Monday, April 13, 2009

A Comment or Two on Comments

The Blog Improvement Project project this week is to learn about and improve our comment situation. Or in other words, how to make our blogs more comment friendly. Kim links to a couple of great articles, full of specific advice on how to do this.

So here's the thing. I have to admit that I tend to get bouts of comment depression, even comment jealousy! And I try really hard to do much of what these articles suggest! So, what else to do to improve comments? Hmmmm....

Well, I think one of the very biggest things is that one must leave comments to get comments. And I do leave comments, but not very many really, considering how many blogs I actually read. So there's that ongoing goal! Leave more comments! (The article points out that if a post already has a lots of comments, that it scares people off. Therein lies one of my main comment problems. I won't talk if I think it's already been said, and said much better than I could ever say it besides!)

Another thing you may see me doing more to improve comments is asking questions. Sometimes this works, but I've also noticed sometimes I'll ask a question... and get ZERO comments! It's moments like this where you begin to feel like you're talking to yourself out here! But most of the time I forget about the question thing, so I'm going to try harder on that one. And hopefully sometimes you readers will answer!

Mainly, when I get down about comments, I remind myself, that blogging is fun with or without a ton of commenters. Right? Comments just make it even more fun!

My other problem about comment strategy, is that I hate to be obvious about begging for comments. (So much for that in this particular post!) Some of the suggestions in the articles border on that for me. I want to encourage comments, not beg for them.

So here's my comment situation in numbers. I can usually get a couple or three comments, sometimes five or so. Between five and ten is pretty good. Over ten and we're doing really well! Upper teens and into the twenties.... nearly unheard of around here... it's only happened a handful of times. So, to make it feel like things are improving, my specific goal would be to get over ten just a little more often. Cool!

Now, the questions for you:

Do you stress about comments? Or do you feel overwhelmed by comments? Do you do anything specific to encourage them? Do you think this blog is comment-friendly? Or is there something more I can do to encourage them?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. While I'd like a million comments a day, if I get a handful that are thoughtful or more meaningful than 'good review' or 'nice photos' than I'm happy. I like to leave lots of comments on other blogs but I don't feel pressurised to do so. I like to leave questions at the end of my posts but sometimes they're ignored.

    I have seen other people use the 'trick' that your other commenter suggested and I'd just like to add that that will be the quickest way to stop me from reading a blog!

  3. I have to agree with the second Michelle: most of the time, a feed excerpt is a huge turn off. It makes it less likely that I'll click over to the blog, not more.

    I've noticed that asking questions doesn't always work either. In my experience, what makes people comment on a post is really random. It can be timing, day of the week, it can be that people respond to something in particular that I only added as an's really hard to predict.

    I know not everyone has the time to do this, and I don't at all resent people when they don't, but I also notice that responding to comments seems to encourage people to come back and comment again. Possibly because they feel more welcomed if you interact with them least that's how I feel when people respond to me.

  4. I have not been blogging for very long - but I have greatly enjoyed learning about comment etiquette from this meme.

    I do not stress about comments - although I do sometimes look jealously at other blogs who consistently have 20, 30 and more comments every day. I need to remember that is not my goal -- my goal is just to have a medium with which to write my personal thoughts and opinions. I have been fascinated, however, with the postings that have received the most comments; it is usually not the post that I anticipate lots of discussion. Go figure.

    I think bottom line I have learned that in order to receive comments - I must be willing to give comments (it's is kinda like the old saying my mom always shared: you must have a friend to be a friend). This is something that I am striving to do.

  5. I don't like the feed excerpt the first Michelle mentioned. Big turn off for a blog. Just put it all in the reader or I'll stop reading.

    But I don't see that about your blog. Your blog is good. I just comment when I have something to say. I try not to worry about comments on mine -- although I always try to have a good question at the end.

  6. This was the perfect post for me to leave you this...come visit me, I have something =)

  7. I don't STRESS about comments but I do like to see lots of them on each post. Your post got me curious, so I checked on my own comment stats. It looks like between 5 and 10 is average for me, 10-20 is not uncommon, and 20+ has happened a handful of times.

    For myself, I use the Question the Reader method often, but not simply to garner more comments - I really do want to know what people think, I want to start a conversation.

    Your blog is definitely comment-friendly (I comment, really I do!). The problem for me is that I do subscribe to way too many blogs and can't possibly comment on them all. So I try to make time to comment on the ones that really catch my attention for some reason.

    You are doing a wonderful job - I enjoy reading what you have to say, even it I don't always commment. Keep up the good work!

  8. I probably don't comment as often as I should, because I like to only leave comments when I have something meaningful to say- particularly when I've read the same book, or really want to read it. I think responding to comments encourages people to come back- the interactive thing is nice. And I also find "excerpted" posts annoying- eventually I'll stop reading that blog.

  9. I have been participating in the BIP commenting challenge this week. I have done everything suggested by the articles Kim highlighted and have noticed a slight increase in comment numbers.

    I think asking questions helps, as people have an idea what to comment on.

    Bribery works well, but I can't sustain that!

    But the main way of getting comment numbers up seems to be simply how many people read your blog in the first place, so it's all down to writing quality articles and marketing them properly.

    I still have a lot to learn, but can see improvements taking effect all the time.

    Good luck!

  10. Hi Suey. I personally don't see Blogger as a social site. I started my blog here when 360 was still functioning properly. I just use it as a back-up for my blogs, so I don't stress about comments here.

    I'll admit there was a time when I stressed about comments on 360 & Multiply (there are times when I still do on some posts), but for the most part I just enjoy sharing my ideas & pictures. Plus comments are not a true indication of readers as a lot of people read but don't comment.

    Just keep blogging & commenting (which is a big part of getting comments) and you'll find that niche of people who will read & comment on your posts.

  11. I should have said I don't use Blogger as a social site.

  12. Um, yes. I sometimes stress. I get even fewer comments than you. But, I realized, mostly what I do is book reviews, and they don't usually need comments. I hope people just read them and want to read the books.

  13. I love receiving comments, and yes, I admit, sometimes I pout when I don't get them. It isn't because I'm after lots of comments though. I really do want feedback from my readers. I care about what my readers have to say and appreciate that they take the time to visit.

    I have found that the more I comment on other people's blogs, the more likely I am to get comments from them, but not always. I realize that we all have busy lives and don't always have the time to stop in and say hello.

    One of the things I've made a priority is visiting the blogs of those who stop by and comment on my own. This especially is true when I am overwhelmed and behind in visiting all the blogs in my feed. I just don't have time to comment on every single blog I follow even if I might want to. And that's really what makes me feel bad. I would hate for someone to think I've forgotten them or stopped caring because I don't leave a comment.

    And as Nymeth said, I find I'm more likely to return to a blog if the blogger responds to my comments either by e-mail or on her blog. I like the extra personal touch. I try to do that myself and like to think it means something to those who take the time to visit my blog.

  14. Well, wow! Speaking of comments... thanks for all these thoughtful ones. I'm loving it! :)

    And now to respond to you all, because I agree, responding to comments is all part of the fun of it!

  15. Michelle: Interesting that having the "excerpt" setting helps to increase your traffic because I've mostly heard that everyone hates it, as some of the bloggers have said here.

    And no edgy political posts coming soon from me! No way Jose.

    Second Michelle: I agree that thoughful, fun, interactive comments are more satisfying than then lots of comments that don't say much.

    Nymeth: I have often wondered about timing... publishing a post in the morning vs. the evening. I have't decided yet if it matters much, for me anyway.

  16. Molly: Comments are an interesting thing to figure out, aren't they?! I agree with what you've said, they aren't really the goal, just a fun side benefit.

    Rebecca: I think I'm going to try to remember the question thing more often. We'll see I guess how it goes.

    Kristina: ANOTHER award! Wow. I'm so honored! :)

    Heather J: Thanks for the wonderful supportive words! I agree that if I DO ask a question, it is because I want a discussion, and it's not just BEGGING for a comments.

  17. Jeane: I feel the same way about leaving comments. I want it to be "real" and sometimes that's hard. I get shy and intimidated easily too, especially on some of the more "popular" blogs.

    Farmlane: That's cool that you've been seeing improvements since you've been trying new things. I love your blog and am determined to stop by more often.

    Vanessa: Hey! Nice to see you over here! I had a fun at 360, but never really got into Multiply. But here on Blogger/Wordpress/whatever everyone else uses, I've found the most amazing social community of book bloggers you can imagine! It's been a blast here.

  18. Melissa: Your blog has recently come into my radar, so I plan on visiting more often! I do agree that sometimes reviews are hard to comment on because sometimes all you are thinking is either, "Yeah, I like that book too!" or "Cool, I want to read it!" and those don't make for very intelligent sounding comments. Though I still enjoy those kind too, just so I know there's somebody out there, you know?

    Literary Feline: It does get hard to keep up with it all. There are so so many fun blogs to read. And I agree, I do love it when a blogger responds to my comments.

  19. I love your blog and find it very visitor friendly! I do stress a bit over comments--how to acknowledge them in an efficient way. I think I am going to try addressing them in the comment box on my own blog, quickly, then try to find time to visit those blogs. I agree with Molly, to have a friend you need to be a friend. ;)

    There is an award waiting for you to pick up on my blog. You may have already received it and if so, don't worry about doing anything about it again!

  20. My comment about comments.
    I try to give comments when I feel like I have something interesting to say. I can't comment on every blog, every time, so I try to comment on a few every now and then. I don't get many comments on my blog. Then again, I don't post as much as I probably should. A good goal for me would be two or three. Honestly, most times I am lucky to get one. I don't stress about it though. I would be happy for people just to visit my blog.

    I think you're doing just fine. I read a lot of blogs too.

  21. I'm leaving the 21st comment! I'm really pleased to see that you have got the number of comments you were after!

    I'm really pleased to see that you have been responding to everyone. I think that is such a nice touch, and I'll be back commenting as often as I feel I can!

  22. I love getting comments. Comments equal blogger love, and means that someone out there likes me, they really like me!!! Uhm ... sorry.
    Heh. I tend to get about 2 or 3; depending. For memes like BTT or Weekly Geeks I get more. I got in the late teens on the WG week before last, and all I had to do for that was write Twilight haiku ...

  23. Kim: Thanks for the sweet words and another wonderful award!

    Amy: I agree, it's cool just to have visitors, even if they don't always comment.

    Farmlane: Yeah! Lots of comments! You guys came though. (It also helped that I added a ton of my own, comments! LOL.)

    Maree: It is weird sometimes what people comment on, huh. Sometimes I get the most comments on posts that I just ramble off on. Strange.

  24. Hi!
    I have to agree with you on comments. I don't usually get very many. I think 15 was the most. I am going to try adding a question on my posts! Have a great week end!


  25. I enjoyed reading your post and all the comments about it. Comments are fun, and I enjoy reading them on other blogs and my own blog. (A favorite is from an author who answered a question I had about his book. So cool.) My blog is mainly book reviews which doesn't encourage many comments. Maybe one day I'll have time to blog, leave comments, and read all in the same week.

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