Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Care To Comment?

Comments are the crack of blogging.

We all crave feedback and everyone loves to have their ego stroked.  Comments do that.

Conversely, when we unveil carefully-constructed posts and don't hear back, we wonder if anyone is reading.  You and I know how much work it takes to blog well.  Not receiving acknowledgement of that effort can be dispiriting.

What can we do to encourage readers to comment?  I have two techniques and I welcome you to tell us yours.  Let's pool our ideas.

I've written before that blogging, to me, is conversation.  I prefer interactive communication where readers share their thoughts and experiences.  Your comments teach me valuable lessons and entertain other readers.  My proudest posts are those where there's vibrancy in the comments-section.

Here are my two techniques to stimulate comments.  First, I ask questions, which by their nature invite readers into a discussion.  Second, when I visit other people's blogs, I read them seriously and respond with as much insight and wit as I can muster.  Commenting on other blogs often prompts reciprocal comments on yours.  It's human nature to respond to kindness with kindness.

What ideas do you have to encourage comments?

40 comments:

  1. I agree that blogging is about having a conversations with other. I love reading comments on mine and other's blogs to see what people think about a certain subject area or product.

    Asking guestions is a great prompt for comments.

    http://thelilacdream.blogspot.com

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  2. I guess I also do the same you do.
    One thing that totally upsets me is when you get a comment that has nothing, NOTHING to do with what you posted. Like you "look nice" and i posted a picture of my dog :(
    It totally kills me and I never visit that blog again.
    I do take time to stop and read posts and THEN comment - i f i need to - so those kinds of comments are just... sad.

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  3. I turn off word verification, because it sucks balls.

    JUST SAYIN!

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  4. Adore the photo of you Ally! I share the same opinions about conversation as you do! I hate the word verification though, have the time I can't make out the words!!!
    Happy Tuesday hun xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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  5. Mhm, asking questions is good. I should do that more. I should post more, too... but I'm really too busy now.

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  6. I LOVE the photo of you in this post.

    I comment on each and every blog post I read ... I think that if the person has taken the time to put themselves out there it is good manners to let them know that you popped past. I love it when you ask questions as it really gets me thinking and pondering on that very issue in my life.

    I do not get many comments on my blog so I have decided to blog for myself and not worry when I don't get any comments ~ It is after all my own online journalling.

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  7. I completely agree... but lately people having been replying to comments either by email or in their own comments sections, without visiting your blog back. I hate that :/

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  8. I can't always reply to a post I read, either because I don't have a strong enough opinion on the subject matter or I'm in a terrible mood.

    Comments have always been a problem for me, and are part of the reason I stopped blogging so many times. In the past, I spent a HUGE amount of time connecting with new bloggers and commenting, but in the end, came out with a tiny following and not very many comments/interested followers to show for it. Blogging is very love/hate for me.

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    1. Even when I am in a terrible mood I look for something good in the post and also put myself in that person's shoes ~ many times when reading a post and commenting it has turned my mood around.

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  9. I always try to read very carefully each and every post and, if I have the time, to comment back to other bloggers. Showing that I really care is not only good for those who receive my comment, but also for me...the thought that my comment may be useful for someone makes me smile :)

    Life is a romantic poem

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  10. ps - where are the pictures from the party? what did u wear???

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    1. The person who took pictures used a FILM camera, if you can believe that, and the photos haven't been developed and printed yet. Hang on!

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  11. Anyway, while obviously comments are nice, I don't mainly blog for the comments. Of course I love hearing from my readers via comment, but my main goal is to inspire people. I think people can be inspired without leaving a comment (hell, I read sooooo many blogs I never comment on, and it's not because the post is boring or anything, I just plain don't do it), and I'm fine with that. So honestly, I don't do much of anything to encourage people to comment, except be my usual charming self. To be honest, I'm not much of a conversationalist....maybe that's why.

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  12. Although we have been soooo busy lately and our commenting has been down, we try to squeeze in comments on other blogs (especially some of our favorites or new visitors) as often as we can. Asking questions is a great way to get a conversation started. You always ask the right questions and you can tell you put much thought into your posts each and every time :)

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  13. comments are like little gold stars when we were in elementary school!
    brett

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  14. I read every post I come across. I try very hard to always comment on both photos AND what the text is talking about. Sometimes I don't always give constructive comments, but I do try. I leave a comment 90% of the time anyway though to let people know I am reading, but may not be totally coherent enough to formally put together a legible comment.

    Especially if the blog is not conducive to leaving comments (comment box opening in a new window/tab, captcha, non-blogger blogs, Disqus on a bad day). It may be a bit selfish of me, but I find it much harder to communicate to blogs who don't have an easy comment form.

    I try to ask questions from my readers, ask for specific feedback, or start a conversation. I also try to reply to questions/significant comments with an email or reply response if the person doesn't have email replies enabled. I've met so many people simply by continuing a conversation off-post. I feel like it makes my blog more significant to have a connection with my readers past "Great dress, great hair, nice post"...

    But still, I'd rather get the above^ than negativity, spam or no comments at all. At least then I can sort of know if people are reading.

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  15. I encourage people to comment by saying the weirdest crap in my posts. I think it makes people feel compelled to comment because they want to share their own weird things. My weirdness tends to make others more comfortable because, well, I'm the weirdest.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  16. I'm not too consistent with my methods or my comments on other blogs. It's something I'm trying to be better at but sometimes I have to admit that I just get lazy...or tired.

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  17. I think I might be the only odd one out but I do not "crave" comments. I have realized it is my outlet to express and not 'always' discuss/debate. If someone wishes to share their thoughts I am always excited to read, but if they decide not ... I am fine with that as well.

    I try and comment as much as I can and when I find something worthwhile to say. Else I let go of the guilt of not commenting on every single post in the blogosphere!

    I always enjoy reading your comments on my posts. You one, of the two, of my favorite commenters! :)

    ∞ © tanvii.com ∞

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  18. If I comment on someones blog and don't get comments back I stop commenting on that person's blog.

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  19. I'm with you 100%, you have to put something in to get something out, successful blogging is just like a relationship- you have to work at it! I like the idea of asking questions because it promotes dialogue. Also leaving more insightful comments than "nice blog, follow me" is recommended! P.S> I love the dress you are wearing- is that leopard print I see?

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  20. im laughing at ashleys comment about word verification.

    i do hate word verification.

    i think having an interesting post and asking questions is a great way to get comments. if you ask me a question i'll answer it!

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  21. As both a legal blogger and a style blogger, commenting can be a challenge. My readers will email me, but the legal types are cautious about leaving Internet footprints, such as blog post comments :P

    But I find that I'm inspired to comment at others' posts by a true, authentic voice; anything that leaves me in plain awe; or simply answering a good question. For my own blog, I learned to loosen up my writing style and not be afraid to tackle sensitive issues.

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  22. I love getting comments on my blog. I don't have many real life friends, so it's nice to have a conversation with my blog friends through the comments. I admit that I'm not always the best at commenting on other people's blogs. I blame my day job. :)

    I try to remind myself that the people who comment are only a small fraction of the people who actually read my posts (yay Google Analytics!). I don't have a "Followers" box on my site anymore because I'm trying not to focus on a number. I figure if I put good content out there, people will come...and just because they didn't comment doesn't mean that they didn't appreciate my post.

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  23. I know that I visit many blogs and try to leave thoughtful comments, often asking questions in my comments, which leads to a visit to my blog. I know though that some of my posts lend themselves to comments more easily than others. I've had thoughtful exchanges on posts that I've carefully constructed. Those that are simply outfit of the day posts almost bring canned responses, unless I'm doing something very different with the outfit. Sometimes too, I recognize that people are busy and it may take them a few days to comment. I've learned to be patient. I like this pose!

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  24. I wish I had the time every day to visit every blog or website of every person who reads my blog and leaves a comment, but I do always try to thank every commenter on his/her own blog.

    When I do leave comments, I always try to be genuine and truthful (I never just say "great outfit!"), and I always try to be personal with them.

    I've been so thankful for the support of the blogging community lately...I'm amazed at how caring people are.

    I hope you're having fun in AZ. That is a sexy pose! You have such great legs, Ally.

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    1. Thanks, Sheila. A famous actress once titled her memoir, "The Legs Are The Last Thing To Go." And she was right!

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  25. I too ask questions from time-to-time, and that seems to work. I have also found that my blog is very random in content, so not everyone will be able to relate. For instance, if I write a post gushing about Weezer, some people might comment, others might feel the need to talk about their favorite band. Also, I have noticed that some people are busy during the week or the weekends, so it might be a time issue as well. I think you do a great job :)

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  26. Well written post. I think its human nature to say something and wait for a response. I try to comment on the posts where either the writer asks a question, or there is something in the post that resonated with me. Sometimes, If there is nothing much to say, I still drop a line or two with some kind words. May be that is me being polite, but that's what I think. (I think this as the online version of a smile when you make eye contact with someone on the street)I like when people connect and comment on my blog, but I like more when they 'read' what I have to say before they comment!
    I just found out your blog via twitter. And now going to explore your past posts!Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    -Jyoti
    Style-Delights Blog
    Let's Twitter Together

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  27. i think commenting begets commenting, like you said. what i don't like is the "let's follow each other" comments..but people can say and/or ask whatever they want, i suppose!

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  28. Posts that spark something in me, be it the pictures, writing or even asking a question.

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  29. Interesting question. I know that feeling of, "Wait, 1 comment? That's it?" But then I get surprised one day with 30 comments. I don't normally have that many so I have no idea why there's such a difference in number of comments from day to day for me.

    I like how you said that you are thoughtful about reading the whole post and saying something pertinent. You really do that with me and I appreciate it tons.

    xo,
    Tracy

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  30. I really like what Ashley said about just writing to inspire. That's the reason I blog. I can start wondering, when I don't get a lot of comments, if what I'm doing even matters to anyone or is actually helping to reshape the way they see themselves for the better. That's on a bad day. On a good day, though, I write what I write because I feel like I have to, like everything rides on it, and I know it will reach whomever needs it. I admit I do crave comments, not so much for validation but just to hear someone say, "Thanks, I really needed that," because I love knowing if it helped someone. Sometimes that will come in the form of a private email or a tweet instead of a blog comment, and that means just as much. Actually, the private emails probably mean the most. People have told me outright that what I'm doing has changed them, but I guess I can question myself just like anyone else! :) Our stats are more than decent, at least for our liking, but I've noticed a lot of hits come from Google searches for random things - I've been thinking so much lately about how to get them to stay around after finding what they clicked on, but I also know our type of blog just isn't going to resonate with everyone, and it's nothing personal.

    There are so many blogs in my list that I adore but only a handful I can make the time to actively read right now. There is a pretty even exchange of comments. All of you are more than bloggers I like; you're dear friends. For many of them, this relationship happened because one of us left a thoughtful, meaningful comment that we remembered, and the connection was forged. My friendship with you started with one little comment from me on Doe's blog and you responding...and a beautiful friendship I treasure was born. So it's true that it's the best way to garner more comments...start doling them out in a meaningful way. People can sense when you're genuine. I just wish I had more time!

    Quite a while back, as you know, I implemented a different commenting widget instead of Blogger's, which wasn't doing what I wanted it to do. You couldn't reply directly to someone's comment, and there was no easy way to show each commenter's most recent post. I felt those were important things that needed to be there, so I found a widget that would do them. Blogger finally has a direct reply feature now, but I don't think you can do the other without inserting your own code. I've wondered at times if the widget is preventing people from commenting instead of making it easier. I've never had problems using it, but who knows. I had a lot of people saying they had issues commenting with Blogger's form back then, so I really don't know what to do!

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    1. Jen, you win the award for longest blog-comment ever! Congratulations!

      Seriously, you make good points. Thanks for contributing them. I agree that people don't need to made comments for a post to be important. It's valuable for us to express ourselves and we will never know the true reach of our words.

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    2. Yeah, but it stood out and made you comment, didn't it?? heeheehee

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  31. I've given up. My pool of readers doesn't have much to say. Even when I do pose questions. It used to upset me, until someone said something like "why do you blog?" That's when I realized I do it because I enjoy it.

    Don't get me wrong, I love comments. And I really appreciate folks who take the time to say a word or two. But I try not to measure my "success" by number of comments received. Success to me is a good post.

    I think you do a great job inviting comments. And commenting on other blogs. You are my most frequent commenter by far. You put lots of thought into what you say.

    I only comment on blogs when I have something to say. I'd rather have no comments than lame comments from folks who feel like they have to respond just because.

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  32. Another informative blog… Thank you for sharing it… Best of luck for further endeavor too.


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