In the real world many of us compare ourselves to others.

As you know, when we do, we can always find someone who appears better than us, whether it’s their weight, age, height, hair, health, habits, net worth, intelligence, talents, demeanor, etc..

Unfortunately when we compare ourselves to others, we can easily begin to feel “less than”.

Blogging can result in the same.

Today’s Lesson

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard bloggers say,

“I’ve blogged for months and I’m only getting a few comments on my blog.”

“How is it that his/her blog is no better than mine and they get tons of comments and I don’t?”

“Why do they get so many comments? They don’t even take part in the comment section.”

The first thing we need to remember is the number of comments we receive are not a measure of our success.

Comments are only one part of blogging and in fact, receiving comments doesn’t even need to be included in a blog’s matrix.

That said, let’s first look at why another blogger may be getting more comments than us.

  1. They’ve put in their time. i.e. They’ve been blogging for years and have an established reader base.
  2. They visit and comment on other blogs.
  3. They spend more time blogging and networking than we do.
  4. Their blog topic appeals to a wider audience. i.e. A bigger niche.
  5. Their target audience is bloggers or individuals who spend a lot of time online.
  6. The ask questions at the end of their blog posts.
  7. They don’t pretend to have all the answers. i.e. They leave the door open for suggestions from others.
  8. They answer the comments they receive.
  9. They self promote. i.e. When they publish a new post, they share it on Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites.
  10. They submit guest posts to attract more attention to themselves.
  11. They link to other blogs on a regular basis.
  12. They’re authentic. i.e. They don’t copy what others are doing, but instead stay true to themselves and write from the heart.
  13. Their theme is easy to navigate, as is the process required to leave a comment.
  14. Other. Fill in the _____(blank)____.

Now let’s look at our target audience. (You do know who you’re writing for, right?)

Even though we may use SEO (search engine optimization) and are attracting the readers we’re targeting, their reasons for not leaving comments can be many.

  1. First, they may not even know they’ve landed on a blog and that they CAN comment
  2. They may not know how to comment.
  3. They may not feel comfortable sharing their thoughts.
  4. They have something to add, but may not want to use their real name, nor know they can comment anonymously.
  5. They may want to comment, but due to how the post is written, they feel their thoughts aren’t welcome.
  6. The blog author comes across too opinionated.
  7. They may fear they’ll be sued for expressing their viewpoint.
  8. The comment section reads like a chat room and they don’t feel welcome.
  9. The blog author isn’t answering comments so they feel what they have to say will be deemed unimportant.
  10. They see conflict in the comment section
  11. They don’t have an opinion on the topic.
  12. The post is written in such a fashion, they don’t understand it. i.e. It’s “over their head”.
  13. They don’t have time.
  14. Other. Fill in the _____(blank)____.

With so many variables about why one blog may receive more comments than another, it’s not that we’ve failed in the comment department, it’s that blogs are not created equal.

Today’s Assignment

What are your reasons for not commenting on blogs?

If your comment counts are low, does it affect your motivation to blog?

What advice would you give a fellow blogger who has lost their confidence due to a low comment count?

Care to share?

signature for blog post

Related Posts with Thumbnails
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Look Who's Talking
  1. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    What are my reasons for not commenting on blogs?I don’t comment if I have nothing to contribute, if that blogger never responds to my comments or if I don’t have the time.

    If my comment counts are low, does it affect my motivation to blog? Not really

    What advice would I give a fellow blogger who has lost their confidence due to a low comment count? Make sure that your giving comments as well. You’re probably going to have to comment a lot more elsewhere before you get many comments.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      Isn’t that the truth? We often have to become very proficient at commenting before it begins to pay off. And like you said, some bloggers never respond to our comments so we have no way of knowing if what we shared mattered.

  2. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I do not comment on blogs that have not been updated for a month or more. As for my # of comments, I am not worried as I know I have lots of visitors and I am SURE that my message is getting out there. πŸ˜€

    There is always a tradeoff, right?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      Yes. With blogging there are always trade offs and it’s up to us to decide what works best for us. Some prefer a larger readership to more comments, and others like comments.

  3. Hi Barbara – I think comment numbers have been diluted also by multiple distribution channels, particularly in social media. Lots of people read blogs in their RSS readers and may not click into the blog post to comment. We’ve noticed with PassingThru that comments come from our Networked Blog feeds and also when we post the link as an update in Facebook. I used to worry about the repetitive posts on Facebook in particular, but a friend pointed out that people’s feeds are impacted by the number of their friends, so posting the link over the course of a day or two may increase the chances of your post being seen by people who missed it.

    Also, you’re right. Newer blog readers may not know they can comment. Recently we had Kim Woodbridge (who does awesome work, by the way) modify our theme design so that the comment count and an invitation to comment were more prominent. She modified our sidebar widget, too, to display commenters and their avatars.

    We all love comments and the chance to engage people, but sometimes our ability to do so isn’t always prompt. I know that’s the case with Pete and me – and we’re hoping people will understand that.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      That’s a great point about comment numbers being diluted by social media. Like you, I used to think linking to my posts on Twitter or Facebook might come across as spammy, but to echo what you said, that’s where readers find our updates.

      I agree. Kim Woodbridge does awesome work. She’s the perfect “go to” person for those who need help behind the scenes.

  4. Barbara, you have shared some excellent tactics to raise participation and commenting on your blog. Confidence comes from a focused direction and action in the areas of your competency. I’ve read many a post and had nothing to say as a result of reading it. I think this happens when bloggers post something without considering their point. I like to ask myself. What’s the point of posting this? Who cares? So what? At least those questions will keep me writing about what I care about.

    You are right. Comparisons are deadly. Be who you are. Write about what you really care about and be happy with whatever the response is. If you want more comments – then give more comments. But two more excellent questions are these. What does it really mean to me if I get more comments? Do I really need the comments of others to validate my opinion?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Tom,

      I really like how you ask the questions, “What’s the point of posting this? Who cares? So what?, as well the suggestion to ask ourselves, “Do I really need the comments of others to validate my opinion?”

      I think by asking these types of questions, we can not only learn how to write more value based posts as well as not be discouraged if we get less comments on a post, or not.

  5. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    The people who are good with comments are… other bloggers.
    We know where the best blogs are, we know how to put a comment together and we know how to fill in those little boxes beneath the comment.

    Lots of my friends are too embarassed to tell me that the don’t know what to say or what to do… so they don’t comment.

    Actually thinking about it, the best commenters are the spammers. They really know how to leave a comment. LOL

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      That’s funny, Keith.

      But true. Spammers have commenting down pat.

      You’re right. It is other bloggers who know the ins and outs of commenting, but when we expect friends, family or strangers to comment, it’s a learning curve they may not want to pursue.

  6. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    I remember struggling with what to say in comments. I was afraid of spelling the author’s name wrong, skimming too fast and asking a question that had already been answered, repeating what someone else wrote and sounding like an echo, making a stupid statement that didn’t really make sense or showed my ignorance, or becoming too predictable. Yep, I had comment issues!

    Then I hit my stride and commented almost more than wrote on my own blogs. It was addicting at first. Then, it became too much pressure to keep up. I noticed when I backed off commenting, bloggers backed off commenting at my site. Eventually, I became OK with that as I learned to value the long term benefits of blogging instead of the instant gratification of comments.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      Your comment brought back lots of memories of my early commenting days, too. It can be stressful with all there is to consider, but we soon learn, whether we repeat what others say, spell their name wrong, or even show our ignorance in our comment, the blog author nearly always cherishes it.

      Yes. Commenting on other blogs can be VERY addicting, but like you said, when we step back and look at the long term benefits of blogging, comments (given and received) are only a small part of the picture.

  7. Jay SchryerNo Gravatar says:

    The number one way to get comments (I believe), is to visit other blogs and leave heartfelt comments there. Almost every single blog that I follow these days is a result of reading the author’s comment on a different blog, and clicking the link back to theirs. If I like what you have to say in a comment, there’s a pretty good chance I’m gonna like what you say in a post.

    I love commenting on other blogs…and if I don’t do it as often as I should, it’s only because I sometimes feel like I don’t have anything important to say, or can’t contribute to the conversation in a meaningful manner. I don’t really like leaving “Great Post!” types of comments; I prefer to leave much more substance.

    Also, time constraints get me sometimes, too. I’ll read a great post, and intend to leave a comment when I can come back, but then I forget until the next post has already been written. I hate it when I do that…but I live my life at a slower pace than most folks, so that’s just part of the territory :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jay,

      That’s an excellent point. When we leave meaningful, heartfelt comments on other blogs, we’re more apt to receive more visitors to our site based on what we shared.

      I know what you mean about time constraints. With all of being busy with life, work, and other online commitments, visiting other blogs and writing comments is something that often gets left undone. But what I have found is when time permits, our fellow bloggers do appreciate when we do show up (even if it’s not for every post).

  8. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I enjoyed reading the comments above :-) I agree with Tom Volkar’s questions. I won’t recommend making getting long list of comments as a validation of worth either. In fact I find that most of my clients are people who do not comment on my blog. Those who genuinely have questions write to me personally.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      That’s a great reminder. Although some of our readers may not comment on our blogs, many of them will take the time to communicate with us via email or on social networking sites.

  9. Sandra LeeNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    This is an excellent top and comprehensive lists you have provided. My main reasons for not commenting is simply having too much on my plate. I really value my connections with other bloggers and love to connect and leave comments.

    At this point, I receive a fairly steady stream of comments so my emotions don’t go up and down with comments. When comments are lower on a post, I might consider why that post didn’t fly as well as others.

    My advice if comments are low is to comment on other blogs in your niche where you feel a genuine connection with the blogger and content.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sandra,

      That’s true. If we’re used to a certain amount of comments and a post receives less, we do consider the “why”. Like you said, sometimes it’s because we have more on our plates, and other times it’s a topic our readers have little interest in.

  10. AmyNo Gravatar says:

    Thoroughly appreciate the information, confirmation and validation, Barbara. Plus the comments of seasoned bloggers are very helpful. I’m at the stage where I know I have to manage time more effectively, but sincerely enjoy commenting and answering comments. However, I keep discovering more fabulous blogs and wonder when I have to fall into stride with Lori’s findings. But, you see, I don’t know yet what those long term gains are. So I ask myself, can I back off? Will my answer appear in the doing?

    Thank you for starting this helpful blog. I’m so grateful to have found you.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Amy,

      That’s a good point. Reading what seasoned bloggers have to say about this issue helps those who are newer to the blogging journey.

      I agree. There are tons of great blogs out there. It’s hard not to want to comment on every one, but we should evaluate where we’re spending our blogging time and note if commenting on other blogs is the best use of our time. For those who are new to blogging, it can pay off, but for those who are taking on more (online or in real life), commenting can eat into the time needed for that.

  11. What are your reasons for not commenting on blogs?

    ~ Sometimes the post is self evident and taut. There is nothing to add and therefore I refrain from commenting.

    If your comment counts are low, does it affect your motivation to blog?

    ~ On grey days, YES but otherwise, life goes on!

    What advice would you give a fellow blogger who has lost their confidence due to a low comment count?

    ~ Just keep writing from your heart and don’t stop. Comments or not, you are expressing yourself and what better way than a blog post!

    Have a great week dear Barbara.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Susan,

      Yes. If there’s nothing to add, there’s really no need to leave a comment.

      I like your advice to “just keep writing from your heart”. In time comments may come, but if they don’t, at least you’ve expressed yourself and probably grown.

  12. Miss BeckyNo Gravatar says:

    This post is so thought-provoking Barbara. My advice to others about comments is: don’t spend too much time thinking about it! I’m currently on my second blog, and my attitude about comments has changed over time. With my first blog after awhile it became a matter of collecting comments and it didn’t take long before that became meaningless. I went through long periods when I would check my blog every half hour to see if I had any new comments. (!) Well, I don’t have to tell you that living like that wasn’t very enjoyable. With my second blog I’ve determined to liberate myself from the need for comments/validation, as I’m generally shy about putting myself “out there” and I’m still learning. So far I’ve learned to simply express myself, whether it’s a poem, a photo, or general thoughts about something, and just let it go, to be out there for anyone to come across and enjoy if it moves them. It is liberating and it works much better for me to not get torn up about comments. I also went through a stage when I visited so many blogs leaving comments and encouraging people that it was becoming more about other people to the neglect of my own path, and I questioned the authenticity of that. I’ve concluded that my blog is a form of self-expression… my art, and how ever many people find it or are pleased by what I share simply isn’t something I care to attempt to control or even influence, as it becomes like being on an endless treadmill for me. It doesn’t work. I do appreciate every comment I receive, and I try to comment below those left and thank everyone for visiting. This is the method that works best for me and seems the most authentic practice. I’m reminded of one of my daily gratitude mailings I recently received – “Envy is the art of counting another’s blessings instead of your own”. (Harold Coffin)
    thanks for this most valuable assignment Barbara!
    wow, sorry about the length, I didn’t realize I practically wrote a short story until I submitted…

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Miss Becky,

      No need to apologize. Your comment added tons of value.

      I know exactly what you’re saying about checking the blog every half hour to see if new comments came in. It can be maddening, discouraging and a total waste of time.

      I agree with what you said about losing our own blogging path when we spend too much time visiting other blogs. I think it comes down to setting priorities and placing our own blog, and why we blog at the top. After we’ve taken care to provide the best information we can, then we can see how much time we have left to “make the rounds” to other blogs.

      I LOVE the quote you shared. That’s spot on.

    • thinsmekNo Gravatar says:

      This wouldn’t be a short story if you used the enter key a bit more. This one Big block of text. It does seem a little hard to me for reading with no breaks in the text.

      Sure, it’s perfectly acceptable to write paragraphs spanning half a page in books (I was reading a Mark Twain book recently; one of the paragraphs lasted three pages!), but on the internet, the rules are different.

      This post is thought provoking! Thanks for sharing your advice, Miss Becky.

  13. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. it is that balance isn’t it .. and where we’re going .. and how much we understand about the process ..

    I’m very happy with everyone who comments and love receiving them .. I would be shocked if they were all to disappear! I do make a point of commenting back .. I’m not overwhelmed yet – you’ve set a good example here.

    Your whole blog is an excellent example and all newbies should follow and learn .. but everyone has to start and certainly if I hadn’t of been guided, and then been extraordinarily lucky with the bloggers I’ve linked in to and built those relationships .. My life has completely changed and blossomed because of it.

    Where it goes .. will be so wonderfully interesting .. I just do what I do .. building friendships is the thing ..

    Great post – thanks so much .. Hilary

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      Definitely! Balance is key. And, even if we blog an get very few comments, that doesn’t mean what we’ve shared is a waste. I know from my own experience having more than just this blog, I don’t get very many comments on the others, and that’s okay since what I share is more for information purposes and not necessarily to discuss.

      And yes. Via comments we can build extraordinary friendships with people we’ll probably new meet in person.

  14. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Great topic! (well aren’t they always?! yes!) I do understand the angst over comments. Fortunately I’m over it. I comment on blogs only when I have something to say that might be helpful or add insight to the topic. It isn’t all that often really. As for the comments left – or not – on my own blog, I don’t need them to feed my ego, (ooo, touchy thing there which nobody wants to deal with) nor do I need them to feel secure. I think new bloggers who worry over this comment issue either need to work hard commenting everywhere in the hopes it will be returned, OR (and I think this is key) ask themselves why the heck they are blogging in the first place. You need to be able to just write, put it out there and trust that it is going to those it is meant to reach. You try manipulating or controlling this and you are in for a lot of frustration. WHY? Why put yourself thru it? I’ll be the same people who are whining about the fact that so&so gets more comments than they do, have some issues from childhood or just need to realize that all is “not fair” out in the big world. Gosh, I sound crabby about this – not my intention!
    hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Suzen,

      You’re funny!

      I like the point you raised about asking ourselves “Why” we started blogging. I don’t think bloggers start blogging just to get comments, but like you said, they start to share their knowledge. Many bloggers don’t even realize how comments can change the blogging journey until it happens, but for some reason, when it happens, it’s comments many bloggers get hung up on.

      Yes. Worrying about the number of comments can cause a lot of frustration, and I agree; just like in life, with blogging, things may not seem fair either.

  15. My advice would be to simply continue. There are plenty other metrics by which to decide if your blog is doing well, and the more you blog, the more you’ll realize that the readers who leave comments are just a tiny fraction of your total readers.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      That’s so true. If we look at our stats, we’ll quickly realize only a small percentage of those who land on our blogs take the time to comment.

  16. ElizaNo Gravatar says:

    Put thirty people in a meeting room and two will dominate the conversation and a few more might chip in if encouraged by the facilitator. Same goes for comments on blogs. So, low comments do not bother me.

    People who have lots of comments? To me, it’s a ratio thing like Vered points out. Keep blogging … and blogging … and blogging … and the comments will increase as the readership increases.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Eliza,

      I like your analogy. And that’s true with comments. Some bloggers are more verbal than others AND may have time to visit more blogs than others.

      Yup! It goes back to ratios. More readers = more comments (in most cases)

  17. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Kapow! An outta the park one!

    The reasons you list are right on the money. Anyone wondering why things are sliding would be well advised to have a look at your list here.

    It’s funny. You know, I’ve not looked at my Google analytics for nearly 9 months now. I’m glad to kinda have that stressor gone from my life!

    And I love how you answer every comment – always. No small feat given the number of comments here. That is part of the reason people come back and back and back. I hope folks are paying attention. If you want to build your empire: Respond to your commentors!!!!!!!!!!

    George

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words George,

      I hear you. Stressing over our stats can be a big distraction and can affect the way we blog.

      I realize I don’t have to answer each comment, but because you all take time to leave one, I feel it’s my place to acknowledge them as well as show my gratitude.

  18. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    If you want to be guaranteed to get more comments, just do the following:

    (1) Visit 100-200 blogs every day.
    (2) Leave comments on those blogs.
    (3) Repeat steps (1) and (2) ad infinitum.

    That is…if you have the time and the desire to do all that…

    • PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

      Friar,
      It also helps when you get your friends to have a chat with you on your post….and even if you write on 200 blogs many of those bloggers do not write on your posts…at least that is what I have found out.

      Brian Williams of NBC news never writes on my comments or replies any more….!

  19. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    You’re funny Friar,

    Granted, visiting lots of blogs may get us lots of comments, however we have to remember to live life, too. :)

  20. Well, my motivations behind commenting are networking in the blogosphere, driving traffic and SEO. Sometimes to thank for excellent tips as well.

    Comment count do not count any longer for me, but definitely in the beginning I used to wait for them lol.

    Advice to low comment blogs: hmm, comments are like letters to the editor. Sometimes relevant ones come in to complete your idea, sometime nothing (and you positively think that the readers agree with you). However, if nothing comes for quite long time, chances are your blog may not be visible to humans/bots as well. If that’s the case, it needs to be fixed.

    Leaving something (call for action) for the readers will attract comments for sure, like Barbara does all the time :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Ajith,

      That’s true, isn’t it? When we first start blogging, comment counts mean a lot more to us that later on when we may be concentrating our efforts on other aspects of blogging or building an online brand.

      Yes. If no comments appear, our blog may need to be reevaluated and reworked.

    • thinsmekNo Gravatar says:

      SEO doesn’t usually happen when you comment on blogs. Most blogs have the “nofollow” attribute added to all links in the comment section. That means that commenting won’t get you link juice.

      I don’t know how many people know about nofollow, but blogging software uses it to help prevent spam. There are lots of other good reason to leave a link in your name when commenting, but SEO shouldn’t be one of them.

  21. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I try to comment if I can add value or, if nothing else, help validate the author in some way … I like when folks go out on a limb, either growing themselves or helping grow others.

    I try to grow my blog as a by-product of flowing value and solving problems while staying connected and relevant with my tribe.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      I agree. Adding value to a post can not only be beneficial to the bog author, but to others who read the comments, as well. And showing support to the blog author is often just what they need to stay motivated to keep on blogging.

  22. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, this was just right for reading today…I have come home from the first day of my new one month job with at minimum of 8,000 pages of reading to do….the volunteers who spent this grant money, truly need my reaction and comments on how they did in spending that money…I do this job well and know how to read my intuition.

    But I am concerned about my blog during this month….I figure I will go from 25 hours a week of blogging down to about 6 – only for one month…Will I drop a large number of readers? commenters? will I have a blog to come back to?

    I can only do the best that I can do…give it my best and try to make the 4 hours of writing a week GREAT….that is my best for 4 weeks…
    I have to say I am a bit worried…
    I may have taken on too much….Library Girl truly needs computers to work with and so do those children…
    deep breath….I am doing the best that I am able to do…if I don’t take care of myself that will be reflected in all my activities and I will accomplish nothing..
    Good post and I surely do like the way you share ideas

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patrica,

      One thing about blogs is they will wait, as will our readers. Granted, if you spend less time in blogosphere, your comments may drop, but I believe that will only be temporarily. I think it’s more important you spend your time on the priorities at hand. When that’s behind you, I’m guessing your blog will quickly go back to normal.

      Patricia, I commend you for all you do to help others. Your efforts don’t go unnoticed.

  23. Hi Barbara.
    I used to believe that visiting more blogs equated to attracting more readers and commenters. I don’t believe that anymore. A couple of weeks ago I had an afternoon that I decided to dedicate to blogging, as I’d not done the usual rounds for a while. I must have commented on 30 or more blogs. My traffic did not change, and I had very few referrals from those links. There is *just* no rhyme nor reason. I decided that maybe it was just because there were less people online that particular day.

    I also believe that there is a certain give and take involved. Whether or not it even results in higher numbers of comments is besides the point. To me it’s about the principle of extending the effort you wish of others. If a person appreciates receiving comments on their blog, they must realize that other bloggers appreciate the same thing. Why not give what you hope to receive yourself?

    I’m not saying comment because you want a comment. I’m suggesting to comment because you know it will be appreciated.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      I’ve seen that too – where visiting other blogs and leaving comments does not equate to higher numbers on our blog, but like you said, it’s important we remember commenting is a give and take activity and even though it does take time away from our other online activities, leaving comments for other blog authors is important in the grand picture.

  24. Hey Barbara,

    Great topic. I think I would add to your list the following things.

    1) It seems the more time you spend online, the more your comments increase.

    2) Talking about comments seems to increase comments.

    3) I agree that there is no rhyme or reason.

    4) I also agree about having 30 people in a room and only two people talking. It’s so true.

    5) Comments increase as readership increases SOMETIMES.

    What really got to me in this post is that I imagined me being in front of my class teaching. I get asked asked so many questions all day long from my students that sometimes I feel like my objective is to mesmerize them into listening without talking.

    Maybe that’s what I am doing on my blog? Just talking without asking? Or, maybe I should add a call to action, like ‘Any questions?’ I don’t know, I’m still learning the ropes.

    Julie

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      What you’ve added are all excellent points.

      That’s a great observation about being a blogger and imagining yourself in front of a classroom and being asked questions instead of turning the table on our readers. I think for some blogs being the teacher is the place a blog author needs to be, whereas on others, the blog author need to be open to suggestions from others (i.e. in the form of comments).

      P.S. With blogging, I think we never stop learning the ropes. :)

  25. Gosh, I miss commenting! I’ve been busy at work and even outside of work and haven’t been doing my rounds – I feel lost!

    I try to add something to the discussion when I leave a comment usually picking one or two things out of the post to speak about. Comments are addicting but mostly because I long to know that what I’m writing is having some sort of effect and/or impact on my readers. Some of what I consider my best stuff gathers few comments and things I write up without a lot of planning get a great deal of comments. There’s no rhyme or reason it seems.

    What stops me from commenting? Sometimes a really good post will leave me feeling like I have nothing to add. I’m not a fan of the “Great post!” comment (with that being all that’s said) so often I just don’t say anything.

    One thing I love about your blog, Barbara, is how the comment section is really a cool community and almost like a discussion board. That’s neat. I hope to foster that on my site as well.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Lisa,

      That’s true. Sometimes it feels like there is no rhyme nor reason to comment counts. That said, I’ve also found the lack of comments “may” be our readers way of saying they like some of our other topics better. When we see this consistently happening, it may mean we should listen to our readers and change the direction of our blog.

      However, if the topic of our blog is something we’re passionate about, we may have to accept the fact it will be one of those blogs which won’t attract a lot of comments.

  26. Hi Barbara,

    I comment when I feel I have something to say or if I want to encourage the blogger or cheer on a friend. It isn’t to get them to come running to my blog for a comment exchange, I can hardly be called a blogger these days as my blogging rate is barely monthly lately- if that. Writing at LLI doesn’t make the first 20 things on the priority list sadly. Not at the moment anyway, though I hope that will change!

    I’ve never blogged to get a lot of comments, nor do I consider a blog more or less successful by the amount of comments they have. I think there are a lot of “Emperor’s New Clothes” situations going on out there, where people just comment on some blogs because everyone else does and they feel compelled to join the crowd- and therefore, make the crowd bigger. If you take the time to read through them all- and I rarely do anymore, (this being the constant exception) nobody has actually managed to say anything very different at all! It’s kind of silly really and a remarkable waste of precious time.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wendi,

      I hear you. Sometimes our blog needs to take a back seat. And with you releasing your first book, I’m guessing that is keeping you incredibly busy these days.

      Yes. There are some blogs where people comment because they feel everyone else does, however, like you said, if everyone is saying the same thing, although the comment count is high, there may be little value added to the post via comments.

  27. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara — You are such a wonderful “mom” blogger. You always have an encouraging word or words for those who are just learning this thing called blogging and figuring how they want to fit into it. One of your avid pupils has always been me:~)

    I definitely recommend leaving comments at other sites, but picking sites in which you share some common interests. For example, I like people who take photographs or write stories, poetry, etc. So, I tend look at those sites more than I would a political site or technology site, for example.

    For bloggers not getting a lot of comments and wanting more, I can echo some of the things you’ve said….Ask open-ended questions, set up a series that engages their visitors, write to your strengths and use challenges…I love challenges and I think a lot of bloggers do, as well. Also, use key words!!

    Most of all…be patient and keep at it:~)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sara,

      I like your idea of finding blogs where we have similar interests as the blog author. Chance are, when we do, they’re more apt to come by and visit us, too.

      Yes. Challenges are a great way to engage our audience, and your blog is a wonderful example of that with your picture posts. Not only do readers feel like they’re a part of the process, but find it fun to read the other comments as well.

  28. JoychristinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I share on my blog to promote peace, joy, love..often my posts are encouraging and all that is left to say is..thank you..So, my comments are not as sky high as some where there is a conversation..
    However, my email content is quite high..I know I am touching readers, I know I am impacting lives..and *that* is my goal with my blog..if one reader embraces an extra moment of peace or enjoys a moment of beauty, or allows magic in some way..wow..*that* tells me far more than a comment..
    Having said that, I enjoy the discussions on other blogs, and I do participate by leaving a comment..even a “well done”..I know bloggers feel frustrated if they feel they are not being “heard” or their energy is not being invested wisely..
    My readers are my fellow bloggers–who typically comment–but also a wide variety of people who read just to get the message…so I shall keep sharing that message as long as I may..

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joy,

      Your comment is a great reminder of how it’s not necessarily via comments others are communicating with us; emails are another way.

      Like you said, when we know our words are helping others, it inspires us to keep doing what we’re doing, even though the affect of our words can’t always be measured.

  29. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    Sometimes I just don’t have anything meaningful to add, and usually I like to kid around in my comments which may not always be appropriate for those posts with more serious content.

    As for motivation, it can be hard to keep going when you’re not getting many comments and thus feel like no one’s interested (or even reading). Nevertheless, you’ve just got to keep at it if blogging’s in your blood, y’know? Fortunately, I eventually did attract a number of readers over at my little blog, so I’m glad about that now. πŸ˜‰

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      That’s true. When we have blogging in our blood, if we keep on keeping on, more than likely we’ll see more readers commenting on our blog.

      And you’re right. Sometimes we just don’t have anything to say so instead of leaving a comment, we just click off.

  30. There’s a saying, “Be yourself..everybody else is taken” and this saying fits perfectly on what you’re trying to teach us. Stop comparing yourself to others and just be the best that you can be! Life’s easier that way and you will discover more things about yourself better that way.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi JZ,

      I LOVE the quote you shared. It’s so true and very fitting to the hobby of blogging. If we believe in what we’re sharing, comments or not, more than likely we’re making a difference in someone’s life.

  31. MirNo Gravatar says:

    First off, great article Barbra! As a relatively new blogger, I have been feeling exactly like you described. I guess it’s textbook.

    As far as comments go, I am somewhere in the middle. I personally never really commented on posts unless it was a community I belonged to. I feel if you are going to comment it should be something useful not just, “Great post!”

    You brought up numerous excellent reasons why someone might not post, don’t think you mentioned that the reader may not know enough about the topic to comment.

    Chances are if they are reading your post it’s to gain information. So it’s not unthinkable that the reader would have nothing to add to what has been said. Still, it is disheartening as you’d assume everyone has something they can add.

    Was referred here by a friends.

    Thanks for the post. I look forward to following your blog.

    Best,
    Mir

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Mir,

      First, welcome to blogosphere and to my blog. I truly appreciate you input.

      What you said is very true. If someone doesn’t thoroughly understand the topic of the post, chances are they’re not going to leave a comment.

      Yes. It can be disheartening to think others don’t have something to add to our posts especially if we know we haven’t covered the topic completely.

  32. JamesNo Gravatar says:

    First, I definitely agree that lack of comments is not an indication of bad blogging.
    My number one reason for not commenting is lack of time (either to read the post well enough to comment or write a worthwhile comment). The second reason would be some kind of goofy registration (no I am not going to enter password from a socioal site on a blog just make a comment using that id-too easy to fake and steal). Sometimes I just don’t have anything meaningful to add even if the post is great even though it is often tempting to just say “Great post!”
    My advice to a blogger that really wants comments bad, you really only need to do two things: Add the do follow, top commentator, and CommentLuv plugins and post at least twice a day.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi James,

      I’m glad you brought that up about having to use a password from a social networking site just to leave a comment on a blog. Having a password stolen can not only be a major issue but could possibly create on online identity problem later on.

  33. Barbara,
    I have to agree with you on all counts of this post.
    The more time you spend online, the more comment you get…ie. ofcourse until you become a superstar blogger like Tim Ferriss or Leo or Mary πŸ˜‰
    But, that being said, although i do encourage comments on my blog, there are times when some posts get more comments and some less. Ironically I’ve noticed that if a post is slow on comments, it actually makes up for it in the Email subscriptions.
    My target audience is not just bloggers, its anyone who lands on my blog and wants to be happy. Hence, like what Joy said…when i feel like I have touched someones heart and life for the better, even a wee bit…I’m happy with myself.
    Comments do massage the ego, but its a temporary feel good. Lasting “feel good” comes from knowing what you are sharing on your blog helps another person.
    So in terms of that noone is ever failure…ever! right :)
    Lots of love,
    Z~
    p.s. sorry havent been around lately…life get so i busy sometimes na..I am waiting for your new site to launch. What colors are you going for in the theme?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      It’s good to see you here especially knowing you’re schedule is keeping you so busy.

      I agree. Comments can give us an ego boost, but that ego boost can be short lived especially if one post gets a lot of comments but subsequent ones don’t.

      The new site (Writers’ Blogk) will (hopefully) be launched by month end. The colors will be in earth tones – shades of brown with hints of orange.

  34. thinsmekNo Gravatar says:

    “I don’t comment if I have nothing to contribute…” (Mike)

    Susan says, “~ Sometimes the post is self evident and taut. There is nothing to add and therefore I refrain from commenting.”

    I don’t comment either. If I don’t immediately think of something to say (other than “Good post” or “I agree”) after reading a post/article, I move on.
    (If I am quite interested in the writer or the website, I might continue browsing their blog)

    I also have the same worries as Lori, meaning that sometimes I don’t comment. I am working on that though.

    “…I like to kid around in my comments which may not always be appropriate for those posts with more serious content.” Same for me, but I don’t restrain myself!

    “The second reason would be some kind of goofy registration (no I am not going to enter password from a socioal site on a blog just make a comment using that id-too easy to fake and steal).” (sic)

    Sometimes I really want to comment, but I have to sign up to be a user (Common culprits are news and media sites). I won’t sign up to be a user because my comment is a one-off thing.

    I don’t bother commenting if someone else has already written what I would have said, and there is already a high comment count. (Like at some relevant posts at Lifehacker.com)

    As for driving views to my blog, I sometimes don’t include my website address if I know my comment is not valuable or helpful at all. I don’t want to look like a spammer! If someone wants to learn more about me, they can search “thinsmek” on Google.

    My comment counts at my blog are usually zero, and it has never been any other way. (I don’t post nearly as often as I like either, same as Wendi) I don’t think I know how this affect my mood.

    I do use “call-to-actions” though, to call for comments. But they seem silly with no apparent readers of my blog.

    I liked reading through everyone else’s comments. They were quite helpful. You surely must have a bit of trouble answering all those solid ideas and stories from everyone, Barbara.

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Thinsmek,

    Thank you for the great comment. It is fun reading what others are sharing, isn’t it?

    I don’t see answering all of the comments as “trouble”. Although it can take a substantial amount of time, this is one part of blogging I really look forward to; reading the responses of others, learning ideas along the way, and constructing answers so those who commented know I appreciate the time they took to leave their thoughts.