You can turn your blog comments off or on at will. So the question is, will you accept comments or not?
On a positive note, allowing comments sometimes gives you great feedback on your posts. If you have a highly read blog with lots of comments, it also provides social proof to newcomers that you and your blog are popular. But on the negative side…
1. Allowing comments opens the door to spam. Frankly, the majority of blog comments tend to be a waste of time for your blog readers. Some are outright advertisements, and others simply contribute nothing to the conversation. Of course, you can install spam prevention software. But some spam will still get through, meaning you now have to invest time locating and deleting those comments or pay someone else to do it for you.
2. The tumbleweed effect. This is when you allow comments, but then you don’t get any or you only get one from your Aunt Silvia. If you enable comments but get very few, it will appear as though no one is reading your blog. You and I both know that most people who read blogs don’t comment, but most blog readers don’t know that. They’ll assume your blog is unpopular and they’ll be less likely to stay themselves.
3. Watered down SEO. While a small percentage of comments will help you with your SEO, a larger percentage can actually hurt your chances to get your post on the first page of Google.
4. Loss of control. Unless you’re prescreening comments, anybody can post anything. This means your competitor can post lies about you and your products, and those comments could be on there for a day before you see them and delete them.
Then there’s slander. Someone posts libelous falsehoods about another person or company. Sure, there are laws to protect you. But until things get sorted out, do you really want to endure a lawsuit? Unlikely, but it can happen.
5. The reply catch-22. Someone leaves a great comment and you reply. Or someone asks a question and you post an answer. So far so good, right? But now EVERYONE expects a reply. This is a great way to encourage comments – and it’s also a great way to spend your entire day answering replies instead of creating new content.
Now then – for every reason to not enable comments on your blog, there is another reason to do so, most of which you probably already know.
Bottom line: If you already have comments enabled and you like the results, then don’t change. But if you’re just starting your blog, or if you’re tired of having to act like the blog police to weed out the riff-raff, you might do yourself a favor and disable comments.
It could result in the best night’s sleep you’ve had in weeks.