Commenting on Blogs: Feel Fear But Do It Anyway

Woman Afraid of Computer

I’ll be honest with you, we don’t get a ton of comments on our blog.  On a typical post we get a decent amount of traffic, some Facebook shares and an occasional Tweet.  Some people even tell us in person or via email that they like a specific post which we love hearing.  But we don’t usually get many comments on our actual blog posts.

This phenomenon is not unique to our blog.  It’s fairly typical that blogs get fewer comments than they’d like.  So here are some of my thoughts on what prevents folks (myself included) from commenting on blogs, and why we should all do it anyway.

Fear of First

It’s daunting when we’re faced with a blog post we like only to see no one has commented.  I tend to second-guess myself – “Did I skim too much and miss the flaws in this post?  Is this post actually junk?”  There’s definitely comfort in knowing what others think prior to adding our own thoughts in the comments.

Do It Anyway

If we like a post, it’s okay to go out on a limb and say so.  We do this all the time when we talk about movies or books we like.  There’s always a risk that others will disagree.  But that’s okay.  It actually makes for a much more interesting discussion in the comment section of a blog when there’s some disagreement.

Fear of Lacking Profoundness

There’s a good chance we’ve all been here.  We read a post that we think is brilliant and get to the end, ready to offer up our support.  But nothing profound is coming to us.  We start typing a comment, but it just doesn’t seem right.  After a minute or two, we just close the page.  We may email the post out to someone else, but we’ve given up on commenting.

Do It Anyway

A comment doesn’t have to be profound to be worthwhile.  It doesn’t need to be a long, well-crafted counterpoint to the post.  It can be simple and direct.  It can be as straightforward as “I totally agree with the point you made about X” or “It seems like point Y is misleading.”  We all have opinions.  Comments are a great place to share them.

Fear of Retribution

Sometimes we have something to say that we fear may ruffle a few feathers.  I’ve definitely decided against posting comments that I thought could incite a vengeful response from a particularly impassioned reader.  And we all know those readers.  The ones that not only disagree with our comment and berate our intelligence for writing such slop, but also call into question our very moral fiber for even thinking such thoughts.  Yeah, those folks sometimes make commenting seem like it’s just not worth it.

Do It Anyway

I’ve gotten such responses.  On numerous occasions in fact.  And while I still often worry about how what I write will be received, a dissenting opinion never ends up being quite as Earth-shattering as I feared it might.  If it has merit, it usually leads me to revisit what I think about a topic.  And if it’s just someone bashing my existence, it’s usually pretty funny to read.  (Please note this is not an open invitation to bash on my existence.)

Lack of Time

We all are busy and often read posts in between sending emails and doing countless other things.  I get it.  I live it too and often cite this as my reason for not commenting on posts.

Do It Anyway

It really only takes a few moments to comment on a post.  Realistically I’m not going to comment on every post I read.  But I could (and should) be commenting on more than I do now.  Lack of time may be a viable excuse sometimes, but it’s not always the case.

The Post Just Doesn’t Interest Me or Isn’t Very Good

Well it’s certainly understandable you wouldn’t post a comment in this case.  That’s really all I have to say about that.

Why Don’t You Post?

Look, I get it’s somewhat ironic to ask you to post a comment about why you don’t post comments.  But we’re really interested in what you have to say.  And not just in the way where we say we’re interested and then make fun of what you write.  This is a topic we’re interested in studying further and would love to know what you think.

Do any of the fears above resonate with you?  Is there anything else that prevents you from commenting on blog posts?  This is a safe space to share your thoughts.

Related Articles

Why You Should Never Comment on Blogs. Ever.

David Hartstein is one of the co-founders at Wired Impact and spends most of his time helping nonprofits tell their story in a way that'll inspire action. He used to teach elementary school and often walks around barefoot. You can catch up with David on Twitter at @davharts.

8 Comments on “Commenting on Blogs: Feel Fear But Do It Anyway

  1. 1 Amanda November 15, 2011

    I do post comments pretty frequently since I am a blogger and I love when people comment on my labours of love. I guess I have a pay-it-forward attitude. I also like connecting with other bloggers. Some reasons why commenting happens less is if I know I don’t have time to come back and read feedback for my comment or I know that that blogger doesn’t often reply to comments. If I just liked it but have nothing to say, I share it.

    1. 2 David Hartstein November 16, 2011

      Thanks for the comment Amanda. I definitely agree with you on many of the points you mentioned. I’m much more prone to comment when I see the author is active in responding. I’ve also started sharing via Twitter more lately, which I think many people are doing as well. I’m trying to get better about commenting as I know from experience how much it can mean to the author of a post.

  2. 3 Leah January 4, 2013

    I went looking for “fear of commenting” and found you. I hear from lots of people that they read my Twitter or FB updates but don’t comment – they comment in person or send me an email. Professionally, I try to make it easier for people to pipe in by asking questions gently – not requiring them to be experts before they feel they can answer. Blogs are different than Twit/FB but many of the same fears are there. I wonder why this was the only thing I found worth reading about the subject?

    1. 4 David Hartstein January 4, 2013

      I’ve definitely found the same thing to be true Leah. People will tell me in person they read a post and want to discuss a particular topic but often are hesitant to write a comment. I think you’re right that many of the fears people have with commenting on blogs certainly apply to social media as well.

      As you mention, asking questions and inviting readers into the conversation (even if they aren’t experts) can be a great way to promote commenting.

      Thanks a lot for not only reading, but taking the time to comment as well.

  3. 5 Khanyo March 4, 2017

    I hate not knowing what to say. You find people posting long comments and i always wonder how they do it. I fear sounding dumb,last month on Facebook I wrote about how I lost my faith, it’s funny how my family and friends called me out of concern and ddnt comment.

    1. 6 David Hartstein March 6, 2017

      Hi Khanyo. Thanks a lot for the comment and know you’re not alone. It’s very common for folks to fear sounding dumb when they start commenting publicly. But if you have something to say, I definitely recommend saying it! You’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll start getting more comfortable sharing your thoughts. Folks may not always agree, but hopefully you’ll at least be able to have some fruitful discussions.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment here. Hope you do it again soon!!

  4. 7 josephine June 14, 2018

    Hi. All the points you have raised are true. Most people fear wondering whether their comments will be published.

    1. 8 David Hartstein June 14, 2018

      Thanks for the comment Josephine. We wrote this post from an extreme point of view to try to help folks overcome their fear of commenting. Glad you found the courage to hit the “Submit Comment” button!

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