I received a Google Alert the other day that Nicole Strasburg had posted about my recorded interview with Eric Maisel on her blog. I decided to check it out for myself. At the time, I thought I’d surprise her and leave a comment and a thank-you note, but her blog was set up without allowing comments. I emailed her to tell her I had wanted to do that and she said that since her blog was new, she had decided to leave off the comments until she built a following. She had read an article that encouraged her to do this.
Entitled 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic, this article is all over the search-engine optimization Web sites. Just Google it and you’ll see it on countless pages.
I have no doubt that most of the 21 tactics in the article contain sound, well reasoned advice. But I take issue with #6, which states:
Launch Without Comments (and Add Them Later)
There's something sad about a blog with 0 comments on every post. It feels dead, empty and unpopular. Luckily, there's an easy solution – don't offer the ability to post comments on the blog and no one will know that you only get 20 uniques a day. Once you're upwards of 100 RSS subscribers and/or 750 unique visitors per day, you can open up the comments and see light activity. Comments are often how tech-savvy new visitors judge the popularity of a site (and thus, its worth), so play to your strengths and keep your obscurity private.
Let me begin by saying I completely understand how someone new to blogging would be influenced by this article. The author obviously knows what he’s talking about. However, here are my issues with it as it relates to the average artist’s blog:
- You have to start somewhere. You will always have zero comments at the beginning.
- He says it’s okay to allow comment posting after you have 100 RSS subscribers and/or 750 unique visitors per day. I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years and I have nowhere near these numbers. Still, I can get 10 or more comments on a good post. Most artists have no idea how to use an RSS feed, so I would do myself a disservice if I based my blog numbers on feed numbers. Which brings me to . . .
- Who has time to count comments on blogs and see how popular the bloggers are? If the content is interesting, it will be appreciated.
- People who visit blogs expect to be able to comment. Blogs are dialogues. When we can’t comment, we get frustrated.
- I believe this article was written for technically skilled folks who spend a lot of time online and are blogging for each other. (It was published for a search-engine optimization site.) Most artists aren’t tech-savvy. Most people who read your blog probably
won’t be tech-savvy. You aren’t writing a blog for techies, so weigh such
advice against your own needs and goals and see how it plays for your
Image (c) Nicole Strasburg, Point Pools.