is pretty constant whether I make one post per day or five posts per day. This is because there is always something new for the reader to check out. If there isn’t a new post, I can pretty much guarantee there’ll be new comments to read or respond to.
Content equal traffic and allowing comments means your readers are helping to generate that content, which mean more traffic for the blog and less work for you.
A Blog Is A Community
Despite what Kumiko believes, a blog is a community. A community doesn’t mean everyone has an equal voice. All it means is that everyone can have their voice heard and that is what the blog comment system allows. If you kill that, you kill the community and readers will no longer have a sense of belonging to your blog.
Comments Enhance The Value of a Review
When I ordered my review from Cash Quests, I wasn’t aware that the comments were turned off. That was actually quite upsetting because I wanted to hear the feedback from Cash Quests’ readership as well as Kumiko. Feedback from the readership can sometimes be more valuable than feedback from the reviewer.
I have received more than a few ReviewMe requests saying they are ordering the review because they wanted feedback from the John Chow dot Com readership as well as hear what I had to say. Getting multiple points of views generally allows for better business decision making.
In the long run, I believe that turning off comments will actually hurt Cash Quests’ chance of getting future reviews instead of help it.
It Doesn’t Take That Long To Read Comments
It takes me more time to delete the spam I get in my email everyday than it does to delete blog spam or moderate blog comments. Akismet does a great job at canning the spam and that frees up my time to read or reply to the comments left on the blog.
Getting Comments Is Very Rewarding
Whenever I talk to other bloggers, one of the biggest complaints is not that they get too many comments, but they get no comments. When they do get a comment, they feel absolutely great because it prove someone was reading their stuff and liked it enough to leave them a comment.
I look forward to reading the comment on my blog every time I get back on the computer. Getting comments on my posts is one of the most rewarding part of blogging and I will never turn it off. You can read another view on turning off blog comment over at Blogging Tips.