Do you need blog comments?

21

You spend ages developing your recipe, testing it, waiting for the light to be right for the photos, styling the food, editing and resizing the images, writing your blog post, then you hit publish and wait… and wait… and… nothing?! Sound familiar? You’ve gone to all that effort and, whilst you enjoyed doing it and love sharing recipes, nobody has left you a comment!

I’ve seen a few bloggers tweeting recently about how disappointed they are that nobody has left them any comments and I wonder if it is something that the UK food blogging community is experiencing as a whole. Personally, I’ve definitely noticed a reduction in blog comments over the past year, but I do receive feedback elsewhere – usually on twitter and Facebook.

As we all lead such busy lives and with the increase in the number of blogs out there, perhaps people are looking for easier and more immediate ways of commenting. I know some people have expressed concerns over whether to have comment moderation on their blogs and whether verification systems such as Captcha are off-putting. We all want to avoid excess spam comments on our blogs, but don’t want to discourage genuine commenters.

I have to admit, that I do still get excited every time someone leaves me a comment. I love blogging about food and would carry on regardless, but I also appreciate feedback and encouraging dialogue on my blog. I try to reply to people who are kind enough to stop by, but I know some bloggers don’t see the point in this. Do you reply to your blog comments?

Making the time to leave comments on other food blogs is a good way of encouraging others to come back and visit your blog. However, always be sure to leave a comment that adds something and not just comment for the sake of it. It can be a great way of getting to know other bloggers and strike up friendships too.

Is it important to you to receive feedback via your blog comments or are you happy to receive feedback via other channels? Does it matter if you don’t receive anything at all? Do you still leave comments for other bloggers? So many questions in this blog post but it would be really interesting to hear your views.

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

Discussion21 Comments

  1. I haven’t noticed a particular drop in comment numbers, although I don’t tend to keep track of them as I would do stats.

    I don’t tend to comment on every blog post I read, only if it is something of interest or I have something to say.

    As a food blogger I find nothing quite as annoying as someone simply commenting saying “Yum” or “Looks good”, I would rather people only commented if they have something to say. I reply to comments and like to start a dialogue with the commenter.

    I think we need to get away from the culture of leaving comments to get comments back and perhaps not receiving comments will act as a guidepost for making your blog more engaging?

    • foodies100

      I agree, leaving comments just to get comments back isn’t a good idea, but actively taking part in the community is a great idea. I am always mindful that you can’t expect to get comments on your blog if you don’t bother to leave any for others. Thanks for your views.

  2. I’m always amazed (and flattered!) when anyone comments on my blogposts! I always try to reply when people do comment, with a more interesting response than just “thanks” wherever possible!

    I confess that I don’t normally comment on other people’s blogposts either, as the very popular blogs usually generate huge numbers of responses. I’m more likely to tweet a blogger back (or leave a comment on their Facebook page) in response to their posts. I also retweet posts that I find inspiring, and use Pinterest to save the recipes onto my folders and share them with my Facebook / twitter followers.

    Obviously if anyone would like to comment on any of my blogposts, I’d love to hear your feedback…!

    • foodies100

      Thanks Katy, it’s interesting to hear that you use other ways of giving feedback and sharing other bloggers’ posts.

  3. I love comments, I really do. I like the conversational side of it, and I always reply when someone has taken the time to say something. I find the number of comments ebbs and flows (though responses on twitter seem to remain the same). I think the huge number of blogs out there means that comments are spread much more thinly now, there’s only so much time any of us has for blogging and all that it entails.

    • foodies100

      I think you’re right, there are so many great blogs out there and so little time that comments are bound to be spread more thinly.

  4. I love comments. I love the fact that people have enjoyed my writing and share the same opinion or have a new opinion to offer. I comment on other blogs because I feel that it works both ways – you can’t expect to receive lots of comments if you yourself don’t comment on any other blogs.

    However, I don’t get many myself,mainly because I get quite a bit of feedback on Facebook and occasionally on Twitter. Finding it hard to increase the readership of my blog, but comments do help with this 🙂

    • foodies100

      Thanks Frances. It’s interesting to see that many bloggers view their comments as an extended conversation and I agree that you can’t expect to get lots of comments if you aren’t visiting other blogs and leaving feedback.

    • I agree with Frances, I love getting comments and knowing that someone likes my blog enough to comment on it.

      I try to reply to all the comments that I receive and love engaging in conversation with other bloggers, picking up tips and also making new friends!

  5. Like Nelly I only tend to comment on a post if I have found it of particular interest.

    I do find that I’ve had the odd blogger put a comment on a post asking me to visit their blog follow it and to add comments. I’m happy to follow a blog if I think there maybe something of interest, but I have enough trouble keeping on top of the blogs I find of genuine interest.

    I will always visit the blog of someone who has gone to the trouble of leaving me a comment, as I love reading all the comments I get, but I won’t feel obliged to follow them for the sake of it.

    I am also more likely to reply on Twitter if I happen to be reading a blog post from a tweet , whilst I’m out and about on my iphone.

    • foodies100

      I definitely don’t think there is any point leaving a comment just for the sake of it. It’s interesting to see that you are more likely to respond to a tweet with a tweet when you are out and about – much more convenient than trying to leave a blog comment.

  6. I disagree, I appreciate all comments, even those letting me know they think the recipe “looks delicious” or similar. Why? Because it lets me know they enjoyed the post enough to want to let me know, even if they didn’t have anything specific they wanted to say.

    I leave comments in that same spirit, when I am reading blogs, not as a cheap attempt to get comments back, and am now very sad that so many bloggers assume the wrong motives (puts me in mind of my favourite quote, that I’ve used as a personal signature for many, many years, will share it below).

    I shall try and make a mental list of those above who feel this way, and not bother leaving comments on their blogs going forward. Bad enough they don’t appreciate them, even worse to learn they are considered annoying or seen as ways to get comments back.

    Of course, it’s true to say that being a better commenter will increase one’s own comments – I don’t think it’s as direct a thing as “I left you one so you should leave me one” though. For me, what often happens is that I notice a comment from a blog I don’t know, pop over to have a visit, and if I like the blog, I add it to my RSS reader. At some point, possibly then but most commonly later, I may well end up leaving a comment on a post I enjoy. So it’s not as a direct “payback” to the comment I received, but indirectly resulted from it.

    I also prefer comments on my blog than via tweet, though I’m grateful for those too. The reason is that I get genuine pleasure from going back to a post and being able to read the variety of feedback left at the time, something I can’t do with comments scattered on twitter or FB.

    It’s coming up to three years that I’ve been blogging, and I am still genuinely grateful and thrilled to receive comments, even those brief ones that say no more than the reader enjoyed the post or thinks the food looks delicious.

    Some of the comments to this post have genuinely made me sad.

    The quote:

    We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. ~ Anais Nin

    • foodies100

      Very interesting points Kavey and I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. I also like short comments that say they like the look of the recipe – I’m always pleased that someone takes the time to comment at all. I also think time could have something to do with the fact that people leave shorter comments and that all they want to do is show appreciation, not enter into a discussion. I also love discovering new blogs through comments on my posts. I hope there aren’t many bloggers out there just leaving comments simply to get ones back – and I’m sure that commenters here are all for encouraging interaction with each other. That is a very valid point that blog comments stay there for you to look back over but twitter and FB comments are fleeting. Thanks again for sharing your views.

  7. Oh, sadly there are — I went to (an AWFUL) blogger event not long ago, with an SEO talk that was horrendously poor advice. One of this awful speaker’s advice, unsurprisingly, given how much else he said that was plain wrong, was to leave as many comments as possible, anywhere you could find, especially on popular blogs, just to get comments back. It pains me to think new bloggers might follow his advice.

    But, you’ve understood exactly my point, a short comment, with little substance to it, can STILL do an important job – showing appreciation, enjoyment of a post. For that reason, it still means a lot to me.

    As a reader, I don’t always have something specific I want to say, but if I’ve really enjoyed a post, I want to leave that message.

  8. As a fairly new blogger, I can only echo the points Kavey makes. I began my blog as something for me, but the fact that I have begun to have others read and actually take the time and trouble to comment on things I have done is really appreciated. I always try and respond as well, as I think that’s only courtesy after someone has taken the trouble to post a comment.

    I’m not that technically competent, so trying to find my way around Facebook, Twitter etc, has been something of a stumbling block, and so the most direct way for me to gauge whether people actually like what I’m doing is via comments. It’s been really heartening to read some of them (that said. I have had some lovely comments via Twitter, too, as I have begun to get to know that platform).

    With that in mind, if I’ve enjoyed something on a blog, I will always take the time to leave a comment. I try to make it relevant to the post, but you can’t actually taste the food can you? So sometimes it may well just be that it looks lovely. I’m saddened that that may not be welcomed by some bloggers, or even perceived wrongly, so I will bear that in mind in future.

    I know that there are people who have found my blog via comments I have left on others. That’s not something I have deliberately set out to achieve (and I certainly don’t leave a comment in the expectation of a quid pro quo), but I do think it seems to be a byproduct of how the blogging world goes around. It’s certainly how I have found some fantastic blogs that perhaps aren’t as well known as they should be.

    Both giving and receiving comments has also generated one of the other things I have really enjoyed – some interaction with others who share the same interests and enthusiasm. That to me is the main purpose.

    • foodies100

      Thanks for your comment Susie. I think you have hit the nail on the head when it comes to leaving comments. I love the interaction that comes from giving and receiving comments.

  9. I like to leave comments on recipes that sound/look nice, too and really appreciate them being left too. Recipe posts are my least commented, but often most viewed posts. What I’d like most is a comment if someone has actually tried out the recipe – with suggestions for improving it or questions about ingredients, or similar. I’m actually much more likely to leave a ‘Sounds delicious’ comment on a recipe post than at ‘Great post’ comment on a family post.

    I certainly wouldn’t see ‘Sounds delicious’ as a gratuitous grab for reciprocal comments.

  10. I am very very new to the world of food blogging, to blogging at all actually and I am staggered when anyone comments. I love that they do and the more I explore this world the more I will be commenting on others.

    My reason for starting the blog was simply as a means of sharing my thoughts on food and widening the conversation about the food that I eat.

    For me, my blog posts, or those of anyone else, are the start of a conversation, good comments or feedback continue the conversation and thus the story.

    I do not wish to get bogged down in stats or number of comments – it isn’t why I started writing the blog – but hopefully any comments I receive will help to mould both the blog itself as well as the way I cook, the inspiration for what i cook or the ingredients I use.

    Ta

    The Hungry Manc

  11. Like pete, I am also pretty new to food blogging. I alway appreciate it when someone has left a comment, it shows that there are people out there who appreciates the effort and what I do.

    Quite a few of the recipes on the blog are pretty close to my heart as it is something that I’ve learnt from my nan when I was young, watching her cooking all these wonderful dishes such as Singapore chicken rice, satay, chilli crab, beef rending etc and trying to recreate them from memories and to get acknowledgement from reader are always great.

    However, don’t think I will let the lack of comment stop me from blogging because as I got into it more, I really enjoy it. It’s a great food journal for me and I love sharing my thoughts and my food with someone…

  12. I have started to use Rafflecopter for give-aways and I wondered if the number of comments via Rafflecopter is counted the same way when it comes to ranking.

  13. It is nice to leave feedback somewhere and comments have always been a good way to do this. For one thing if your comment is accepted you get a nice backlink to your website.

    The downside is that because of this fact comments can get blasted by spammers. If they at least made an effort to read the article or at least spell ‘intresttng artcle’ correctly then it would be less frustrating!

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