Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Importance of Commenting


As a blogger, you know comments on your posts is the most inspirational and motivational part of blogging.  We live for those notifications that say not only someone read your page, but it it created enough of an impact to prompt them to comment.  Now, the trouble is, how do we get those comments?  Obviously creating fun, engaging, quality content is the most important.  However, another important factor in gaining commenters, is being a commenter yourself.  Here’s why:

1.         Give comments to get comments.
Commenting on other book blogs is vital to increasing commenting and readership on your own blog. When you leave a comment on another blog, you are firstly, showing you appreciate the content on the post or blog; secondly, want to build a relationship with the blogger; and thirdly, you are leaving a link back to your blog.  The author of the blog can use this link to return the favor on your blog.  Not to mention any other commenters from the post who will also see your comment and perhaps decide to visit as well.

Now if you truly want to make an impression, you can’t just leave one half-hearted comment and never return. If someone did that on your blog, would you feel very inclined to go visit and make yourself a loyal follower/commenter of their blog?  You give what you get.  So if you give a half-hearted comment, don’t expect more in return.  If you give a clever, understanding, or opinionated comment, and especially if you make return visits, the blogger will remember you and be more likely to seek you out.

2.       Free advertising
By leaving comments on other blogs, you are basically leaving a free ad on their blog each time you do so.  You are saying, “Here I am, I leave awesome comments, come check me out!  It’s sure to be just as awesome there.” 
Now you aren’t going to notice some huge traffic spike all at once, but by leaving your “calling card” through commenters all over the blogosphere, you are sure to notice a gradual increase as time goes on.  If people don’t know about you, they can’t invest themselves into your blog. 

It’s like a new car company creating a car and then not advertising it on television and radio.  Who’s going to use it if they don’t know of its existence?  Then the ad (comment) is your chance to show off why someone should try your car (blog) out.  Not many cars are sold without test drives, and you cannot get people to test drive it if no one shows up because they didn’t know you were there.
 
3.       Not just networking, but connecting
Now commenting is just the beginning.  If you truly want your readers to be engaged on your blog, you need to do more than just advertise and network.  A businessman/woman doesn’t attend a networking conference and just hand out his business card, make a few comments, and then set off to the next target.  A truly savvy businessman knows that engaging others in a meaningful conversation is the best way to become memorable. 

If you think just adding someone on Twitter or Facebook is going to be all you need to do in terms of networking, you are missing the point. People aren't going to click on your links just because you tell them to.  Give them a reason to.  Make them want to find out what you are writing about and reviewing.  Engage them in conversations.  Just like you, other bloggers just want to be heard.  We all want to know someone is not just hearing us, but truly listening to what we have to say.  When you engage others in a back-and-forth discussion you are creating not only new readers, but you will probably forge new friendships, as well.

4.      New discoveries for you, too
Not only will your blog benefit from commenting on others’ blogs, but you will also discover new blogs.  I love discovering new blogs because it is always a chance to find another person who you can become friends with, another blogger who gets the same books you do.  You will discover new books on their blogs and you will find those whose tastes align with your own. You will learn how close to what they think about a book correlates to your own tastes and opinions. 

So you can see that commenting is an integral part in building your own blog up and to making a name for yourself in the book blogging world.

-Becca

P.S. How about leaving a comment here? :)

34 comments :

  1. Very, very well said! :) It is too easy to only engage w/ blogs via an RSS Reader...but that is only half the fun.

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    1. You're right! Commenting and interacting is half the fun! :)

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  2. Very true! I'm trying to make myself comment more, but usually I'm just a lurker, as I read my blogroll in the morning while drinking coffee. Now, how can you write something meaningful if your coffee is not finished yet? :)

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    1. LOL We do appreciate your lurking and reading. :) Perhaps you can challenge yourself to commenting a certain number of time a week?

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    2. Well, that's a nice idea, I think I'll try :) I hope it will not end up as my "regular" exercises :)

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  3. Great points! I just started my book blog in January, but I've loved the connections I've made so far. So many interesting, thoughtful people out here in the book blogging world!

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    1. I love meeting and interacting with everyone. Like Ruth said, that is part of the fun of it all!

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  4. So, so true ... you have to give to get. For me, what began as bloggy friends regularly commenting on each others blogs has evolved into long standing friendships. And who doesn't love sharing the book love :)

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    1. I agree! I am so thankful for the friendships I have made through blogging!

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  5. This is all spot-on. I spend almost as much time commenting on other blogs during the week as I do actually writing posts. It's a huge part of my networking "strategy" and also a great way to stay on top of what other bloggers are doing!

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    1. That's awesome, Kelly! I tend to read blogs and comment on one or two days of the week. It feels less overwhelming that way to me. Some people comment throughout the week so they don't feel it's building up. Either way, commenting is such an important part of the experience! :)

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    1. Kelly TheWellReadRedhead ... Thanks for the heads-up! Just fixed it! :)

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  7. I used to be so much better about commenting before I started using a reader and/or reading on my phone. (I am the WORST about commenting on my phone.) I've been trying to make an effort to click on posts I like when I'm in my reader to comment later, even if it means I have a billion windows open until I get around to comments.

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    1. How hard is it to read blogs from the phone? My phone is a smartphone but it and my service provider (Sprint, ugh) don't allow me much Internet access or ease.

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  8. Nice new blog! I'm following via GFC, but can you guys add a subscribe by email option? It would be much appreciated. =O)

    I try to comment as much as possible, but I have those times when I get so busy. I always make an effort as much as I can though. It is important.

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    1. Michelle @ The True Book Addict ... Done! You can now subscribe via email on the right sidebar! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  9. Your tips are great but sometimes I simply lack time to make a worthwhile comment. Still I always try to return for feedback :).

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    1. Sometimes just letting the blogger know you enjoyed the post is appreciated. If you don't know what to say or lack the time (which definitely happens sometimes!), just a simple "Great review!" or "Thanks for pointing out such and such." or "I've been wanting to read that, too." can mean a lot. Thanks for commenting here!!!

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  10. All valid points, Becca.
    I often read posts, but neglect to comment due to "commenting anxiety." Seeing as bloggers thrive on reading comments, I'll make an effort to overcome this;)

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    1. You aren't the only one by far to experience this, Liz! Awesome job for beginning by commenting here!

      I left 3 ideas for simple comments you can leave on a blog on Anachronist's comment above. Hope they help!

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  11. I agree 100% to that, and I do it a lot, which explains sometimes why I am so much behind writing my own reviews, lol! BUT, for once, all the titles featured in my March wrap-up have their reviews!!: http://wordsandpeace.com/2013/04/01/2013-march-wrap-up/

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    1. I am behind on my reviews right now, too! Congrats on catching up! And thanks for leaving us a comment! :D

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  12. I'm so odd when it comes to commenting.... I read a lot more posts than I comment on, mainly because I don't want to leave a boring comment if I really don't have anything to say. There are only so many times you can say, great comment or loved your post, before it gets old.

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    1. I agree, Ryan. If I don't have anything to add to a conversation besides "well done," then I often don't bother posting a comment. (Maybe, I shouldn't have even crafted this reply;)

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    2. Okay, so maybe I should write up another post that gives some phrases that you can use to spice up your comments besides "loved the post" and "great job." I will work on that.

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  13. This is a wonderful post and I applaud it loudly! I love blogging about books. But when it comes down to it I love the connections I've made with other book lovers even more. This community rocks and I'm so glad to be a part of it!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer! :D

      Isn't this community the BEST?!?

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  14. I love these posts about helping us improving our comments. I love blogging but even more, love leaving comments that hopefully promote good discussion and get to know other bloggers better. I respond to each comment before I sit down to write a new post. Even though my time is limited, I think it's important to maintain that connection with people who take the time, interest and effort to comment....even if it means I write my blog post the next day instead. Book bloggers are a supportive community and thanks for starting this group. I'm gonna love connecting with new bloggers!

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    1. Tanya, I am with you. The discussions and community building are just so awesome. Like you said, it is important to schedule in time for commenting if we want to really get everything out of blogging that we can!

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  15. Great, great post Becca! I don't think we can stress the importance of commenting enough, especially considering that I've seen a bit of a decline recently!

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    1. Thanks, girl! The decline is what inspired me to write this post. I noticed quite a few people talking about it on the Google+ Discussion group. I hope this has been inspiring to people so maybe commenting will increase!

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  16. I've had a post about commenting brewing for quite awhile. It has always perplexed me that we all love getting comments, but we all admit that commenting is the first thing we let go of when we get busy. I'm certainly guilty of it myself.

    Lately I've been making a concerted effort to respond to comments that are made on my blog and then returning the favor. Once I make that a regular thing, then I'm going to seek out posts to comment on. We'll see what happens...

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    1. I know. It's a catch-22 almost, right? We love getting them but it's so hard to find the time. Then we wonder why no one is commenting on ours and we start to doubt ourselves. It's cyclical and I don't want anyone to feel like they aren't appreciated when they most certainly are!

      I don't always make it to every comment on my blog, but I let people know right in the comment box that I read every comment, and I do! And I respond to 90% of them. I might be late (guilty as charged for this post, too) but I will get there. Thanks for making more of an effort. I know the blogs you read appreciate it, just like me!

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