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Why to Care about Comment on Your Website or Blog

1.Why are comments important?
Is it really important to have comments on your blog? Some have argued that as long as a large number of people visit your site, enough of them will click on ads that you’ll be able to earn a living. While this may be technically true, it misses the point. Comments are the sign of a healthy blog with long-term potential. Without them, your site is as easily lost as a Google update. Here’s why.

– Interaction – Comments allow you to communicate directly with your audience, learn what they are interested in, and find out what kind of people they are. This allows you to tailor your future articles to meet their expectations. The interaction that they have with you and other commentators will also encourage them to keep coming back to see where the discussion is going.

– Data mining – Comments are a great source of new data. Many blog discussions will lead you to new and relevant information that can become the start of a new blog post. In some cases the discussion itself becomes so important that it can be the subject of a new post. This keeps the ball rolling and ensures that you are never out of ideas to talk about.

– Loyalty – Traffic from Google is frivolous, and referral traffic from other sites can be equally transient. Comments are the first step toward a loyal audience. Changes in the architecture of the web can potentially damage all sources of traffic except for one: direct visits. Users who know your site by name and would keep visiting no matter what are an extremely valuable commodity.

– Networking – Sometimes you will receive comments from fairly influential people on the web. They may be other bloggers or Twitter microcelebrities. If you foster relationships with these people it will help you build the kind of connections that help increase your visibility on the web.

2. About comment section styling
Just having a comment section may not be enough. The section needs to be correctly designed in order to achieve the best results.

While a beautified comment section can help improve interaction, function should come first. The function of the comment section is to hold discussions, so this should be first on your mind.

Take a look at popular forums and sites such as Reddit in order to see how they foster discussion. Most of these sites allow users to designate exactly which post they are responding to. They make it easy to quote another user so that it’s clear exactly what part of the discussion they are talking about.

Giving the user the ability to show/hide replies to specific comments or vote on the quality of comments can also breed interest and usability. Allowing people to choose an avatar gives everybody a face which makes the community that much more tight-knit.

You may also want to consider abandoning using your own commenting system and implement somebody else’s. One of the most popular options right now is to include a Facebook comments section. This lets people leave a comment using their Facebook profile. This has the added advantage of making the comment visible to their Facebook friends, which can cultivate even more discussion.

You will want to think carefully before deciding to go with this option, however. Some niches are too obscure for people to want to comment on if they know that their Facebook friends will see them. Only you can decide whether your niche lends itself better to anonymity.

3. Do you still think that comments are not important?
If so, you will almost certainly need to rely on other entities for your traffic. This strategy might work for the foreseeable future, but be warned. The internet has a way of overturning itself virtually overnight. When things change, it’s much better to have your own audience than somebody else’s.