Talk To Me
is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.
A community is only a community when people interact with each other. In the blogging world, this mostly happens through commenting, link ups, and interaction on social media. Most of the time, the people who comment on posts have a blog of their own. If you’re a blogger yourself, you’re probably aware that some bloggers make it their mission to not only reply to every comment they get, but to also check out their commenters’ blogs (if they have one) to comment on THEIR posts. Other bloggers may never reply, or only reply when they feel they have something insightful to say, and they don’t often – or never – take a look at their commenters’ blog posts. Since bloggers can have vastly different priorities, I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys have to say about commenting back!
Okay, so generally I’m someone who replies to things. I know that some people find it exhausting, but that is not usually the case for me. It often takes me longer to reply to a comment on my blog than, say, a whatsapp message from a friend, simply for the reason that I prefer to reply when I’m on my laptop and not from my phone, but I get around to it eventually. I’m sure I miss a comment from time to time, but I’d say I reply to the vast majority. Of course I don’t have 2000 followers and more than a hundred comments under my blog posts, so I can completely understand how that might get a little overwhelming – and that’s just replying to comments, leave alone commenting BACK.
I have to admit, even though I usually reply to comments, I don’t ALWAYS check out every commenters’ blog posts and comment on them. I do try, but sometimes I simply forget or don’t feel like I have anything to say to their recent posts. So here’s the thing: I LOVE comments – they rock my day, and I appreciate every single one of them. However, I don’t want people to just comment on my post because I’ve commented on theirs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’ve never commented on someone’s blog because they commented on my own. If you found my blog because I commented on yours and you liked what you saw, by all means definitely feel free to leave a comment. But please don’t feel like you HAVE to reply to one of my posts JUST because I commented on your blog. I want people to leave comments because they want to and not because out of a sense of self-imposed obligation. I care more about engaging with people than the number of comments I get.
The other side to this is that people sometimes comment for the sole reason of getting someone to take a look at their blog, so there can be certain expectations attached to leaving a comment. And on the one hand, I can understand that (and I’m sure I’ve done it) – chances are no one’s ever going to find your blog if you don’t leave a comment from time to time, so it’s nice when people click that link and read your own posts. On the other hand, I don’t think it makes sense to leave comments for no other reason than that you want people to comment back. I feel like you should at the very least be interested in a post’s content before you reply to it.
I think a great way to encourage interaction amongst bloggers, is to do a post that rounds up all the posts you’ve read and liked recently (which requires more organization and time investment than I usually manage). I have found great posts on blogs I’d never heard about before this way. Something that is maybe a bit easier, is to retweet posts you’ve liked (in a reasonable quantity), and I try to do that from time to time.
I honestly understand both why people comment back and why they don’t (and why they might have never thought about it before). To wrap this all up nicely and with a red bow, I think neither way is really better; it’s all just about your priorities and what you want from blogging.
So what’s your opinion? If someone comments on your blog, do you check out theirs? Do you expect other bloggers to comment back when you’ve commented on their blog? Or could you not care less about comments?