Should You Get Rid of Comments on Your Blog?

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Community. Ask most bloggers what they've found most rewarding about blogging, and that will be their answer.

There’s something special about finding friends who will listen to you ramble about the side ponytails on Prada’s runway, or hear for the umpteenth time exactly how excited you are that flares are finally making a comeback. 

Luckily, through fashion blogging, there’s an entire community of people who are happy to discuss such things.

Communities thrive on conversation, and commenting has long been the primary tool for facilitating discussions between bloggers and readers. Leaving a comment is one of the easiest ways to introduce yourself to other bloggers, contribute to their discussion, and eventually carve your own space within the blogging community. In fact, it’s through commenting that bloggers find their tribe.

Personally, I met most of my blogging friends through commenting. If it weren’t for one of us by chance leaving a message on each others’ blog, I might have never known they existed!

However, as integral as discussion is to blogging's DNA, there has recently been a shift in how these conversations take place. Now more than ever, popular bloggers rarely respond to comments left on their blogs. Some are even taking it a step further and deleting their comments section altogether.

Does commenting still carry the same relevance as it did in the early years of blogging, or are the important conversations happening elsewhere?

I’ve heard several theories as to why comments may be on the decline.

The Discussion Has Moved

It’s undeniable that social media’s influence has had a massive impact on the blogging community. It has not only granted bloggers exposure to larger audiences, but has also made discussions more convenient.

Simply clicking a “like” button or leaving a comment directly on a social post is much easier for readers than going through the process of leaving their information through a comment form. Consequently,

bloggers are going where their readers are—and that happens to be social media channels.

For instance, many bloggers receive far more interaction on Instagram than their actual sites— some even consider the platform to be their own microblog. Recently I’ve even noticed that a few bloggers are using snapchat as a means of keeping in touch with their followers as well.

More Comments ≠ More Readership

The notion of comments as currency indicating the value of a blog is long gone. It used to be implied that the more comments a blog had, the more successful it was. But, is that really still the case?

Take, for instance, popular magazine sites. Although some articles don’t receive any comments, that doesn’t mean they aren’t being read.


Instead of commenting on the article, readers share the post to their social media accounts and facilitate a more intimate discussion within their own circles.

Other metrics besides comments can also determine a blog’s “value.” For instance, my friend has a beauty blog that receives 50K unique visits a month, but only averages 5 comments per post. She still has an active, loyal audience and is approached by brands for partnerships regularly. Just because there aren’t numerous comments on her articles, doesn’t mean that readers aren’t enjoying her content.

Quantity Does Not Make Up For A Lack Of Quality

We’ve all received (rather begrudgingly) the dreaded two word comment: “Great look!” or “Nice Outfit!” followed by a slew of links directing you to their blog/Facebook/Bloglovin’/Contest/Cat’s Instagram, etc.

As kind as it is that someone took the time to leave a comment, these types of messages really only serve the author’s self promotion. And they can be detrimental and frustrating to bloggers trying to build an open community that encourages discussion.

Unfortunately, these types of comments are becoming pervasive on style blogs. Sure, you can have 70 comments on one post, but if 90% of them are the exact same message, is it really a gratifying reward for all of the hard work you’ve put in?

The Exhaustive Cycle of Commenting

No one outwardly says it, but there seems to be an unspoken “comment for comment” rule within blogging. Yes, as bloggers we should be gracious towards our readers, but is it really necessary to respond to every single comment? Also, what happens when replying to comments becomes time consuming to the point where it’s a job in itself?

More importantly, would our time commenting be better spent if we used it instead to create new content instead?

Where Do We Go From Here?

Although blogging has changed a lot in the past few years, human connection is still the core of what differentiates a publication from a community. No doubt that conversations matter, but is the comments section the best place to have them? Or is it time we move the discussion to a different platform?

[Photo via Shutterstock]

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32 Responses

  1. Colleen Welsch

    If someone takes the time to leave a nice, thoughtful comment on my blog, I will always return the favor. I have made a lot of friends this way! However, if someone is just going to say “Nice post,” I’m not going to go out of my way to respond. Sometimes I just go to their blog and say “Nice” if I’m feeling particularly sassy.

    Reply
  2. Accidental Icon

    Such an interesting post and I have to say that I have been experiencing and thinking about every topic you raised in this post. I especially related to the responding to comments becoming a full-time job commentary. I do find many more of my followers relate on other social media. Some really good questions and food for thought.

    Accidental Icon
    http://www.accidentalicon.com

    Reply
    • Christine Buzan

      Thank you Accidental Icon! I such a fan of your blog and I’m glad the article spoke to your experiences. Your thoughtful comment means a lot!

      Reply
  3. Anastasia Nicole

    Lots to think about here. I understand why popular bloggers who would field 20+ comments per post shut down the comment section or use Facebook or other social sites for comments, but I think it’s vital when you’re trying to build your community. I do think the comment-for-comment cycle can get to be a bit much. I only comment on sites/posts where I genuinely have something to say, whether or not the person comments on my site.

    Reply
    • Dilek

      I think everyone wants to receive genuine comments on their blogs, but with all the self-promotion going on, you come to think: “I wrote that article for hours for what? To serve as your promotion platform?” But then again, probably you read it, you liked it, but you are not into commenting so you are letting me know that you stopped by, by writing a short comment and leaving your links (I have a friend like that. She admits that she sucks at writing comments, but she reads everything).
      It’s hard to decide which is which.
      Personally, I don’t think that we should shut the comment section on our blogs because it sends the wrong message: “I don’t care about what my readers think. If you have something to say, find another way (aka social media)”. Why should I, as a reader, bother to do to your social media? It makes me want to interact with you less.
      My point is, don’t take away genuine readers’ chance to interact with you just because there is a flood of fakers looking to self-promote. ^^

      Reply
      • Christine Buzan

        What you brought up is definitely a bit tricky. I experience a lot of comment guilt if I don’t comment on my blogger friends’ posts. It’s almost like the whole “photos or it never happened” syndrome. Sometimes I just want them to know that I both read and appreciated the post, but don’t feel like writing an entire letter back to them.

        The thing is, I don’t feel like “I loved this post!” is too promotional if it’s coming from a regular reader who comments often. If it’s from a first time visitor, that’s when I know it’s more about self promotion than the article itself.

  4. Krisztina @ krisztinawilliams.com

    I totally struggle with this issue and everything mentioned above. I’ve decided for now to leave my comments as an option, but I don’t waste time doing the comment-for-comment thing. I’d rather have genuine readers than other bloggers just trying to get their link out there via my website that I’ve worked hard on. Though that can be a problem when potential sponsors look at you and see that you don’t have a ton of community interaction. I have hope that with continued quality, loyal readers, and that as my stats go up, I’ll eventually have a fair amount of comments per post but that they will be genuine.

    Reply
  5. scarlett

    Although whenever I have time, I comment on a few fellow blogger´s posts,
    and I appreciate when they do the same for me. truth is, in the fashion blogger
    world, comments don´t necessarily go towards discussion, they´re more likely compliments expecting to have the same in return.
    I lost my large comments when I moved to from blogspot to wordpress, and since I lost my GFC my followers simply dissapeared. But I didn´t mean
    my posts didn´t have audience. Actually people outsite the blogger world who simply didn´t know how to fill out a comment form woiuld visit my site.
    As for the big star blogs, with tones of comments, I think they receive susch amount from other bloggers expecting to be seen…kind of a friendly spam.
    As for the importance to show traffic or engagement to possible clients,
    who wants to advertise on a site that´s more likely visited by other bloggers who probably will contact you to get also stuff for free? which is the case of most style blogs only focus on styling your latest OOTD

    Reply
  6. Maggie A

    This certainly makes me feel a little bit better at the decline of interaction in my comment section. I ALWAYS leave a comment (if the option is available). Even if its just saying hello, I stopped by your blog.

    xo
    Maggie A
    http://www.lovemavin.com

    Reply
  7. Irvan Dwi

    It is always been disgusting for me to read several comments in the same ways. That’s the reason why I closed my old blog and started to build up my new one. They are just telling me, “good post, thanks”. As I read more and more comments, it is even going more ridiculous. They are not talking about my post but they are like chit-chating each other through my comments section.

    Reply
  8. Sabina @Oceanblue Style

    Well this has got my attention because commenting has started becoming really time consuming. So I stopped answering most of them and invest my limited time in visiting other Over40 fashionblogs. I feel this is more rewarding because most of commentators of our over40 community will not be reading my reply- opening another social channel such as insta I have not decided yet….But I appreciate the article for another reason: it has got me wondering about the question of why comment at all? And I think if you got an answer you will do what is right for you. Sabina | Oceanblue Style

    Reply
    • Christine Buzan

      Sabina, you raised an excellent question. Personally, I comment to show appreciation. People put a lot of work into their blogs and provide a lot of free quality content that I enjoy. I feel like a thoughtful comment can be a nice pat on the back for all of the time and effort they put into their blogs.

      Reply
  9. Biki John

    I love this topic! Here is my tuppence- Everyone has their various reasons for blogging, mine was to put my work/brand out there and build a community. So for me comments are super important, and I prefer comments to be left on my blog directly.

    True that there’s now Instagram and other ways for readers to show their appreciation like Likes, its true peeps can write their comments on social media platforms, but I prefer comments left on my blog. Comments are so important to me that if I go to a newish blog and I see that blogger has tons of comments and has not replied to one, I am likely not to return to that blog. Yes leaving Comment for Comment can be exhausting, but to me that comes with the territory of blogging and if you cant stand the heat, stay out of the fire. With the more established blogs that have gone on for yonks where the bloggers rarely/dont leave comments, I give them a pass, but even those blogs, I don’t frequent often.

    In my mind, there are so many great blogs out there, so what I use to separate them are the great ones with great content where I can connect with the blogger directly via their Blog Comments section.

    True there are online mags out there with no Comment section that are still doing great- good for them! Again, I’m about building and nurturing r/ships with readers, and my fav. way to do that is to leave comments on blogs. For bloggers out there that have continued to comment on my blog- THANK YOU, you inspire me to carry on! Bisous

    Reply
  10. Raivyn dK

    I’ve thought about this before, battled it out in my head… every blogger is different. I’ve seen some use Facebook as a comment system and it really works for them.. thought about it.. a LOT.. But then I realized that I DO want to keep comments on my blog, because I love having a place all my own to talk to readers. Social media sites come and go, and if this is MINE, I would have less to lose as time goes on… 😉

    <3 K
    http://inf3kted.com

    Reply
    • Christine Buzan

      Raivyn! I’m so glad you found this post– I was about to email it to you today since I know we had talked about this earlier. It was actually one of the inspirations for this article! xx

      Reply
  11. Kristie

    This is definitely an interesting topic. I’m a brand new blogger and I would appreciate comments. I only comment on blogs when I have a genuine comment or question. I do expect my question to get a response, but otherwise, the blogger shouldn’t feel obligated to respond all the time.

    Reply
  12. Cecil Vedemil

    This post really made me think. I’m a small blogger so I don’t have many comments. However I do try and answer them all. I think that comments are good if they’re relevant: for example, if someone leaves me a comment saying “nice post <3" I consider it irrelevant. I love knowing what my readers think about my posts and their opinion on stuff. I don't usually leave a question at the end of my entries, but it's always nice to have someone telling you that they've liked your post.

    It's true that huge bloggers may not answer their comments, but most of the times, those blogs are full of spam comments from people who want to promote their own blog, and maybe that's why they decide to turn them off.

    Christine, this post was great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    xx Cecil // http://www.wednesday19th.blogspot.com

    Reply
  13. Melody

    I tend to get a lot more feedback from Instagram posts than my blog. I think it may contribute to the safety of a quick response on social media. Of-the-moment outlets seem to have more of a real time appeal. We tend to check Twitter and IG more frequently than email or our blog comments. This may lead readers to believe their favorite bloggers are more engaging through social media.
    With that being said, I just can’t see myself getting rid of my comment section. It keeps me connected with my readers and gives a better understanding of what’s working. I find a blog with no comment section a huge let down. To me it says that the blogger has no interest in what her readers think.

    Melody
    http://blingaholic88.com

    Reply
  14. Jeni

    I’m new to the blogging realm and I’m working to build a following. I want to have a true interaction with my readers because sometimes at the end of post I pose a question. I really do want to know your thoughts! When I first started blogging I saw it as a community of people that find a particular topic interesting, whether it be fashion, travel, food, etc. Sadly, most times I see a blogger post countless pictures of their outfits with no content in the post. I think in some cases it’s deserving of a one word comment. I really think if you create an engaging post, you’ll get an engaging comment. If you just want to show off your style, then maybe it makes sense to turn off your commentary.

    x,Jeni
    http://www.hautefixx.com

    Reply
  15. Munachi

    This is an interesting conversation that has been brought up time and time again among the blogging community. One of the most interesting things to me is Fashionista.com, one of my favorite blogs to read, rarely gets any comments on its 10+ posts a day and it’s one of the most popular blogs in the world. Granted Fashionista is a fashion news so most people just come to read the “news” then leave, but it’s still shocking that unless it’s an extremely hot-button topic there aren’t ever really any comments.

    I do love getting comments on my blog and I finally really annoying when other bloggers don’t allow me to comment on their blogs or when I see a popular blogger who doesn’t respond to genuine comments that ask questions or are very encouraging.

    Reply
  16. Alex

    Good Question. I’ve been contemplating this myself. As it goes, I am trying as best as I can to reply to comments and visit blogs of my readers, if they have any, but I’m slowly letting go of guilt trips about not being able to do it all, to always answer all and visit everyone. I think those who will be true connections will emerge on their own, naturally.

    Alex – Funky Jungle

    Reply
  17. Kim Thomas

    The amount of comments I get don’t reflect my readership stats at all ( + I get a lot of interaction on social media), but I would never delete them completely from my blog. It could be because I’m not getting a ton on all my posts, but I still get excited when I get a notification, and I try to reply back as soon as I can. I don’t comment on all of the blogs that I read all of the time, but I do try to to say something if it stands out to me. I don’t always know what to say ( I know that “I LOOOOVED THIS!” can get redundant, lol), but there’s a small group that I read regularly now and I usually comment every few posts that I read and/or share.

    Now, one thing I do find strange is, some bloggers never respond to their readers/followers unless it’s someone they know. If the question is something that’s already answered in the post then I get that, but if it’s a genuine question and you only have like, 5 comments on the post, why not answer it? I don’t understand that approach at all.

    Reply
  18. Aneta

    I did.

    1.First of all because of tons of spam. No more Fake bags, amazing pills and cheap loans for me.

    2.Secondly, let’s be honest. Most people who comment on blogs are bloggers and simply expect to get comment back and put their own link under (sometimes 3 times!) So also no “cute look follow for love”, “you are so pretty, do you want to follow each other?” for me neither.

    3. I put under each article link to my fb fan page, instagram and twitter so everyone who REALLY wants to saty in touch, to ask question, discuss or simply send positive vibes have a chance.

    Reply
  19. rohit

    This is great topic. I’m curiously read and love this type blog and I would appreciate comments. I only comment on blogs when I have a genuine comment i must say you have interesting post and I have to say that I have been experiencing and thinking about every topic you raised in this post.

    Reply
  20. Katy Amezcua

    Hmm.. This is interesting. I’ve had a hard time with this because it does kind of stink sometimes when you want genuine readers but only get comments like “nice outfit! Giveaway on my blog!” Anytime I comment on a blog I will say something relating to the post and then leave my link below but I never invite people back. I just simply put it there so they can see I stopped by. I want people to stop by my site because they want to, not to self promote. I’ll always leave comments because I do love interaction! It’s a great way to find new bloggers and I always respond to my comments.

    Either way, I’m grateful to whoever stops by my little corner of the internet! 🙂

    xo, Katy
    http://www.thestyleisland.com

    Reply
  21. Becca

    It’s funny how a post about deleting comment sections, has generated so many comments compared to the others on the homepage.

    When someone leaves a really ambiguous comment that they are clearly copying and pasting on everything, everywhere I remove it as, quite frankly, it seems a little disrespectful. Spam is a pain but on the flip side if someone brings genuine feedback regarding a post, I am thrilled to hear their thoughts.

    It’s a bit of a double edged sword. I’ll keep allowing them for now anyway.

    Reply
  22. Sarmistha Goswami

    I usually try to respond to all the comments on my blog. It’s true that most of the comments usually have 2 words with a link back, but some of them are sincere, thoughtful comments which make me feel that people are appreciating my blog and I am not blogging in isolation.
    However, this post has actually made me realise that I should be choosy about which comments I want to reply to! 🙂
    http://styleovercoffee.com

    Reply
  23. Selena Gomez

    To develop your fashion ideas you need to start from building concept inside, you will never look good unless you feel you look good. No matter how much you try to be fashionable or stylish you will always have the lack of confidence in yourself unless you praise thyself.
    try to get more fashion ideas on : http://fashionmakeupfitness.com/

    Reply
  24. Sarah

    I think in some ways you’ve slightly contradicted yourself on a few points. You seem to put the concept of a community on a pedestal and penalise those who only leave short comments on a blog, while simultaneously admitting that you find commenting too time consuming. So you’re essentially expecting a community to be built around your blog without putting any effort in to cultivate those blogger relationships.

    I think commenting still has its place on blogs. It’s a good indicator of public thought, and some can give really good insight which can be used for further post content ideas. I’m not discrediting those who have few comments but lots of views, but to me engagement is also important.

    Reply