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Have you ever visited a blog, read the post and all of the comments, but didn’t feel comfortable commenting?

I have.

Blogs can be that way.

The author publishes their post for the whole world to see, and often others leave comments. A conversation develops between the author and their audience.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, most of my time was spent learning what blogging was all about. I would visit other blogs, grab an idea or two, and come back and work on my blog. I often read the comments as they usually added value to the post.

I noticed on some blogs, the comments seemed quite personal. I assumed these people knew each other (in real life). Since I wasn’t part of “the group”, I didn’t feel right interrupting their conversation by leaving my “two cents”, so I would quickly click off and move on.

As I learned more about blogging and commenting, I soon realized how communities form in blogosphere. Bloggers have favorite blogs they visit, and will comment on a regular basis. They are showing their support for the author. In most instances they’ve never met, nor will they ever.

Blog authors are thrilled to see a new visitor on their blog. Comments are the obvious way of knowing.

When I look at the stats for my blog(s), I realize I have many more readers than I do commenters.

If you’re reading this, and not commenting, I say “thank you” for reading my writings. It’s fine if you don’t want to comment, don’t have the time to comment, or prefer to remain as reader.

Like you, I too, have blogs I visit that I don’t always comment on.

Today’s Assignment

What inspires you to leave a comment?

Do you ever read blogs and not comment?

Have you ever visited a blog and didn’t feel comfortable commenting? Why?


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  1. Different things can inspire me to comment.
    – I have a question and want to learn more
    – I feel as a part of a community
    – I feel what I have to say could help others or add value to the article
    – Hope that maybe someone might like what I say and a new blogging relationship with that person may form as a result

    Do I ever read blogs and not comment. Yup – yours! lol, and others. Usually if an author posts more than 2 or 3 times a week I just can’t keep up.

    This post reminds me of one I recently wrote entitled: Who Are You?

    I have about 80 subscribers and only a couple who comment. It’s odd, isn’t it.

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..Finding Your Purple Cow By Thinking Laterally

  2. JayNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. My blog being fairly new, this is a learning curve for me.

    I will leave a comment for several reasons. Maybe I feel as if I have something to contribute – support, maybe, or encouragement. I might want to offer an alternative point of view. Sometimes a question will be asked and I’ll have a possible answer.

    Sometimes I visit a blog which simply doesn’t seem to leave an opening for a comment – and I think I was guilty of that to begin with. You want to write neat, finished posts, but if they are too neat and finished, you don’t leave people anything to say. They feel as if you think you know it all and it might even come across as didactic – which a lot of people don’t like.

    So yes, sometimes I’ll visit a blog and not comment, because I don’t feel I have anything to say. And then of course, there are blogs you stumble across through links and you go and read, but they’re just not for you. I do think you need to feel a connection of some kind.

  3. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing your answers. You do know I pass out “A”‘s to anyone who responds to each question, so you get one :)

    The comment section of blogs can be so informative. Others share their experiences, add more value to the post, and show support for the author. I like how that works.

    Your comment about 80 subscribers and not many commenters made me realize that big blogs that have 20,000 +/- subscribers could never handle a comment from each reader. Can you imagine? Apparently this situation is quite common.

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jay,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    I do agree there are blog posts that seem “finished”, and the author either did such a good job at writing it, or ends it with “attitude”, it doesn’t leave room for a reply.

    I like how a community builds with a blog. The regular readers are often like minded people with whom you may feel an instant connection. It’s in the comment section where you see evidence of it.

    BTW: I checked out your blog. I just scanned the first post and love your beautiful pictures. I especially like the one of the robin clinging to the wall. I’ll be back tomorrow to read your writings.

  5. I like to have something to contribute to the conversation and so if I dont have anything to say thats more than “great post” (unless I just HAVE to say it) I generally don’t say anything.

    Some blogs, like this one, is so conversational its hard not to :) and then there are very informative blogs that might not illicit a response from me.

    I do love reading comments.. I love getting them (Thank you for being a regular reader Barb!) I love finding new ones..
    I don’t even know what thats about. Just makes me happy. I don’t mind that people read and don’t comment. I’m happy that they come and often times keep coming back (mybloglog avatars is how I know lol)

  6. Most people that leave a comment on my blog have a blog of their own. I think this is for two reasons.

    Firstly, commenting builds traffic. It’s good for your blog to comment on other blogs!

    Secondly, once you have a blog, you realise that you don’t need to be ‘special’ to comment, that anyone can comment. You also realise how nice it is to receive comments, so you leave them as gifts for others.

    What do you think Barbara?

  7. It would make me smile a lot if this post got the most comments on your blog :)

    David | beplayfuls last blog post..Aspects of Playfulness: Magical Enchantment

  8. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I read a lot of different types of blogs. Many are mommy blogs. I think these often are what some my consider finished posts. Comments tend to just support the author and let them know you enjoyed what they wrote. That, however, is the nature of the mommy blog since you are sharing your family stories. My blog is often like that. I try to comment on these and am usually not at a loss for things to say.

    I read what I consider “writing blogs” which are for writers or wannabes. Many of these I read for information and I rarely comment or even click through. The business or WAHM blogs are similar to this.

    In the beginning I tried to comment everywhere but that is not feasible once your readership grows. I read some blogs that the readers don’t read mine. I try to follow anyone who follows mine, but that’s not always possible. Some blogs I just don’t have anything to add so I won’t comment that day.

    A question for you: Have you noticed since summer is coming and people are getting out of the house more that comments are down? Maybe that’s just a phenomena with SAHM bloggers.

    Debbie Yosts last blog post..Washing Machine – Take Two

  9. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    i comment when i find a common ground and i’m motivated to speak.

    some people are really good at drawing out their audience (like you barbara) and they know how to use certain words or tactics to get them to respond.

    i was enrolled in a public speaking class at a young age and when you’re speaking to an audience, you have to show them how that information benefits them (why they should they care) what’s in it for them and having that common ground. asking questions, like you do is also very effective because people love to leave their .02…you notice how i answer all your questions, most times..if you ask the right question, you will always get an answer or a comment.

    Naturals last blog post..I Think I Love My Car

  10. Getting comments on my blog reminds me of my days as a fundraiser, when every check we received gave me a thrill!

    I just read a post on a mom’s blog and I had so many things to say, I didn’t know where to start. I sat here with the cursor blinking at me . . . then finally came up with something short and sweet.

    And sometimes I have to limit my time reading and commenting so that I can attend to other parts of my life!! Do you hear someone saying “mom?, mommy? MOM – WHERE ARE YOU?? :-)
    Ann

  11. What usually makes me leave a comment is just knowing what I want to say. Sometimes I’ll read a post, and I’ll think “great post,” but I’m not going to leave a comment just saying “great post.” I have to be able to think of something that’s going to add to the conversation. It helps if the blogger asks a question that I already have an answer for, because I’ve experienced what they’re talking about.

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..10 Reasons Japan Is Better Than America

  12. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Some posts cry out for comments. Of course, some posts just don’t speak to me at all. Other posts, I don’t have anything that seems worth adding to the discussion.

    I read blogs everyday. I try to comment as often as I can, but sometimes time is a factor too. I don’t have the Internet at home and am limited in the amount of time I can actually get online everyday.

    Chase Marchs last blog post..Nothing

  13. Barbara LingNo Gravatar says:

    I like leaving comments when I can contribute intelligently to the discussion at hand. I’m naturally shy in real life, so using the Internet/Twitter/etc. to build networks is very appealing to me.

    Data points,

    Barbara

    Barbara Lings last blog post..21 Days to a more profitable blog – Day 4! Craft your Why Subscribe? Page and Network

  14. Dr. NicoleNo Gravatar says:

    When I am really busy I read without commenting…

    I do make a point to leave comments for the people that leave comments on my blog though. If I really like something that I read i will make a point to leave a comment too. I know that writing something is so much more rewarding when you are able to see what your readers have to say about an article.

  15. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    I was just thinking about this too. I know that a lot of people visit my blog but I have only a few people commenting. I also noticed that my RSS subscription is stuck at 3 for the past 3 months and I know for sure that there are more than 3 people reading my blog everyday. I started worrying about this and began thinking how to increase my comments and RSS subscription. When I was done comming up of ways to augment these two things, I realized that it will take away some of the things that I worked on very hard.

    I do wish however that more people with comment and that I get more subscriber. But like everyone else, I guess my readers are just like me also. I visit many blogs but I only comment on the ones that I have something to say.

    Chriss last blog post..Raising Daughters: A Dad’s Prespective

  16. I mainly comment if I have something to add. But I also don’t hesitate to comment if I feel compelled to provide a word of validation to the blogger.

    I avoid commenting on subjects I don’t care about or know about.

    It’s interesting – my least commented on posts are my interviews, which I consider the most helpful and insightful posts at my blog. Yet when my headlines are questions to my audience, I get lots of comments.

    Mark – Creative Journey Cafes last blog post..5 Creative Lessons From Indiana Jones

  17. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi JEMi,

    I see you around blogosphere quite often, and you always leave real uplifting, encouraging and/or funny comments. Whenever I see your avatar, I always check out what you had to say.

    Hi David,

    You’re right, commenting does build traffic (I’ve written about that before – so for more on that check my categories), and it’s a great way to get your blog found.

    Reciprocating a comment, or leaving a comment on another person’s blog is an act of kindness. I like finding blogs that have little to no comments and saying “Hello”. I will never forget how excited I was when I got my first comment, and it then built from there.

    LOL David, that would be funny if this was the most highly commented post. I would like to see that and also see more “non-commenting” bloggers join the community here. It’s a great place to get their “feet wet”.

    Hi Debbie,

    I agree, commenting does take time. I usually leave that for the late evening after my work day is done and I have published my post for the next day.

    I do notice a decrease in comments on the weekends and around holidays, but with this being my first summer (of having more regular readers), I haven’t seen a decrease yet, although different days/different posts affect how many comments I get. That does make sense that stay at home mom (SAHM) bloggers would be spending more time outdoors and not sitting at their computers.

    Hi Natural,

    Thank you for the compliment.

    I do like to engage my readers. I want my readers to think, and to be informed. Just because “big name blogger” says it’s “so”, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone. I’m not afraid to disagree with a blogger if they push my buttons or I have found the opposite way works better for me. I try not to be negative, but if you “put it out there”, you need to realize everyone isn’t going to agree.

    We are all entitled to our opinions, and commenting (and blogging) gives us a voice.

    Natural, when you answer the questions, I know you have read what I’ve written, and I appreciate that.

    Hi Ann,

    Comments do give us a boost, don’t they?

    Sometimes it is hard not to get carried away with a comment. I’ve typed out long ones, only to delete it all, and not comment, or like you, say something short and sweet. As with publishing, after you read what you write, it makes you think twice.

    Hi Hunter,

    Yes, those “great post” comments don’t cut it. I might tell the blogger “great post”, but will elaborate a little more.

    And it does help if the blogger asks a question. That opens the comment section up for discussions.

    Hi Chase,

    Definitely…some do cry for a comment.

    Or, I read blogs and the information is so technical, I would look like an idiot if I tried to comment.

    Hi Barbara Ling,

    Welcome to BWAB.

    Ironic that you’re here. Just yesterday I added your blog to my reader. I didn’t have time to read a lot of what you’ve written, so my reader was a perfect place to bookmark your blog. :) I’ll be visiting you soon.

    Blogosphere is great for us introverts, isn’t it? We get to have a voice and be heard in an atmosphere of many like minded people.

    Hi Dr. Nicole,

    Isn’t that great when you know your words are being read. Your blog is so helpful and informative, I can’t help but comment even it’s just to say “thank you for teaching me something new”.

    Hi Chris,

    I won’t be surprised if you have a glitch in your reader. I have to believe you have more than 3 subscribers. I’m one of them, and with the following you have (in your comment section), I have to believe you have more than it’s showing…unless some are coming to you direct or via a bookmark.

    You might try adding a “blurb” at the bottom of your comment section reminding your readers/commenters to subscribe to your future posts. After I added one, my RSS readers increased.

    Food for thought, You could join Debbie Yost’s community at “Three Weddings” (see her comment above) as she has a mommy blog and is building a nice following of other parents.

    Blending a “daddy blog” with “mommy blogs” would be a great combination and could build a fantastic community.

    Hi Mark,

    I remember when you and I had that discussion about your great interviews. I don’t know how many people viewed those posts, but your comment count was low. Go figure.

    Opening the door, by asking questions, does inspire readers to share.

  18. I like blogs that make me think. Those are the ones that I will usually leave a comment on. Sometimes I leave questions if I don’t fully understand what I just read. I visit a lot of blogs and subscribe to quite a few of them. If the blog has the comments closed, I rarely come back to visit. Sometimes the best thing about the article is the conversations that happen in the comment section.

    Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworkers last blog post..Mirroring—Good And Bad In Each Of Us

  19. axecityNo Gravatar says:

    What makes me feel like leaving a comment is the article or the post being useful, natural and not just written to impress readers for leaving a comment or taking any other form of action.

    These are important questions that should wake up every blogger to see whether he/she is communicating with his/her visitors in the right way or not.

    axecitys last blog post..Crowdsourcing: Your Visitors As Creators

  20. Pat RNo Gravatar says:

    What inspires me to write a comment is mostly by what was written. It can be posts on varieties of topics and if I can connect to the writer and resonate with what he/she is talking about, I like to comment. Your blog does that for me. I feel we’ve connected and when I read your posts I always learn something.

    There are some blogs I don’t comment on and lately for me it has been because of time. I wish I could comment more and stumble because I feel I’m missing a lot of good information and inspiring stories.

    Yes, I’ve visited some blogs and didn’t feel comfortable commenting mainly because the discussion was way over my head — mainly technical blogs. I felt I didn’t have anything to contribute.

    Always enjoy your posts – it’s the simple things like “no comment” that give us food for thought.

    Blessings,

    Pat Rs last blog post..Meme Tag – You’re It – If You Want to Play

  21. I comment for three reasons.

    1) I comment on community of blogs that I connect with – in terms of thoughts, ideals, language etc.

    2) I comment on blogs that are up and coming without lots of readers. I’ve learned this selfless act from Babara and Lori, two women who gave me inspiration to write and grow my blog. I’ll be thankful in eternity. So, I try to repeat same act of kindness to other newbie bloggers

    3) Of course to get my blog’s name out in the HUGE blogoshpere.

    Thanks
    Shilpan

    Shilpan | successsoul.coms last blog post..How to Work Less for a Happy, Balanced Life

  22. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I think it’s the tone of the blog that matters most. For example, your blog is a conversational blog, and you’re the hostess with the mostest.

    The only blogs I ever don’t feel comfortable commenting in is where the intentions somehow feel off.

    If I find an authority blog with misleading information, then I might challenge the points (but not opinions), particularly if I’m feeling like doing my good deed for the day, but not if it’s one-upmanship.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..The Curse of Knowledge

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Your comment makes me think of how some blogs can describe something in a different way, and I say “Now I get it”. Like you, I, too, am a thinker so it’s great when a blog can “feed that”.

    I don’t see too many blogs with the comments closed, but one I do read regularly is Steve Pavlinas, and he’s had his comments closed for quite awhile now. He has a forum, but I don’t participate in that.

    Hi Axecity,

    There probably are some bloggers who are not interested in comments. They may only be blogging to show content for the search engines to find them and have visitors click on their ads. Although they are technically blogs, I don’t think of them as such. Often the posts hold no value.

    Hi Pat R.

    I’ve been thinking of you with that tornado hitting close to where you live in Colorado. Hopefully all is well with you and your family.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    The content of a post is why readers are visiting, and when we write, we need to take that into consideration. If we don’t provide some type of value, it’s hard to expect others to share their thoughts.

    Hi Shilpan,

    Thank you! I’m humbled by your words. Paying it forward is so important in blogosphere.

    I have no doubt you will be found in blogosphere. I see your comments everywhere.

    Hi J.D.

    LOL Hostess with the mostest. You’re good for the ego.

    Isn’t it amazing how a blog can project so much? They take on a personality of their own – part being from the author, and part from the “community”.

    I’m guessing with your expertise in software, etc., you do see many sites that hand out incorrect information. By you challenging their points, it’s a great reminder for the author to recheck their source of information.

  24. Paul EilersNo Gravatar says:

    A lot of times, I get on the couch with my laptop and read online. Since I am not in a good position to easily write, I may get lazy and not leave a comment on a blog post.

    But today I’m at my desk!

    Paul Eilerss last blog post..12 Health Myths You Thought Were True

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Paul,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    I like that you’re at your desk today and sharing your thoughts. Hope to see you here again soon.

  26. John HunterNo Gravatar says:

    The biggest reason I don’t comment is not that I don’t feel comfortable commenting but that they make it a pain. I don’t even know if it is true anymore but you used to have to have some microsoft account even to comment on a livejournal blog (yes some livejournal blogs actually have good content and no, I have no idea why the blogger chose such a lame tool).

    John Hunters last blog post..Inflation is a Real Threat

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John Hunter,

    You do bring up a good point. Some blog platforms do make commenting more time consuming. I believe these processes are used to help block comment spam.

  28. Dr.CasonNo Gravatar says:

    I do give comments but usually only if I have something to say. What I have found is that there are a lot of bloggers who don’t seem to appreciate the comment.

    Maybe it’s me. I took a hiatus and now I’m back to blogging full time. I anxiously await comments but they come and go. I’m working on adding all the bells and whistles that make it easier to stay connected but until then I feel that time is dragging.

    Thanks for your post- I did go back and revise my last post to ask questions.

    I’m going to go read your related posts!

    Dr.Casons last blog post..Why I Blog

  29. TOPolkNo Gravatar says:

    What inspires me to leave a comment? Honestly, I leave a comment under two scenarios…
    1) I’m genuinely moved, be it positively or negatively, by the post at hand and wish to leave my two cents
    2) If I find a new blog and I’m interested in a few of the posts, I’ll leave a comment or two in hopes that the author will respond back to me on MY blog. Not because I’m overly worried about traffic, comments, or the like. But because in going through my comments, I’ll remember, “hey, I liked that blog. I want to go back and check it out again.”

    Otherwise, unless I’ve gotten to know the blogger at hand and wish to comment as a sign of “hey, I was here,” I don’t leave comments too often. I like lurking. It allows me to sample a little bit of everyone’s life as it unfolds…

    TOPolks last blog post..Sunday Night Selections

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dr. Cason,

    Welcome to the BWAB community. It’s great to have a pediatrician in the house.

    I haven’t found any bloggers who don’t like comments. Myself, I love them.

    I’m hoping you find more interesting stuff in my archives and come back again soon.

    I checked out your blog. The questions you added should help to gain response from your readers. I’ll be back again soon to read some of your older posts.

    Hi TOPolk,

    The BWAB community welcomes you.

    Leaving comments is a great way for bloggers to find each other, and like you said, a good reminder of a blog you’ve previously visited.

    Hanging around a blog without commenting does give us a sense of what the blog author is all about, and if we want to participate, or not.

    I clicked over to your blog. I like the originality of your current post. I’m guessing you know your music well. I’ll be back later to check out more of your blog.

  31. I hadn’t thought much about my comments until Maki’s post a couple weeks ago. After reading his thoughts I had to kind of re-think my whole stance on commenting.

    On one hand, as a new blogger, I love just about any comment, even if it’s just a ‘cool post’ kind. Sure, that person may just be fishing for link-backs but whatever, it still gives me a charge.

    On the other hand, I feel that other bloggers are too busy to read my ‘cool post’ comment so unless I really have something to say, I usually say nothing at all.

    It’s kind of strange. But now, if I read something and it strikes a cord with me, I will usually try to at least leave a short comment. I figure that most bloggers moderate and if they don’t want to post my comment that’s fine, but at least they know that people are reading and appreciating their blog.

    VagabondetteVAs last blog post..106 Organizations That Are Changing the World – Are you helping?

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi VagabondetteVa,

    Welcome to the BWAB community. It’s always great to see a new blogger sharing their thoughts.

    Putting yourself in the other blogger’s position is a great idea. Like you said, you like comments and it’s safe to assume most other bloggers do too. Comments are great for the ego, help us stay motivated, and often inspire us take it up a notch.

    Hope to see you around here again soon.

    I’ll be checking out your blog too, so watch for another comment. :)

  33. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    For the longest time, I would read through lots of comments but never actually comment. Once I started blogging myself, I realized that commenting is a huge form of support, so I try to comment whenever an article really speaks to me. I always try to add something valuable to the conversation, but will occasionally leave a “cool post” comment if it’s a smaller blog where the blogger would appreciate support.

    Saras last blog post..Psyche Yourself Out: Creating Relaxing Rituals

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sara,

    Welcome to the community of BWAB!

    Yes, commenting does show tremendous support to bloggers, and for new bloggers, comments can make their day.

    I think the power of comments is often underestimated.

  35. EmilyNo Gravatar says:

    I comment if I can add to conversation but often I do it just to say that I enjoyed a post because I know that it’s encourages bloggers to know that there are people out there reading that like what they have to say. Without comments or feedback, it’s hard to keep going as a blogger so I try to pump up my favorite bloggers with comments so they know their work is appreciated.

    Emilys last blog post..Two Years Ago

  36. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Emily,

    The BWAB community welcomes you.

    Comments do help to keep a blogger motivated. It’s great that you take the time to give your favorite ones words of encouragement.

  37. Wendi KellyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, I am enjoying this conversation because I always want to make sure that my readers feel comfortable posting a comment! this is great feedback to read. I once had a commenter send me an e-mail apologizing for leaving a long comment and I e-mailed right back thanking her for her long comment and asking her to write away when ever she felt inspired! I want conversation, not just comments!

    I leave comments when I feel I can join in the conversation, or if I can let the writer know what I enjoyed about the post.
    I agree that if it is too hard to get through the process of leaving a comment, or if there are already 50 comments and it seems that all has been said, I don’t feel a need to be redundant just to leave my mark.

    That being said, If I am a subscriber and I haven’t left a comment every few days, then I will leave one to let the writer know, yep, still here, still reading, still enjoying, just haven’t had time to comment lately or something to contribute. I read over 30 blogs and I can’t daily contribute to each, but I like to participate in all regularly.

    Wendi Kellys last blog post..Returning Home

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Wendi,

    I’m very pleases with how this post developed into such a great discussion/conversation. There’s a lot of “meat” here to consider with regard to leaving comments.

    The posts that do have 50+ comments are sometimes hard to reply to, but if the post has moved me, I may comment anyway, even if it’s redundant – more as showing support for the author and their great post. Plus, I don’t always have time to read each and every comment.

    Following a lot of blogs does make it difficult to comment on each new post. Like you, I will eventually pop in and drop a comment.