Confession: lack of comments makes me doubt why I blog

Confession: lack of comments makes me doubt why I blog


“Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment. ”

—Haruki Murakami, “Norwegian Wood”

We see it more often than we’d like to admit. One week, a blogger we’ve been following for three years is churning out fresh reviews and posts almost daily. Then, a week later, he/she is admits that blogging has ceased to be interesting, that writing posts has become a chore.

That first paragraph was not my confession. I hope I didn’t scare anyone, because I don’t plan on shutting down The Unprinted Protagonist anytime soon.

Everyone starts his/her blog for a different reason, but lately there’s been this idea going around the blogosphere that blogging should be first and foremost for the blogger. Like, “Hey, I know this is a book blog, but now I’m going to write about life because it’s my blog and I can do what I want.”

As crazy as it sounds, I’m really bad at writing about whatever I want.

With a background in scholastic journalism, it’s hard to escape the mentality that what I write is for the public, not for me. One of the hallmarks of good journalism is passionate reader response, both good and bad.

When I started blogging, I sought to share my love of books. Now, I’ve come to love and thrive off comments and conversations. However, my post-hiatus readership decline has damaged that greatly.

 I blog because I enjoy sparking conversation and sharing helpful information. Without comments I’m left wondering, “Is anyone even reading this? Does anyone even care? Why am I even writing this?”

Despite ceaseless promises to myself, I find myself struggling to write posts regularly. I don’t think to log into WordPress and start a draft until I realize, “Oh! It’s been a week since I last posted! I better get something online so I don’t end up on another hiatus!” I’m not really sure what I want out of my blog, because I don’t know who I can inform with it.

A million post ideas float in my head, but I find myself wondering if followers would read my latest post or scroll past.

Why do you blog? Do you ever get discouraged by lack of comments?


  • Rachana

    I blog to express my thoughts & meet other like-minded individuals! But yes, I definitely feel discouraged by lack of comments. I spend a minimum of an hour on my blog posts and on busy days/weeks, this is precious time which feels ‘wasted’ when no one seems to be interested in my content. Objectively speaking, there is a lot of “stuff” out there so of course everyone is busy and doing their own thing. I just hate getting that ‘what-i’m-doing-is-pointless’ feeling.

    • Dana

      I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I waste time by blogging. I think a more appropriate term for me might be “unjustified.” I’ve come to realize that blogging helps me lay out my thoughts, and designing blog graphics is fun. Still, I definitely long for good conversation — not a one-sided monologue.

  • Cait @ Paper Fury

    I totally get this!! I think probably all bloggers get discouraged by comments at times, right?! It always disappoints me when I work mega-hard on a post and it gets half the comments of usual. *sighs* And I tend to see a HUGE drop in my comments around this time of year, because I figure all the Americans are out doing summery holiday stuff? The end of the year is better for me, honestly. So I don’t know if that might be affecting you too! I also find that the more I comment on other people’s blogs and visit around, the more they’ll comment on mine. So that, at least, is encouraging! If one works for comments, they usually come. I hope your comments pick up again really soon!!

    • Dana

      Hmmmm… you know what? I think your theory may be right. It never crossed my mind that people may be spending less time on blogs because it’s summer vacation. It’s a bit ironic because I’ve actually been struggling to find time to blog with all of my summer adventuring and what-not.

      Oh, I loooove commenting on other people’s blogs (especially yours because you always reply so quickly 😉 ). I do think you have a very good point. I always had lots of people commenting back when I spent hours just reading and striking comment conversations on other blogs.

      Thanks for the encouragement, Cait 🙂

  • Cee Arr

    My blog isn’t particularly comments-heavy, but I know that the people who read it do care because they always support me on Twitter etc. – I don’t always comment on other blogs’ posts that I read because sometimes I quite simply don’t have anything to say! Just keep swimming, and write things you care about, and feel like other people would also be interested in 🙂

    • Dana

      That’s good advice 🙂 When I’m looking at numbers, it’s easy to forget the “quality over quantity” rule. I definitely would rather have a few sincere comments than a bunch that don’t really say anything at all.

  • Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders

    I understand your struggles. I realized I didn’t get much traffic except through review tours, so I overloaded on those in the first three years. Then I learned the art of the community, and focused on a select group of blogs to follow and foster friendships with. I now try hard to comment on others’ blogs because typically they reciprocate but I find most comments are on my weekly memes. I also understand the divide between strictly reviewing and adding more life articles. I suppose I struggle also, but I also keep in mind that my students and their parents can find my blog. I have done a few carefully selected ones over the years.

    • Dana

      Ah, yes, I’ve developed a few really close friendships through blogging. In the end, that definitely amounts to more than a handful of comments. I enjoy commenting on other people’s blogs and fostering conversations.

      In my first year of blogging, I definitely struggled with bashing the types of posts I wanted to write. At first, I wrote only reviews. Then, I got bored of writing only reviews. Memes like Top Ten Tuesday brought lots of comments, but I have meme commitment issues and always end up quitting them.

      Since you mentioned it: how does your job affect your blog?

  • Leah

    Hi Dana,

    I found your blog from another blog I follow. LOL.

    I have been reviewing books on Amazon for years and had gotten so used to speaking into the void that when I became a contributing reviewer at an established blog and received a few comments, I was enthused to converse with fellow book lovers. However, I posted a few reviews that didn’t get comments and I was second guessing myself as to whether I not I said something uncool or not witty enough.

    But I realized that’s not why I review books. Like you, I do it because I love to talk about what I’ve just read, and whether or not someone acknowledges my thoughts shouldn’t be a thing. That’s what’s worked for me. 🙂

    Take time to think about what you want and go with it. Best of luck to you!

  • Emily

    I feel the same way! Especially because I’m a writer as well – imagine if you wrote a book and nobody ever read it? That’s the same kind of thing with blogging. I try new things all the time, wondering what people love to read. And as Cait says, visiting other people, becoming part of a distinctive community – it definitely helps.

    • Dana

      Yes, I can definitely see how authors and bloggers can have that same feeling. So much hard work and passion but nobody to see it.
      I’ve been going through an exploratory period with my blog, trying out different topics to see which ones benefit my readers and me. It’s very frustrating to try something new with no results, but trial and error eventually leads to the right outcome.

  • Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Aw, I do know what you mean! I feel like so many things lead me to feel that way from time to time. And comments are huge, because no one likes to feel like they’re talking to themselves. And let’s face it, commenting is FUN, because we’re meeting people who share our interests- and from my experience are just flat out wonderful people as a whole. But that lack of comments can make you question EVERYTHING. I have actually felt that way a lot this summer- I am glad to see that Cait up there has noticed it too, it makes me feel like maybe it IS just a weird phenomenon that is happening right now, and that it isn’t ME, you know? Maybe when the fall rolls around and people are back in school… things will pick up again for everyone? And seriously, it WILL happen. Just think- this is an awesome post, and a lot of us have been able to relate to it, so you are most definitely doing a great job! So I know the comments will keep coming 😀

    • Dana

      I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner! I missed a lot of comments while I was at an anime convention.
      I think Cait’s on to something. Rather, I really hope she’s right. Thank you for the wonderful compliment! Seeing so many similar comments is always amazing because it shows me that we, bloggers, are so often on the same page.

  • Karen Blue

    I feel like some people don’t “need” to blog every day. Its cool if you don’t. I do, so people would know right away if I left my site (not sure how many are checking frequently, but just based on blog post regularity). Its okay to post only once a week, or biweekly. I think some readers like that they don’t miss much when they aren’t able to visit everyday. I kinda do, but I have this 5 post weekly minimum that I am always trying to hit, and I have so many books I got to review before they are published. #thestruggleisreal
    I have noticed people disappearing. Three or four blogs are gone and I just discovered them. It happens, doesn’t mean we all think that right away when you don’t post.
    I am totally with you on comments, but I wouldn’t say that’s my biggest goal. I had an author tell me the other day that my review conveyed what he wanted to the readers, that felt really good. I like comments on my site too though. This is a great discussion, you got me thinking.

    • Dana

      I’m glad this post got you thinking. That’s always my goal with discussions.
      Wow! I don’t know how you churn out so many posts! It’s a struggle for me to get even two each week.
      Authors supportive of the book blogging community are the best. It’s very encouraging to know they appreciate reviewers, especially when there are also authors who seem to resent us.

  • Tessa

    You are definitely not the only blogger who struggles with this! I have been wrestling with my motivations behind blogging for a long time. At first, I blogged with some of my closest friends and they managed to keep me going. But then they left me alone on the internet with a blog to keep up with. The first year without the help of my former cobloggers meant that I posted less often and, therefore, got less comments. In those couple of months, and even now, I struggle with the meaning of my blog. But then I get one comment that brightens my day. As long as I know that there is at least one person out there who reads and appreciates my writing and effort, then I am going to continue blogging. And if that one person does not come back, then I will wait for someone else to come along. As long as you are producing posts that you love, other people will end up loving them too. Sure, I blog for myself, but I also blog for the people who take the time to read and comment on my blog.

    • Dana

      It’s wonderful to hear from someone who shares the same perspective. I’m sorry to hear you’re lost your cobloggers. I considered getting coblogger when I got too busy, but the idea of sharing this thing I created with care didn’t sit well.

  • Michelle @ FaerieFits

    I definitely get discouraged when I don’t get many comments, but I also find that the posts that get the most comments are usually the ones that A) I least enjoy putting up; and B) have the worst-quality comments. Things like Top Ten Tuesday memes get “Great Ten!” and that’s it. I find THOSE kinds of comments even more discouraging, in all honesty, because there’s no effort to ENGAGE. I like comments to spur conversations, with perhaps multiple back-and-forths, you know? It’s the “courtesy comments” that make me feel almost pitied, like this person is leaving a comment either because it looks like I NEED a comment, or because they just want me to go visit them that really bum me out.

    I’ve gone back and forth on the idea of coblogging. I’ve definitely considered it, but I’m always afraid I won’t “mesh” right with someone and that blogging will just start to feel like work. Or that when I inevitably feel the need for a hiatus, I’d be leaving the other person high and dry.

    • Dana

      Ugh! The worst comments are the two word ones that make it look like the person just wants you to visit their blog. I’m much more likely to reciprocate if people leave meaningful comments that create discussion or reveal interesting things about themselves. I did memes once upon a time, but I find it redundant and chore-like. I, too, have considered getting a coblogger to keep up posts, but it feels weird relinquishing part of this thing I created with care to someone else.

  • Got My Book

    I started blogging (just this year) to have someplace extra to post reviews for some audiobooks I had been gifted. So I do get a bit discouraged when no one comments on my reviews anywhere I post them. However, I have grown to love blogging and I get good comments on some of my other posts, but I plan to keep going.

    My Most Recent Discussion: My Library is Calling Me a Liar

    • Dana

      Ah, yes. *nostslgic sigh* I definitely remember those first months of blogging and the feelings that came with it. Somehow, it almost seemed easier to blog back then. I was fresh and eager, and I had no expectations of comments. Even one comment on my first few reviews made my day. I’m ready glad I chose to start blogging, regardless of the number of comments. I wish you the best of luck with your blog!

  • Jessica Elizabeth

    I blog just to blog and write and be myself. In so many ways, blogs are a definite way of getting to know ourselves on some level even if it’s not our whole selves. Does that make sense? I’m not sure if I am being a bit silly or making something out to be deeper than needed but I guess that’s one of my reasons I blog. To vent. To explore. To learn. To relax and escape and all that jazz.

    • Dana

      Oh, that totally makes sense! Blogging, especially personal posts, involves a lot of introspection. I’ve learned a lot about myself while writing personal posts. I did a post on having asthma a while back, and it really helped me come to terms with my feelings about it. It’s also very cathartic.

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