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8 Reasons You Might Not Be Getting Many Comments

Posted By Darren Rowse 28th of February 2010 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

A Guest Post by Charlie Gilkey from Productive Flourishing.

No matter how big their blog is, every blogger loves and wants comments. When you’re just starting out, there are few bigger thrills than writing something and having people comment and give you feedback about what you’ve written. Veteran bloggers love comments and also know that the quantity and quality of the comments says a lot about the impact of the particular post in question.

But sometimes you write something that you think is awesome and the comment thread is like a ghost town. To say that this is discouraging is to put it too lightly. Not only does it suck, but it’s enough to make you start thinking that your writing sucks, and it makes it really hard to hit write and hit publish the next time, too.

Here’s the deal, though: just because you’re not getting a lot of comments doesn’t mean that your posts suck. Here are eight reasons why you might not be getting comments – and what you can do about it.

1. Your Posts Are Too Long

While it’s hard to say that long post always get fewer comments – there are a lot of different considerations at play – as a general rule, longer posts set a bigger barrier to commenting. I write a lot of long posts, and I’ve seen this bear out time and time again.

There are two things to keep in mind when you’re writing longer posts: 1) most blog posts are short(er) and 2) your readers are busy. If they’re used to reading 500 word posts on other blogs and then hit your 3,000 word post, they’re might be a bit overwhelmed. It’s not uncommon for them to bookmark your post for reading “when they have time” and move on to the next, shorter post, only to forget to come back and read yours. (For more considerations on blog length, check out Post Length ‚Äì How Long Should a Blog Post Be?)

Some bloggers manage to thrive in the long post format, but you’ve got to understand that you’ll be going against the current if you write in that style. That’s not a bad thing – just understand that you might not get as many comments as if you wrote shorter posts.

Once your post is published, it’s probably best to leave it, though. In the future, see if you can take a long draft of a post and split it into a series or discrete post. Also try varying the tempo of your blog by following a long post with a short post and vice versa.

2. You Haven’t Asked Them to Comment

Sometimes a post just ends and it’s not clear to your readers whether you actually want a response. Because they don’t know whether you want a response or not, they might not comment.

Furthermore, if you don’t answer comments at all or regularly enough, it sends the message that you don’t really value comments. Larger blogs get a pass on this one, since many people understand that bloggers with larger audiences can’t answer every response.

When you conclude a post, ask your readers what they think or end it with a question that makes it clear that you’d like a comment. If you haven’t been responding to comments on your blog, start doing so.

3. They Don’t Know What To Say

Have you ever read a post and were so inspired that you felt that anything you might say wouldn’t do the post service, but at the same time didn’t want to say “Great post!”? Or have you read a post that was so deep or complex that you honestly didn’t know how to respond?

I’m sure you have. Now, why don’t you think that can happen with your own posts?

Before you write off a lack of comments as a sign of your utter brilliance, though, check your post to see if you wrote clearly and simply. Ask if what you wrote was relevant, useful, or interesting to your readers>. And if it is a bit of inspirational awesomeness, consider editing it and including a question or statement that lets people know that you’d appreciate some feedback.

4. They’re Doing What You Told Them To Do

If you give your readers a great tip that requires them to do something to implement it, be prepared for the possibility that they might actually go implement it.

Similarly, if you’re doing a link roll-up and you tell people to go check out the links you’re talking about, there’s a good chance that they might go do that.

I know that this is obvious in hindsight, but it’s easy to forget that our words can influence people into action, and it’s possible to unintentionally steer people away from commenting.

5. They’re Chasing Links On Your Blog

Writing posts that include links to older posts or using plugins that show related posts do have an effect on the number of comments you’ll get. If they click a link that’s midway in your post, they’ll probably read the second post before they comment on the first, and if that second post is linked to others, they might just keep clicking.

It’s for this very reason that you don’t find many links on a sales or landing page, and if you do find them, they eventually lead back to the original page. Marketers know that people will click on the links, and if those links lead away from the original page, that’s probably a lost sale.

While it’s not exactly an exclusive either/or choice, think about the relationship between how long people stay on your blog (due to interlinking) and comments. If you write compelling headlines, there’s a good chance that those related post plugins have an effect on the number of comments you’re getting. Change your linking strategy or consider turning those plugins off a bit if you’d like to see if they’re making a difference.

6. They’re Following Your Social Media Trail

This is very similar to the last two points, but if you’ve given your readers a bunch of different ways to connect with you, then that’s another thing that might keep people from commenting.

Think about how many times you’ve clicked to follow someone on Facebook only to get lost in a chat on Facebook, or how many times you’ve followed someone on Twitter only to get engaged in conversations there. The same thing goes for badges and links that send people to blog networks.

If you’d prefer more comments than social media connections, consider placing your social media links further down the page or only keeping the ones where you’re active.

While you’re at it, it’s probably a good time to declutter your sidebar.

7. It’s Hard For Them To Comment

I ran into this one the other day. I wanted to reply to a friend’s blog that was hosted on Blogger and found myself frustrated that I couldn’t just leave a comment like I can on other websites. It gave me five or six different options – none of which I use – and, ten minutes later, I finally went with the “best fit” option just so that I could comment. If she weren’t my friend, I probably would’ve given up.

Some of the other comment implementations like Disqus can also set a barrier to comment. I’ve often bailed on those, too, because I didn’t remember my OpenID and didn’t feel like figuring it out. (Luckily, they’ve improved substantially over the last year.)

The harder your readers have to work to comment, the less likely that they’ll do it. Think long and hard about all the comment plugins you might want to implement – and remember that sometimes the best solution is the simplest one.

8. You’re Posting At The Wrong Time

If you post when all your readers are asleep, then the soonest they’ll comment is the next day, but then your post is in with a bunch of others in an RSS feed. Likewise, if you post after the time that your email subscribers get their daily email, the soonest many of them will read what post is the next day when they get that hit.

Figure out when your readers are active and try to publish when they’re reading posts. This takes a bit of homework and observation on your part, but it makes a huge difference in terms of the number of comments you’ll get on your post.

There’s More To Comments Than Content

What you may have noticed is that the first five of these points have to do with the content of your individual posts and the last three don’t have anything to do with your posts. It’s hard to say what would have the biggest effect since each of our blogs are different, so take a look at your post and blog from your reader’s point of view, pick one that you’d like to tweak, and see if it has any effect. (By far the easiest place to start is by changing your comment plugin/solution, though.)

As you can see, there are a lot of different reasons that people might not be leaving comments on your blog, and many of them have nothing to do with you or your posts being unworthy. Keep writing and testing what works – that’s the only way you can become a better writer and grow your blog.

About the Author: Charlie Gilkey writes about meaningful action, creativity, and entrepreneurship at Productive Flourishing. Follow him on Twitter to get bite-sized slices of mojo.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. i love comments =)

  2. I closely identify with the first and the last pointers, that is”You’re posting at the wrong time” and “You posts are too long.”

    As this is true, there are exceptions like if you are a hugely popular blog then these may not apply.

  3. I think the most effective one I have seen results from on my blog is simply ASKING. At the end of each article, I ask for my reader’s opinions. This has dramatically increased the number of comments per post on my blog and they continue to grow.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Good tips, thank you!

    I find that I cannot comment on any blogger site with embedded comments & it drives me nuts! .

    I like to leave comments when I can, but if it is too big of a hassle, like you said, I have to be really motivated or I’ll give up and move on.

  5. Thanks Charley. I sometimes wonder why posts I think will get a lot of comments don’t, and posts I don’t think will get a lot of comments do. :) Mostly, I’ve found it boils down to #2 (not asking for a response) and #4 (they’re doing what I talked about in the post). A lot of times I will get e-mails instead of comments, which are just as thrilling. :)

  6. Good post Charlie. But I think your “twitter” link is broken. It leads to the twitter home page instead of your twitter profile.

  7. I found this very useful and the author introduced some seemingly obvious caveats and ideas that had not occurred to me! Thanks….love your tweets!

  8. Good tips Charlie – Ironically I just wrote 3000+ word post about getting more blog comments :) Well anyway, I think the most important takeaways here are asking for comments and making commenting as easy as possible…

    Blog comments should not require login (it can be optional) and non-web savvy people might not understand CAPTCHA’s = don’t use them. Also, there should be a link “leave a comment” that takes reader to the comment form, especially if there’s ads, related reads, etc between the post and the form. Combining easy commenting with open ended posts and questions at the end, and you’ll be much more likely to get comments.

    With that said, I was quite surprised that there were no questions at the end of this post, why is that?

  9. asking people a question at the end of the post is a good way to encourage people to comment. plus a content itself must be attractive enough to drive people to comment section

  10. Another reason is your blog content does not add any value to your readers.

  11. Pretty good points. The best reason why people don’t comment on my blog is because of the following things.
    1) Some posts are not so relevant to them
    2) My regular readers have been too busy to come online.

  12. Good post and great point about posting times. I’m still trying to figure out the best days/times to post a new article. Right now, I am posting them first thing in the morning but I am thinking about posting later in the afternoon. What do you think is the best time to post?

  13. I recall reading somewhere that less than 1% of those who visit sites actually post. I liken it to sitting in a classroom. Very few will ever speak up, even when they know the answer.

  14. Great post but I still don’t know how to handle the no 5 (chasing links). While too many links in a blog post may be distracting, no links in all most all post in a blog shows arrogance in the part of the blogger, unless s(he) has great authority in a subject and an well known and accomplished thought leader.

    Web is a hypertext medium. Most of the time what the blogger is saying has already been said before, albeit in different context or with a different angle. This premise is true for many extremely popular blogs.

  15. I’ve noticed a trend on my blog that, some of my most read posts are also the least commented on and was frusterated as to why.

    This post gives me some answers, thank you!

  16. 9. You do not comment on others’ blogs. I think this should be the NO.1 reason.

  17. … read with interest .Thanks Charlie!

  18. I don’t get a lot of comments on my link roundups (nor do I expect to). Because the call to action isn’t to comment, buy, subscribe etc….but to go visit other sites that published awesome content recently.

    Thanks for demonstrating that reasons for not getting comments aren’t all bad!


  19. Very informative Charlie !
    Thanks for sharing

    Robert Salceda

  20. I rarely comment through the discus thing. I don’t like the way it follows me around.

    Actually, I almost always avoid commenting anywhere except on blogs like this one that have slots for name, mail, and website… and it’s important to me that there’s all three.

  21. What about an instructional blog post, how does one obtain comments from these pieces (besides asking if it was helpful), not that my blog does this on a regular basis…just curious.

  22. Great points here! The one that I most identified with was “7. It’s Hard For Them To Comment.” It frustrates me to no end when I go to a blog and it’s a chore to comment. I will comment if it is a friend’s blog but otherwise I won’t. I try to make commenting really easy on my blog for this reason.

  23. Even the post are Too long in problogger Darren receiving many comments.

    Thanks charlie for sharing……

  24. I came accross a liberal blog last night, that was on the first page of google and seemed it have a lot of good content. It is currently not considered one of the top liberal blogs, ie. dailykos, the american, huffington and so on. But I figured being on the first page of google would atleast solicit a good amount of activity, but no one was commenting on any of this guys posts. After reading this, I realized that he was not asking any of his readers to participate or for their input. Just does to show, you can be on the first page of google but forgeting to do something simple can really stiffle your blogs growth.

  25. Hey Dareen ,
    What I do not understand is even after asking the response at some my post is really bad.. what else should I do just wait and observe..

  26. Thanks for sharing this Charlie.. Links given to other sites must be in new tab.. otherwise they will follow the link & dont leave comments……

  27. ++ for @Young – if you comment on other blogs you gain additional PVs and more people recognizes you, especially when commenting on sites related to yours [for example you are writing about programing in some language and comment on other blogs that have posts about it].

  28. Just yesterday on my blog, I decided to start a new series of post on the topic of fear rather than writing one very, very long post. I do an occasional long post but I have learned to use a series of shorter posts to my advantage. Thanks for the advice.

  29. Some good points there, Charlie. I believe if a post is more like a conversation, that could naturally invite comments. For example, in a recent post, Darren asked readers what is wrong with blogging? I think occasional writing of these kind of posts, can bring good number of comments. Also, number of comments depends on topic of the blog. Controversies, debates, criticizing posts tends to get more comments. Involving readers into the conversation is important and they should feel part of the discussion.

  30. I’ve noticed a direct relationship between receiving comments on my blog and making comments on other blogs. When most readers leave you comments, they expect you to reciprocate in kind. Unfortunately, that often takes several hours each day, especially in the food blog community, where the posts tend to be longer and more involved. For those like me, with jobs, families, various freelance writing obligations, and blogging responsibilities, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with my own blog, much less comment on hundreds more, be on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Something has to give!

    I value every comment I get, and I do keep up with hundreds of blogs through my reader, but my commenting comes in spurts according to my schedule. I definitely notice a difference in the number of comments I get when I’ve been leaving lots on other blogs.

  31. @Preston: I agree – when it’s used in moderation. If used too much, your readers may stop commenting because they’re become blind to the call to action. Thank for commenting!

    @Debojyoti: Thanks for letting me know – I probably gave the wrong link. D’oh!

    @Antt: Nice for catching that it didn’t end with a question; I’m horrible at asking for comments, myself. We all have our blind spots. ;p

    @Young: It should definitely be on the list, but whether it should be No. 1 is debatable. ;p

    @Harsh: You’re absolutely right about the conversation, but, as with any conversation, sometime people don’t know whether they should respond or not. And good addition about the fact that some content inherently generates more comments.

  32. Good ideas, but what if some content takes more time to actually express. Sometimes the storyline itself just is more involved. Take my post from yesterday: “Please stand by…optimizing” where I talk about a weekly schedule for keeping your photography equipment and computers current. That can’t be covered in anywhere near 500 words. I did a word count check, and it came in at 1002 words. I think that was pretty concise.

    I guess it really is an inexact science, but would be nice to have more concise answers sometimes! LOL

  33. I’m not concern with comments right now even though I’m happy when I do. My last few posts were about contests or savings so I knew they wouldn’t get a lot of comments. So a lot has to do with the type of post.

    I use Blogger but didn’t like the commenting system because you can’t reply to someone’s comment so I went with Disqus. I didn’t realize that people didn’t like it.

  34. I think one of my frustrations with my blog is the ease of making comments. I think if you go to individual posts, it is not so difficult, but more challenging from main page. It is something I am working on. I think just asking may be my next step!


  35. I am trying to build a community around my blog and found this blog post particularly helpful. Thanks for another great post!

    I’m going to now read your post on how to declutter my sidebar.

    I re-tweeted this post and stumbled it.

  36. On this particualr posting, I actually wandered off and read five other posts. I probably would not have returned to comment if it wasn’t for the fact that the post is about not leaving comments, and this is an example of what someone was doing instead of leaving a comment.

  37. Also, people don’t comment on blogs the same way they do on social media. if you’ve become accustomed to all your friends on Facebook or Twitter commenting on practically every thought you post, then you’ll be sorely disappointed in their commenting on your blog.

    I believe the reason for this is that social media are a like a party or dinner party atmosphere. You’re there with friends and everyone is there to have fun and share. A blog is a bit more like a formal gathering, like a seminar, or a presentation, even a lecture. Your visitors, even your friends, feel more like they’re sitting in an audience. To speak up and comment is like standing in that audience and taking the microphone. People feel more exposed.

  38. The last one is similar to the rule you have to follow on ebay. I hadn’t thought about it in blogging terms. On ebay you need to list your item at the right time to get the most eyes looking at it when it is about to end, same concept goes for blogging, makes sense.

  39. I totally looked for the last line asking people for feedback on this post. It wasn’t there! I want to see how you’d end it asking for comments on how to get comments.

    I agree that Blogger makes it too hard to comment. It’s so frustrating.

    Another thing is people may retweet rather than comment. Which would you rather have? I’m not sure but is it tough to get both? Once they’re on Twitter do they return? Probably not.

    Thanks for these helpful insights – I struggle most with responding to each comment. It takes time to blog and then to respond. Sometimes I need to get out what I’m thinking and then get done what I have to finish (and get paid to do – my blog isn’t earning a huge income).


  40. Charlie,

    Great post. Hahaha. But really – this is such great information for the poor blogger wondering why no one’s commenting. Sometimes it comes down to “DUH-simple” reasons they’re not doing so.

    I think the most important thing is ASKING your readers to comment – when I remember to do that, I’m completely overwhelmed by the fantastic comments my readers make.

    Thanks for the great information. I’ll remember this post the next time a post goes uncommented and I’m feeling dejected. ;D


  41. I just recently had a post that got a couple bites for commenting. It seems sometimes you just need to give it time and play with some different options. I added a little insert at the bottom of my posts asking exactly what they think and I believe this is a big part of it. As well, just like this website, the more loyal readers you start getting the more they want to be involved. I think personally overall I wasn’t asking them to and as well there weren’t any questions to really answer, they just read the article and moved on, boom, that’s it.

  42. This is very helpful! Thanks for the tips. Might as well a better start for keypoints how to interact with the readers.

  43. Capcha and other barriers drive me mad so I don’t have one on my freelance writing blog.

    I reply to most comments.

    Commenting on others seems to help.

    If I ask a question or ask for comments I usually remember to make that request for comments clickable… seems to help.

  44. Comments really are awesome, every time I check my mail and see a comment was posted I fumble over myself to see what was written. I can see now why “Great post” comments are shunned, it’s kind of an empty compliment.

    I’m going to keep this stuff in mind next time I post, cause it does make you sad when you don’t get comments for a while. Though I’m sure it’s just because my posts are so awesome :p

  45. This is great advice!

    I sometimes find that readers comment to posts that I don’t really care about comments on, but when I ask a question that I really want answers to, then no one comments.

    I wonder why, however, I might think it’s because I ask questions that are too hard to answer…

  46. I have some 600 pages of and made content and only about a dozen comments. As for my site, commenting is akin to being strictly RSVP – Its not essential.

    Perhaps, by not commenting negatively, and still browsing your site (especially a content site) the “agree” by not commenting.

    “No comments is not always No good”

    Again, they may think its all crap – that could be a reason.

    My comment form’s biggest hurdle is the spam filter, by the way.

  47. I rarely get comments on either of my blogs. But atleast they are out there. lol

  48. Marisol628 says: 02/28/2010 at 7:44 am

    Usually, I refrain from posting a comment because my assumption is that mine will not make any difference to the long list of comments already posted.

  49. I love your tips & tricks!

    Comments are a great way to get to know your readers:

    – ideal to optimize future posts
    – replying comments gets your readres involved, you seem to care about their opinion.

  50. Also, posting to often… I have a weekly blog routine and sometimes I want to add a couple more posts to the “pot” and my usual commentators fade… Just because I change my posting rhythm doesn’t mean they will change their commenting rhythm. Also personal information grabs readers!!!Most of my posts share information, when I occasionally post something about myself I see comments just come flying to our blog!!!

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