Comments: A Book Blogger’s Daily Boost of Affirmation

Let’s be honest..as a book blogger (and any other sort of blogger) comments are our lifeline. They validate us. Every comment is an acknowledgment of the work that we put into the review or discussion post and is a pat on the back saying, “Hey, I hear you!”  They help us to connect with our readership and not feel as though what we are saying is just ending up in some black hole in the blogosphere. A lot of us have said that we’d continue to blog our reviews and opinions even if nobody was reading but, to be honest, that would get quite lonely. We thrive off the enthusiasm of other readers and are looking for those connections with others about books that we love!

For me, genuine comments are my lifeline. They keep me going in the blogging world.  They are more important than my follower count. It means some sort of discussion is happening which is a personal goal of mine for the blog. Since I’ve started blogging, my other goal was to make sure I interacted on blogs that I love and on the blogs of others that I take the time to read and respond to my reviews or discussions or general silly-ness on my blog.

*Time for an open apology*

I’ve slacked real bad on my commenting. It was the one goal I had and it all fell by the wayside ever since I got this new job. I’m learning how to juggle my time and responsibilities again…after a year of working only one day a week. I promise I’m not a jerk who only cares about my own blog. I’m really not. I love supporting other bloggers and seeing what they are up to. So, pretty pretty please, with a plump little cherry on top,  forgive me if I haven’t stopped by your blog in a while or if I haven’t responded back to a comment you left on my blog. I’m slowly getting in the groove of things and I’ll be coming back out with a vengeance and returning the blog loving!

Anyways, now that I’ve admitted my blogging failures..back to the topic at hand. All my commenting guilt had me thinking a lot about comments…why sometimes we don’t get them? Why sometimes I’ll read something and not comment? The list of questions goes on..

So, why are you not getting a lot of comments on your blog? Or as many as you’d like? I was brainstorming and just looking at my most popular posts and reviews to see if I could find anything in common. Here’s what I came up with for those who find themselves also wondering these things.

Things to ask yourself:

Are you making it hard to comment? Sometimes people can be deterred from commenting on a technical level because you might have Captcha or some other complicated commenting system. I know it seems silly..but seriously..people are strapped for time and do think about that. Captcha doesn’t normally deter me but I know that it does for some people. Sometimes if you don’t have a “Blog/URL” option it may be hard for those who don’t have a Google account or whatever account may sync with your commenting system. Ask a few trusted bloggers for their opinion on how hard, on a technical level, it is to comment on your blog.

What does your content look like?  Now this is in NO way me telling you what to post! AT ALL. If your review is two sentences of generic-ness and you are wondering why in the world you aren’t getting many comments of substance it may be because, well, there isn’t much to comment on. Now if you are able to pump out something that is unbelievably profound in two sentences..I bow down to you. I’m not one of those people. Also, is your content exuding your personality in some way? It is fresh? Is it YOU?  I’ve found that my best posts are when I let a little bit of myself in and show I’ve interacted with a book or a discussion. It’s just one thing I’ve learned as I’ve settled into my blogging self. I think before I was trying to hard to be “proper” in my reviews and it showed. Now I just am myself and I’ve found my readers are interacting more.  *EDIT* Someone also brought up posts that were too long. I think I failed to think about that because mine are typically overly verbose :P

Who are your readers?  Can you imagine what it would be like if you were all ready to get down with your freak self at a Gaga concert and then a cellist came out? (Or vice versa!) Yeah, you’d be confused and you probably wouldn’t want to stay because you aren’t interested. And if you were that cellist..you’d be wondering why the hell people were dressed up in meat dresses and cat suits for your performance. My point is…if the readers you’ve acquired through friendships or hops or giveaways aren’t really into the stuff that you are into..they probably aren’t going to comment on as much. I find this a problem sometimes for myself as an eclectic blogger…sometimes my readership seems to be mainly YA readers so some of my adult reviews don’t get as much love. Can’t please everybody..you need to do what you want. BUT..you can seek out readers who typically love the same things as you and reach out to them and hopefully you’ll connect and have meaningful discussion on your blog to!


Are you prompting a comment or a reaction? This isn’t always the case but sometimes you need to guide your readers so they know what to answer or respond to. Sometimes I don’t WANT to think..but if you give a good question at the end or make some thought-provoking point that struck a chord with me in a review…I’m more likely to make that transition from someone who only read your review to a commenter. Sometimes I’ve read really great reviews but there was nothing different in them that I hadn’t commented on before on other reviews of the same book. More than anything, I hate leaving a generic “great review. I loved this one too” …but sometimes that’s all a review will inspire me to think. And with discussion posts..I’ve found that my best ones are when I give a few questions to get people thinking about the topic. Sometimes people will be more likely to respond when you give them something to start with and then they will live the most incredibly well-thought out comments. At least that’s how it is with my lovely readers..because you all are thoughtful types of people.

At at the end of the day, sometimes something you say isn’t going to appeal to people, or people are busy, and sometimes you just plain ol’ have a post that gets lost in the blogosphere. But sometimes I do stop and wonder if my lack of commenting lately DOES have an effect on people coming back and commenting. I haven’t quite figured that out..and I don’t want to try…because honestly I just want to get back to my old commenting self.

So now that I’ve blabbed on about why or why not people/myself don’t comment….in my eyes…tell me – what holds you back from commenting? Are there certain things that you are more likely to comment on? Do you find yourself commenting more on blogs of friends or people who are frequent visitors to your own?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I have to say, I don't get a whole lot of comments on my reviews, but that doesn't really deter me. I am pretty sure people are reading what I write, though they may just be skimming (I skim a lot… guilty).

    As for my own comments, I usually comment when I've read a book that is reviewed and I agree or disagree with a comment, or if I think it's particularly well written. I don't comment if I don't feel like taking the time. Sometimes I barely read reviews, especially if it's a book EVERYONE is reviewing or if the blogger's reviews all seem to be the same. It just gets boring after a while.

  2. Tahleen- I'm the same way..if I've seen the book reviewed a million times..I'm probably going to pass it by unless you can said something that really stood out. And really..sometimes I just don't feel like it either. It's so funny bc I find myself thinking, "I know people are looking..why aren't they commenting"…and then I'll read 10 reviews and comment on 1. lol

  3. I seem to have the same problem you do – I read a wide variety of stuff, but so many blogs are just FLOODED with YA stuff. I try to comment on YA stuff, because I do read it. But after seeing the same new popular YA book reviewed several times, I get kind of bored. I don't want to say the same thing in commenting as I do on someone else's blog.

    The biggest obstacle I have in trying to comment on people's posts is just a time factor. It's hard to keep up on all the new posts when you follow over 100 blogs.

  4. I usually comment if a post moves me, asks a very good question that I can't walk away from, and if it's a friend's blog and they are frequent commenters on my blog.

    Reviews are hard to comment on especially if I haven't read the book because I can't relate. However, if I feel the review is influential and nicely written, I like to leave a compliment and let the blogger know.

    Hope that is the kind of comment you were looking for! :)

  5. Steph Su says:

    I don't get many comments, and that often troubles me. I start worrying that my content is lackluster, that I don't have an engaging "voice", and then it all spirals into a purgatory of self-doubt and whatnot. Heh. But you make a good point about people being more inclined to comment on others' posts when they are prompted to do so. I don't do that often enough, and I'm thinking I should probably work on that. Thanks for making me think!

  6. Great post! I loved what you said.

    Just kidding, I'm going to say more, of course. I don't get as many comments as I'd like and I really don't know how to engage followers to comment more. I have a couple of book blogger friends who comment in most of my posts but others probably just lurk. I don't mind because I still get comments. You're right, it's better to ask questions at the end of your posts because that prompts people to comment with their answer. I try to put up at least one discussion post per week to vary the content of the blog. Once I follow a blog, I tend to comment on reviews of books I'm familiar with and on most discussion posts.

  7. I tend not to comment on a book review unless I've read the book in question, and being but recently back to serious book reading, I haven't got all that many under my belt! I try to comment on "silly-ness"/book-thoughts/random stuff but that requires coming out from behind Google Reader (although there are some good scripts that mean I don't have to) and I'm lazy.
    As a fairly new blogger I look at the pageviews and Google Analytics instead – if people are taking the time to have a little click around, they must be at least not repulsed by what they see!

  8. Bibliophile says:

    I am less likely to comment on very generally worded posts and more likely to comment if prompted to do so.

    I'll comment on good reviews even if I haven't read the book, echo or add to statements in reviews of books I have read and add my two cents to opinion pieces, but only when I have something relevant to say. Sometimes I'll just post an encouragement to go on if I think the blogger in question needs or deserves it.

    I don't comment to get comments back, but I always appreciate getting comments, especially thoughtful ones that show that the commenter has read and understood what I was saying. That said, I am more likely to continue to visit blogs of people who comment regularly on my blog, not just because they comment, but also because it shows they are interested in the same things as I am.

  9. btweenthecovers.com says:

    I only comment on posts that I'm really interested in and that I really have something to say about. If I tried to comment on everything I read, some of my comments would just be "Good post," and it wouldn't really be telling the blogger anything, anyway. I'm good with people not commenting on my posts if they have nothing to add… quality over quantity. :)

  10. I am absolutely more likely to comment on the blogs of people who visit my blog regularly. It just seems like a polite way to say thanks for taking the time to check out my page. I won't always auto-follow back, but I will pretty much always comment back. As others said, it also likely reflects that we share similar interests. It's much easier to comment when there's content that I'm genuinely enthusiastic about!

    I also tend to comment more when there are guiding questions, like you mentioned. It's much easier to know what to say when somebody just asks you what you think about something straight out. It's harder when all you've got is "great review" or "interesting interview" or "yeah, I read that, too."

    Besides that, commenting is mostly a time thing for me. I follow well over 300 blogs on Google Reader. I try to skim through what I can and comment on the occasional post that really interests me. Despite knowing how much I appreciate comments myself, I just suck at taking the time to give them sometimes. I admit it, and I'm sorry about it, but I also don't know how much it's going to change given life circumstances right now.

  11. I try to comment on most things I read, if only to let the blogger know I stopped by. It's hard to think of great comments to leave on reviews of books that aren't really my thing but I try. I get a decent (I think) number of comments on my reviews and posts- I don't know what that would mean to someone else, or if someone else would look at my blog and say I'm getting a lot of comments. I blog in a niche that's not wildly popular (literary fiction) so I don't have as many readers as, say, most YA blogs, but I do okay and I appreciate my readers!

  12. bookspersonally says:

    This is great advice! I think a lot of folks may be unaware that their comment settings make it hard to comment (I switched templates & didn't know my settings got switched too) everyone should check! Was just thinking I needed to do some style substance tweaking, this is good food for thought, thanks :D

  13. Thanks for the good advice. I've just started blogging (like, yesterday), so I'll be bearing that in mind. But now I've thought about it, it is quite strange – I've been reading lots of blogs for months and months, and I rarely comment on a single one…

  14. Library Gal says:

    I don't get a lot of comments on the blog and I often wonder why. I like to think I post good content, I don't always show my personality though, or share personal stuff-I guess in part because I would worry about still not getting comments and then it would feel more like a personal rejection- make sense? This is a great post and you've given me lots to think about. . .

  15. fatbooks.org says:

    Like Yvann said, I tend not to comment on book reviews if I haven't read the review. Or, like you write, I won't usually comment if there's nothing interesting in the review. My favorites are when I have a different opinion of a book than the post author has (or when the same comes up on my blog) – it makes it a more interesting conversation.

    like you say, if you didn't get ANY comments blogging would get lonely fast, but I tend to delete any comments on my blog that don't contribute to a discussion. That's not many…actually, I am kind of in love with the people who comment on my blog because I admire their blogs and am interested in what they have to say. Thanks for the reminder that there is an art to commenting, and it's not about leaving a "great post, visit my blog" sort of line.

    – ellen

  16. Kate {The Parchment Girl} says:

    Sage advice here! Writing content that reflects my personality is especially difficult for me, and I think that I get less comments on my blog because my tone tends to be very generically academic… that's definitely something I need to work on.

    The biggest thing that deters me from commenting on a blog is if that particular blog covers books that I have absolutely no interest in. For example, I tend to avoid YA blogs like the plague. That's part of why I think it's so important for book bloggers to write posts about blogging in addition to book reviews, author interviews etc., because it may draw in an audience that otherwise would have no interest in your blog.

    You are a good example of this. I have absolutely no interest in 99% of the books you review, but all of your thumbs up/thumbs down posts and blogging articles like this one really appeal to me, hence my commenting and stopping by your blog on a regular basis.

  17. Very thought-provoking I don't get as many comments as I would like…it makes me wonder, too, about my content, or maybe it's just the proliferation of blogs. I wonder sometimes at the custom that's developed on book blogs… Some bloggers are very good about commenting back on their own blogs, but not on mine. To me, it's like inviting someone over for dinner and then having to go back and knock on their door to pick up their thank-you note.

  18. Jessica (Firefly Book Loft) says:

    I tend to hold back on commenting when there are so many of the same book reviews. Like when everyone and their mother gets an ARC of a certain book and then the few days around the release date there are just tons and tons of reviews for it. In that case I will only comment on a few of the blogs I follow the closest.
    Or if I haven't read the book and the review isn't marked 'spoiler free', I just won't read it. I've had too many books ruined that way.

    If I disagree with someone's review I tend not to comment. I don't want anyone taking me the wrong way or thinking I'm being mean…kind of dumb I know.

    Also, if someone has already commented and said what I was going to, I'll skip commenting because I hate being a comment repeater.

  19. Avid Reader says:

    It's interesting how everyone gets inspired to read the same book because of blogging buzz, then we get bored of reading the same reviews of it. I feel the same way, yet sometimes I'm guilty of writing a review of a book everyone else has already reviewed.

  20. Meredith says:

    I would much rather have one or two really good, quality comments than 15 or 20 "oh I totally agree!" type of comments. That's obviously my preference, but I think it comes down to what you prioritize.

    I have a hard time commenting on other blogs, especially because I kind of have a hard time finding something substantive to say (so many of the book blogs I read are reading books months ahead of when I do – how can I comment on a review of a book when I haven't read it?). I don't just want to leave some kind of generic comment, so I end up writing nothing.

    I do think there's a quid pro quo approach to comments. I notice that I get more comments during the weeks when I'm better at commenting on other people's blogs.

    I am probably in the minority, but I actually don't mind that I don't get many comments. Sure, more comments are nice, but I didn't start writing with the sole focus of getting comments. I'd much rather have invested, interested lurkers than comments that don't add much to the discussion.

  21. I dont get as many comments as I like either but since like you my blog is an eclectic blogger everyone else seems to be doing YA. I like your idea of googling book reviews then commenting on those blogs. I will have to try that.

  22. Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) says:

    Oh, commenting.

    Honestly, what deters me from commenting is that it takes so effing long on my slow ass computer to do ANYTHING (including my own blog posts) that I get very annoyed waiting for a page to load or having to click "stop" and then "refresh" a million times until it loads. This is of no fault of anyone else's. It's the fact that my computer is slowly but surely dying.

    I do the majority of my blog post reading on my iPhone. It is so incredibly annoying to have to log in for every single comment I make when Safari decides to log me out randomly. Not to mention that if I run into word verification on my iPhone, I will immediately set it down because I HATE WORD VERIFICATION. This is what deters me from commenting. I am getting a new computer today, so it should be much easier for me from here on out.

    I do tend to get quite a few comments on mailbox posts, discussion posts, and SOME reviews. But I'm terrible at returning the favor. This is something I need to work on as a blogger. Showing thanks and gratitude that hey, someone took the time to actually read (or skim, let's be honest) the stupid things that transmit from my brain to my fingertips. Comments make me very happy, as I'm sure they do for everyone. There should be an equal sharing of love between the blogger and the reader, and I hope to make that more apparent once I'm not technologically hindered.

  23. This may be ironic as I'm the 20+something commenter on this post, but I rarely comment when there are already multiple comments present. If I've spent a lot of time reading the post, I don't want to spend a lot of time reading the comments and I hate repeating something that has already been said. (Was that point already made in a previous comment? I skimmed them but didn't read them all closely!)

    Also, you mentioned people not wanting to comment on very short posts, but I think I also am less likely to comment on extremely long posts. I often don't have time to read a post that's more than a page or so long. And if something is really extensive I also am left feeling that I don't have anything to add to what's already been stated.

    I also tend to be really reciprocal when it comes to commenting. I'm much more likely to take the time and effort of commenting on blogs that have left comments on mine – I guess there's a weird system of comment-guilt that acts on me sometimes!

  24. Peppermint Ph.D. says:

    I don't even know how many blogs I follow…but I know that for the last 2 days (the first two days of Spring Break for me) I've spent more time reading blog postings than reading books! Time is definitely a factor…that being said, I don't comment on every posting for all of the reasons you and other commenters pointed out…sometimes there's just not anything to say…I don't do generic comments…it's just not me. If something in the post grabs my attention, that's what I'll comment on.

    I don't care a whole lot about the follower thing (yeah right). I do but I don't. I want to have conversations with other book blogger friends bc the more you comment back and forth with others who have the same interests as you, the more you actually get to know those bloggers as people…and eventually as friends. I don't take it personally when others don't comment (yeah, right again) but I don't want to force comments anymore than I would force someone to be my friend.

    I am who I am and my blog will always be more me than anything else…at 42 I'm all about being me :)

    This was a thought provoking post, Tahleen (notice how I didn't use the word "great") ;) I enjoyed reading the comments section almost as much as your post :)

  25. I haven't had many replies on my blog lately, but that's because I haven't been doing much commenting. I really need to go out and find some new blogs and tidy up the ones in my feed – especially the ones that I rarely ever reply to. Sometimes when I see about a million new posts I think arrgh blah and hit 'mark feed read'.

    Also, when I do comment I always try for the comment to be a substantial. Maybe I should just comment to say I have read… been thinking of that. I mean something that just shows appreciation now and then is worthwhile, isn't it?

    I really like posts like these because they offer you something to discuss, I don't do enough… perhaps I should I'm just scared I'll waffle on (like I am probably going to do now.)

    I do wonder/worry with some reviews that I do waffle too much… people might not want to read a long review as much as they don't wanna read one that does little other then sum the story up and rehash what's been said before.

    I'm writing one now and it's going on – this gets me thinking that I need to shorten it because it might not be one of those books people are gonna jump on. Hmm.

    I think ease of commenting does play a big part. Captcha's are part of it especially if they're illegible! Fortunately most are but it can be a bine.

    Also… I swapped from Blogger to WordPress recently because I prefer their commenting style. I prefer the commenting box on WordPress blogs. Blogger has this silly tiny little box with courier font and I find it hard to arrange my thoughts like this.

    I prefer this style of posting a comment – where it is inline with the post rather then that irritating little pop up box which is even worse. I find it difficult to really put my thoughts together. This doesn't stop me from replying to Blogger blogs by the way – but I admit I do now feel a lot more comfortable replying on WP blogs especially now I have a WP blog.

    It's a bit annoying for non- wordpress bloggers though I suppose… to sign up for follow-up comment emails?

    As people have said about reviews – I'm more likely to reply to reviews for books I've read or ones that I'm interested in reviewing. Which in part… seems kinda opposite to the purpose of a review if we're not really attracting people to read the book who otherwise might not have thought about the book? Hmm.

    As I said before – I prefer actually replying to non-review blog posts maybe because there is more to say.

    Anyway, gonna get back to thinking about my Tom Jones review. I want people to read it and think "ooh good book" not "oh crap, a thousand page book and a thousand word review on probably boring 18th C literature zzzzzzzzzzzzz"

  26. I follow a ton of blogs and agree – it's hard to get around to comment on everyone's blogs. Time is always a factor. I'd love to comment more but if I do then that takes away from my own reading & review time. *sigh* Every day I try to comment on at least a couple blogs, ones I haven't yet visited that particular week.

    Comments rock – and I especially appreciate those who take the time to comment on the "Teen Reviews" written by my 8th grade students. And the teen reviewers love it, too! (I thought one of my students was going to have a heart attack with Alyson Noel stopped by to comment on her review!)

    Great, thought-provoking post. :)
    Mary
    The Book Swarm

  27. Shannon@BooksDevoured says:

    You touched on what I worry about most with my blog. Who are my readers? I review books of many different genres. It is not that I just want to review lots of genres, it is more that that is how I read. I do not like to read the same genre all the time. I have found that I really like a little bit of everything.

    I also do not comment near enough as I should. I go through my google reader everyday, but it has to catch my eye to make me want to open a new window and leave a comment.

    I have been blogging for almost 4 months with NO word verification captcha and have only had 1 spam comment in that time. Just One. Super easy to delete it.
    Great post!

  28. Peppermint, this was actually Jamie's post… I was just the first to comment! :)

  29. thatcovergirl says:

    For me, commenting is directly affected by timing. I may be at work and someone might tweet a link to some post's title that catches my eye…a quick read through, and I might find a good point to comment on. When I'm completely backlogged on reading my blogs, I tend to skip over the posts that I'd normally comment on. And then, THEN there are posts that are so well-written that after reading them I'm kinda like…*deep sigh* "now THAT was awesome." And you know what? I don't want to write "That was awesome" in your comments because I don't want to look like an idiot.

    I'm much more likely to comment on a post that poses a challenge or a question that I can answer semi-intelligently. You know…like this one. =)

  30. Midnyte Reader says:

    I agree with ThatCoverGirl…sometimes it just has to do with timing, how much time I have, if I even see a post. But sometimes I'll comment on blogs just to let that blogger know, "Hey I visited, I read, someone was thinking about what you wrote." Sometimes, I comment b/c I agree, disagree or just like hearing the person's thoughts. So, long story short I guess it just depends on many factors.

  31. Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) says:

    Timing is a big problem for me too. I often skim posts while I'm at work, but I don't have much time to comment. I've also encountered very short reviews that barely say a thing about the book, so I don't have anything comment on. I've tried to comment more and I've done a decent job, but life gets chaotic sometimes and I neglect some great posts.

    I'm also guilty of skimming and even skipping posts that are quite long, which I shouldn't, considering how long my own reviews are. I think that's why I don't get tons of comments on my own reviews. I've tried cutting my reviews down, but I really can't get my thoughts across succinctly.

  32. Honestly, sometimes it just has to do with how much time I have to devote to my Google Reader on a given day. I like to comment on posts that are really unique or thought-provoking, like this one! I also tend to comment on reviews of books that don't get as much love. Or if someone says something I do/don't agree with.

    I'm less likely to comment if a bazillion other people have already posted a review of that book, or if it's just a boring meme, or if the post just doesn't really inspire or me.

    Great discussion, Jamie!

  33. gabrielreads says:

    Right now I only have four followers, but two of them are frequent commenters so I know exactly what you mean about it being a boost. I love writing about books, but I'm blogging to reach an audience, not just to hear myself talk. Or, er, write.

    In all honesty, I think the reason I don't have more followers or posters is that I too am pretty verbose. In fact, I wear the word "verbose" like a badge of honor. Others, however, might be put off by the wall of text that I write on a daily basis. I took the advice of another blogger and started adding some pictures in to break up the text so we'll see how it works.

  34. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth says:

    I do tend to go and reply more often to people who are frequent visitors to my blog. I figure if they're taking the time to comment on my thoughts I should respect them back and see what they have to say.

    As for other, more random posts… I guess it all comes down to the post's content. I do tend to ignore really long posts, unless I'm drawn in from the beginning. I also hate it when my Google Reader has 10 or more reviews of the same book almost in a row because of it being the book's release week/date. It's hard to keep commenting about the same book, especially when the person's review doesn't add much new.

    When it comes to discussion posts I love it when people write questions at the end, like you have here. Because even when it's a great post sometimes you might not feel like you have anything to add to the discussion unless the person sums up their argument or asks you things in return.

  35. My name is Patricia says:

    Great post. I agree, comments are more important than the # of followers you may have. I love the questions you pose and the answers you give. I do think that when we slack on commenting on other blogs, and real comments (not short comments), that the number and quality of comments we recieve in turn decrease in turn. It makes sense!

    So what holds me back from commenting?…. well the real thing is "time" – lack of or the need to think more about the post before I feel like I can make a substantial comment. And as I commented, I tend to comment on the blogs that make frequent trips to my blog – friends supporting friends :) :) Its one of the best things I love about the Book Blogging World!

    Amazing Post!! Long time follower for this exact reason :)

    <3 Patricia @ Patricia's Particularity

  36. My name is Patricia says:

    I hope you don't mind, but I linked this post to a post I created – inspired by this post! I really love this post!!! Thank you so much for it!!!

    My post: A New Page

  37. I've been meaning to comment on this all day. I don't know what to say other than, great post, lots of great ideas and I really wish I did better! Plus, it seriously does make my day when a review or post gets a lot of comments.

  38. Speaking of commenting – I'm sure I submitted a comment here but it seems to have disappeared?

  39. Oh well that's a bum it was a long comment as well…. where did it go?

  40. picky girl says:

    I love comments, and you are so right about how they make a blogger feel. They are affirmation, but I'm sort of off the beaten path. I review a WIDE variety of titles, and most of them are not ARCs. I'm ok with that, and often the posts that get the most comments are ones that have been off everyone's radar. I started my blog as a supplement to my reading, not the other way around.

    It really was a way to get me writing again, and I love having conversation in comments, but I try not to let it get me down if I don't get too many comments. There was only one post – asking questions about BEA that I kept posting on Twitter because I needed tips and got no comments, that I was sort of bummed. I thought – where are my blogging buddies.

    But that's ok. Many of my readers (from what I can gather) don't have blogs, and I'm glad they stop by and comment when they want. I love commenting, personally, because I like that sense of community.

    Great post!

  41. I love leaving comments on the posts I read. It's fun to leave a trail of all the places I visit.

    Sometimes I get lazy though and just want to read and don't feel like commenting. I am working on it though and have been doing a better job lately.

    I like your ideas about how to generate comments.

  42. Fiona! I found your comment! It got trapped in spam..the only one in there. I have released it :)

  43. Interesting post! I'd like to know if book bloggers appreciate a comment like "great post, I liked the book too" or if it's better to not post anything at all??

    Every once in awhile I make a commitment to myself to comment on every blog post I read (this usually only lasts 5-10 minutes because I get overwhelmed ;)). But I do feel a little bit better after acknowledging the work bloggers do put in to their blogs.

  44. This is such a good post. My posts might also be too long, but I think you bring up a good point about readership… unlike your blog, mine is sometimes super-specific (mostly focusing on contemporary YA), and I think that might bore some readers sometimes if they're looking for more para/fantasy reads. And since a lot of people I've connected with via Twitter, etc. are huge fans of those genres that might be a factor.

    I do comment more on my friend's blogs, but mostly I just comment on the posts that pop out as INTERESTING to me. I go through my dashboard on Google every few days and try to comment on at least a few blogs but I admit I'm pretty horrible about it typically.

  45. I think some people are just that, the readers, especially those who read the blogs about books :)! Sorilla

  46. Ha, thanks Jamie. Damn you blogger mistaking me as spam!

  47. Commenting for me goes in spurts. Some days I comment on 20 or 25 different posts, other days, I just have time to read. Many times I comment on reviews of books I have read — because reading those reviews brings back memories, or I comment on a book in my TBR, if the post has made me want to read it more. Or if it's a new book that I haven't heard of before, and now I want to read it. I try to comment back to people who comment on my blog, but not always. I'm not going to comment "great post!" or something generic. I only comment if I really have something to say from my heart, not just to say I commented on X number of blogs today. Oh, and I comment a lot on dog and cat pictures and posts. I'm a sucker for pets….

  48. Melissa (i swim for oceans) says:

    I am one of those people who really tries to comment as much as possible, but I go through funks (ie right now). I find that when I'm interactive, people are more interactive on mine. But, that said, I do have those blogs that I visit every single day because they do so for me, too…they're my best bloggy friends. I really want to be a good blogger and know that I'm making them feel their blogs are validated, too, if that makes sense :)

  49. Sidne,the BCR says:

    A wonderfully profound post. at that moment as i was hopping about this firday, i kept saying, ooohh,eeekkk these darn captcha. why, why,why? that definitely has begun to bug my blog reading world.
    same books on blog: My decision; if i stop by more than one blog with same book, and the review reads about the same, then it will get a post and copy reply. if there is anything different about that review, then my comment will cater to that review. after three reviews from the same book: my comment is: (copy and paste) i've already read three reviews on this book and have concluded that i like/dislike or this book has made my reading wish list.

    Some blogs have a lack of comments because bloggers may not be faithful followers; some have that 'follow for follow ' which is okay but choose the same type of genres to follow for follow. Many are following just to damn MANY to even think of getting around to them all. last week i looked at my folow list and said, 'Really'. i don't like being a 'wall flower' for no purpose. so i took my time and went through each and deleted about 25. i've decided that i will max at a certain number and divide that by 5 days to go through each one. if this can't be done. i will eliminate more. I have even thought of following a blog for one year and omitting which ever prove to be less interesting and then choosing new ones. so, i'm maxing at 100 blogs, four days a week at 25 blogs a day. I can easily do this and sunday's my day for my blog upkeep. If i have free time after my visit of my committed 100 follow list i will visit those i saved in my favorites.
    I like to commit to the things i choose to do so following is important to me. on the other hand, my followers: i send reminders through email,(not all are bloggers) and i remind them if they are following me to stop by. checking your stats can inform you if anyone been by and from where. I understand comments are really important to bloggers because it tells us that someone has been by, is reading and enjoying the blog. makes us fill we are not wasting our time. well, I rather have a few faithful commenting than a huge number that are just hitting the follow button for 'show'.
    I actually think if we all only had about 100-125 followers, we could do 25 per day, we would be able to comment on every last one of our bloggers each week. Having 400-500-700 and more on your blog list, that you follow is very demanding and a bit ridiculous. Even if you was unemployed I dont think you could commit to being a faithful follower.
    This just my opinion because i think the slack is in the following numbers of each blogger list. (not those that are following you)

  50. If a post doesn't address the reader or prompt a reader response, I typically don't comment. In terms of book reviews, it's a little more difficult to prompt reader response. I'll only comment on them if they're not the books that are being hyped up at the moment or if I am genuinely interested in a book.

  51. I'm gonna be honest: I almost didn't comment on this post. I wanted to, but when I saw the amount of responses you've already received, I thought, "Crap. I can't read/don't want to read that many responses before I post my comment." For some reason, I always feel like I have to read everyone else's comments before I can post my own, and sometimes, I'll leave a blog without posting for that reason.

    Overall, though, when I read a post and don't comment, it's because I don't have much to say. I don't like posting generic comments, either, whether it's on memes or on reviews, so I usually don't comment on either of those things. I suppose I could try harder to comment on the blogs I read, but when I don't have anything to say, I can't just pull something out of thin air that sounds good and not generic. For discussion posts, it has to be a discussion that I'm actually interested in. If I read the post and find that I just don't care, I won't comment on it. But most discussion posts do interest me, so I comment on them more often than not.

    When it comes to what blogs I comment on, I only comment on the blogs that I follow, since they're the only ones I read semi-regularly. I'd love to post on blogs that I don't follow, but I don't really have the time to find other blogs, read them, and comment on them. Someday, maybe I will!

  52. HeathMochaFrost says:

    Hi Jamie! I read this post on Wed. afternoon, and am finally commenting on Saturday. I initially read it on my phone & it's hard for me to comment with a small keyboard & small screen. Some OTHER things that keep my from commenting (or at least from commenting when I want to!) …

    Reading a post in my Google Reader, & having to leave the Reader to write a comment. I often "star" the post & hope to get back to it and comment later — that's what I did with this one. :-)

    The internet filter at work, which got more strict about a year ago, and tries to prevent the "social" aspect of most social media. I never know if a blog will be blocked, or if I can read it but then get "dinged" if I try to leave a comment, so usually I just skim posts through Google Reader, it's "safer" for me that way.

    The fact that I tend to write LONG comments (like this one!), and often have more to say than time to say it, so I just skip it.

    Getting sidetracked by Twitter.

    I had this post up a couple nights ago, ready to start this comment, and my 8-year-old got on my lap and immediately opened another window to do his own thing — I gave up.

    Now, my husband just got home from the store and said, "You still haven't done XYZ, what have you been doing?" I said, "I've been wanting to write this comment since Wednesday, so I'm gonna write it!"

    So, technology issues (small screen of phone & iPod, web filter at work), me being too verbose, lack of time, & other things (& other PEOPLE!) getting in the way. But once in a while, I make time to say something. Hope this was a little amusing! ;-)

  53. A. Knight says:

    Word Verification is my one true blogging bane! I hate it, but that isn't what deters me from commenting. It's like you said, if a post isn't particularly thought-provoking, I'm not going to have anything good to say. So, why comment? I think that's why I end up reading posts more than actually commenting. Now, though, I try to strike up conversation and show an interest when I comment, so basically I sit there and think.

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  54. Oh, man. This post is so USEFUL. I’m a newbie to the blogosphere and it seems I’ve been trying to promote my blog by doing it in most of the wrong ways you stated xD From now on I’ll definitely try not to plug my blog in every comment and find other blogs that like the books I read/review as much as I do.

    Thank y0u so much for sharing! :)

  55. I have been working on my commenting too! I am not great at it, but I do try and sent some time aside in my day to just go through blogs and comment. I’m not always great at it, but I am trying. As far as Captchas go. They wont automatically deter me from commenting. If I was commenting on your blog to just say something nice and their is a captcha, I will probably skip it, if I really want to comment, I will attempt at doing it. If it denies me like twice, I skip it. SO personally I think it is just better to get rid of it all together.

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  1. […] Somewhere in between wedding planning and the craziness that I dealt with in 2012 I became a horrible blog friend and commenter. You KNOW commenting back and discussion and sharing the love is like my PILLAR of blogging and  I feel like a horrible blogger. Like I wanted to stop blogging for the fact that I felt too bad to have people comment on my posts and me not to be able to comment back or visit back. So this year, I WILL BE BETTER.  Because I love you guys and I like talking! You can check out a post I wrote about commenting! […]

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