Blog comments are a really sore subject for a lot of people right now. The fact is that, like it or not, the days when conversation used to mostly happen in a blog’s comment section are long gone, and with comments spread over a variety of social networks instead, it’s really easy to feel discouraged, and to miss the “good old days” when blogs felt more like a community, rather than a one-way broadcast.

This isn’t a purely personal observation, by the way: I actually don’t think I do too badly for comments (and thank you for all of the messages you’ve been leaving on my recent posts!), but I also know there are a lot of comments I miss, because they’re being left on networks I don’t necessarily check all that often. I’ve also seen quite a few Twitter conversations lately on the subject of declining comments, and I’ve felt a little bit guilty about it, because while I know perfectly well how important comments are to bloggers, I also know this is something I tend to neglect when I’m visiting other blogs.

So, in the least accusatory way possible, here are five reasons I (probably) didn’t comment on your blog post…

why don't comment on your blog

01.

You use Disqus, or another commenting system that forces me to log in first

This will be controversial, I know (And I should say here that this IS a purely personal observation, and I hope this post comes across the way I intend it to, which is an explanation for my own woeful lack of commenting skills, not a “you should/shouldn’t be doing this!” diktat! As always, there are no “rules” when it comes to blogging, and you should do whatever works for you, not what works for me…), but I absolutely loathe commenting systems which force me to log-in in order to leave a comment.

At least 90% of the time, I can’t remember my log-in details (and can’t be bothered reseting them), so if there isn’t an option to just leave my name and email address, I probably won’t bother. As far as Disqus goes, I also hate getting those ‘Disqus daily digest’ emails which keep updating you on recent comments on a blog you’ve commented on: I’m sure there’s a way to switch this off at my end, but I don’t know what it is, and again, I’m too lazy to dig around trying to figure out how to work someone’s commenting system in order to leave them a comment, so…  I just don’t.

(I know the flip-side of this is that some people hate having to type out their name and email address to leave a comment, the way most blog themes are set up. With most of the themes I’ve used, you should only have to do this once, and the next time you visit, the details should be automatically filled in, but I do get that there are pros and cons to both systems!)

02.

…or require me to comment via a social media handle

Similarly, I come across quite a lot of blogs which don’t use Disqus, but don’t allow totally open commenting either, instead forcing you to link your comment to a social media handle. I’m guessing people use this method to cut down on spam or trolling, but I just find it really off-putting, for reasons I don’t even understand myself. It’s not that I want to spam or troll people, obviously (I always link my comments to my blog), but I just prefer to comment with my name/email/URL, than with a social media account.

On the spam issue, if you’re using WordPress, there are numerous anti-spam plugins that work really well: I use Akismet, and hardly ever get a spam comment with it switched on. As far as trolls go, well, I know the theory is that people won’t want a rude/aggressive comment linked to their identity on social media, but I’ve actually found that, if anything, people can be a little ruder on sites like Facebook or Instagram than they are in the comments section. I suspect this is because it’s so quick/easy to comment on social media that people are more likely to just say the first thing that comes into their head – or just because people on social media tend not to read the full post, so are commenting without knowing the full story. I don’t know.

With that said, I find that truly rude comments are few and far between these days: I might just be lucky in that respect, but for now I’m happy to allow comments from everyone, anonymous or not. It’s also worth noting here that if you only allow comments linked to social handles, you’re excluding people who don’t use social media – yes, they do exist!

03.

I’m normally reading on my phone

My blog-reading habits have changed enormously over the past few years, and these days I almost exclusively read blogs on my phone (Although, if I come across a new blog I like, I’ll always open it up on desktop too, purely because I’m a bit obsessed with blog design, and like seeing the post with all of its bells and whistles, as opposed to just the mobile view, which is often a stripped-down version of the full blog. But I digress…). This is probably the main reason I don’t often comment, even on the blogs I read regularly: I find it really fiddly to type on my phone, and although I’m getting better at it, I’ll still only do it if it’s a post that really resonates with me.

If you have a captcha code enabled, meanwhile (Again, this is done to prevent spam, and again, there are much more user-friendly ways to achieve that!), forget it: I might give it a go if I’m on my desktop, but I normally won’t even try on my phone.

I know I’m not unusual in this respect, either: around 50% of the traffic to my own blog now comes from mobile devices, so if you’ve noticed a drop in your comments, be reassured that it’s probably not anything you’re doing “wrong” – it could just be that more people are reading on mobile, and, like me, don’t have the dexterity to type out lengthy comments on tiny screens!

Five reasons I didn't comment on your blog post04.

Not all posts require a comment

Awkward, but true. There are only so many ways you can say, “Love your outfit!” after all, and thanks to all of those stupid Instagram bots that I’m always complaining about, those kind of comments can end up sounding insincere, too – even when they’re not.

I get the lowest blog engagement on my outfit posts (Although, conversely, they get the highest engagement on Instagram), but I can’t really complain about that, because, the fact is, I don’t often comment on other people’s outfit posts either, even although I read and enjoy them. I just find I don’t have much to add to the conversation, and while I know the blogger would undoubtedly appreciate even a short “love this!” comment, just to let them know that people are actually reading and appreciating them, I’m just as guilty as anyone else of leaving those posts un-commented on: awwww!

TL:DR If you want more comments, try writing longer, chattier posts instead of short, image-heavy ones: they’re much more likely to generate discussion!

05.

I’m lazy.

Finally, we come to the crux of the matter: while all of the things I’ve listed above are, indeed, things that stop me commenting on blog posts, the REAL issue is that I’m just plain ol’ lazy. Or busy. Or some combination of the two, anyway. Isn’t everyone busy these days, though? I don’t know about you, but I feel like, no matter how hard I try, there are just NEVER enough hours in the day, so commenting on blogs gets pushed further and further down the priority list, until it finally disappears altogether.

I actually really annoy myself with this: commenting doesn’t take THAT long, after all, and I KNOW how much bloggers appreciate it… still, though, I frequently find myself reading a post on my phone, thinking, “Oooh, I must leave a comment on that later!” (Sometimes I’ll even email a link to myself, so I don’t forget, and can do it when I’m back at my desktop), but then I just never seem to get round to it. I know I’m not the only one who does this, either, so once again, take heart and know that if I (or anyone else) didn’t comment on your blog, it’s not you – it’s aaaaaalllll me.

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31 Comments
  1. It’s really easy to comment on your blog, so I do frequently, from my mobile. I doubt I’d comment if it required anything more than a comment box that I typed directly into 🙂

  2. I love receiving comments so much so I do my best to comment on pretty much all blog posts I read. One thing that I do find really annoying is having to do the captcha thing, especially when you have to start clicking on images! I use Askimet after someone recommended it and I’ve found it’s been so good at stopping spam. I must admit though, I really like using Disqus because I’m usually already logged in on there so I find it so quick and easy to use x

    Jenny | LuxeStyle

    1. YES – Captcha is the absolute worst!! 100% with you on this one. The interesting thing is, I’ve noticed it doesn’t always seem to spot the spambots anyway! I’m sure the strange comments which claim they ‘love your content, but have you seen this deal for car parts/fake handbags/Viagra….’ still manage to slip past onto feeds. I can’t quite believe these are really typed out by some poor sod in some sort of spam-factory, where they have to pause every 10mins to ‘click on all the road signs in this Captcha picture’.

      Although I do see your point about Disqus, I’m in agreement with Jenny as mine is normally logged on and it makes it easy to keep track of any conversations you do manage to have on a feed. I’ve sometimes found that people will reply to my comment with a really valuable recommendation months after I posted the initial comment – I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for Disqus.

      Sorry, essay!
      KatieJane
      soupandchampagne.blogspot.co.uk

  3. I rarely comment because I am an introvert. I am afraid that a comment might be misinterpreted. Never in my life have I deliberately hurt another person’s feelings. I’d rather remain silent, than take that chance.

  4. I feel like I am boring the blogger if I comment too much, so I am fighting hard to keep quiet, and not too long I can’t help myself. I am also aware that my level of English is ok but not great , it does take years to learn your language! I am lazy too, and if I don’t comment immediately, I will never remember to write anything.
    My problem with a blog like yours, which I really love, is that I feel like you are my friend. Clearly, we are not, because you don’t have the faintest idea who I am and your blog is only an edited version of your life (who can blame you for keeping your privacy!) . I am being careful not to be too familiar, or I would sound like a stalker or a strange person. I do like your blog, and what you write about, otherwise I would not read it. Anyway, I stop writing now..

    1. Awww, you should never worry about boring me, or about making mistakes in a second language: I’m just impressed by people who can speak more than one language at all!

      You make a really interesting point about over-familiarity, though: over the years I’ve made a lot of good friends (who I’ve never met) through blogging, but I’ve also had a few people who’ve made me feel a bit uncomfortable by commenting about me/my family as if they actually know me, when they really don’t. I’ve also had a few people ask to meet up with me, which I find incredibly awkward, because I’m very, very shy even at the best of times, and although they think they “know” me from reading my blog, I often don’t know anything about them AT ALL until they email me asking me to travel somewhere and meet them. (Oddly enough, it’s rarely regular commenters who do this – its most often people who’ve never interacted with me at all until that point, although they have obviously been reading…) I don’t ever want to hurt people, and it’s obviously really flattering that they feel they want to meet me in person, but it’s also something I find very awkward!

      1. I completely second what Lalie said, she made almost all of my points for me, especially being afraid to sound like a stalker because I comment all the time. Also, I almost didn’t post this comment because I often think “oh, who will care what I write here?” even though I have read over and over how much bloggers love comments…

  5. I laughed out loud when you said that there actually are people who aren’t on social media! I’m one of those people! I do realize I’m in the minority. But I can’t comment on a blog post if I have to use a social media handle. (I didn’t even know it was called that.) I read every blog post you put up even though I’m not now, and never will be, pregnant. I read because over the years, I feel like I’ve gotten to know YOU. I don’t drop friends when they become pregnant, why would I stop reading your blog? And BTW, I love the fashion posts the most, followed closely by the posts about your home.

    1. Thank you, Lori, it’s great to know that I’m not the only one.
      Apart from having a Livejournal, I am registered with NO social media sites whatsoever, and I don’t want to. And I hate it when blogs require me to sign up for an account just to let the writers know I like their writing.
      If they are that afraid of me, they are probably not people I want to talk to, anyway…

  6. Very well put, and it reminded me of the reasons I don’t comment often, either. Your blog saves my info, which I really appreciate. I don’t bother when one of the “Login with Discus!” screen comes up, and when I’m asked to Share on FB I always say no.

    (Those are really pretty PJ bottoms, btw.)

  7. I agree with the blog, the comments above, and especially Barbara’s comment about the PJ bottoms. I LOVE them. Are they available still somewhere?’

  8. Captcha is such a PITA! I hate it, it’s not just on blogs but every flippin’ where lately making you enter a random string of letter THEN click on all the pictures featuring a car / street sign etc. I comment here a couple of times a week and my details are there everytime so all I have to do is hit submit. Works for me, more comment sections should be set up like that! 🙂

  9. Amen to the first two reasons.

    There’s a blog I read regularly, which is written well and has interesting topics, but it doesn’t allow you to just comment on posts. No, you have to either go to their facebook page and give your opinion there, or you have to log in via a social media site. I know I’m a Neaderthal, but I actually do not have an account with facebook/twitter/pinterest/instagram/whatever, and I don’t want to. (Personal reasons, not going to discuss that here.) The only thing in this regard that I do have is a Livejournal. Said blog does offer that option, too, so I happily tried it – and it didn’t even work.
    On top of that the person who writes that blog openly admits that they are reading their e-mails infrequently if at all, so there’s no point in trying to contact them in that way.
    It makes me feel left out. The blog is highly readable and several posts have already made me wish I could contact the writer and tell them how much I enjoyed it, but it’s not something I’m willing to get a social media account for.
    Which is why I’m reading that blog less and less…

  10. One of the few blogs I follow that does have an active comment section uses disqus (which I’ve just realized is probably meant to sound like discuss rather than diskus???) So I’m always logged into that and am therefore not bothered by it. But any other types of log in systems are really outputting, especially if they’re exclusive to a single site! I also don’t like using Facebook — I am very big on maintaining online privacy, and I dont feel a fake account would accomplish that since Facebook is always all up in your business.

    My biggest problem, though, is that I’m just not a very chatty person. I can talk for ages about things that interest me but small talk eludes me, and I think that extends to blogs? There are a lot of times when I feel like I should comment more, but if the writer was someone I knew and we were face to face I probably wouldn’t say anything, so I’m not sure what to write.

    I also fear, like lalie, being overly familiar — psychologically it’s a bit of a weird area to have someone about whose life you know a fair bit (obviously not everything, but more than you’d know about a total stranger), although they know almost nothing about you, and it can be hard to know where the line is! Rather err on the side of caution, although I’m not always the best judge. And sometimes I worry about coming across as lecturing, especially since the things that most inspire me to comment are things I know about academically, and then I am tempted to show up to a casual chat with a 30 page thesis with full citations! 🙂 which is probably why most of the time when I do comment it’s a mini novel, oops.

  11. Nailed it! My reasons are all yours, plus: temporarily super busy and when I’m not, I’m exhausted. I try to play “catch up” as time allows.

  12. I think your blog is the one I comment the most on because I feel like there is always something to comment on. Even then I don’t always comment. I have also been reading more and more blogs on my phone and don’t really like commenting from it. I’m of a different mind when it comes to disqus. I usually like when comment sections use disqus because it is easy to see if someone replied to you. I don’t have the time to keep revisiting blog posts just to see if I have a reply.

  13. Ha – I’m less likely to comment if you DON’T use Disqus because I want to know if somebody replies to me but don’t want to have to go back and manually check. More often than not, the non-Disqus ones only give you the option of hearing about ALL “follow up comments”, not just the ones intended for YOU – I don’t want to be bombarded with all those emails!

    But I’m with you on having to log in using a Twitter handle. It’s often the only option for me with WordPress blogs because they recognise my email address from an old blog, won’t let me use it unless I use my WordPress password, won’t let me use my WordPress password because I deleted my account, and won’t discuss the issue because I’m no longer a WordPress user. Gaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!! But I hate that, when I leave a comment using my Twitter handle, it doesn’t take the person directly to my blog. I suppose it’s upping my social media stats, or something, but not so much I notice…

  14. “I absolutely loathe commenting systems which force me to log-in in order to leave a comment” and “people who don’t use social media”.
    Yes! This is me to a T.
    Add to that the fact that English is not my mother tongue and it takes a bit of effort to string a sentence together. It often ends up being somewhat nonsensical and adding little value to the conversation. That’s when I hit backspace and just enjoy your writing in silence.

  15. I am one of those Neanderthals who don’t have a social media account! I don’t even really know why, just too lazy to work it out, I guess. And I have never found the need for it. Having said that, if all my favourite bloggers started posting only on Facebook or something, I would be all over it promptly! But if I can’t comment on someone’s blog because I have to sign in with social media, I quickly lose interest in the blog. It starts feeling like a one-way conversation, even though I know bloggers aren’t talking to me specifically!

    The other reason I don’t often comment, is because I use Bloglovin to check updates to blogs. My favourite time to do this is when I can relax at the end of the day, and by then there are normally quite a few other comments, all saying roughly the same things that I would have said! So I don’t say anything, for fear of being repetitive and boring.

  16. I love your blog, been reading it for years. I have maybe commented twice because I think who cares what some old lady from Canada has to say.

  17. Thanks for this post and all it acknowledges.
    Yes, there are people who don’t do Social Media, and where I’m from that number is growing.
    Families are wanting to “Unplug From The Matrix”.

    Here are a few of my reasons, too:

    I don’t comment on something that doesn’t resonate with me. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone has something to sell.
    Talk is cheap, so unless you’re really contributing something more than just a “Me,too. Me, too” rant, you’ve just wasted 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

    The PC Police: Trolls are one thing, but followers who flip out over the slightest difference of opinion can be Trolls, too. And it doesn’t take much.
    I don’t want to get involved, so I don’t bother.

    Sorority: ugh. All the gushing super-positive comments sound shallow, and make the blogger look like they’re just fishing for compliments and attention.
    I’m looking for people who “Keep It Real”. If your commentors are acting like a High School Cheer Squad, I’ll go look for the Grown Ups.

    Filler: Scrolling through 3 pages of “Chit-Chat” to get to the recipe or Main Point.
    I have maybe 2 minutes before someone interrupts me. Skip the emotional foreplay and Get To The Point!

    Filler Pt2: I know when you’re BSing. I know when you have nothing to say, but you gotta come up with something or you’ll lose your readers.
    Truth is, I’d appreciate ONE authentic post a month over weekly BS, any day. There are some who do this. And their followers actually give a damn, instead of shallow onlookers.
    Its not a popularity contest.
    When your posts are just a “Me, too” topic, or blatantly copying a more popular blog, it SHOWS. BIG.

    Perfection: I don’t want fake. Show me your messy closet. Not your Pinterest Perfect crap. Yeah, jerks will critisize you. But they’ll also admire you for Keeping it Real.
    Pioneer Woman has a section at the back of her cookbooks, showing mountains of dirty dishes. Women everywhere can relate. Clever marketing strategy to be sure.

    Be Confident. Be Real. Do your best where you are at right now.
    You’ll attract the right people and they will tell you how much you mean to them. You won’t have to wonder.

    (That sounds like datin advice, but then blogging is like that sometimes.)

    Ps…your article above is a GREAT example of the perfect post, IMO.

    Regards,
    ~Rebekah

  18. Yes! I never quite know what to say on a blog comment and often find myself thinking something but not putting it into words. That said, I really enjoy reading your blog and have recently been finding it quite comforting and encouraging as I am starting to step into the blogging world, and it has given me a lot of food for thought. Thank you Amber x

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