One of the tips always churned out for getting more traffic for your blog is to go out and comment on other people’s blogs. In turn you are supposed to respond to people who leave comments on your blog, and therefore build up a relationship with people who are more likely to return in order to respond, and comment on other posts.
However, many people find it hard to comment on other blogs, either at all or in what could be classed as a meaningful way. Just how many times can you write “nice post!” before coming across as insincere and lazy? How does that start a conversation to build up a relationship?
Quite often this is because the original blog poster has not provided a “hook” that the reader can latch onto in order to start something. This can be easier on free text posts like this, where the author can ask questions, provide tips or have a “controversial” stance on a specific topic (hopefully not TOO controversial!) that can spark some kind of debate.
It’s a bit harder for review posts, as it’s quite a personal post in revealing the author’s reaction to a certain item. I suppose the best opportunity here is when a blog reader has a different reaction to a book/film/item than the blog author. I’ve recently done some reviews of TV programs rather than books, and have had comments from people who haven’t seen the show (and now want to) or have been to some of the locations described and agree with my description of what’s presented on screen.
I have rarely read the same book at the same time as bloggers I interact with, but recently I’ve seen someone review a book, and I have instantly moved it to the top of my list in order to see whether I agree with her. I have let her know that something will come out hopefully soon, and we can compare reactions.
As a blog author it can also be difficult to respond to comments. How are you supposed to respond to comments like “Nice post!”. Errm, thanks? Now What? If I don’t respond will this person get upset, but if they wanted a reaction, perhaps they should have written a more useful comment?
This post was prompted by someone commenting on a post and basically said “I’ve nominated you for a challenge, please visit my site to find out about it”. Excuse me? Blatant case of clickbait, apropos of nothing at all, and no attempt at a developing a relationship (didn’t even make reference to the post they had commented on – even spambots can do that!). Anyway went straight in the trash.
I’ve also had people try and submit review requests via commenting on reviews I’ve done of someone else’s book. 1) that’s unbelievably rude to both me and the other author and 2) I have a review policy that clearly states how and when I will accept review requests – and via comments is certainly not the way to do it.
So bloggers and commenters: how do you give people the opportunity to comment on your posts? What makes you comment on a post and how do you look to get a response back? Do you ever feel guilty for not commenting on a post, or not replying to something written?