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 😛
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?