There is a thought that a new blog should have the comments feature turned off so savvy visitors can’t tell if you have very little traffic. So, is this a good strategy? Over a year ago, Randfish at SEOmoz recommended this strategy in his article, “21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic“. To summarize his proposal (#6 on his list), he suggests not allowing comments until the blog has about “100 RSS subscribers and/or 750 unique visitors per day.”
A lot of bloggers believe that reader comments are a defining feature of blogging. What would a blog be if there was not discussion and debate? But it is true that regular blog readers can guess at your blog traffic based on the number of comments that are left. Randfish’s concern is that wise readers may not give your blog a chance if they think other readers are not interested.
I believe Randfish is wrong. New blogs need traffic AND dialogue. Readers want to interact with a blog, and comments increase the value of the content. And if content is good, traffic will follow. I’ve have started three blogs with comments on from the very beginning. It is tough seeing a trickling of remarks for the first few weeks. But as traffic increases, so the the comments.
Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror says,
I firmly maintain that a blog without comments enabled is not a blog. It’s more like a church pulpit. You preach the word, and the audience passively receives your evangelical message. Straight from God’s lips to their ears. When the sermon is over, the audience shuffles out of the church, inspired for another week. And there’s definitely no question and answer period afterward.” -From his post, “A Blog Without Comments is Not a Blog.“
So, what do you think? Should a new blog allow comments before the traffic base has been developed?
BTW, do go back and read Randfish’s 20 other strategies for increasing traffic…they are excellent.