A few posts ago I talked about my love of feedback and comments in blogging, but this time I want to focus on submitting meaningful comments and how to handle not receiving as many comments as you'd like on your blog posts.
Whether you belong to a blogging community or several or none, there are countless numbers of blogs out there. Some will appeal to you because the subject matter is of interest or features information on a topic that you want to learn more about. Once you have a list of blogs that you regularly follow, it may become a chore just to keep up with them all.
An easy way to stay connected is to follow bloggers on Facebook or Twitter so you can always be notified when they have new posts. Google Reader is also helpful, in that all of the blogs you follow are listed in one place and you can access them rather easily. You must follow the blogs through Google Connect though in order for them to be present in Google Reader.
Another way to keep up with your favorite bloggers is to set up a block of time whether it's 15 minutes or an hour to do nothing but read blogs. I love to do this on Sunday mornings if I can, because it's the day that I'm most reflective. I find that people who post on Sunday usually have something inspirational to say and that helps me as I face my day. I can also then visit some of their other blog posts I may have missed during the week.
When you comment on blogs you are really having a conversation. Read the other responses. If someone talks about something that sparks your thought process, refer to them in your comment as well. Sharing like this is a good way to network. That person could have a blog or website that you might be interested in. Scroll over the names of people who comment. Sometimes their blogs or websites will pop up. You can also click on their names and most likely be taken to their sites.
Be mindful and respectful of the blogger's space that you're commenting on. If you don't agree with their point of view, say so in a way that can add to the conversation instead of just being negative. Ask for clarification if you don't understand something.
Also, bloggers can be very sensitive and intuitive beings. They can tell if you didn't read their post and just want to promote your own blog. If you don't have time to read the post, wait until you do and then comment. It's almost worse when you get a comment that has nothing to do with your post or illustrates that the person didn't read your work, than not getting a comment at all! Most importantly, when you do receive comments on your blog, RESPOND! People feel valued when they are acknowledged. They will return to your blog if you make them feel welcome. Ignore them and they will ignore you!
Now, we all have those blogger friends that always seem to have scores and scores of comments on their blogs. Sometimes it can be disheartening to see a post have over 100 comments and then you go back to your blog and your average number of comments is four or five. There are many factors that can explain the discrepancy. The other bloggers may have had their blogs up longer and have had more time to build a following. Your posts may have been missed as no one is online all day. We do have to go to work and attend to our offline lives. Don't get discouraged! Remember that we blog not to get comments, but for the sheer pleasure of writing! It is amazing when we get a lot of comments, but the most important thing is to keep honing your craft and getting better.
Sometimes people who read our blogs may not be commenting at all! I have a close friend who told me that she reads a lot of my posts. I was so shocked being that she never commented. But she just isn't into commenting. We had a lovely conversation about some of what I wrote about and it was evident that she was a regular reader! How about that! So it's best not to assume that since you didn't get 80 comments that no one reads your blog. It's not true!
So keep writing and promoting your blog! Join as many blogging communities as you can through many of the social media sites. Go to networking events and give out business cards with your blog link. Visit and comment on the blogs that you are interested in and leave your blog link.
SHARE YOUR SUCCESSES! - If you receive a lot of comments and are a whiz at getting new followers for your blog and want to share your best practices, please leave them in the comment section! What is the best comment you ever received on your blog?