Should You Ignore Blog Comments?

July 4, 2011By

Do you need tons of blog comments?

Common understanding in the blogging world is comments are good. Comments mean people are engaged with you and your content. Comments mean interest and loyal followers and customers.

But now there is some new data coming out regarding comments and the results may surprise you.

In another great post on HubSpot there is data from 100,000 blog posts and how comments played a role. Please check out the charts and entire article at Blog Conversations Don’t Lead to More Views and Links.

With your blog, comments should not be a goal. They don’t lead to views or links, which is what leads to actual revenue. Engaging in the conversation doesn’t work.

Talk about a conversation starter. That is some powerful data and it seems people took the comments to share their opinion. It’s interesting to see how the comments on this post are full especially since the data shows comments aren’t really important.

Should You Ignore Blog Comments

Angry BirdI’ve heard different views on blog comments over the years. I’ve also experienced different things with comments myself over the years. The common understanding has always been that comments are a good thing. After all, if people are commenting on your blog it means they felt they had to give a minute (or more) of their time to add their thoughts to the post.

If people are comment it was always thought it meant the readership on the blog would be highly engaged with the brand and thus good customers. If the blog was selling something, comments should mean a highly engaged and loyal audience willing to buy from the blog.

From the data above it turns out this line of thinking is not true at all.

The post linked above has me thinking about comments. Over the past year I’ve experimented on Country Music Life with comments. I’ve turned comments on. I’ve turned comments off. I’ve used Facebook comments. In my own experience – and this is definitely not science – is that having a lot of comments can lead to more page views. Some of the most popular posts on the site have tons of comments and are shared often.

However, posts with tons of comments seem to have a lifespan. Now it could be because the nature of the posts leaves them having a lifespan. Many of the posts are about songs and songs have a lifespan.

Other posts on the site that do really well have few, if any, comments. The data from my experience is mixed at best. I’ve never focused much on comments to begin with, but that could be because a few of my blogs have never generated many comments.

Comments, Views, Links, and Revenue

In the HubSpot post linked above the author mentions four big things in the blogging world: 1) Comments, 2) Views, 3) Links, and 4) Revenue. These are the big things in the blogging world with revenue being the most important. The goal of any blog, any marketing activity, should be to increase revenue and profit.

As the author of the HubSpot post above points out – not all four of these are related, though. Views and Links have shown, in his research, to have direct correlation with revenue. Comments, however, have little relevance with revenue.

And that’s big. As the author also mentions, the goal of your blog should not be to increase comments. It shouldn’t even have a focus on comments. They show no correlation to revenue. Therefore, comments should be an afterthought with more focus put on getting views and links with the ultimate goal of getting revenue.

Community

Now, I don’t think comments should be entirely forgotten in the blogging world.

Comments seem to be a big part of community. I’ve read many blogs that didn’t necessarily have tons of views, but on every post there were tons of comments. The community on these sites was strong.

If you community demands comments the you should provide them the forum to share their opinions. However, don’t use comments as the main metric to determine the success of your blog and community. Use views and ultimately revenue to determine how your blog is doing and focus on increasing those metrics without focusing on increasing comments.

Comments don’t necessarily lead to revenue and should not be part of your business blogging goals.

Angry Bird image courtesy of Noel Zia Lee