Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blog Day: Reciprocity and Building Relationships

Just a reminder that I'm looking for people to fill GPF slots. Please contact me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com for more information and to book.

Today might be the last blog day for now as I don't think that people are enjoying the series or finding it that interesting. So today I'll bring up something that's really important to me.

Have you noticed that people on the blogosphere follow back? So a great way to get followers is to hit as many blogs as possible and follow them.

But what does the number of followers mean when none of them actually care who you are? Or if those people following doesn't mean anything to you? Well... not much, really. There's a whole community of bloggers out there who would love to get to know you. But like real life, friendships and relationships go both ways. If you do nothing, the relationship won't grow. Simple as that.

Expecting people to comment on your blog while you do nothing is like expecting friends to call you while you never do.

And when you comment, show people you care. Writing comments that show that you're trying to ramble something off on the way to the next blog, or comments that show that you didn't even bother to read the post are worse than not commenting at all. So if you comment, make it mean something. If you can't, skip out and come back on another post. Lots less damaging.

But don't ever think that never commenting is a good idea. Have you ever opened your blog and saw that your posts drew zero comments? Doesn't feel good, does it? Notice how great it feels to get lots of comments?

Well, then, don't you think it would be nice of you to be the first to comment? And if you're not the first, be the person that helps the blogger in question on their way to 20, 30 or a hundred comments.

Every comment counts to your relationship with other bloggers. So get yourself heard.

Anyone else love comments as much as I do? How do you go about commenting on people's blogs?


  1. I think we all love comments. It's like reaching out and connecting with someone. This morning and yesterday, it was particularly frustrating because Blogger wouldn't let me comment, and I wanted to tell people how much I liked their posts! This reciprocity is really important in the blogosphere, because everybody needs support and connection. It's not just about numbers, you're right--it's about saying something meaningful and real.

  2. Very nice post Misha! I know exactly what you mean too, I am one to check my comments repeatedly like it's an OCD. One good way to give a good comment I found, is to really read the post and answer any questions that are asked, and kinf of give your own opinion. Love your blog! :)

  3. I wish I were better at the reciprocity thing. I try but often fall short, especially when stuff gets in the way. Doctor's appointments, shopping for kids clothes, trying to get a few more pages down in my WIP.

    While I agree with commenting back, following back, reciprocating as much as possible, I'd feel uneasy about criticizing anyone for not doing it. Too afraid I've missed someone without being aware. You are brave.

  4. I do love comments. But I'm very unbalanced-- I tend to go on a commenting rampage from time to time, and then not for a while. It just depends on my schedule. Although I do think it's very important to at least drop by the people who have taken the time to comment on my blog, just to reassure everyone that there's a human and not a bot on the other side reading the comments. ;)

  5. Hi Misha ~ I love comments & I love to respond on a one-to-one basis . I would rather have 10 meaningful responses than 50 monosyllabic-styled responses ... but I do appreciate all comments & we've got to acknowledge that not every blogger has the same amount of time available ...
    Thanks for stopping by my blog !!

  6. Yep! We can't sit around waiting for people to comment on our posts. Besides, it's fun to get out and see what everyone else is doing! If I don't have time, I don't comment, but I try to make time. It's more interactive that way.

  7. Yeah, I love comments too. But sometimes I don't write them because I can't think of anything more to add or something clever to say. I've considered adding one of those comment bars where readers can check a box at the bottom for people like me who can get tongue-tied, but I need my tech-savvy daughter to help me with that.

  8. Excellent post! I feel that way, too. It is important to me to know what readers think. I try to read about 10 blogs a day, and respond to any emails.
    Good reminder jab.

  9. Yep. What you put out to the universe reflects in many ways what you get back from the universe. It's the same way with twitter. However, there's exceptions. If you're a celebrity than gobs of people will follow you for whatever reason and you don't have to follow back. This goes for writers at some level as well. If you are a budding celebrity (your first book is coming out and you have an agent)'ll pick up several hundred followers if not a thousand pretty quick as ppl mooch off of you to try and figure out how you did it.

  10. I try to comment on others blogs that I enjoy reading. But I'll admit, I can be pretty bad about it. Half the time I'm trying to power through reading a post before my daughter comes along to bang on the keyboard, so I never get around to coming back to comment.

    I've really enjoyed reading your posts, even if I don't comment often!

  11. Oh, yes, I think we all love comments. I've been kind of frustrated lately because, like Sarah said, Blogger has been giving me a little trouble when I try to comment, but I'm working through it.

    Thanks for the great post :D

  12. I subscribe to over 50 blogs via email and it helps to keep up. It takes a lot of time but I have noticed that once you hop people hop back and you discover new authors and new friends.

  13. This is a great post Misha. I've been so bad about commenting lately. I need to get better about that. I've met some really good friends in the blogosphere.

  14. I'm pretty sure I worry way too much about this issue. Is it better to lurk on a blog and not comment, or better to write something even if you don't have much to say? But then, you're right, I love comments, even if they just say 'Great post.'

  15. And I had to follow your blog (again) because I changed my email address and had to add myself as an admin on my blog but that showed me twice so I deleted my old self and lost all the people I was following. Ugh

  16. I do my best to hit all the blogs I follow. Usually, I don't have the time in a day to read and comment on every one. So, I scan the headlines and the first few sentences in my blog roll. The topics or voice tend to catch my attention and they are the ones I will read.

    Sometimes I might read, but don't have anything to contribute, so I opt for silence instead of leaving something pointless.

  17. I absolutely love getting comments! It makes me feel great.

    When I comment on other's blogs I feel the need to say something intelligent. So if I enjoyed a post but have nothing to add to it I'll often remain silent. Perhaps I should break that habit.

  18. Hello Misha, I am surprised when you followed my blog. I am just new in blogging by the way so I am kinda surprised. Have no followers yet and then you came. I have no idea where you found me. but I thank you for such kindness. So yeah, I am following you back. :)

  19. I don't comment every time I read a blog. If I truly have something to say, then I do. If not then I don't. I want people to genuinely comment on my blog so I try to do the same to others.

  20. I agree, reciprocity is really important. I don't often have time to directly respond to every comment on my blog, but I definitely do my best to visit every commenter's blog so I can check in with them, and leave a comment on their blog. I appreciate people's comments and want to make sure they feel appreciated too!

  21. Totally true. Most times I read a post, I comment. I love comments and it has to be about give and take. Thanks for sharing, and I hope there'll be more blog days.

  22. So I shouldn't write something like: Congrats on the award? ;)

    I agree that you notice when people don't read your blog and just make mindless comment. Honestly, I've done it on occasion when exhausted.

    For the most part, I love commenting. Sometimes more than I like receiving comments.

  23. Oh yeah - you have to give if you want to get back. I recently unfollowed someone who I think has NEVER left me a comment, though I have left her heaps. So pays to reciprocate at least occasionally ;)

    I used to just comment on random blogs, but lately I've made sure to return comments from people who have left comments on my blog entries.

  24. I comment mostly on blogs that I follow (which tend to also be the same people commenting on my blog). The only stinky part is I try when possible to comment in the morning, but some days it takes until the afternoon for me to snag a few hours. Since I'm on the pacific this when all the quick commentors have already done their damage and my comment tends to get lost. Sometimes I give in and skip commenting if there are 20-30. Depends on the time crunch factor going that day.

  25. I'm new to blogging and therefore haven't had the chance to get jaded about it all, yet. So far, I think all the reciprocity is way cool and peachy keen. :)

  26. What a great post. So nice to see your comment on my blog this morning. I try and my greatest error I found out lately is commenting on the same blogs so now I'm taking to starting to open my follower lost from bottom or middle.

  27. Sarah I love that reaching out to comment on blogs too. Blogger's been incredibly frustrating lately. I wish I knew what the hell is going on with them.

    Amy, that's so true! I only reply once, but I check my comments VERY often. I think the way you go about commenting is great. People love getting really meaningful comments to their posts. (I know I do.)

    Angela, that's the trick with blogging. It can take up a lot of time, but I think that the secret lies in doing the best you can with the time you have to blog. And that includes visiting at least some people and if you really can't letting them know why not. :-)

    Su I try to do that too, visiting the people that took the trouble to comment on my blog. Just to thank them for coming by.

    Mish, I agree that everyone doesn't have the same ammount of time, but some bloggers start blogs that never get out there to comment. That's the worst thing to do, as people find it lots easier to follow comment links. :-)

    Carol that interactivity makes the effort involved worthwhile. ^_^

    Connie that happens to me too, but I prefer to just say nothing. Otherwise I have to think very hard (within a minute) for something to say. That's why I don't like preachy blogs and why I add questions at the end of my posts. Even if people don't answer what I asked, I like to think that I gave them the start to their train of thought.

    Susan that's a good way to do it when you're strapped for time. I did it too, last year as I approached my finals.

    Hehehe Michael that's true, but the celebrities that take the time to reciprocate get lots of good press. ^_^

    Caitlin I'm glad that you enjoy my blog. :-) That's why I use google reader. I can power through blogs and hit the ones that I think I can/want to comment on. Sometimes I hit more though, because I think it's good to do the extra effort when I have the time.

    Kristina I hope you get the bug sorted out soon!

    Savannah that happens to me too. In fact, other people hop back if they read comments that they liked on someone's blog. It's happened to me a few times. ^_^ I stay away from e-mail subscriptions since I'm already on a reader and follow more than a thousand blogs. I get at least 400 posts to read every day, so getting half that on my e-mail might not be nice.

    I'm glad you liked it, Beth. I've been very bad about commenting last week and I felt it both on my stats and in the ammounts of comments that I got. That's what gave me the idea to post about this today.

    Angeline, I feel the same about it, but I came to thinking that "good post" is better than no comment. But "Good post. I agree with you in that..." is even better. Still, if I really have nothing to day, I let it go for next time, because just repeating "good post" to someone does not a relationship build.

  28. Donna that's bad luck! Thanks for coming back to follow me again, though. :-)

    Laura I also did that, but I can't read enough to cover the rate at which blogs are uploaded to my reader. I tend to pick blogs like you, though, with the extra factor that I hit familiar blogs that I find no matter what they wrote about. Because the blogs I remember are obviously the ones with which I'm building a relationship.

    Sarah, if I like the post, I used to hit the blog so that the hit would register on the stats, even if I said nothing. Recently, though, I realized how much I like receiving plenty of comments, so now I put in a bit more effort.

    Mariel, I headed over to your blog because you commented on mine. See what comments can do? ;-)

    Dafeenah, that's my approach too. I just look harder for something to say on some blogs than others.

    Jennifer I do that too. I head over to my commenters' blogs before I open the reader.

    Thanks Myne! There might be more blog days, but I might move them to another day. :-)

    Lol Clarissa that's and exception. That comment's meaningful because the blogger wants someone to celebrate with. ;-P Clarissa, I used to do that too, but now I rather skip commenting for a day if I can't concentrate on what I'm reading.

    Trisha, at one stage I visited over a hundred blogs every day to comment, so I never needed to follow comment links. But now a hundred blogs doesn't cover the amount of blogs I follow and I have less time, so checking in on commenters is the first thing I do after replying to comments.

    Hehehe Steph, feel free to comment even though I have more than fifty comments. I love every single one of them. ;-P

    Suze, I've been blogging since August and so far it hasn't gotten old yet. ;-)

    Wendy, I found that too, but as I followed more people, my blogs almost come out randomly anyway, because there are so many. By the way, if you have Google Reader, try the sort by magic function.

  29. Am I number 30?
    Great post. Something we all have in our minds - how many comments and how many followers can we get.
    I don't comment on all posts, and unfortunately I do not have as much time to as I would like, but I do if I can contribute or lend support in any way.

  30. Halli, that's the most important to me. That we all just try our best to do what we can. I'm not expecting eight hour blogging sessions. Just that people don't just sit in their blogs expecting people to just come to them. :-)


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