Yesterday, I was surprised to read that one of my favorite sites for online marketing tips and ideas, Copyblogger, is no longer going to allow comments on their blog. Their reasons were understandable, and maybe when my blog gets to the size of theirs, I’ll consider doing the same, but I doubt it. Here’s why I still welcome your comments on my blog.
We Want to Comment Right Here, Right Now
One argument Copyblogger makes is that comments really belong on social media. I get that. However, when I read a great blog post, I may have a question, compliment or something to add to the article. Right now. Ask me to go find you on Twitter or Facebook to comment, and I will get distracted by a hundred other things on the way – I promise. More than that, now I have to either find your update about the blog post and respond to that, or put my comment in context.
Assuming that your content is so fantastic that I’ll put forth that much effort is a gamble. Maybe they’re really trying to get only the most passionate responses? Still, I think they’re going to miss out. This seems to me the most important reason to allow comments on your blog.
Blog Comments are Educational and Permanent
There are some posts on this blog that, after three years or more, still elicit reader comments. Sometimes it’s to let me know the tip still works (good to know), that something has changed (also good to know so I can update) or to report a bug or ask a question. All this allows me to keep my blog updated, and sometimes even gives me ideas for new blog posts. Score!
Then there are the times when I’ve overlooked something or even made a mistake (it happens). Blog comments give people a place to easily share their thoughts immediately and for me to respond in context.
You might make an insightful and valuable comment on a Facebook update of mine (or Copyblogger’s) but how am I going to find that in a month when I want to review it or share it with someone? It’s going to be a major pain to find it. If the comment is on a blog post, easy!
Comment Spam is a Fact of Life
For every well thought out, insightful comment, there are 10 like this little gem from this morning: “I savour, lead to I discovered exactly what I was taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye” Is it a pain deleting them all? Yes. Is it worth it to find a few actual questions and comments? Also yes.
Now, Copyblogger no doubt receives at least 10 times the number of spam comments as this blog receives. But, they probably have a lot more resources in time and people-power, too. How long does it take to look at 100 comments and mark 90 of them as spam? About 90 seconds. Maybe less.
It’s a Conversation
Yes, every little “thank you”, insight, question or argument tells me that you valued what I said – or you hated it, or it provoked you. It gives me a chance to speak WITH my readers, not just at them. It gives me the opportunity to show people what I know and that I care. And I appreciate every last one of you (except the spammers – them I could do without).
Score One for Copyblogger – One Way It Worked
One of their arguments for disallowing commenting is that people’s well thought out comments really should be on their own blogs. Look at that – it worked! However, I still believe if they posted the original article, my response – at least my first response, belongs there. I appreciate their vote of confidence, though. 🙂
Would you consider turning comments off on your own blog? Why or why not?