Attention Bloggers, Comments aren’t just for you!
Apparently some of the big name blogs are turning off their comments. Why? Because always thinking about their readers affects the way they write. (WTF? Is that really a bad thing?) Or because they don’t think that comments are the best way to engage with their readers. (Lame!) Or because they don’t like getting nasty comments. (I would feel like I’d hit the big time if I ever had a troll!)
Well, I have news for anyone thinking of turning off their comments – the comment section isn’t about you, it’s about your readers!
True, when you’re a small blog like mine, most people comment to engage with me. But this isn’t my end goal! I want to build a community, – though this may take years – where people will have actual conversations, not just with me, but with each other. Shouldn’t that be the goal of every blogger?
For great examples of what I’m talking about, check out Maryann Johanson’s Flick Filosopher and Sally McGraw’s Already Pretty. These ladies don’t answer every comment on their blogs, they don’t need to! Why? Because they have built communities! Check out their comment sections. Their readers are having conversations – commenting not only on what was posted by the blogger, but on what other readers are saying as well. Sally has often said that some of the best ideas and tips come from her readers in the comments!
Also, the reasons some of these blogs are giving for turning off their comments, doesn’t make sense to me. To a certain extent, shouldn’t you be thinking about your reader when you’re blogging? You can’t control how anyone reacts to your blog, so don’t worry about that, just write what you believe your readers will find interesting and helpful.
It is true that there are lots of ways beside blog comments to engage with your readers. You can use Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more to do that. But the best way for your readers to engage with each other, is through the comment section on your blog.
And as for the nasty comments you might receive, all I have to say to that is – Boo Hoo! Get over it!
Every blogger has a right to run their blogs as they see fit, but I think turning off your comments is a great disservice to your readers. I also know that if internet gods, Seth Godin and Leo Babauta are turning off their comments, then it won’t be long before it’s the new trend in blogging.
If turning off your comments is something that you’re considering, I say stop and really think about it. Realize something – not everything is about you! Including you comments!
So, what do you think? Is turning off your comments a disservice to you readers? Or do you think that there are valid reasons for doing so?