If you’re starting a new blog, or managing an existing one, the question of whether or not to allow comments is important. Of course, there are definitely benefits to allowing interactions with your audience. But there are also risks involved. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of enabling comments on your blog together.
Remember that the decision of whether or not to allow comments is about more than just numbers. That’s because not all advantages or disadvantages can be weighed equally. You’ll need to evaluate how important each point is for you, and take action accordingly.
ADVANTAGES OF ENABLING COMMENTS
1. Added contact channel
While your website probably already has a ‘contact us’ page, your blog followers may not click through to it. But allowing comments in your blog allows your audience to reach out to you. And that’s an added channel for attracting leads.
2. Interactivity facilitates relationship building.
One of the most basic principles of marketing is the need to build a relationship and trust with your target market. Blog comments and your responses to them allow you to interact in a unique way, which helps to build positive relationships.
3. Feedback can improve your blog.
Comments on your blog give you a glimpse of what your audience has in mind. And you can bet that they’re thinking about the kinds of problems your business can solve for them. By listening to comments, you can get a feel for the kind of content your audience will want to read in future posts.
4. Audience input helps you improve your products and services.
Your readers’ input to your blog can help you see your own products and services from their perspective. This allows you to tailor your business’s output to better meet your customers’ needs – especially if you proactively engage with them. In fact, here’s a study that shows businesses which actively involve customers in quality discussion are twice as likely to have world-class quality in their products and services.
5. Audience comments can make you look smarter.
When a reader posts a comment or question on your blog, they’re demonstrating their trust in you to answer those questions, and to help resolve their problems. It helps to cement your image as a thought leader, which is a valuable commodity for building trust.
DISADVANTAGES OF ENABLING COMMENTS
1. A comments section without comments can backfire.
If your comments section is devoid of audience feedback, it can look like nobody else reads your blog or trusts you. That can tear down your public image and erode your readers’ confidence in you. Remember that the purpose of your blog is ultimately marketing. But just like any other marketing channel, if it’s not done well, it can backfire.
2. Negativity can scare your readers away.
All it takes is one really ugly comment from a dissatisfied, or even unreasonable customer to make you look bad. And your response to those sorts of comments, if not handled deftly, can be doubly damaging. There will always be trolls online. Just make sure you have a smart plan in place to deal with them without making yourself look bad.
3. Spam comments can detract from your perceived quality.
Disreputable businesses, scammers and trolls have now made spam comments a real threat to all sorts of interactive online platforms. If left unchecked, these sorts of comments can cause your readers to mistrust all the comments on your blog posts. And they can ultimately cause your readers to stop reading.
4. Managing comments is a time-consuming practice.
Posting a blog is a wonderful way to make contact and build trust with your target market. But comments have to be actively managed. When a customer posts a question under your blog, they’re expecting an answer. And the answer has to be truly engaging and helpful. These communications are more than just a one-on-one chat – they’re very much public. And keeping them on-point requires active effort on your part, which can take just as much time as publishing the blog in the first place.
In the end, the question of whether or not to allow comments on your blog is one that only you can answer. Hopefully the pros and cons listed above can help you make the right decision for your business. But whichever you choose, remember that your purpose is marketing, and to do what sells!
Virtual Done Well can advise you and provide assistance in managing your blog. Click here to find out how.