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A lot has been written on the internet on how to get a lot of comments on your blog. But I found little material on why you need comments. So I thought to write an article on the advantages of having comments on your blog.
1) New post ideas
I've seen that many good bloggers get the ideas for their future posts from the comments on their blogs.
It often happens that a comment poses a good question which demands a long, detailed answer. You may answer it by writing a new post altogether.
Secondly if many comments are asking the same question then that means that the concerned question is in demand. If you draft a new post on that topic then it will be read by many people.
Obviously comments give you a good feedback on your posts. You need to know whether your readers are liking you or not.
In case you have missed out something unintentionally, maybe you've contradicted yourself somewhere or perhaps you committed a spelling mistake - good feedback will tell you that.
3) More information
I usually read comments along with the blog posts that I read. Though usually people comment merely to get visitors to their websites but sometimes I find really interesting comments which supplement the information provided in the article. Some times a comment helps to understand and absorb a point more completely which I didn't understand in the article.
4) Brings visitors
Suppose you visit two blogs. You find that blog A gets a lot of comments on every post it has and the blog B has merely one or two comments on each post. Which one would you like to stick to?
It's human nature that a person tends to be a part of a group.
Companies exploit this human tendency to sell their products. For e.g. the Discovery Channel aired a documentary on Apple a few days after Steve Jobs' death. They said that there was a trend in the world that if you don't have an ipod then you are not cool.
This made more and more people buy the ipod even when they didn't need it.
I've seen most of my acquaintances doing things only because many other people are doing them and not because they really need to do those things.
To cut the story short - more comments will bring more visitors.
5) Readers will get closer to you
Responding to comments will create an interaction between you and your audience. This will give your readers a feel as though they are talking to you and therefore will bring them closer to you and your blog.
6) You will know more people/blogs of your niche
When readers leave a comment they usually supply the URL of their blog. So you can visit their blogs and get to know your readers more closely by reading their "About Me" page. (I'm not saying you should do this. I'm saying you can do this if you want to know your readers better.)
Secondly if a person has read your post and has taken the trouble to comment then most probably he blogs in the same niche as you. This way you would get to know more blogs of your niche.
Keeping an eye on competitive companies is a good business strategy, by the way.
7) Your readers will get to know each other
You can always check your analytics page to know how many people are visiting your blog, from which part of the world they are coming etc. But your readers don't know about it.
Nowadays almost every blog has a commenting system in which you have an avatar or the picture of the person commenting, his name, his blog's URL and of course the comment.
These details help your readers to know each other in a better way and that helps in building a good community.
8) Answer one question only once
I've heard many bloggers say something like "I'm asked this question thrice everyday."
You may get the same question again and again through email. Then you'll have to reply to everyone individually.
But suppose you are asked a question through a comment. Your reply there will be visible to the entire world and others who wanted to ask the same question will benefit from that.
Secondly, your readers would know what questions are you getting. Email would have masked this information.
9) Comments make your blog look active
Suppose you make a very brilliant post on your blog which pours in thousands of visitors. But they all return without commenting.
Now how would your readers know that your blog had got a visitors spike?
Lot of comments give your readers the impression that your blog is "active" and is getting a good enough visits.
10) It's encouraging
It's very encouraging to see people comment on your post. It keeps you going. Keeps you motivated.
When my guest post was published on ProBlogger I used to visit that page again and again to see what comments it was getting.
It got only 30 comments and a whooping 471 tweets but the comments made me much happier than tweets.
Do you know of any more advantages of comments? Drop a comment below to add to the list presented here.