Thursday, 29 September 2011

Getting comments on your blog

Image from here*
I noticed that with a couple of the recent Weekend Rewind topics (zero comments and most surprisingly successful post) there seems no rhyme or reason for why one post gets comments and another doesn't.

Obviously timing has something to do with it, as does the size of your readership (different to follower count), and the length of your posts (500 words or less) but at the end of the day, none of us really knows what will trigger a reader to comment or what makes a dud post. But how do we maximise the likelihood?

The blogging pro's would have us think about SEO. About writing engaging content. About asking something of your readers. About sharing the comment love. About having your own unique voice.

But me? I reckon it is more about luck. It just takes one brave soul (who isn't related to you!) to type something in the comment box and that instantly transforms the post from comment-less to comment-worthy.

Think about it. Do you comment more on blogs with lots of comments or ones with only a few (or none)? Do you comment on 'popular' blogs or any blog that pushes the right buttons? What types of bloggers comment on your blog?

With each comment you write, you have done a service. You have given the blogger a reason to keep blogging, to be sure, but you have also opened the door for others to follow. Your comment may in fact be the reason the next person leaves a note. You become integral to the success of the post. Feeling the pressure yet?

Like content on your blog, your comment content is equally important. You may think you can get away with 'great post'. But can you? Every comment you write is an opportunity to advertise your own blog, to draw other's into your lair community. You need to add something to the post when you comment. Even if 99 people before you have 'said it all'. Think about how your comment can stand out in the crowd.

Beyond that it is up to your community. Do you hang with commenting types? Do you fraternize with your folk? Do you reciprocate?

If you want people to comment on your blog, make sure you write good content absolutely, but take the time to interact with your readers (most if whom are bloggers just like you).

Commenters breed comments. What do you think about that?

* And when in doubt, add a picture of a highly comment worthy gentleman to stimulate conversation of another variety!

38 comments:

Julie said...

Ok, so this post is obviously comment-worthy!

I have to partly disagree with you though. I often don't comment when there are multiple comments on a post. Usually someone has already said what I was thinking. In that case, I don't usually bother...

Maxabella said...

You are obviously right because I am very interested in what Julie has said in her comment above. I would always bother to comment, regardless of how many comments had gone before. I know on my own blog that every single comment left on a post I write is meaningful and treasured.

I have often reflected on this side of my blog and I sincerely believe that it is the combination of my thoughts and those added by my wonderfully engaged readers, that make my blog the place that it is. When all is said and done, I know that comments, and blogging interaction in general, make me keep blogging. x

joeh said...

No Comment!


Cranky Old Man

Kelsbells said...

Amen to your post! I often have no inkling why people have chosen to post on one post, when another I've written I would be sure I'd get responses back! For me being such a newbie to it all, I definitely think luck plays a part.

Photographer Mum said...

I'm a bit here and there, I usually comment when I feel compelled to do so. Sometimes I read and don't comment at all & other times I comment on posts a lot. I suppose it depends on the topic and if I have anything to say on it. Sometimes I just can't think of anything to say so I leave it. Each to their own I reckon. But you make a very good point about giving the blogger a reason to keep blogging when you leave a comment. I always appreciate comments on my posts (who doesn't?) and I get a bit excited when I see that another person has left a comment after the first one and so on.

Btw, that gentleman is very comment worthy :)

Julia said...

I was wondering what that guy at the top had to do with anything. Hilarious :)

Well-said!

Marcy said...

I can never seem to predict which posts will get attention and which ones won't. (The picture at the top did help draw me in to this one ;) )

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I find one way to provoke comments on a post is to ask people why they comment. I wrote a post about a dud post and asked people why they commented and received a landslide of comments. No naked man required.

Mum on the Run said...

Interesting!
I love when a comment appears on a post - but I love to comment too.
I've just got too much to say in this little box sometimes!!
I don't mind being the first commenter, but do get a little put off if there's already a hundred sitting there.
I'm a small time blogger - but have started to see genuine friendships forming in my little patch of cyber space and it's fantastic.
:-)

Mama of 2 boys said...

As in real life, in the blogging world, I love to comment! Whether there are no comments or 50 doesn't impact on my decision to leave my mark on a post. It is rare that I read a post and leave without a comment, though if it really misses the mark for me, I might go silently. I do feel a strong bond to a number of bloggers... whether they reciprocate comments on my blog regularly or not. Some bloggers I just like and love how they write and what they write about.
This is such an interesting topic though and very insightful too. I quite often read other peoples comments on blogs and at times it does lead me to start following their blog too! Ah, the power of commenting :o)
So lovely to meet you today. Your crew are delightful xo

InkPaperPen said...

I haven't really thought about this, I do get a little put off at loads of comments too. Adding my own comment to a list of 30+ feels like getting lost in the crowd to me. I like that I have been blogging long enough now to really feel I have made great connections. But I probably don't comment on enough blogs, I'm just sticking to a few familiar ones these days. And the ones I visit tend to be the ones that also visit Alice or Ink Paper Pen regularly too - friendships work both ways, even blogging ones!

River said...

I don' comment if the 50 people before me have already said what I wanted to say, I also don't comment if there are already so many comments that mine wouldn't make any difference at all. For me to comment usually the post has to have something that sparked my interest. Going from post to post and just writing "great post" seems silly to me.

Dr Bron said...

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh.... most people have said what I wanted to say, so..... errrrr ...... great post?

Alison said...

Ditto to a lot of the comments above.
PS I love the picture of the sexy guy.

BabyMac said...

I am also interested in the way comments can change the tone of a post. The comments can totally steer the mood in a direction that you may not want/hadn't ever thought of going which can be great. And not so great!

Diminishing Lucy said...

Hot.

What?

Oh.

Dunno.

Nah - I comment if I have something to say, if I am awake, if I am NOT on my ipad/iphone.

Or if there is a hot man.

xx

A Christy Production said...

I've never understood the said topic. I am not one to leave a comment on a hugely popular highly commented post/blog, I am more inclined to comment on a smaller blog, where I know my comment really will be appreciated and read and considered, whatever it is.

I always make an effort to leave comments on posts I read and hope it will be returned one day on my blog. I never do seem to get many comments. That may be my own fault, I have no idea. It's all just a little too complex for me!

Ali said...

I am fairly new to blogging. I don't leave many comments and I don't get many comments - that seems fair.

alliecat said...

I believe comments breed comments. Often on a relaly popular blog, and if there is already 50+ comments, I won't bother, I mean, why would the author want to read what I have to say after that? I'd rather comment where there are few or none, and only then when I have something to say. Occasionally a post is so moving or sad that I ahve to say something, only if it is to say I read and heard.

I get a bit discouraged myself when the comments are few and far between....

A great post by the way!

alliecat said...

PS sorry about the bad typos!

Erin said...

I would def. agree that comments breed comments. I rarely got comments or if I did, only averaging 2. Since I have started more consistently being diligent in commenting my average has gone up, but not only that I've felt far more a part of a community, that is far more important than comments, the community feeling:)

Zippyzippy said...

I read a lot of blogs, but only comment on issues that I have an interest in. What I don't get about comments is that if you receive a comment on your blog - arn't you support to reply to the commenter? Maybe that could be your next topic :) and yes, that pic is very welcome half way through the school holidays - thanks and have a nice weekend.
Jacqueline

therhythmmethod said...

There's a lot in this. I know some good posts go unloved, and I know the more comments I leave, the more I get. It's complicated. I haven't been reading much this week so I feel a bit sheepish reading blogs tonight. Sorry folks! Busy week.
That said, I think you can do 'everything right' and still not be as big as Maxabella. Even if she has 50 comments, I still leave one because I feel like she's talking to me. And I think she makes everyone feel like that. To have so many readers, and be able to connect one on one, THAT is special. And magic.
I also give comment as reward for effort. It makes me sad when I see no comments or just 1 or 2 because I know how it feels to think that no one is reading.

Kellie said...

Great post topic!
I comment on just about everything!! There are probably only a few exceptions. 1. I didn't understand the post. 2. I'm not prepared to give my opinion on the topic.
I have to add that if there are lots of comments already, I generally only pick a handful to read. If there are three or four, I'm more inclined to read all of them. Hence, I only read the first four comments here and then jumped to add my two cents worth! Is that bad? :)

Becki said...

Well I try to comment on most post I read. I do this because I want to know what other people think about what I write. Now I am not nearly as good as you or a lot of other bloggers. I do my best and hope for a comment but I maybe get one or two every once in a while. Very few comments do I get. I love your blog and this post really hit home. Thanks for the thoughts on the subject.

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

How can I not comment after reading that? Sometimes I get so carried away with the comment it's more of a post. I think sometimes I just feel in the comment mood. Great post.

wally sharp said...

I would like to comment on blogspot only as it is very easy and very user friendly. I would like to read the blog and after that commenting.
Charleston Wedding Photographer

asampler said...

It depends on the blog. Some I rarely comment on, others I always comment on.For instance, with inkpaperpen, I always comment, even if I haven't liked the writing piece, I try to find something that I can relate to or offer some constructive criticism (very gently). If I feel a genuine connection with the post I always comment, because I always appreciate comments left too. I wouldn't mind if people wrote, read it, didn't get it!

Megan Blandford said...

It all seems very random - a post you think will create some discussion does nothing, another you put up with five minutes of prep goes berserk. Who knows?!

Penny said...

I love comments and I love commenting. But it's just like real life. if I don't have anything to say or worthwhile to ass to the conversation, i won't talk / comment just for the sake of it. Unless Ive had a few wines, of course...;-)Then I seem to have plenty to say.

Miss Pink said...

If I am swamped with posts (like today) I have to be picky with my comments. I wish I had 6 hours a day to dedicate to reading and commenting on blogs, but I don't.
I actually have a post coming up on this, but I am going to link back to you because you bring up some wonderful points!

Tricia said...

I'm a hopeless commenter - but you knew that ;-)

I know when I take the time to comment on other blogs (around once a month I have binge, otherwise I skim read and rarely comment) I do get more comments on mine. I used to stress about not being a good blogger in the comment department, but am learning to accept that it’s either be a poor commenter or not blog at all. How do ‘good’ bloggers find the time to comment?
I hope your rainy camping weekend is going well.

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

You pose so many interesting questions, I'd be here for ages responding! 

The main motivation for me to comment is that the post resonates with me on some level. I also tend to be a long-winded commenter mostly because I want to make the most of the opportunity to share my thoughts rather than just shoot through and stamp "I woz here" on the post. I do occasionally do that, but not often. Sometimes commenting on a post is as cathartic for me as writing a post about a topic myself.

I will comment even if there are many comments above mine if I feel motivated to say something. It doesn't matter if it's been said. I do also comment sometimes if I come across a post with no comments, like I did yesterday. Someone was questioning friendships and no one had commented, which I thought was a little sad.

Which brings me to my next reason; I will also comment in most cases when I come across an emotive post written by someone who is struggling or having a hard time. I feel if they've laid their heart on the line, it's only appropriate that I respond, if I can, sensitively and in a considered manner to provide support or encouragement.

I will occasionally comment on the 'popular' blogs if the post resonates but also sometimes to make my presence felt in the mix. I know that's a bit self-serving but I guess we all do it sometimes.

Despite what I've said, it's hard to get around to comment. I do as much as I can but I wrote a post just last week about how it was getting hard to keep up, and from what I've been reading I'm not the only one feeling this, I think everyone's fear is if they stop commenting, they might fall off the radar. I know this is a concern, especially as I'm a fairly new blogger.

At the end of the day, if it is more luck that draws comments than not, then I guess the best thing we can keep doing is being ourselves, writing for us, and hope for those return visits when we comment on other blogger's sites.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I just mentioned this to another blogger...commenting has been way down!

I chalk it up to September being uber-busy and people being completely exhausted...

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

I've got no comment, I'm still side tracked by the top picture....*scrolling up again*

Being Me said...

Just... yes. I always comment on blogs when I have read a post (or several), usually regardless of size of blog/number of comments. It's easy to get jaded about why you can see that people are reading your blog (even easier now that the new version of blogger has stats right there, per post) and I can see that I'm getting dozens of views and one or two comments... I really don't get that and sometimes I find it rude. It makes me want to stop blogging. And then I slap myself, get over it and recover from the childish hissy-fit I felt like throwing.

Veggie Mama said...

It's funny you say it's about luck, and drawing people into your lair. My absolute most-read post was something I just flung out there without a second thought, and it got stumbled and I was inundated with views... It made me realise I needed to keep up the quality control, as you never knew when something was going to resonate more than you expect it to! I love comments simply because I love knowing about people, and I'm genuinely interested in their take on things. Especially if it's different to mine, I truly enjoy having my eyes opened and my horizons broadened by readers. But as far as what's going to be popular, there's so many factors at play.

Makikowachi said...

I don't have a blog but I read quite a few. Often whether I comment or not depends on whether I'm reading on my iPhone or PC, obviously PC is a lot easier and less fiddly. I won't often comment on the big popular blogs or the ones that show very little vulnerability. If I see a blogger putting little replies to comments I am much more likely to comment, also if they are writing something touches at the heart of this whole motherhood business.

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