Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blog Day: Comments

Hi all! Just want to let you know that the competition for The Story Book by David Baboulene will be closing at midnight CAT, so if you haven't entered yet, you better hurry. ;-)

For those of you who missed my earlier Wednesday posts, Blog Day is a series giving tips on improving blogs. While I don't call myself a professional, I have been to hundreds of blogs (over a thousand in fact) and have picked up a lot of do's and don'ts.

To me, there are exactly two rules to blogging that have to be applied in a way that benefits the blog. First one is BE YOURSELF. The other is THINK OF YOUR AUDIENCE. They always have to be weighed against each other when making a decision in blogging.

Today I want to apply the rules to comments and commenting.

First: Should there even be a comments section? Yes. If for no other reason, because about 99% percent of blogs have them. It's an expectation in the blogging community. Blogs aren't supposed to be preaches. They're supposed to be conversations. Dialogues. Not monologues. You and the reader. Never just you.

And as far as I know, I've never met a member of the blogging community that relishes the lack of a comments section.

Still, dialogues bring me to another point. Dialogues. Comments sections are going to be somewhat pointless if you don't give your reader something to think about, or a chance to form an opinion. Yes, it's great to get complements of: "Love this post." "Well said!" "Congrats." "Well done!". I count them as feathers in my cap. Love complements.

But if they're the only comments I'm getting, somethings wrong.That dialogue aspect to the post is lacking. So if you want to hear your readers' opinions, if you want to learn what they're thinking, make it easy for them to find something to say.

How? Ask questions. Lots of them. Try to find a common ground, but settle for learning about readers likes and dislikes. How they think. How they're feeling. It's so important, given that blogs are a way to build relationships. If you don't talk to them and don't find out who your readers are, how are you going to get to know them?

What else makes you comment on blog posts?


  1. Good morning Misha and I do hope your week is going well. Please let your friend from yesterday know that I checked her books out at Amazon and had three of them downloaded into my Kindle yesterday. From what I could see it appears I will enjoy them all. Have a wonderful wednesday.
    Odie :)

  2. Hey Misha ~ you are so right about comments . I try to reply to each and every comment posted on my blog , even though it can be time-consuming . I think that one-on-one communication makes each visitor feel important .

  3. Having the time to comment is a huge factor. Sometimes I skim a post and walk away with no opinion so I put more of my time into a different blog's post. Also I've backed off commenting unless I know the person writing the blog comments back (either via a comment or email). Feels like I'm wasting my time otherwise.

  4. You're absolutely right-- I ran across the "ask questions" advice months ago, was skeptical, but tried it anyway... holy smokes. Suddenly I have conversation. It's amazing.

    I've also found (much to my chagrin) that shorter posts = better. I rarely stick around to the end of a long post, so why would anyone bother to do the same on my blog? It's a bummer, because I'm wordy, but it does make a difference when it comes to people actually commenting instead of breezing through.

  5. Comments are brilliant! I love hearing from other people and connecting with other writers!

  6. Wow, that's so true. I don't do that enough my with blog posts. I need to remember to ask questions, get them talking.

  7. I'm glad that you'll enjoy Maria's work, Odie. Enjoy the reads!

    Mish, I agree that it's vital, even if it sometimes takes effort.

    Su, the shorter posts thing is slowly starting to become a serious consideration for me, because I like putting reader preferences first. But damn, I'm so wordy.

  8. What a great article and some great comments. Like someone said in the comments: this is something one has to read a few times before you can digest it. I will read it again a few times in the next days.


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