Over the past few months, my life has gotten much busier and I’ve found myself saying “no” a whole lot more and dropping a lot of unnecessary tasks off my to do list. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride for this serial multi-tasker, but I’ve noticed a complete change in my perspective on things.
I now take a step back to examine each and every aspect of my work, judging whether it’s really necessary or how it could be changed to cut back on time and improve my process. Things that I once thought were absolutely necessary to stay organized and the seemingly important tasks that I had learned in a book somewhere have fallen by the wayside. I’ve ignored the many articles titled something like “Ten tools every small business owner needs” and “Fifteen daily tasks for bloggers.” I’m learning to trust my gut instead of the plethora of “experts” out there in the world.
And my gut has told me to turn off comments on my blog.
As I considered the subject, the voices inside my head screamed, “WHAT?? Comments are necessary on blogs! Everyone has them! People love commenting! That’s how advertisers judge how engaged your audience is! That’s how you keep the conversation going and ask for the input and opinions of others! No one turns off their comments!”
I listened the voices for quite some time, but that feeling in my gut wouldn’t go away as reason upon reason kept piling up.
1. I just don’t have the time to comment back.
My blog is just a marketing aspect for my business and on some days, blogging would end up taking more time than doing a whole design project for a client. Then I’d read yet another blog post telling bloggers to respond to each and every comment and would feel guilty. I barely had time to post, let alone come up with a thoughtful response for each and every comment. If it’s between posting or going back to old posts to respond to comments, I’d rather post something new and useful that will actually help my readers. Which of course comes after designing. It’s always been a battle to remember that I’m a designer first, not a blogger and I have to make sure my design work comes first.
2. Comment quality has gone down.
Let’s be honest. Over the past few years, the quality of comments has gone way down. Comments used to be a place to share common experiences or advice or to get to know readers. Instead, it has turned into a way for other bloggers to get their link out to more places or to give the blogger a nice ego boost by saying, “Great post! I agree!” While the ego boosts are always nice, they’re unnecessary and just give me more work as I have to find yet another way to say “Thanks for following along! Glad you agree!” The higher quality comments that offer opinions, advice, or experiences are few and far between.
3. Why not interact on social media?
When those occasional high-quality comments did come up, I found myself wishing they had said it on social media so we could have kept the conversation going without clogging the comment feed. Why not Tweet me a response instead? I’m much more likely to see it and respond, and this way we can keep the conversation going and invite others in! I just didn’t feel like the footer of my post was an appropriate place to have a conversation, not when there are amazing tools like Twitter and Facebook where we are all already active.
4. Keep interaction in one place.
When I’m getting comments from all sides- Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, and my blog- it’s hard to keep track and make sure everything gets taken care of. By eliminating comments and encouraging conversation on Twitter, I can focus my efforts on to fewer places which always results in high quality. My time isn’t as stretched and I can make sure each and every loyal reader gets noticed.
If you’ve been overwhelmed by the unwritten blogging “rules” about comments, maybe it’s time to take a step back and consider shutting off comments all together. It has offered me so much relief and I no longer feel guilty every time I look at my blog and see unanswered comments. Instead, I can focus on designing and writing up quality posts!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Feel free to Tweet me!