Blog Talk #1: How Do You Get So Many Comments?


#2: Scheduling Blog Posts
#3: What Do You Think About Sponsorship?
#4: Why Do You Unfollow Blogs?
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This is the first installment of "Blog Talk," in which I will give my opinion on different aspects of blogging and then continue the discussion in the comments. Because I want to hear what you have to say! Yes, you're even allowed to disagree. Just be nice about it.

*Feel free to email me or leave a comment if there's a particular aspect of blogging you'd like me to cover in a future installment of Blog Talk.

Blogging is weird. 

It's a strange mix of awkward and awesome when someone stops me in the hallway at church to tell me how much they love reading my blog. "You're so funny!" they say. And then I'm torn between sheepishly waving their statement away and stating the obvious: that yes, I'm hilarious. You're welcome

It's also such an excellent creative release to be able to edit all day at work and then come here in the evenings and create my own stories.

One other obvious reason I spend so much time here is because I find it so much fun to interact with all of you. This interaction mostly happens through comments, although it also happens on Twitter and email and occasionally at night when I dream about visiting bloggers in real life. True story.

We can turn our noses in the air and point our fists to the sky in righteous defiance and say, "I write for me!" all we want to, and while that is (or should be) true, I think there's at least a small part of every blogger who hopes others will read their words. I mean, if you really, truly, honestly don't care about other people reading your blog, why do you blog? Seriously, if this is you, please comment on this, because I want to know.

For those of us who do care about interaction, how do we know others are reading our words if they don't leave a comment?

They could tell us in person, I suppose. Comment on a tweet or a Facebook post. Shoot us an email. But in general, it's hard not to gauge the "success" of a post--the success of you as a blogger, even of you as a person--on the number of comments you get (pathetic though it sounds).

Which brings me to my first (and let's be honest, maybe only) installment of Blog Talk. I've gotten a couple of emails lately from a few fabulous ladies asking what I do to get so many comments on my posts. Short answer: I have no idea.

That's not me being vague. Honestly, I don't know.

What I do know is that these people who've had their blog for six months and get 89 comments on their posts is not the norm. Did you know I will have been blogging for 4 years in May? FOUR YEARS. It is only in the last year that I have started regularly getting more than 2 or 3 comments on a post. Again, I can't say for sure why that is, but I can tell you what I do on this blog and what I appreciate about other bloggers that keeps me coming back to leave comments.

1) Reply to Comments

I like interacting with people who interact with me. I enjoy leaving comments on blogs when I know the other person is going to write back so we can continue the discussion. To be honest, I've stopped following certain blogs because I've left a number of comments, and they've never once written back or visited my blog or interacted with me at all.

Of course, I realize that for some people, interaction is hard, and they're busy, or they get 89 comments on their posts, etc. But I think everyone can and should do something to interact with readers, and I personally try to interact as much as possible with you guys, whether that's by responding to comments, making a return visit to your blog, compiling a reader survey, or responding to personal emails.

I also realize that in this phase of my life right now I have more time than others might to do those things. I'm not trying to be mean to those who have kids or other responsibilities. I get that we all have regular lives to lead, and at the end of the day Jordan should be more important than writing a blog post, but I do think that on some level you get what you give. It's okay if you're too busy to interact with readers, but then you have to be okay with less interaction from readers.

2) Ask Questions

Sometimes it's hard to know what to comment on a certain post. I read it, I liked it, but I don't want to just say, "Great post!" I like when a blogger has questions for me to answer at the bottom of their post, because then I feel like I'm interacting with them in a specific way. I always try to leave questions at the bottom of my posts about things I'm interested in hearing from you. That makes it fun for me and, I hope, fun for you!

3) Leave Comments on Other Blogs

For the most part, I think it's safe to say that if you never leave comments on other blogs, people are not going to leave comments on your blog. You can't just take and never give. You know how much you like to get a comment? Well, that other blogger feels the same way! I still get all excited when I open my inbox and see that I have a new comment. (Until it's a spammer. Then I wish I could reach through my screen and tear out their eyes.)

Yes, it takes time to read a post and leave a comment, and sometimes you don't have the time right then. Or sometimes you're reading on your ipad and are afraid to leave comments because autocorrect is the devil and is out to ruin your life.*
*Hypothetical scenario

You don't have to leave a comment on every single post you read, but how do I know you're reading if you never leave a comment? I don't. That's how. (Unless you're my mother, in which case I ASSUME you read everything. Hi, Mom!)

**One thing to add about comments on other blogs: I absolutely do not understand it when I see a linkup that has 50 blogs linked up, but the post has 10 comments. I always leave a comment for the hosts when I'm linking up. I think not commenting and just linking up and leaving is the blog equivalent of dining and ditching. So rude! Thoughts?

4) Be Interesting

Just being honest here: I am not going to read your blog or leave a comment if you're not interesting.

Interesting can mean different things to different people. Interesting doesn't have to mean funny. Interesting doesn't have to mean pretty pictures. But interesting does have to mean, well, interesting. Whatever interesting means for you, be that, and the readers will come.

I named this series "Blog Talk" because I do want us to talk to each other. I don't know about you, but on these types of posts I enjoy reading the comments just as much as I do the actual post!

I have my opinion, but I want to hear yours. On these posts I will write back to comments in the comment section (instead of through email) so we can learn from each other, so be sure and check back. And again, you can disagree, but be nice about it. Any unnecessarily rude or nasty comments will be deleted. The Lady Okie has spoken.

* * *

Are comments important to you?
Why do you (or don't you) leave comments on blog posts?
What do you do to get comments on your own blog?
Why do you leave comments on my blog? <--This is not me fishing for compliments. I honestly want to know. I'm confused by this recent influx of comments.
Help a sister out.

Madison @ Wetherills Say I Do said...

I comment on your blog when I feel like I have a good answer to a question you ask. But it's usually only on posts I feel like I enjoyed reading or can contribute to (for example, I read your runners posts but I can't really contribute because I am not a runner).
Sometimes I will do link ups or blogger community comment/share threads which help comments but I feel like the people who comment are only going to comment once and won't ever come back. I want to build genuine readership

Z said...

I honestly think questions has to be the #1 thing that turned things for me. I didn't even realize until I started seeing people answering the questions I asked! Now, of course, if the end of post asks me almost any question, I'll go ahead and answer it. :]

LeAnna said...

You hit the nail on the head with this, and I know it's something we've chatted about numerous times. I will say that blogging for interaction is labor intensive, which to me goes to show you do indeed get what you give. Considering I've pretty much let my blog dry up and wither away, when I do post now, I get comments from my faithful handful of readers. People that keep up with me outside of blogging, mostly. Interacting with your readers is so important, and people really like to comment on things they can relate to.

I also think blogging changes so much for people, with different seasons of life. It used to be something I really, really enjoyed. I've been blogging in some sort of fashion since 2003, back in the Xanga days, and then picked it back up when I got married in 2006. A lot changes in that many years, and blogging along with it. I have also found that with so many people using smart phones to surf the web, comments really decline because it's a pain in the rear to type a comment on a phone. And I'm guilty of it! I read a lot of blogs from my phone when I get the chance, and once I read it it's kind of out of sight out of mind...

And for me, with three kids I only get little snippits of time to read blogs- which is why I'm way more active on Twitter or Instagram. It hasn't completely replaced blogging, but those outlets have definitely changed it for me!

~Anchored In Christ~ said...

That's my thing too. The comment deal. I go down my bloglovin or blog dashboard and even twitter and read blogs and comment each one. It doesnt matter if I can relate or anything. I always find something to say and it's not a small comment either. B/c I'm a talker and love to meet others. I try my best to leave good comments. and I rarely leave like a 3 word or 1 word comment. But, I feel as though I've been on blog for almost 4 years and I still dont get the comments I wish I did get. I see others get 92 or so comments a day. I just cleaned my blog list out and followers as well. b/c I feel what's the point in having folks if they never get back with you or never visit anymore. I mean, yea some people reply thru email and that counts as well. But, others just lurk and I find that to be rude. Esp if I took the time to visit their blog and left a comment and even let them know I was following and requesting a follow back. Yes I know I"m blunt and speak my mind and heart. but I feel there's no other way to be. Some people dont want to comment b/c they think they will hurt my feelings. Which they more than likely wont but if they did. I'd get over it. Right.... I promote my blog and dont believe in spending money to get sponsors or pay folks to comment and associate daily on my blog like I know folks do on blog. I think we should just meet each other thru our blogs. and comment and communicate that way. Not just lurk and just be on our way. I'm from the south and heck if one say are you. a reply back would be nice as in a "hey. I'm fine.. how are you doing." But then again most people dont know what manners are now a days.

Miriam said...

Comments are the best part of blogging for me! Getting them (obviously) and giving them. For me it needs to be easy and come naturally. If I like a post then the words simply flow - I don't want to fake it. Interesting content is the key, the most obvious yet hardest thing of creating posts.
You are right with the questions on the end - I tend to forget them quite often myself, but like it on other blogs and will try to include questions more often.
The reason I love your blog? You ARE hilarious! Humour and honesty are the two most important qualities for me in a person, and in a blog as well. If you have that I will love you!

~Anchored In Christ~ said...

I thought in order to get comments you give comments. I mean, in order to get respect you got to give respect right. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I found this to be an interesting topic and commented like I would have done anyways interesting or not. That's just how I am.

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

ah! Comments!

I agree that it is important to comment and connect with readers. I think it is good to be genuine with comments. I also appreciate people who even leave a comment saying "enjoyed this post". Would I like more feedback? Yes, but at least they stopped by and left me a comment telling me they read my post.

Is it weird to say that it hurts my feelings when fellow friends who blog don't comment on my blog?

I also have noticed that big blogs, in general, comment on big blogs. It means the world to me when a big blog stops by and pays my blog a visit with a comment.

Yes, I think that questions on the end of a post are good. It engages readers and gives them some structure and ideas on how to comment.

Unknown said...

I leave comments on blog posts when I feel I REALLY have something to say. Just like you, I don't like writing "Great post!" and closing my browser. It just doesn't feel right. That's how I roll on other blogs, but also on yours.

I've also had the same experience when it comes to leaving comments on a blog I found interesting, but stopping at some point because the blogger was silent on her end.

Questions at the end of the post are definely a helper. It engages the reader and makes me want to answer straight away.

Last but not least... Great post! :)

The Lady Okie said...

I think it would be nice to be able to interact with such a concentrated group of people who you know well. Less pressure and more quality time spent. What you're saying about stages of life is so true, and I know that right now I'm in one of those "I really enjoy blogging and spending time on it" stages. I would be interested in your thoughts on the stages as far as now that you look back. Do you feel, looking back, that the time you spent on your blog--writing posts, reading and replying to comments, visiting other blogs--was a waste? Sometimes I wonder if it's a silly use of time to spend SO much time on all of those things. I don't want to look back after I'm in my other stages (babies or whathaveyou) and wish I'd spent my time doing something more productive.

The Lady Okie said...

That's a good point about contribution. That's why I don't really like to just comment and say something like, "Great post!" It feels like it's not really worth my time unless I am contributing something. And YES to the linkups. There have been some that are awesome. Jenni's "Blog Every Day in May" last year is actually when I started getting more comments, and many of those readers have stayed around! But so many of the linkups now are just people linking their blog to get traffic, which isn't genuine and doesn't usually equate to a faithful reader down the road.

The Lady Okie said...

Good point! Many times I find that I don't even NEED the questions at the end of the post, because I already have things to say about it! It's nice if it flows easy, because then the interaction is genuine. And I think that blog's owner can tell that when they read your comment.

And... thanks a lot :) I blame my dad for my sense of humor.

And So I Did said...

I think leaving meaningful comments helps you to get people back to your page. I have to really work hard to respond to a comment that says "i like this post, please follow me". It makes me want to scream. I read that so many people have success with questions, but not me! Haha! I usually try to ask a question at the bottom of the post, and people don't answer them. I've pretty well abandoned the idea. Haha! :)

I've noticed that a lot of the "big" bloggers who seem to be clique-ish don't respond to many comments or they'll email back with a "thanks", and I'm sure it must be hard when you have 100 comments, but something that acknowledges you read my comment would be nice. :)

I'm looking forward to the rest of this series.

shelleystirs said...

I have never been a strong writer, and I'm one of those people who writes to challenge herself. Having a ton of people follow my blog is not the goal for me. I hope that someday my kids read it and understand a little more about their mom.

Now that my youngest is almost 3 (and a little more self-sufficient), I have more time to spend on my blog.

I love to read blogs, but I don't always have anything to contribute to the comments section. And I don't always have time, either.

I comment because I find that I relate to you (even though I'm a little *cough* older than you). Your posts come off as genuine, and funny, and those questions you ask make it easier to think of something to add to the conversation.

Ashley said...

I love comments. Lol. I probably get a bit TOO excited when I receive comments. Ugh. The other day I received one where the guy was basically plugging his own blog. His comment had NOTHING to do with my post and I found it to be a bit tactless. That aggravated me and I don't think thay kind of thing shows good blogging etiquette. If that's even a thing...? I usually comment on blogs where I know that the blogger will respond. I the blogger never responds, I feel ignored. I shouldn't, but I do. Your blog is my favorite and I enjoy reading the posts and the comments.

Ashley said...

I apologize for the bad English/punctuation. I just woke up and I'm on my phone. Lol.

Anglican Mama said...

I love this! And apart from your posts being brilliant, one of the reasons I comment is because you're SO good at replying or commenting back. It's so nice to hear from you, and get more than just a "Great post!".

One of my commenting strategies is to make sure I mention that something particular in the post that spoke to me, made me laugh, or something that I have in common. I love that you do that, too! I feel like that shows the author that I read it, and really appreciated "this part" about it.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of your series. ;) I appreciate your love for PEOPLE and community in your blogging world. Thank you for spreading the blogging love with this!

Sarah said...

Love this! For a long time, I used to lay in bed and read blogs on my Nook, so I wouldn't comment. Then when I started reading them on the computer and commenting, it was amazing the relationships that grew. I am on a bit of an accidental blogging hiatus now, from my own blog, but still stay in touch with many of the girls who I started to form friendships with. It's a very cool thing and one that my friends outside of blogging don't always understand.

Tracy said...

One of my problems when I leave a comment that may require another response from the author is that they post it on their blog and I don't catch it because it doesn't get emailed to me. I really like having comments and the responses emailed. I follow so many blogs and I usually read the direct link to a specific one that I forget where I've left comments. So for me to go back and see it is difficult at times.

Allie @ Everyday Adventures said...

I've been trying to be more active about commenting and not just reading and clicking to the next post, because I know how much comments mean to me too! It definitely helps to have questions at the end, so even if I don't have anything specific to say about the post, I can still contribute. I don't want to be one of those "Great post!"ers either, so if I have nothing to say, or no good answer to a question, I don't comment. Just writing "great post!" seems like a waste of time to me, since it doesn't contribute anything useful to the conversation or help to build any kind of relationship.

As I've worked to grow my blog, I've come to really value the community aspect! I recently set up the comments so I can e-mail responses instead of commenting on the post itself, and I like it sooooo much better! It's easier to continue the conversation, and I don't understand why not everyone includes their e-mail address so I can respond! (Also, it's really hard to say anything useful when people "great post" me, so I usually don't respond to those. "Um, thanks, I think I'm awesome too"? Awkward.)

I do comment on other people's blogs, and participate in blog hops when the topic is something I actually want to write about (but I'm picky about topics, so I don't do them that often). And I ask questions in my posts to spur conversations. I comment on your blog because I think you have an interesting way of looking at life, and I enjoy that.

Leslie Lukens Martin said...

First of all, this CAN'T be your only installment of "Blog Talk"...I'm new to this whole blogging thing, and I need your help! :)

Comments are so important! I mean, the comment you left on my blog yesterday is the only way I remembered where I learned of The Skimm. {Btw, updated that post this morning to give you some credit! Thank you for jarring my diminishing memory!} I get very few comments {hopefully that's because my blog is so new and not because it's terrible}, but the comments that I do receive motivate me to keep posting.

I haven't been very good at commenting on others' blogs. I think I've been scared that people will think I'm only commenting in an attempt to get them to visit my blog. It would be fabulous if they did check out my rants and raves, but that's not my sole intention. Now that I know everyone loves comments as much as I do, I'll feel more comfortable just leaving a note to let someone know I related to their post!

Oh...and one should I reply to comments readers leave for me? I originally was just replying in the comments section, but I found that most bloggers reply to my comments by email. Ugh...I've got so much to learn!

Thanks for this post! If nothing else, it gives me courage to leave comments for others without feeling like they'll question my intentions. And thank you for being so flippin' entertaining! I just found your blog recently, so I'm still going back through your old posts and cracking up as I read them. I feel like we're alike in so many ways...but then again, I probably couldn't run around the block {so perhaps I'll bookmark your "How to Start Running" series and read them daily until I actually give it a try!}

Courtney Rose said...

It makes me laugh to start off with saying this but..great post! I think you explained this perfectly! As a new blogger myself, you do wonder how or why you notice other bloggers accumulating so many comments and not yourself. In my opinion my blog, so far, has been more of a way to document my adventures, things going on in my life at this moment, little or small that I want to remember in the future (worst memory ever)! I definately want to work on expanding my blog and I have be apart of link ups to get to know more bloggers and interact more in the community but I think what bloggers need to understand is they have to decide where they want their blog to go. If they want to just document their lives as a journal that might not be as interesting to others and it might not leave room for interaction and you have to be okay with that. Also, I agree with you point of giving comments to receive comments and I have to thank you for your honesty because you are one of the readers I have that always seems to read and comment and I appreciate you for that! Thank you friend! And again, great post! Haha! Keep going with Blog Talk I love reading the comments above too!

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I would be so awkward if anyone in real life acknowledged my blog in public! I pretend to myself that nobody I actually know reads it :)

Amber Marie said...

I completely agree with unfollowing a blog that you're not getting any interaction out of. I have even left blogs that I was actually enjoying the content of because I felt like my comments were being ignored. And I know that's seems selfish of me, but I think if the author has enabled the comment section on their site, they must welcome interaction. When I read posts that really strike a note with me, I will leave a meaty, sometimes vulnerable response in the comment section, and not that I expect to be responded to, but I would like to at least be acknowledged if I keep coming to a blog and keep leaving meaningful responses. You know? Well you do know, because you touched on it.

I liked your other points, too. I feel discouraged when I don't get comments on posts I'm proud of, but I just think they just come with time and investment. "If you build it, they will come", right?

Ali said...

I appreciate your comments on my blog! Honestly, I don't comment on a lot of blogs that I read for a few reasons. 1) I can be pretty shy. 2) I feel like they'll be all "who's this chick? who does she think she is!?" So it's a nice reminder that bloggers like comments just like I like comments. I'm still not sure if this is leaving my email address...

Claire@MyDevising said...

Good tips - I agree with them! Although I will say - I haven't found that the whole asking a question thing works for me. I learned that a couple of years ago, but haven't necessarily seen a huge increase in comments. So who knows?? I think a lot of who comments/how many comments you get also depends on WHO exactly is reading your blog. For me, I think most of my readers are my friends, Facebook peeps, and a handful of strangers or blogging friends I've made. So the people who end up commenting are typically my blogging friends (people who know the value of leaving of a comment :)).

But the thing I've tried to keep in mind is that any interaction is good interaction. Facebook seems to be the place where I get the most feedback - whether it's "likes," shares, or comments. Even though sometimes I wish people would just comment straight on my blog, it IS way easier to just comment on Facebook.

Also - I am one that says "I blog for myself" because I really do. It doesn't mean I don't love comments/page views/etc., but even without those things, I blog! At this point, after 5.5 years of it, if I was blogging for accolades I certainly would've already quit! haha

Looking forward to the rest of the posts in this little series!

Tamara said...

I tend to comment whenever something someone has written is relatable to me. I have a few 'regular' commenters on my blog and those are people I"ve established some kind of relationship with, so I'm often commenting on their blogs as well and if I haven't in a few weeks or whatever (because I don't have anything to add, or just not the time) then I try to make it a point to reach out to them via email or twitter.

I tend to blog to hold myself accountable for my running (most of the blogs I comment on are running based) and as a reminder of what my life is like with a child during certain stages of her life - so it's mostly for me but I also love the validation it gives me when people (like you) approach in public to tell me they love me for whatever reason. Or it gives me the heeby jeebies because I had no idea this person even read what I wrote and I'm really confused as to how they knew I ran a 10k the weekend before...Blogging is weird, but in the most bestest way possible.

LeAnna said...

Great question! And my answer is simple. Do I regret the time spent? Absolutely not! I've met so many wonderful friends through blogging, many who became "IRL" friends, and a slew of others that even though I've never met, and maybe never will, are still kindred spirits. God definitely used blogging as a way to teach me some valuable lessons, as cheesy as that may sound to some people. Interestingly, many of the friends I met along the way were on similar paths as myself, and we are finding ourselves in the same seasons. It's such a great way to encourage one another, beyond blogging. So, no regrets.
And, for what it's worth, I really do enjoy looking back and reading life 5+ years ago. Sometimes I miss the person who was able to write without any hindrances, but life happens. Priorities change. But, it all works out.

Teresa said...

I love getting comments, but I am so terrible at commenting on other blogs because I read a lot of posts on Bloglovin's iPhone app, and I haven't had any success commenting there, and I usually don't know what to say!

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

I agree. You gotta give to get. Unless you are a blogger who blew up and has 3k followers. I honestly don't think they feel they have to because people flock to their blogs regardless. I actually like commenting. It's like, we are all in this thing together and it's nice to support others and get it back. I am finding that I have to pull back on commenting because I simply don't have time. I want to comment on every bloggers blog post and certain ones every one they write but it's just not possible!!! I'm trying to be okay with skipping one here and there and not reading every single post in my feed because I would like to get back to reading actual books!! : )

Raige Creations said...

I love getting comments on my blog, and I try to comment when I can.
Sometimes I just don't have time to comment, or don't know what to say.
But I do try.
And I do try to reply to comments on my blog.

The Lady Okie said...

YES to the book thing. It's like "read blogs or read books?" I love my blog reading, but then I get behind on my book reading and get the library fines. Great point. I have had to pull back on commenting, even though I DO want to comment on all the posts, but it does take a lot of time. I think at least commenting every so often is good practice even if it's not every time.

The Lady Okie said...

I admit that I say "I blog for me" as well, and I do mean that. I mean, I blogged for 3+ years with 2-3 comments on a post, and I would have kept doing it with that many comments. I love documenting my life in this place, and I've (mostly) given up hope of being blog famous :) And yes, any interaction is good interaction, no matter how big or how small.

Alicia | Jaybird: Home in Motion said...

AHH you're doing a blogging series? This makes my day. And what a great post too. I've also stopped commenting on and following blogs that have never responded to comments...even if I like their content, I get the most satisfaction from the community aspect of blogging. If someone doesn't have the time to foster that, that's fine, but then their space isn't where I want to spend my time.

Ending a post with a question is definitely a good way to start a conversation. My absolute favorite thing (especially on blogs that use Disqus) is when commenters respond to other comments. It makes it feel a lot more like an active group discussion than a one-on-one (which I love too).

I'm limiting my response here so I'll end by saying that I comment on your blog because you write posts that are often really helpful, so I want to a) say that and say thanks, b) say how I might use the info--like on a running post, or c) add an extra something to the conversation!

Anonymous said...

Such a great post! And on a topic that often has me a bit bewildered. I've always wondered how some poeple had so many comments and what they were doing to get them. Especially when they've only been around for a year or less. I used to base the success of my blog on just the numbers (views and comments), but now I base it on whether or not I'm enjoying it. I have made some wonderful friendships through blogging, and I look forward to continuing!


Unknown said...

There are to many comments to read! That's totally a good thing... I just want to read all of them, that's all. I was actually just wondering how you get a million comments. And I now secretly want to use "literally" every time we chat. Everything you covered was awesome! I wish I had some really epic to contribute... oh here's one. I totally agree on the topic of engaging with your readers and commenters. I think it's a great opportunity to connect and build community.

Betsy said...

okay so my short answer for you is this: you get lots of comments because you're awesome. your writing is fun to read but I don't feel dumber after reading (which is somehow often what happens when bloggers try to write conversationally) and you clearly care both about this blog for what it gives you and about your readers for what you can give us. and you don't mess around, which readers respect and want to engage with! so that's my short answer - with you 1, 2, and 4 checked off :)

I'm less WOOHOO about #3 to be honest. This doesn't apply to you at all because I 100% connect to you and your blog, but I'm usually turned off by questions at the end of a post. Like... if I read a post about how a blogger had a really bad day and it was just one horrible thing after the other and she feels really yucky at the end of the day, I'm going to comment on her post to support her. Maybe I'll just say "oh YUCK hate it when those days happen but tomorrow will be brighter!" or maybe I'll chime in with my own story about a horrible day or how to survive horrible days or whatever, but if the post ends with "TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU HAD A HORRIBLE DAY" I'm much less inclined to comment because my engagement feels less organic. It feels like the blogger is trolling for comments. Again, I do NOT feel that with you and your blog at all, but you are an exception for me in that regard. If the connection between blogger and reader is there, I really feel like engaged readers will WANT to comment without the prompt.

(Based on the other commenters here, though, I'm totally in the minority on this, so... ignore me? haha)

Unknown said...

Love the idea of a "blog talk" series! As a "new" blogger, I love learning about what works and what doesn't work for other bloggers out there. I comment on your blog when I have something I feel is useful and interesting (books, life, food, marriage, etc). I read all of your posts, but I tend not to comment on posts where the most I could say is, "Nice post!" (I don't run. Ever. It's a personal flaw, haha.)

I comment here because you respond to comments (thanks!) and because I feel like in order to create a good blogging community, you have to take an active role. Your posts make me want to talk to you and other people who read your blog, and commenting is the easiest, most direct way to do that.

Thanks again for a great post!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE comments! Every time I post a blog, I think, "What if this is the one that doesn't get a single comment?" Because that's always a fear you know. So then I have to mentally walk myself through the WHY I blog. And yes, the comments are fun and awesome and I love the interaction and the feeling that I've been heard - er, or read rather - but ultimately I blog because I like documenting the things I've done and thought. Maybe it'll resonate with someone as so many blogs do with me, but even if it doesn't -- it serves an outlet and purpose on a personal level, and that's ultimately the best part of it.

Of course, I do a little mental fist pump every time I see a comment, so...maybe I'm full of it. :)

I sincerely believe that you have to give not just as much as you take but MORE. I probably comment three times on other blogs for every one comment I get on my own. And that's okay because hopefully it means there are three times as many smiles out there because of it.

Your blog is great - I so enjoy it.


Anonymous said...

I just like reading your blog. I like that it's very grammatically correct. I like that you can tell you put some thought into writing your posts. I think you are cool. That's all. :)

Jenny Fish said...

Comments are such a funny thing. One of my college BFFs told me one time, "I read your blog sometimes and all these people I don't know leave comments on your posts." I kind of laughed and thought, "Really? I didn't know you read my blog because you never leave a comment!"

I completely agree with you, though, about ending with a question. I always try to. There's nothing worse than really enjoying someone's post, but not having anything interesting to respond with besides "I like this post."

Alyx said...

I'm the type of person that only comments when I feel like I have something genuine to say. That being said, I DO comment to network. If I'm not commenting, how will other people find my blog? Answer: they won't. So. I comment to network, but NEVER leave a generic comment like, "Hey, nice blog! I'm following you now - return the favor?!" Being genuine in your comments goes a lot further than a little bit of copying and pasting.

Before I went on a super long blog hiatus, I regularly received 20-30 comments on a post, and I realized that it was primarily because of reader interaction. I was asking questions in my posts, writing things that people could relate to, and responding to their comments. I think that that's one of the main reasons people keep coming back and commenting.

Tara said...

I love commenting on your blog because your posts are either thought-provoking or just hilarious! I know that you actually read my comment and reply. When other bloggers don't even acknowledge my comments, it kind of feels like a waste of time :/

On my own blog, I love getting comments. Considering my number of pageviews, I know I have quite a few readers and most of them don't comment... maybe I need to ask more questions to get more interaction?

Jamie said...

I made the mistake of trying to comment from my iPad and the entire thing was deleted instead of posted... so I will try to recall what I typed.

leaving comments... I will only leave comments if I have something of value to say. some days I can't think of anything or maybe the post just wasn't interesting to me, so no comment. [or maybe because I read too many blogs and can't comment on or even read every single one.] but I try to visit and comment on blogs who I notice visit mine, especially those who respond to and appreciate comments back.

getting comments... it seems completely random which posts of mine get more comments. some of my favorite things I've written and thought would do really well only get 3 comments, while a random and rambling post gets 23? having disqus on my site works so much better for me... people can see I'm responding and the commenter still gets a direct email. sometimes it's hard to find a response to the "great post" comments but at the very least I say thanks.

I have a LOT of people I know in real life who read my blog, even to the extent of "you're part of my morning routine, I check your site every morning!" who never ever comment. I think that 95% of it is that they are not bloggers and so they don't get it or don't see the point. the other 5% just can't figure out HOW to leave a comment or don't want to sign in to a service. I try not to let it bug me, but I'm always surprised to see someone and have them gush about my blog because I had NO idea they read it.

The Lady Okie said...

As usual, you bring up an interesting and valid point. And I completely agree with you. I guess I'm actually a liar, because I looked back at my last couple of posts, and I don't actually leave questions on EVERY post. Example: book reviews, life currently, recipes, DIY, and other random ones like my awkward/awesome posts. So, basically a lot of posts I don't leave questions on. haha :) But I do think questions are good for posts like my recent "Keep It Local" one, because I really DID want to know what people thought about peanut butter on a hamburger. And in posts where there are a lot of topics covered, sometimes it's nice to have a few questions at the end to direct a comment or at least give me something to think about.

Another reason I think the questions can be good is if everyone is commenting on generally the same topic, I sometimes like to read what other people had to say, and sometimes I even will go visit that blogger just because I liked their comment or I found something we may have in common.

But I do agree that organic interaction is best, and there's a fine line between trolling for comments with pointless questions and genuine reader engagement. And while based on the comments on this post it does seem like most people feel like asking questions works for them, there have also been a good number of people who said that the questions DON'T work, and readers don't answer them, so I don't know what the difference is.

The Lady Okie said...

I agree that a reply back is always nice. I don't ever request a follow back, but I do figure maybe if they liked my comment they'll at least check out my blog. If they do, hopefully they'll like it and stick around!

The Lady Okie said...

Don't be scared! Bloggers love comments, and how will they know to find you if you never tell them you're reading? :) As far as replying to comments, I'd say most bloggers prefer an emailed response to a reply in the post itself (which is ironic since that's what I'm doing to you right now....). There are a lot of great "beginning blogger" posts out there to help you get started blogging. You can probably just Google some tips for beginners and find some good ones. I don't know how much you want to get into blog design, but you might check out my "Tips for DIY Blog Design" post under the "blogging" tab at the top of my sidebar.

And yes to running! You should do it. All the cool kids are ;)

TheLane said...

you the best about leaving comments too!
question- do you like/recommend responding on the blog (direct comment back) or via email?!

xo - ps happy late valentines day:)

Anonymous said...

I always appreciate your comments on my blog--you seem to really engage with the material and with me as a person. I also like how you ask questions at the end of your posts, a gesture that invites engagement. Even if readers don't answer your questions directly, you set a tone with them that's warm and friendly and curious. Whether you're blogging or commenting, you have a knack for opening up conversations rather than closing them down. I wish I were better at that two-way street, both on and off the Internet!

minimalist moi said...

I think you are right when you say that bloggers blog in order to get comments. I mean, I'm here commenting now, and I enjoy the interaction. Why blog if no one is going to read and interact? My reasons for starting a blog are probably different than most people, though. Due to the nature of my blog and the season that I am in, I just find this outlet therapeutic. You are one of the blogs I read to kick back and find a bit of respite for this time in my life. Thank you.

The Geeks said...

I follow blogs on a reader (currently AOL Reader, which is not as good as Google Reader was, but it's better than Feedly, imo) and I'm just too lazy most of the time to click through to the blog and leave a post. Oops! I know I should make the extra effort- and I do try, especially for blogs I really, really like- but I often feel like I have nothing interesting to add to the conversation. It's definitely my blogging goal this year to interact more with other blogs, mainly in an effort to make friends, but yeah, also in the hopes that people might reciprocate :)

The Lady Okie said...

I recommend emailing comments back when possible. A lot of people don't remember (or don't have time) to go back and look.

happy late valentine's day to you! :)

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

I read this the other day and kept it open to comment, then just refreshed and DANG you got a lot of comments! Probably because it was good stuff to start a conversation, and something which everyone can relate to.

I'm right there with you with the comments. I always appreciate it when a blogger comes and checks my blog out and comments, and I do the same thing right back. I just feel like it's blogging etiquette. And there are definitely blogs that I've gotten more into simply because the writer took the time to connect with me, which then got me more invested in them and their life, which just peaked my interest in things that otherwise might seem mundane. I think that's the best part about blogging. It's a little community in itself, and while it's not the same as face-to-face contact and friends, it fills a whole different sector that I really love and appreciate as well!

~Anchored In Christ~ said...

I believe in commenting regardless if I see that something interest me or not. or if i can relate. I dont believe in that. I want comments really bad and try my hardest to get some. but regardless commenting on every blog i read I never get comments back from all of those people. I want to know how people get 56 or how many comments a day. i know i'm boring and i honestly suck at blogging and am never interesting until i feel like i blog from the heart or until i seem like i'm upset and need sympathy that's when i get comments. which is odd.

Niken said...

i comment when i really have anything to say. if not, then i don't. i don't take this blogging thing too seriously. but i love to get interaction with people. especially people that you don't even know in real life and then they leave you comments and then before you know it you already exchanging emails occasionally.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Hahaha just kidding. You always do have a TON of comments, and I like that you respond. I try to respond to all of mine, but it's hard to get back right away. If it has been a few days, I feel like the person has already forgotten to comment and the conversation has already fizzled out before it started. <If that makes sense?

The whole, "no-reply-blogger" irks me too...but what can you do?

Joy @ said...

I started my blog not super long ago but it was just a different extension for all the writing I was already doing and posting on my own personal facebook page. My own page and the notes section still get the bulk of comments compared to my blog, but I always appreciate comments on what I write.

So though I love blogs that respond, encourage and challenge what I've written, I write ultimately, because when I write, it's my heart speaking in a way that my verbal words often fail at. And knowing writing is my hearts language, this leads me to comment on other blogs I read frequently. Because though I may not know the person on the other side of the screen, your words reach out and touch my heart and I have to respond, just like if someone asked a question in real life.

I appreciate human interaction and relationship building so comments is how bridges are built between people on blogs. That said, for you particularly Amanda, I have always appreciated how when I scroll through the comments, I can see you responding to individual people and know you sometimes respond on their blogs or emails as well. That's really neat that you aren't just an ubber popular blogger that is larger than life and just puts out, but you also interact with us as an audience. I can still remember the smile on my face when I saw you had "followed" me on twitter. I don't do anything sensational on twitter at all, but the fact that you tagged back, if you will, was very cool.

Anyway, keep doing what you do. Your personality draws people and your openness eases comment interaction. I suspect that is why your comment base is building. Have a great week!


Rachel Sedaker said...

I agree with you on this, so much. I, too, stop following blogs when they never respond to my comments, never visit my blog, never interact with me (and, it appears, they don't interact much with others either). In those cases, it gets to feeling like the blogger is a bit of a narcissist (look at me and what I'm up to, I know you all care so much, and I just want your comments as social currency). Sure, maybe they actually are that busy, but when I see bloggers who get 50+ comments on their blog and respond to each and every one every single day, I call bull-crikey. If you can't keep up with comments, you can disable them.

And I get you with the link-ups- it's part of why I've stopped participating in them. I've noticed some bloggers don't even follow the rules of commenting on other blogs in the linkups, which, to me, is like cheating. I believe in playing fair, and if you can't play fair, don't play at all.

That said, I comment on blogs for two reasons: because I really have something to say, or because I'm maintaining a relationship with that blogger. Sometimes I'll realize it's been a while since I've commented on a certain blog, so I'll make a point to just leave a simple comment. Because I care about the relationships I've established with other bloggers.

The Lady Okie said...

People who don't blog really DON'T understand, do they? I've stopped trying to explain it :)

The Lady Okie said...

Ha! I do try to be grammatically correct :)

The Lady Okie said...

I have a lot of people who I know in real life who read my blog and never comment too! And then they'll randomly mentioned it, and I'm like, "I had no idea you even knew I had a blog!" And I agree that it does seem random which posts get more comments. I've had a few that I didn't except to get any on, and they were some of my most popular! I've thought about getting Disqus. I have a few issues with it, so I haven't yet. I don't know. I'm not sold on it, but I do see it on many other blogs, so I think it's just me being a grandma yet again.

Jennifer Prod said...

great post!!!! just kidding :) i know that feeling though, reading and reading and then getting to the bottom and wanting to comment - but what to say? ah! 'thanks for sharing!!' ? does that work? you make a good point about the 'give and take' of the blog relationship - it helps to know that the people you're interacting with are reading what you're putting out and making it a two-way thing where you support each other :)

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

Comments don't really bother me.. Of course I love reading comments on my page, but sometimes I'm just documenting life or writing for "me" for future reference so I don't really expect a response. However, when I comment on someone else's blog (especially on a regular basis) I kind of take it to heart when they don't ever reply. I totally agree with you that it doesn't take much to interact. It seems to be appreciated! I usually only comment when I feel I can relate or if I have something insightful to say! But I'll be honest.. Sometimes I'm just browsing on my phone and typing a comment is a pain in the arse so I just become lazy... Depends on the day I suppose! ;)

Amanda said...

Joy, that's so nice of you to say! It makes me happy when my friends say they can hear me talking when they read my blog, and I am glad that shine through to my online blogging friends as well. And yay for Twitter friends! Social media has its good moments too, I guess ;)

Curious Runner said...

Comments = totes importes!
Ok that was me being lame like a 15 year old, not autocorrect!
I leave comments on your blog because I love you (in a non-stalkerish way of course!)!
But actually i do love reading your posts, you are a great writer, your topics are relevant and you ARE hilarious! And also because you reply personally and you comment on my blog :) Maybe one day I'll be as cool as you!

Daleian said...

I love to receive comments on my blog because it means people cared enough or what I wrote actually touched them in some way. Blogging is like magic: I may feel like this wasn't my best work after publishing but someone may come and appreciate the info, be happier or inspired. That's why I love to blog.

Unknown said...

Comments on my blog always make my day. I try my best to spread the love and leave feedback on other blogs. I guess if I read your blog but don't comment than I'm just an invisible reader that you don't know about. Whatever you're doing is working! Look at all these comments. I think bloggers get really hooked on the number of comments that they forget it takes time to build an audience and create that interaction. I've only been blogging for 6 months and sometimes I find myself wondering why I don't have a tom of comments like some other blogs. I remind myself that most of those blogs have been around for much longer than me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for starting this conversation. I am a new blogger, so I love any comment I get and I make an effort to answer all of them. I feel like more recently I've been commenting on other people's comments on blog posts, and I think it's because the blogger did a good job of starting discussion. I think that usually happens when the post ends with a question. There are some posts that I don't feel like I can comment one with a recipe. I'm like...that looks good! So, I guess I really need some type of story and some type of prompt to get me commenting.

The Lady Okie said...

Thanks for the input! Glad you found this post :) I agree about a prompt. I've definitely seen that I get more comments on posts where I ask a question or the post itself is involved enough to warrant an actual comment. Otherwise, you're right about recipes and things. What are you really supposed to say?

Kiki said...

So, I am looooving this post series of yours. If there's anything bloggers like talking about, it's blogging. :) I'll admit, I get a little intimidated by bloggers who get so many comments like you but love that you're so friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable, too. It makes me want to comment even more, that's for sure!

Unknown said...

I just found your blog via pinterest. For myself, I also love interacting with other people- otherwise like you said, you have no idea if people are really reading your blog! I have noticed that asking questions at the end of a post leads to more comments, just because it is easier to reply. Starts a conversation!

Michele @ Alwayzbakin said...

Great post! One thing I didn't think of is that I should have commented on the blogs I link up with. I just didn't think of it! Thank you for that. From now on I will be commenting and thanking that person! :-)

Tabitha Blue said...

Great way to sum it up! And great info… haha, is that a little better than "Great post!" Really though, it's good info as I seem to hardly get any comments, of course some of that is the number of people coming by. I do need to get around more and comment more as well. I used to do that a lot, and now with three kids, it just doesn't seem to happen as much, so this has been a good reminder for me ;)

Jasmine said...

I have really enjoyed this series (reading backwards)! Thanks for posting! I like to reply to comments via email, because I feel like when I comment on a blog and that blogger comments below--I don't always go back to check their post for a reply. I noticed I can see all of your replies here--but do you email your responses as well? I also try to comment on the blogs who are also in a link up with me--it helps to get to know other blogs. I'm pretty sure I found yours through a link up!

The Jessa Olson Blog said...

I love this series. I am learning so much. I need to be better about writing a question at the end of every post. I also feel like I haven't gotten the comments I would like because I took an unexpected blogging break and blog inconsistent so when people come by they don't know for sure if they are getting a new post or not. which I completely understand.

Katie said...

dining and ditching. haha. but i kind of agree. I miss the time I used to spend commenting on other blogs! its hard! i find myself reading more blog posts on my phone and that makes it tricky to comment. if only i think my comment and it would appear on someones blog :)

Michelle said...

I found this post and the rest of your blogging series through the link you tweeted. I'm new to blogging and shamelessly asked for comments in my post yesterday so this is great advice.

Michelle | Boots and the Bear said...

I found this post and the rest of your blogging series through the link you tweeted. I'm new to blogging and shamelessly asked for comments in my post yesterday so this is great advice.

Samara said...

This post has been timely for me as I recently realised that I am a 'dine and ditch' reader. My problem is that I always read blogs on my phone through Blog Lovin' and it is a PAIN to type on my phone. Perhaps I need to be more intentional about using my laptop (which I am currently and find it so much easier to comment....and suddenly it makes blog reading a lot more fun too!)