Has Blogging Lost Its Community?
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We’ve been noticing a trend here at IFB headquarters - it seems as though fewer and fewer comments are being left on blog posts. It’s been a gradual decline, but it’s noticeable. Blogs that once got hundreds of comments per post now only receive a dozen or so.  Smaller blogs are only getting a handful here and there.

Are bloggers getting to busy to get their own post published, bet alone visit and leave notes for other’s in the blogging community? Or have blogs become something different than what they were 5 years ago?

An article spotted on Social Media Today helped solidify these ideas, and got us to dig in a little more.

Here are our thoughts on why conversations have left blogging – and why we need to work to bring them back.

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  • Social Media Has Exploded. Really, think about it. 5 years ago we were just getting used to Twitter. Facebook was still only open to those of us with .edu email address. And Google was years away from thinking up G+.
    So if one of your readers wanted to chat, the only logical place to do so was in your comments. The only way for you to show love to new blogger friends was by leaving comments for them. Commenting was really the only community we had.
    Fast forward to today: My grandma has a Facebook page, my dad is on Twitter… conversations have become fragmented and dispersed over all our various networks. Tweeting at someone when you love their post, or discover their blog feels more natural and conversational. And let’s face it – it’s just plain easier.
  • We’re All Busy. Is it just me, or does it seem like life had gotten a lot busier lately? It’s no longer about just updating your blog and visiting the links on your blog-roll. We’re trolling twitter, stalking old friends on Facebook, trying to read the thousands of un-read posts in our google readers. All while searching for jobs, finishing final papers, working towards promotions or something else on the endless list of life’s important tasks. Responding to our commenters and leaving comments of our own seems to take a back burner.
  • Chalk it up to Spam? As spammers and bots became a common threat to blogs comments more and more bloggers (and even blog platforms) implemented anti-spam tactics. The good ol’ “Prove You’re A Human” step in commenting that we’ve all grown used to. However, CAPTCHA and its fellows are sometimes to much of a roadblock. The words are un-readable, you have to try to many times to post a simple comment and in the end you just give up. It’s not worth your time. Spam comments might be gone now, but sadly so are notes from your friends and fans.

What Can We Do About It?

Here’s our proposal to you bloggers – Let’s bring community back to blogs. Constructive and kind comments do amazing things for us – they boost our confidence as bloggers, they get our links out to the world and traffic back to our blogs, they find us new friends and they help us learn and grow. And we could all use more of that.

So here are just a few quick steps to get us back on the commenting train.

  • Make the time. Set aside a little bit of your day just for leaving comments. And really think about what you are saying. Try to start a conversation instead of just leaving a generic ”Love this!” comment.
  • Respond to the comments on your blog. Socialize with your readers right under your posts. It will engage them and keep them coming back , and you might even make new friends.
  • Do away with CAPTCHA. Unless you have a huge spam problem – make it easy for your readers to leave comments.
  • Leverage Social Media. We aren’t telling you to do away with tweeting at your favorite bloggers or having conversations outside of your blog. But be conscious of how you are using your social platforms. Try encouraging people to comment on your posts by asking them to on Twitter or Facebook!

 Do you think blog comments are important? How often are you commenting on other blogs?

 

 

[image by Nando Alvarez]

Comments

  1. Well, how can I read this post and NOT leave a comment. :)

    I comment a lot, especially since I started blogging last year, and I know how much other people’s comments on my blog mean to me, so I want to show that same affection and consideration to others.

    xoxo
    http://natashafatah.com

    • Eli says:

      SO glad you’re addressing this. I’ve noticed this too- a decline in comments but a spike in visitors. It is not correlating. I’m learning to not stress about the comments anymore.

      I think you hit it on the head with several things as did some of the other comments here.

      those damn stupid Captcha’s I HATE them. If you have them, please please please remove them. This is why I installed the disqus comments, so you don’t have to go through that! The blogger captcha’s just got longer and more difficult to read = worse!

      I used to feel like the people that were leaving comments were other bloggers, or have now started a blog too = no time. I don’t blame you

      But there are also so many blogs now, it’s difficult to keep track and comment on so many. I’ve been blogging for 6 years, that is a lot of posting to hope the same people keep leaving comments on. But I am grateful for each and every single one.

      I try to leave a comment back on the blog of whoever left one on mine (unless you have a really strange blog or your comment was spammy). Although I’m a bit behind because of finals. Make sure to interact with those that do take the time to leave comments!

    • Eli says:

      Sorry, meant to reply in the main post not to your comment

    • Diamond says:

      I am new to blogging but I think that we all should comment on each other’s blogs whether it’s a constructive comment or not. I actually don’t comment on other bloggers post. But aftet reading this post I think I’ll do more of that.

    • Diamond says:

      I am new to blogging but I think that we all should comment on each other’s blogs whether it’s a constructive comment or not.

      I usually don’t leave comments on blogs but now that I think about it from Natasha Fatah’s point of view I think it would be important to do so.

  2. you’ve brought up some great points. while i get tweets, facebook comments and youtube comments about a post, i rarely receive comments directly on the blog. it makes it almost feel like you are posting to thin air – (although the stats tell a different story) – it’s so encouraging to receive a thoughtful comment. x

    http://thesparkle.net

  3. This was actually a really good read…thanks! (And I’m actually commenting on the blog! LoL)

  4. Monique says:

    I’ve noticed this trend too! Even though people aren’t commenting right under your post, they do so in other social networks you may have. Also, often times the ones who comment a lot happen to only say “Great, follow my blog back now” and leave a number of links. It’s insincere in my opinion. The decline could also be attributed to the saturation of fashion blogs. So many to read, so little time.

    • Avatar of crissie.fuller

      Over saturation is a good point to – and maybe lack of originality? It’s hard to leave thoughtful comments if you are just seeing the same thinks over and over, isn’t it?

  5. Victoria says:

    Absolutely agree with everything! I also noticed that many of the huge blogs I’ve been reading for a very long time now receive fewer comments. So sad! Because I believe comments are important, it’s that kind of feedback from your readers you can’t substitute with anything else.

  6. Sometimes leaving a comment feels forced if I don’t have anything to say. If all I can think is “Oh, that’s interesting” then I feel like there’s no reason to leave a comment. Also, I read on my smartphone a lot and sometimes those websites are just not optimized for easily leaving comments. Still, I hate posting or Tweeting or Facebooking or whatever and not getting any interaction so I agree, we need to be reciprocal when applicable.

    • Avatar of crissie.fuller

      I completely forgot to include mobile devices! This is such a good point Erin, it is much easier to tweet a link from your smart phone than to try to jump though the commenting hoops.

  7. Mishka says:

    Maybe it also has to do with the ever massively increasing number of style blogs too?

    I haven’t noticed a change in comments (only ever get a few per post) but I noticed a huge spike in the “Likes” my posts get on the actual wordpress site, which lets me know people are reading.

    Of course it’s fun to get comments, but I appreciate the clicks despite the lack of comments. When they “Like” something, I get an email w/ their blog URL, so I can check it out too. Another advantage of wordpress.

    I guess the message here should be, if you’re truly moved/inspired by something, leave a comment. If you just like it, click “like”. ;}

  8. Belle says:

    I use to leave comments on blogs but bloggers barely ever even leave a thank you so I just don’t bother any more. Also, it’s more about seeing the pictures and outfits and moving on to the next blog. This is why I moved on to Tumblr. It’s all about the visual now a days.

    • Lauren says:

      I agree 100%. It’s really disappointing when you leave a blogger comments a lot and they never reply. Especially when they don’t have tons and tons of commenters. I know some go both ways — There are a few bloggers I have come across that comment back to ALL bloggers no matter why — 15 or 50 comments later. Then there are some that egt 5 and don’t say a thing… It’s odd.

      • Belle says:

        Yup! When I had my little blog I would get comments and make the time to go through and give a big thank you to everyone. People are taking the time to comment at least thank everyone in general. Also some commenters leave questions you should at least answer them back. So many go unanswered. It just really annoys me. I’ve really narrowed down the blogs I visit because of this.

  9. Danina says:

    I am really glad you brought this up because I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I think your points speak more of the blogging community, rather than the community at large (which peruses and loves blogs, but does not itself blog).

    it seems to me that, in the the blogging business it has become all about comments and follows. Motivated by the success of a few amazing bloggers, wannabe successful bloggers equate success with following, and following with comments.

    This, in turn, has created an atmosphere that I am not enjoying at all, which is all about getting people to comment rather than attracting a true following, “blackmails” of the “follow me and I will follow you” kind; and leaving comments for sake of visibility rather than an honest appreciation.

    Please don’t get me wrong, like anyone who has gathered the courage to put themselves out there I want people to like my blog, but will take one honest comment over ten of the above kind, any day.

    • Avatar of crissie.fuller

      Danina, This is an excellent insight. It IS more about quality than quantity when it comes to comments. They should be about starting conversations – not about self-promotion!

      • Jing says:

        My thoughts exactly Danina. Everybody who has a blog wants people to check it out, but too often many people just want a following rather than having good content. The whole idea about blogging is more to connect with people with similar interests rather than focusing upon I will get a blog and the become famous and have an income.

    • Monique says:

      Thank you for this! There are times when I check out a blog with hundreds of followers/comments but the content is just lacking. I’ve also visited a few blogs with fewer followers/comments with stellar writing and photos. I’m all for quality over quantity.

    • I couldn’t agree more, if anyone leaves a comment on my blog with the link to theirs with a comment like the one you mentioned, I’ll ignore it because I think too much self promotion is a real turn off and it smacks of desperation, if a blog is good readers will find it themselves.

      I’d much rather have quality comments from readers who enjoy my posts than loads of the same ‘blackmail’ comments as you called them.

    • Serene says:

      Soooo true! Personally I think there’s too much pressure to comment and it’s
      taken some of the fun out of blogging. It can be a bit disingenuous sometimes…

  10. Sandra says:

    As a blogger it means so much to me when people leave thoughtful comments on my posts, not just for the numbers, but to get an affirmation that people like what I’m writing. It’s nice to receive feedback on your posts that a lot of us probably spent a good couple hours planning and creating.

    I also do comment when I can, even though sometimes I am on a time crunch and just end up browsing through posts, but when I see something that really inspires me I love to let that blogger know that “hey this is cool stuff! or, where did you get those shoes?”

  11. alicatstrut says:

    Definitely less commenting (and my blog has always been a very small blog) but I don’t find it disheartening. I view it as an opportunity to actually connect with someone when I DO take the time to comment. I like the idea that people are taking greater care choosing who they want to interact with instead of “spamming” everyone’s comments with follow for follow junk.

  12. Micky says:

    I’ve been noticing this as well. Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing wrong! I sometimes leave comments on other people’s blogs and I do get sad if they don’t get back. I think the comment section is supposed to be a place to share ideas!

  13. Meia says:

    Has Blogging Lost Its Community? I think the main reason I don’t comment a lot is that I read a lot on my phone and it’s SUCH a hassle to login every.single.time. I want to comment. My phone is as forgetful as I-don’t-know-what.
    Oh, and did you know it’s impossible for me to write someting in you comment box (mobile skin)? That might be my phone’s fault, though.

  14. Nnenna says:

    I’ve noticed a small decline in the number of comments on my blog and I don’t think I comment as much as used to on other blogs either! I think this is mostly because of social media- over the past year I got really into Twitter and Instagram, and then joined Google +, and finally Facebook, and posting and engaging on all of those networks is a lot! I also stopped leaving comments when I didn’t really have anything to say. You know when you feel like you have to leave a comment because they commented your blog? I want people to comment on my blog because they want to, not because they feel obligated too and vice versa. Also, just because I’m not leaving a comment on your blog, doesn’t mean I haven’t read the post or left a comment on some other social media platform.

    I still do try to respond to every comment that’s left on my blog and at least visit the blog/site of everyone who leaves a comment. It doesn’t always happen, but I’m still trying. Glad it’s not just me who’s feeling like there’s just not enough time in the day to comment as much as I want to!

    Also- YES PLEASE to turning of CAPTCHA. Those things make my eyes hurt and certainly comment deterrents (it’s not going to stop me completely from leaving a comment, but it will make me reconsider).

  15. Eli says:

    SO glad you’re addressing this. I’ve noticed this too- a decline in comments but a spike in visitors. It is not correlating. I’m learning to not stress about the comments anymore.

    I think you hit it on the head with several things as did some of the other comments here.

    those damn stupid Captcha’s I HATE them. If you have them, please please please remove them. This is why I installed the disqus comments, so you don’t have to go through that! The blogger captcha’s just got longer and more difficult to read = worse!

    I used to feel like the people that were leaving comments were other bloggers, or have now started a blog too = no time. I don’t blame you

    But there are also so many blogs now, it’s difficult to keep track and comment on so many. I’ve been blogging for 6 years, that is a lot of posting to hope the same people keep leaving comments on. But I am grateful for each and every single one.

    I try to leave a comment back on the blog of whoever left one on mine (unless you have a really strange blog or your comment was spammy). Although I’m a bit behind because of finals. Make sure to interact with those that do take the time to leave comments!

  16. Nels says:

    I’ve been writing online since 1999 and joined Blogger in 2001. Comments have ebbed and flowed over that time. I think a major point has to do with the arguments that sometimes blow up in comments these days. I am more apt to get emails from readers who like something and comments from critics.

    My stats show I get more hits today than ever before even as the comments have decreased.

    I stopped leaving comments when it seemed like Bloggers didn’t care. If a blogger never engages anyone in the comments in a positive way, I wonder why I should say anything.

  17. Daniel Dunt says:

    I did actually check in on Style Bubble the other day and, whilst Susie used to get bundles of comments, she’s now only tallying up 14 or 15. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a large amount and, I’d love to have that many people commenting on each of my posts, yet there is certainly a decline.

    I try and post on other blogs a couple of times a week. That could just be a quick 10 minute reading session or a good hour or two of reading and commenting. Either way, I’m an opinionated person and like to throw my opinion out there as often as I can.

    In a way, I think that the drop in comments could be considered positive. Whereas it used to be that a lot of bloggers read other blogs and commented to get link backs to their own blogs, it seems that there has now been an increase in the number people who are reading blogs that do not blog themselves. I appreciate a comment from anyone, but it’s nice to know that your readers are genuinely interested in what you have to say and are posting about!

    • Daniel Dunt says:

      Please note that when referring to Style Bubble and mentioning 14 or 15 comments, this is on the slightly less popular posts in terms of engagement. Susie does still average around 24 or 25 comments on a regular basis, which I’m only a little bit jealous of!

  18. Ceri says:

    I had definitely noticed that bloggers were commenting less. I kind of assummed that everyone was much too busy interacting on Facebook/ Twitter/ Pinterest etc. I also think that some bloggers have chosen to move away from the competition to get as many comments as possible with so many unmeaningful ones like ‘great outfit’ being a bit pointless. It is a shame though as I think the comments are what really makes blogging, it kind of reminds you that there is someone out there who cares what you say.

  19. Comments … it’s great to have a give and take community but comments can’t be the criteria for judging your blog and your work. Since Bloglovin came along, I’ve actually increased my readership of blogs; many publish daily and while I usually do read the ones I follow, that has to be the metric. Commenting on a post every time, each one, would become as tired for the blogger as for me.

    Engaging comments is very different than building a community. It seems to me, could be way off, that it’s mostly informational blogs that successfully build their communities based as much on questions and answers as anything.

    I read Fashionista.com daily or more as I follow their tweets and it would feel silly to comment on everything, just as an example.

    Metrics of likes on Facebook, twitter retweets and and comments, and your blog traffic can be very satisfying.

    A blog on hiatus … delicious respites of thinking and reading really help.

  20. Lauren says:

    I agree with some of the others up above — that feeling of posting and no one ever even seeing/reading it. Even though you are getting hits, it’s nice to have someone verbally say they like your post on in awhile.

    I also cannot STAND when people simply leave a comment that’s like:
    “Hey, nice! Check out my blog and my pictures and follow me! blahblahblah.com”

    It’s incredibly rude and pretty clear that they are just out to get people to click on their blog from yours.

    There were quite a few blogs awhile ago that I loved to read and would leave a comment every few days on. I eventually stopped because I was not receiving any sort of reciprocation of anything at all. Not a response to my comment, or anything. It would make sense if you see the same reader over and over to build a friendship with that reader…

    I think it’s definitely important to keep that community going!

    Honestly, if the community aspect doesn’t change soon, I am going to completely disable the comment feature. It’s a bummer seeing a big fat zero on the bottom of all my posts.

    Interesting article!

  21. garconniere says:

    i’ve talked about this in regards to dramatic increases in the number of followers on tumblr, but still very little interaction.

    from my perspective, i’m more about intentional interaction. if i don’t have the time to sit down and read your post, and don’t feel like i have anything new to add to the conversation. i’d rather have five comments of people who took the time to think about what i wrote than 100 “great!” plus a link to their blog, you know?

  22. Shermika says:

    As a blogger, I know how frustrating it is to leave a comment and a blogger doesn’t reply. However, does that stop me from leaving comments on blogs? NO! I’ve met great blogging buddies from leaving comments. I want that person to know that I enjoyed the post that took them a WHILE to write. Whether they come back to my blog is irrelevant. I’ve done my part by sharing my comment. It is very important to keep the community going.

  23. Jenn Staz says:

    Rarely do I go back to a blog post to see if I have a response for a comment I placed, so I think another important thing to do is have a commenting system like Disqus or LifeFyre in place, so the commenter will automatically get an email in their inbox if anyone responds directly to their comment. Right now, most blogs only have an all-or-nothing comment subscription option for a post.

    Plus for the editor, you can just reply to comments by replying directly through email, at least with Disqus! So much easier in so many ways.

  24. I’m enjoying reading all these comments! Ha.

    I tend to be terse, if I comment at all. And I try to reply to comments on my blogs, but sometimes can’t think up anything beyond “thank you” (often because Mon-Wed I’m at work and have to be fast and furtive).

    I do most of my reading on my Reader, so you aren’t even getting visit counts from me – sorry!

    The “reading from phone/unable to comment” is an extremely good point. I encounter the same frustrations on my phone. It’d be helpful if the mobile versions of blogs made that easier. (Even liking something on FB can be difficult at times).

    And Captcha. Oh how I loathe captcha. I wrote a how-to disable it here (for old version — need to update!):
    http://spygirl-amb.blogspot.com/2011/05/tech-tip-how-to-turn-off-captcha-in.html

    • Oh yeah, reading through Google Reader! Of course that means that many times you need to click through to the blog, scroll down to the bottom, and then comment. I mean, that’s not that many steps but it’s so much easier just to move on to the next post when you’re done reading in Reader than it is to leave a comment.

  25. MJ says:

    And I thought it was just me! LOL. I was noticing it on my blog the past few months but I thought it was just something up with me.

    I agree that we do need to stick to the habit of commenting on people’s blog. I try to visit the blogs on my reader daily and comment on at least three blogs. I also think we as bloggers should do posts that do spark up a conversation. I notice I’m more apt to comment on something that is not only a meaningful blog post but has questions at the end that make you think and/or want to share your own experiences.

  26. Marcia says:

    I definitely think comments are important, and ever since I started blogging I had never left a single “love this!!!!1!!!” comment. If there’s no conversation at all, then blogging would be like talking to a wall instead. I mean, I would still be blogging if no one’s listening to me, but getting feedback is also very important.

  27. MeckyCaro says:

    You are so right!!! I have just a Little Little Blog and every commtent i get is like a huge succsses! I love it to leave comments myself in my Favorite Blogs and i am trying to do it as often as possible!

    xxx

    http://meckycaro.blogspot.con

  28. Jane says:

    I can’t count the amount of times I have started to comment and then the hoops I had to jump through (captcha that I can’t read esp) and I have given up.

    I have noticed lately on blogger that some blogs don’t leave the option for the name/url and when I try to log into wordpress it doesn’t work for whatever reason.

    I really think making commenting easier is the best. And make it so that you can leave a link because part of commenting is having someone come and check out your blog too!

  29. Great post! But the questions — therefore the answers — miss the mark.

    The underlying assumption here is that commenting = conversation = community. Everything online STARTS with community. Community, by definition, is where all the people are. Where are they? On social media, natch, mostly Twittering, Facebooking and Instagraming. A little Google+ing. This is where people congregate — not on our blogs!

    How do conversations get started in communities? By commenting. So . . . unless all the people are already hanging out on our blogs (which they aren’t) then you have to put your blog posts where all the people are.

    If you love a blog post, and you really want to have a convo about it, then it’s a waste of your time and energy to leave your comment on an isolated website, which is what blogs are. BUT . . . if that post is being discussed on Facebook, where everyone can see it and join in, it can get reposted, and comments can attract more readers/commenters/conversations, then that’s a party! Blog comments are more like an intimate tete-a-tete among a few like-minded friends.

    Honestly, blog commenting is outmoded. Everyone who’s truly interested in a big, interesting conversation should just turn off comments and use FB or Twitter for that.

  30. WendyB says:

    I’ve definitely felt like the conversation has moved to Twitter.

  31. Ironically, my own comment about obsolete blogging comments is being held for moderation — overnight, since I posted it after business hours. Oh well, I tried!

  32. Jade says:

    I definitely agree about the social media statement – I generally don’t comment on a blog post if I’ve responded on the Tweet/Status about it on Facebook or Twitter. But I do comment on blogs when I’m going through my blog list and reading them through blogger or wordpress. I’ve noticed that I’m getting way more views now since utilising social media more but also less comments as well

  33. Love says:

    I’m not a fashion site but occasionally I do cover some fashion. So glad I stumbled across this post because this topic was bothering the heck out me!

    Could a possible solution be just to allow people to comment from whatever social media network they are on the most? Like how Yahoo news let’s people comment through facebook.

    Recently I debated whether or not I should allow comments through facebook or through my site.

    The plus to facebook is that a lot of people are on facebook and rarely log out so commenting on my site would be just like someone replying to a friend’s post on facebook and since they have already proven that they are human to facebook there would be a significantly reduced threat of spam.

    The minus is that I might not be able to build a sincere space for my hardcore fans in the long run and I really want that. In fact I know I need that.

    I don’t know what I’m going to do. And internet companies come and go. Remember that myspace was once a top site. If I go along with the facebook comments, who knows where facebook will be in ten years?

    Hmmm… Either way Ladies, we will survive this.

  34. I love commenting on blogs, but only if I have something legitimate to say.

    I enjoy interacting with my readers, and I hate hate hate word verification. I’ve never used it and I’ve literally NEVER had a problem with spam. Granted, I’m not the most “successful” blog out there, but still.

    I do think social media has both helped and hurt the blogging community. On one hand, it makes it easier for us to get our names/blogs out there on a larger scale. But it has eliminated some of the need for actual interaction ON the blog. Mostly, I think it helps more than it hurts.

    This has been my 2 cents.

  35. Ave Renee says:

    This is a little discouraging for new bloggers like me. I morphed my website into a blog about a month ago and I’m happy I have the numbers I’ve gotten so far but I’ve yet to have any followers or comments. could it have something to do with the host you use too? like wordpress vs blogger etc? I really like the idea of a community and feedback from my readers would be great too!

  36. I have a nice, tight-knit group of blogging friends who comment on my blog consistently, and of course I comment on their blogs consistently too. I’ve actually noticed a bump in comments on my blog, but then I don’t have captcha, I reply to each and every comment anyone makes on my blog and I try to visit their blog and leave a comment with them as well.

    On the other hand there are some blogs that I just don’t comment on anymore. I can’t stand captcha on a regular computer with a key board, but try doing it on a mobile device. It’s nearly impossible.

    I also don’t like discus or the other programs that are supposed to make it easy to comment. Some of these systems don’t “recognize” me even if I’ve commented many times before. Some require a password that I usually can’t remember. It’s so frustrating!

    I guess what I’m saying is that it’s become more and more complicated to comment at all. Lots of times I’d rather just retweet. It’s easier and faster and bloggers appreciate it too.

    As for those people who have almost no comments and just can’t be bothered to reply to any of them, well, for the most part I can’t be bothered with their blogs either.

  37. Niki says:

    This is really interesting, I think it’s definitely getting harder to get comments on my blog.

    When I do get comments, I make a point of replying to each and every one and encourage people to subscribe to the comments so they will know that I’ve replied. I love it when I comment on someone’s blog and they reply to me!

    I’m not a fan of the ‘love it follow me’ comment, it doesn’t make me want to look at their blog AT ALL!

    I try to put a bit of time aside everyday too read the blogs I follow, but I know I could do this more. I’m also guilty of tweeting posts rather than commenting on them as it’s much easier…but next time I’m tempted to tweet a post, I’ll try and comment too :)

    Niki

  38. Rachel says:

    I think blog commenting is really important – if I have enjoyed a post I make sure I tell them I did in the comments, because I know how much I enjoy getting commets myself!

    And I’d totally noticed the less comments thing, last year I had half the readers I do now, and I was getting about 40 comments on each post, now I’m lucky if I get 10, but I’m reaching a much wider audience.

  39. I’ve only been blogging since December, but I’ve also noticed this.

    What irritates me the most are the people who say that the blogging community is so open, friendly, and accepting but then they never reply to their comments. I comment often, and I always check back a few days later to see a response, and I rarely get one.

    I can’t stand capchas either. I can’t count how many times I didn’t bother to comment just because it was too much work. I don’t think Blogger should have them automatically, because a lot of people don’t even realize that their blogs have them.

    I also think that you should get an email if someone replies to your comment. I installed disqus for that exact purpose, but now people can’t comment from their phones, which is a drag.

    Another thing I don’t like is when comments have to be in another window. Its just kind of a hassle.

    Sorry for the rant. I love this article!

  40. Sara says:

    Congrats! This is the first comment I’ve ever left on a blog.

    As someone who does NOT have her own blog, I’m coming strictly from the mass reader’s perspective. It seems like the majority of the above comments came from fellow bloggers who, because of their connection to the creative aspect, share a mutual understanding of the importance and etiquette of commenting. I had no clue such feelings existed.
    While Emily Post, among other sources, published resources for online and social networking dos & don’ts, none address blogging specifically. For me and my fellow non-writing friends, our blog subscriptions are the “morning paper” at breakfast, reading them in morning routine. I get my daily bit of information, sometimes laugh, or comment out loud, but never thought it important to contribute online; I’m just one voice in a million. Clearly I stand corrected, as you all seem dedicated to creating relationships with your readers.

    Secondly, crazy commentators have scared me (and the majority of normal peeps) into never wanting to comment. Words get so easily misinterpreted, due to lack of facial expressions and tone of voice. I also feel the overall tone of the majority of online comments is so negative, if anyone tries to shine any light of optimism, they’re eaten alive. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good discussion, but most opposing arguments don’t dispute the comment, they attack the PERSON: looks, intelligence, etc. Ridiculous.

    All of this is to say: Don’t take it personally. Some of us read for the love of reading and are unaware it’s appropriate to partake in discussion. Your post, however, was very interesting and eye-opening, motivating me to comment. I will now keep in mind that if I have a thoughtful bit to share, I will do my best to contribute.

  41. Suzie C says:

    Yes I agree with the other comments, I get responses to blog posts on every form of social media except my blog comments section. I don’t mind because I can see people are reading my blog and are engaging in other ways but obviously if I was someone else not seeing the back end stats I might assume there is no engagement which isn’t ideal!

  42. Sam says:

    I totally agree that commenting has decreased. I started blogging three years ago, and the difference between comments then and now is pretty great. Love the idea of bringing community back to blogging, it’s SO important and I fully support!

  43. Aves Gry says:

    I’ve just started out into blogging, so I can’t really be of judge. I however notice that people are posting comments such as “Thats cute” as oppose to something with more thought. Maybe this could be why many bloggers already on top, doesn’t go back in return to post something? Because they feel like there wasn’t much consideration put into the commenter’s comment but merely just to get notice of their blogs? Idk, I’m just rambling. ha

  44. de la Pen says:

    Whoa I’m totally guilty of not commenting on blogs like that. Honestly, the only site I’ve been consistently commenting on is IFB. *hides* When I started my talent agency, The Network my schedule just got so busy and then I seemed to be interacting with readers more on Twitter and other social networks so I started spending my time there.

    I do receive comments on the blog every now and again but the whack thing is lately they’ve been kinda negative. But I just take that with a grain of salt. I really need to get better about getting all of my favorite blogs into one centralized place.

    Like I need a Summify for blogging. For those that don’t know Summify is a service that gives you a summary of the most shared links on Twitter & FB from your followers. It’s a great service and I definitely would love to see a Blogging version of it. That way all my fave blogs would be emailed to me at once and I could go comment on them all.

  45. This is yet another well written post IFB- congrats on speaking on something that I’m sure new and old bloggers think about.

    I have two opinions on this- very simple opinions in theory.

    1. You can’t expect comments on posts that have no relevance to your reader or do ask your reader to be involved. For example, you create a blog post based on a new bag you purchased and styled a look around it- if you aren’t asking your readers to engage in a conversation, why would they naturally? There isn’t much to talk about. AND to top that off, I don’t believe having 60 comments full of “cute outfit” constitutes as having an engaging community. I rather have 5 comments from readers who talk about how they actually hate the bag I’m wearing because they had a bad experience with the brand and 4 others respond with their experience. THAT is not only better for you (to understand your reader) but also for search results. i.e. Are Rebecca Minkoff bags good quality?

    2. I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with having an overall engaging community on all the platforms you utilize- I use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram along with my blog as engagement mediums. And in a business perspective? That’s extremely important that you can capture 100 people off one tweet or 500 hearts off an Instagram photo- your influence level increases and your engagement becomes more powerful in how much your reader trusts you and wants to follow you along. I know I’m like this with my favorite blogs- If I loved their blog and trust it, I want to follow along on FB, Twitter & Instagram.

    That being said, I agree that we as bloggers have become enveloped with social media- we are on EVERYTHING and that is where our time went and has been going. We’ve got to update our Pinterest, make sure we’re taking artistic Instagram photos and tweet witty comments a few moments during our day. Oh and don’t forget the corresponding RT’s of viral articles. Mashable, anyone?

    I think all of this is just part of being a blogger. No, we don’t necessarily have the time to comment on “500 blog posts” that we used to do two or so years ago. But I do know that if I come across a really great post with engaging content, you better believe I have time to make a comment. I think it’s just become more about commenting on the posts that ingest comments- there’s a need for them BUT not all posts. Make sense?

    Well that was a rant…

  46. I try and respond to every comment I get on my blog, because I’m firm believer of the saying ‘you get out what you put in’ naturally there will be times when I do get less comments on posts. If you take the time to connect with your readers I think they appreciate it more and will inevitably leave comments on future posts.

    It really bugs me when I leave a comment on another blog and for that blogger to ignore it or not respond is a little frustrating.

  47. As relative a relative new comer to blogging, I’ve realised how important feedback from readers is, and how crushing it is when no-one comments at all (was it really that bad!?!) So when I do read other blog posts I absolutely make a point of commenting to let folk know if I do love it, as I realise just how important that feedback is!!

  48. I think this is a great read for Bloggers. I am one yr into blogging & found increased traffic with limited comments. I have a group of fellow bloggers who we correspnd with weekly with eachother’s blogs. Very tough getting new followers. Also, I’ve had to unfollow blogs that I left numerous comments on & hardly or never heard back from. So as your following grows also keep in mind how important it is to stay committed to responding back to comments etc…One never knows who out there will remember your comment & continue the dialogue & will stay connected.
    I take one evening to post (I have a F/T job too) one evening to read blogs & comment. It does help! :) good luck to all!

  49. Thank you for posting this! I was JUST complaining about this on Twitter the other night! I can’t wait to share this with my fellow blogging friends!

  50. kimmie says:

    I thought I was the only one that noticed that. I wason one of my fave style blogger’s sites the other day and noticed that she had a relatively small number of comments on her posts (I was playing catch up) but from following her across social media channels, I know that her audience and influence is increasing so I just assumed that people just dont like to comment any more.

    Ive never gotten a huge number of comments (only when Im part of Links ala Mode :) ) but my traffic has grown so I dont know what to say about it. I still do my best to reply to any that I get ~unless I can tell its spam. I also comment on posts that I like (and do more than just say “cute!” on the blogs that I regularly follow, and I go back to read to the blogs of commenters of mine as well in case I come across a new one to add to the mix.

    One thing I will say though: if you connect with other bloggers via social media channels, it does NOT hurt you respond back to a tweet, comment, etc. Engaging with other bloggers has been super hard for the most part because some wont even respond back if you pose a question, comment, etc. I have a core group that I talk to regularly but its sad that its a numbers game for most. We’re all busy but even if its hours or a day later, respond back.

  51. Tessa B says:

    What’s weird to me is that I rearely visit a blog and not comment. It’s second nature for me to comment after reading a post-whether there is a reply or not. To me, this gives the author confidence in their posts to continue writing and lets them know what they are writing is interesting. I do think that due to many of the more popular blogs not taking the time to thank the people commenting is somewhat discouraging to readers, but I don’t think we should stop commenting altogether. When someone comments on one of my posts, it does make my day…so I know if I comment it will most likely make the author’s day as well. Even if it’s just one comment on the post. The question is..what do we truly want as bloggers: Increased traffic (quantity) or increased # of comments (quality)?? Can we have both anymore??

  52. Crystin says:

    I’ll admit that I tend to respond to comments on twitter just because it’s more instant. But I have stopped commenting so much on the larger blogs because I’ve noticed that some of them barely even acknowledge the people who comment. That’s a little disheartening and personally makes me feel unappreciated as a reader.

  53. I always leave comments, but find that I don’t always get responses, even from smaller blogs, which can be a but disheartening.

    On my blog I get lots of comments when I run competitions, but only rarely get comments on articles. I would imagine that it is more to do with the fact that I don’t blog as often as I should, so probably don’t have a loyal following yet..

    • Ana says:

      I agree that it can be disheartening to never receive a reply even for a well-written, though-out comment… or even a simple question!

      The encouragement of commenting must go both ways.

      And agreed on the surge in comments on competition posts – I know a blog that has about 5 comments per post, but when a giveaway is held – over a thousand!

  54. Cristina says:

    I think that part of the problem is that blogging has become a trend. More and more “readers” flock to the already famous blogging personalities and tend less and less to leave original comments on smaller blogs. I have very few people that leave comments on my own blog anymore, but a few of them have become friends through meaningful exchanges. Some of these people are bigger bloggers that actually respond to comments, and some of them are small time bloggers like me that just do it for fun, but the point is that meaningful comments can introduce us to amazing people around the world! I will be sad if blogging continues to trend in this fast paced, unpersonalized manner :(

    http://www.mostlyclothes.com/

  55. Nekocandii says:

    As someone who’s still pretty new to all of this I’ll admit that sometimes I’m so caught up in trying to absorb as much information and find new blogs that I forget to say thanks for posting or mention how much I love the content.

    It’s an inexcusable mistake on my part since I try so hard to encourage reader responses and fail to respond to others.

    This is a great reminder and I hope we can bring back more community spirit.

  56. Rachael says:

    I always try and take the time to step back and comment on other peoples blogs regardless of if they have commented on my own posts. I do it because I love giving back. I love comments on my own blog so I know others will feel the same about there’s.

    To me commenting is as big a part of blogging as writing posts.

  57. This is a great topic and something I have been noticing on my blog lately. I think the multiple social media channels is definitely a factor. I try to set aside one or two days a week to go through the blogs I like and comment. But in between that I’m commenting on Instagram or tweeting with other bloggers (when I have time!) So I think the difference now is that you have to look at the community across your networks including and outside of your blog.

  58. I definitely agree with this but I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. The conversation still exists, it just switched platforms. I still get a handful of comments on each post but it’s not the biggest deal if they don’t break 20 or even 10.

    It can also be a bit difficult to respond to comments because there’s no “rule” for it. I usually respond in my comments but I figure the person who wrote it will forget. If you leave the answer on their blog, they might not know what you’re talking about…then they have to go back to your blog to refresh their memory. With Facebook/Twitter, there’s a clear medium for structured interaction.

  59. Ana says:

    Blog comments are the best thing about some blogs.

    I love leaving comments and, in that way, showing my appreciation of the time and energy spent on creating a blog post that made me smile or inspired me.

    I have noticed that even the most popular blog have, as you said, only a dozen or so comments and that makes me a bit sad for the less known blogs – they are wonderful, but no one is telling them that!

  60. Thank you so much for this amazing article, it’s exactly what I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks. Everytime I leave a comment on someone’s blog, I make sure that it is meaningful. There’s nothing worse than all those “love this” and “follow me, I’ll follow back” comments: you can see that people don’t care about you and your blog, they’re just trying to get more traffic. I think that’s sad and not sustainable in the long term: you don’t only need people to visit your blog, you want them to come back again because they want to read what you have to say. I’m all for bringing back the community, and I’ll be sure to apply n.2 on your list of things to do. Thank you!

  61. Amber Rose says:

    I will put my hands up here and say that I used to comment so much more than I do now. I don’t know why – maybe because I feel that I get ignored by the bloggers I follow as I so rarely get a response anymore.

    I get the impression that too many bloggers are only posting for the stats and not to start a conversation with their readers like they should be doing – because surely that was the whole point of posting?

    I also have started commenting less since I started my own blog. I started getting annoyed at how many bloggers would leave thoughtless and often irrelevant comments on my own posts just in hope of getting more views themselves – so I in turn started limiting my own comments for when I really had something to say. Just pointing out that I’d enjoyed reading their post doesn’t sound sincere enough anymore. And it’s a real shame.

    However – I now pledge to comment more. If I read a post through to the end and didn’t skim it – it was clearly good enough for me to spare 3minutes to comment on it.

    Bring back the blogging community! I sorely miss it.

  62. h-vogue says:

    definitely agree with this but I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing.

  63. before I comment on anybody elses replies I must say THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THIS.

    I was wondering how I could get more people to see my blog and commenting and community is definitely the way to go.

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