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How to Get (Many) Comments on Your Blog

7 Dec

The first thing I noticed about Nina Badzin was her Twitter following, which eventually led me to her blog. It’s a GREAT read, by the way.

But something extraordinary caught my eye about Nina’s blog.

On a consistent basis, Nina generates dozens of comments—on EVERY post. Her ability to draw so many comments amazed me, and that’s why I invited her to guest post for Rogue Writer today. Besides running a fun blog, Nina is a published short story writer. So after you read her post today, take a moment and check out her site!

How to Get (Many) Comments on Your Blog 

BY NINA BADZIN

Thank you, Shari, for inviting me to discuss the issue of getting and managing blog comments. I’ve found that comments are a touchy subject because many bloggers pretend they don’t care about receiving them.

I can hear the naysayers now. I truly don’t care if anyone reads my posts, they say. I just want to express myself.

I’m not buying it. Let’s face it, if we weren’t hoping for some kind of response to our posts, then we’d start each one with “Dear Diary” and hide the outcome from the world. The minute we press “publish,” we’re hoping to reach someone.

Why do comments matter anyway?

As Shari pointed out last week when discussing StumbleUpon, unless your blog is monetized, the number of views on a post matters very little and tells you even less. Are people reading the first two sentences and clicking away? Will the same readers come back? And who are these people checking you out in the first place?

And come on, what could be more thrilling for a writer than watching a discussion brew about something we wrote? Over time, we  hope people return, we hope new readers find us, and we hope a community forms. As our writing careers develop and grow, we bank on that community translating  into readers who will stay with us for years to come. Also, comments help us feel like we’re not just talking to ourselves. That’s worth something too.

So how does a blogger get people to take the extra two minutes to leave a comment?

HERE IS THE ANSWER IN 3 PARTS:

#1. You have to leave comments on other blogs. Yes, you need original, insightful, and/or amusing content on your blog. “Content is king” and all that jazz. Still, it’s nearly impossible to build a community unless you’re part of other bloggers’ communities at the same time.

#2. You ought to leave thoughtful comments and get to know other bloggers. Don’t bother with “great post.” For sure don’t say, “I wrote about this too. Come see!” Make it clear you read the post. You’re trying meet other bloggers and writers so you can form real connections. Try to find bloggers you admire. Skip the posts and blogs that don’t interest you. This isn’t about leaving your URL all over town. Be discerning. Be genuine.

#3. Think out of the box when responding to comments. It’s unnecessary to respond to every comment on your blog, especially if there’s nothing new to add. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll visit the blogs of people who left comments for me instead of responding to what they had to say about my post. I’m willing to bet my readers appreciate my avatar in the comments section of their posts more than they care about seeing my face repeatedly pop up on my blog. That’s not to say I don’t respond to comments on my blog. I generally do. But I’m aware of my comments section being about me, whereas visiting another blogger’s latest post is about that person.

BUT DOESN’T THIS ALL TAKE A TON OF TIME?

Yes. One day when we’re in the big league of bloggers and writers, nobody will expect to see us in the comments section of our blogs or their blogs. Until then, we get what we give.

Thanks again for having me, Shari!

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Nina Badzin is a published short story writer. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and twice listed as a finalist by Glimmer Train Stories. “Always the bridesmaid,” she likes to say. When she’s not running after her four kids or tweeting (@NinaBadzin), she blogs at Nina Badzin’s Blog.

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64 Responses to “How to Get (Many) Comments on Your Blog”

  1. rebeccanufer February 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    I think the key to getting people to post is:

    1: be kind to other bloggers and form connections with them.

    2: ask you friends to post a cmmet or two.

    3: i just like number 3 :3

  2. Rivki January 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    I’m a little late to this party, but what the heck.

    I’m currently in an “other things taking priority” mode in my bloggyness, and while it means that the comments on my blog are not as bountiful, I’m enjoying those comments more (not that I wouldn’t enjoy more of them, don’t get me wrong).

    Because my focus is somewhat elsewhere, I don’t feel pressure to go out and comment, comment, comment. It’s allowed me to develop a more quality over quantity mindset, and I hope that I’ll take that mindset with me when I am able to devote more time to my online world. It has also enabled me to really enjoy the posts I do get a chance to read (like this one), and to not just dash off a comment, knowing that there are at least ten other blogs in the queue. Right now it’s just me, this blog and this comment. It’s a less frenetic pace, which I love. Love love love.

    Thanks for the great Social Media tips as usual, Nina!

  3. JJ - The Dude of the House December 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Nina,

    Another great post. This is actually the first one of yours that I read. What you wrote is so true. It’s imperative to build a relationship with your readers. I am lucky to have a crew of loyal readers, too. I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions, but I think a goal of mine for 2012 will be to respond to my readers’ comments faster and comment on other blogs more as well.

    The interesting thing about comments is that they go along with the whole concept of blogging, IMO. As a writer you are putting yourself out there in the world, wanting others to read and care about your life. That little bit of validation makes it all seem worthwhile.

    I got a comment last week from an Anonymous reader first thing in the morning. They simply wrote “Thanks, I needed a good laugh today. =) “. And suddenly everything was right in the world. In my 5 months of blogging that was both the most succinct and the best comment I’ve received.

    Thanks again!

    JJ – The Dude of the House
    dudeofthehouse.blogspot.com
    http://www.facebook.com/TheDudeOfTheHouse
    Twitter: @DudeOfTheHouse
    Check out my new blog post: All I Want for Christmas is Jews. http://bit.ly/tDTpog

  4. Anna@GreenTalk December 20, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Twitter drives me crazy. One social media consultant told me that I have to increase my followers to get my posts noticed. I disagreed because I didn’t want to follow people so they follow me back. (Not to say there isn’t interesting people to follow.) I have taken a pretty lazy attitude to twitter and let people find me. I usually don’t follow back people who just post links to their twitter page unless it is content that I am looking for.

    I also find that it is really hard to find loyal followers on twitter. It seems like everyone is talking to each other and no one is listening. If I have a question, I have to remember which followers could answer that question to get anyone’s attention.

    On the other hand, I find my Facebook fan page to be more engaging. People seem to comment more and you can get more people involved.

    As for my blog, I have lots of traffic but sometimes crickets regarding the comments on the posts. I even ask lots of questions at the end to engage my readers. Plus, I love comments. Perhaps, I have been neglectful to leave more comments on other blogs.

  5. Lorilee @ Loving Simple Living.com December 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    thanks for your post. I am just starting out blogging and I get very wrapped up in how many people come and how many comments I get…. probably to much so :) I do give comments on other posts I read, just because I know how much it means to me. Thanks again!

  6. Hilary Levey Friedman December 14, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on getting comments on social media, but not on the blog itself? Sometimes I get lots of comments on Facebook, for example, and cut and paste them over. But the discussion is there and not on the blog. As long as people are reading, I am happy, but maybe this is wrong?

    • Shari Lopatin December 14, 2011 at 8:48 am #

      Hi Hilary. Funny you asked this, as “Chanale” asked the SAME question only a few comments down. So, I’m just going to copy and paste my answer to her, as I think it’ll apply to you, as well:

      “Chanale, I’m going to hop on board and answer here, as social media strategy is currently how I pull in a paycheck. And of course, Nina is welcome to join. But I think it all depends on your goal. What is your goal? Is it to build readership? To build loyal followers? If your goal is to get people to buy a book, for example, then it doesn’t really matter WHERE they follow and interact with you–as long as they buy your book. However, if your goal is to build a blog following (a readership), then you’ll want to view Facebook as a secondary tool to drive readers to your blog (and possibly even entice them to subscribe). Are your blog stats showing more traffic coming from Facebook? If so, that’s a great thing, even if people are commenting on Facebook rather than your blog. Also remember, it’s important to generate comments and “likes” on Facebook posts, as that ensures more of your followers will actually see your posts in their newsfeeds.”

  7. Mr Bunny Chow December 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    I’m pretty new to the world of blogging but have definitely found that communicating with other bloggers has driven traffic to my site.

    My cookery blog is definitely there to encourage interaction although my original blog is more about just being a place for me to vent.

  8. Jolina Petersheim December 12, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    As always, Nina, wonderful tips. I especially like the idea of commenting on people’s blogs who have commented on ours. That is a wonderful suggestion if we are pressed for time. Thanks!

  9. chanale December 12, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    Nina, What do you feel about the facebook issue? I find my readers leaving tons of comments on facebook, or just clicking like instead of a comment. Giveaway Mondays see more comments but I dont appreciate them as much because I feel they come with an agenda. To me facebook is a double edges sword. I get more readers but lose comments on my blog.

    • Shari Lopatin December 12, 2011 at 9:18 am #

      Chanale, I’m going to hop on board and answer here, as social media strategy is currently how I pull in a paycheck. :-) And of course, Nina is welcome to join. But I think it all depends on your goal. What is your goal? Is it to build readership? To build loyal followers? If your goal is to get people to buy a book, for example, then it doesn’t really matter WHERE they follow and interact with you–as long as they buy your book. However, if your goal is to build a blog following (a readership), then you’ll want to view Facebook as a secondary tool to drive readers to your blog (and possibly even entice them to subscribe). Are your blog stats showing more traffic coming from Facebook? If so, that’s a great thing, even if people are commenting on Facebook rather than your blog. Also remember, it’s important to generate comments and “likes” on Facebook posts, as that ensures more of your followers will actually see your posts in their newsfeeds.

      • Chanale December 12, 2011 at 9:53 am #

        Shari, good point. My goal is to gain music fans so any which way they come is good! A lot of traffic comes form faceboom so for now its only positive. Thank you, love ur blog. I appreciate the time u took to respond.

      • Nina Badzin December 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

        I agree with Shari! For someone like me, the writing/ideas is what I love feedback on. I have nothing to sell yet so it’s a different issue. I do find that the people who comment on FB are different than the people who comment on Twitter. FB is really more for my in-real-life friends and acquaintances whereas the blog attracts my virtual friends. I’m grateful for both types!

  10. jennazark December 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Thank you, Nina, for this post, and your thoughtful way of writing it. For me the “takeaway” is about a community of writers, about joining that community through comments and letting others know you are reading their work. Bravo for stating it so wisely.

  11. Cygnet Brown December 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    All of us writers, it appears, have a need to see our writing appreciated by others. It’s like portrait painter wanting others to appreciate his or her work. It’s like an actor who wants others to see them perform. Getting seen is, of course, important, but we must first be sure that what we are writing is worth reading. When we write something that people can relate to (or at least have strong feelings about), we are likely to get comments.

  12. By Word of Mouth Musings December 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Oh …. such perfect timing for this post of yours ….
    You ask people to receive you by e-mail and then they don’t comment on your blog … and it makes you sad.
    You comment on other blogs because you love them and are interested in what they have to say, and many never respond.
    You host memes and linkys and have guest posts to build a community, because you love the blogosphere and all the support it offers … but then you worry if people think you are narcissistic, it sure ain’t easy, but so many people make it appear so!

    and yes, to copy my friend Julie, great post – can we be you when we grow up?

  13. Philos Mudis December 9, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Great write Nina.
    Post is about how to get more comments and this post has attracted an awesome number of comments. I just remember one blog post that advised that I should turn off comments on my brand new blog but if I did that my blog would have not received the three comments that currently boosts its ‘ego’ (or should I say growth and development).

    Thanks for the advice. Have a good time – you and Shari.

  14. Lisa December 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    As usual, Nina, you offer perspectives that I hadn’t considered before, and this is timely for me, as I need to formulate some kind of plan or schedule in terms of dealing with social media in general. I really like the idea of visiting the blogs of those who comment (I read a similar piece of advice for Twitter, that rather than filling the Twitter stream with thank you messages, one could instead re-tweet a message in return).

    • Nina Badzin December 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

      Thanks Lisa! That Twitter advice is from my STOP THE OVER-THANKING ON TWITTER pleas on my blog and on Twitter. Although I’m sure others have said the same thing.
      http://ninabadzin.com/2011/05/31/the-twitter-thanking-crisis/

      • Lisa December 9, 2011 at 5:27 am #

        Oh, this coincidence made my day! I truly had forgotten who wrote that piece (yes, yours is the one I was thinking of), but the message has stayed with me.

  15. Piglet in Portugal December 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    “You have to leave comments on other blogs” I think leaving regular comments on other blogs and building a “community” following is key. I feel guilty if I don’t acknowledge comments on my own blog though, because some people do subscribe to follow-up comments and then return.
    With most of the bloggers I follow posting everyday as part of the WordPress Postaday challenge I can’t physically get to comment everyday. Now I comment on these blogs a couple of times a week, but every week.

    Great post Nina :)
    PiP

  16. Stacy Jensen December 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    True about the “we get what we give.” I do sometimes make a “great post” comment just because that’s how I feel. Sometimes, I’ll even say, “I know this doesn’t move the conversation forward, but I wanted to let you know I appreciate these posts.” I often read blogs via email. I still click through and post, but there are some larger blogs where I never post a comment and often, it seems no one else does either. But, I know the writer has a large following despite the lack of comments. So randomly I will make a comment just because. (And I figured out the WP sign in thing, so I can hopefully link with my blog … let’s see how that works here ….)

  17. Koala Bear Writer December 8, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I like the way blogging is about community – it’s not just about one person standing on top of their soapbox spouting at the rest of the world. Because I appreciate comments on my blog, I always try to comment on other blogs when I visit or read posts. And if someone comments on my blog, I try to make sure to return to their blog to see what they’ve written lately. If I don’t have time to do that, then I feel bad about it. :)

  18. Annie Neugebauer December 8, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Great tips, Nina! I’ve always secretly envied your number and quality of blog comments, so I certainly appreciate your sharing your advice on the matter. Simple and straight-forward, but true.

  19. Leigh Ann December 8, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    Excellent advice. It’s so much give and take, and some times it can be exhausting. But I’ll never forget the time I left a comment on a “big” blogger’s site, and a few days later, she visited mine. I was elated! And you never know — you could provide that feeling for someone else.

  20. Leah December 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Thank you, both, Nina and Shari for this great post. I learned a few things and it also confirmed a few things I’m currently doing. And of course, I love following both of you. It’s an honor to be among your followers.

  21. Hallie Sawyer December 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    I have found myself wondering why some posts provoke more comments than others and then I realized I have neglected my own commenting duties. Google Reader keeps all of my favorite blogs in one spot and now I try to tackle a few blogs every night. Ya gotta give to get! ;)

    I also think over-posting can wear out your blog readers so I have cut back to twice a week. Too much is not always a good thing. The next topic I want you to cover is how to reach more people. I seem to have a loyal following but I haven’t gained any new readers lately. Is it my content? Is it my own lack of reaching out? Is it the layout of my blog?

    Discuss…

    • Shari Lopatin December 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

      Hallie, I’m so glad you brought up this very thing! I was planning on writing a post on this topic rather soon. I just made a connection recently with Pro Blogger, and they’ll be running my first submission to them Dec. 20 this year. So I’m trying to decide if I should post my article on gaining new subcribers to my blog, or submit it to them. Regardless, feel free to check back, as that topic WILL be coming up, one way or the other! :-) And I’d love for you to weigh in.

      • Nina Badzin December 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

        Shari! Great news on the Pro Blogger gig. I look forward to that post (no matter where you publish it.)

        Hallie–I’m a big believer in what Anne Allen calls “slow blogging.” We both blog once a week. I agree that readers can get overwhelmed . . . because it’s not just the posts that become a lot, but the tweets that go along with them too.

        You know what, I have the same “issue” re: a loyal following but not too many new readers. I suppose the only way to fix that is to find new blogs to read and meet new bloggers. All takes time though, which is hard to use up on more things blog-related instead of fiction related. (For me, at least. Though I’m sure it’s true for most of us.)

  22. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes December 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Oh course we all have to leave comments now. I see how we’ve been suckered into this! Just kidding, great stuff here :) My favorite part of commenting on someone else’s blog is when they reply to my comment. I usually check back on blogs where I’ve left a more interesting comment. It’s sort of like “Oh, they care that I care!” How neurotic. Blogging is not for the normal.

    • Nina Badzin December 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      Agree! Not for the normal. Same is true about writers of fiction. :) Seriously though, it DOES take a certain narcissism to be a blogger. I hate to say it, but it’s true. So of course we want to see people comment on our posts AND we want to see responses to our comments on other people’s posts. ;)

  23. Carly Watters December 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    I love getting comments on my blog. I’m as happy to get likes and comments now as when I first started blogging. Blogging is a two-way street. There is no blog if no one reads it! Like the tree in a forest analogy. As others have pointed out, you’re really good at the community aspect of it Nina!

    Have you done a ‘how to get people to click on your blog from Twitter’ post? That would be interesting to me.

    • Nina Badzin December 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

      Thanks so much Carly. That’s a good question re: clicking from Twitter. I’ve never though too much about it. I’m guessing people click based on combo of their interest in the blogger if they already read that person’s stuff. But a tweet would attract newer readers based on the headline alone. I guess that makes the titles of post VERY important. My titles aren’t always great. I have a hard time making them short enough to be nice and tidy in a tweet.

  24. Cynthia Robertson December 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Great discussion you’ve got going here, Nina. As usual, I totally agree with your post…we do blog to have our posts read, or else what would be the point?
    On another topic, I’m so glad to see baby #4 is not derailing your blogging, and you are still able to be coherent, so you must be getting enough sleep!

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      Well, the truth is other things have fallen by the wayside. I love the interaction of the blog though, so I didn’t let that go. Thanks for commenting here. I was nervous to have this post and then perhaps no comments.

  25. Renee Ronika Klug (@reneeronika) December 7, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I appreciate, Nina, your advice here on leaving a comment on someone’s blog rather than to reply to their comment directly on your blog. I’d seen the direct-reply as a t”thank you” note, but really what a better way is there to thank someone than to affirm their own work?

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Direct replies are good too! It’s just that there’s no time to do everything. I think if you have to choose, a visit to the other blog is probably more appreciated. (At least that’s how I feel!)

  26. babyjill7...Marilyn Griffin December 7, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    I so agree…I’m so elated to read a comment about my blog…simple as it is…I am trying to reach out more to my fellow bloggers…probably will be one of my New Year’s Resolutions!…I think this past year I have concentrated on me just writing…now I will concentrate on who I want to follow and all the good information I get from them…Thanks… great advice!

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      You might have hit on something here without meaning to. It CAN be hard to concentrate fully on your own writing when also focusing on social networking. I have probably let the pendulum swing too far to the social networking side and I DO plan to scale that back a touch in 2012. (In theory, at least.) I’d like to do both, but putting the fiction back up on my priority list will probably mean a little less focus on Twitter, etc. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

  27. Anne R. Allen December 7, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    This post had me laughing because it made me remember when I started my blog two and a half years ago and I was desperate for just one comment. Recently, I got 167 comments on one post. But I was as desperate for them to stop as I was to get comments in the first place. It’s great to get a good discussion going with a little disagreement, but when it comes to threats and name-calling, it gets hairy. (I even got a death-threat, although that was in an email. Yeah. Yikes.) So the key is to blog about something lots of people have an opinion about, but not something people have foaming-at-the-mouth temper tantrums about (like book reviews–who knew?)

    I’m a big believer in responding to comments when I can, because that allows us all to get to know each other. Which, as Nathan Bransford points out this week, is what all this social networking thing is about.

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

      Yes! I agree with you and Nathan. It is all about really getting to know people. I have loved watching your blog and your writing career explode this year. And guess what! I have a Kindle, which means I’m going to read your books in the eversion. Loving the Kindle!

  28. jennifer k December 7, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    I get “comment aniexty” – that my comment may not be thought provoking or interesting enough- but hey sometimes I just want to say, I like what I read!! So, let me say – “good post”!!

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      You make a fair point and I don’t mean to imply that every comment has to be a novel.

  29. Frume Sarah December 7, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    You’re trying meet other bloggers and writers so you can form real connections.
    This sums it up. And those connections, I have found, can sometimes be with bloggers/writers who hold very different views but engage in thoughtful and genuine dialogue. I have learned, and continue to be strengthened, by these exchanges.

    This really is a great post, Nina!

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      Thanks! I’m remembering now that I found you via the sidebar on JackB’s blog when I first started blogging. I devoured tons of posts at once. If I hadn’t left comments, how would we have actually “met” or connected from there? We wouldn’t have. There is a place for lurking on blogs, but it’s so easy to really get to know people too if you’re willing to make the extra step.

  30. ramblingsfromtheleft December 7, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Thanks to Shari for hosting one of my favorite reads in the blogesphere. Nina, when I began I had no clue as to how to “get to know” other bloggers. I thumped around the internet looking for “writer’s blogs” and found a now closed site … Pimp My Novel. It was only six weeks into my experience and I was basically talking to myself. Then I saw a guest post on Eric’s (PMN) and found my first and still, dearest friend, Christi Corbett.

    I do believe that one of the best things we can do is to engage the writer of the post. That is, actually read it and give an appropriate response. Of course, I love humor and am the she-devil to leave a funny comment. Funny, not silly and for the most part I get a nice response on mine. It has built to a good tenor and I think as I learn more and actually get to know each of the bloggers I follow, it gets better.

    Hey, Miss Social Network … I am actually getting better at twitter. Who knows that one of these days I might actually get good at it. For now I’m content being good at this. Thanks :)

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

      I’ve seen BOTH of our blogs grow a lot this year. Don’t you think? It’s all about quality, not quantity. Nobody needs 100’s of comments. A solid readership of engaged, smart bloggers/writers is really the best and enough to keep a blogger going.

      And yes, grasshopper, I’m so proud of your Twitter know-how. ;)

  31. Melissa Crytzer Fry December 7, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    P.S. I would LOVE to hear what other readers of blogs think about bloggers who comment to every person? Does it annoy you when a blogger does this? Do you think it’s good? Do you MIND seeing the blogger’s response to each comment? I’ve personally gotten a lot of positive feedback for being so thorough. So I’m torn…

    • Tanya December 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      I read a lot of blogs and I guess it’s a matter of if you’re actually responding to the commenter or just pasting “Thanks for the comment” in reply to each one. I wouldn’t have a problem with a blogger responding to each comment as long as it’s a real response and not ctrl+V.

  32. Melissa Crytzer Fry December 7, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Great advice, Nina.This is where I have fallen into so much trouble with managing social media and writing: the reciprocal tit-for-tat nature of blogging and blog reading, and commenting. As Kate suggests, readership DOES go down when you’re not as active on others’ blogs and not tit-for-tatting (at least on my blog it has). While it is tremendously inspiring and fun to engage in those conversations and meet other bloggers/read their work, it is also tremendously difficult to keep up with it (for me, at least). And I’m the kind who feels intense guilt if I can’t get to someone’s blog who has responded on mine. But sometimes, that’s just how it is: deadlines, family obligations, illness, shifting priorities/commitment to fiction … I’m still not sure I’ve figured out the balance.

    Thanks, Shari, for hosting Nina. It was nice to see her here at Rogue Writer.

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 9:38 am #

      I deal with those same issues . . . I responded to Kate on the same thing so I won’t repeat it here except to say that blogging can’t always be the priority. I think we ALL get that and nobody should feel that things have to be tit for tat. I make my way to others blogs some weeks and then not as much another. That’s just how it is for everyone. Sometimes I get to commenting on posts, but I can RT people’s posts and that’s another way of staying connected. But as you know, I think all the RTing can get a bit tit for tat too.

      The key, in my opinion, is about forming REAL connections. If it feels like a game, then it
      isn’t the genuine blogging/writing relationship I was speaking of in the post.

      That’s my more than two cents anyway!

  33. julie gardner December 7, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    Great post….

    …Just kidding. I would never leave a comment like that.
    And I agree with everything you said here, Nina.

    I’m amazed by how appreciative bloggers are when I leave a “thoughtful” comment; because my first thought is, “Why else would I respond if not to say something meaningful?”

    The people who visit and comment on my blog posts are clever, engaging, fabulous; however, I gather there are a lot of blog readers out there whip out an “LOL that was funny!” before heading off to mark someone else’s post in the hopes of drawing more readers to their own.

    This, I suppose, is the downside to the Quid Pro Quo of blog comments that you (rightly) pointed out; which is why perhaps the BEST advice you give is to be purposeful in the blogs you visit and the comments you leave. If we truly are in a situation of reciprocation, we must do ourselves justice by spending time and effort connecting with bloggers/blogs that are meaningful to us.

    Fortunately, there’s no shortage of blogs out there from which to choose; and plenty of bloggers ready to connect.

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 9:00 am #

      Really, Julie YOU should have written this post! Your blog’s comments sections is like a crazy party. And I’d say the dreaded, “I don’t know how you keep up with it?” but I already know the answer . . . we have to pick and choose and other things get neglected. I’m sure our priorities will shift in other directions at different times . . .but for sure a major part of building a blog is being present on it.

      Your posts are also a good example of “content is king” though. The posts have to be good to illicit so much conversation!

      • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson December 7, 2011 at 11:35 am #

        Julie is the person who pointed me in your direction. Julie is me hero. Julie is amazing. Anyone Julie is following, I follow.

        Probably.

        Julie is.

        I think I’m going to write a blog post called “Call me Julie.” Because when I grow up, I want to be just like her.

    • By Word of Mouth Musings December 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      butting in to say, you are so wise and lovely ;)

  34. Julia Munroe Martin December 7, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I was JUST thinking about this, this morning! Comments are everything. It’s so wonderful to have a running long-term conversation with the readers of my blog–and I do answer every blog comment (for now I’m able to do that). Conversely I love commenting on others’ blogs, too. For me, it’s not just about getting more comments but also about developing friendships and a writing group! And I so agree, Nina, it’s definitely not enough just to express myself — it really is all about finding that community! GREAT post and great suggestions!

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      I’m still able to answer most too. It’s not like I’m one of these bloggers who gets 100 comments or even close. If I don’t answer, it’s only because I don’t want to litter the comments sections with just “thank you” or something like that if there isn’t more to say. And I don’t mean to imply that it’s a bad thing when there isn’t more to say. The same is true on Twitter . . . sometimes the conversation is really just done and that’s totally fine.

      Your comments sections always has a lot of thoughtful writers contributing great ideas. It’s a good place to hang out!

  35. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson December 7, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    Nina:

    This is it, exactly. People create a blog and sometimes have an attitude like the world OWES them comments. Um, no.

    You can’t walk into a party and be all: Here I am, let’s talk about ME!

    People will walk away from you and think you are a narcissistic bitch.

    At a party, you go up to people and ask: How are you? Tell me. And then you let them talk.

    I’m also a firm believer in cross-pollination. I love having people guest post on my blog. I have found it to be mutually beneficial, a way of sharing the love with bloggers whose content I have come to know and love.

    As Nina said, the more you give, the more you give.

    Can I be Wonder Woman in the League of Bloggers? Able to balance work, book, blog, friends, family, laundry and groceries and look hot in my invisible jet. And by invisible jet, I mean my Honda Pilot? ;-)

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 9:04 am #

      Love the party metaphor and it’s so true on Twitter too. People sign up and start tossing out links to their posts, books, etc. Doesn’t work. The best thing I did for the blog AND for Twitter was to be on Twitter for nine months before I ever started a blog. I didn’t do that on purpose . . . it just worked out that way. But it worked to my benefit. Because for nine months I was RTing other bloggers’ stuff. Suddenly I was like, “I want a blog.” And by then I’d been in the blogging community purely as a reader and commenter. People were happy to visit me back after so much time, tweet my stuff, etc.

      There’s also a thing called chemistry between bloggers. I feel like I’ve known you forever and we just “met” in the past few weeks. Crazy!

      • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson December 7, 2011 at 11:33 am #

        I know. We were just discussing this in my book club last night — how people can connect in the strangest places under the strangest of circumstances.

        The interwebs can be a blessing — if people really use them to network properly.

        And I would love to meet you in person.

        And I’ll bet you dollars for donuts it will happen. ;-)

  36. Tanya December 7, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    When I saw my email notification come in and read the title “How to Get (Many) Comments on your Blog” my first thought was “oh Nina get’s so many comments because she responds to comments.” It irks me (even though I’m guilty of it on my own blog) when I leave a comment and then check back in a day or two and I don’t see a response from the blogger. It doesn’t have to be directed at my comment but they should be responding to someone’s comment. It shows they’re reading their comment section and actually care what their readers think. There are some blogs I’ve just stopped going to primarily because they never ever respond to their reader’s comments.

    Again I’m complaining but I’m terribly guilty of this. I tend to think (because my blog is so small) that no one comes back to see if I’ve responded to their comments since I’m pretty sure there’s not function that emails the person with I do respond. I will admit that I LOVE getting an email notification from my blog saying “Nina Badzin has left you a comment.” :) I love all the comments I get and I’ll try better to respond, but then again I was going to try and blog more and I’ve done two posts in the last two months LOL. Great post. I’m going to see if anyone has commented on my lastest post right now!

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      Tanya! You’re a great example of how leaving comments builds a real relationship between bloggers. I feel like I’ve known you for so long and yet we really only know each other “virtually.” Anyway, I always to try to use the email function for exactly the reason you stated—I don’t assume people come back to see the responses. Everyone is so busy! As an aside, I try to email yours but you often only leave the Twitter address in the email section . . . I’m glad you get the responses anyway or come back to check! Your always a key part of the conversation at my blog. :)

  37. kathryn magendie December 7, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    I smiled about the “I don’t care if anyone comments” thing because it’s sort of like the “I don’t care if my books sell, I just want to be published . . .” of course I want my books to sell! Of course I want people to come by my blog and leave a nice comment and show me they love me – I love to be loved *laughing* so, yeah, I won’t deny it any longer :-D

    One thing I noticed is that when I became busy and some other things happening to where I couldn’t be a Good Blogger as I used to be (writing thoughtful posts consistently and visiting others blogs consistently), my blog stopped growing. I know it’s visited frequently due to “stats” but it isn’t as engaged and dynamic. And I find I miss that more than I thought I would! So, I’m going to make my blog a part of my “Time Needer” not “Time Waster” …!

    Love the post – thank you Nina, and thank you Shari!

    • Nina Badzin December 7, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      I think what you’re touching on “being a good blogger” and then other times not having as much time is the natural course of blogging. Many of us hope to write novels and publish other things. There’s definitely NOT time to do it all AND have a life off the computer. We have to pick and choose. When time for blogging falls by the wayside, there probably won’t be as many comments on posts, but I think comments are less important to bloggers/writers when we’re getting feedback on other things we’re writing.

      Not sure if that made sense!

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