Talk to Me: Commenting Back

January 20, 2015 discussion 12

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.


Topic

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!

My Opinion

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.

Your Turn!

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?

12 Responses to “Talk to Me: Commenting Back”

  1. Julie S.

    I almost always visit a commenter’s site and comment back, and most of the time I reply to comments on my site too. If I don’t have anything else to say other than “thanks” I won’t reply though. It makes more sense to have something to say that contributes to the conversation. But I really try to visit all the bloggers that take the time to visit me.
    Julie S. recently posted…Guest Post: Character Inspirations by Leigh RainesMy Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      I’m sure everyone appreciates that you take the time to do that! I think even just a thanks is usually fine, but I understand what you’re saying. I feel better about replies when I have something meaningful to contribute as well.
      Vlora recently posted…Talk to Me: Commenting BackMy Profile

  2. Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections

    Karolina and I do try to reply to all of our comments, and to comment back. Not because we feel obligated, but because we want to. They took the time to check out our blog, so we want to return the favour. However, I do not want to comment for the sake of commenting, so if I don’t have anything to say about their recent posts, I prefer not saying anything. Yes, it’s time-consuming, but I really enjoy it. Makes me feel like a part of the community. Although we do have our lazy days… :D
    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…Hi, My Name Is Inge and I Have AnxietyMy Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      I also really enjoy the community part, and I do try to take the time to check out people’s blogs because I tend to get too comfortable in my own little corner of the internet and then complain when I don’t have anything new to read. :D
      Vlora recently posted…Talk to Me: Commenting BackMy Profile

  3. Alyssa

    I reply back to all comments and I comment back — I’m actually rarely completely uninterested after reading a comment. (Comments just make my day SO MUCH.) That said, when I comment, I don’t necessarily expect a comment back or do so in hopes of getting that. I follow several blogs on Bloglovin’ and it’d be impossible to comment on every post, so I comment only if I’m interested and have something to say.

    I think the most important part of engagement isn’t necessarily your blog platform alone. I’ve met some amazing bloggers and become really close Internet friends with a handful, but most of these I’ve exchanged emails with. A couple of times, when I see something that I’d love to talk further about, e.g. the blogger’s looking for a CP, I’ve even left my email in the comments and an invitation to reach out to me. I’ve found that the invitation to connect personally is really important.
    Alyssa recently posted…Sisterhood of the World Bloggers AwardMy Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      Oh I LOVE comments, and they always interest me. It’s more that I sometimes feel lame just saying “thanks” when I can’t think of anything else, but usually that’s not the case anyway! And nothing wrong with a thanks, I guess. :D

      I completely understand that. I comment pretty often too, but it’s impossible to comment on every post you read! Oh yeah, very interesting point; I completely forgot to include e-mails!
      Vlora recently posted…Spotlight: My Favorite YouTube VideosMy Profile

  4. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I TRY TO. I started this about 12 months ago…and it totally exploded my blog. IT WORKS, IT DOES. Commenting back and visiting everyone’s blogs absolutely expands your reach and gives you so so many new wonderful friends. Although it is hard to keep up with. I’m kind of struggling atm. >_< Sometimes I just reply and don't go to other people's blogs. But I feel guilty if I do that! If someone takes a second out of their day to read my blog and talk to me, I do nooooot want to ignore them.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Survey Results || So Many PineapplesMy Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      That’s really interesting actually – I was mostly thinking about whether people comment because they expect someone to visit their blog in return, but I guess it works the other way around too. And I don’t mean that in a negative way; I think it just encourages people to check out your blog more often when they see actual interaction is taking place, and then they start getting attached? I don’t know, someone write a bachelor thesis about it or something. :D I know it works on me! And then of course it makes you discover a lot of cool new blogs and people and YES, I’m liking this more and more. :D

      I CAN IMAGINE. I was actually thinking about you when I wrote that I can see how it would get overwhelming with a really popular blog!
      Vlora recently posted…Spotlight: My Favorite YouTube VideosMy Profile

  5. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I try really hard to comment back. And reply to comments. There are a few I miss from time to time, but overall, yes, I try to. But I know what you mean about the comments that are just “nice post, here’s my blog link!”. They irk me, honestly. I try to make my posts interactive, so that everyone feels welcome to comment, even if they haven’t read a book I was talking about or whatever. So it makes me extra mad when people do the generic comment thing. And then I will tell myself not to bother going to their blog, but I can’t help myself!

    I don’t leave random comments either, if I legitimately can’t find something to comment about, I will leave and try again another day. Sometimes that happens when a blog is full of promo posts about books I have no interest in. So I move on, because I am not going to generically comment on someone else’s stuff either.

    I do LOVE visiting blogs and commenting back, because I feel like I get to know other bloggers so much better. But it is getting really hard. I think I spend more time commenting than writing posts at this point, which is kind of weird! I think I may have to make some changes soon, perhaps posting less frequently, I don’t know. I never want to NOT visit other blogs though, since that is why I wanted to have a blog to begin with! GREAT discussion topic!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…This Week At Midnight (45)My Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      I want to just sign my name under that comment because it expresses my feelings so well. :D The spammy comments irk me for the exact same reasons, but thankfully those are only like 1% of comments, so it’s fine.

      I can imagine that it would get more difficult to comment back as your blog grows! I guess in that case everyone has to decide for themselves how much time they can invest and what takes priority. It’s a difficult question for sure, good luck with figuring it out! Thanks, glad you liked the topic. :)
      Vlora recently posted…21 Random Facts About MeMy Profile

  6. Jackie

    If I receive a comment on my site, I will only reply with a comment if I have something worthwhile to say. I will (90% of the time) visit their site though. The goal is to leave a comment in return, but if I can’t leave a meaningful comment…I won’t comment. I mean, I’ve gone as far as exploring posts from the previous months to do this, and sometimes I just can’t.

    Now, I love leaving comments on other peoples sites because I know how warm and fuzzy it can make the other blogger feel. Plus, I love leaving my two cents. Can’t help it. It’s very Leo of me. I don’t expect responses though, so when they do I’m always caught by surprise.
    Jackie recently posted…Weekend Review: Home Sweet HomeMy Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      I can’t NOT respond to the comments on my own site. I really love when people take the time to comment, and responding makes me feel like I’m part of a conversation rather than I’m just giving a monologue. I’d think if it’s a choice, at least 90 % of people probably prefer it when other bloggers comment back on their blog rather than just reply to comments on the original site though. I do comment back aaalmost all the time, but if I really don’t find anything, I’ll do the same as you and just leave it. Thankfully that happens very seldomly though!

      Haha I understand that feeling. I usually have a need to leave my two cents under every post that remotely interests me. :D
      Vlora recently posted…Cake Conversations: New Bookshelf!My Profile

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