Comments: Conversation or Validation?


On Monday, I posted a photo of myself on Facebook. In an hour, it got one “like” so I deleted it. On Tuesday, I posted a *hilarious* (or so I thought) pic of me wearing a banana costume on Instagram, the likes weren't rolling in as fast as I'd like, deleted that one too.

Then the blog posts… not been getting as many comments lately. Was there something wrong with me?

Then it hit me. Yes, something was wrong with me…

Was I posting for fun, necessity or VALIDATION?

I tell ya, it's an extensional crisis for a blogger when the “validation” question rears it's ugly head.

Comments and comment culture is so ingrained into the vision of success for fashion bloggers that it's hard to separate the purpose of comments. The top of the top of personal style bloggers get hundreds of comments, some of the best Instagrammers get literally tens of thousands of likes. Pinning success to engagement is easy because we can see it, however there are many other ways to measure success and more importantly, quality.

I remember my very first comment from a reader. He was a total pantyhose creep commenting on my tights.

Then again, comments feel good. Even if they're not gushing… that simple acknowledgement feels good. Here's a shameful admission… I remember my very first comment from a reader. He was a total pantyhose creep commenting on my tights. I was 99% disgusted, but a 1% of me was happy someone commented!

Comments offer feedback, sometimes immediately to whether your content resonates with readers. Most of readers are silent, but the few who chime in can give you a sense of how content is perceived. Measuring success by commenting can become addicting because it feels personal, it's so easy to look at those few who comment and say all readers feel that way. Comments make it easier to put a face on that digital abyss we post into.

What happens if no one comments?

Do you need comments to feel successful about a post? Or are you just hoping to spark a conversation?

[Image credit:]


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29 Responses

  1. Mary King

    This is tough. I post on my blog whether I get comments or not (usually “not”), but I also know that sometimes there are benefits and consequences to having comments vs. no comments. I have never deleted a post because of no comments. Heck, if I did that, I’d only have a few posts up right now. But I also know there are brands who think you aren’t getting any readers if your comments always show a big, fat zero. They aren’t typically rushing to check all your other platforms to see if there is interaction on there rather than your blog (such as my case, where I get more interaction on Instagram). I am half tempted just to turn off comments altogether…both to show that a blog doesn’t have to have comments on that specific site to be relevant, and so I don’t get so dependent on them. On the other hand, I like when readers may choose to interact because I love discussing what I am writing about. It is something I am still debating.

    • Jennine Jacob

      Yes, that’s hard to decide if comments are necessary for a blog. It’s not always the case.. it is nice to hear from your readers, but at the same time other publications are choosing to shut comments down. It really depends on your site, and why you want comments at all.

      • Curvasian

        Just remember why you started your blog and try to hold on to that passion you have, screw the rest!

  2. Asia Mays

    Interesting. As a blogger, the question is never if they saw what was posted, but more so how they feel about it, depending the matter.

    I receive messages everywhere else but the blog more so than not, but as long as they see what’s going on and have commented in some way, that works for me.

    Great read.

  3. Anita

    I never delete a post or picture because of lack of likes or comments.
    But I sometimes feel hurt when there’s no feedback, ‘Why do they ignore me?! Am I not interesting enough? I spent 3 hours for this post and nobody read it?’
    But then I remember, that I also don’t always comment when I like other people’s posts.

    • Peach Black

      haha 😀 good point. Well. If some brand is looking through your page to see how many readers you have, I guess that if you got a “great outfit” out of someone, there must be readers on your page. Or watcher. Or smth. lol. Which is I guess better than nothing.?

    • Lix

      “if a comment is just to say that the outfit looked nice, is it still a comment?”

      Yes. Would you prefer them to be silent? Let’s not start judging the quality of comments, for god’s sake. Sometimes ‘nice outfit’ is all a commenter can think of to say, and they’re still putting in the effort to say something and show you they read it.

      • Mary King

        If it’s something like “nice outfit” and that’s it, I am ok with that. If it’s something like “nice outfit” and a link to their blog, then I start to judge the quality of the comment. Those two words with a link aren’t an indication they read the post at all…but merely trying to use my blog to advertise.

    • Jennine Jacob

      Hahah the age-old question for personal style bloggers. The “nice outfit” comment just really seems like a non-comment to me. But still, it’s nice to have someone take the time to do it anyway…. It’s kind of like the “like” button I guess!

  4. Style Context

    It seems that personal style bloggers receive more comments than other types of bloggers. Since I’m not a personal style blogger (at least not until I receive that DSLR camera for my birthday!), I try not to compare myself to those bloggers and their sheer number of comments. Which is not to say that I’m not guilty of seeking validation. But I’m more likely to seek validation for my posts if it’s one in which I give tips (either fashion, beauty, or blogging advice). Otherwise, I measure my post success on number of shares, and whether someone finds the post through search.

    I also think the quality of the comments matters more than the quantity. I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the reasons established bloggers receive upwards hundreds of comments on their posts is because other bloggers see it as an opportunity to promote their own blogs.

    • moiminnie

      “I also think the quality of the comments matters more than the quantity. I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the reasons established bloggers receive upwards hundreds of comments on their posts is because other bloggers see it as an opportunity to promote their own blogs.” – Had to quote because this is exactly what I wanted to say. I get a reasonable amount of comments on each blog post I write, but sometimes it can be frustrating if I see a person never really read it, but had just stopped by to advertise his/her blog.
      I’m always putting 150% effort into my writing and always try to make my posts useful for my readers, share tips or just thoughts, and it makes me sad that rare are the ones that are up for honestly sharing opinions and/or debating.
      You hit the nail on the head with this one, Jennine!

      xx, Minnie @

  5. Milijana

    This is very interesting topic and I have to say that I recognized myself ( except that I also don’t delete anything) but I guess that this completely logical-yes you are posting because you love to, but what is the point if nobody is reading? We all need a validation, we all want to know if we are good. Well at least I want:-) I think that you need it to stay motovated

  6. fashmongers

    Personally, I have been reading blogs since 2006 and have never commented on (but liked, esp. on bloglovin) during the first post my own blog last year. The reason is obvious, I could never get a traffic without commenting! Even I found this IFB site on my first day of blogging! The comments are important for me as a blogger, I click on every commenter and read their posts. If I really like the intend I comment-sometimes in a simple way as GREAT. But never post for getting comments or follow backs. I never deleted a post with a lack of comment or anything. It is a blog as it is called. It should reflect the thoughts or daily lives of ourselves. If the content is original it will somehow find a way to reach thousands of viewers one day.

  7. Aryn

    “Do you need comments to feel successful about a post? Or are you just hoping to spark a conversation?”

    As much as I’d love to start a conversation, I don’t mind if that doesn’t happen. I’d be just as happy to know that my readers are silently taking in my content. I personally don’t measure the success of the post in the numbers of comments however I worry that others will. If a new reader comes across my blog and sees only 2 comments on a post, they might write me off as a voice that’s not worth listening to. Also for potential sponsors, I worry that they will see only 2 comments and assume that I don’t have an engaged audience when in fact I have very loyal “silent” readers.

  8. The Man Has Style

    When I first started my blog I didn’t think of whether people were reading it or if they liked it. I was doing it for my own personal inspiration and if I had any people following that was a bonus. As I gained more followers on social media and the blog I found I would moments of ‘will my readers and followers like this?’. Each time it happens (and it does rear its ugly head!) I remind myself to stay focused on why I am doing this. Number one is I am sharing what inspires me. The core is my passion for men’s styling and the different areas that surround it. People are not going to like everything you do. If your vision is clear on your blog, hopefully it will show through and over time it will grow.

  9. Joy

    This atricle hit home with me. I have never deleted a picture because of no post but I wonder why no ones comments or like I start wondering is this a bad picture? It is good to know I am not the only one out there…

  10. Justine

    I often find myself thinking “Really? That was a pretty nice post and no one commented?! How rude!” As a new blogger, I don’t have many followers, but it is nice to know that some people are reading. I love getting comments, but unfortunately, it doesn’t happened often. Last week, I wrote about a topic that is considered quite controversial. I pressed “Post”… I waited… I waited… Then I left it alone for a bit. Nope, no comments. I’m still really disappointed because I worked hard on that post. I will admit that I often get jealous when scrolling through well-established bloggers’ sites. I does make me bitter. Judge me. But, at the end of the day I want to know that my stats aren’t just my own and those of “” I’m just not really sure how to achieve this. And it brings on a cycle of frustration. Post. Wait. Sulk. Post. Wait. Sulk. Repeat until exhausted. Until I reach “mega-blogger status” I’ll continue my personal style blog because it’s about my style. But a little validation wouldhelp.

  11. Daphne Chandler

    Hi Jennine,

    I’ll be honest in stating that I really only know what interest me and that’s what I post about. I might at sometime or another appeal to the masses or maybe not, and I’m okay with it. I’ve started my blog because it provides me an outlet to fuel my passion. Would I love for it to be so “successful” that I could quit my job tomorrow…sure that would be nice…actually that would be fabulous I think. But I’m not holding my breath….I’m just really trying to have a good experience and grow and maybe help a few people along the way. If I let “no comments” bother me, then I probably would not have started my blog in the first place. That being said, I think bloggers want a certain amount of interaction or we wouldn’t be blogging. So I do think is a bit of both…conversation and comments. Each person must decide for self how much they swing more to the left or right of this question. I’m new and have read other articles you’ve written and have watched one of your YouTube Photography videos…you’re pretty interesting. We are all just human and if the more experienced bloggers have these questions in mind, then it validates that it’s okay for the less experienced to explore it without feeling one has totally missed the mark. Thanks for another great article…truly a great conversation! 🙂

  12. Eva Tornado

    Comments don’t mean succes.. We all know tens digital magazins which have hundreds thousands readers but just a few comments daily. So it depends on a type of your blog. If you have a personal style blog, or you every day show your face – comments can reflect your succes, because people come to communicate with you. But if you have a blog with fashion news, inspiration pics, some tips etc, and don’t show your personality so opened, comments mean nothing. Because people come to you for the information, for the tips, for inspiration. When they get it, they close the page =)

  13. Emily

    When I first started blogging, I definitely relied on comments or pageviews for validation. I think, deep down, we all still do, and it’s definitely easy for us to feel discouraged when something doesn’t get as much comments as we’d like.

    That said, when I first started, I got significantly more comments than I do now.. which is the weird thing! I did network a lot more, but the majority of those comments were bloggers also seeking validation – asking for visits and whether we’d like to follow each other. Now I’ve noticed, since I’m not networking as much, I’m getting less comments – but, I think if you can at least get one insightful comment actually appreciating the post, that’s all you need.

    Now I just tell myself that I’ll earn those comments in the right time. I’d rather produce good content that gets one good comment, than a post that generates millions of meaningless ones!

    Emily x

    • Toni Styles

      Love this – I’m with you 100%. Quality over quantity – I’ve had to really learn to appreciate that. I blog to express my genuine self and if that resonates with others; they may comment or they may simply enjoy the post and move on. Either way is okay. <3

  14. Sophie

    I think comments, for me, have also been a good indicator of the kind of posts my readers like. They’ve definitely steered me away from writing certain kinds of posts, and pushed me into focusing on issues that my readers care about.

  15. Onianwah

    I loooove to get comments on my blog or on social media *van me*.
    For me, it just shows me that there are those out there who value my content and questions tell me that they are benefiting from it too.
    It generally makes me heave a huge sigh of relief when I get feedback from my fans.
    So for me, it is more of feedback than anything else.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  16. Queen Michelle

    A little to the party on this one but going to add my thoughts none the less.
    Over the 7 years our blog has been running, our comments have all but dwindled to zero. It’s hard not to take it personally and constantly wonder what you’re doing wrong. I look at the tons of personal style blogs out there who garner hundreds of comments daily and am at a loss as to why they get so many comments? Even when we do post personal style shots, we get pretty much no comments there either.
    I go through phases of being angry at my readers, who seem to be the most silent readers in all of blog land, then being angry at myself for apparently not writing engaging posts, then back to being angry at my readers!
    I put vast amounts of effort into the blog and I’d be a liar if I didn’t say it’d be nice to get something back occasionally, to know people are enjoying it. It’s nice to get validation that you’re making your readers happy. If I didn’t care about what the readers think I’d be as well taking my thoughts offline and simply write them in a journal.