Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

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 hate when the posts are really long. I don’t want to waste my day reading a huge article.

    Chances are if the article is to long, I won’t read it, therefore I won’t comment either.

  2. With many blogs, the comment link is hard to find and with Blogger standard templates, the font is very small, making it even harder. Why is that? Just crazy to me. Several good points in this post.

  3. Nobody wants to go first, if you’ve got no comments why would anybody want to leave one, it’s like starting a conversation in an empty room.

    You can kick start your own comments by setting up a few ‘alternative’ profiles on your blog and writing a few sensible snippets.

    Or, if you’re really lazy, just automate the process with comment simulation plugin like CommentPiG. Yes that is a bit of shameless self promotion but it does what is says on the tin, it gets you more comments!

    It doesn’t take long before the ‘real’ comments follow. It’s a momentum game.

  4. Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for those tips, I will be implementing some very soon.

    One thing I did find interesting is the fact that whenever my posts are on a more personal level, or have a certain narrative I get much more commenting.

    The thing is that I run a professional tech blog that does not leave much room for “personal” writing.

    What do you think, anyway around this issue?


    Bee a Blogger | REAL-TIME Blogging Report

  5. It would have been really awkward if this post hadn’t gotten any comments. *sigh of relief*

  6. Great post. I willdo my best to share the love

    Always Bumby

  7. Sorry about the typo I hit the button before my eyes looked up.

    Always Bumby

  8. I have a lot of trouble with keeping my posts short, which is probably a lot of the reason I don’t get many comments for my traffic (which is not high by any means). What I write is usually long, and I’m having trouble making the transition. The tips you give are awesome, and although I’m already using most of them, I’ll be even more careful now!

  9. Thank you for this post; great food for thought.
    I must admit to not allowing comments on my site because I didn’t think it was necessary for people to comment and I wanted the site to be ‘clean’. However, I’m beginning to understand the connection between comments, community and traffic … so I’m seriously reconsidering this viewpoint and will have another look at allowing comments on site in future.

  10. This is what i was REALLY wondering that why my comments section is like some HAUNTED PLACE, except few comments. May be you are write coz of the length of the post, or something else is missing i vl definitely try to find the problem. Mannn comments are like ‘applause’ the more you get the more you get moralized, else you loose the spirit to write the next post. Anyways nice and interesting post. Keep up the good work!

  11. I will make a comment here before I implement your ideas. :-) Love this article. Some great ways to get more social interactions. Ask and you shall receive.

  12. Compelling posts bring in the comments for me – except when I ask the readers to take another action. I’d rather they take an action that makes me money and helps them than writing a comment.

  13. This idea has reached a whole new level with the help of online blogging services that you can take anywhere. Since most commuters spend more time online, blogs help them kick their research into overdrive.

  14. I too do not get much comments.I’ll figure out all the things stated above and hope the comments will increase

  15. I love to leave comments! For me, it’s lots of fun to connect with other bloggers, I love to show my appreciation and reach out to others. The biggest hurdle for me to do this, is as you’ve mentioned, when you have to jump through hoops to leave a comment.

    I will go to SOME effort, but I don’t like using open ID, and some blogs have really awkward commenting setups, and if it seems impossible to leave a comment, I give up in frustration. I think I like the wordpress setup of commenting to be my favourite

  16. Those Disqus boxes really kill it for me. I don’t like making accounts and whatnot just to comment. I don’t see why people just stick to the normal comment box like Darren has here. Asking your readers to comment seems like it works.

  17. I have seen one blog post of 7,000 words, yet attract a lot of comments. I hardly think the length of post matters. However, 7000 words is really way too long.

  18. These kinds of tips and tricks are soooo helpful in blogging. Thanks!

  19. Awesome, Charlie. I never thought about the time of day one and how posts could be crowded by others in the RSS feed. Thank you!

  20. @Jason: Maybe for something like that (a weekly schedule that is a long single post), you should split it up into daily posts for each day of the week.

  21. 5. They’re Chasing Links On Your Blog

    LOL This is what I’m worried about!

  22. red rope says: 03/01/2010 at 1:53 am

    One should also consider that well thought out comments take time to write

    Have a look at the vast majority of the comments in this thread or any other – very very few add anything of real interest to conversation or the community

    In fact I would argue that many are commentors are seeking links or referral traffic, its highly promoted as a “getting traffic started tactic” and so having a popular blog has a huge impact.

    You could almost write a short 400 – 500 word post on your own blog for every 2 – 3 comments of any real merit, and if you actually “engage” ie track and participate in a thread with feedback and rebuttal, that takes a lot of time – ironically helping to develop a resource owned by someone else : )

  23. I agree with what you are saying. I started several weeks ago and I’d add one more. It has to be something that interests or does not embarrass your readers. For example, I wrote about Altoid’s other app, and was surprised by the good and detailed comments. I then wrote about men’s health in an article about what to do if your husband cannot get it up, and even though this content is MUCH more important to men’s health, people just don’t want to go there and comment. They’d rather comment on fun intimacy tricks. Thanks for the post.

    Sarah Baron

  24. Charilie, I LOVED the conversation/comments as much as your post.
    . . . especially the ones that most resonated with my complaint, i.e., Jumping thru hoops to leave a comment.

    As a college teacher, I strive to comment on all my students’ blog posts; however, when I have had to Re-create the comment three times because I’ve lost it trying to submit it . . . well, then, I’ve ended up simply sending them emails.

    Two other things about the conversation: (1) I followed the website links for four of the commentors, whose comments reflected thought and style; but (2) I couldn’t connect with two people because there was no link.

    Anyway, thanks for a very enjoyable read!

    Oh, I almost forgot. I would have loved to REPLY directly to some of the commenters. I don’t have that feature on my blog. Does anyone know how I can add that function?

  25. Wow! Thank you! I continuously wanted to inscribe in my place something like to. Can I take part of your put up to my blog?

  26. Something I’ve found useful is that if I happen to strike up a conversation with the commenter by email, I will go back to the original comment box and add “answered via email” or similar.
    That way people know that the comment has been adddressed.
    Evelyn in Montreal

  27. Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post

  28. I really enjoyed this post – thank you. I had to comment, to not write something would have gone against the theme of the post! Look forward to more insights.

  29. Thanks Charlie,
    I have a small issue with your last point on posting at the right time. Often your readers are across different time zones so picking the right time can be problematic. I guess its easier to pick days of the week if you’re a blogger who posts on particular days rather than particular hours.

  30. You hit the nail on the head with #7, nothing drives me more crazy than wanting to say something and being prevented to do so because it is too difficult. This article is so relevant, thank you!

  31. I have a feeling most of my (twelve or so) readers are quite shy. When I’ve urged readers to comment or advise, I experienced little response–online that is–and most of my feedback is received only in person. ~Thanks Mom!

    However, when I conducted a poll, asking my readers to vote for the wedding dress they liked best, my response success was high (based on a percentage of assumed total viewers).

  32. Good content = a lot of comments.

    that’s it.

  33. thank you i barely get comments.

  34. Haha Darren your one to talk…you get how many million posts on your entire blog?

    Anyways, I’m gonna try that, and invite at the end of my posts for the readers to comment. Let’s see if they like my Blovella, or if theyy like my tips or my little peices of wisdom :)

  35. Really enjoyed this Charlie. I’d add 3, although they may have already been mentioned: 1. Nobody is reading the blog 2. The Content Stinks 3. The readers know you won’t respond to their comments so feel ‘Why Bother?’

  36. @Free Classifieds Blog: #5 is a problem, necessarily – it’s just one reason you might not be getting as many comments.

    @Shannon: That happens, so the question then becomes: is them reading it enough for you?

    @Jason: I understand what you’re saying here, and I *would* encourage you to let the post be what it is, lengthwise. Just understand that the relationship between length and comments when it comes to your expectations for the post.

    @Nick: Thanks!

    @Morgan: Thanks for coming back, and that’s one of the reasons I included a few links. Sometimes putting yourself in the shoes of a reader makes all the difference! :p

    @Surgery Houston: That one took me awhile, too. I learned it by watching Digg trends and thinking…”wait a second – that applies to posting, too.”

    @Janet: Notice how the expectation was set and I dropped the ball? Now flip that with *your* blog when there’s no clear sign that you want people to comment.

    @Heather: Asking your readers for comments *does* go a long way. I should do that more. :p

    @Chris: I’m not sure if you read my series on “How to Blog Like Shakespeare,” but, yeah, it’s your regular readers who leave the most comments.

    @Marisol: Ooh, that’s a great one, too – thanks for adding to the list!

    @WebWallpapers: Well, I’m glad you made it through this long one! Thanks for leaving the comment. ;p

    @BlogPig: As your blog goes, most people will want to be first – it gets the most click throughs. And, personally, I’d rather have no comments at all than to pretend to be someone else, but I understand others might have other reasons and perspectives.

    @Jenny: I was actually concerned that that would happen, and you’re right – that would have been super awkward.

    @Michelle: I *do* think you’re missing out by not allowing comments. Readers can’t really claim your blog, so it’s hard to build a community around it. Some bloggers get away with it, but it’s usually only after they’ve built some visibility.

    @Jason: Thanks for taking the time before you run off and crank up the awesome!

    @JadeDragon: It’s all about expectations and what you’re wanting them to do. You’ve got it nailed down pretty solidly on that front.

    @scheng: There are a lot of factors to consider, but I don’t mean to imply that all long posts don’t get many comments. Rather, long post set a barrier that can be overcome with quality writing, calls to actions, etc.

    @Laura: Hey, you! Thanks for giving me some comment love!

    @Red Rope: It’s true about how long it takes to write and reply to comments – this is one of the reasons that I cut back on the responses to comments. But there are plenty of good reasons to respond to comments, even though you could be doing other things.

    @Shari: What you’re looking for is nested comments. I know they’re standard for the latest versions of WordPress, and they do make a difference when it comes to engagement and readability.

    @Butterfly facebook layouts: Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!

    @Andee: I know my audience pretty well, so I know a majority of them come from a certain time zone. Sure, they’re global, but if your regular readers, commentors, and champions are clustered in one time zone, it makes a lot of sense to give them the content during their time zone since they’re more likely to share it.

    @Kamal: Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Sometimes you amazing content with a few comments.

  37. david wayne osedach says: 03/01/2010 at 12:22 pm

    Do to my lifestyle I do most of my blogging at 5:00 am PST. I never realized that this time might be off for a lot of readers. I’m going to try to go on at 4 pm. Thank you for the advice!

  38. Thanks for this – very timely! I’d been wondering lately why I don’t get as many comments as I’d like to get on a few of my blogs.

    Since providing “full text” in my rss feeds instead of a teaser, comments have dropped off. However, I don’t want to inconvenience my readers by changing it back.

    I’ve gotten a couple of great ideas after reading your post – thanks!

  39. Re: #5 is there any data on what % of readers ‘open link in new tab’ and thus, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue

  40. Hmm, maybe I’ve never asked them to comment? Maybe I should try the rest of the tips here so I could start getting comments :( Thanks for the tips Darren!

  41. Thanks Darren for asking Charlie to post.
    Some great ideas and some Doh! moments for me…..particularly about asking for comments and thinking about times when posts get sent.

    More work to do :)


  42. Yes, I never asked for comment. And sometimes publish at the wrong time!

  43. I notice that every time I write something new on my blog I get more comment, so thats means if we write more informative post on our blog then more chance to get more comment.

  44. I really love this post. It’s very informative. But it’s kinda of funny that you mention in your first point about posts being too long. Yet at the same time, this very blog post may fall under that category. LOL!

  45. Cheers Charlie!

    In one of Darren’s recent posts, he menitons the concept fo speaking ‘at’ your reader instead of ‘to’ your reader, and I know I’m guilty as charged…

    I often post about some fairly intense scientific and mystical content, and have fallen into the trap of writing like a school teacher…

    While this style may be fine for readers searching for information in a research format, it doesn’t incent anyone to react with a comment…so I’m purposefully now trying to write less ‘at’ posts and more ‘to’ posts…and asking the reader questions along the way…it’s starting to help.

    Write On!

  46. Thanks for the post, some good ideas in there that I will try and use to fine-tune my blog posting!

    Lee Jarvis // US Music Jobs

  47. One of the bestest ways to get people to comment is to write your post about something controversial (doesn’t have to be abortion or gay marriage, it could just be whether or not to hyphenate “Super-Sarah”) and let them have at it.

  48. Having just one person start the comment ball rolling can help too. If you have a friend who likes to read what you write you can ask them, specifically, to leave a comment. Their comment can encourage others to comment too.

  49. #7 for sure. Too often I end up not making a comment because the form itself, did not work. TEST!

  50. Thanks for the post. Really useful information. I ll try to get comments on my blogs following these.

    My Business Listings

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…