If you read my blog, there is a good chance that you have a blog yourself, or that you’ll have one someday soon. As you know, blogging is a lot more work than you might initially think. One of these factors is the amount of time spent on commenting: approving comments, responding to comments, and commenting on other blogs. What if they aren’t commenting on your blog, though? Here are some reasons that might shed some light on the subject:
1 – You’re boring. Ok, maybe boring is a strong word, but if you are just putting something very general, late (we know who won the Superbowl by now, thanks), or beaten to death, don’t expect people to jump on board.
2 – You have no call to action. Consider adding the WWSGD plugin or ask people a question to leave in the comments.
3 – You’re greedy. Virtually any chance you get to link to others, you instead link either to yourself or worse yet, Wikipedia. Linking to someone is not only generous but extremely relevant at the right time. Not only that, but the blogger will get a pingback and quickly come back to your site, hopefully also to thank you 🙂
4 – You’re haphazard. People like rhythm. When people expect you to post 5 times a week, once a week, whatever – at least they know what’s coming. If you fall off with this momentum, loss of commenters is often to follow.
5 – People don’t comment anymore, anyway. The blog reading community has fallen off in my opinion in terms of leaving quality comments, but I wouldn’t put all the blame on their shoulders. There are so many blogs out there, sometimes it is just easier to just retweet if you like a post rather than say something dumb like “great job!” Still, there is room for commenters – you just have to give the post your best shot (or at least the best that time will allow, please don’t stop blogging for 3 months to write your master thesis blog post :)) and see the commenters come in.
6 – You’re slow in responding. Even if you do respond to comments, you’re doing it days and weeks later.
7 – Worse yet, you don’t respond. For shame. People spend time to give you their 2 cents. The least you can do is thank them.
8 – You aren’t making it easy enough. If you don’t do so already, make sure that you are giving people an option to subscribe to comments. Don’t bother people with unnecessary logins and captchas.
9 – You don’t comment on people’s blogs. Social media has a bit of an emotional bank account. People will remember when you comment and comment some more. Please understand that I am not asking you to do this in a self-serving manner (though some do this), I’m asking you to consider spending time outside your blog and really getting involved in other sites. You may work in social media, but when did it stop being fun? If you even hesitate in answering this question, start commenting more and rediscover yourself.
10 – You haven’t found your following…yet. If you are a new blog, it is very likely it will take you at least some time to build a brand for yourself. While the case can be made that people still do comment on popular blogs, many of the comments that you see on “normal” blogs are spam-like, or to put it nicely, people that are trying to get a link out of the deal. Eventually, people will start talking about you and your blog – if it is of interest.
Also, if you’ve never read Liz Strauss before, she has a classic post that’s still relevant from 2006 on the subject on why readers don’t leave comments, which by the way has 422 comments 🙂