It is common for writers to feel dejected when their posts get only a few comments.
“Nobody read my article”, they conclude. The conclusion, however is incorrect. Os.me’s latest software upgrades helps you see this – the number of views your article has gathered is displayed prominently.
I looked at a few of my articles which didn’t have many comments, and was shocked to see a large number of views. Here is a screenshot:
The article with 5 comments has 652 views and the article with 4 comments has 720 views.
Not shabby by any standards.
Anecdotally proving my point that the number of comments don’t necessarily mean your article was not popular.
Engagement and Views: Two Different Metrics
Online writing has two separate metrics.
Engagement – In simple words, this is the number of comments that your article gathers. This metric represents how users have engaged with your post. More engagement leads to a more lively discussion.
Views – This is the number of times your article has been clicked. If each person clicked your article once, the number of views equals the number of people who read your article. Usually this is not the case, some people read your article twice (sometimes they skim it the first time and then come ack and read it in detail).
Low engagement doesn’t mean your article is bad. It simply means people haven’t engaged with your article. Articles that contain emotions tend to attract comments from people. Articles that are helpful but not necessarily having an emotional component may not elicit comments, but people may well read them to take away nuggets from your article.
If you want to check your article stats, don’t look just at the number of comments, look at the number of views as well.
People May Like Your Article But May Not Have Much Else to Say
People like your article.
But they may not have anything intelligent to say. They may want to say “Nice article”, but may refrain from doing so, thinking they’ll write something intelligent later. And later never comes. And if they indeed write “Nice article”, it serves the purpose of telling you they liked your article, but the comment doesn’t engage with you.
Other platforms have a “like” button to give people a way to say they liked your article, but this has its own pros and cons.
People therefore may have liked your article but may have chosen not to leave a comment because they didn’t have much to contribute to a discussion.
Commenting Takes Effort
As a reader, writing a comment is a non-trivial task.
It is much more easier to read several articles one after another and get into the flow of reading. Writing a comment breaks that flow, and takes effort.
In other words, when a reader reads an article, they are consuming information. Consumption is a relatively easy task. Writing a comment is an act of creation. Creating a response that serves a purpose. Writing a thoughtful comment takes effort.
And not everyone will be willing to put in the effort to write a comment. And that is okay.
But this means you should not be dejected if your article does not draw many comments.
The Number of Articles Has Increased and Time Has Decreased
When os.me became a writing platform in mid-2020, the number of articles were less. And this was peak pandemic times, people were staying at home with little to do. Consequently, the amount of time people spent on os.me was much higher.
Os.me has grown – there are a many more writers and a lot more articles. And the world has reached a state of normalcy today, touch wood – meaning people are doing other “normal” things, and are ostensibly spending less time on os.me.
It doesn’t take a genius to do the math – people don’t have time to read your article as before.
The conclusion is that the stats don’t necessarily say anything about the quality of your article.
Give it Time
Your article may get a handful of views at the outset.
Give it time. A week. A month. A few months. As much time as you can. You’ll find that your article has several views – seemingly from thin air. Although most of the views come right after you publish your article, over time the views accumulate to surprise you.
So play the long game. Be in it for the long term.
Give it time.
I’ve listed a few reasons why you should not get dejected if your articles don’t attract many comments. Your articles may have a reasonable number of views after all. Etc.
Here is one final reason. What’s the big deal if your article doesn’t get comments? If you write a good article and you’re proud of your work, that is job well done.
Virtue really is its own reward.
Image Credit: Pixabay from Pexels