Make a Living Writing News: Why Blog Comments Are Back

Why Are Blog Comments Back at Make a Living Writing?. Makealivingwriting.com. Makealivingwriting.comEver leave a comment on the Make a Living Writing blog?

For years, you could chime in at the end of a blog post, ask questions, get help, and be part of the conversation about the business and craft of freelance writing.

And then we turned comments off on the Make a Living Writing blog in May 2017. At the time, there were plenty of valid reasons to nix the comments.

But things change.

The blogosphere is a different place now than it was back then.

And the rules of engagement have morphed on many social media platforms.

So now what?

One of most quotable lines from the Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster Terminator comes to mind: “I’ll be back.”

That’s the plan. Here’s why we’re turning comments back on at Make a Living Writing.

  • Work smarter, not harder. When we shut off comments on Make a Living Writing, we planned on using social media platforms to discuss the business and craft of freelance writing. But it turned into chasing conversations in multiple places, and engaging with people who aren’t subscribers. Time to work smarter, not harder.
  • Facebook frustrations. In case you haven’t noticed, Facebook isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite social media platform right now for a lot of reasons. You a fan of frequent data and security breaches and misuse of personal information? Me neither. Other changes at Facebook may even mean the end of my business page at some point. And there’s also no shortage of Facebook haters who feel compelled to spew their poison instead of comment to provide support and encouragement to help freelancers make a living writing.
  • Freelance writers on social media? There’s a certain segment of writers who use social media frequently. But there’s a significant group of freelancers who aren’t on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or at least not active. We want to make it easier for everyone to be part of the conversation about how to make a living writing.
  • Limitations to own and control social content. Using social media is still an effective way to reach a lot of people about freelance writing. But every platform has its limitations to own and control conversations. Going back to blog comments eliminates that headache.
  • No more missing out. On the Make a Living Writing blog we host essay contests, best-of blog round-ups, and publish user-generated content that allow readers to shine. But if you’re counting on social media to keep you up to date, the platforms don’t always come through, and you miss out. That ends now.

Blog comments: What happens next?

If you want to leave a comment on a Make a Living Writing blog, scroll to the bottom of the post. Ask a question, leave a comment, and be part of the conversation. Your first comment will need to be approved by our moderator. After that, you’re set. You should only need to be moderated in once.

After a new Make a Living Writing post is published, we’ll close comments after 30 days. This helps prevent a lot of spam comments and wasted staff time. Work smarter, not harder.

Other changes at Make a Living Writing

Just when you thought the surprises were over, we’re planning on a few more changes.

  • Publishing 3x a week. Beginning in January, we’re moving to publishing 12 times a month, or three times a week. We know some other sites for writers have cut back on how much useful content they produce, but we want to deliver MORE.
  • More digital delights for writers. Here’s what you can expect. More contests, video/audio posts — more learning delivered more ways, and more opportunities for YOU to be heard at Make a Living Writing.

If you’re looking for motivation, marketing strategies, a network of other writers, and tips to help you make a living writing, check out the blog, subscribe, and leave a comment below.

How will you make a living writing in 2019? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.

Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultra-marathon
Blog: 0 to $1,000 Per Month Blogging

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73 comments on “Make a Living Writing News: Why Blog Comments Are Back
  1. This is actually great! I much prefer conversations on blogs than using Facebook or other social medias.

  2. Felix Abur says:

    I felt like I was missing out so much on Facebook because people in my region have no access to the Den’s Facebook page. I’m glad comments are back on. Thanks Carol and team. You guys are always growing and always sensitive to the community’s needs

    • Carol Tice says:

      It’s true, I ended up having to block a few specific countries on FB because of the amount of spam and ‘please mentor me for free’ requests I was getting on there. I also found some people don’t even know HOW to comment on FB! They would send me PMs or start a topic of their own instead of responding to the post I made that had the link to the blog post. I tired of trying to teach people how to use Facebook!

  3. Jen says:

    Hi, I’m brand new to this site and also brand new to the world of freelance writing. I’m so terrified that just posting this comment is requiring an inner pep talk. I find your site a great resource for newbies like me. I especially loved the article on fear of freelancing. I’m coming out of a job in healthcare, so the whole “No one’s gonna die if you mess up” advice was something that really resonated with me.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Jen! Glad you found me.

      Terrified…of what? What’s the worst thing that happens? Try to think of it all more like a madcap adventure or fascinating science experiment. That was more my attitude when I got into it, and it worked out well. 😉

      • Jen says:

        I don’t exactly know what I’m terrified of, to be honest. I guess I’m so used to things being “high stakes” (Must graduate from nursing school or my kids will starve! Must get this job or my kids will starve!) and using fear as a motivator to do a job well (Must do my job perfectly or the patient will get sick/die/sue and I’ll lose my job and my license and, wait for it, my kids will starve!) that I don’t know how to approach a new endeavor without using abject terror as the starting gun.

        In any case, I agree I need to start seeing this for the fun adventure it is and not let what is essentially an emotional habit get in the way. Thanks for the encouragement and thanks again for your blog. I know it’s going to be a great resource for me as I begin this new career. 🙂

        • Jen,

          Take courage. I’m a recovering “catastrophist” myself and know how it feels to think in terms of “100% perfect or absolutely worthless.” I’m even publishing a book on “100 Ways to Live as an Optimist in a Pessimistic World.”

          The only cure for compulsive catastrophizing is to give yourself permission to make mistakes (and give life permission to disappoint you occasionally). And to stretch your comfort zone enough that you’ll have the opportunity to make PLENTY of mistakes and learn most of them don’t hurt as much as you thought.

          Be sure to look up the latest MALW post (“You Got This” Pep Talk for Freelance Writers): it’s tailor-made for anyone struggling here.

          • Jen says:

            I like that term, “compulsive catastrophizing”! Accurate AND alliterative! 🙂

            I will definitely look that article up. It sounds exactly like something I need to read right now. Thanks!

            • Thanks, Jen. Alliteration comes naturally to me. I’m a poet at heart: have a New Year’s resolution to look into songwriting (lyric-writing) opportunities, in fact. I did a whole poetry-based blog (“New Songs From the Heart”) for several years at Blogspot. (Sorry the spam blocker here won’t let me include a link.)

  4. I am pleased that ‘Make a Living Writing’ is taking comments once again.

    The Buddha wishes that I keep Carol on her toes!

    Frankly though, I am not sure I could keep up with Carol… 😉

    I hope Carol and company will continue to thrive and continue to help others become better versions of themselves.

    Best Wishes!

  5. Alison Eaton says:

    I am looking forward to the changes for 2019. Building a strong community on one site sounds like a good idea to me. Competitions and 3 x weekly blogs will help me push my motivation for 2019. Great news. Bring on 2019.

  6. Mary says:

    Yay! This is a good idea to bring it back. Ever since I found your site this year I was wondering why I cannot comment on the blog. All changes are welcome. I’m a dedicated reader here, but I feel three times a week will mean I should spend more time to keep in pace with you all!

  7. Dani Hemmat says:

    I’ve never been a blog post comment fan, and I likely won’t be now. However, im committed to spending more time in this site and the den because I want to build up my career. So far, I’ve been paying for the den since July but haven’t utilized it at all, and that’s all on me. January begins the new approach, and I hope to find this site and the den useful to my goals.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Dani — you’re not the first one I’ve heard THAT from, about the Den! All we can do is move forward from where we are, right?

      A lot of great stuff is coming to the DEN in 2019 also, so glad you’re in there. 😉

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Hi Dani,

      I’ve been writing for a living for almost 20 years as a newspaper reporter, editor, and freelancer. Even went to grad school in journalism (not a requirement for freelance writing success, by the way).

      I’ve read tons of books and resources on the business and craft of freelance writing. Honestly, the Den resources are among the best and most comprehensive available, and don’t cost a fortune.

      Introduce yourself in the Den, and we’ll point you to some useful resources based on where you’re at. Or submit a query or letter of introduction for review.

      “Now” is always the best time to start. Keep going.

  8. I’m returning to freelance writing after 2 years of forced hiatus due to health reasons. Glad to hear/see the changes on Make a Living Writing. It will guide me toward the right writing choices. I’m a member of the Freelance Writer’s Den and your training and blogs have been priceless in the past. Excited to get going and glad to hear comments are back. Looking forward to being a part of it again.

    • Tara says:

      Linda Hamilton! Hi!

      I stumbled upon your website last year after first seeing an old comment of yours here. I was saddened to learn that you had decided to take some time off because of illness.

      Weird, I know. We’ve never even met.

      Well, I’m so glad to hear you’re back to work and doing better. Such good news!

      • Hi Tara,

        It’s been a long journey but I’m glad I’m back. I’ve really missed it. Excited to get to reading, studying, learning and writing. And this time I really can write about healthcare! Ha!

        Do note that I’ll likely say I’m still retired for a while longer as I’m trying to transition out of resume writing and still get client calls. If you want to chat just keep my email address.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hey – glad you’re back Linda!

  9. I was completely bummed out when the comments were turned off last May, so I’m super happy that they’ll be up and running again. There are so many writers that have such a broad knowledge base, and I want to pick their brains. 😉

    While I’m still on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, I completely quit Facebook. My personal messages being sold, read and then deleted were the last straw. I can’t wait for the three posts per week and the multi-media experience.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I personally have zero expectation of privacy anywhere anymore…but increasingly, FB does seem like a platform I want to move away from. So that begins with bringing the comments back home. 😉

  10. I agree: commenting directly on the blog is more convenient all around. I know that one reason the comments were turned off was that spammers also found it more convenient: any upcoming posts discussing that issue?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Not really — but we’ll see what I learn now that we’ve turned these back on. I hate having to moderate new people in and have them wait to see their comment appear — I remember being told NEVER to do that, because it makes people sad! Back when I first started blogging.

      But… you CANNOT BELIEVE the volume of spam you get as a popular blog. It’s insane. For now, this will be our method, and we’ll evaluate and see what we think. Someone on the team has to moderate these, once every day. So we’ll see how burdensome that becomes, and whether I think staff time should be better spent elsewhere.

  11. Sally Olson says:

    Can’t wait! I love reading comments on a blog more than on social media. 🙂

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hey, Sally — great to see you on here! Love your Twitter shares. Comments ON the blog does keep the convos organized…so we’re giving it another whirl.

  12. Janet Wagner says:

    I’m really glad blog comments are back on. I deleted my Facebook account yesterday. I’m still on Twitter and LinkedIn, but it’s easy to miss Carol’s posts on those platforms. I’m looking forward to seeing more content on the Make a Living Writing blog!

  13. Yay!! never liked Facebook and felt Linkedin was too impersonal for friendly comments.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m feeling increasingly GOOD about LI, personally…I feel like since the death of Google+ a lot of convos have migrated to LI. But definitely loving having my own comments back!

  14. I am so glad you are bringing back commenting! This is where I found you (via Tom Ewer, actually). My publisher is expanding their list and encouraging freelancers to pitch book ideas, so that’s where my attention is for 2019. And ebooks, of course! 🙂

  15. Mark Baker says:

    Great news! I much prefer conversations on blogs than using social media. For some reason, social media loses me so I just don’t leave comments there.

  16. Steven Hopster says:

    Excellent! I’m thrilled and delighted that comments on the blog are available. Facebook isn’t always an efficient resource for connecting with folks. Thanks, Carol and team!

  17. I am looking forward to sharing comments with others.I think I learn more that way because I am not the only one with the same question.You never know when that one comment comes that can turn your business around.

  18. Tara says:

    I know I sound crazy, but I think some people are getting tired of social media. One of my favorite writers left Twitter last year after she was targeted by Twitter bullies. And I know several people who’ve given up on Facebook due to privacy issues.

    Anyway, it’s nice having the comments section back. I never commented that often, but when I did, the responses were always helpful.

  19. Mary Morris says:

    This is great news! I am new here, so I never knew a time of comments, and it has always felt really strange to me to go to LinkedIn to comment on a post. I know this will be extra work for you, so thank you, and all the best in this new endeavor.

  20. Yay! Content published three times a week will be terrific. And you’re right, I never commented on FB. I am on LinkedIn and would comment or like Carol’s posts there. I deactivated my FB accounts. I spend enough time marketing on LinkedIn, and plan on adding video to my marketing efforts in 2019. I’m also going to re-do my website, etc.

  21. Diane Young says:

    I’m delighted to hear that Comments are coming back! I learned from Carol about the new world of writing and publishing(after a 30 yr. hiatus)as well as from others, and shared what worked for me,

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Awesome. Tons of tips and advice about the business and craft of freelance writing here. “Now” is always the best time to start.

  22. James S Rosick says:

    Have a finished Screenplay, any realistic suggestions as how to get it looked at. I’m not a professional writer, just have an interesting idea.

  23. Holly Hughes-Barnes says:

    Yay! This is much better than having to leave the post and comment on Facebook. 🙂

  24. RJ Hoff says:

    I’m glad to hear comments are back. Following social media is waaayyy in the back seat (trunk?), especially for 2019.

    I only follow a few blogs and MALW is top of the list.

  25. Happy to see this, Carol! Congrats and I’m looking forward to it!

  26. Andrea Kluge says:

    Glad to hear comments are back, Carol. It’s just all so much simpler.

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Hi Andrea,
      I agree. There’s a lot of debate out there about blog comments vs. social media to drive traffic. In the end, the keep-it-simple strategy makes the most sense.

  27. Burton says:

    Count me in with the others that like the idea of comments on your blog. It’s much easier to slide right into the conversation when you’re already in the zone rather than searching through web pages to connect.

  28. Sue Chehrenegar says:

    I am writer that used to have a blog. Now a group that I belong to would like to have a blog. I do not want to suggest my approach, because someone took over my lbog. I need to provide them with some useful information.

  29. Great news. I’ve never been a FB fan and always felt a bit out-of-it when everyone seemed to be getting ALL of their news and views from there. I’m very glad for the Return of the Blog to Writer’s Den.

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Hi Jeannie,
      That’s good to hear. Anytime you make a change like this, even with plenty of info/data to make the decision, there’s always a bit of a question mark whether or not it’s the right thing.

  30. Lesley says:

    I’m really pleased to see this. 2019 is the year when I really commit to trying to turn my writing hobby into something more – and I’m taking all the help I can get. LinkedIn is only appropriate to some strands of my eclectic writing, Twitter isn’t really designed for conversation and I have never been and have no intention of ever being on Facebook.

    I also like the idea of having a fixed time for feedback. Keep it timely. Looking forward to this.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Playing catch-up from the road on comments right now! Look forward to settling into a set time to respond. Twitter was never a place I was taking blog comments, agree it’s unsuited. I know people hate on FB, but that is actually where I saw the liveliest convos. Hope those people will come on back to the blog!

  31. John Soares says:

    I’m glad you’re bringing back the comments! On my blogs, a reader’s first comment needs to be approved, with subsequent comments appearing immediately. This essentially eliminates spam comments.

    • Carol Tice says:

      That’s what we’re trying out…but it requires that somebody be on deck to look at comments in a timely manner. I think people get discouraged when their comment doesn’t post right away. But at this point spam is so burdensome that it seems to be the only way to go. We used to run them wide open and spike spam off but it quickly became an impossible task, and meant people were constantly reading spam comments, which I hated.

  32. Candra says:

    This is great news! I am not a fan of keeping up with comments on various social media sites. Following comments on a blog post much easier.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well…that was a big factor for me, having to check 2 other places. AND to hear from people who don’t show up on social media, and then felt they had no place to comment. Excited to be back!

  33. Lee Cart says:

    Carol, Awesome changes, thank you so much–I am one of many who don’t find time to follow every lead on social media so to be able to come here to find all the information and comments will be great. Looking forward to 2019 and a great year for all.

  34. Emma says:

    Great news! I’m on LinkedIn but for personal reasons don’t use a photo of myself and therefore couldn’t connect with MALW there.

  35. Amel says:

    Am really glad that you are bringing comments back. Have always been a fan but don’t enjoy interacting on FB. I used to really enjoy the insights people would leave on your blog.

  36. Denise says:

    In that case, I’ll be the first to comment… maybe.

    I’m new and considering a writing career alongside editing and proofreading.

    I’m unsure what I would want to write about. There’s also profitability to consider.

    I could try a market based on personal experience:

    Personal development/self help (I’m all about growth)

    Parenting (I have two twenty-somethings)

    Healthy food/eating (I haven’t eaten refined sugar since 2016)

    Languages (I love learning new languages)

    Mental health (I had an anxiety disorder as a child. I’m fine now though)

    But do I want to, is the question. I’ll surely have plenty more questions.

    Is this site the best for me anyway? I’m based in the UK.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Denise! Apologies that our comment-approval process seems to be having a few initial bumps and this one got caught in the approval folder. You’re in now!

      This blog has a global audience, so you’re certainly welcome here — and the fundamentals of freelance marketing we post about work in every country, everywhere.

      Figuring out where to focus your writing business is a process I see SO many writers struggle with…so many that I will be re-presenting my course that walks you through how to figure out your best starter niches in February. It’s being reborn as ‘Get Your First Freelance Writing Clients.’

      Stay tuned for more info about it — if you’re a subscriber to this blog, you’ll hear all about it in January.

      For now, the question I’d ask you is not what is the topic, but who is the CUSTOMER. Who is your client, within proposed niches? When you start trying to find customers with money to spend on marketing, it should help you eliminate niches that don’t have a lot of opportunity.

      • Denise says:

        Thanks Carol.

        It’s ironic how I mention commenting first only to find my comment right down the bottom. Gave me the giggles. I won’t make any ‘me first’ comments again – lesson learned 😉

        I’m pulled more towards personal development, but who would be my client within that market? Hmm… I’ll have to reflect on that question.

        Once I find a great market, I’m thinking that if I offer an all-in-one service of writing, editing and proofreading, that alone will bump up my fee.

        • Carol Tice says:

          Well, comments display with newest first, so as the first commenter yes, you end up at the bottom. 😉

          Lately, I’m asking writers that ‘who would be the client?’ question more and more. I find it’s even more effective than ‘what’s your niche?’ in helping to focus your business. In the personal development space, there are so few big, successful companies. Mostly solopreneur coaches, who don’t have a lot of money for marketing. Is the challenge. But come take bootcamp in February, and we’ll sort it out. 😉