One of the hardest moments for me after I hit the publish button is The Wait….
Waiting…. to get some sort of feedback that someone out there, read what I chose to share.
When someone asks me who I write for, on my blog, I say that I write for myself, but that’s not entirely true. I also write to be read by others and that someone finds it worthwhile, to stop by my blog.
Blogging Gurus will tell you how you must not get too focused on your analytics; the traffic and statistics of it, lest you become side tracked with the Ego-metrics i.e. seeking validation by the number of views and hits your site gets. One of the reasons some bloggers stop blogging or even delete their sites altogether is that after the work they put into their blog; finding far less than expected responses.
This is also why you need to have a strong reason for WHY you blog.
Why I blog is an answer which comes out differently with the growth and evolution of my blog, how I answered it when I was beginning is different compared to the beginning of the year and that is different from how I would answer it today…
What’s never really changed is wanting eyes other than mine to read and hopefully comment and engage with my content. The comment section is one of my favourite parts about my blog from there I get to experience how others view what I have written. I have come to understand how the message I think I am passing along may be completely different from what the reader may choose to pick up and so through the comments, sometimes I see different perspectives and opinions and even learn a thing or two, about the world around me and me.
Which brings me to something that has always bothered me as a blogger that versus the traffic and views I get, only a very small fraction interacts, comments or even likes posts.
I have been trying to understand why this is so and have tried to come up with possible reasons:
-that people simply don’t like my content
This is an easy enough answer were it not that sometimes I run into people who tell me they look forward to every post on my blog and some whom if I go a long time without posting will even send an email just to check up on me.
Also I would hope that if people did not like my content they would take the time to let me know what is wrong with it so, I can fix it or if I should stop altogether if it’s that offensive.
-Nothing to comment about
Some posts have no comment necessary or possible or its deeply personal that unless you are familiar with the person it would be awkward to make a comment.
-Complicated sign up procedures
Some blogs have complicated sign up procedures which may require you to first log in before you can leave a comment. I have seen blogs like this and usually even I don’t comment if I find the procedure exhausting.
But I know WordPress blog have an easy one step comment procedure, if you are not signed into WordPress or gravatar you can simply enter your name and email address then click comment that’s not hard at all. On my blog to prevent spam, a first time visitor’s comments will be held in moderation until approved
-Some people prefer privacy
Some people just don’t like being visible on the internet they wont comment in a public space a few may send an email with a comment; some not even, you may never ever know they reading your blog like a well-kept secret.
Maybe they are just busy with other things to find time to comment.
I know that sometimes I can read a post but not have time to leave a comment I might even think that I will come back later and then the thought skips my mind life happens but usually I will click the like button like some sort of calling card that even though I did not comment you will know someone was here.
-Hidden or disabled comment or like button
I have noticed some sites that I wanted to comment that the comments will be disabled. Some people to avoid spam comments will automatically have their comments set to close off after a certain period. Other sites have hidden comment tabs you need to click somewhere for you to see the option to comment and see the other comments made on the article.
Sometimes an error during posting may result in comments being disabled. This happened in one of my last posts, a fellow blogger emailed me to notify me that they could not comment and that’s when I noticed that my comments had been disabled.
-Not appreciating the value of giving feedback
I am beginning to suspect that in the way people who have never had a blog may not fully appreciate the value of a blog, non-bloggers in particular may not see the value of giving feedback.
This is why most people who leave comments are usually bloggers and the few non-bloggers who comment are usually friends and people I know, whom I have bugged that could they make sure they make their presence known, so I know they are out there reading.
-Non response to previous comments
When I find a blogger who does not respond to their comments section I usually stop making the time and effort to give them my thoughts on their posts. I understand that sometimes one may not get time to go through their comments especially the really popular blogs. I always try to make sure that in exactly the way I have time set aside to create my own blog posts I take the time go through the comments even if it means responding to a comment weeks later I will eventually get to it.
-Popups and newsletter subscriptions
Sometimes I never get through to leaving a comment on the site if a large pop-up page appears that covers the screen asking me to subscribe to a newsletter or the site or an advert. I usually just end up closing both the pop up and the page.
-Access to internet
This reason may mostly be for those in the global south where the internet is very expensive. I know people who cannot read my blog when I share a link to a post because they do not have internet data or access to wifi due to its prohibitive pricing. So the only time they read my blog will be on limited time and data such as at a public wifi or save pages for offline viewing but they wont be able to comment.
As I mentioned the comments section is my favourite part of blogging which is how I get to know more about the blogging community around me, people I would have never met in the real world but here, we are symmetrically just a click away…..
The idea to write a post exploring the reasons people don’t comment started as a comment on of my blog posts, and now here it is as whole Guest Post. That’s the other reason I love the conversations in the comments you may end up having ideas for future posts to write about, I have several articles and posts which started off as a simple comment.
I am curious if you have experienced this and if you have reasons that cause this low engagement and if you have any interesting solutions that you use for your blog to get people to step down from the terraces and interact with you.
About The Guest Author:
Beaton is a digital storyteller and a builder of the African blogging communities helping shape a space where the world can meet African Bloggers and Africa meets the world; Afrobloggers.
Beaton is from Zimbabwe and writes about the beauty and chaos of the places that he calls home, celebrating the magic and mystery in his ancestry On www.BecomingTheMuse.net