Blogging Has Grown Beyond Just Comments

image - Fewer Blog commentsComments are down on a lot of blogs. Have you noticed? I mentioned that in a recent video interview where I said “don’t worry about it. I feel this is the natural growth of blogging, combined with social media, and it’s actually good news for the long term sustainability of blogs as a trusted and authoritative resource. Let me explain;

So Blog Commenting Is Down, So What?

I don’t want to dismiss the interaction we see on blogs, it’s an important part of what we do but that interaction is no longer limited to a few lines below a post in the form of a comment; it hasn’€™t been for quite a while now. That interaction has grown much bigger than a single blog. We have a wealth of platforms such as Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, just to name a few.

Blog Comments Are Not Down Everywhere

Not every blogger is seeing fewer comments on their blogs; I don’t want to insinuate that. Have you seen Adrienne Smith’s blog? You’re going to have to visit a post pretty early after it’s published to be one of the first to comment because she gets A LOT of comments. So if blog comments are very important to you, I recommend you follow someone like Adrienne, because she has a lot to teach. Words of caution though, make sure you’re well rested because she can run circles around most of us.

Don’t Misunderstand, This Is Just A Theory And Not For Every Blog

I think fewer comments may not be a cause for alarm but, for some, it might be a sign to step things up. Well over a year ago, I wrote “Blog Comments Are Not Everything” but we still want interaction. After all, we’re talking about blogging here. If that interaction has manifested itself as social connections and exchanges on other platforms, that’s growth. If we’re not seeing growth in the form of strong, intermutual relationships with your readership or social sharing and other forms of interaction, it may be time to adjust your plan of action.

Don’t Sweat it But Don’t Ignore It Either

So if you’re noticing a decline in blog commenting on your blog, don’t allow it to discourage you as long as you are getting the interaction on other platforms. If that part of your plan of action is on the decline as well, it might be time to crank it up a notch. Keep putting out great content and give, give, give. I was just listening to Warren Whitlock and he said,

If you want to get more, make sure you give more, that equation always works ~ If you help enough other people, you’re going to get everything you want in life.

I think that’s a great quote to end on. :)

Has Commenting Slowed On Your Blog?

How about you, have you seen less interaction on you blog? Is it up on the social sharing sites? Can you pinpoint a reason, if it is? I’d love to read your comments below because, after all, we still enjoy that part of our blogs. :)

Let’s See What The Hot Blog Tips Hangout Crew Has to Say…

Watch LIVE right here (on this page) a few minutes after 1pm Eastern as we discuss Blog Commenting.
Why are blog comments down?

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92 Comments (click here to leave a comment)


  1. Twitter: Lisapatb
    I’ve noticed it up and down Brian and wondered if the warmer weather would lead to less comments. Sometimes I think the less often you post the more comments you may get because it leaves a longer cycle for you to comment at other places and share more. My traffic has remained steady though. Love to see what others say as well Brian on this topic.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hi Lisa, I’m sure there are many factors to consider and weather could be one of them. It’s true that fewer posts can give readers more time to comment but it can also cause traffic to drop after a while. I think if people keep coming to our blogs and see the same posts, they eventually stop dropping by.


  2. Twitter: MyGrlyPrts
    I’m with Lisa, Brian. I haven’t seen a decrease in either one of my blogs ,,, yet. I cut back to posting 1-2 posts a week and I think it’ gives my readers more time to comment. I follow many daily posters and quite frankly, I have a hard time keeping up and commenting on each post. I’ve been keeping a closer eye on my page views, as I interact with the readers on both of my blog via Facebook pages, Twitter, and Google+. Some people are just uncomfortable commenting on blogs I think.

    Interesting post and thanks for raising awareness.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      It could be true Bren, but you might be onto something else as well – time. Perhaps we’re just too busy now. All that social media can take up a lot of time. It hadn’t occurred to me that perhaps a lot of people are just running out of time. I know I am, it took me two days just to reply to a few comments. ;)


      • Twitter: MyGrlyPrts
        I know the feeling Brian. I do run out of time and have to prioritize my writing versus commenting on others blogs. IMO, mine comes first. I’ve cut my posts back and I think it gives my readers more time to comment. I following a lot of daily bloggers and I just can’t possibly comment on all of them, however, I do read them via my reader and dang thankful for that. Thanks for taking time to reply to my comment!

        BTW, your post gave me an idea for a post too so I’ve left it in my linky below. I even mentioned you! ;) It’s interesting to read the responses I’ve been getting about it. Great topic!

      • hi Brain i totally agree with you. I’ve opted recently to remove comments from my blog. Long ago I felt it was a great way to drum up traffic and interact with people.I have had a problem with spam. Most get caught up with the captcha, yet I’ve had to resort to moderating comments over 30 days.
        thanks for sharing…


  3. Twitter: CarlyAThorne
    I think some people are just NOT Commentators yet I know they have read it, because they have a comment elsewhere about it when sharing it.

    I say just tune into your tribe, those that comment, comment back, Thanks and Engage, and those that don’t, don’t worry about it


  4. Twitter: bbrian017
    I know what you mean, being the owner of a larger social network I see so many blogs not getting comments anymore. Seems if you want comments you have to go out and do comments on other blogs to be seen and to get return comments. One of e main reasons Adrienne is a success is because if you comment on her blog she visits yours and returns the favor! If I only had a blog online I’m sure I could do the same but I don’t only have a blog and the work blog engage brings me allows me to not preform that action, I have no time.


    • Twitter: AskKim
      Brian has really hit on something I’ve seen a lot of. When I got started (3 yrs ago) the most active blogs would avidly comment back. In fact, most that drive a lot of comments STILL are that way. Yet we have a bunch of dingbats running around telling people that blog commenting doesn’t work, that it doesn’t help SEO, that it’s a waste of time, and frankly that’s BS. It still plays a big role but it’s not always easy. And like most things that aren’t easy many people find rationalizations to skip it.

      At this point in my blogs growth, it’s frankly been impossible for me to keep up with. There are some reasons for that but I’d love to have more hours in my day. It doesn’t mean I don’t WANT to be doing it though.

      As you said however, a lot of comments now come in on other channels. The G+ channel alone is brand new and simply displaying those comments makes a substantial difference for me in how some posts appear in terms of activity. That channel didn’t exist 2 years ago.


      • Twitter: HotBlogTips
        I think I’m one of those dingbats Kim. ;) I think blog commenting is a great way to get involved in the community, network with others and even bring targeted traffic back to our blogs. As far a SEO and linkbuilding, I honestly think that ship has sailed. I’m not saying that the occasional blog comment doesn’t get indexed and possibly give us a slight boost every now and then; I just think it’s a poor strategy if it’s for the sole purpose of link building. That’s just my opinion, you are more of an expert than I am when it comes to both traffic and seo.


  5. Twitter: BlazingMinds
    I think it may come down to it on a lot of blogs, that people like to read more than type, with blogs improving over the years from simple 100-200 posts with just a video or a photo, to a full blown article that can be anything from 400-1500+ words.

    After reading them, people don’t have the inclination to comment or they simply think that everything has been said and they can’t add to the article, that’s maybe why it’s always best to leave something out and ask a question or two after the article.

    My personal issue with commenting is “time” the dreaded thing that I never seem to get enough of in the day, but I always try my hardest to stop by a commentators blog, if they have one, and leave my thoughts, specially if it’s an interest I share.


    • Twitter: AskKim
      One of the “lazy” factors I did recently was add the form fields of the comment forms of my favorite blogs (name/email/url) to my Lastpass browser add-on. Now, when I arrive at those blogs, the form is already filled in and waiting on me to jot off a quick note. It simply feels easier and has been worth the few extra minutes it took to set up one day.
      Kim

      • That helps Kim, problem with most folks these days is they don’t take the time to read the post through before they leave a comment. Their comment therefore sucks and ends up being deleted or spammed.

        Unfortunately this is because a lot of those who still comment do it for selfish reasons leaving crappy comments on as many blogs as possible. If they only realised that quality is better than quantity we would all be better off.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Since you mentioned it Karen, I’ve actually been telling myself I need to write shorter posts and get them out more often. I tend to go pretty long and people just don’t have that kind of time. We’re working on keeping the videos down as well for the same reason.


  6. Twitter: RyanBiddulph
    I have seen a surge in comments Brian but I have joined a few new tribes recently.

    The unfailing equation, yep, you noted it. Give freely and you shall receive easily.

    Help people by commenting on their blogs and you will get more comments too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  7. In case no one watches the video (and shame on them if they don’t!), I’ll reiterate that I don’t think commenting is down as much as we’re being more cautious and circumspect on the comments we’re accepting as valid. My comments are up, but if you saw how many I’m removing because they’re garbage or because the writer isn’t following the comment policy that’s just above the comment box…

  8. Very nice article.
    In my opinion everything has 2 sides good and bad. Actually, I see many advantages of comment. Some people has tendency to read not comment or sometimes they don’t have anything to write down. Or maybe your post is not interesting enough.


  9. Twitter: timbo1973
    Hi Brian

    Since I changed my posting schedule from one to three posts per week, comments on each post have gone down. I expected that though.

    When people had more time through the week to comment then each post had more.

    I’m trying an experiment to see whether more posts will bring more traffic with it though so I’m not concerned that the comments per post have decreased.

    The social sharing seems to have remained steady though and may have even increased by having more posts per week.


  10. Twitter: joannemallon
    I think the decrease in comments is down to several factors – partly, people are reading posts on their phone which may make it harder to comment; also many of those comments and conversations have moved to Twitter, G+ etc (SO much easier to tweet than navigate your way through some comment systems; and finally there is simply so much to read, I think people assume that they won’t have time to stop and comment as well.

    I recently went on a bit of a comment splurge and made a point of commenting on as many blogs as possible. Very, very few of those people returned the favour, which I don’t mind because it wasn’t why I was doing it. But maybe that’s become the new blogging etiquette, and perhaps we should accept that comments directly on the blog are on the way out.


    • Twitter: AskKim
      Now that you raise the point about mobile commenting you really give me pause to think. I bet there’s a fair bit of mobile viewing going on that’s cutting into things. It makes me wonder if any of the “leave a voice comment” plugins have been adapted to be mobile friendly. hmmmmm

  11. What I am seeing is that commenting has moved out of local blogs and moved into social networks … with plugins for Facebook, G+ … with separate commenting engines such as Livefyre, Disqus .. the engagement of comments has slowly shifted from the site away to other social networks.


  12. Twitter: AskKim
    There’s another new epidemic at hand as well of bloggers not linking to each other. Started about a year or year and a half back. I guess all the penguins and pandas made everyone scared of letting any link juice flow but now there is less community link love. I did a bunch of it for a while and discovered very few reciprocated even occasionally. I asked in one of the larger social media groups about it and most said “no one does it for me so why should I give that SEO of mine to anyone?” Dead end ways of thinking.
    Kim


  13. Twitter: EMscott6901
    This is a great post. My clients have mentioned that their comments are down within certain posts. Other posts are right up there as usual. I believe with everything there is an ebb and flow to everything. I also agree that commenting is not just that quick one liner but an open ended conversation that helps build a relationship between blogger and reader.

  14. I think commenting on a blog tells the blog owner that you have read the blog and understood it properly or it can also be termed as a means to establish a relationship between the blog owner and the audiences. But yes, instead f commenting some people also prefers sharing or liking particular blog. but that’s completely ones choice.


  15. Twitter: diggbloggers
    I agree commenting is going down. I feel social media is responsible for this. We used read and comment each other, it was like chatting, but now a days if we like something instead of saying “You are doing good job” we re-tweet it or like it on Facebook. If something very fascinating and we cant control then we share it with others through social media. This is how times changed and commenting is going down.

  16. I don’t know why but people become so lazy that they avoid adding comments after reading the post. Comments can help a blogger or webmaster to improve posts and blog. Comments work like a feedback. Now a days comments are become a tool to create back links. Not more than that.

  17. I definitely have fewer comments at Traffic Generation Café, Brian. I did however add G+ comment system and many comments migrated to it, which is great, but they are still down.

    I noticed that it’s a seasonal trend for my blog though – each year about the time school is out, there’s less traffic and fewer comments. Might have something to do with female readership tending to their family priorities.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Nice point on seasonal results Ana. I know I spend a lot more time outside in the summer and that digs into our time online. Just look how long it took me to reply to your comment. But my lawn looks great. lol

      I really want to add G+ comments here on HBT but I worry about the lack of moderation. It looks like it’s working nicely for you and others so I’ll probably add it soon.


  18. Twitter: netmarktsuccess
    Hi Brian,

    Blog commenting is down? This has something to do with the American style. You start with a headline that is powerful, shocking and sometimes even aggressive. Then, in the article you soften the tone, start to ask questions, debate etc.
    What is true is that blog commenting is not new anymore. New toys appeared on the playground: social networks. They are still new and people play with them more. That is all that is.
    Social media cannot replace blogging. Sooner or later people will grow tired of this new toy. Many will be bored and quit using. I know this spirit. It NEVER changes.
    Social media is a great tool but it’s importance is greatly exaggerated (still new). Yes you can communicate easier on a social media network like Facebook or Twitter but it’s even easier to use skype (just an example).
    When people will realize that social media means an enormous amount of work, their enthousiasm will fade.
    Relationships are another over-exaggerated thing. You are just one person. How many people can you Really engage? :)
    The cycle of life of a message in a social media network is very short. You wrote the message and it’s gone. Just a few minutes, maybe hours. Then it is difficult to find out.
    In a blog a comment remains for a very long time. Also it is easier to find.
    Blog commenting is a whole lot easier than social networking. The decrease in quantity will be accompanied with an increase of quality. You will write less but better.
    Conclusion: In time there will be different channels that will coexist because people’s minds and habits are very different. Some will choose social networks, other will choose blogs, others direct communication and so on. Differentiation and co-existence not extinction.

    Have a nice day


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I never really thought of it as “American style” Silviu but the analogy of new toys on the playground is a great way to look at it. I actually think of blogging as one of the first types of social media and they really do seem to work well with each other. I think both will be around for a very long time, just evolving and growing at the speed of light.

  19. I am kinda new in blogging and I have been commenting a lot my self. I was actually beginning to think it is the other way around. That bloggers do not want comment on their blogs!

  20. I’ve noticed my comments go down but I know that a lot of that has to do with a few things. The first is that I no longer reciprocate all comments left on my blog as I no longer have the time. Because of the time issue I don’t visit as many blogs to comment on as I used to.

    Lastly I’ve made it a pre-requisite on my Friday Funnies post that people like my gifts blog if they want their comment to be accepted. The reason for this is twofold. The first is I was getting tired of the poor comments left on that post and second to promote my latest blog. You’d be amazed how many people continue to comment who do not fulfil the requirements. Just goes to show they’re not even bothering to read the post.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      We seem to be in the same boat Sire. It took me this long to respond to your comment and I can’t believe the gaps I have between posts. Commenting on other blogs is a tough thing to schedule anymore.

      Mitch mentioned you in one of our recent videos on your Friday policy. It might have been the video embedded in this post, I’ll have to check. I seems like it was just this last weekend though. I’ll try to find it and tweet you a link and time.

      • Mmm, I don’t recall seeing that video. I don’t at all mind not getting as many comments on that post. Then again I do get the comments I just have to delete them. Just goes to show how many people were actually reading the post. I’m sure most of them thing it was just an easy post to leave a comment on. I’m actually enjoying spamming them.

  21. I haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. I’ve just noticed that some topics do better than others on my blog.

    For example, inspirational posts do well, also my own personal stories. Technical stuff gets fewer comments.

    I’m with Lisa (see first comment): if I post less often, and write more in-depth pieces, I tend to get more comments.

    So while I think social media may play a part in this, by no means do I think people have stopped commenting. It’s just that we each have to find what makes our readers tick. That is, if we want comments.

    It’s easy to get stuck on wanting comments without having a goal. I personally don’t care too much about them. I like them. I like the interaction. They’re nice, but they’re not crucial for my business.

    Good piece, Brian!


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I’m with you Henri, I like quality comments but it’s not the end of the World when they slow down. I also agree with you and Lisa on the types of posts. Like I mentioned in the video, our news and how-to posts usually get fewer comments. The funny thing is they get higher traffic. That’s because they draw in more search traffic because people are looking for solutions and answers, not conversation. I’ll take that any day. :)


  22. Twitter: AAAccidentlaw
    I think the drop has to do with a change in SEO practices. In the past, the person who could spam the most links would win, and blog commenting was a big part of that. Nowadays, link spamming anywhere you can put links is no longer effective, so the people still commenting are those who are actually commenting, rather than just exploiting a trick for SEO purposes. There is a drop in quantity, for sure, but I think the quality will be increasing, which is a great thing!

  23. So while I think social media may play a part in this, by no means do I think people have stopped commenting. It’s just that we each have to find what makes our readers tick. That is, if we want comments.


  24. Twitter: adriennesmith40
    Hey Brian,

    OMG, I’m so flattered you used my blog as an example here. lol… If you can imagine this though, mine do slack off some as well. Oh sure, I still have a lot of comments but I think around summer time where more and more people are off doing other things they don’t blog hop as much.

    I also know it depends on the topic of my posts. Some get a lot more attention then others but I welcome all comments as you know. I’m more about building relationships so I really enjoy the interaction.

    I don’t like the integration of the social sites on blogs myself. I think when things are spread around then as you said, that’s a good thing but we all know that our blogs are our real estate and you definitely want people here more then someplace else. BUT, you want people talking about you so that’s important.

    I don’t care if people have a lot of comments or not. If their content rocks then I’m there. Okay, I can’t be everywhere I admit but I sure as heck try! ;-)

    Thanks again for the mention and for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I hope everyone is still just doing what they do best and they’ll pick back up I’m sure.

    Enjoy your day!

    ~Adrienne


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      You were the first one I thought of when it came to number of comments Adrienne. And you know what? Mitch mentioned you in our video without seeing this post, I believe. So we both thought about you when it came to a lot of quality comments. You also inspire some of the best comments around as well. Anyone can have a ton of comments if they’re allowing everything to get through but you have none of that junk on your blog.


      • Twitter: adriennesmith40
        That’s so cool Brian because I know you cross a lot of blogs while online. I did hear Mitch too and so appreciate all of your support.

        I love to get people sharing about stuff so I’m happy to hear that people check out the comments. See, they are read and people do see them so that says a lot. I definitely do not allow junk comments. I’ve had plenty try to slide some by me, even those that visit a lot but if you can’t add to the conversation then I just prefer you don’t comment. Of course I always appreciate thank yous so I can’t help myself there! ;-)

        Thanks Brian!

        ~Adrienne


  25. Twitter: blogger_beat
    Hey, Brian – I used to get a tremendous amount of comments, well 100+ in many cases and you’re right, it’s a lot of work! But it’s fruitful work.

    I took a hiatus from blogging for about a year and came back the first part of this year to build my first online based business.

    Traffic was down, but not dead. What kept me in the game are the relationships I developed through blogging and social media.

    All of these relationships took effort, work, care and the investment of the very best contributions I had in me to add to the conversations in the community.

    I gained trust as a result of the time I spent online for a few years giving of my time and sharing & supporting the work of others.

    Commenting is the first real environment where you can really connect in meaningful ways with people, and it typically escalates to phone calls and/or in-person meetings and getting business done.

    If you play your cards right, this will lead to business, hopefully lots of business and because of this, less comments on your blog.

    I say focus on the conversations with people, whether on your blog or the social web.

    You cannot get into the hearts and minds of the community, or the marketplace, if you’re not participating in the conversation.

    Success on the social web/ blogosphere starts here.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Oh hey Mark, I didn’t realize this was Mark Harai. I did the same thing, stepped away from blogging for over a year. You’re right, those relationships stayed in tact and helped a lot. Best quote of the day, “You cannot get into the hearts and minds of the community, or the marketplace, if you’re not participating in the conversation.”


      • Twitter: mark_harai
        Hey, thanks a bunch, Brian – I look forward to getting to know you better and escalating our relationship… All good things in time my friend.

        Thank you, sir! : )

  26. I think the volume and frequency of commenting has to do with the responses of the author.I’ve seen sites where authors respond to each and every comment for encouraging interaction.Sites where responses are not received, the frequency and volume of comments will decrease.I think that is the logic behind it.


  27. Twitter: enstinemuki
    I think for those who have been consistent in posting and commenting on other related blogs, there should be no major negative change. The more you grow your community, the more comments you get.

    I publish consistently and get more comments on both new and old posts daily. I try as much as possible to trigger readers to leave a comment. In replying to comments, I try to get them back by asking questions and making suggestions. That’s just it ;)


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      You seem to be doing very well Enstine. It looks like you post about every other day, respond to comments and like you said, encourage people to comment. You’re also using CommentLuv Premium and offer great content, which is fantastic.

      I did notice that, overall, social shares seem a little low considering the traffic. Is that by design? Some bloggers try to keep the most interaction on their blogs so that’s why I’m asking.


      • Twitter: enstinemuki
        Hey Brian,
        I think a drop in traffic will also mean a drop in interaction. While this drop is generally felt by most blogs, some loyal readers are constant in leaving engaging comments.

        Keep an eye on this Brian for a little more time. You may have enough data to draw reasonable conclusions


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Yep, it looks like we’re think alike. ;) Quality is a big part of the decline, I think. Like we mentioned in the video, most of us are more selective on approving comments but I’d rather have a few great comments over hundreds of link builders any day.

  28. I personally do not feel that comments are going down on blogs. comments something like the backbone of any blog. Blog is basically an information sharing portal. how can someone share anything without interacting??? If someone said something,it is not mandatory to be the universal fact.

  29. Blog commenting has slowed down – and yet here we are…

    In previous days leaving comments could really help push traffic to your website and boost your Google positioning. This is less the case now and I suspect that this is why less people are bothering nowadays. I still like to comment because there are some interesting articles/posts out there, and I normally have an opinion on the subject.


  30. Twitter: sjfpc
    Love Warren Whitlock\’s comment; a cornerstone of life. Anyway, I have recently noticed less comments and not sure why. Maybe it is the technical nature of my blog? Or it may be that I have explained the problem so well that no one has questions- no not really! I had not thought about this until you raised the question but maybe I have to go begging for comments as your funny leave a comment pictures indicate. Thanks for the post.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Actually there is a case to made on being too thorough Steven. Some bloggers say that when we cover all off the bases, there’s little left for discussion. Others say being too opinionated leaves no room for debate. Personally, I’d rather write a great post that helps as many people as possible; holding back to make room for comments seems a little misguided.

  31. hi brian. I totally agree with this article and your thoughts. Blogging is also important to express your own views, thoughts, and feelings about that topic. It is also a great way of sharing information on popular platforms so I loves to do commenting on other blogs.

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