I wouldn’t normally openly disagree with my husband online – these things are usually best kept private! However a little prodding from him was all I needed to publish my own thoughts.
Matt recently turned comments off for his blog. While I am sure that in his case the change has done no damage – this is not something that can be extrapolated over the wider blogging community.
You might think this post strange for someone who last updated this blog in 2007, but I do have a much more frequently updated food blog – CoffeeMuffins.com. Food blogging is in a completely different, and dare I say it friendlier, world from Tech blogging – especially when it comes to comments.
Now in my third year of food blogging, I have never received a negative comment. I get constructive criticism, telling me when I have forgotten to add directions for the garlic in my recipe, or when a salad might be better with a different type of lettuce. At worst the tone of these can be harsh – but it is never personal! These comments are always welcome and useful.
Comments on tech blogs are full of wars between Mac and Windows; iOS and Android; and no one can ever seem to be polite about opposing view points.
Food blogging is a community, there are fewer wars in comments, despite there being just as many (and probably more) factions with very strong view points. I never receive comments from vegetarians on my meat based recipes, saying “stop killing animals”. I’ll get comments from both sides on my vegetarian posts, with no negativity (apart from the obligatory, my husband said he would prefer it with a steak on the side).
That’s not to say the food blogging world is perfect when it comes to comments, just like in the tech world many comments don’t add much to the discussion.
However this is part and parcel of the food blogging community, a large number of the people who view my posts and make my recipes are in themselves food bloggers. One of the best ways (although time consuming) to increase readership is to comment on other food blogs. More often than not you will receive a comment from that blogger in a matter of hours. Building a relationship with other food bloggers is one of the best parts of being one myself.
Far from turning off comments on my blog I have, for sometime, been actively encouraging any type of comment and I will continue to do so. I use the WordPress plugin CommentLuv to allow other food bloggers to link to their own posts, whether relevant or not from my comment section.
I have only seen increased readership and increased engagement since I made the change.