Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Commenting 101: Wrap Up and Resources

When I started this Commenting 101 blogging series, I expected it to last a couple of weeks. I also expected to lose a few readers because I know my philosophy on blogging and communication isn't for everyone. Imagine my surprise when this ends up being Week #10 and I gained quite a few new readers over the course of the last couple of months. I guess some of you do agree that Commenting on blogs is an important and worthwhile task for bloggers.


I thought it would be a good idea to wrap the series up with a quick highlight of what we've learned, and a few links to some other resources that I've found helpful! Here are the Cliffs Notes:

Week 1: Why Should I Bother?
Commenting on other blogs is the Number One easiest way to grow your own blog. Good comments lead to community, encouragement, a growing readership, and good relationships with other bloggers.

Week 28 Reasons Why You Should Comment on My Blog 
(guest post from Heather of Dollar Store Crafts)

We remember names when they show up routinely in our Comments section. This can lead to establishing relationships with other bloggers...who will be likely to read your blog in turn. You may even land a guest post or a job!

Week 3: How to Leave a Good Comment

The basic gist of a "good comment"? Be genuine, read the entire post, NO SPAM!, and make it easy for bloggers to return your comments.

Week 4: General Commenting Etiquette

Just like in the world outside our laptops, standards of behavior apply to blogging too. Basically, don't leave the same exact comment on 56 other blogs in an effort to boost your own hits. Don't ever request a "Follow." It's a huge turn-off to seasoned bloggers. And please, don't be rude. You'll wind up featured on My Favorite Hatemail. I promise.

Week 5: Commenting and Link Parties

There is a way to participate in link parties graciously. You can link to 94 blog parties every single day, but if you aren't engaging your readers, how full is your blog?

Let other party participants know your link is on the list too by visiting a few others. (Novel concept, right?) Leave a few thoughtful comments, and remember that you can't make anyone visit your blog and/or leave a comment.

And please don't forget the hostess! It is a huge amount of work to put together any link party, whether it's a weekly event or not...and I see a lot of hostesses neglected. They may have 350 links at their party, but only a handful of kind "thank you" comments. Not cool.

Week 6: Responding to Comments

This week in a nutshell? If you have a new blog, or a small blog...you really need to return those comments by visiting the commenters and leaving a genuine comment on their blogs. This is the most basic building block of networking, and it will lead to great relationships with your readers. And if you're serious about growing your blog, this needs to be done in a timely manner. If you're waiting 3 or 4 days to return comments, your readers have most likely forgotten what they may have said in the first place.

At some point, your blog will grow and reach a place that returning 20-30+ comments each night is just not doable. In those cases, I recommend replying via email to as many comments as you can. Read each one, appreciate them, and move on.

Week 7: Fitting it All In

The honest truth? You can't. You can't be everything to everyone, all the time. When life comes calling, you have to answer. If you've put in the time to build a loyal readership, they know that you can't blog about life if you aren't living it.

Week 8: Why Word Verification is Bad

Word Verification (click over if you don't know what that is!) is awful, the bane of most bloggers' existences. Please take it off your blog. You will have happy readers.

Week 9: Adding Your Email Address to Your Blogger Account

Really, those "noreply-comment@blogger.com" emailed comments are just as bad as seeing Word Verification on your blog. Busy bloggers don't like having to click through 10 hoops to answer a question that could be taken care of in a simple email.

That's the series in a wee nutshell. If you are a new blogger, I really recommend reading through it. These are all things I've learned during my time blogging...I wish someone had shared these thoughts with me when I first started out!

Here are a few fantastic Resources that I found helpful:
1. 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog (via ProBlogger)
2. Comment Love (via Thrifty Decor Chick)
3. 10 Tips for New Bloggers (via Southern Hospitality)
4. Blog Unto Others How You Would Have Them Blog Unto You 1 (via The Stories of A to Z)
5. Blog Unto Others, part 2 (via The Stories of A to Z)

I have fun ideas for two new series...the trouble is that I can't decide which one to do next...so tune in next week to see what I decide on.

Thank you for sticking with me throughout this series!


37 comments:

Melissa said...

Thanks for recapping the series; I'd missed last week's installment. I've really enjoyed the series, and I think you've given a lot of solid information for both new and not-so-new bloggers.

I removed word verification after you mentioned it. I do get a lot more spam comments, but you're right that Blogger is good about tossing them into the Spam folder. It helps when they're in foreign languages and/or loaded with spammy links! :)

Krista said...

Thanks for this series, Amanda! I learned quite a bit. And I'm one of your new readers/followers because of this series.

The Mommy Therapy said...

As a reasonably new blogger, this series has been extremely helpful and insightful. I have greatly appreciated learning more about the ins and outs of commenting. Thank you so much for putting it together.

Today's post was no exception. Excellent summary.

Thanks again Amanda!

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Amanda, this series has been AMAZING! So helpful, even to those of us who have been blogging for a while. I'm going to link up to this post next weekend and hope that a few people get a hint. ;)

lvankuiken said...

I also want to thank you for recapping the series - somehow, I missed a couple of them. Great tips and very helpful. I like Shelly's idea - I think I may link up as well...hoping some people will get hint!

Thanks for a great series!

Dawn said...

Thanks for the great series Amanda-in between my computer going down and trying to learn the new laptop-I haven't been blogging or commenting that much but I miss it and I'm ready to get back to visiting all my favorite blogs. Can't wait to see what your next series will be!!!

Jocelyn said...

I thought this was an awesome series Amanda. I really learned some great tips and I agree about word verification no reply comments. I love to return just a little email after a comment so they know that I got it and I appreciated their "visit". I can't wait to see what your new series will be:-)

Kelli @ RTSM said...

This was such a great series Amanda! I can't wait to see what you come up with next:)

Jessabells said...

Thanks so much Amanda for sharing this with us! I am trying to get more readers and I leave a lot of comments on other blogs too. I have followed your advice about giving a thank you to those who show up at my blog. I have not seen an increase in followers but due to this past linky party I did have an increase of people coming to my blog. I'm busy with school and my life and sometimes I don't blog as often as I like so I'm going to try to blog more consistently. I actually will be having my first giveaway soon. Any advice on how I can advertise my giveaway? Thanks again so much.

Jessica

Wendy @ Ramblings from the Sunshine State said...

Surely it can't just be me, but I am no longer able to comment on any posts where the comment box is embedded. Pop up ones like this, or the ones that take you to a new page are fine, just not embeds. It takes me on an endless cycle of signing in and trying to comment. Have you heard anyone else complain of this problem?

Yvonne@StyleBurb said...

I loved the commenting series, Amanda, and I'm really looking forward to your next series... I wonder what it will be!!

Becky@Organizing Made Fun said...

I have had several commenters tell me that they spotted me while reading through comments on other blogs and that's how they found my blog - and then became followers! So, I absolutely agree.

I found that if I specifically look for others at link parties that have linked up with similar content to my blog, I would go to them and comment and invite them to visit - i.e., an organize space - and asked them if they wanted more inspiration to stop by and see more.

I also agree that the "follow me back" is completely ridiculous because I am not in 8th grade and I will follow a blog if I think it's great - I have too many I'm already reading to try and read 100 more! I don't want someone to follow my blog unless they really think it's for them - there in turn giving me more loyal followers {not necessarily MORE followers}.

Great job on your series and it will certainly be of great value to many!

Becky B.
www.organizingmadefun.com
Organizing Made Fun

Holly said...

Excellent series, Amanda! Can't wait to see what you have coming up.
For Wendy, I've had one reader tell me the same thing about the embedded comment form.

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) said...

Thanks for this informative series, Amanda. I enjoyed each post and learned a lot along the way!

Wendy said...

I am so glad you posted this. The whole world should know how aggrivating word verification is. I have a very small following and still get spam comments, but they always go to my stat blocker, so no worries I just go in and delete them. Please people take your word verification off it will make us all very happy! LOL

Shell said...

What a fabulous series!

Sallie said...

Amanda, thank you for this informative series! It has really been helpful.
As a new blogger, I am thrilled with every comment I receive, and I do try my best to respond to each one.
I can't wait to read your next series.

Annie said...

Great great series!!! Omg, I love the hate mail blog! What a fabulous exploitation of ignorance!! Haha! I have a good one that I may share with you.

Oh and I never thought about commenting back on the other person's blog. What a good idea since they never get my comments back on my blog. My apologies to anyone that never knew I commented back! :-/ (Emoticons are out, aren't they? Haha, oh well.)

prototypemama said...

Thanks so much for doing a recap, I think I came in on one post and really wasn't able to go back and read all of them( 4 kids does that to ya)... Your blog is one of my daily reads and I've found a couple of other good blogs through you. I now understand the importance of commenting! I would just read you guys excellent post and that would be it. Not good,considering I just changed the direction of my blog from fashion to what it is now( still haven't found my true direction :))

Thanks again!

prototypemama said...

Thanks so much for doing a recap, I think I came in on one post and really wasn't able to go back and read all of them( 4 kids does that to ya)... Your blog is one of my daily reads and I've found a couple of other good blogs through you. I now understand the importance of commenting! I would just read you guys excellent post and that would be it. Not good,considering I just changed the direction of my blog from fashion to what it is now( still haven't found my true direction :))

Thanks again!

Kassandra @ Coffee and their Kisses said...

Thanks for doing this! I highly agree. I HATE word verification. 9/10 if I go to leave a comment and that thing pops up.. I close the window. It's a waste of my time. Thanks for touching on that and the noreply@blogger, another annoyance. lol! Great job love!

Leah said...

I really enjoyed the series, thanks again for writing these posts!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the recap...I have enjoyed the series and getting to know you through your blog!

Ashley | Domestic Fashionista said...

This has been a great series Amanda! So many great points that I wish ALL bloggers would follow! This is a great resource! And you definitely lead by example with your friendly blogging etiqutte! ;)

Paula said...

Your series should be required reading for a new blogger. You offered so many valuable tips. I also enjoyed your extra links at the end of your post.

Chrissy Farnan said...

I think it's a great insight to blogging. And new bloggers should read it too. I have so many page views via, analytics and maybe 2-4 comments if I'm lucky on many posts. People look but don't comment and that is discouraging.

Anna said...

you give some great tips, especially on having the e-mail address set up, a lot of times if someone leaves a comment or question on my blog it is a lot easier to return a quick e-mail.
I'll look forward to reading your next series :)

Workman Family said...

Thanks for the awesome series! I always look forward to what you have to say!

Xazmin said...

A fantastic series! I loved and agree with all of your suggestions. Even if I'm not always perfect at following all of them!

Megan {Honey We're Home} said...

Those are great tips! I also don't care for the "no-reply" blogger. And I found a lot of my favorite blogs by visiting the blogs of my commenters!

Kendra said...

This was so informative and helpful for us new bloggers and also a good reminder of how friendly and helpful the blogosphere is. It reminded me that I can ask for help when I need it instead of just trying to figure everything out by myself (much like real life). Your post encouraged me to ask another blogger something I had been wondering about. Thanks.

Loy said...

What a great series. Very valuable to me as a new (older) blogger. I have printed them all out to read them as I have the time. I must say that I would not have found your great resource if Figgsandsuch had not linked to you in her Friday Finds and linked her post to Friday Favorites at Finding Joy in My Kitchen which I link to also. Did that all make sense? Anyway looks like good stuff. Thanks

Rita said...

Wow this was a great and well written series. I just read it all and realize I'm one of those bad bloggers. When I started my blog it was more for family and I think I still have that mentality even though it's grown. I really need my hands slapped :(
Thanks for helping realize how much I do owe to my readers.
It's kind of funny how true to life the commenting, networking and socializing blogging can be. I have friends that tell me I need to get out there and network and I don't. Yikes, think it's time I start in both worlds!! Thanks for the spark of motivation!
Rita

Megan {Honey We're Home} said...

I'm back- ha! I forgot to tell you that YOU are the best commenter of all! And not just on my blog- but whenever I see your comments at other blogs, they are always so genuine and personal.

Trixi said...

Thank you for a great series! I have been reading through and taking notes for the past days.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this series. I will for sure be using some of these useful tips when I bring my blog to the next level.

Rachel said...

Great series! I just spent an hour reading through this commenting series. It gave me a lot to think about.

Mary said...

Thank you for posting this series! I just read through all of them in one sitting and I appreciate the valuable tips you provided! I'm just learning about link parties, so its great to finally understand the rules and what they are about.

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