Blogging and Writing

What Do You Like to See in Your Blog’s Comments Section?

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Most bloggers like getting comments, but what kind of things do you like to see (or would rather not see) in the comments section on your blog?

To me, it doesn’t make much difference how long a comment is, aside from the odd time that it’s a comment by someone I don’t know that’s not really on topic and is longer than the actual post itself. Some spam comments are absurdly long, but I delete spam comments regardless.

Unless there’s a good reason for the comment to include a link, I would generally mark comments with self-promotional links as spam. Another blogger had mentioned that they edit comments to remove links, which I’ve done a few times, but generally I just get rid of the comment.

Speaking of spam, I delete generic “great post” kinds of comments if the URL of whoever left the comment is clearly a spammy site, like if it contains buycheapusedautoparts. I also delete pingbacks. I have them enabled, because I like to know when people have linked to my site, but there are a fair number of spammy types who reblog to get the pingback notice in the comments, which serves as a backlink to their blog.

Performative comment liking irritates me. By performative, I’m not talking about regular readers who are actually engaged. I’m talking about people who are clearly putting on a show of some kind.

Debate is okay, and disagreement is okay, but sometimes I’ll shut it down in my comments to avoid it if it’s looking like it would get really drawn out. If there’s a mildly trollish comment that I choose to leave on but ignore, and then other people start to poke that troll, I’ll usually shut that down. It’s not that there’s not a place for that, but I don’t want my blog to be that place.

I do really enjoy, though, when commenters start chatting among themselves. Community is a good thing, and I would like my comments section to feel like a cozy living room. And by cozy, I mean comfy, and feel free to show up in your pyjamas.

I also like introducing bloggers to other bloggers who have the same illness or are interested in the same issues, although I probably do that more on other blogs’ comments than my own. I also like it when people “meet” on my blog.

Another thing I like is that when I ask at the end of my weekend wrap-up posts how other people’s weeks went, there are people who feel comfortable enough to share how their own week has been. That’s cool.

So that’s some of the things that I like to see happening on my blog. What do you like to see, or not see, in the comments section on your own blog?

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78 thoughts on “What Do You Like to See in Your Blog’s Comments Section?”

  1. I love how you describe it as a cozy living room. I think explains it exactly how I’d like it to be. Supportive, friendly, engaged…definitely a pajamas only environment

  2. I’m much like you with what I dislike. I appreciate all “real” comments, even if it’s a generic “nice poem” or whatever. I leave those too! I really love it when people recommend a book or movie or song based on my post. Or when people talk about writing generally…

    1. Yeah, generic comments are good if they’re genuine. For the most part it seems like it’s not too hard to distinguish the genuine from the spammy.

      I’ve discovered some great books from recommendations people have left in the comments.

  3. Well, I only started using WordPress around two months ago and you’re pretty much the only commenter, which I really appreciate 🙂

    When I first had an attempt at blogging, before I moved to WordPress, I wanted my website to be more informative, like your is, so I would expect the comments to be focused on information exchange.

    But I ended up talking about my emotions and how my day has been and the information about autism is kind of wrapped around it and I think now, actually, it works better this as it shows reader my normal life and thought process. Therefore now I enjoy any comments and I’m just ad someone read what I post and found it engaging.

  4. I dislike when a commenter stumbles on my blog and doesn’t really know my story then links to their post that might be helpful and it’s heavy on God will cure you sound to it. I had someone ask me for feedback on once and I couldn’t give constructive feedback so I just left it. In a side not I’m not against religion helping mental health as I feel God directed scientists to form meds used but I can’t wrap my mind that you can pray away mental health issues

  5. Although I tend to encourage critical thought with my blog, I prefer it to be the one that takes place in a coffee-like environment to it in that it remains chill. I feel like there’s probably already a lot of pressure being put on us in general to have to add more without good reason. That and I don’t like the thought of crossing over or even going anywhere close into keyboard warrior territory.

    I love the idea you mentioned about people commenting with one another as well as with the blogger themselves too, I’d have loved to have seen that in my blog too. Makes it feel so much more like a community that way.

  6. I’m with you on the cozy environment. I like to imagine we’re all hanging out on the living room, eating junk food, bitching about our lives and pet peeves. I love it most when people feel moved to write about their own experiences. I have my comment settings to hold any first-time comments before approval. After that they’re automatically approved unless there’s a link, which I review. I rarely delete comments (aside from spam) unless it contains over the top foul language/blasphemy. I am also so lucky and fortunate that I receive many kind and supportive comments.

    1. Yay for junk food!

      I’ve never moderated comments, mostly because I’m on WP so much that I usually see comments pretty quickly, and can mark them as spam or delete them if appropriate.

  7. Sorry, couldn’t resist 😂

    I think it’s fantastic that people can “meet” through your blog’s comments. I quite like it when readers have shared ideas, tips or suggestions, like a product they’ve used and have found beneficial. Then when others read through the comments or leave their own, they might be able to find something they’ve not tried or thought of yet.

    I’ve never really understood ping backs. I suppose they’re just to draw your attention to the fact that you’ve been mentioned in another blog, which then gives them the gold standard backlink. I tend to delete those, and where there are links in comments.

  8. Interesting post Ashley.

    ☑️In my 3 yrs of blogging I just had one stinky spammer repeatedly talking about private parts nastily linking to a particular religion and claiming that every body will be similarly punished by usage of private parts.
    It was a sickening experience.
    ☑️ Some times I observed that people can misunderstand my comments due to poor English knowledge.
    When the word ‘you’ is used the blogger thinks that he or she is singled out.
    Actually ‘you’ should be understood as ‘we’

    ☑️ Keeping the comments under moderation- this sometimes creates confusion, since the commentator has to wait and can lose track.

    ☑️I feel the comments should be polite and discussion in civilised manner and should be about the post article with relevant points.

    ☑️ Length of the comment depends on the topic, and I feel it’s left to the descrition of the commentator, provided the comment is relevant to the post topic.

    Thank you Ashley for the thout provoking post.

  9. I like comments that actually pertain to what I wrote. I also like when commentators share something similar about themselves. Or their likes/dislikes if I write about food or books. I like comments that reveal something about the commentator. If someone disagrees with anything I wrote I like to hear that too…civil discourse, please. (It is possible)

  10. I don’t like spammy posts and if I receive links in comments that I didn’t give permission in a post to do, then yes, it doesn’t air. On WordPress I would edit and remove link, or whatever and state that I edited the comment due to breaking my blogging rules. But now I am on Blogger means it don’t get aired.

    I don’t like religion shoved into my face and when I was on WordPress, I had that quite a few times in the final year blogging there and so they would not air either.
    As you know, if its literally shoved in my face, I don’t respond well with that.

    I want my commenters to feel they can chat with either me, or other commenters. Thats nice and as you have described it, like inviting them into your living room.

  11. I too love engaging with your weekend wrap up posts. That offer to share is what makes your blog feel cozy and inviting. For me, I love when people leave a comment to reflect on the content of the post/podcast. I don’t pay attention to “likes” because it’s too passive for my taste.

  12. I also don’t like the “Great post” type of comment and tend to delete them, unless it feels possible that it’s not spammy but just that this was genuinely the only thing the person thought they could say, because they actually did like the post but don’t have much to say on the topic, which is totally fine.
    As a frequently lengthy writer myself, I appreciate long comments very much, and especially so if there’s also a lot of room for further discussion on the points the commenter has raised, so more potential for more lengthy comments. 😀
    I like hearing how people are doing or what they’re thinking or about their experiences or whatever ’cause I’m nosey like that, hence the whole question of the day series obviously.
    And yeah, this is so cool when people start talking with each other in the comments, I like to have a community feel on my blog as well.
    I typically don’t get rid of pingbacks, even self-pingbacks, except for a few posts which I really tend to pingback a lot for the sake of reference if people need it, and it’s not always perfectly relevant to the original post itself, so I delete the pingbacks in these cases as otherwise it would feel super cluttered and weird and overwhelming and unnecessary. Otherwise though, I guess it could potentially be of interest to someone to see posts in which someone or myself have linked to the original post because they’re about the same thing.
    Self-promotion, especially if irrelevant to the post, is rather annoying, but if someone posts a sensible, constructive comment more or less on topic I’ll leave it even if it contains an irrelevant link. I don’t have any readers who’d do this on a regular basis though, if I did, I’d probably end up editing.

    1. I used to keep pingbacks but delete self-pingbacks. Somehow, my blog spontaneously stopped doing self-pingbacks, which I was actually quite happy about, because I do a lot of internal linking so there just so many of them.

      It’s nice to hear n the comments how people are doing and what’s going on with them.

  13. Sometimes I get comments that are clear the reader didn’t read the post. Those ones irk me a bit. But I leave them. The only comments I remove are ones that are clearly spam or self-promotion.

    I used to get someone who would say “great post,” then when I thanked them they would respond telling me to read their blog, too. That’s a quick way to get your comment deleted. They stopped, probably because they noticed I wasn’t approving their “read my blog” comments.

  14. When debate breaks out I usually give one rebuttal to make sure my stance is clear and that’s it. If someone still wants to argue beyond that, they likely aren’t listening to me, lol.

  15. I can forgive arguing (honestly, I haven’t written anything controversial enough, but I was a political blogger once so disagreement doesn’t faze me), negative feedback on poetry (haven’t received this, but if it weren’t given respectfully, I am fine with critical feedback/suggestions for improvement), and spam (annoying, but oft caught in the spam filter).

    What I cannot forgive is requests for personal/identifying information not relevant for understanding the post. If I didn’t give a particular detail, there was probably a reason. I can’t tolerate requests for personal information just to satisfy someone’s curiosity.

    1. Ugh, I can definitely see that being an issue. Especially with a blog where the blogger is anonymous, it should be pretty easy for readers to figure out that some things are off-limits for a reason.

  16. Hmmm…I’ve had to do a lot of thinking about what I like and don’t like with comments, what I tolerate and don’t tolerate, especially since I can write on some contentious subjects.

    I have no problem with disagreement, and I REALLY enjoy it when a commenter introduces some new perspectives that perhaps I hadn’t given thought to while I was writing my post. I don’t even have an issue with someone disagreeing with me. However, when that disagreement crosses over into insults or advocating for the denial of one’s human rights (which has happened before), then it crosses a line for me.

    Those occasional situations have made me think about whether I want to have a comment policy housed somewhere on my blog. I don’t think that’s necessary, at least not for now, as long as such instances are rare (thankfully). Most of the time, the commenters I come across are respectful and engaged, even if there are certain things certain commenters may disagree with me on.

    1. I delete comments that promote stigma or discrimination. I mention that on one of my site’s pages, but I don’t have an actual comment policy because I figure the people who would be most likely to violate would be the least likely to read it.

  17. I am not really too worried about what others choose to comment. If it is clearly a spam post and entirely unconnected with anything to do with blogging I will usually mark it spam. There are one of two who provide some comedy as whatever I publish they reliably have something randomly odd and contentious to say. So I just ignore them now. It got boring quickly to provide a polite response. I am just amazed they persist. I don’t have time to reply to all the lovely comments, I am certainly not going to worry about the contentious comments!

  18. I have never really had to think about this as my other online journal is not public and my blog here is very small.

    I like all types of comments and have been lucky enough that I cannot think of any types of comments that I hate.

  19. I also prefer the nice comments, especially if they link back towards the topic of the post. Some soammers leave kind words but they’re not at all connected to the post/my blog and often have too many links to their own stuff. Or they leave three kind words and then start telling you that you should definitely see their posts as they’re so much like mine…. And yeah, I’ve been curious, I did check some blogs out but I’m not doing that anymore based on those small, topic less, replies. If that makes any sense…
    I don’t mind small replies, I don’t mind large ones (preferably on topic of the post or blog). But I really hate the spammy ones. They’re such a waste of time as I never will allow them to appear. I don’t mind links from people who reblog my post, except when they’re spamming my posts with their track back links. 😊

    Basically, I enjoy the real, honest, kind replies. 😊 Spam I hate… And those get deleted.

      1. So true! Real comments make the writing worth while. As it means people took time in their busy lives to check out what you had to share and even dedicate time to write to you about it… ♥ It’s the best!
        I really cannot see the value in spamming. Who would ever allow those things to be shown beneath their hard work? 🤔

  20. There are 54 comments on this post! Wowza! I like most kinds of comments and rarely delete anyone, UNLESS. They aren’t respectful of others and start sharing one of their own personal beliefs with derogatory comments about others’ beliefs. They say something in a back-handed way (supposed to be funny, but it’s actually a rude or mean comment). They start grabbing bits or whole blog posts of mine, even if they credit me, and do something odd with that material – like copy/paste it into their own post, all the while effusively apologizing for stealing. WTF is that about? You came, you saw, you stole. Get over yourself is what I want to say to that sort of blogger. Usually all the negative types who find their way to my blog get deleted and blocked. And I rarely get spam. But then my search feature is set to “do not allow search engines” mode. If I had a business blog or was trying to sell something like books I’ve written, I’d have to change that obviously.

    The one thing that I’ve found pleasant about the whole comment thing is if the blogger RESPONDS to the comment. Even if it’s just a like. I try to respond to all the comments on my own blog posts, but the numbers have grown and it’s not always possible to do that for the sake of time. But you can bet I read the comments, and I do press “like” at least on them.

    1. It’s interesting, posts I do about blogging always seem to attract way more comments than any of my other posts. I guess there are a lot of people cruising through the blogging tag.

      Copying other people’s stuff is so not cool. I really don’t understand why people do that.

      I also like seeing responses to comments. Just a like works if the person has multiple comments and time is limited, but I find it a bit surprising when new bloggers who don’t get much engagement don’t respond beyond just liking a comment.

  21. I am pretty laid back with comments like you are Ashley. if l see spam, l delete it, if l see comments that are not perhaps appropriate to the content, l’ll ponder on those comments for a while and either pass or delete. if l see comments that are potentially inflammatory, they’ll go too.

    BUT, overall … l don’t get that many comments anymore – well l do and l don’t. i receive comments from those that l read from on a regular basis on my own posts. I no longer read from lots of people and l don’t pretend to do that either – the latter meaning that some people maintain they read and comment on lots of blogs and l know they don’t.

    I read from a very small readership, 31 bloggers and that’s it, l read from those weekly and of those 31 bloggers – they’ll comment to a percentage on the week at around 75% and a full 100% from my readership over 30 days. I get comments from occasional external bloggers that l don’t read from to maybe 10% a month.

    So on those figures l hardly get comments that need to be removed.

    But that is under the new style of blog l now offer, prior to that l used to perhaps remove 2 stray and strange comments a day, now l might remove 2 a month.

    1. It feels like there’s been a shift in the blogging world since we started a few years ago.

      I’d say I also get get fewer comments that need to be removed, although the biggest change in terms of spam comments was when I switched to the business plan.

      1. Totally agree with you there.

        I get very few ‘spammy comments ‘ anymore, almost zilch. Since l switched from the Premium to the Business Plan [like you], l get nothing in spam or it’s a very rare event, one every three months or something,

        I do NOT miss having to delete zillions of spam comments.

        I recently spoke with the WP engineers and asked if my credits could be transferred from this blog to Earthly Comforts and they said they are not transferrable, l was thinking of transferring them across to make the new blog a Business model, it has credits of its own, but l have just under £400 of credits on the Guy blog. But l have opted to keep Guy blog as business purely to not have to deal with spam anymore.

        Earthly will be made business model also for that sole reason.

          1. I know, l think it’s insulting to regular bloggers, they should be awarded the same options as higher plans, sure higher plans can have features that regular bloggers don’e need, but when it comes to spam, all bloggers should be entitled to no spam.

  22. great subject! My comments are usually short, so I hope no one is bothered by that. I love when commenters talk to each other. I rarely delete comments, including pingbacks, as I think they add to those mysterious counts toward SEO. The ones I delete are the plain nasty ones, like when I blogged about abortion, & the clearly spammy ones that have self-serving links in them.
    on a slightly different subject, dunno why sometimes I can comment on others sites & sometimes not — wordpress said I needed to erase cookies, but doesn’t always work…

  23. I agree any spam or sites I don’t know I treat as spam and delete them. I love to see comments from others as it gives me the chance to get to know them better

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