Blogging and writing

Does Your Blog Get Comments?

Does your blog get comments? How to create a comment-friendly space - pink and purple floral background

Marie-Celine recently did a post that talked about putting words out in a blog post but not always getting words back in the form of comments.  I think that’s something that’s fairly common, so let’s chat about it.

I think for pretty much any new blogger it takes a while for comments to actually start flowing.  That was certainly the case when I started out.  Regardless of what you try to do to invite comments, realistically there’s going to be an element of hurry up and wait.

Among established bloggers who’ve been around for a while, there’s a lot of variability in the number of comments per post.  Follower numbers account for some of that, but only so much.  Some blogs with large followings don’t draw very many comments, and some smaller blogs draw lots.  My blog tends to have a fairly active comments section, but offhand, I can think of a blogger who has half my follower numbers but has significantly more comments than I do.  Different blogs have different styles and involve different people, so direct comparisons aren’t that meaningful.

So, follower numbers only matter so much, but what else does?

Asking some sort of provocative question at the end of a post can facilitate comments by giving readers something to focus on.  For me, commenting typically requires a fair bit of cognitive energy, and I only have so much available to draw on.  A focused question can mean less mental energy is required to come up with an answer in the comments (although sometimes anything beyond what colour is the sky requires too much energy).  Broader questions that are hard to answer in a couple of sentences can go either way; you may end up getting a lot of well thought out answers, or you could end up not getting many responses if readers decide not to commit the time/energy to a longer answer.

It matters if you comment on other blogs.  Leaving meaningful comments (as in not “Nice post.  Check out my blog.”) will help bring comments back to you.  And it’s not just the blogger you’re leaving a comment for that might notice.  Others might be interested in what you have to say as well.  It also helps to establish that you’re community-minded rather than just doing your own thing. That being said, there’s the whole mental energy aspect, and everyone’s got to balance that out for themselves.

It can help to have a handful of bloggers that you have regular exchanges with on each others blogs.  If you’re commenting on most of each others’ posts, that helps to create a comment-friendly atmosphere for each of your blogs.  If you get that kind of connection going with a few people, you’re probably not going to have posts being met with radio silence.

Try to always respond to comments left on your blog, unless they’re spammy or otherwise inappropriate. Emojis are fabulous if you can’t come up with much in terms of words but you still want to respond. I use them a lot for that very reason. If people leave multiple comments on a blog that go totally unacknowledged, they’ll probably stop commenting.  If you miss the odd one now and then because WordPress marked it as spam, you accidentally deleted it, or your guinea pig ate it, most people aren’t going to judge you for it.

Most of us are inherently inclined to be lazy. That means any time there’s an extra step added to doing something, fewer people are going to follow through.  I really can’t guess how much of an effect this has, but using a comment plugin that requires people to type in their name and email address (this isn’t relevant for WordPress.com people) probably ends up cutting down at least a little bit on the number of comments coming in.  If anyone has switched from WordPress.com to self-hosted, it would be great to get your take on this.

When there are already comments on a post, other readers are probably going to be more likely to leave their own comments.  If you can get a few regular comment exchanges going, that can help draw in other commenters.  If you’re moderating comments before they’re visible, and it takes a while after you post to get to them, you could potentially be missing out on some of that benefit.

All of that being said, I think there’s still more layers that I certainly haven’t figured out.  Maybe there’s a magic eau de blog wafting around.  Do you have any ideas about what the other lucky charms might be?

A New Blogger's Guide to WordPress from Mental Health @ Home

You can find more about blogging on the Blogging & Writing Tips page and in A New Blogger’s Guide to WordPress.

84 thoughts on “Does Your Blog Get Comments?”

  1. Thanks for your insights as always. As a relatively new blogger, I would love to get more views and more likes and more comments. Not always sure how to do this as my followers are increasing steadily yet my views and likes and comments vary widely. 🙂

  2. This is my third blog. I tried hard when the kids were young to have engagement but it just wasn’t working. When I developed this blog, I entered a new phase, so to speak (kids were suddenly out of the house full time in school) so maybe my mindset was different? I also had a few hours of actual, uninterrupted time, which is necessary to read, and comment, on other blogs. (I like what you said, cognitive energy…)

    In some cases it seems traction is more important than followers. You have a big follower base – do they all comment? I would say, no they don’t. They don’t do to me, either, and a have significantly less followers than you do. I have regular like-ers, who rarely comment, but show up to read. They count as well. Not everyone is comfortable commenting. That’s ok. It’s nice they let you know via a like that they enjoy reading your words.

    I don’t care about the stats. I don’t want numbers. I want words. Or acknowledgement.

    So. The relationship I have built with people who come to my blog and like but especially comment is more important to me than the stats. Like you say, as well.

    1. I also appreciate likes as a way of people showing they stopped by and liked what they read. It’s nice to be able to establish a comfy little cafe in the comments section so people feel safe commenting if they feel so inclined.

      I agree with you about traction. A tiny fraction of my followers actually interact with my blog in any way. The people that are actually showing up are far more interesting.

  3. I’ve never had many bloggers on any of my blogs, even the more public ones. I think mostly my posts nowadays are ‘lived experience’ ones that are hard to respond to other than in a superficial way (“Hugs” etc.). Although when I was writing more essay-type posts, they didn’t get many comments either.

    I suspect few people have ever read much of my writing, which is depressing, although I haven’t had large numbers of comments even when writing guest posts on more successful blogs. The most comments I ever had were on web articles (not exactly blog posts), one on antisemitism (which turned into an argument about Israel in the comments and I stopped reading them) and one on my being scared of having sex – go figure.

    I appreciate that you comment so often on my blog Ashley!

    1. It’s interesting that you mention that about guest posts. When I first started the emerging blogger series, those posts got a lot of interaction, but there’s been a definite drop-off, and now most of them don’t get many comments.

      It seems like lived experience, diary-style posts can go either way, and I have no clue what’s behind the differences.

  4. I get a reasonable amount of comments, I think. Part of that is due to my engagement with other bloggers… usually the same ones will comment (and me/them). I do try to reply to all. But I also take care to write conversationally… I never copypasta huge blobs of text or try to be scholarly. I’m just chatting and people chat back…

    1. Chat’s good. And I quite enjoy it the odd time that people get really into writing their chatty comments that end up being as long as my original post.

              1. Sorry to read about your then boyfriend, it wasn’t your fault, not one bit. I tried replying under that post but the WP app is glitchy, doesn’t always work. And, yes, I’m having to ‘lie’ about something to my docs too, so I don’t lose my little financial help for my genuine conditions including the severe chronic pain. We do what we can.
                Wishing you and piggies the best. (Do you make cardboard box homes for them too?!) 🌱 🌼 🌹 🐾

                1. Yes, we do what we can.

                  The boys a plastic house in their cage and the girls have a wooden house. I have cardboard boxes that I use if I need to transport them. They like to chew cardboard, and Butternut quite likes cardboard toilet paper rolls.

                  1. Hehe, chewing cardboard :p
                    I used to call it scrapbooking – that that is the bunny’s favourite craft.
                    I used to build a town of cardboard box houses with front doors, side doors, ceiling escapes, clear-plastic windows. They’d zip about and leap and somersault. A joy to watch.
                    Love to Butternut and co. and yourself xo

                    1. Hehe cute. It’s amazing how much happiness our pets give.

                      Did I tell you about my piggies (years ago) who love their cucumber? Every time the fridge door opened they knew! and would squeal the house down.

                      When I was teaching/translating from home, my Chihuahua Sugar would make a nuisance of herself when the client was there (open plan living room/kitchen apartment). She’d repeatedly scratch the cupboard door where her treats were. She knew she got more attention when they were there! I had to move the treats in the end. xo

                    2. My dogs these days are a real nuisance because I’m getting soft in my old age… they seem to think that their stash is endless and I’m saying you’re not a puppy anymore, eat your dinner!

  5. I am brand new to blogging and I am reticent to leave comments. I like to read other people’s posts but I think I don’t have anything worth adding to the conversation. Plus there are the extra steps involved other than just clicking “like.” You were correct though. Leaving a question at the end is what got me over the hump to leave a reply. Thanks.

    1. Nothing the least bit wrong with taking some time to ease into it. I would guess that most bloggers would appreciate the thought behind the comment even if the content wasn’t earth-shattering.

  6. Interesting question about getting comments! I don’t get many, but I always appreciate when you comment, so thank you so much!! YAY!! Otherwise, I think there’s an element of fear people have to comment on my life (since I do a lot of diary-type posts). I wish people would comment anyway, but … huh. Maybe I could say as much on my blog! 😀 There’s a thought! I do moderate comments from first-time commentors, but that’s because my WP is set up that way, and I have no clue how to override it. Darn! I’m not likely to get too upset over any other comments, unless they’re downright vulgar, obscene, etc. And i do enjoy editing the comments left for me if they’re from spammers. Changing, “Buy my magic love potion here,” to, “I’m the world’s stupidest spammer ever,” just tickles me. I’m easily entertained, though. 😀 I do like your idea of asking questions at the end of the post, and I don’t know why I’ve never thought of that! I might try it, thanks!!

    1. I’ve always found it strange that WP allows you to edit comments people have left. It’s amusing in the way that you mentioned, but I wouldn’t be too keen on people editing my comments. They can go right ahead and delete, but being able to change other people’s words is weird.

      1. I agree, and that’s probably the only circumstance under which I’d do it!! I wouldn’t want to edit content of a valid (i.e., non-spammy) post.

  7. 🙂 I believe that my style of commenting; which is warm, friendly and diplomatic has a lot to do with the vast amount of comments that I receive on my blog.

    People will read the comments thread before they comment and if they noticed that the owner of the blog knows how to deal with people professionally, they will leave a comment of their own.

    Also, I have made it a priority of mines to respond to all comments in a timely manner (Another aspect that people love).

  8. That magic Eau de Blog eh? It’s always lovely to receive comments on a post and I’m grateful when anyone takes the time. That said, I seem to have more comments than likes … go figure!! 🤷‍♀️

    PS Ashley I hope you are ok. Just checking in on you after the post the other day. Sending love 💕

  9. The me’s who write our posts and the me’s who read any comments left are definitely not the same. So it’s hard for us to connect writing posts to reading and responding to comments. When we wake up in the morning and see we have comments, we get very excited. Trying to take our time is a challenge. We want to read them and reply fast and still thoroughly. We don’t want to leave people hanging. They seem pretty chill, though. People have their schedule. We love the people who comment on our blog. Literally love. Adore. It builds so much community. It feels so affirming. People allow us, accept us. Thanks!!

    You are the only blog we follow that posts everyday. We read and comment on most posts. We don’t always read book reviews (especially fiction) and guest bloggers. Health does not afford us the energy to follow as many blogs as our interest allows. We feeling we know the people who comment on your blog.

    Ending a post with a specific question, like asking for advice, elicits helpful comments. General questions do not usually elicit conversation for us. We do not ask very intriguing questions maybe because we are too fragile to “defend” our belief system. For now. We love to write long comments to you because it feels so cozy. We like thinking of you reading our comment. Real human interaction! 💕❤️💕

    1. Reading long comments is lovely! I like that multiple yous are able to come out and chat on your blog. I find your blog is a cozy place to be too. Love all around! ❤️

  10. I am pretty lucky to usually get a good amount of comments. You often being one of them 🙂 I do notice I tend to get less comments on my art posts, but still get a lot of likes on them, I guess maybe people just don’t know what to say sometimes. When I post anything personal, political, or poetical (is that a word?) I tend to get a lot more comments.

    1. I’ve noticed a lot of poetical posts (sounds wordish enough to me) seem to get a lot of comments. I’m actually less likely to comment on poetry simply because my mind just isn’t poetical.

  11. I love comments. I love making them and receiving them. But I must admit…the amount of time I have free and my mental energy after work will affect both how many comments I make and how soon I can reply to other comments.

    Somedays I come home from work and see comments in my notifications and think “yay!!!” Other days, I have nothing in me and have no idea how to reply.

    When I comment on someone else’s post usually it is because it made me feel great, touched my heart or when I have become very fond of a blogger and I want to keep in touch with them. I also comment a lot on foodie blogs because I am often left drooling at their creations 🙂

      1. When I first started my blog on WordPress, with the name Crushed Caramel, I think a lot of foodie bloggers presumed I was a foodie blogger so started following me. So I followed them. I have been hungry ever since!!!

  12. Great advice for seasoned and neophyte bloggers alike, Ashley. I’ve learned much about blogging protocol reading your posts. More so, it’s been a welcoming community here. 😊🙏

  13. Oh Ashley, Eau de Blog, actually laughed out loud. Yes, comments are a funny old thing!

    All we can tell new bloggers is “don’t panic as comments will come eventually. In the meantime, comment on other blogs and meet some of the amazing bloggers around. Most are willing to help by either letting you do a Guest post (if your niches are pretty similar) or linking to your posts to encourage fellow bloggers to drop by your blog.”

  14. Sometimes people don’t know what to say, especially when I blog about trauma or trigger responses. They may not know how they fee, or may feel as if a comment is an intrusion. I like comments but I’m not the most socially adept blogger so that may also be a factor.

  15. I love comments! I agree with the question at the end of the post, it does make it more easy to comment. I’m always excited when I get comments, when you see that the message I was trying to put out, find some destination.

    I try to always comment when I read a post I liked because it’s a small effort and for me it’s through the comments that I can establish some kind of connection.

  16. Hey everyone, I’m a fairly new blogger and don’t get many likes or comments and on the other side of that I know I’m not as consistent with my writing as I should be. I also wonder if I add the right tags etc… (which I’m still learning all about and in general fathoming out the WordPress platform). Thanks for your post it’s really interesting and gives me lots to think about 🙂

  17. I think I only get comments from you actually 😂 but.. my blog at first was just intended for me. To get stuff off my chest then people started following it! Bonus 😂

  18. Nice post, check out my blog 😉

    I agree though, it’s different for all blogs and types of content, and it can help if you’re more active with other blogs in terms of getting involved in comments and conversations.x

  19. Thanks for your insights. I’m trying with questions at the end, like you’ve mentioned too. There might be the key in using more creativity and being provocative. Still haven’t figured this one out yet.

  20. I rarely get comments on my blog, actually my blog has slowed down quite a bit.
    I have noticed since the new editing system has been in place that it’s hard for me to even write at all. I really need to get used to it and fix my plug-ins I think. 🤔
    But I usually like to leave a comment on the blogs that I’m interested in or that I liked, to let the writer know that I enjoyed what they wrote or but what was interesting to me and let them know what part about it that I enjoyed.
    Hopefully, that way they will know that’s what I would also like when they read mine… if they read mine..😜

    1. It’s weird, my overall blog numbers haven’t slowed down, but the percentage of those numbers coming from within WP has dropped, so it feels less active. It’s hard to say how much what’s happening in the world affects activity within WordPress. And the new editor definitely means more time fussing around with things other than actual writing.

  21. Hey Ashleyleia, agree blog comment is one of the most effective ways to engage with your follower’s and here by followers I mean organic and loyal followers.So, it is very important to get comments, yeah for a newbie it’s not easy to get a lot of comments and likes. But with the time if you consistently keep on producing quality and valuable content, you can see the traffic, likes and comments pouring to your blog page. Keep sharing such articles.

  22. I think the post content plays a large factor on whether the visitors want to comment or not. Like if I see a post share on let”s say depression/heavy topics eg:death, I’m not comfortable on leaving comments because I don’t want to sound insensitive especially when English is not my native language.

    I don’t know about others, but I feel nervous commenting in English.

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