Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Commenting 101: Why Should I Bother?

Today marks the first post in a short (weekly) series on Blog Commenting. I hope you'll tune in, whether you're a rookie blogger or a seasoned pro!

When the girls over at CrafterMinds.com asked me to host a Twitter chat forum on Blog Commenting not too long ago, I was hesitant to accept at first.

I don't consider myself an expert at anything (other than my DVR), but after sitting down and making some notes, it occurred to me that some of my blog's growth over the past two years has been due to forming relationships in the blogosphere; and much of that comes from--you guessed it--Commenting!

*Disclaimer: These opinions are my own, and I know yours may be different. Each blogger has his/her own experiences that shape their views. Please take what I write with a grain of salt, and know that I'm sharing what I've learned.

So, why should you bother commenting on other blogs?

1. Build Community and Grow Your Readership!

  • Commenting on other blogs is the number one easiest way to grow your own blog
Obviously, you must first focus on producing solid, interesting content. If you have nothing to say, you have nothing worth commenting on.

In order to build a readership, you have to be approachable! The best way to show your fun, friendly personality outside of your blog posts is to showcase it by leaving comments for others.

2. It's an All-Around Encouragement
  • Good commenting (more on that in the weeks to come) lets the blogger know you appreciate his/her work. 
Unless you have your blog set to "private" for personal reasons, chances are you love receiving feedback just as much as I do. When a reader takes the time to leave her thoughts on something I wrote, it makes my day!

Positive comments encourage me to continue spending spare moments sharing my projects, recipes, and stories with you. You let me know that I'm on the right path; that someone out there is reading and likes what I have to say!

3. Establish Relationships with other Bloggers.
  • You aren't the only blog out there on the 'net. 
When I started blogging a few years ago, it didn't occur to me that a great way to make some connections was by surfing the blogosphere and commenting on other people's work.

That's hard for some new bloggers to read. Your blog is brand new. You have some neat projects--you want people to visit and comment. The best way to do that is by heading out to find other blogs you enjoy and admire and interacting with the writer and readers.

Doing some blog surfing early on helped me connect with other bloggers, and has led to some neat collaborations and friendships.
Heather from Dollar Store Crafts and contributor to CrafterMinds.com has a fabulous guest post for us next week with some more detailed (spot-on!) reasons why you should take the time to comment!

Do you have any questions about commenting? Send me an email or leave a comment and I'll do my best to address them throughout the series. Some of the topics we'll be covering include how to leave good comments, commenting etiquette, and some technical how-tos.

Do you take the time to leave comments on blog posts you enjoy? Leave me a comment and let me know {wink}.

Session #2 in this series here. (8 Reasons to Comment on My Blog Post)
Session #3 here. (How to Leave a Good Comment)
Session #4 here (General Commenting Etiquette)
Session #5 here (Commenting and Link Parties)
Session #6 here (Responding to Comments)
Session #7 here (Fitting it All In)
Session #8 here (Technical How-To: Why Word Verification is Bad!)
Session #9 here (Technical How-To: Setting Up Your Email with Blogger)
Session #10 here (Series Wrap Up and Blogging Resources)

Linking to The Stories of A 2 Z.


  1. I try to take the time to comment on pretty much any blog I visit with a "real" comment (as in it relates to the post). I love getting comments, it truly does make me excited to see a new one.

    I think the worst thing that has happend as far as commenting has gone is when I left a nice comment on someone I know (IRL)'s blog - although I know she has read my blog for a long time without ever commenting (and this was a blog with no comments) and she deleted my comment and deleted me from her blog roll. I felt really strange after that and, quite honestly, it kind of hurt my feelings! But, it hasn't deterred me from leaving comments because I know how encouraging they can be (well, maybe not on THAT particular blog...but you know what I mean!)

    Great thoughts, girl!

  2. What wonderful advise! How true! I am finding it to be the case....comments can lead to followers, but more importantly, also to friends! Thank you for sharing! Pam N.

  3. I'm sure we all love getting comments ... I know I do. I try to always leave a comment if I really like something. Encouragement is a great thing.

  4. Great post! I was in my own little "blog world" for months before I finally ventured out to find other blogs similar to my own. I'm so glad I did! And through commenting I have made some fabulous blogging friends!

  5. i know i love getting comments :) i try to leave as many as i can time wise-wish i had more time! i definitely try to leave comments when someone shares an idea or tutorial that i know took them awhile to write out.

  6. Great post! I've definitely learned so much more about blogging & commenting in these last few months than I have any other time. Especially visiting other blogs like mine & commenting & not just "lurking" :-) Thanks for this & for being such a great blogging role model to me! :-)

  7. Oh maybe you could talk about how you feel about the whole..I am here, now FOLLOW me BACK comments. I mean...maybe you have a different take on those..but I feel like I don't run up to people in the street and say..I'm your friend...NOW BE MINE BACK! We are still people behind these blogs yall, not robots! I have a feeling you would already be covering this anyways;) Thanks for sharing! I love learning about how to be successful in blogging and I so appreciate successful blogs sharing tips!!

  8. I know we all love getting comments and you were totally right a few months ago when you talked about taking off the annoying verification thing off so people don't have to type half the alphabet to comment. UGH! It's so much easier without it and I don't get that much "junk" because of it. Thanks for that lesson.

  9. Love this post Amanda! :) I will just add -- AMEN! :)

  10. I know that I love to get comments, so I try my hardest to comment on almost every blog post that I read! Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with, but I hate to click over and see a project and then not at least tell the person that I thought it was great or cute or clever!!

  11. We all love to get comments back. I try to respond to every single one of them (but sometimes they are set to no-reply mode)and always write a comment when I visit a blog. Either appreciate a project someone did, thank her for sharing a tutorial or for hosting or just say Hi, I was visiting from....party or so.
    Commenting and receiveing comments are the way I found such goods bloggy friends in the last 7 months since I started my blog :)

  12. Great post, and you are right on the mark.

    I love finding new blogs and commenting and reading others has been the best way to do that.


  13. Great reminder--I am too often guilty of just lurking, even on blogs that I love. I need to just get over myself and comment already. I absolutely love it when people comment on my blog. I don't know why I assume somehow that other people are different and then talk myself out of commenting. I guess sometimes I feel like I don't have much to say, other than, "I love this" or "That is so cute" and I don't want to feel like I am lame for being so unoriginal or something in my commenting. But again, I think I just need to get over myself (and my desire to wow the whole world with my commenting genius), and realize that commenting on other people's blogs is a kindness I can give (and like most kindnesses we show, it often comes back to enrich our lives as well). If after this long comment, your next post is about how people should not write overly long comments, I will totally understand :).

  14. Hey Amanda, I try to always comment on a blog post I like, it makes the blog owner feel good, and I feel good leaving a nice comment. I also make it a point to visit every blogger that leaves ME a comment. I have to tell you I have made several good friends now IRL from blogging..Just be yourself and people will come over to comment on your blog..Easy!


  15. i always try my best to comment on other people's blog posts! by doing so, i have formed amazing bonds/friendships with so many amazing women! i love this blogging world!

  16. I am a new follower and would love for you to join my blog giveaway! http://keepinglifefunwithonecraftatatime.blogspot.com/2011/03/first-blog-giveaway.html

  17. Amanda I totally agree-- commenting is a great way to find new blogs and meet more people in the blog community. I've enjoyed reading your blog and the comments you have left on mine! Thanks!

  18. Very true!!! I will say one of your comments on my post completely encouraged me. It really means a lot to receive a comment from someone. I think it's amazing how when you host a party you take the time to comment on everyone's post. That takes a lot of time, but it proves what you've just written about is true. Thanks Amanda!!!

  19. I comment more than I post :) So that probably doesn't get me a lot of followers since my blog can be the same for a week cause I am too busy commenting LOL But you know I comment cause I want to, not because I have to, nor am trying to get people to like me. To me, it is like not saying hello when you see someone. The only question I have is, should you bother people with an email every time they leave a comment and not a question? Sometimes I think I am being redundant when I email someone just to say "thanks for coming by my blog" Feels weird.

  20. This is so true! I never would have thought that commenting would be so important but it's how I've gotten a lot of my blog's traffic. It is brand new; I just started it a few weeks ago but I've noticed that after leaving comments on different blogs, I'll have page views and new followers who've found me from those sites. Great advice and I'll make even more of an effort to make comments. Hey, maybe this one will get me a follower or two... ;)

  21. I'm so glad you're doing this series!
    I don't expect a comment from everybody that reads my blog but the comment-to-hit ratio seems very low!

  22. Great post Amanda! And so true! I really need to comment more! The main problem I have with commenting is the forms. So many great blogs have rediculously crappy comment forms that will never load (on my fast broadband) and then the endless captchas and previews! Yuck.

  23. I don't have time to time to comment on all the blogs I read, but I do try and leave comments often, especially if I participate in a blog "party" type thing. Sometimes I feel more likely to comment on the smaller blogs that only have a few comments than the ones that already have a hundred comments on one post.
    I try and reply back to anyone that comments on my blog.

  24. I think your suggestions are fabulous! I know that they have helped me already! (my name should lead to my blog now, woo hoo!!! thanks to you!!) ~When I read that you need to show off your personality outside of your own blog it really resonated with me! It truly made sense and answered lots of questions I had. I am so thankful that I stumbled upon your blog from my childhood friend's blog: http://lettinglovegrow.blogspot.com/
    Thanks for your great suggestions!

  25. What are your thoughts on anonymous commenting? I've seen some bloggers turn this option off because of negative nancy types...

  26. What are your thoughts on anonymous commenting? I've seen some bloggers turn this option off because of negative nancy types...

  27. What a great post Amanda! I have been around blog world for awhile...just reading & not commenting. I know...very bad. Once I started my own blog and made it a point to comment on others because I absolutely love getting comments on mine. I still get caught up sometimes just "looking" especially at the linky parties. But I'm working on it! :) Can't wait to read your other posts in this series.

  28. I do, even if they're short! That said, it's all based on the time I have available...

  29. This is going to be a helpful series to many. Like everyone else, I love getting comments and I know that the best way to get them is to leave as many for others as I can.

  30. This series is coming from one of the best commenters in the blogosphere. There couldn't be a better person writing this! What a great idea~

  31. I do try to leave a lot of commens around everywhere but my traffic is still so low. I noticed you have your keywords in your title does that help with seo?

  32. Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know about Silhouette! let me know when you find out march's promo! BTW, I really like this post, I have quickly realized how much commenting is worth!!

  33. I love getting and giving comments. I wish I was more organized so I could give blogging the attention I need to, without everything else falling through the cracks!

  34. This is a great post, you should repost every 6 months or so to help newbies and remind us all that comments are always appreciated! LOL

    Before starting my own blog I never realised how important comments could be in generating encouragement and advice.

    It still leaves me speachless (which is not easy to do) when I see a post with 150 + comments, wow!

  35. I definitely think I comment more than I don't comment. I always have something to say. :) I love receiving comments but I think I love leaving them just as much. I have been having problems with the embedded comment form (I posted about it today) so that has been limiting my comments lately. :(

    I totally agree that commenting helps build relationships. Totally, my friend! :)

  36. This is really helpful! I am a new blogger, just starting to try to turn my blog into a little more than just a dumping ground for all my thoughts. It has been exciting, but more challenging than I had imagined. I feel lost.

    I definitely am going to keep reading this series, because commenting is something I am trying to do as much as I can daily. Currently my goal is 10 blogs a day to comment on.

    I do find that I can't comment on something that I have zero emtion about, like the NCAA basketball tournament, because I feel my comments have to be genuine.

    I look forward to reading your future posts on this topic!

  37. I love meeting new people...learning new things...and sharing thoughts and encouragement with people. If they helped me to learn something or their words spoke to my heart...I tell them! I think we don't do this enough in our "real" lives either. Affirming and encouraging each other as women seems to take a back seat to criticism sometimes...

    Comment Love is a great way to be able to bless and encourage women we may never get to meet in person.

    AND I've made some wonderful friends too!!! (wink) :D

    Building Home with Him,

    Mary Joy

  38. Great post!

    I try to leave comments more often than not. I know how comments encourage me, so that motivates me to comment on other blogs. I agree that it's also a way to build a blog ... but that's not my primary motivation.

  39. This is all so true. Like you, I never thought that commenting would grow my readership. Not that I have a huge following right now(152 followers) but its grown alot since #1.
    I love the connections Ive made and am continuing to make through blogging...and commenting. And I really dislike it when I find a blog I love(& feel I have things in common with) and comment over and over again only to feel as though they could care less if they never respond to a comment. Friendships take two people:)
    Great post!

  40. this was such a great post! i am too guilty of lurking and not commenting and even guilty of having the audacity of wondering why people don't comment on my blog. and now that i stop and think about how many blogs i read and don't comment on and it clicks. most of the time i don't leave a comment because i don't have something profound or earth shattering to share but knowing that even a quick comment saying how cute the project was or yeah i know how ya feel! is something! thanks for posting this - new follower! :) have a great tuesday!

  41. This post is so true! Commenting on others' posts is the best way to make those connections- otherwise, people don't know you are there.

    *ducks head in shame b/c it's been a long time since I commented here*

  42. Just found this series... I was excited to realize there are already more posts to read on it! I will go do that now... This topic is a part of blogging that I wasn't really aware of until I got going, but realize it is where the rewards come from! thanks for a great topic and great advice! ~ osc

  43. I love this post! I am newish to blogging, and didn't realize the power of a comment until I realized how awesome it was to get comments - and even as simple as "cute" went a long way. I am getting better at getting out there. Sometimes I find myself reluctant to leaving a comment when there are 100's of comments - I feel as though it isn't needed, or what I have to say isn't important enough. Or the blogger can't be bothered. Trying to get over that too.

    Just found your blog - I'm your newest follower - can't wait to read more!

  44. I love this post! I am new to blogging only about 1 month old :), so I appreciate any advice that is given, I found your blog through Centsational Girl and will put you on my roll.....Thanks for the info!!

  45. If you see something on someones blog and it inspires you to comment because it relates to something you have recently done, etc is it bad to leave a link to your similar post at the end of your comment? As a VERY green blogger, I'd love to hear feedback =)

  46. What a great series,can't wait to read it all.........so glad I found your blog (via Inside-Out Design). Will definitely be back again.

  47. When I first got into blogging I would read and not comment. I didn't think anything of it until I started my own blog. When I get comments it's a great feeling. I now make a concious effort to atleast leave a little comment for each blog I visit.

  48. You have contributed a wealth of knowledge! Thank you!



  49. I just found your blog today and now I am a new follower....
    thanks for sharing your experience......it is very helpful to someone like me who is just starting out slowly in blogging.

    Sue :)

  50. I found your blog when you left me a comment after I linked to The Nester IDHTBPTBB party. (Hope all that made sense.) Since then I've enjoyed reading your new posts and I've been reading some your older ones also. Thanks for this series, as a still small blog it's nice to read up on the proper blog etiquette.

  51. I've been following your blog for a while now, and I will add that I have enjoyed it! I'm more 'into' the tutorials rather than the give aways - but then that's just me. :)

    I've just spent my son's nap time curled up with an afternoon tea, reading the whole series on commenting - and all I can say is WOW! I haven't had many comments on my blog as of yet - other than spam (one was even a Nigerian Bank scam)- but it keeps me laughing!

    I have book-marked this post, and I will be returning to it to keep it fresh in my mind for when I do get to start interacting with readers. I won't be a 'baby-blog' for long!

    Thank you Amanda for all you do - we might not all tell you very often, but your writing style is great, and I enjoy every email!

  52. Thank you so much for writing this.... I am very new to the blogging world. But it totally clicks now :)

  53. could you tell me how to go about replying to comments left on my blog to the senders email? and not my blog.


  54. I actually think I'm a little bit addicted to the instant feedback and gratification of comments......if I don't get many, I'm bummed and it affects my mood, and if I get lots then I think I'm clever/witty/interesting.......is it just me??

    I do love the connections though....I can see how people get sucked into a whole cyber life.

    Balance is the key, as with everything.

    Hi. You. Wow!

  55. Thank you for this! I am a newbie and these posts are really helpful. I am going to take these tips and start using them today!

  56. Thank you so much for the helpful post! I am definitely a little lost on the whole commenting, building web relationship thing that comes with writing. I am making it a point to go through your whole series and am signing up to subscribe right after I finish posting this@

  57. Hi Amanda, I found you through Pinterest when I was looking for "what is a link party" and to your advise not to focus on that when I still don't know the basics, which led me to the "blog myth" series and now I'm the 3. session on "commenting 101"!

    I just wanted to say thank you for the "blog resorces" page! I'm definitely learning {and kinda scared to comment now, b4 I reach your post about spam..}
    I really hate spam! I'm spending so much time deleting and I still need to find a good spam filter {hopefully I will soon!!!}

    I have been following a bunch of blogs I love, but never commented for multiple reasons, but now that I have a blog I really don't want to comment bcuz I'm scared that people might find my blog that way and I feel as though I don't have enough content or enough "after" shots, or enough totturial in my niche... I blog about organizing at the moment bcuz that is what I'm working on myself right now. Hopefully in time I'll have content in other niches that interest me but for now I have very few posts on organizing...
    Even thorough I'm scared, I still wanted to take the time to comment cuz you have done a great job! And a HUGE favor to me personally, as I'm a newbie!

    I L.O.V.E your blog resources!! They are so helpful! THANK YOU!

  58. Btw, I loved the tackyblogger with the lame giveaway on your 3. session about commenting: http://serenitynow4amanda.blogspot.com/2011/03/commenting-101-how-to-leave-good.html

    Hahahahahaha X'D that was priceless!

  59. Amanda, thank you for caring for other bloggers' success. I appreciate all the work you've put into this. Thanks for not keeping all these tips to yourself. I will be following you blog for sure! Check mine out if you'd like:


I love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to leave comments...just don't send me spam asking me to buy stuff off your website! I've got three kids and no money to purchase your magic weight-loss pill or bust enhancement, or whatever else you might be selling. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you! :)

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