I know what you’re thinking – after all the posts I’ve written telling you how to get more comments and how comments are so beneficial, here I am getting ready to tell you why your blog would be better if you disabled comments.
What’s up with that?!
But, bear with me for a second until you see where I’m going with this.
And no, I haven’t lost all my marbles… yet.
First, I’ve said a number of times that nothing about blogging is carved in stone, which means there is nothing that says you must allow comments on your blog if you ever hope to be successful.
I’ve seen plenty of successful blogs that don’t have a single comment.
On the flip side, I’ve also seen plenty of successful blogs that have tons of comments, most of them worthless.
They add no value to the conversation at all.
Some of them are also so nasty they scare me away, which makes me wonder how many other readers leave that blog for the same reason.
I understand that your gut reaction is going to be something along the lines of “Well, I’ll never turn off comments on my blog. I’m HERE for MY readers!”
I also understand that most bloggers think comments fall under the category “reader engagement.”
They think that readers who leave comments are the goal because that means the reader is engaged.
3 Reasons You Should Consider Disabling Comments
Only about 1 percent of your readers will ever leave comments no matter what you do, so using your number of comments to gauge reader engagement is like beating a dead horse.
You can’t revive it, you can’t make it rise up off the ground, and there are better things you could be doing with your time.
Probably 95 percent of your comments will add no value at all to the conversation.
Most will either be spam or they’ll say something like “Nice post. I agree.”
and maybe even re-word one of your statements to make it look like they’re actually saying something but we all know what’s happening:
It’s just another blogger setting a link back to his own blog.
When you’re only getting a few comments a day, or even a few dozen, it’s no big deal to moderate those comments and approve only those that add value.
But, as your blog continues to grow, you’re going to have better things to do and less time to do them because you’re going to be moderating all those comments.
Now, I know you have questions:
What about all those bloggers who leave comments?
If you’re afraid all of those bloggers will stop visiting your blog now that you’re no longer allowing comments, consider this:
Most of those bloggers are your competitors, or they’re working in an adjacent niche.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t be dropping a link on your blog.
Those bloggers are not buying from you anyway, they’re just inflating your traffic numbers.
What about all those non-bloggers who leave comments?
You mean the less-than-1 percent?
How valuable are their comments when you weigh them against the time you spend moderating?
And who’s benefiting from the comment – the rest of your readers or the commentor himself?
And how valuable are they really if they’re just a personal observation or they’re snarky or inflammatory and scare away more readers than they attract?
What about reader engagement?
There’s where the misconception lies.
As a blogger, you should be engaging your readers with your content – not your comment section.
If your article is engaging their interest or their imagination, most readers won’t spend time leaving a comment – they’ll to go take some action.
Should Every Blog Disable Comments?
Am I suggesting that every blogger should disable comments?
Not at all.
Some blogs are like discussion forums and the bulk of the conversation and value are in the comments where readers actually exchange real information and ideas.
What I’m suggesting is two things:
Take a look at how much time you spend now moderating comments and weigh it against the value those comments are really adding for your readers.
Not the value they’re adding to the post or the page or for the commentor.
But are those comments adding value for your other readers or are they just a distraction?
Spend more time focusing on creating content that engages 100 percent of your readers and stop worrying about the 1 percent who might leave a comment.
You might find that disabling comments so you can spend more time on your content is the best thing you can do for your blog.