4.04.2012

To Comment or Not to Comment


In the world of blogging one thing that I find particularly important – yet underutilized – is the comment. What makes the comment particularly interesting is that it is important to both sides of the spectrum; the blogger and the blog reader. It is something that I have really worked hard at trying to do on other blogs as well as increasing comments on my own page.

So why is it important?

Let’s start with the person that reads blogs, but doesn’t author their own blog – why is it important that this person comments? No matter what any blog writer says, they love comments. Any blogger that says otherwise is either playing it cool or…well…there isn’t an “other”. Personally, when I get that little email notification on my phone, telling me that somebody left a comment, I instantly get excited and feel a small amount of gratification that some person, somewhere in the world not only read my blog, but took the time to comment on it. It’s an important element that keeps many bloggers going. If nobody comments, eventually the blogger will get bored and fade away – leaving the world with one less perspective to read.

So what about the blogger? Why is it important that they comment on other blogs? This answer, in my opinion, is a two parter. For starters, just as above, it keeps your fellow blogger going. On some level, I might even venture to say that a comment from a fellow blogger is even more rewarding. The second reason is something that every website owner hopes for…it’s the number that we all look at….

...have you figure it out yet? 

That’s right! 

TRAFFIC!!! 

So how does commenting on somebody else’s blog give your site traffic? The first way happens when that blog owner may give your name a click to see what blog(s) you have. The second was is if another reader of that blog may like your comment and click that link to see if you have a blog. This could mean a new subscriber for you. Finally, it increases your page rank. 

Page rank, in a nutshell, looks at how many links are pointing back to your site. Every comment becomes a link.The more links to your site, the more “pagerank” your site gets. The more page rank, the higher your site shows up in search results. The higher up in the search results, the more traffic you get. It’s an amazing circle of e-life!

So next time you are sitting there, trying to figure out how to get more traffic to your site, get out there and start commenting on other blogs. Try your best to keep them relevant, though – it’s more fun for all. 

Also, if you are wondering how to increase interaction on your site, make sure that leaving a comment is easy. Ditch that captcha garbage that so many bloggers love, yet so many commenters hate; Blogger is pretty good at keeping out the spam without it. I think since this blog has started, I have had to delete 2 spam comments – Blogger handled the rest. In addition to that, make sure you respond to comments that others have left. Commenters dislike talking to themselves just as much you.

77 comments:

  1. Well said. I enjoy comments on my blog as well. Keeps me going for certain. Hope you enjoyed the little email notification from this comment!

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    1. Thanks! It really did get me a little excited. In my head I said, "Wow! A comment already?!"

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    1. I know, Dan....I know. See you at 7

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  3. Good commentary deserves a comment: don't get bored or fade away... Just tryin' to help....

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    1. Thanks, Walt! I just added your blog to my rss reader!

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  4. First and foremost, terrific post! This "so" needs to be said and said often. The feeling of "community" is complete when a blogger blogs something and then the readers read and leave a comment and in turn others respond. To me, this is the most beneficial way to develop not only a blog that is warm and comfortable for others to visit, but, they can quickly see that a bond develops between the readers and writers when they comment. Makes it a fun place to return, too! Commenting is the life line of my blog and I so appreciate all the readership and support given in this manner. It is very hard to stay connected to a blog and its writer if you do leave a comment and never get a response, or, rarely do! There are so many blogs being written, with new ones everyday, that I will just move on to another blog if there is not this sense of community. Thanks again for addressing this matter.

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    1. Very good point, Mel! I really missed mentioning that bond that happens as a result of commenting. Thanks, Mel. I do need to get over to your blog more than I do. I sort of lost touch after your mom passed away - I hope the days are getting easier for you.

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    2. Great post Nick, and very insightful post, Mel. When I got serious about my blog about 2 years ago I started commenting more and saw an immediate change in traffic, but even more, how people PERCEIVED my blog. That was pretty powerful. I'd gotten bad about commenting this spring, and over the last few weeks have been doing just what Nick wrote below to Erin, a few "nice fish!" and "great post!" It's honest and sincere and takes 5 whole seconds....

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    3. Wow, that wasn't well written....."saw an immediate change in how people PERCEIVED my blog"

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    4. Thanks Kirk. It's amazing what a simple little note can do for so many people

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  5. Well said, Nick, well said. I haven't been able to take the time to comment on a lot of blogs lately, but I'm still reading! Thanks for the reminder that it's important. All the best, Erin

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    1. Thanks, Erin - It is very hard to find the time to comment. I know that once my little guy was born, I have found it a bit more difficult, but sometimes a simple "great post" is all it takes.

      That also ties into the whole "make it easy" part....the easier it is, the less time it requires.

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  6. great post, sure makes the blog look more attractive when under every post is some dialog. ive made some good friends all over the country this way and have found when a comment is received the a comment should be returned. nice post

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    1. Thanks, Blake! You really helped get my blog noticed when I first started and let me in on a lot of tips and tricks. I am glad that I am at a point that I can share with others.

      We still really need to meet up - and soon! The driftless, maybe?

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    1. It sure does, Devin!! You have been a great commenter as of late - thank you!!

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  8. Well said and so true! I get people that email me or see me at seminars and tell me they love my blog. Problem is, I have no idea who they are partly because they have never commented. The two-way street is very beneficial. Excellent post!

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    1. Thanks, Albert! It's amazing how much a simple comment or two will go to make a person remember you. Howard Levett - http://cofisher.blogspot.com/ - is a great example of this. I was reading some fishing magazine and because of his comments he makes here, I instantly recognized the name. It was neat to say, "Hey. I know that guy..."

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  9. My friend Bob Long has a flickr page. Everyone chimes in praising his photos, which are excellent. It drives him nuts. He wants back and forth comments. He wants critiques. He likes when people question what he's doing. So I send him an email with comments so it doesn't get lost in all the praise.

    I don't give any thought to traffic or page rank. This will be year 16 of leaving blog like posts, people who like what I've been doing go look for it.

    I like to think I'm pretty good at leaving comments, answering back to comments that are left for me. It does get difficult, I read a lot of blogs.

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    1. You, Ken, are a prime example of a good commenter and I thought a bit about you when I wrote this. As long as you have been doing this, you take the time to reach out and comment on other blogs and you are fantastic at responding to comments that others leave on your site.

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    2. Thanks Nick, I try. I do it for no other reason than I enjoy it.

      On the forums I do it mainly to be a pain in the butt :-)

      Some day I'll be working full time again and it will all come to an end.

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  10. I will tell you what...it is a heck of a lot easier to comment on a few blogs each day than to write a new post for you blog!! Haha. So, let's get after it everybody! It does give you a warm fuzzy when someone takes the time to comment on something that you wrote. I need to more of it myself. Glad you posted this...now, back to my Montana post that has to go up tomorrow morning! Ugh.

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    1. You blog? Lol. I must be tired after my long trip...

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    2. Are you talking to yourself again? HA!! Thanks, RD

      I agree, too; it is easier to comment than to write a whole new blog! I can't wait to see the Montana post...any luck with the flies?

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    3. Your egg patterns are going up with me to Idaho when I fish with Rebecca. I'm going to share some of them with her for the steelies!! = )

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  11. Agreed...especially the get rid of captcha. I frequently stop commenting in frustration when I can't type the words right on the verification.

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    1. It's unbelievably frustrating, isn't it? Maybe I'm just lazy, but I hate filling those stupid things out.

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    2. Me too..drives me nuts. And yet....I still have captcha on my own blog.

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    3. I don't mind captcha at all! And I took it off my blog once for a couple of weeks and all of the sudden got a bunch of "spam" comments which I had never had before! So I reactivated the captcha and things have been back to normal since.

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    4. Really?! I get the emails saying that spammer commented, butt he actual comment never shows up on the site. Google's filter is really quite good for me.

      Are you on blogger or another service?

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    5. So that's why I get e-mails about strange comments on a 2 year-old post but when I go to the post there's nothing there! I didn't know Blogger did that! I got tired of getting the e-mails so I went to that post and disabled the comments.
      I might just give the no-captcha another go... Thing is, those spam comments only started appearing during (and after) my captcha-free period... :s

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    6. Give it a shot...if the comments start to actually show up on the blog with some regularity, go ahead and turn it back on. Another option is to approve comments before they post

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  12. You hit it on the head Nick. Well said. We all just want a little acknowledgement for the work we put into making a good blog post. Thanks!

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  13. As much as I enjoy when other bloggers leave comments, I truly enjoy the comments from non-bloggers, people who happened to stop by for, well, I don't know.

    Okay, I'm done. No more comments.

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    1. Oh come on...I know you have one more in you!!

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  14. You know, after doing a blog post on commenting, it requires a LOT of comments! Good post Nick!

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  15. Nick,

    You know what drives me nuts? I get "Likes" from other bloggers and I go to their blogs and see that they started their blog two months ago. One lousy photo garners 98 comments and they have 1,900 followers. And they've got a total of 7 posts in two months!

    How does this happen? How does a blogger, after only two months of existence and 7 total posts garner 1,900 followers and 98 comments on one post. I just don't understand it.

    I've tempered my expectations for site traffic by telling myself that my blog is just my fishing journal. That seems to work for me. I don't want to lean toward narcicistic tendencies, so I try to take comfort in low reader numbers by telling myself that my blog is not about drawing attention to myself, it's about recording experiences and thoughts so that when I'm an old man I can look back through my "online journal" and remember the good old days.

    It sort of works, but it is really gratifying to see someone take an interest in what I've posted.

    Tom Anderson-Brown
    SeekingTrout.com

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    1. That's a whole different animal! I liken that to the people who have 4,397 friends on Facebook - 4,352 of those "friends" or "followers" have zero interest in that person. None of those will ever actively engage or participate.

      There are sites where you can go to beg for followers. Forums where a post you will see is "follow me and I'll follow you" type thing. There are also sites that will give you tons of followers for a small fee. It's all just crap. I rather have the 77 awesome "followers" that I do, than the 1,900 people who will never actually read anything I write or do.

      In regards to those comments - let's be realistic about those as well. They are no different than the followers. I am pretty sure that 99.8% of them read like this, " Thanks for the post. Check out my site!" Do you think that those people actually read or looked at anything on that site? Heck no! They do it to get a mass of equally empty followers.

      Hope that helps make you feel better about that!


      As far the desire for traffic - I get what you are saying and I even mostly agree with that. However, I can't honestly tell you that I don't care at all about getting more traffic. I also said that this is simply my online journal - after thinking about it though, if I simply wanted a fishing journal, I would typed something up in Word and hit save....instead I hit "publish"

      Thanks for the comment and consider yourself one follower richer!

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    2. "I rather have the 77 awesome "followers" that I do, than the 1,900 people who will never actually read anything I write or do"
      Very true!!! It's not quantity it's quality that matters! :o)

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  16. Nicely said... I love seeing that notification in my email, when someone comments. That is what makes it all worth it. (By the way, you sure inspired some comments with that post...)

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    1. Thanks, Jon! It really did. I haven't looked yet, but this could be the highest comment count on a single post, yet!

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  17. Great points. You really hit the nail when you described the feeling you get when you receive notification of a comment. Somehow it seems to make it all worthwhile. It's also an important traffic builder, as you mentioned. I personally am guilty of not commenting enough on other blogs. Let's face it, blogging is not particularly profitable, but the reward is in hearing from our readers.

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    1. Exactly! When I first started this blog I had visions of it turning into a huge empire with thousands of followers and all kinds of money from advertising, clicks, etc...That lasted about 2 weeks and I decided that a) it's not going to happen and b)I love seeing the comments more than $12/year in Google clicks.

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  18. Thanks for the advise. I love to read the comments, but I am a habitual lurker and have rarely left comments, but this will get me to leave a few more. And i will definitely be following your blog.

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    1. Thanks, Ricky. It looks like you are off to a good start!

      Looking at my view count was/is exciting but as it started to get higher and higher, I started wondering, why are so many people looking but not saying anything? That is when I started really thinking about this whole thing and it all clicked.

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    2. Thanks for subscribing as well!!

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    3. I think you and I had that same conversation, Nick....I'm creeping up toward 16,000 pageviews/month and sometimes a post will still generate 0 comments...???...

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    4. We sure did!! That's incredible isn't it. It makes you wonder if you wrote a bad post, said something wrong, bored people, etc....?

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  19. Blogging is the bread and commenting is the butter. Nice write buddy! You have another new follower!

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    1. Perfect analogy! Thanks for the comment and for following!!

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  20. Great post and great points as well. It is always quite interesting to read the comments whether it is on my own blog or some one elses :) Tight Lines.

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    1. Thanks for the comment! It's really neat to see how people react to what you have to say.

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  21. Usually I read through comments to continue the thread, but you've got so many already I'm lost! :p

    VERY true waht you say here about comments! Seeing that e-mail notification in my inbox really makes my day! I feel prouder about posts with 10 comments and 10 views than I do about posts with 100 views and 0 comments! Comments are what tell me people are actually interested in what I write, and I always try and reply as soon as I can because if my commenters are like me (which sadly few are) they might like to keep up a dialogue in the comments section. Whenever I comment on a post that particularly interests me, I always subscribe to the comments by email (helps when that "button" is right under the comments box, no RSS feed for me thank you!) so I can see what others have said in response to mine.

    Sadly several people who used to comment regularly on my blog have kind of faded into the blogging background (even on their own blogs it's gotten quiet) and it's a bit lonely now. I still have a few faithful readers who comment on almost all my posts though! But I can't help by being disappointed when I see a "view" number for a post and no comments... *sigh* Any idea how to motivate people to comment?

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    1. Any information you have on that great mystery would be news to me. Some posts generate 15 comments, and then a nearly identical post (before or after the popular one) generates zero....????....

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    2. It is somewhat of a mystery, that is for sure.

      I know one trick that works, though...write a post about commenting! HA HA

      But really, I think you just have to make commenting easier. If you notice, I made my comment link bigger and highlighted it so it just "calls out" to a reader to click it. Make the comment link like the candy bars by the checkout line at a grocery store - too hard to resist.

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    3. I'll try that! Just need to figure out how to change the size though... all I changed was the message inviting people to comment. :o)

      And you're right, writing a post about commenting (and having the OBN post about it) sure does help! :p

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    4. I did notice that you figured out how to change that. Find that same section of code and add the size and highlight there. I completely forget how I did that.

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  22. I find you fly angling bloggermen to be a lonesome, pathetic lot of insecure fools. And yet I am amused.

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    1. I agree....That's why we spend so much time with our rods in our hand.

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  23. Great post! As a new blogger I have tried to be a regular commenter and I have seen some effects from it on my own blog. Thanks for your insight!

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    1. And it just earned you another follower!

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  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  25. Awesome post! I try to leave a comment on every blog I read even if it's just a simple note. This is my first visit to your blog but I plan on checking out the rest of it.

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    1. Thanks for the first visit and comment...I'll be heading over to your site shortly as well!

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  26. Thanks for the great advice. I've been blogging for about a year just for myself as a way to record my outdoor adventures. Then I discovers that other folks, although not following the blog, were viewing it pretty regularly. Gave me a thrill, I will admit.

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    1. No problem! I actually just checked your site(s) out and realllly like the Microbiology Rocks site. Followers is an interesting thing and I have learned that it's only a small indication of people who actually read the blog. Many people subscribe through some reader and that can be somewhat difficult to actually track.

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  27. Gotta love comments! Support your fellow fishing bloggers!

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  28. Great blog, drawn to it via OBN. I'm new to blogging and found this very informative thanks! :)

    Nige.

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  29. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! I love the format on your blog!!

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  30. This indeed is a great blog and have found it very useful, as I am new to blogging and social media. I have recently won a place on Vodefone's World of Difference programme, to deliver a John Muir Award to group of young people in Torbay for Play England.

    One of the requirements, is that I have to write a blog to share my expereinces and promote the charities involved.

    So thank you.

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  31. Great post. I agree on the importance of leaving comments. As a blogger I enjoy reading the thoughts and comments on my posts. It tends to validate what we, as bloggers are doing. It's just nice to hear from a reader now and then. I also agree with your point about getting rid of the captcha stuff, it tends to discourage comments. Also some blogs don't have a place for a commenter to include their website, which is also disappointing and usually results in no comments left.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Rob!!

      When I wrote this post, I didn't have much a spam problem. The Google spam catcher was doing a great job of keeping up with it. Since then however, either my blog has gotten more popular or the spam catchers have gotten worse and I am struggling with a good solution. Leaving it up to Google isn't working for me anymore.

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