Blog Comments: Is it the True Measure of Engagement?

As anyone who manages a blog knows, you want to drive reader engagement as a blogger. There are many ways to measure that, ranging from the number of blog comments you receive to the number of social media shares you get. As a blogger, it’s always nice to see both, especially when someone has taken the time to comment on what you’ve written and can point you in a good direction to go with future blog posts. The question is, are blog comments the best way to measure reader engagement?

Comments

Do comments really measure engagement?

Blog Comments are Great to Receive

Blog comments come with numerous benefits. They show you that people are not just reading but engaging with your posts to the point that your writing is creating a solid discussion. It’s always nice as a writer when someone takes the time to stop by, leave a comment and even ask a question in relation to your blog post. Of course, as with any numbers game, receiving more comments can make you feel good, especially if creating a community is one of your end goals for your blog. Beyond the obvious benefits of receiving more comments, there are numerous others from meeting new bloggers to possibly getting new blog post ideas from something that was said in relation to your post.

There is Much More to Engagement than Blog Commenting

The problem with looking at blog commenting as the main gauge of reader engagement is that it’s only showing one side of the coin. Getting more blog comments can be a good thing, of course, but there are many other and even more effective things that can be used to measure reader engagement.

The two main areas that I’d look at are the number of social media shares and the amount of time readers spend on your blog.

  • First, the more shares you get the more potential reach you have that blog comments simply won’t provide.
  • Second, the longer readers stay on your site, the more engaged they are with your writing, which might increase the chance of them becoming regular followers of your blog.

The important thing to also remember is that many people will read articles on your site, but will not always be active blog commenters – but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily more/less engaged.

Determine What Your Blogging Goals are

As with anything else in life it’s important to determine what your goals are in relation to blogging.

If you’re wanting to make money blogging, then creating a site that is useful, irresistible and engaging is a very important part to the blogging puzzle. While getting someone to comment on your blog post is great, there are many other areas that can and should be looked at to determine the true engagement level of your readership.

That said, the level of commenting occurring on your site can be a decent measure of engagement, just not the only one you should be looking at.

How important are blog comments in your opinion? What else do you look at in regards to reader engagement?

 

Photo courtesy of: THOR

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Comments

    • Tanya says

      Great point, Tanya! And you’re completely right, focusing too much on one factor and neglecting the others won’t give you an accurate picture.

  1. Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) says

    I’m new here — introduced to Blogelina by another blogger who found my site through my comments on another site she follows. As a blogger, I do think comments are one indicator of engagement with one’s blog. I try to respond to every comment because one of my blogging goals is to start a discourse between me and my readers and among my readers. Blog reading is now part of my regular reading along with a print newspaper, a print news magazine and books. While I’m old enough to lament watching the demise of many print outlets, I also believe that blogging has democratized the writing world. After all, if you send a letter to the editor of a newspaper, they can only print a few; whereas, blog comments can keep a conversation going technically indefinitely. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to be heard among the ever increasing number of blogs, but if you have a good product and learn how to promote it “they” will come —- I hope.
    Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) recently posted..First Day of College — First Day of the Empty Nest

  2. Jean says

    I’m hoping that I’m not the only one wondering this and that it isn’t a stupid question. How can you tell how long a reader stays on your site? Have I completely missed something? Most likely! I know before I had a blog that I often read blogs and did not leave comments as I didn’t realize how important it was to the author although I often read (still do) through all the comments on a post that interested me. Now, that I have a blog, I love the comments and the conversations it creates. I usually look at how my readers have arrived as well as comments to see how I’m doing.
    Jean recently posted..Mobile Lego Work Area

    • Tanya says

      Jen, I would install Google Analytics on your blog – that will give you an average of the time your readers are spending on your site, how many pages they’re clicking, etc. It’s a great tool to have in place (and it’s free)!

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