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June 3, 2017

The Importance of having a Commenting System for your Website

importance commenting system

Every 60 seconds 510 comments are posted online. Yet, there’s a big dilemma. To use or not to use a commenting system for your website? Whether you are a small time blog or an established publisher, one of the things that truly matter is how people engage with you on your posts.

The debate about a blog should have comments enabled or not has garnered different opinions in the past. While there are people who are pro commenting systems, you will also find a set of publishers against it!

In 2014, Copyblogger announced that they will be removing comments from their website. Fast Forward to 2016 – CopyBlogger has enabled comments section in their website.

After a year-long experiment, Michael Hyatt brought commenting back to his website.

In 2015, Bloomberg’s website was relaunched with no commenting option.

USA Today, The Verge and Recode also closed comments on their website.

If you are a small time blog owner or an established publisher, it bottoms down to what is that you ultimately want?

More Visibility?

Higher Reach?

Engagement?

Let us look at the example of Michael Hyatt. While he decided to turn comments off in the year 2015, it would be interesting to note that his blog traffic didn’t grow that year. He inferred that by disabling comments, he was less accessible and therefore seemed unwilling to engage with his readers.

Running a blog without comments is like hosting a party without a venue - Michael Hyatt Click To Tweet

If we go back in history, there was a time when comments added value to publishers, bloggers and readers alike. Most of the responses or questions asked helped writers closely engage with their readers, understand their viewpoint and also foster a community.

Things have changed. The comment section on news websites is filled with hate speech, racial slurs, personal insults, and threats. By having the freedom of being anonymous, basic decorum is forgotten in social situations. In some case, it brings out the worst in us. While freedom of speech should not translate to hate, publishers are finding it difficult as days pass by in managing their comment section.

Comment sections are part and parcel of any online experience and turning them off is not a real solution to the problem.

What if moderating blog comments doesn’t have to take time, effort and attention to detail? What if there was a way to manage tons of spammy or low-quality comments at ease?

What if readers had a choice to post comments without having the hassle to sign in and publishers were notified on the toxicity of the comments, saving them tons of time otherwise taken in moderating them manually? Vuukle’s engagement and commenting platform helps publishers manage their content easily without having to manually moderate each comment.

The importance of having a good commenting system is far more than the issues and therefore commenting cannot be ignored.

1. It encourages a Dialogue

If a reader leaves a comment, it is because the article has elicited certain emotion that influenced the reader to do so. It also provides an opportunity for the writer to engage with the reader.

The one thing publishers own, and can say is truly theirs is their website. Social media ‘pages’ are merely pages that publishers believe they own but actually owned by sites like Facebook or Twitter. With the change in Facebook Algorithm last December, most publishers suffered from low reach and awareness, even with their own fans. It is therefore important to nurture communication and any form of dialogue on your own platform.

2. Grabs attention

If you walk into a mall and see a lot of people going in or coming out of a restaurant, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? The restaurant must be serving great food and you must check it out some day? The word here is social proof. Similarly, when an article or a post has a lot of comments, it grabs people’s attention and makes them want to be a part of that discussion. Commenting helps create that curiosity and increased engagement.

3. Provides valuable insights

Ever reached a point where you are stuck and unsure on what to write about? Going through the comments on your post will help you understand what is that your reader wants to know. Bring on the brainstorming, take cues from the comment section and create posts your readers want to read. When you create content they want, they would stay longer on your website. When they stay longer on your website and engage with your stories, you have an opportunity to monetise.

4. Increases Retention

Create compelling content and have your readers keep coming back to you. While this statement is true, it may not be possible for every single post of yours to have the compelling effect. Blog commenting, on the contrary, will help you not just have a dialogue, but also makes your reader come back to see what others have to say. And then Vuukle’s widget like ‘Talk of the Town’ will help your readers know what else is trending and make them click on other articles of yours. The more pages they visit, it is obvious that they are interested in your content and hence higher retention.

Still thinking about a commenting system? Vuukle can help.

Bavani Srinu

Bavani Srinu is the founder of two start-ups, Ichiqoo and Swapp. She is also a free-spirited writer, a marketing professional, a mother and an avid travel enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter @bavanisrinu