Iv seen a few photographer friends take different attitudes to blog comments recently. There are those who love them and those who don’t. Personally, I have mixed feelings about blog comments so here are my thoughts on why you should and shouldn’t have blog comments on your photography blog.
Why you should have comments on your photography blog
When blogs were first starting out, one of the earliest essential additional features was comments. There must have been a reason for this desire to let readers comment and be replied to on sites. Here are some quick fire reasons
Connect with new people
When blogs started, there wasn’t really social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter so comments on blogs were one of the few ways to connect with new people. Even now I have still recently connected with a few photographers thanks to my blog comments.
Blog comments help you learn from others
I am no expert and so having comments allow people with more experience to teach me if they are willing. (P.s. You can help others learn by commenting)
Blog comments keep the discussion in one place
What if a reader isn’t on Facebook where most of your social media discussion happens? What if they aren’t on Twitter where you discuss your posts? Blog comments allow anyone to chat no matter what their preference is.
Blog comments are simpler than suggesting going to a different site.
If you are trying to get someone to discuss on Twitter or facebook, your sending them to a different place to join in. Keep it simple.
Blog comments separate blog writing from articles
One of the key difference between blog articles and a traditional article is that blogs are never really finished. You can continue to comment and then edit a post as you like.
Why you shouldn’t have comments on your photography blog
However, over time blog comments have become less “essential” and many people now request the option to disable comments.
I think this is a huge reason for people. Comment spam is a pain in the neck and there is a lot of it around (thanks people who make bots)
Linked to spam are trolls. People who just want to cut you down. As a beginner or expert you’ll get your fair share of trolls of people who either look down on you out of pride or are jealous of your success.
Thanks to trolls and other factors, comments can make you filter yourself more to avoid what people may say back.
People are more used to social media
We’re used to social media now and when we see a link, we often comment of the shared link not the original article. This can mean the writer will never see what we say.
It takes effort to edit blog comments
This is linked with spam and trolls but even if your get all good comments, it can take more time to reply to them than to write something new or take pictures. This can hold you back from creating.
It sucks when you don’t get any comments
The reverse is that it can be demotivating when you get no comments. It can put you off writing.
Having comments is better for the reader, not having comments is better for the writer
I’m not sure I fully agree with myself there but in the most part I think that it helps the reader more to have comments than the blogger. The biggest reasons to not have comments all revolve around it being bad for the blogger not the reader. At the same time, if you are holding back, getting demotivated and filtering yourself, that’s bad for readers too.
What do you think?
I still have comments here but I am considering removing them. Ironically I used to not have comments on this site but I brought the, back thanks to someone managing to add I comment and I had no idea how they did!
I think a good rule of thumb is to not have comments on your images though, you don’t want a critque appearing below an image on your portfolio!