(Today’s post is a part of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge 2016. Day 3 is the letter C!)
Do you have internet friends? You know, someone you met online that has no connection to your “real-life” life. Maybe you’ve managed to meet once, or maybe you’ve never met at all. But you chat just about every day, Skype, and send jokes back and forth; you gossip about other people you both know on Facebook.
You probably know each other’s families as well as your own, and you’ve been through all sorts of ups and downs together.
If you’re a blogger, I can almost guarantee that’s true. And for a lot of us, it happened because of blog comments – and comments are the letter C in my A-to-Z Blogging Challenge.
There’s been a debate going on for a long time about whether or not bloggers should leave the comments enabled on their posts.
There’s lots of pros and cons going back and forth about it, too.
But I’m going to tell you that in my opinion:
Blogging was founded on the idea that there could be a conversation between the author and the reader. Old school journalism was more of a one way street – but blogging gave writers the ability to connect with their readers in a way that hadn’t been possible before.
Amazing things can happen in the comment section of a blog – ideas can be shared and debated, thoughts can be expanded, and relationships can be built. I sometimes learn as much from my comments as my readers do from me! I love when someone has a better idea or a fresh way of looking at a problem and tells me so in the comments.
There are a lot of big name bloggers that don’t do comments. Seth Godin (big name blogger and the dude that invented Squidoo) is famous for “breaking all the rules” of blogging – he generally writes very short posts, and he has no comment section. In part, he said that “it permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters.”
Here’s my thought on that: I don’t want to write for everyone. I have a niche and I want to write for those people. And the people who comment on my blog are generally the people I’m writing for. I want to know what they think, what they’re problems and questions are. If I’m not letting them comment on my blog, how will I know those things?
In fact, some major bloggers who decided that comments were more of a distraction than a benefit are changing their tunes. In this interview on Social Media Examiner, Brian Clark from CopyBlogger explains why they originally turned comments off back in 2014, and why they’ve turned them back on again. And what it seems to boil down to is – Community.
Most bloggers love building a community around their blog. I love building a community around my blog! I love connecting and getting immediate feedback that lets me know when I’m on the right track.
Because here’s the deal – my blog isn’t for me. I’m not writing to share my deepest thoughts with the world. I blog because I want to reach out and help people. How can I help you if I don’t give you the opportunity to connect with me?
So yeah. Comments. Leave ’em on. And leave me a comment below!