April 18, 2014: A reader recently e-mailed us asking why we don’t take comments on the Didit Marketing Blog. It’s a fair question — after all, comments — at least in theory — can lead to greater engagement, longer time spent on site, and perhaps a greater chance that a reader will subscribe or take other positive action.
- Even if your blog content is stunning (or as Rand Fishkin terms it, “runaway amazing,” ), there’s nothing sadder than a great article sitting on a site with zero comments. Even sites with major traffic suffer from this problem. An article lacking comments shouldn’t make your site look boring, but it does.
- Comments attract spam, quick hit replies that add nothing to the conversation, irrelevant links from “bad neighborhoods,” and other low-level content. Do you really want this kind of graffiti on your editorial wall?
- You’re going to have to task somebody with managing comments. You’re also going to have to come up with a policy governing how you will respond. Do you really have the bandwidth for all of this editorial grunt work?
- Comments provide — in certain circumstances — a way for hackers to hijack your web property.
- Comments aren’t a “business-friendly” communications channel. If someone really wants to communicate with you for a business reason, move the conversation to e-mail – it’s a lot more professional.
- Sometimes it’s good to maintain an “I/Thou” distance from your audience (just ask The New Yorker Magazine, which doesn’t host comments). It’s neither wise nor necessary to make every one of your online statements an invitation to a debate.
On the other hand, social networks are terrific places to host comments — they were built for this purpose, after all. Comment plug-ins and/or widgets are available from the big social networks, including Facebook and Google Plus. Short-form micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter are great places to move links to your articles into other peoples’ networks.
Keep the chatting — and any spam or sniping — on these networks, and save your blog for what it does best: showcasing your thought leadership.
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