Does It Matter If You Allow Comments on Your Blog?

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Recently (after Briana mentioned it in a post on Pages Unbound Reviews), I was reading a discussion post from Marie on Drizzle & Hurricane Books called Why I Will (and Won’t) Read Your Blog. In it, Marie discusses the things that draw her in (or turn her away) from someone’s blog, and she raised some very interesting points. The conversations it sparked among her followers were equally thought-provoking, particularly when the conversation focused on being able (or unable) to comment on a blog.

Does it matter if you allow comments on your blog?

The positives about blog comments

Let’s face it: there are a ton of blogs out there. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands. So it’s pretty amazing when someone chooses to spend time on YOUR blog, right? The really cool thing is when something you’ve written moves that visitor to say something about it. For us book bloggers, that often means they want to share their thoughts about your review, connect over your mutual appreciation of an author’s work(s), or even suggest a book you might enjoy.

The best thing ever is when they comment to let you know that your review has persuaded them to add the book to their TBR—it makes all the time you spent figuring out what to say about the book without spoiling it completely worthwhile. (It certainly does for me, at least.)

For me, even a quick comment of “Great post!” or a post being ‘liked’ is greatly appreciated every single time, because someone chose to interact with my blog—and no interaction is too small!

The negatives about blog comments

The most annoying thing about having comments open on your blog is SPAM. Back in 2017, I was hit with spammy comments 170 times in a single month—all of it blocked by Akismet. (Thank you!) I’m sure that’s a modest number compared to bigger, longer-established blogs, but still… it’s annoying. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a large part of the reason some bloggers don’t allow comments on their blog (or have comments heavily moderated, at least.)

Another downside in allowing comments is the possibility of having someone comment who isn’t respectful to you and/or other people commenting on a post. No one wants to deal with something like that.

So… does it matter if you allow blog comments or not?

In my opinion, it definitely matters. Not being able to leave a comment was given as a source of frustration by some of the people commenting on Marie’s post, and I can definitely understand that. The social aspect of blogging is an added bonus, because you’re able to connect with others who share your interests.

It also helps you discover new blogs. Whenever someone new likes or comments on one of my posts, I’ll visit their blog to see if we have anything in common—similar tastes in book genres, favorite books/authors, or things other than books. 99% of the time, I wouldn’t have known about their blog if they hadn’t interacted with mine.

Comments left by followers—your own, or on someone else’s blog—might even inspire you to write a discussion post about something. That’s how this one came to be!

What’s Your Opinion?

Do you think allowing comments is the best option for bloggers, or is it more trouble than it’s worth? What is your favorite/least favorite thing about commenting on blogs?

Please let me know what you think in the comment section below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

49 thoughts on “Does It Matter If You Allow Comments on Your Blog?

  1. I think allowing comments makes sense if you want to engage with others. I like hearing what our followers have to say. Often they have a new or different perspective. Spam can be annoying, but WordPress captures all of it, so it’s not really a problem for us. And in years of blogging, I’ve only had a handful of negative interactions on our comments. One person I had to block, which solved the problem neatly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Krysta! Thanks for commenting. It’s always interesting to me when someone says something that makes me look at something in a different light. That’s happened several times when discussing books with someone.

      I haven’t had negative interactions, but I did have an uncomfortable conversation once. In reviewing a horror novel that featured addiction (with a supernatural twist), I observed that the addicts were the monsters in the story–a regrettable choice of words. It was upsetting to one of my followers who experienced the heartache of a loved one’s addiction. I was mortified, and immediately apologized and changed the insensitive wording. It was all fine in the end, but I still feel badly for being careless with my words and inadvertently hurting someone.

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      • Oh, I’m sorry! I would feel awful, as well, but I think it’s actually not uncommon for EVERYONE to say something that comes out…not quite as we meant. I think if we clarify and apologize, it’s all right. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt because, really, most people aren’t as awful as the Internet sometimes makes us want to believe. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • True! Sometimes the things we type out seems to infer something else that was completely unintended. The good thing about that experience is that it makes me try to do better, to state thoughts and opinions more clearly. I may not always succeed, but I am trying.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I love comments and appreciate the interaction! I become frustrated with the logistics sometimes of commenting on blogs that are not WP. WordPress makes it so easy! I also appreciate them catching all our spam!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Carol! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel the same way about trying to comment on blogs that aren’t on WordPress. I actually set up a blank blog on Blogspot (with the same name as this one), just so it would be easier to make comments on blogs there. Prior to that, I couldn’t post comments most of the time… something always seemed to go wrong, and it was so frustrating!

      I love many of the layouts and things you can do on Blogspot that you can’t do on here–so many pretty blogs over there!–but it’s nowhere near as user-friendly for me. I love using WordPress!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Nicki! That’s an excellent point–I believe it does help you to gain more readers and followers. I’ve followed a few blogs recently where the activity in the comment section persuaded me to do so as much as the content that’s posted on the blog.

      I’ve had other blogs over the years, and I was lost interest and deleted them after a few months. I wonder how much of that was tied to the fact that no one ever commented on anything? I never thought about that being the reason, but since you mentioned it… it certainly seems a possibility!

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  3. I like comments and so also comment on posts. It’s ideal for thanking a blogger for a posts that gives me another book to add to my tbr or for links they have found interesting. I have comments allowed on my blog but do have it set so I have to approve the post first. I think this is a great feature and I don’t think I have not approved many posts as the spam is filtered out. Good post xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Yvonne, and hello! Those are all great things to comment about. I think most of my comments are given about reviews for books I’ve read/am planning to read, or discussion posts. I need to get better about doing it, though, because I’ve never been as chatty on other blogs as I am on my own.

      I have mine set to approve the first comment from someone, after that any future comments will post automatically. It’s worked well for me, and I’ve never approved someone for commenting and regretted it later.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Betty, Iam a very sporadic commenter as well and understand what you mean about being chatting in a post. I also think I tend to stay away if I think a post could be controversial or I personally think is too negative. For me sharing the love of books and acknowledging the same in others is great xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s good to know I’m not the only one! Haha

          Posts about potentially controversial topics often interest me, but I don’t comment on them. I usually don’t have anything to say, even if I’m curious what others think about it. I’m much more comfortable talking about books I enjoyed reading.

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  4. As a reader I love being able to comment on posts and as a blogger I think they’re brilliant. They allow you to connect with your readers and differentiate between a random viewer or spammer and an actual person.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Francesca, thanks for the comment! I love being able to connect with people through comments… especially when we’ve communicated enough to discover we have things in common other than books. The most frustrating thing for me is when I want to leave a comment on a post I enjoyed reading, but then I can’t figure out what I want to say, or someone else has already said essentially the same thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It definitely matters. How else I would know if what I’m writing is helping or not. Of course there’s spam and annoying people out there but that’s just one negative thing. There’s lot of positive aspect of allowing comments. I agree with your points. It helps to connect bloggers and readers and inspires to write better post every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yesha! That’s a very good point–there’s no way to know if you’ve written something helpful unless you’re getting feedback. (Especially when it comes to something you really want that feedback on!) You’re absolutely right about how it can inspire you to keep writing, and doing better. I always appreciate that, especially when it comes to something new on the blog that is met with positive reactions–it motivates me to go for it when I have new ideas to write about!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jonetta! I know what you mean. I always assume I’ll be able to comment, and it surprises me when I want to do it, but I can’t. My guess is that they enjoy blogging, but aren’t concerned with having a following or engaging with anyone about what they write. It could be that communicating with others is something they struggle with. I’m sure anyone who does it has their reasons, but it certainly makes you curious.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally agree Betty. I have come across a blog recently that I enjoy reading, but comments are not open. I get all excited and want to comment and I can’t. I am contemplating unfollowing it as there are so many that I follow already that I engage with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carla! It’s definitely a let down when you can’t comment on something you enjoyed reading–especially when it’s something you’re keen to discuss. It seems such a wasted opportunity for that blogger–just think of all the good conversation they’ve denied themselves, not to mention the risk of losing readers.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if they made a post (or mentioned in their About page) explaining why they don’t allow comments? I’d genuinely be interested in hearing the reasons behind that decision.

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        • I didn’t think of it until I was writing that last comment. Haha I check About pages when (a) I follow a blog, (b) someone follows me, or (c) I want to respond to a comment they’ve left for me, and I’m don’t remember/know their name.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I definitely think comments matter! Isn’t the whole point of blogging about engaging with other people? I always enjoy reading what people write in response to my posts, and I like leaving comments too. I agree, even a “great post!” or “great review” can make my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lisa! I think it definitely makes blogging a lot more fun. The work that goes into making a single post can feel tedious after a while, but it feels worth the trouble when comments/likes are given. It makes me want to write, and just like that–it doesn’t feel tedious anymore.

      It’s not about the number of comments/likes received, either. I’m just as thrilled with one comment and a handful of likes as I am when more come in. It means a lot to me when anyone takes a moment out of their busy day to leave a quick (or not-so-quick) comment for me, because I know just how hard to can be sometimes to find the time to do it.

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  8. Ahh this is such an interesting discussion and thank you so, so much for mentioning my post, it makes me so happy that it and the discussions in comments inspired you to write this, too! ❤ ❤
    I personally am a big fan of comments and leaving comments, I’ve had some of the most interesting discussions and even real friendships starting up with that, a comment on a blog post. I always feel invited to talk and to share with the blogger when I see their comments are opened and they’re open to discussion, too, answering to their comments and everything. I always feel a little startled and disappointed when there are no way to comment on a blog post directly 😦
    This is a wonderful post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Marie, and thank you so much for the lovely compliment. I couldn’t help but be inspired after reading your excellent post–I had to write something after reading through it and the comments. (And I wanted to make sure everyone else had the opportunity to read it, too!) This is coming from someone who rarely does true discussion posts, so that should show you just how much inspiration it gave me. 🙂

      Of all the bloggers I now consider friends, I can honestly say it happened because we got to talking about things (on our blogs or Twitter). I think it helps you know someone better, because the discussions are so much more relaxed and informal compared to how we write our posts. It’s in commenting that someone’s personality begins to shine through, and that’s when you really feel you’re beginning to know who they are as a person.

      Liked by 1 person

      • This makes my entire week, honestly I’m just so happy this inspired you and this was an excellent post, I loved reading it so much ❤
        I so agree with you on that and I am so, so grateful for the comments exhchanged and the friendships it created ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m here to engage with other readers and bloggers so I’m all for comments. Plus it’s nice to see what people think of the things I have to say, otherwise it’s a bit like screaming into the void 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jocelyn, and thanks for commenting! I agree with what you’ve said. When I first started blogging, I didn’t know how vital comments could be, I’ve been thinking about it since I made this post, and came to realize that if the comments suddenly stopped completely, I would likely lose all desire to keep blogging. That’s quite a revelation for me, because I didn’t specifically think about that before this post. (Which seems silly, considering how much I appreciate getting comments!)

      I would say we (meaning everyone who responded) have reached a consensus–Yes, it DOES matter!

      Like

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  11. Very interesting post and discussion topic! To me comments are an important part of blogging. I am a relatively new blogger and before starting out, I hadn’t thought about the interaction aspect of blogging at all. But now I enjoy it so much and it would never occur to me to disable the comment functionality. Of course, I understand that spam and troll comments would be discouraging, but I haven’t really experienced that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! It’s funny how comments can so quickly become something you enjoy and look forward to so much, when it’s not something you really think about in the beginning. (I certainly didn’t.) Spam is more annoying than a problem for me, since it gets caught before it ever appears–but you still have to go through each spammy comment and check it before you delete them, just in case a genuine comment gets lost in the mix. (That’s happened a few times for me.)

      Liked by 1 person

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  13. I think this is such an interesting discussion! I’ve never really thought about it, just assumed it was a given that of course you’d want comments on for blog posts. You definitely gave me some things to think about here.

    I actually never minded the spam, because the majority of it is caught, so I don’t even have to worry about it. But then again, like you said, I’m a baby book blogger, so I can see how it could grow out of control for some of the bigger names.

    I still always thinking comments are worth it. As you said, having someone respond to a review of mine saying they’re adding the book to their TBR is just life-giving for me. Even just one person saying that makes the whole thing worth it, because ultimately, I just want to share my love for books. I tend to get frustrated if I can’t leave comments on blogs, too, because if I visited your blog, usually I want to interact with you. Otherwise, I’m just reading an article, and I can do that anywhere. I want to let a blogger know how much I appreciated their post, etc. But that’s just me, personally.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI Sammie, and thanks for commenting!

      I think the reason I didn’t think about the importance of it is because of the blogging attempts I made previously. Between them all, I might have gotten a grand total of two comments (and that was from a family member). It was something I really expected to be a thing when I started this one up, so when someone other than a friend DID comment, I was truly surprised it happened–especially since I didn’t know what I wanted to blog about. It took me a few months to decide I would blog about books. It was the best decision I ever made, because it’s been so rewarding to be part of this community!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that’s an interesting way to come to the book blogging community!

        My journey was a little different, so I guess that affected my perspective. I started as a reader of book blogs, and then eventually migrated into blogging on my own. So I feel like that’s probably why I was used to comments being allowed? I went in with the expectation that eventually people would comment lol. Even if it took a while to get there.

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        • I was really into The Sims back in the day, so all the blogs I visited were about the game. I was there to download things they created for the game, rather than socializing–I chatted with other players on forums. I was on a few book forums for specific authors, as well. (I feel like I’m dating myself by saying all that. Haha)

          I wish I’d known book blogs were a thing ages ago. I wonder if it would have inspired me to start one of my own, without all that time spent wanting to blog, but not knowing what to blog about?

          Seeing how the book blogging community worked before you started your own blog must have been nice. Knowing the way things are typically done right from the start must have been an advantage. It took me a while to figure some things out, but I’ve finally gotten to the point where I feel comfortable with it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t know how much it helped, honestly? I still stumbled along blindly my first year. I knew basic etiquette, but not how to actually do the whole blog thing. Just that you should, like, respond to people who comment on your blogs or read other blogs, basically. And even then, I didn’t have a lot of time for that lol.

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