Why I May Not Comment On Your Blog

It seems to me that there’s enough information online and people talking about this subject that other folks might start listening to it in some fashion. Alas, it’s not the case, so I’m here to be the guy to bring it up, popular or not. It’s probably going to come across as a harsh post, and that’s not its intention. Sometimes I just have to be real; this is one of those times.

Comments by Boltron

I comment on a lot of blogs; I visit a heck of a lot more. It still surprises me that so many people have set things up that discourage many of us from commenting on your blog. I mean, it’s not hard; it’s not rocket science. All that’s needed is a thought about where your blog is, how your blog is set up, and what you’re hoping to get out of your blog. Making it easy for people to comment on your blog, no matter what; is that too much to hope for?

Okay, some of that might not be fair, but then I haven’t gotten into any details yet. I guess that’s where I should start, so we can get a discussion going.

1. If you’re moderating comments, you’re getting on my nerve. Moderated comments tells me that you care more about spam than about thanking people for wanting to comment on your blog. If it worries you so much, then put up a disclaimer up front that you’re moderating comments and I won’t waste my time. But then, if you did that I, and maybe a lot of people people, won’t comment on your blog. That’s somewhat disingenuous, isn’t it? The other thing about writing a comment on a blog that moderates comments is that suddenly you’re getting bombarded with a bunch of comments all at once in email, and if the owner of the blog isn’t putting any names in, you have no idea which response is to you, if there’s one to you at all. I hate that, but it leads to point #2.

2. If you’re not responding to my comments, you’re getting on my nerve. I didn’t just stop by and write “good post” and move on. It might not have been the theory of relativity but I at least gave you a response that showed you I read what you had to say. Now, do I expect a response all the time? Actually yes I do, but if you miss one or two I won’t mind. But if you seem to exhibit a pattern of not responding to my comments, I probably will stop coming, and I don’t want any complaints about it, whether you visit me or not. Goodness, I’m as busy as the next person, and if I’m responding to almost every comment I deserve knowing that you appreciated my taking the time out to respond back to you.

3. Are you still using Disqus, or one of those other services? Haven’t you realized yet that you’re losing comments? Obviously you didn’t see Sire’s poll, which is still ongoing by the way. I mean, 45% of people said they wouldn’t leave a comment on one of these blogs; are you really getting enough comments that losing 45% of potential visitors is okay for you? And, by the way, if you read the post, you’ll see that some of the people who said they’d still leave a comment overwhelmingly said they didn’t like it, and didn’t do it on all blogs that run this service, but most of them. So, add at least another 25% to the mix and then ask why you don’t have lots of comments. By the way, you’re a dying breed; so many people lately have jumped on the CommentLuv bandwagon and found other ways to block spam and they’re starting to thrive. One guy told me his comments jumped threefold; how’s about that!

4. Are you verifying that people are receiving your responses back to them? This one’s dicey because of you folks running free blogs on WordPress.com. It doesn’t give you the ability to set things up so you can make sure people are seeing that you’ve responded to them, and that’s a shame. Since I’m someone who won’t subscribe or login to receive comments when I get that email (after all, I already checked the box on your blog that asked if I wanted to subscribe to comments), I’ll only revisit blogs of those of you I happen to like; you know who you are if you’ve seen my comments on your blog. If you’re answering a lot of people and rarely hear back from them, this could be an issue for you. But I’m not the guy who can tell you to spend your money on self hosting and a domain name; spend your money your way. However, I am the guy to tell you that it’s the way to go if you get serious about blogging.

5. Some of you know I don’t like Blogger/Blogspot blogs. I don’t like them because you have to create a login name to comment so that you’ll get responses back. I have one for my business name, and I’m still trying to figure out how that happened, but not for any of my other blogs or websites, including this one. Some blogs I want to comment on aren’t appropriate for my business account, and thus I’ll either skip it or comment using the email for this blog, but of course Blogger won’t let you put in an email, and thus you never know if you got a response or not. This fact impeded a lot of blogs I wanted to check out when we had that network meme a week or so back. On this one, same answer I gave to the previous point; I can’t tell you what to do, but if you’re serious about blogging, think about it.

That’s it; that’s my rant. I’ve actually ranted on all these things in the past, as you can see from some of the links, but I guess it’s been awhile. People forget, and thus I figured I’d bring it up again. If you don’t really care, then that’s fine; if you do, well, at least think about it.

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57 thoughts on “Why I May Not Comment On Your Blog”

  1. I get the feeling from a few bloggers (not most, but a few) that their mission is all about quantity. They’re not necessarily interested in building relationships with people; they seem to be just trying to pump up the numbers, and maybe they feel that responding to comments somehow detracts from that. But as you so accurately pointed out, they’re hurting themselves in the end. If someone takes time out of their busy day to read a post and leave a comment, they deserve at least an acknowledgment. No one likes to be ignored. Great rant, Mitch!

    1. Thanks Charles. It’s definitely a quid pro quo life, this blogging thing, and people get out of it what they put into it. I’m not saying everyone has to respond with War & Peace type missives, but we all love acknowledgment.

  2. Hi Mitch

    You know what I think of replying to comments as just did a post on it 😉 I agree with all the points you have made.

    Sad that some people just don’t get it and are hurting themselves in their blogging venture. Networking is essential to growing a blog and authority within a niche.

    I enjoy it, so that sure helps. From all those who frequent this blog, most of them seem to be enjoying your posts….rant or not lol

    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. Pat, you’re all over the place, both commenting and responding to comments, and I love how well you answered everyone when you wrote that guest post. Lots of people miss that opportunity to reach out to a community that’s not normally theirs.

  3. Hi Mitch,

    I agree about making it easy for people to comment on your site. On a technical level, I’ve realize that the captcha was rather an anoyance so when I discovered GASP, I’ve made the switch straight away.

    On the social level, I try to reply to every comment and check out new commenters, but all that takes a lot of time. So I think full time bloggers have the liberty to do everything you’ve advised, but how about part time bloggers who much choose how they spend their time carefully?

    Ben Wan

    1. Hey Ben. To me, it’s always most important to respond to the people who visit your blog and take the time to leave a comment first. If you have to withhold visiting other blogs for awhile because of other commitments, then that’s fine; you might even need to pick and choose certain blogs to go to specifically. What I’ve noticed is that traffic drops if I don’t keep up with some kind of commenting schedule on other blogs. And I consider myself a part time blogger since I don’t make any money from it… yet! lol

  4. Hey Mitch, I really love this post for the following reasons;

    1) You linked to my post for which I’m eternally grateful.
    2) I agree with all your points.
    3) I found some errors, something I don’t get to do very often 😀

    As to the errors, you may want to revisit point 2 as it doesn’t sound right. The way it reads at the moment you’re using Disqus as a threat as if you’re going to beat them over the head with it, which wouldn’t be a bad idea 😀

    Also you may want to include number three which is missing and may well be the most important point yet 😉

    1. Sire, #3 is there, so maybe you missed that. There was a coding error in #2, and now I have no idea what I was trying to link to so that’s just been removed.

      As to the rest, I hope folks visit your post and even comment on it, though it’s older, since the poll continues.

      1. Actually Mitch when I read it there was no number three. If anything 2 and three were actually combined. Don’t ask me how but they were. It cut out half way through number two and started just before the Disqus link?

      2. I’m surprised because it was there when I looked. Hey, I don’t know; could be related to that code issue.

  5. You are right Mitch, moderating and editing the comments is really bad and about Disqus, I think this is the worst commenting plugin out there. Regarding blogger, there are options to unlock the settings so everybody can comment not only people with blogger account, but what I don’t like there is the problem with categorizing topics, there is an option to use tags to categorize, but this generate tons of duplicate topics and content.

    1. Carl, I wish more people knew about that one that have Blogspot blogs, because it’s the most irritating thing I have to deal with.

  6. Hi, Mitch. I admit, I am still a newbie when it comes to commenting plugin or software, so I may have pissed you at oe time or another? Hehehe…

    I am using Joomla on my site and it does not offer CommentLuv or I would have jumped on that bandwagon in a heartbeat. I am going to implement a lot of changes to my site in the coming year though, so I hope you would all be patient with me on that.

    – Wes –

    1. Wes, your blog has the comments part set up properly except for that captcha thing, and for my eyes it’s just difficult picking those things out, though I get it right more often than not. I hadn’t thought about before, but I’ve seen your style of blog before and never knew that was Joomla.

      1. I have two main sites, Omnific Design and Psychographic Profile. I also have blog sites on the ebooks I’ve written. However, I am now focused more on developing Omnific Design and have somehow abandoned the others. Hopefully, this will change next year.

      2. Cool! I know that there hasn’t been anything I could say on your latest post, but maybe in developing your new sites they’ll all coalesce into something really big.

  7. Mitch,

    I think I’ve said this before but I never really saw the relevance of responding to comments made on my blog—UNTIL I started reading your posts. I believe you and I have had this conversation about commenting on blogs.

    Now that I make an effort to comment on other blogs, I get what you’re saying. If I take the time, please give me the courtesy to respond back.

    I’ve actually gone to a couple of blogs of folks who comment on your site and commented one theirs. A few of them responded but not all of them.

    I know I must do a better job in responding and perhaps, I will receive the same courtesy in return.

    This is a wonderful REMINDER post.

    One more thing–I will be making a MAJOR announcement involving you in the coming days so stay tuned.

    1. Thanks Bev, but you also have to respond to people who post on your blog as well. I think you’ve only responded to a comment I’ve left you once, and that’s really a big deal to me. On one of your blog posts, I asked what the follow up was to that issue you had (you know the one) but I’m not sure where it is at this juncture.

  8. After reading this I think I certainly need to change the way I accept comments.

    You say turning off comment moderation, don’t you become tied of having to delete all those spam comments though? I’m guessing your blog gets absolutely loads of them.

    1. Actually Dean, I don’t get tired of it. It takes me less time to look through all my spam comments than it probably takes you in having to moderate comments on your blog. But what happens on the other side is that your visitors that leave legitimate comments see them immediately, and know that there’s the possibility that some kind of action could take place on them at that moment.

      That plus there are plugins that could take care of that worry. For instance, though I don’t use it on this blog, you can always use the GASP Antispam plugin.

  9. Hi Mitch,

    Very good post!

    I thought about going with disgus, but had some issues trying to get things to work properly on my blog. I’m glad it worked out that way.

    Disqus and other commenting systems work for some, but most blogs, I visit use WordPress commenting system. Everyone should have an email address, which makes it super easy to comment. No hoops to jump through!

    I agree with you on moderating comments. I use to do that on new commenters, but I changed that and now comments automatically get posted. The only comments that get sent to moderation are those that are suspicious of being Spam and most of the time it is a spammer.

    Commenting should be easy, but some want to make it hard. I do post comments on blogs that have Disgus, but I don’t like doing it.

    Anywhoo…good rant!

    Take care,


    1. Thanks Evelyn. I’m glad you didn’t go the Disqus way; to me, it seems like that’s the trendy way of doing things, but not the best way to keep getting comments from people. You’re right, commenting should always be easy to do.

  10. Mitch,

    I very agree with your points, same situation here.

    I am very seldom commenting in blogspot blogs, blogs which have disquss installed, though i know there are some great quality blog, but disquess makes commenting more complicated.


    1. Glad you agree, Kimi. There are so many other ways to go for folks, though I understand learning the process of blogging by using one of those other things. Well, except for Disqus. lol

  11. Commenting on other’s posts and blogs is half the fun of blogging for me! I also go to people’s actual sites to read posts. I don’t subscribe to e-mail posts, nor do I read them in readers of any kind. Maybe that’s “old school”, but I’ve found since a lot of my regular followers have gone to those methods, the number of comments and interactions on my blog have dropped significantly-sometimes to nothing. I went from 20-25 comments a post to like 3. I don’t like it! hahaha!

    I’ve noticed some people make it so difficult to post a comment on their blog that sometimes I can’t even figure it out or I have to sign up for something I don’t even use. That is really annoying. I feel bad that after my spam swamping I even put a “check this box to prove you are a real person” on my site, but I was getting hit so badly that I had to do something.

    I do think, though, depending on the type of blogging you do and your aspirations with the blog, Blogger and WordPress.com are fine in some instances. I really have no desire to make money blogging. I just like to write little stories and interact with the blogosphere. I started on Blogger almost five years ago and probably should have just stayed there. I lost a lot of readers it seems by merely switching my domain and not being able to get some people to update their links. WordPress also seriously annoys me with the spam. I rarely had any over at Blogger and I had no filters on comments at all.

    1. Jessica, I have enough spam to get on my nerves, but never enough spam to get me to put in any filters for those people who aren’t spamming me. Akismet catches almost all of it, and to be truthful, sometimes I actually enjoy looking through the spam filter to see the types of stuff coming through, as it’s always changing.

      As for losing folks when you switched, that’s a twofold thing. One, Blogspot has that link that allows everyone who has a blog there to be somewhat of a community within itself. Two, I’m assuming when you created your new blog you wrote one last post on your old one telling people you were moving, right? At that point if folks didn’t keep up, maybe they weren’t really reading the content at that point. I know people who go to new autoresponder accounts that require double opt-ins that lose subscribers as well, but the people who were really reading them came back. It can be an adjustment to get used to.

  12. Hi Mitch

    I just came across your site through a comment you’d left on Pat Flynn’s site. Regarding Disqus, I had tried it out on one site but got rid of it when I experienced trouble with the comment import feature so perhaps that was fortuitous. I guess I’ll stick with the default WP contact form and Comment Luv (which I just started using) for now.


    1. I think that’s the best way to go, Carl, and in time I think you’ll see more people commenting on your blog without Disqus. Welcome to the community!

  13. Okay…I took Moderation off. Geesh, what a grump and so close to Christmas, too. 😉

    I’m with you on Blogger/Blogspot. Never leave a comment on those blogs.

    One of the things I like about WordPress.com is I can see My Comments to other WordPress.com blogs. I also try to return to blogs I comment on to see if the blogger responded. If they don’t repeatedly, I tend to stop commenting or even visiting the blog. I mean whats the sense of letting people comment if you don’t converse with them?

    Good post, btw!

    1. Thanks Scott. I’m the same, I give people a chance to respond to a few of my comments before I just remove them from my stream and don’t go back. And I’m glad you got rid of the moderation; man, gotta beat some folks over the head with it. lol

  14. When I first started using WordPress.com, the spam filter was not working very well so I went with moderation after a few spam comments got posted. The filter is much better now and catches 99% of the junk. Never thought moderation was a deterrent to comments but it’s gone now from my blog.

    1. Good deal. Now if we can figure out how to get WP.com to send out notifications of new comments without people having to subscribe to them, they’d be great. lol

  15. Ouch!

    #1. I’m sorry if I’m one of the people getting on your nerve. (Is that just the one nerve, then?) But I’m not about to stop moderating comments. However, I don’t do it because I care about spam – at all, not one iota, not a bit. I don’t actually give a flying sh*t about spam. (Which is just as well or things would get very messy… and omigod I just typed the alternative oinky-meatbot word. Yikes!)

    There are other reasons for moderating comments than being concerned about s.p.a.m. and, as a personal blogger, these have to do with personal security and privacy issues. I can spell them out to you in an email if you like but I’m not about to go into them here, in public. Suffice to say, they have to do with family and old friends from my ‘real life’ (like this isn’t real…) writing in a comment or comments very personal stuff that I’d rather not have suddenly appear for internet posterity (because, as you know, once something appears, it lodges itself in Google’s cache).

    As for ‘caring more for spam’ (or whatever reason people moderate comments) ‘than about thanking people for wanting to comment on your blog’, the people who enjoy my blog and return again and again know very well that I appreciate them and I hope my appreciation of them is enough of a thank you.

    As for your getting bombarded with comments in email from moderated blogs, I can’t say that I understand how that works at all but I’ll just say that the only times it’s happened to me has been when I’ve subscribed to very popular blogs and it’s made me very rapidly unsubscribe. One day, I think I’m gonna have to do a post on how to subscribe via RSS in the – in my opinion, very efficient – way I do to see comments without having to use email subs. I actually can’t stand email subs, they piss me off. (Yes, okay, Mrs Icy. I said it!)

    By the way, there is another angle to moderated comments that you might not have thought of, as it’s one that a lot of people don’t think of, and that is – some people feel safer posting in a blog that has moderated comments because, if they ask the blog author not to moderate it (in other words keep it screened or not publish it) they can use it for short personal messages instead.

    There are so many different ways to look at things, Mitch.

    #2. Well, I do respond to all (or nearly all) comments. And I agree with you completely on this.

    #3. I hate disqus, and I also hate Intense Debate. Both are fiddly, intrusive, and a pain to use. One of them (I can’t remember which, or is it both?) keep the comments one posts and, without the original posts for reference, they are look out of context.

    #4. I don’t entirely understand this one, Mitch, though somewhere in your blog I know I discussed it with you in another post you did. But as you know, I use Googe Reader to keep track of who sees what rather than WordPress.com.

    As for ‘the way to go if you’re serious about blogging’… Hmmm. The day I want to sell stuff in a blog, I shall move to wp.org or typepad and I will agree with you, but at the moment, I’m fine where I am. Hopefully I won’t lose you as a reader… really, I’m pretty sure (well, moderately attractively sure) that you’ll still read Absurd Old Bird.

    #5. Been there, done that, hate the Tshirt. I can’t stand blogger/blogspot, but there are some bloggers that use it whose blogs are great. I just do the same as for everyone else and put an RSS feed from their comments page into my feed reader in a separate folder. As soon as I see my comment’s been responded to, I delete that subscription. But there are lot of blogger/blogspot blogs that I just can’t face commenting on, most of them though fall into your point number 2 – the blogger doesn’t respond to comments, so I don’t bother posting any. I save myself a lot of time by looking at a lot of comments to various posts. If people don’t usually get replies, I’m outta there!

    1. Now there’s a comment! lol

      Val, yours is one of the blogs I’ll continue visiting, but I still hate being moderated, no matter what someone’s reason is. Does the personal comment thing happen all that often for you? I think overall Scott is the only long term friend of mine who comments here on a regular basis, probably because he’s the only one who reads it. lol

      As for #4, you have an interesting system where you subscribe to comments in a reader; I doubt that’s a very common thing for most people to do, but it gets the job done. To me, it’s a double request for subscribing, because most blogs already have that little checkbox (like I do) where it asks if you want to subscribe to comments. What happens to us non-wordpress.com folks is we get an email whenever we check that box verifying that we actually checked that box. I’ve stopped checking that and just going back to those few blogs I will comment on from time to time and looking to see if I got a response. Because that’s time consuming, though, I don’t add many of those that I follow to begin with.

      1. Mmm… yes, I’ve had it happen a few times in this blog and in another blog I had on another host. A few times too often, really. And when I had a Facebook a family member of mine spilled the beans on something I’d rather she hadn’t (I do hope that’s not cached somewhere)and I stopped having family in my FB!!

      2. Ah, regarding FB, it’s only been within the last 5 months or so that family has found me, and it’s weird because I had wondered if I would ever be talking to most of them again since the overall family has, well, fragmented some with the newer generation. I’m also now meeting family I didn’t even know I had, which is neat and weird at the same time. The only thing I’ve worried about is my name, since I don’t tell people my real first name, but hey, at this stage of my life, if someone discovers it I’ll just deal with it. 😉

    1. Actually Carolee, I’ve never received any comments from your blog, but I stop back to check on them from time to time.

  16. Great post Mitch!
    I’m in the process of creating my first blog (hopefully will be able to launch it next January). I was planning to moderate the posts to avoid having too much spam, but you do have a point there, maybe I’ll just add a CAPTCHA code, or a simple “confirm you’re not a spammer” checkbox
    Thanks for the tips once again 🙂

    1. Hi Amr. Go with the GASP Antispam plugin instead of the captcha, as that sucker is always hard to decipher. And yes, create that blog, share your information and personality, and have fun!

  17. What a rant, Mitch! HA! All that snow getting on your nerves too? HA! I know what you mean about the comments. I have both tried to make commenting on my blog easier as well as limited my comments on other blogs to those that make it easy. 🙂

    1. Susan, the snow has been kind to use in the last week or so, and that pleases me to no end.

      As far as the other, I tend to follow tons of blogs, and I leave comments on a lot of them, so for the most part I’m going to participate in blogs that make it easy for me. Someone else said I might be missing something, but if I don’t visit those blogs then I don’t know what I’m missing, and I’ll find the content elsewhere. But I’d hate risking losing comments by not making it easy.

  18. Mitch,

    Because of this blog post I went back and made attempts to respond to recent comments made on my blog posts–even YOURS. As a result of your blog and a few very nice people who comment here, I am starting to venture out and read others–not so much so that they will come and read my blog but just to let them know I was directed there and liked what I saw.

    1. That’s great stuff, Bev, and I think you’ll see a great change in how many people will eventually come to your blog and comment as well. I’ve seen you beating me to a few blogs I visit regularly; way to go!

  19. Yep; what you said. Good rant. Mitch.

    No…too much like spam. OK, Disqus; add me to the list of those who don’t like it. I too avoid blogs that use it because I don’t use it and have no interest in setting up an account and remembering paswords or IDs. I have enough to remember.

    1. Thanks Allan. You’ve added the GASP plugin, and that should take care of big loads of spam on your blog I figure. And I’m with you, having to create multiple passwords and the like would drive me crazy.

  20. I couldn’t agree more with you. As you know I am using the CommentLuv+DoFollow combo, I feel it’s the best way to encourage people to leave comments on your blog, and to reward them for doing so.
    Comments moderation gets on my nerves as well, and I make it my personal crusade to convince blog owners moderating their comments to think twice about it. It really drives people off.

    1. Great stuff Gabriele. Actually, I never didn’t really add CommentLuv to increase comments. I actually added it so that I could see posts from commenters that I might like to check out. lol

  21. Hi Mitch,

    So glad you paid me a visit, now I found your blog. Love what you’re doing here.

    I just did a blog post on commenting tips and not replying to your commenters is a huge mistake that any blogger can make.

    I ditched disqus ages ago. Now, I need to take moderation off… hmmm

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

    1. Glad to see you here, Mavis. I’ll admit that moderation isn’t something that irks me as much as the other stuff, but we all like getting some attention for our work, no matter which side we’re on, right? 😉

  22. Hi Mitch,
    This is my first time on your blog and I’ve really benefitted from this post.
    I promised myself when I started my blog that I would respond to every commment. I think its very important and its surprising that some people do not take the time to acknowledge comments.
    I’m quite new in the blogging world and I set my blog to moderate comments, I’ll have to reconsider that.
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Ruth; welcome to the community and the world of blogging! Yes, it’s especially important when you’re a new blogger to respond to every comment you get because you want to build up interest in your blog by showing people you consider them valuable. And of course visiting other blogs encourages people to stop back by your blog. I’m glad you stopped by; I’ll have to now take a look at your blog to see what you’re about. 🙂

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