Two of my biggest struggles since I started blogging have been coming up with topics for discussion posts and commenting on blog posts. This week I decided to kill two birds with one stone and write a discussion post to share my thoughts on commenting on blog posts. Smart thinking, right? LOL!
An incident this past weekend with my husband is what has inspired this post. I was spending some time Saturday morning getting caught up on replying to everyone who had commented on my blog posts that week and then paying return visits to their blogs to see what they’ve posted since my last visit. My husband, eager to get on with the rest of our weekend plans, was hovering and pacing and asking me why I was spending so much time doing what I was doing: “Do you do this every week? For everyone who comments on your blog? Why? That just seems like too much work.”
Why Commenting is so Important
Well yeah, he’s right (Shhh, don’t tell him I said that!). Commenting is a lot of work and it does take a lot of time. But that said, unless you are just blogging for yourself and have no interest in becoming a part of the blogging community, I think it’s also one of the most important things that bloggers do. It’s important, not just because it’s a way to show support to your fellow bloggers, but also because the more you comment and put yourself out there, the more your own blog is visible to others in the community.
I don’t mean to make that sound self-serving though; I just mean that there are a TON of blogs out there. Unless you are extremely lucky, you can’t just start a blog and expect a Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come” moment. No, with so many blogs out there, you have to do something to let people know that you’re out there too because it’s just so easy to get overlooked. Commenting is a great way to put yourself out there and start building a rapport with your fellow bloggers. It helps to build a sense of community rather than competition and I think that sense of community is important to many of us.
Arguments Against Commenting (And Why They’re Wrong):
- I don’t have time to comment on blogs. I’m too busy.
Although I can completely relate to this one, sorry, nope. Because of the reasons above, you have to make the time, no matter how busy you are. I’ll freely admit that, depending on how crazy my week is, sometimes it does take me a few days to reply to comments and pay that return visit to a commenter’s blog. But aren’t we all busy? I’m happy whenever I get comments back from fellow bloggers, whether it’s days or even weeks later, and I don’t think there are any bloggers out there who hold it against me if I don’t immediately reply to their comments either.
To help facilitate my blog commenting, I’ve actually started blocking out time for it on my calendar. I try to do 30 minutes a night at least twice during the week and then I’ll spend up to an hour on Saturday getting caught up the rest of the way. I used to just haphazardly comment here and there whenever I had a few minutes, but I feel more efficient and organized if I just build it into my daily routine.
I also prioritize when I comment. If you’re a regular visitor/commenter on my blog, you’re the first one I’m going to reply to and pay that return visit.
This is probably petty of me, but I will also stop commenting on a blog if I pay several visits and that blogger doesn’t reply to my comments or ever pay that return visit to my blog. It takes me a while to get to that point, usually weeks or even months since I know people are busy, but it does occasionally happen. It’s like I said above, there are just too many blogs out there and bloggers who want the interaction for me to waste my time on someone who clearly has no interest in me. I remember when I first started blogging, I was regularly visiting a very popular blog and no matter how many times I commented on her posts, she never once acknowledged me. I was also following her on twitter and I remember replying to a couple of her tweets and watching her go down the list of replies and skip right over mine to reply to her friends. That elitist/clique-like mentality was a real turnoff for me so I unfollowed her everywhere and haven’t visited her blog since.
- I never know what to say on other people’s blogs.
As a socially awkward person, I can totally relate to this one as well. But that said, is there really a wrong kind of comment to make on someone’s blog? (Okay, well obviously you wouldn’t want to blatantly insult someone and call them the worst blogger on the planet, haha), but other than that, it seems like the field is wide open for you to say anything that pops into your head. Well thought out comments are always nice, of course, but it’s just about being supportive so, for me, even a simple comment makes me happy.
- I don’t want to be the first one to comment on someone’s post.
I don’t subscribe to this idea, but I remember reading somewhere that people don’t generally like to be the first person to comment. Maybe it’s just the way my blog is set up, but my first thought was ‘How would I even know if I’m the first or not?’ Because of all of the ridiculous spam out there, my blog is set to ‘moderate’ comments so that I can screen for spam and approve the legit comments. For that reason, you might think you’re the first commenter but it really just means I haven’t had time to go in and approve any comments yet.
What I’m trying to say here is whether you’re the first or the 51st comment if you want to comment. And so what if you are the first? What’s wrong with being the first one? If it’s someone new to the community or just someone who doesn’t get a lot of comments, you’re probably going to make their day. And I personally love the thought of making someone’s day. 🙂
- I don’t want to comment just to comment.
I find this relatable as well in the sense that not all blog posts easily lend themselves to comment, but you can still pretty easily work around this. In cases like this, however, unless I’m really crunched for time, I simply look around the person’s blog until I find a post that works better for me.
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So there you have it, folks. My rambling, jumbled thoughts about commenting on blogs and why it’s such a crucial part of the blogging experience. Now, since this is a post about commenting, how about you leave me a comment and share your thoughts on the subject. J