Why I Removed Comments from my Blog

Never make negative comments or spread rumors about anyone. It depreciates their reputation and yours.” – Brian Koslow

I remember back when I first started my blog in January 2011.

I must have written dozens of blog posts without one single comment.

I started to worry because just about every blog I read had dozens of readers comments, except mine.

I even hit an all time low one day.

Yes.

I commented on one of my own blog posts under a fake name.

I believe I used the name, “Squiddy” as in Squidward Tentacles from Spongebob.

Yes, I used to watch Spongebob a lot.

I was desperate, what can I say.

Eventually I found a plugin called “Comment Luv” which allowed commenters the ability to attach a backlink to their latest blog posts.

Not only that, I was busy commenting on other blogs all day long.

It wasn’t long before I was getting between 20 and 70 comments per blog post.

I thought I made it, I was a real blogger.

Eventually though, the novelty of receiving comments wore off and I soon realized I created extra work for me to do.

Starting a blog was to free up my time, not take more of it away.

A year ago or so I decided to remove comments from my blog.

It was really a no brainer since 99% of the comments on my blog were from bloggers looking to get traffic and exposure to their blogs by leaving a comment.

I even considered removing the link to the website in the comment form before removing comments completely, just to see if any bloggers would still leave a comment, or were they really just interested in their agenda for getting a backlink to their blog.

On top of that I was really getting bored with the comments in general.

They would either be overly accepting of my post or they would be the “whiny” type and sometimes down right insulting.

I wrote a post a while back about how life is meaningless. Life has no inherent, built-in meaning. We ultimately give life meaning individually and collectively.

So I received a really well, thought out response from another blogger on this post.

His response went something like this, “If I go into your house and kill your family you are telling me that is meaningless?”

I was astounded.

Had this person actually read my post he would have realized that horrible acts committed against someone without their consent would be considered a horrible thing to just about everyone.

I never said we couldn’t give negative meaning to something or positive for that matter.

Assigning meaning to an event, circumstance or situation is a subjective thing in most cases.

My examples were riding a roller coaster or your favorite team winning the Super Bowl.

For some the idea of riding a roller coaster is fun and exciting and for others it is a horrifying experience.

The same with your team winning the Super Bowl. If your team wins it’s great, if your team loses it sucks, and if you live in Singapore you couldn’t care less.

By the way, I clicked the link to the guy who left the mentally challenged comment, he is a supposed “Christian blogger” who runs a personal development blog.

Believe me, I will not become a fan of his blog.

I’m all for open, honest discussion, however I am not here to help you with your self-esteem issues via my blog comments.

Crying Baby

What whiny commenters look like to me.

I would often shrug my shoulders in disgust as so called bloggers in the personal development niche would leave whiny, negative comments.

Don’t they realize that their comments are being observed by my readers and that their comments are showing the true nature of themselves.

On top of that many of the older comments left on my blog were from bloggers who had killed their site which created a “dead backlink.”

For a while I would scan my comments for dead links and manually delete the offending sites.

After a while I just thought it would be best to completely remove all the comments and turn off the commenting feature on my blog.

The results were astounding.

Besides one blogger, again in the personal development niche who is supposed to be showing others how to be more positive and productive got her knickers in a bunch about me turning off comments.

She actually took the time to write a post on her blog whining about the fact I turned off my comments.

Besides that reaction, the overall affect was positive for me.

I no longer have to deal with spam anymore and or responding to comments and other comment moderating tasks that took up my precious time.

I know for some niches like blogging, marketing and so on leaving comments on is a good idea.

But for this site, the comments I was getting was from people that were not avid fans of my site and they are not potential customer/clients either.

Had my site gotten more comments from regular folks without websites I would have left them on.

But for me, since I am a one man show working on this blog I knew that removing comments was one way for me to simplify my life.

As a result the last year was the most profitable year that I have had. You know why? Because I am not wasting my time and energy on dealing with comments.

I also knew that I had various social media sites that people could leave comments about my blog posts there.

So it’s not that I am totally avoiding comments. Plus you can always contact me via the contact page too.

Either way, I know I am not the only blogger who has decided to abandon comments in favor of focusing on things that are more productive and fruitful.

Google Steve Pavlina, Seth Godin, Leo Babauta, Matt Gemmell or Greg McFarlane’s Problogger guest post, about turning off comments on their blog.

I hope that answers the question about why I turned off comments on my blog for those folks who were wondering.

Turning Off Blog Comments Quotes

Judging from the response to my last post, some of my readers are itching to find a comment field on my posts from now on. I can’t do that for you, alas, and I thought I’d tell you why.

 I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attraction for some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though.

First, I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them.

And finally, and most important for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters.

I’m already itching to rewrite my traffic post below. So, given a choice between a blog with comments or no blog at all, I think I’d have to choose the latter.”Seth Godin

When you write an article about anything, trolls use the comments to attack. They feel frustrated – but haters are losers. It’s not good to feed this aspect. It’s more intelligent to be constructive.” – Paulo Coelho

The main factor in making this decision was the time and energy freed up by not having to deal with comments.

No blog comments means no administration of comments, handling comment spam, legal liability for what people post in comments, having to decide whether to respond to questions or ignore them, people posting false information, commenters flaming other commenters, marketing abuses, tech support for comments (Can you fix my typo? Can you delete my double post?).

These are minor problems if you only get a few comments a week, but with more than 10 a day — every day — it quickly adds up.” – Steve Pavlina

This has been the most difficult decision I’ve made since starting Zen Habits, as I truly loved comments here. I love hearing from readers, and it was my opinion that the comments often held better tips than the posts themselves. I learned (and still learn) a lot from my readers.

So why did I turn off comments? There was too much comment spam, resulting in huge headaches for me. Seriously, it took up a lot of my time — time I wanted to spend creating, or with my family.

And the tiny minority of legitimate comments were mostly bloggers trying to get noticed — not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I just don’t want to spend my life moderating spam for this reason alone.

Yes, I’ve tried several different software solutions for comment spam, and they don’t really solve the problem of humans leaving comment spam.

Even things like Askimet (and numerous other such filters) and CAPTCHA let a lot of spam through. Trust me, I’ve done a lot of research, and when spammers are motivated, they’ll find a way through for a site with this kind of traffic.Leo Babauta

Comments encourage unconsidered responses. You’ve just read an article, you feel strongly about it, and you have a text field just waiting there.

When disagreeing, people tend to be at their very worst when writing comments. They use language and tones which they’d never use in email, much less in person.

If your blog allows comments, you’re inviting people into your house – but sadly, some of them don’t conduct themselves appropriately.” – Matt Gemmell

For a lay reader, a non-blogger who just wants to visit my site for tips and information, the familiarity with which the other bloggers referred to each other and me in the comments was intimidating. By turning off everyone’s ability to comment, I no longer have to worry about new readers feeling that they’ve stumbled into a private club by mistake.

For the commenters with blogs of their own, it’s not about the content. It’s about the form. They’re really interested in getting another link, the comment serving to improve their Alexa scores however incrementally. That’s their problem, not mine.” – Greg McFarlane

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