When you started out blogging, you were probably thrilled when you got a comment. People were reading your posts, and cared enough to leave their own thoughts.
As time went by, you probably found some of the comments very useful. Maybe they sparked off an idea for a different post, or gave you a perspective you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.
But if you’ve been blogging for a long time, and your blog gets a lot of traffic, those comments may be starting to become less of a delight and more of a chore.
Responding to five comments on every post might take only ten minutes, so it’s no big deal. But responding to fifty could take you the best part of an hour.
If you write two posts a week, that’s two hours you’re spending on comments. You could have written another blog post in that time.
Even if you hire someone to respond on your behalf, you’re still paying for their time. And that money could probably be better spent getting help with something else.
So it’s no surprise that some people who run large blogs decide not to have comments at all.
This isn’t a new thing. Way back in 2005, Steve Pavlina closed comments on his self-development blog. In 2006, Seth Godin closed comments on his business blog.
In recent years, it’s become something of a trend. I’ve seen several blogs I read (avidly!) close their comments sections.
Michael Hyatt removed comments from his blog in 2015, and then brought them back a year later.
What about your blog? Should you stop taking comments altogether? Or do you think blogs should have comments?
Deciding What to Do About Comments
When you launch a blog, chances are comments are enabled by default. It’s easy to run with them enabled, but there’s no rule that says blogs must have comments.
Here are a few things you might want to think about.
What value do you get from comments? Does your blog attract thoughtful, engaged readers who leave comments that spark off great ideas for you? Or are most of the comments spam or very short comments that don’t really add any value?
Are you happy with how much time you currently spend moderating / answering comments? You may well be. I post only once a week, and rarely spend more than ten minutes a week answering comments. This is perfectly sustainable for me.
Would your readers prefer to interact with you in a different location (e.g. on your Facebook page)? Obviously there are pros and cons to doing this. But some blogs encourage readers to leave feedback on social media platforms instead of (or as well as) commenting on posts themselves.
Do you get worried or stressed over comments? Even if it doesn’t take you long to respond to comments, they can still cause a lot of anxiety – especially if you’re writing in a niche where readers tend to be snarky or critical.
There are no right or wrong answers here, and different bloggers will come to different conclusions about what to do. For a couple of useful perspectives, take a look at:
This is a thoughtful, detailed look at comments and whether or not we should disable them on blogs, along with an in-depth explanation about the “Campfire” (a thriving Facebook group Charlie runs for his readers) and the role it plays in encouraging conversations.
Do Comments Actually Increase Your Search Traffic?
This post digs deep into whether comments benefit your blog in terms of search engine traffic, and concludes that they have a small impact. (Obviously, you might be looking for different benefits from comments.)
Of course, removing comments doesn’t have to be a decision you make once and stick to forever.