Your Blog Probably Doesn't Need Comments
Blog comments: good or bad?
“Don’t read the comments.” A common mantra of the internet. We’ve all heard it. We’ve said it to people. You may have even seen it on a coffee mug or a necklace.
News networks, blogs, and online magazines have experimented with editing or changing the way they do comments; some have even gotten rid of comment sections altogether. And yet, some content marketing evangelists still swear by comments on blogs.
Does your blog need comments—and why do some people still tout them?
Comments: The good parts
There are several valid reasons to maintain a comments section on your blog, the biggest of which is that it encourages users to visit, stay, and engage with your blog. As commenters get engaged in conversations, they may revisit your site more and more often, becoming habitual users.
This can help spur conversions, as well as drive your SEO up thanks to increased traffic.
Comments can also be a good place to find feedback and user information. Customers or readers often weigh in on subjects that they care the most about, which can help you tailor future content marketing campaigns toward them or steer clear of very unpopular items or ideas.
However, there are a lot of potential downsides to comments sections, as well.
Why Websites Are Getting Rid of Comments
The obvious issue with comments is that they aren’t exactly always positive, or even civil. And while getting people to come back to your blog again and again to have conversations sounds great, if it becomes a place that feels hurtful, abusive, or dangerous, that tends to reflect poorly on your brand itself.
But even divorced from the potential negativity, comments on blogs can also detract from other strong KPIs—like Facebook engagement.
Many blogs have moved toward soliciting the same kind of feedback as they might get in a blog’s comments from their Facebook fans. This serves a dual purpose: First, it helps garner information about your users. Second, engagement begets engagement, which can expand your reach. When a person comments, likes, shares, or otherwise interacts with your Facebook posts, they are more likely to see future posts. In this way, Facebook comments are a force-multiplier, whereas blog comments are not.
Facebook comments are also easier to police and have the added benefit of being public to your users’ friends and family, which can make you more visible to potential clients.
Comments can be a good way to find out what your users are interested in, but with social media sites at your disposal, there’s a good chance you should be focusing on them, rather than a native comments section.
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