Why I Almost Closed Comments (But Didn’t)

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Before I get into such a deep and heady topic — whether or not bloggers should allow comments — can I just say WHOA:

(video embedded above)

We had some serious severe weather in my ‘hood last night, which meant the doggies hunkered down with me and tried to hide under the pillows with every boom of thunder. They’re 90-pound wussies.

So, on to the topic at hand — and to get us started, you should know that I hovered over this little menu item for a solid 10 minutes this week.

Picture 1

I almost unchecked the box that allows new comments…but decided not to make a change. Here’s why (and why I didn’t).

Why I Thought About Closing Comments

  • I started comparing my blog posts to others, and measuring solely in comments left. I was wondering whether the response (or seeming lack thereof) was worth all of the time and effort I put into my posts.
  • I tend to write about tools and philosophies that people actually use as to-do items — I’m not a lifecaster (although I love those of you who are!). I’d prefer people take my posts and act on them on their own blogs and networks than spend that time leaving me a thank you.
  • If people want to contact me, I give them lots of options, including links to all of my social networks AND my email address. Closing comments wouldn’t mean closing the communication resources.
  • I feel guilty when I don’t respond to each and every person, even if he or she hasn’t asked a question.

Why I Didn’t

  • I realized that while I don’t always get a ton of comments, when I do, they are good ones and may be the easiest way for some readers to give me feedback.
  • While I don’t have a huge membership in terms of comments, my blog is more “popular” than ever — the pageviews are up, the number of people subscribing to updates through RSS and email boggles my mind, and every post that goes to Twitter and Facebook gets a nice bump. I realized that I need to expand the way that I measure so-called success.
  • I’ve spent too much time trying to convince others that comments are crucial (unmoderated ones, at that) and I just couldn’t pull the trigger.
  • I blog because I love it. If 10 people read it or 10,000, I’ll never stop. And for all of you who stop by and give me a few moments of your life, thank you. You give me feedback in support in more ways than I can count. Comments are just one way you show it.
  • I don’t care how or where the conversation happens — just that it happens. So the more places I keep open (Facebook, Twitter, comments), the more opportunities there are.

This post might seem whiny — “whyyyyyy aren’t people commenting? love me! feed me! never leave me!” — but I wanted to share a little bit of the thought process that I went through when it came to personal analytics for the blog. The main reason I considered shutting down comments was to take the pressure off me — to allow me the freedom to post whatever I want without wondering whether people or not would respond to it.

Ironically, I’m now going to ask you to comment — how often do you leave comments on blogs, and how often do you read comments left by others?

More reading:

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I can relate to so many points in this post – I have been feeling pretty much the same way. I get totally down on myself about what I perceive as a low commenting rate, and compare my blogs to those getting tons of comments on every post – which I equate with more hits overall, of course! And honestly? I LIKE my blog. I think my content is just as nice and original – if not moreso – than some of these blogs getting so much more traffic. So what gives? Am I doing something wrong? I have no idea. Traffic and pageviews are up and that’s nice, and I’m happy with my work, so I have to keep reminding myself of that and do what I like to do.

  2. 3

    says

    Interesting thoughts. I have to say that this post surprised me- I guess I just kind of assumed that a social media guru would consider comments to be essential for blogging. But I understand where you’re coming from!

    I’ve always believed that the quality of comments on a post speaks MUCH louder than the quantity. Nothing thrills me more than openign up my email and finding a thoughtful, paragraphs-long response to one of my posts. I’d rather get just 2 dense, long comments than 100 lame “nice post!” ones.

    To answer your questions… I’m likely to leave comments on blog posts that
    1. move me or speak to me
    2. are written by a blog friend
    or 3. ask a really thought-provoking question that I’d like to get in on. (This is when I’m likely to read all the comments)

    Keep it up, Katy- you offer a unique and informed voice in the blog world. I love your posts!

    • 4

      says

      Anna,

      Thanks so much for your valid points…at one moment, I felt like a bit of a fraud even *thinking* about turning comments off because I advise 99% of bloggers to keep them open and unmoderated.

      And I agree — I’d rather get a few extremely dense comments than hundreds of throwaways.

      <3

  3. 5

    says

    I can absolutely related to both sides presented in this post—think most bloggers can. I’ve learned to accept & value ALL of the interaction my blog generates. For me, that interaction comes in increased reader emails, Facebook (Facebook people like to stay on Facebook I’ve noticed), and also Twitter. With all the social media activity, I’ve seen blog comments go down, but I will leave that avenue there because like you, think they’re as important as any other means of contact & expression.

    I try to comment on other blogs at least weekly, versus daily like I once did. Researching/creating new content & posting daily has been prohibitive in that regard. But I still love reading blogs & especially finding new-to-me gems!

  4. 6

    says

    I actually love scrolling through really interesting posts to see the comments. :) Comments can make a post 100 times more interesting when there is good back and forth.

    • 7

      says

      agree! Some blogs do such a great job of harvesting conversation and discussion. There are a few blogs which I consider more of a community than a one-person POV site.

  5. 8

    says

    I subscribe to your blog and love all your content. I’ve commented a couple of times on your blog, but not often. I read so many blogs, but generally only comment when something really touches me personally, or if I have a question. With my own blog, I also don’t get many comments. However, I am motivated to keep writing just by seeing the page views day after day (as well as just for my own amusement). I publicize my posts to Facebook and Twitter, and often people will leave comments on Facebook rather than commenting on the blog, which is fine by me. Also, readers will sometimes e-mail me or just tell me in person that they love my blog or a specific post (many of my readers are just local friends), and I love that as well. My blog is about nothing and my readership isn’t huge (I get about 50-150 page views per day), but just the face that anybody besides my Mom and MIL read is amazing to me and keeps me going. Thanks for your great blog!

    • 9

      says

      Great points, Caroline! I get right around the same number of readers as you, and I agree, the fact that complete strangers are willing to take time to hear what I have to say is pretty special. And I think it’s so cool that blogging provides a way to get to know people you might not otherwise ever meet — such a wonderful sense of community and friendship!

  6. 11

    says

    Oh I have felt this way SO OFTEN…but for me it always comes back to a post I wrote well over a year ago…Why Blogging is like Dieting…….and I compared the number of comments to the numbers on the scale…..

    Aren’t we all searching for a measure of success and the real answer is not a measurable commodity.

  7. 12

    says

    Hi Katy,

    So glad you didn’t tick that box or what would I have done with the last 5 minutes!

    Seriously though I think it’s vital for us all to welcome comments and feedback even if we seldom get any.

    I too blog mainly for the love of doing it and it can sometimes be frustrating not getting a reaction, particularly if you put your heart and soul into something. I do think we should all comment more as it generally benefits both the author and the reader but I am as guilty as the next man (or woman) of neglecting my commenting duties.

    I did in fact resolve at the turn of the year to try to add 2 comments each day, I would give myself only a C+ so far so thank you for prompting me to at least reach 50% of target today.

    I hope this comment proves to you that you were right to hesitate, thanks for a thoughtful and honest post.

    Cheers

    Tony

    • 13

      says

      Tony —

      What a great challenge…rather than be overwhelmed at the idea of commenting on every blog, I think I’ll think about adding on 2 comments a day. Then, I can spread out my comments and let my blogging friends know how much I appreciate their work!

  8. 14

    says

    I’ve never had many comments on my blog. I don’t take it too personally though because, as you said, I love blogging and that’s the major reason I continue to post. If it were solely to get feedback from others and drive tons of traffic, I would have quit long ago! I always read every comment and respond, unless it’s something that doesn’t elicit a response (i.e. “That granola looks soo good!”). I love to engage with readers, especially when they are first-time visitors.

    To your other question, I don’t comment on every blog I read… just the ones that resonate with me in some way. I try to put thought into my comments because I know every blogger puts much thought into their posts!

    Keep it up! If you enjoy it, it will show in your writing and people will continue to read.

    • 15

      says

      Kennedy —

      You’re so right about reading every comment…I follow along as they come to my email, then read back through the discussion every night. And I do love what I’m doing, so I appreciate the reminder.

  9. 16

    says

    After posting, just reread the comments coming through on this post & everyone has such great points! Kelly’s right, comments (a good back & forth) makes the dialogue more interesting.

    P.S. Forgive my typo in first comment. Probably shouldn’t be trying to comment via iPhone keypad! :)

  10. 17

    says

    I love love love your blog. I am seriously learning SO much about social media and blogging because of your site…. you should also know that one of the reasons why I am becoming so interested in social media is because of you and one of the internships I applied for is in social media.

    I used to measure my success of my blog in the number of comments left and would get discouraged by a lack of comments. I know people are reading, but they don’t leave comments. However, the people that do leave comments, leave them on a regular basis and I love communicating back with them. I read every single comment and while I may not respond to everyone (due to time or I just don’t know what to say!), I really do appreciate every comment.

    I try to leave a comment on each blog I read a few times a week, and those that update daily or multiple times a day (or are just my favorites), I’ll leave a comment at least once a day.

    Keep up the great work Katy!

  11. 18

    says

    Katy, In addition to the comment you can expect a trackback someday. I’m one of those purists I guess, who think a blog not open to comments is not a blog; it’s a regular column or feature but not the same. As Kelly and Tony mentioned, I scrolled through the other comments to see what others had to say, so I know what I can contribute. Which is a ditto. Ditto on not always getting a lot of comments or feedback, so I’m working on it. Trying new things, different topics so my company blog isn’t all business, shows some personality too. Glad to have found your post this morning.

    • 19

      says

      Hi Davina, and if nothing else, I’m glad this post inspired you to comment so I can come see what you’re doing!

      I blog here AND for business (on separate sites) so I understand the struggle for balance completely.

  12. 20

    says

    I love when readers comment. To me, it is like having a conversation. And a way to form connections. Which is why I try to respond to many of them. I used to reply to all of them but that seemed a bit insincere for some and took a lot of time. And time is also why I don’t comment on every post I read. I read a lot of blogs and I had to consciously tell myself it was okay not to comment on every one every day. Just not enough time. Balance, yada, yada. I actually cut back my own posting schedule so I could have more time to support others with commenting. I will be honest and say that for me, much of commenting is about support and connections. So, if there is a huge blogger who gets tons of comments from others, I don’t feel as great a need to pipe in unless something really hits home for me. And if there is a blogger who I have commented on multiple times but never gotten a response or a visit to my blog, I might stop putting forth the effort, thinking it is not something that matters a lot to them. Seems to me that bloggers blog for different reasons – comments are more important to some than to others. Me – I love them. They keep me going.

    P.S. Yes, I’ve commented on here before:)

    • 21

      says

      Karen,

      I find myself looking at the # of comments on a post, too, and sometimes opting out if they already have a lot. It’s a good reminder that that’s not ALWAYS the right move!

      I think you’ve also raised a good point about cutting *back* on blogging time to make room for commenting time. Thanks!

  13. 23

    says

    I have to echo what others have said … a blog without a place to comment is no longer a blog. To me, a blog is a conversation. And sometimes it does feel like you’re talking to yourself! But there are always people listening, and I think it’s so important to allow them the option to add to the topic.

    I will say that I’m not as good at commenting as I have been in the past … I read pretty much everything in Google Reader and it does take extra time to click over and make that comment. However, I know how much I love comments on my own blog. This post was a good reminder to stop being lazy and take the extra 5-10 minutes to leave comments. It’s always worth it!

  14. 24

    says

    I read tons and tons of blogs (seriously Google Reader is always at 1000+ uread) but I comment on a teeny tiny portion. There are a few blogs I comment on regularly, mainly some of my old school running buddies’ blogs, but for the most part, I just read and only comment when I feel I can really add something to the conversation.

    I learn a ton from your blog, but don’t comment here much because I usually don’t have too much to add. But I’m glad you decided not to turn off comments because sometimes there is something I want to say or add.

    I love the stuff you write about. It’s interesting and informative and fabulous. Keep up the great work!

  15. 25

    says

    So glad you didn’t take your comments off! I leave comments on blogs when I see something that strikes me. Yes I’m guilty of the “Those look amazing!” Usually because I was just thinking about them or recently tried a different recipe. As far as reading other comments, it all depends on my time frame. If I have a few extra minutes than I quickly scroll down and read.

  16. 26

    Val @ Balancing Val says

    I’m a comment whore myself, but I really had to believe that not everyone who reads a post is going to comment on it and that’s fine with me.

    I can’t really get mad because I do the same. I don’t comment on every post I read or Id need another 29 hours in a week. I also would only rather leave a comment when I have something to say rather than a

    “hey! Nice post! Love your oatmeal today . . . Again”

    type of comment.

    Also, sometimes the timing is bad like when I’m at work or when I’m on the train and don’t get great wireless connections.

    There’s a lot of factors!

    But just know I read every post!! :)

    • 27

      says

      It’s an interesting point you raise, about quality vs. quantity — from both views…as a blogger and as a blog reader.

      And others have mentioned timing issues which I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t really consider. Thanks for giving me lots to think about!

  17. 28

    says

    Giving is a simple act.
    Giving is its own valuable comment.
    Comments, when they come, are nice reflections.
    Comments are not an essential part of the giving equation.

    Stay simple, keep giving.

  18. 29

    says

    Wonderful post Katy. I truly truly love reading your posts as they are so informative and tend to teach me a lot! Anyway, I comment on a lot of blogs — at least in my opinion! There are many reasons why I comment: I have a connection with that blogger, I love what the post is about and feel the need to add my opinion or compliment the blogger, I want to be a part of the conversation / comment community! When I don’t leave a comment it is usually because I don’t have much time and am trying to read as many blogs as possible. Another reason I won’t comment (and this happens less often)… is when I think the blogger was posting something just to post something to get pageviews (is that mean?) Oh well, that’s one of my reasons!

    • 30

      says

      It’s funny that you mention it, because I tend to comment on blogs after I meet the writer in person — so I guess it’s a reminder that we all need to do our best to find new people to connect with!

  19. 31

    says

    Another reason to allow comments is the importance search engines, including Google, put on them. Those of us who monetize our sites need to have our pages high in the search engine results to drive traffic, which attracts advertisers. Somewhere, apparently, in the mysterious algorithm developed by Google is a line that gives a little more credence to a site with comments. One of the great frustrations is publishing an article, linking to it on Facebook, then having the readers go back to Facebook to leave a comment. Oh, well, just happy they’re reading.

    There is another caution with comments: any place on a Web site that allows the entry of text is a possible gateway to hackers and spammers. While Captcha codes will help to some extent with bots, they can’t keep the “live” hackers from embedding codes or leaving inappropriate links. I have my comment module set to allow comments to publish immediately — the concept of dialogue demands it — but I’m alerted to every new comment so that I can monitor its veracity.

  20. 33

    says

    You have to remember that you are the minority. You are the content creator and people are going to consume that content, but may not want to put themselves in the public eye like you do. Some people obsess over what they write in comments and therefore they will never do it. Some people have written a comment before and received criticism, most people hate criticism. In the grand scheme of things we all read tons of stuff online everyday, do you comment on all of it? Not just blog posts, but tweets, fb posts, etc? I know I don’t.

    Also, I tend to drop a comment on your site and Meghann’s because I’m the only guy to ever do so! Brownie points??? :)

    • 34

      says

      Jason — I’m so glad you said this…I knew that writing and publishing the post would let me see viewpoints that never would have crossed my mind otherwise. Between time constraints, publicity concerns and more, I have a lot more to think about.

      Brownie points duly awarded.

  21. 35

    says

    As a newer blogger, it can definitely be challenging not to compare myself to other bloggers, especially when it comes to the numbers of comments. It’s easy to see that as a marker for a successful blog. My blog is quite new, so I usually only get a few comments on each post–that’s fine. Then I recently did a giveaway post and received over 80 comments–far and away a record. It was exciting at first, but I had to reel myself in a bit and realize that most of these individuals were just popping by for the giveaway, and that many of them would never return.

    I love interacting with readers through comments, but sometimes I really have to remind myself to focus on enjoying writing the content and conveying my message–otherwise I get really caught up in the numbers game.

    I’m a fairly active commenter. If I feel I have something to add, I generally do. I just try to avoid “That looks delicious!” or similarly generic comments when I post. I often skim the comments left by others, and sometimes I’ll even reply to those if something catches my eye and I can relate to it.

  22. 36

    says

    I don’t comment on blogs as much as I used to, but I always faithfully read because the blogs I subscribe to I know have a lot of smart things to say. On the flip-side of that, I LOVE getting comments because it’s like instant feedback. But at the end of the day I’m more happy with a post that gets the most page views/interest than one that gets the most comments because they really don’t “mean” that much. Comments can be a good way to spark communication with someone, but a lot of people don’t use it that way. And in fact I wouldn’t worry about answering comments when they don’t have a specific question. If anything, I feel awkward when I leave a short, generic comment and get a reply like “thanks for visiting!” because I don’t know if I’m expected to respond or what.

    • 37

      says

      confession: I think responding to every single comment is a waste of time/energy. Would my readers want me to leave a comment thanking them for what they said or agreeing with their POV, or would they rather I put that energy, effort and time into producing better content for posts or working on the back end of my design, making THS more user friendly?

      • 38

        says

        Agreed. I like to see the blogger get involved in the comments and continue the discussion, but if the only thing worth saying is something like, “Thanks for stopping by!” then it seems unnecessary and a little silly.

        • 39

          says

          @Paige @Heather If there are TONS of comments, maybe. I think one comment just taking the time to thank those who don’t get individual replies is better than ignoring those who took the time to comment. IDK.. When I visit a blog, esp. one that’s new to me, it looks a little off if the blogger only replied to a small fraction of the comments.. or couldn’t be bothered to type “thanks” here and there. JMHO.

  23. 40

    says

    i read your blog every day katy! i am honestly a bad blog commenter. between working full-time and trying to maintain my own blog, it can be really hard to comment on all of the blogs i read since there are so many. also, i know that i NEVER commented on blogs before i had one. it seems so foreign to me, so there are people out there who probably feel the same way and love reading but don’t feel comfortable leaving a little nugget to say hi.

    • 41

      says

      <3

      I totally hear you on balancing time -- and once you devote ore energy to one project, you obviously have to sacrifice something else. It's a struggle I think I need to look at from my own commenting perspective, too, and try and be a better reader1

  24. 42

    says

    I only comment on posts when I have something ‘useful’ to say about it – whether it’s relaying my own story on the same topic, or giving advice or an opinion when the author asks for one. I try not to leave “generic” comments that just say “great post” or something like that. I do always get a little pang of sadness though when I read a post & go to leave a comment and find out that comments are closed!

    All in all, I’m glad you decided to keep comments open!

  25. 43

    says

    I love using comments as a communication tool. I certainly don’t always have time to comment (especially when they are typically typed 1 handed during b’feeding these days), but I do appreciate that forum. I also love other avenues as well. Any option of communication is a good one to me!

    I never use comments as a measure of my blog’s growth or “success” though. I always track that with pageviews, subscribers, etc. If those are increasing then I’m obviously sharing things in a productive way. But no matter what, blogging as a whole is more about the enjoyment, interaction, support, and FUN. I try to keep my focus there and just let things happen how they will with the effort I have to give.

    • 44

      says

      Yeah, it’s not like you’re busy these days…:)

      I think they key word in your comment is “forum” — keeping comments open allows people to start their own discussions, and that’s something I’m totally down with.

  26. 45

    says

    i try to only leave comments when I really really have something to say. I don’t want to leave a three word comment simply for the sake of commenting.

    There are some blogs I read through the comments fairly often – RachelWilkerson and Healthy Tipping Point are two great examples – because there is often GREAT DISCUSSION going on in the comments section. I am v. guilty of commenting on several other people’s comments on HTP, because I love the conversation aspect of it.

  27. 48

    says

    I don’t comment as much as I’d like to. Often I’ve got limited time and just quickly scan posts in my reader, but I will click through if I have something to say!

  28. 49

    says

    It’s super weird, but the growth of my blog has NOT been met with an equal growth in comments. I used to compare my comments to others, but I’ve finally realized that sometimes people just want to read and move on. They don’t mean anything by not commenting. Their support comes from just stopping by to see what’s up.

    Your posts are showing / telling people how to do things or use tools. I’m sure after they read they get distracted by putting your words into action.

    Confession: I haven’t figured out how to do the twitter branding yet. Help.

    • 50

      says

      Exactly! I never noticed a huge growth in comments with a growing amount of readership. I had to reevaluate myself and why I blog and realize that some people just don’t feel the need/want to comment and that’s okay. It’s not that I have a bad blog or that they don’t enjoy it. Heck, I don’t comment everything I read and enjoy every single time, although I want to work on that! I love using your blog as a resource for blog tools and how to make my brand/blog/social media presence better.

      Monica is right, Sometimes I don’t comment because I am busy implementing tools, but I want to comment now and say thank you for all of your help!

      P.S. I miss you!

    • 51

      says

      I have about 10 blogs that I read on a daily basis that I really enjoy but NEVER comment. Mostly because they are recipe type blogs, or something I enjoy but don’t feel like comments are warranted.

      On the other hand, the “fitblog” ones I read I love to comment on. It’s usually topics that I am passionate about and want to join the debate or share my own personal story. :)

  29. 52

    Annie-Rose says

    I really like your blog – it’s an easy introduction to different aspects of social media that I don’t get anywhere else! I probably only comment on each blog I read ~1x/month. It’s not much, but I really only feel the need to comment when I feel like I have something important to add or ask. Most of the time I just sit back and absorb the information. So, just because there aren’t a ton of comments doesn’t mean people aren’t reading and enjoying the blog – there are probably just a lot of people like me. :)

    • 53

      says

      Thank you so much for this…I meant what I said — if only 10 people were reading, but they got something out of my posts, I’d keep going. :)

  30. 54

    says

    I’ve definitely gotten down on myself for not having enough comments before. I LOVE it when people comment on my blog (the little emails I get throughout the day totally make my day! Haha!) but I also understand that there are a lot of people reading who DON’T leave comments and that’s fine. I’ve started to be OK with it more lately. I used to overanalyze posts that didn’t get very many comments, but I’ve quickly realized the most random posts will get the most comments so I just shrug my shoulders, write what I want to write, and move on!

    However, I will say that my favourite posts ever are the ones that spark discussion in the comments. I had one post where two readers went back and forth with each other discussing the topic (in a totally great, respectable way!) for like 10 comments, it was awesome!!

    • 55

      says

      I love those debates too! I recently had a back and forth debate with a reader on one of my posts about “fat acceptance” and it was a fun discussion!

  31. 56

    says

    I agree 300% with Monica’s comment. Your posts are pointing people to other tools–I usually get about halfway through your post and then go check out whatever you’re talking about. I always come back to finish your post, but if I commented, all my comments would be the same: “whoa! Thanks! You’re awesome.” I save that for e-mailing you :)

    Also, I agree with everyone else: closing comments makes it much less interactive.

  32. 57

    says

    I am terrible at leaving comments. One of the things that I’m trying to work on is commenting more…and making those comments meaningful. I read a lot of blogs and a lot of times my job gets in the way of commenting when I want to. (Case in point…I worked 10 hours Mon and Tues!)
    I also don’t usually read other comments unless I’m really interested in the subject. I did recently but I forget which post that was.

    • 58

      says

      10 hours???? Ok, you make me feel like a slacker.

      I’m trying to be a blog reader, not just a blogger, and that means that I need to leave more comments. Thanks for the reminder, AND for stopping by during your busy day! :)

      • 59

        says

        Thanks :)
        My days aren’t always 10 hours long. I teach Spanish at a middle school and we just started a new semester so I’m getting all the foundation laid. Hopefully I’ll get to back to 8 hour days soon. :)
        You’ve helped me so much…I wanted to return the favor.

  33. 60

    says

    I only comment when I feel I have something useful/funny/clever to say or the post has really got me thinking. I try not to do the “looks delicious” or “nice post” thing because I feel like it’s insincere. I read almost all your posts because they are informative and well-written! This is key!

  34. 61

    says

    Hi Katy! I’m a new blog reader — I found you by searching for bloggers who live in central Florida. I’m moving there on Friday after 28 years of living in Philadelphia, so I’m nervous and excited! It really eases my mind to find other bloggers who live there and seem to enjoy it. Maybe we’ll meet up one day!

    This is a really interesting post on a topic I’ve thought about often, too. I kept a blog for over a year called “Defining Wellness.” What made my blog different from others was that I talked a lot about eating disorder recovery. I always wished I could find tips on how to recover from real people who went through it, so when I finally got to that place of recovery, I had to share what I had learned. I never had a ton of readers or comments, but the people who did read my blog were faithful readers who made it a point to thank me and tell me how much I was helping them. Like you, I love to blog, and I finally realized that if I can help even a handful of people, that’s the icing on the cake!

    Regarding comments, I tend to comment on blogs that:
    1. ask thought-provoking questions that I feel strongly about.
    2. I can relate to.
    3. share a common interest.

    I’m very excited to find a fellow central Florida blogger — keep up the great work!

    • 62

      says

      Hi Tammy — what a gorgeous avatar! Let me know if you ever want to hang out and do a blogger meetup. There are lots of us in Central Florida.

  35. 63

    says

    I’ve been baffled by this topic as well. The pageviews on my own blog have tripled in the last few months but I don’t get a lot of comments. I started to judge myself and compare myself to the “big” blogs that get 200+ comments on EVERY post. What the heck?? Why? And then I’d analyze their content and think “THAT got 200 comments?” It’s definitely not a happy place to go. This community is supposed to be about building friendships and being healthy in body and spirit…

    I realized despite the small number of comments, I get private emails too AND the comments I get are heart felt and make up for it!

  36. 64

    says

    I too love comments!! I totally understand what you mean, for a while I turned off comments too, because I felt like I was writing for me, and was disappointed when I had few comments, when that wasn’t my focus to begin with. With all that said, I’m making a point to comment on posts that I enjoyed, taught me something, or impacted me in some way. So…you fit! Thanks :)

  37. 65

    says

    I can absolutely relate to this. In the early days of my blogging, I used to spend so much time worrying about how many comments I got- I used it as a measure of my blog’s success and popularity. Funny enough, though throughout the past year the number of comments I receive on each post hasn’t changed much, my page views have skyrocketed. It really isn’t an indicator of how many people are reading at all! I’ve since changed my focus from the number of comments to the comment itself and the expansion of my blog in general. I love when people start a good conversation in my comments section, or when a new reader lets me know they love my blog!

    • 66

      says

      Someone else touched on the idea of quality over quantity, and between the two of you, it’s EXACTLY the reminder I needed. Thanks, friend!

  38. 67

    says

    I’ve come to realize the same thing. I would still write and do, even though my comments are low or non-existant. I love the few comments that I do get and I know that lack of comments doesn’t equate to poor content on my part. My blog might grow, or it might not. I’m still going to write. If it were about the numbers, I would have given up a loooooong time ago!

    I hope you never give up! You’re content is so great and so are you!

  39. 68

    says

    Unfortunately my workplace blocks us from visiting most blog sites, but I AM still able to read yours through Google Reader! I (like a lot of people, I imagine) am not commenting, but I’m out there and I appreciate all of the info & inspiration you share here!!

    • 69

      says

      I’m having an embarrassed, slightly ashamed “aha” mixed with “duh” moment, because I really didn’t consider workplace blocks. I get to be on the Internet all day, and I guess I forgot that I’m not in the majority!

      Thanks :)

  40. 70

    says

    Great post. I sometimes get comment anxiety and worry that the number of people commenting is low and maybe I am losing readoers or maybe that post sucked or maybe….Then I realized I like comments and I love readers but I blog for me. Like you said, 10 readers or 10,000 we blog because we love it and we want to!!

  41. 71

    says

    I’m the worst commenter ever. I read a TON of blogs, but probably only comment on a handful each week. I enjoy reading about other people’s lifestyles, but sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to add to the conversation. I should probably comment more because I do like being part of the blog community.

    • 72

      says

      Tina,

      Thanks for joining the bad commenter club! :) Writing this point reminded me that if I want to GET more discussion, I need to be part of others’ discussions. So I’m going to try and comment on 2 more blogs a day, and keep building.

      Glad you stopped by!

  42. 73

    says

    Truly poignant post, Katy. Everything you said on both sides of the argument resonated with me, as I have dealt with similar thoughts and emotions on both my food blog and my “business” blog. There are days where the anxiety drives me mad and days where I think it’s ridiculous to care so much, but one thing always remains. I love writing and at the end of the day, that’s what truly matters.

    The content you share is so rich and full of information that I am always coming back for more. I may be a silent reader at time but believe me, behind the screen I am, “oohing” and “ahhing” over the wealth of knowledge you possess!

    P.S. I can see this post has generated a lot of response and want to remind you not to have anxiety or guilt over answering everyone individually. :) I know that’s something I would want to hear right now!

    • 74

      says

      You are so sweet to weigh on on the guilt factor…but since I asked for it (in this case, literally), I’m THRILLED to have so much work ahead of me!

      OOOOOH and AHHHH right back at you.

  43. 75

    says

    I love this post, as I tend to love most of your posts, even though I don’t always comment. But I feel the same way as you do-I love getting comments and, while I don’t get a lot of them, my comments are growing slowly but surely. But regardless, I blog because I love to write and even if no one reads it, I do it because it’s something I want to do. I guess it’s kind of like giving your number to a guy (if you’re single). You want him to call, but if he doesn’t, it’s no big deal. You’ll still go about your living your life because you love it, regardless of him! Weird analogy? Maybe. But either way, great post!!

  44. 76

    says

    I , like Amber, Tina and some of the other commenters, love comments- that is part of why I love blogs. I love the discourse that happens between blog readers. It pushes thoughtful questions further. And this is why it is a community!! However- Tips are good with or without commentors!!

  45. 77

    says

    I will comment if I have something to say. Sometimes I feel like I should comment more because I want people to know I’m reading and supporting them. This is why I like when people post their posts on their Facebook page – I can like their post without having to try to say something.

    Every once in awhile I wonder why I don’t get a lot of comments, but if I look at the post I’ve probably not given much to comment on. For example, if I tested a recipe or came up with my own I really don’t expect people to have anything to say. I know my blog growth is not reflected by comments and that’s fine with me.

    I’m always pleased when I’ve written something more substantive that gets people really talking,
    but admittedly I can’t do that with every post.

    • 78

      says

      Hangry,

      Sometimes I forget how far a comment, a like or a RT can go…you (and all of the others!) have inspired me to spend a little less time blogging and a little more time sharing.

  46. 79

    says

    I comment routinely on just a handful of blogs. I used to comment on a lot, but it just doesn’t fit in my life anymore. I engage fully with a handful, and skim several others. If I’m particularly touched, inspired, moved, or whatever (like on yours today), I will leave a comment.

    I read every single comment that comes in on my blog. I don’t respond to every single one… only when it stands out in some major way… or if it’s one of my most loyal commenters. I appreciate every reader and wish I could interact with all, but there’s not time for that. I don’t want to send a two word response to people… I respect their time more than that.

  47. 80

    says

    Wow, A LOT of comments on this one! ;o) Thank you for the new perspective on how to rate the success of my blog. I know I’ve talked to you and Jess about how I would like more comments, but like you, I have noticed a jump in my page views, and I am so very happy for that! Most of the comments I get (mainly from my friends and coworkers) happen in person, and I think I need to acknowledge the fact that they ARE reading my blog, and they ARE commenting… just in a different way.

    And now, thanks to WP, I can respond to the comments left on my blog, and do my best to respond to all (2) of them!

  48. 81

    says

    Katy! I was just nodding along with this post from start to finish. I have also toyed with the idea of turning off comments, because it can become a vehicle for so much of the turmoil I experience in posting on my blog (which I LOVE to do). If left unchecked, I dissolve into a little puddle of “hmph. no one even LIKES me. nothing I do even MATTERS. no one is listening,” which, obviously is a less attractive side of my personality. Finally I decided that the work was in letting go of those painful emotions and refusing to let it be a trigger – I do love blogging. I do love my readers. I do know that people are out there. If I turned off the comments, all of those triggers would still be there, lingering beneath the surface. xoxoxo

  49. 83

    says

    I constantly compare my blog to others – i often, as of lately, ignore my blog (nothing positive to say really…), and thus the effort I put into it is only going to determine it’s success. As for comments, i like you remind myself that comments don’t necessarily determine whether or not people are reading. I read dozens upon dozens of blogs and rarely comment (i think this is my first comment on your blog!) because i worry about whether what I have to say is going to sound lame :X I know, I know, that sounds so sophomoric but it’s true and I believe it’s true of a lot of bloggers/readers to a certain extent. The other half the time i don’t comment is out of sheer laziness since i read blogs in google reader :X

    Glad you didn’t close your comments is what I’m trying to say :)

  50. 84

    says

    I do often (but not always) post comments on blogs, but rarely when they have this many already! I feel like I should read all the comments before I add mine and if I don’t have time to skim through 25 or 50 or 100 comments, I’m just not going to comment. And, when blogs make it difficult to comment (requiring a login or gltichy captua box) I’m not going to bother.

    I am new to blogging and am thrilled whenever I get a comment on my personal blog, because of the community-building aspects. I also have a work blog and really don’t care about comments there – it’s more of a news bulletin blog, so I just watch the page views.

    If I am reading posts on my iPhone, I may not comment because I am not good at typing on the touch screen.

  51. 85

    says

    I comment on approximately 2-3 blogs per day, but they are not necessarily the same blogs each day. And I read the comments on almost every post for a few select bloggers, and don’t read comments at all otherwise.

  52. 86

    says

    Wow! Lots of comments here. :)

    I do tend to compare my comments to others as well and to be honest I tend to get sad about it. I shouldn’t because I too see my readership growing.

    My rule of thumb is I can’t expect others to comment on my blog if I am not willing to do it to others. Plus, I love discussion and feeling a part of the conversation.

    I do have a lot of blogs to read, so sometimes I don’t comment on all of them. Just depends how much time I have which lately isn’t much.

  53. 87

    says

    I do not sense any whinny in this post. Rather a great self-chat reaffirming why you blog and what you get out of it. We all blog differently, with different intensities, dependence, expectations. You seem to know what blogging means to you. Thus, blogging is likely providing you the benefits you seek from it. How many people can really say that?

  54. 89

    says

    I adore your blog in fact my blog is now on wordpress because I love what you did with yours. If I haven’t said it THANK YOU! I hope to tell you in person at FitBloggin.

    To respond to your post I find the same mystery. One of my posts may have zero comments but I’ve had 40 visits to it. I don’t get it. I just write off like the scale…you can’t always define success by the number on it…sometimes it just how good your jeans fit! Right?

  55. 90

    says

    I read lots of blogs across the spectrum of bloggers. I do comment, but it seems I comment less than I read. I read comments left by others for my blog. I usually read comments left on others posts when I’m blog surfing. And sometimes I don’t read comments at all, especially when I feel I have something to say and I want to try and get it out in words. Sometimes I just have a hard time getting the words together. ;-) I didn’t read any of the above comments and I don’t intend to. I’m sure though there were a lot of good points made. Other times there’s a whole nother converstaion going on in the comment section and that’s fun to jump into. Sometimes I let it get to me when no one comments on what I post, but most times I just figure they either have nothing nice to say, don’t know what to say, or they lead busy lives – a good reminder it’s not all about the you. Okay shoving off….it’s past lunch time and if I don’t remind myself I won’t eat. ;-)

    • 91

      says

      Twix — glad you reminded yourself to go grab lunch! I get grumpy when I don’t eat.

      Thanks for your comment…this post turned into one of the best discussions I’ve ever had on the site, so thanks for being a part of it!

  56. 92

    says

    I really loved this post because I have thought about just not blogging due to a drop in my comments & stats. I do put alot of time & thought into my posts so it can be hard to see this happen. I have not stopped but am rethinking if I should still blog, if I should cut back or maybe should I revamp the whole thing.

    I do comment on other blogs as much as I can & read comments to my blog & respond as I can.. plus I read other replies to my comments..

    Thx for this thoughtful post!

  57. 93

    says

    Katy,
    The fact that I’m commenting now, after so many days have passed, is part of the reason I don’t comment as often as I’d like – I’m generally “catching up” on blogs when I have time. I only comment when something strikes a chord or I have something that I feel will add to the conversation. Rarely do I comment on any blog just to say me too or the like. As a blogger with a smaller and less frequently updated blog, I too get discouraged at times b/c I don’t feel “popular” but at the end of the day, I blog when I want because I like it. When I do receive comments, I’m happy and love the dialogue.
    Your blog is truly one of my favorites. I love your honest perspective and that I learn so much about using online tools from you!
    Keep up the great work. If comments go away, I’ll reach out to you on Twitter, so no big. ;)

  58. 95

    Chris Hupp says

    You may or may not respond to this comment, but I hope you do. I actually found your blog through a friend. His exact words to me were “Dude here is a girl after your own heart, You should follow her blog.” After reading your most recent post I saw down at the bottom of your blog “Looking for More?” and clicked on another post. Interesting enough it happened to be this one. I have been working on trying to get comments of any kind on my blog.

    I have only been consistently blogging on the above listed blog for 2 months. I was inspired by another blogger and started being more regular.

    You probably don’t care about all that, but How do you get comments in the first place? I rarely get anyone to comment on my blog even when I ask them to.

    I do internet marketing as well, and you inspired me even further to get my blog going.

    • 96

      says

      Responding! :) And please tell your friend I said thanks…

      Comments are a tough thing, and you’re still pretty new at it. You might want to check out the webinar that I did on killer blog posts:

      http://fitblogchats.com/presentations/#Katy

      I share some tips for creating content that demands comments. And I’m big on calls to action in each post — I ask questions, or stir the pot, using some bold formatting to try and push the point.

      Also, comment comment comment on other people’s blogs. It’s the best way to build up some name recognition.

      Good luck!

    • 97

      says

      Also — I just went to comment on your site and only had one option: signing in with my Google account. I will very rarely leave a comment if it’s too tough, so I would strongly urge you to open up your commenting options so people can use Name/URL.

      • 98

        Chris Hupp says

        Done, Thanks for the tips! I opened comments up to anyone, I can’t believe I didn’t even think of that!

        On what network or channel do you work as a TV producer?

        • 99

          says

          Just as a follow up, I watched that webinar, and it was great! I linked to your blog in my last post and from now on I am going to do my best to follow those 10 guidelines.

          Thank you again for all your help!

  59. 100

    says

    I have very few comments in my blog … although I love the few I receive … I am still new to the blogging … and try to be as consistent as I can … I travel often for work, long work hours and frequent trips sometimes makes consistent blogging very difficult … I would love some more comments! I never ask for any comments after my posts … mainly I write for myself and am still finding my place … I love when readership goes up but I am still at the point where I doubt the quality of my blog in the eyes of others … although I love it … don’t know if I have what it takes to capture the audience attention.

    I love leaving comments, but find myself always wanting to comment on the same blogs … I wonder if this is frowned upon by the blogger???

    Thank you for the info you share!

    • 101

      says

      J,

      I’m so glad you took the time to leave a comment HERE! :) I’m actually publishing a post tomorrow that features a tool that should make it easier for bloggers to comment, so that’s something to keep an eye on.

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that you blog for yourself above all. As long as that’s true, the comments will just be bonus.

      And no, I don’t think it’s frowned on to have favorite blogs. I love my regulars!

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