Terri, the owner of “Island Writer” blog, noted in a recent post simply titled “112,706” how many visitors her blog had drawn but yet was curious as to why the number of commenters remained somewhat low – given her blogs high number of visitors.
I would like to give some measure of response and insight into that question if I may. I am sure Terri’s curiosity is one perhaps held by many other blog owners. There are some numbers or estimates however that must guide the conclusions I set forth here. It is estimated by the “blogging statistical experts” that of all the visitors that may visit a given blog, only 10% of those visitors may actually leave a comment. That leaves us with 90% who come and go in the quiet of the night. The term applied to those type visitors by the blog experts is “lurker” or they are said to be “lurking”. As I mentioned to Terri, the term “lurker” is a bit distasteful. Something one might better associate with a ‘porn’ site visitor perhaps. I think “stealth visitor” is much more palatable and quite honestly, more politically correct. But I have digressed.
So first…..what of this seemingly interested and dedicated 10% who do make the effort to leave a comment to our post? Let’s look at those individuals and what makes them so unique?
A lot of commenters on blogs are more along the “have a nice day” type. By that I mean they offer no substance and leave much doubt as to the seriousness of the comment, no matter how brief or how extensive.
Then you have your “ulterior motive” commenter. We see these types all the time where someone seems to have something substantial to add but they keep reminding us to go buy their CD or drop by there site for more “detailed” information.
Then there is the larger percentage of this 10% who give their brief but courteous response only as a means of signing the post which embeds a link to their site via their signature which may lure you to their blog which was their intent in the first place.
And of those left, out of that 10% group, we have the commenter who responded to our post with interest and sincerity. We must be down around 2% or 3% by now you think?
Hmmm. That might lead one to believe that it may actually be….that somewhere within the majority of those visitors who make up that 90% who don’t reply, resides the ones along with the 2%-3% previously mentioned who may actually have some measure of interest in what you have to say. But why don’t any of these folks reply? Well let’s address that question.
Here are some reasons I feel visitors don’t reply. I will try to list them in the order of most probable to least probable.
Don’t know how to post a comment.
Read your post with interest but have no comments they feel they want to make.
For security concerns will not leave email addresses where required.
Regular commenter to your blog checking for new posts (accounts for some 100 visits per month per individual).
Landed on your blog by accident.
Are afraid their comment will be criticized or disagreed with by you or others.
Thinks you are an idiot and won’t waste their time.
Just too shy.
Have self esteem issues.
Thinks your too old.
Thinks your too young.
Thinks your too ugly – I told you not to post the picture.
Thinks your not their type.
Thinks your too weird.
Swore they would never come back after the first visit – but did.
In closing….the difficulty in offering this unbiased public analysis and response is that now my own blog visitors may think I am sitting around judging the sincerity of their visits or critiquing their motives for posting comments. Let me address that issue by simply saying this. That will never be the case because if people are visiting my blog, it is because they consider themselves fortunate enough to have found it and continue to be mesmerized by my topics, sense of humor, and good looks! Their greatest fear is that I might move yet again and not leave them a forwarding address.
I hope that this in-depth analysis will prove to enlighten my readers, commenters, stealth visitors and other blog owners with regard to this burning question and I would like to thank Terri for having the courage to bring this subject to our attention.