I have been trying to figure out why some bloggers do not participate in their own comment area.
Today I posted over at Blog Herald saying one of the things I like about Performancing is the bloggers like and support each other. I think there may be something related between the two ideas, see what you think?
On the one hand, most people say it is about time. Yes, answering comments does take time. But consider this, we all do stuff that takes time but we make time because we get something out of it. Why is it ok to drop commenting but ok to spend the same time on Twitter?
I do post on other blogs other than my own that do not provide emails when someone comments so I get caught up and distracted with other business. For this I need a better system to remind me of where I have posted and what about so I can go back and check comments. If I make this mistake myself then I guess I really ought to forgive others 😉
On your own primary blog though I think there has to be an element that if you are not motivated to answer your own comments then there is a problem. Perhaps you are not interested in what your readers have to say? Is the topic becoming boring for you? Do you only see profit in blogging, nothing more?
If this is the case then there are a couple of solutions:
1) Make friends with your readers. If you see commenters as friends you are less likely to ignore them
2) Re-invigorate your interest in your niche, even if that means drifting your topic focus towards areas that still hold your fascination
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Am I off base here? Please do share your thoughts in the comments …
Author: Chris Garrett
Chris Garrett is a content marketing and blogging coach and co-author of the Problogger Book with Darren Rowse.
Good point, HART. I think there is that middle ground. Sometimes if I don’t comment, the commenters will start responding to each other instead of waiting for me to jump in. However, I think I err towards not responding enough to my commenters. Thanks for the reminder, Chris.
Nice rules. Break the rules.
Good point. I almost feel nervous about replying now!
Nick used to tell me I reply too much and I should give commenters more space to talk to each other so you are probably right, I should pull back somewhat and give someone else the last word. On the other hand I like to acknowledge peoples comments. There must be a middle ground I guess.
Sometimes … people just want to comment, and not really communicate or converse – You know – just give their 2 cents! I hate to admit it, but I have a thing about bloggers who believe that just because it’s their blog, they should get the last word. So, when there is no need to reply or actually have the last word, they come up with regurgitation or redundant questions.
In honor of those other people like me, who “comment” on my blog .. I don’t feel that I always have to have the last word.
In the scheme of things, though .. I get more trackbacks from scrapers of my content than real live comments from people – which, I wonder if just that fact is the reason why it’s greater in numbers.
@Chris>> It was back up a minute ago and now I’m one of your minions! Em…I mean followers. 😀
When I read a blog that interest me or one that is helpful, I will leave a comment and when someone leave me one I try to follow up has soon as I can.
I use one of Damians plugins that makes it easier to do a @ laden reply
@August – Twitter does seem to be down a lot eh?
I have seen a few bloggers actually respond within the comment, using italics or bold to distinguish between the two. For blogs with many comments, I think it’s an efficient and tidy way to do it, keeping the conversation intelligible without bulking up the page with quotes, or @s. If the blog is set up to edit comments directly from the page, it is also very time efficient for the blogger.
I think it’s a must – you or the people writing for you must carry on the conversation in the comments.
There’s always the risk of disagreement as Ryan says, and if you regularly write on a controversial topic you can expect a lot of bollocks coming your way – however, that’s part and parcel of blogging, just develop a thicker skin (hint, hint).
Tom, try this plugin: highlight author comments – wordpress plugin
a lot! If only I had the time to respond to all the comments in all my blogs, I’d do so. But for my main project, I make it a point to interact with the readers so they’ll feel “at home.” And I like making friends! =D Networking is fun!!! (yep, I’m currently in hyper mode).
In fact, if only Twitter isn’t down right now, I’d add you to Twitter. Maybe in a couple of hours =D
I like to respond to comments, but often I’m hard pressed to find time to create a new post, let alone respond to something I’ve already written.
In addition, sometimes I return home to find several (sometimes more than several) comments to a recent post. If there is a specific question or challenge I need to address, I might answer that …but then I feel guilty for not addressing all the other comments.
When there is a long list of comments, I haven’t found an easy way to answer them in sequence. If, for instance, there are five comments, I don’t know of a way to answer the first one, directly after that comment. My WordPress system only allows me to respond in first come, first served order. If there are multiple comments, my response will follow after all five, rather than allow me to respond to a specific comment directly after it appears. So, if there are several comments, it make responding more difficult.
I have seen blogs where the author’s comments show up differently and I should investigate setting up something like that.
@Ryan – Yeah probably best to not get yourself into trouble
@Geeksaresexy – Exactly, and I think it is more fun that way?
I do try to respond to all comments on my blog… and this allowed me to make several friends that way.. Not only will this make your readers more loyal, but it will encourage others to comment also.
The number one reason why I don’t, when I don’t, is probably some kind of fear of negativity. If you look at the way I reacted to Markus and Garri in the thread on blog directories…you’ll see that I can embarrass myself sometimes;-)