One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

BLOGGING THOUGHTS

Are Blog Comments a Measure of Success?

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A valid, insightful comment is the Holy Grail of blogging. There’s no doubt about it. Many bloggers validate their posts and overall blog success based on the number of comments they receive.

I do, even though I should know better.

Don’t get me wrong, comments are one way to measure a popular blog but they aren’t the ONLY way. In my opinion success must be measured based on the goals and mission of the individual blogger.

For example, if your goal is to simply make ad income than blog comments are completely irrelevant. You should be more interested in pageviews and search engine traffic. Compare that to a blogger with a brand building mission. If you are using your blog to build a reputation as an expert or personality in a specific niche you should really value visitor loyalty and subscriptions much higher.

The point is, although comments are great and wonderful, they are only one small slice of the blogging pie. Don’t get discouraged if your comment counts are low. Instead, reevaluate your blog goals and determine what really does define success for you as an individual blogger.

And the next time one of your posts don’t get as many comments as you anticipated keep this in mind…

90% of users are lurkers.

That’s right. 90%!

Chances are… if you are are reading this YOU are a lurker. Go ahead, fess up. ;)



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 25 comments so far.

    ragemichelle

    March 14, 2011

    I TRY to leave a comment when I leave a blog post, but sometimes I find myself going through so many that I don’t always.

    So, yes, I am at times, a lurker.

    Good post. I’m always disappointed when I don’t get many comments..or heaven forbid NO comments..

    Chris Pugh

    March 14, 2011

    I’m a lurker… :)

    Lisa

    March 14, 2011

    That 90% makes me pretty happy. Often times I gauge how popular a post is by the comments I get. I get confused by the staggering number of page views…yet 3 comments? Then I start to pick apart the post and what I said. But in reality you are right: most people that are reading just lurk. 75% of the blogs and websites I follow (any genre) in my Google Reader get read and never commented on.

    I think it’s also easy to compare ourselves to the bigger bloggers out there that seem to get 200 comments on a post about oatmeal. Really? 200 people could think of something constructive, interesting and thoughtful to say in comment? Shenanigans.

    roni

    March 14, 2011

    Great point! Who wants to sift through all the gibberish anyway! lol

    Cynthia (It All Changes)

    March 14, 2011

    Even on posts that I occasionally comment I’m usually a lurker.

    I’d much rather comment if I have something of interest to say. It also helps create dialog in the comments if they aren’t all non-sense.

    Mary (A Merry Life)

    March 14, 2011

    I used to base how I thought my blog was doing based on the number of comments posts got but not any more. You are right that the majority of readers are lurkers. I know because I read and love quite a few blogs that I will most likely never ever comment on (and I love to comment even!).

    Comments are very interesting. Some blogs are very popular and struggle to get 100 comments while in a different niche they are popular enough to get 100-200 comments on every post. Regarding that it’s mostly based on the niche and whether or not people in that niche value commenting as a form of interacting and getting their name out there. Some blogging niches value links from other bloggers way more than comments (rightly so!) and comments aren’t as important. It just varies so much between different types of blogs. Having lots of comments doesn’t necessarily make a blog successful and I think it’s better to look at a number of different criteria.

    Scott

    March 14, 2011

    Excellent point. We all need to stay conscious of our own goals. We define our own success. Not popular sentiment, not your brother’s sister-in-law’s uncles dog, not Ishmael, but you.

    Talk soon,

    Scott

    Ashley

    March 14, 2011

    Yep! You got me. I’m a lurker. HI!! :D

    KathyCalculates

    March 15, 2011

    I have to confess that I lurk on several blog sites…especially the slicker more professional ones. And then there are a dozen or so that I would never leave without a comment because I know from past experience that the blogger values comments so highly. It would be like driving by your Grandma’s house and not stopping in to say, “Hi!”.
    btw…I love it when you leave me a comment. It’s nice to know you are still dropping by once in a while with your busy life! lol

    Janelle

    March 15, 2011

    I read blogs on an iPhone through Google reader during two 20 minute bus commutes. If the blog is set up so it’s easy to leave a comment, I will. If there are several hurdles then, no, I won’t. I’ve it looked into this but as a blogger, can you tell whensomeone has starred a blog post?! I ask because for me (speaking as a reader) that’s my voting tool for a solid post that I will revisit (sometimes regularly). Roni, I’ve starred several of yours :).

    roni

    March 15, 2011

    Starring is not shared with the author of the blog. I’m pretty sure that is a feature of your reader and for your eyes only.

    Great point about phone readers! People do read through many devices that don’t make commenting easy.

    Thanks for the stars. ;)

    TheFeministBreeder

    March 15, 2011

    I almost lurked, but then I thought “meh, I’ll leave a comment.”

    I do read a lot and not comment because I tend to read on my phone. But man, OH MAN, if 90% are lurkers then that kinda scares the crap out of me. I’ve gotten to a point where it is very normal for me to have 100+ comments on a post, and yes, I can tell from my traffic that there are a LOT more visitors than commentors, but that number – 90% – eeep… that’s a little scary. I started blogging never assuming anybody would read what I wrote (and was completely fine with that, I wasn’t actually looking for an audience) so the fact that my blog has somehow spiraled into a place with this many readers freaks me out more than excites me. Luckily along the way I’ve gained some ad revenue from it, but if that dries up, honestly I think I’ll be happy to change my web address and find a new, less visible place to be. All that traffic has brought with it many, many scary trolls and I’d be happy to be done with them.

    roni

    March 15, 2011

    WOW I’m so excited you de-lurked! I lurk you ALL the time. lol

    I think your community is a bit more vocal because your topics are bit more polarizing. You share strong opinions which solicit strong responses which probably stimulates a higher participation rate as Mary said above.

    I have felt compelled to comment quite a few times on your blog and that rarely happens to me. You have great posts!

    Kerri O

    March 15, 2011

    Fessing up, I lurk a lot. Mostly because I feel like the worst commenter ever. I can read a fantastic post and have nothing to comment except, wow, fantastic post. (cheesy)
    I am trying to comment more though, even if they’re lame, because I know I wonder if anyone is reading at all when I get no comments. And lately my comments took a major dive.

    Tina

    March 15, 2011

    confession: primarily a lurker

    Patty

    March 15, 2011

    I love comments because they continue the conversation. it’s nice to see people leave feedback, but some of my favorite posts do not have a lot of comments but I still think its good writing just people may not agree with me. I’m ok with that too.

    Anne Marie

    March 16, 2011

    I’m a total lurker!! Although, I’ve definitely learned the one real way to have people come out of the woodwork is a giveaway :)

    Tami@nutmegnotebook

    March 16, 2011

    You read my mind Roni! I actually came to your blog today to ask about this very subject.

    I have only been blogging for 14 months. In the beginning I was all about the comments, savoring each and everyone of them and counting them -oh yes it was so exciting. (Truth be told it still is.)

    Then my son (computer major in college) and hubby started checking Google Analytics and we discovered that only about 10 % of my traffic were leaving comments. I found that to be discouraging and wondered why people would read a post and not comment. My son assured me that this statistic was quite normal and you just confirmed that!

    My goal for having a blog was to reach out to others who are trying to lose weight, maintain their weight loss and live a healthier lifestyle. I love connecting with people and the interaction when they do leave me comments. Knowing that someone is trying the recipes I post and enjoying them brings me so much pleasure. I sometimes wish I had a message board so more people would interact and the commenter’s could get to know one another.

    From the Google analytics I know that my visitor loyalty has grown greatly, page views is going up and my numbers have been growing steadily for the past three months.

    As you well know having a blog is a lot of work and even though I didn’t set out with the idea to make any money off a blog a little revenue to help off set the costs of self hosting and so on wouldn’t be a bad thing. I am getting ready to leave Lunar pages and make some blog changes.

    How will I know if or when the right time to monetize my blog is, what numbers should I be looking at and what should they be?

    Thank you for always providing insight. I totally get excited when I get a lot of meaningful comments and then immediately decide I’m boring when I don’t. I need to stop worrying so much about it all the time.

    I comment on blogs when I have something to say. Otherwise, I just feel like I’m commenting to comment.

    roni

    March 29, 2011

    Tami – I answered you in a post —> http://roninoone.com/2011/03/29/when-should-you-monetize/

    I just happened upon your blog and had to comment on this and say it made me feel better/happy.

    I sometimes get down on myself and start thinking my blog is awful when I have a few lower comment posts, really it can make me moody. I definitely need to chill out on that :)

    I’m totally with Jess on everything she wrote.

    Monica Reinagel

    March 31, 2011

    Like many bloggers, I link to my blog posts from my Facebook page and find that my Facebook followers will go to my blog to read the post, then return to FB to comment–which is fine with me, but definitely impacts blog comment #s!

    Kristin @ What She Said

    April 1, 2011

    This is such a refreshing perspective! I also tend to get caught up in the comments (or lack thereof) on my posts. But then I stop and remind myself of my goals – I use my blog as a way to market my writing and, in that way, it’s becoming successful since I’ve recently been published several times, including a post in syndication on BlogHer.

    Also, like Monica, my posts are automatically published onto Facebook via NetworkedBlogs and that tends to be where I get the majority of my comments (though the world will never know… ::sigh::).

    I also like Lisa’s perspective. :)

    Amanda

    June 2, 2011

    I have to admit that I’m a lurker 99% of the time. However, I have read many times over that the way to grow your own blog is by commenting on others’. I get discouraged when I don’t get any comments, but I’m new and reading your blog helps a million.

    Katherina @ Zephyr Runs

    June 26, 2011

    90% of the time I’m a lurker :P