Silence of the Lam(E)s? (5 Reasons Readers Should Leave Blog Comments)

Frankly I don’t get it.
Folks requesting organ donations have had greater success than today’s blogger seeking comments on their blog posts.
And I say this with affection: I’m amused but confused.

In my mind, reading an enjoyable (or minimally interesting) blog and not leaving a comment is like dining at a restaurant and not leaving a tip. And isn’t “food for thought” just as gratifying?

Ask any blogger and they’ll tell you that comments left on a blog by visiting readers are the equivalent of finding a 20 dollar bill in a back pocket of some old jeans, or receiving extra chicken nuggets in your value meal package that you didn’t have to pay for.
Or getting a date with Keanu Reeves.

Okay, well maybe that’s just me. 🙂

But anyhow…
Consider this a public service message: We wanna hear from you.
Or it kind of defeats the point of taking our “journals” public.
I don’t say this to be crass or crazy.  Really…

We know you’re out there.
The electronic “click counters” confirm it.
Whether you’re reading our blogs because you accidentally landed on our spot, were referred, got bored, or actually dig our style and our platform, we welcome you!
Now stand up and be counted. Your ‘two cents’ is valuable.

I admit that until I started on a regular basis, I too didn’t realize all the work that goes into building and sustaining a blog. There’s the design and set up, the content, formatting, the marketing, and many hours of solitude sitting in front of a computer until your back and your eyes hurt.

Now, of course I’m not suggesting that we don’t get something out of it too. But, I’ve always believed that successful communication is a two-way street. Bloggers don’t want to always talk “at you” we want to “talk with you”.
And although I think it’s neat when I get a “tweet,” I dig a little intellectual online exchange every now and then. Then again, maybe it’s a chick thing; women hate the “silent treatment”, unless we’re giving it.

I kid you not, on some days it’s so quiet, we’d welcome hecklers! 🙂

Let’s Look At The Problem And Solutions

If perhaps you’re not shy, but instead time constraints are a factor, I can certainly understand. Everybody is hugely busy these days. Consider this.
A comment doesn’t have to be of epic proportions. A simple, “I enjoyed your post” would suffice and potentially qualify you for B.F.F. status. Or even something like “I give this post 4 grunts.”

Also adding insult to injury are fellow bloggers who refrain from giving comments on your post for fear that you’ll have more responses than them in what they perceive to be an online popularity contest. Go figure.

The Payoff

If you still need some gentle convincing, here are 5 reasons to leave comments on your favorite Blogs.

  1. Because it’s free. That’s right; it won’t cost a dime and just a few minutes of your time. And think about it, how often is your opinion really sought? Probably not as much as you’d like. 🙂
  2. Because it helps us decide the future direction of our blogs.
  3. Because it helps to build a cohesive community in the Blogosphere.
  4. Because it leaves a “virtual paper trail” that leads readers to your joint, and potentially increases your Blog traffic.
  5. Because it promotes good karma. You don’t owe us anything, but it sure would be nice. 🙂

Well, I’m off my “soap box” for now. It’s Tuesday ni and I anxiously await the “comments” of Simon Cowell on American Idol. Cheerio!

Author: Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, popular relationship columnist, and Pro Blogger. When she’s not immersed in the world of words, she digs simple pleasures like cooking, Jazz music, Karaoke and a good cup of tea. She is the former Senior Editor of Mahogany Magazine.

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  1. Valerie says:

    You are absolutely right. What’s the point in writing if people don’t comment ? How am I supposed to know if you liked what I bloggued about ?

    I appreciate comments, and I always comment on posts I read. If I don’t comment, I haven’t read.

  2. swanpr says:

    I enjoyed your post. Very helpful. Great job! 😉

    You are right of course. But I wonder if it is not because we ARE sollicited at all times for our opinion, weather it be on a news site, or a business asking for our feedback, etc. At the end ofthe day, we are just overflowing with info that we’ve devoured without a second thought.

    I think it would be worth it to start actually taking notice in the work you people put in providing us with quality content. Giving you feedback, and even, omg!, discussing about any given subject in the comments section is the least we can do to thank you.

    • Swanpr,

      I agree that we’re bombarded with many messages through out the day, and it is at times a bit much to digest and process it all. Another alternative is to simply sign up as a “follower” on your favorite blog. That too shows appreciation for a blogger’s efforts. I appreciate your thoughts.

  3. I share my opinion all the time! Mostly unrequested even, but I guess that’s why I became a blogger. *frowns eyebrow*

  4. Thanks so much for these comments. See, already you’ve made my day. 😉

  5. xxxevilgrinxxx says:

    Getting feedback is always a fresh hell

    I’ve found that having conversations with the people that leave feedback helps, but getting people to leave comments is still a hell. Most people never say a thing. And then they wonder where you’ve gone when you get fed up 😀

  6. Come to think of it, I really believe that folks who don’t participate through comments and online conversations are really missing out on expanding their knowledge base and their horizons. Wouldn’t you agree? I’ve “met” and connected with some really cool people of all different races, religions, regions, and schools of thought. And I definitely dig it. 😉

  7. I feel you Jennifer! but, keep in mind that it also takes time to build up a community of followers where folks feel like they want to know a particular blog/blogger. I feel comments are welcoming as well, but it’s not the basis for blog sustainability…great insights btw

  8. Jennifer Brown Banks says:

    You’re right Clara. As they say, “Patience is a virtue.”

  9. Now, how could I NOT comment? I like the restaurant tip analogy, especially since so many writers are not getting paid for their work. If you are going to read and enjoy something, it’s nice to leave a token of recognition; and if you don’t like it, it’s a good way to stir up discussion and debate!

  10. Blogs are like any other type of reading. Has to be good to warrant investing the time because there’s too many blogs and choices out there. I want a blog to snap, crackle and pop as well as be brief in making that crisp point. If I have to wander and stumble though a 1000-word blog to find the point, I’m gone and never coming back.

    Give me brief and sharp commentary. I want memorable, take-away value. A blog has to marketed and must fill a need like any other commodity. My time is greatly limited. The number of blogs out there is forever growing. If someone wants me, they have to grab me hard (assuming they market hard enough to find me in the first place).

    It’s harsh blogging – just like freelancing – so much competition.

    • swanpr says:

      I’m not a big believer in the musts, have tos and such. And as with any other type of content, readers will take what they like, and leave what they do not behind. You want sharp, crisp posts. Not to say incomplete or amputated, but at what point does condensing and shortening information creates empty content that deprives reader from actual, factual, meaningful information?

      Bloggers, like any other writers, are human. They cannot be consistent 24/7. Any novelist, journalist or poet will tell you, it is just not possible. So why expect perfection and grab-em-by-the-collar at every post?

      Taking the time to read, think then share our thoughts and debate them a bit is what it’s all about. And that is just what we did here, so I say Mission accomplished to Jennifer!

    • I must add to @swanpr’s comments that she is my probably only loyal follower and has sat through my grammar, spelling and ramblings ever since some time 2005. I can only admire and thank Swan for that.

      Sadly I still ramble too often, but part of building your brand, content, reputation and in our case here at BloggingPro even magazine, is also offering returning regulars time to get used to our style.
      If you want just short and snappy, or only have time for quick content, try Twitter. Better even Tweeteorites.

      • Tight, crisp posts means great writing, not abbreviated writing. Tighter posts are harder to write and take more time to hone. If I want long, meaningful prose, I’ll read a novel or full feature. But grab me from the outset and hold me tight in a blog. Jennifer asked about feedback and comments on why people don’t comment. I think this is a key reason why. You only get one shot to impress surfing readers.

      • swanpr says:

        Wasn’t hard to do Franky. My loyalty doesn’t even equal the things you’ve thought me 🙂

  11. Oops – guess you didn’t want the entire twitter address above.

  12. Wow! I’m impressed with myself: Hope Clark commented. 🙂

    I’ve followed her for many years and I can attest that she definitely doesn’t do this very often. (Thanks, Hope!)
    Excellent comments from everyone!

    swan pr, you make an excellent point I’d like to elaborate on…

    It’s virtually impossible for a blogger to “be on point 24/7”. That’s an unrealistic expectation of any artist. Which is why many musical stars produce a hit CD and then go into hibernation for years while they come up with more hot material! Like Sade, (if anyone here is familiar with her music).

    • swanpr says:

      Yes exactly! But we know from the artist’s previous work that it is well worth the wait 🙂

  13. I disagree. They may be like tipping at a restaurant but would you tip someone who spilled coffee in your lap and was rude to you? And how would you tip a waiter or waitress that was incredibly friendly and helpful beyond what you had ever experienced? They would get a larger tip. Am I right?

    Even in a tradition that we all participate in, our level of participation would be determined by the level of service. The same is true in blogging. You can demand comments. You can Bribe for comments with contests, dofollow links, commentLuv, keywordLuv, and anything else that you can think to do for comments but those barely count. They make you feel good, but they aren’t the kind of comments that are worth having.

    Too often we consider comments as a type of validation for our writing. And that’s mostly true. People comment because they were inspired by the article that they just read or because they were challenged by it or because they disagree with it but perhaps they respect the points made enough to make their disagreements known. They don’t comment just to leave a tip.

    I’m not commenting here just because I feel morally obligated to do so. I’m leaving this comment because your content inspired me to leave one. Because you convinced me that you’re worth engaging with. (I’m not trying to be rude…just trying to develop my point).

    I think that if you are going to get after people to leave comments then you need to get after bloggers 10 times over about producing the type of content that inspires readers and incites passionate discussions. That’s the key to comments.

    Comments are a discussion between among the community of a blog. They’re not a tip and if we’re failing to invite our readers into that discussion then there exists a disconnections that needs to be changed. We need to connect and invite them into the discussions with our style of writing.

    I apologize if I wrote too long. I enjoyed your article and as I referenced in my comment, I respect your position and disagree, even if only a slight disagreement.

  14. Nicholas,

    I respect your right to disagree. And some of what you say has merit.
    I don’t necessarily believe that those of us seeking comments do so for a need of “validation.”

    If I might say, ( without seeming boastful), my professional career as a scribe, and my small but growing “fan base” speaks to my ability as a writer. Or at least I hope. 🙂

    A comment is simply an opinion, no more or less than one would offer in the course of a conversation.

    I even appreciate when the perspective is different than my own–that’s how we grow, Is it not? Thanks for weighing in here. You provided a lot of food for thought. Enjoy your day and do visit again.

    • How can you claim that comments are not a form of validation as to your level of success and then go on to say, “If I might say, ( without seeming boastful), my professional career as a scribe, and my small but growing “fan base” speaks to my ability as a writer. Or at least I hope. :-)”

      Aren’t you judging your success even in that statement by some sort of measurable level of interaction with your “fan base”? Comments do validate our success. They demonstrate to us that people are paying attention and that we have sparked a desire in them to want to interact with us. We’ve made them feel compelled to take action and let their voices be heard on a subject. As a writer, that is success.

      But my point remains, that as we tell people that they should leave comments we should also be teaching 10 times over how to create blogs and blog content that inspires people to experience that compulsion to join the conversation.

      P.S. I’ve been browsing your site a bit here and I’m really impressed and excited about the work that you’re doing here. I hope that my discussion doesn’t come across as only negative but as a jovial expression of a differing view. I only mean it to be an enjoyable debate and not as any sort of heated discourse. I respect and admire your flawed position. Wink. Wink. 🙂

      I’ve actually subscribed to the feed here and if you were to take a look in my Google Reader you would see that I subscribe to very few blogs. I’m actually quite a stickler and your site has tickled my fancy. Keep up the awesome work and don’t let my pseudo-aggressive comment get you down.

      • Nicholas,

        Say what you feel why don’t you?:-)
        Know this. I am always open to a little healthy debate, and I’ve been in the writing game far too long to be bothered by differing views or a little criticism, (as long as it has merit).
        I look forward to our future exchanges, and greatly value your input.
        It’s late and I must now get my beauty rest.
        Until next time…”parting is such sweet sorrow”.:-)

  15. Jennifer, I love you dearly but when was the last time you posted on one of my many blogs?

    • I believe the last time I read it.;-)

    • Marcie,

      I love you dearly too, but I might also add that your blog posts are very sporadic, so I don’t always know when to expect them. Whereas I faithfully post to mine every week, sometimes 3X. Also, I’d like to think that I show my support in other ways. 🙂
      Girl, I know you not trying to clown me in this public forum. 🙂

      • They’re weekly with exception of last week. However when I don’t write a post, there is always a question via Twitter to fill those moments when I feel like writing stories.

  16. Go Jennifer!

    You certainly brought out loads of opinions with this post! I enjoy reading your blog and always get a kick out of your wit and “spot- on” points of view. Keep it up girl! – Nikola

    • Thanks, Nikola! I can always count on you to weigh in.
      In the words of Tupac Shakur, “You are appreciated.”

      It’s really crazy-cool the response this post has gotten. It comes as a total surprise.
      And I’m truly diggin’ the vibe!

  17. I am probably guilty of not leaving comments as often as I should. Sometimes the blogger has done such a fabulous job covering a topic that I can’t think of anything to say other than “great post” and that seems lamEr than not leaving a comment at all. Maybe I need to challenge myself more in that area…

    As a blogger, there’s another reason I appreciate comments. I don’t need them to know people are reading – I have my web analytics for that. Retweets on Twitter and Likes on Facebook tell me that people like what they’ve read. But comments give me a chance to interact with my readers and become a permanent part of my blog, whereas the Retweets and Likes will soon fade away into oblivion.

    • Janet,

      Thanks for sharing this. I think that many people (readers) can perhaps relate to not knowing what to say, so ultimately say nothing at all. But even a brief, “lame” comment at least speaks to some level of interaction and counts for something in my book. Glad you stopped by this morning. .:-)

  18. You are absolutely right. Humm, I wonder how many of us blog but are guilty of not commenting on other’s blogs? Okay, I will try to be better!

    • Barbara,

      I too am guilty as charged! I don’t always comment on others’ blogs daily, but I do try to comment on various blogs weekly. Especially if the content is engaging. And minimally, if I like a blogger’s work, I’ll sign up for the posts or become a “follower” through Google. Thanks for your “comments” here today.

  19. Good post! I’d be interested in hearing what methods you’ve found to help increase reader participation. E.g., have you seen better results with Disqus comments or after implementing Facebook Connect?

  20. i read a lot of posts in google reader and not on pages directly. but I may try and comment on more blogs from now on. thanks for the insight

  21. Ok, let’s say I respond in this comment: “Enjoyed your article!! Good job!!”

    Now seriously, other than stroking your ego, how did that help you? Do you know WHY I liked it? What about the article inspired me to comment? That’s an Echo Chamber – people helping you to FEEL better instead of telling you like it is.

    Like you have a typo in the last sentence of your article (Tuesday ni?).

    Or that, as a writer, it will always be harder to inspire people to take the time to write a comment.

    I have comments temporarily closed on my site and most people think that, because comments are closed, I do not receive feedback on my articles. I receive a lot, actually. People email and express much more detail (and ask questions) in the email than they would in comments. I also have people who will contact me via IM (goes to my cell phone), Twitter or Facebook where many times I can see they linked to my article but I can’t see the conversation LOL.

    I guess my question is: do you want people to say “something” like “enjoyed the entry” (which is what your entry is implying) or do you want to hold engaging conversations about the topic you wrote about?

    • Jennifer Brown Banks says:


      Thanks for writing. Do whatever moves you. This is of course America. I’m certainly not suggesting any “forced” type of interaction. And I do appreciate your time. I’m simply stating that comments be provided by people who feel inspired, informed or enhanced by reading a blogger’s work–mine or any other. 🙂 I don’t want people, however, to write and be controversial just for the sake of having their name seen, or stroking my ego. It’s not that serious. I can certainly appreciate a brief comment or a lively debate, as long as they’re sincere in nature. If not, it’s a waste of everybody’s time. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty busy these days.
      As far as the typo, it wasn’t. It was actually supposed to be an attempt and speaking like Simon Cowell. Enjoy your day.:-)

      • Let me clarify: I was responding to Franky…I didn’t even realize he didn’t write the article. My apologies. He asked my thoughts on Twitter:

        That’s why my comment had the tone it did. I was talking to Franky. I didn’t want to blow up my Twitter stream responding when I could write a comment. 🙂

        Again, my apologies.

      • Tyme,

        You basically think I deserve the harsher treatment? You are right though, I myself have learned more from people who hand out (and have handed out myself).

        I will highlight the post authors more in the theme.

        Jennifer, sorry if you were caught in a cross-fire. Tyme and I kept the conversation on Twitter, I actually was surprised to see Tyme’s comment here (and thought ‘She can not have thought I wrote this entry!’)

      • Haha, just like you linked me to your other articles here and I clicked over (and they were yours), the thought didn’t cross my mind you didn’t write it! LOL If I came to the site on my own I would have paid better attention. I was just messing with you, similar to how Scrivs and I do. Like with the typo thing…that’s not YOUR style (ni) so I honestly thought it was a typo LOL.

        Many times what someone does isn’t the important thing, it’s why someone does something…which is where I was coming from in my comment to YOU. Yeah, I have a high standard for you but it is most likely no where near the one you have set for yourself. 🙂

  22. Jennifer Brown Banks says:

    No problem, Tyme. 🙂

  23. Joshua says:

    By the time I finished reading the comments from others I had forgotten why I had felt inclined to create my own in the first place 😉 Was it a genuine plea on behalf of bloggers for leaving comments, or a debate as to why?

    After rereading your post I have decided that you are indeed a very skilled scribe, as this comment comes form a notoriously lackadaisical, ADHD driven, “next item” Google Reader addict. *And yes, that was a complement.

    I look forward to reading more of your guilt driven posts in the future, but at the moment I feel the need to call my mother. For some reason I can hear her saying, “Is it too much trouble just to call and say I love you every once in a while?” as I was reading your post.

    • Jennifer Brown Banks says:

      Well, Joshua, “Is it too much trouble to call her?”
      She doesn’t ask for much! 🙂

      My post was created as a call to action. It was not necessarily a plea for comments, but an attempt to raise the level of consciousness of blog readers.

      Thanks for stopping by. Now call your mother! 🙂

  24. I’ve been tempted to comment many times on various blogs, only to find that I have to at least so a small “sign-up dance” in order to post – which kind of stops the flow. If blog owners want comments they should allow anonymous posts or, at the most, what you do here – information and comment in one “form”. (I chose to allow anonymous posts in all my blogs, and a few plugins to control spam – my blog, my responsibilty, not my commeters’ burden.)

    • Jennifer Brown Banks says:


      I can dig where you’re coming from. I’ve experienced the same thing with other blogs sometimes too.
      Glad you had no difficulty providing your thoughts here today. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  25. Great Post! I would love to see more people take a keen interest in being a bit more forthcoming with leaving comments that are relative and useful. I’ve started a few blogs now…. and it seems the only commenters that I get are the all to popular SPAM bots trying to get some link juice for the latest and greatest crap I don’t want :p

    Keep up the good work!

  26. Mike,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I can definitely relate. 🙂 Hopefully, if nothing else, this post will help to raise readers’ awareness of why comments are encouraged and indeed useful to all parties involved. Stay the course! 🙂

  27. Coach,

    Was this for me?

  28. Yes, I think that comments is the soul of a blog. You will feel useless when found something you have write just like a thing useless. I really loves giving some comments if i found it is inspired me something, because I know the feeling when you write something with passion and just ignored by people. I think that is what i think about giving comments. 🙂

    Nice article.

  29. Boni,

    Thanks for your kind words and your time. Glad you liked it.

  30. executive training program says:

    I absolutely agree. People put their heart, experience and knowledge writing blog posts. It’s not polite not to respond. It is as if somebody talked to us and we would ignore them. I always leave comments when I read an interesting post. Just like now 🙂

  31. Executive Branding says:

    Thanks for sharing such a nice post.

  32. I absolutely agree. People put their heart, experience and knowledge writing blog posts. It’s not polite not to respond. It is as if somebody talked to us and we would ignore them. I always leave comments when I read an interesting post. Just like now 🙂

  33. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or
    copyright violation? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being stolen? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  34. There’s certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I like all the points you made.

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