Love Your Commenters

I have not been blogging for a long time, but I have been actively reading and taking part in various blogs for some time. One of the most interesting aspects of blogging is the chance to add to the conversation though comments about a post. Commenting on another persons blog is a way of continuing the conversation that the blogger started.

In my experience there are a couple of ways that bloggers can quickly turn off people and ultimately loose their readers.

One of the quickest ways of losing readers and visitors it to not take part in the conversation that takes place after the post. You need to continue that conversation. It helps to express and round out ideas from the post. Blogging after all is not meant to be a one way form of communication but a group participation activity.

Another way of losing readers through comments is by not posting comments. I am not talking about spammer comments, but comments that are good quality comments that are not posted because the blog owner does not agree with the content or simply feels that the comment does not add to the conversation of the post. While I agree that blog owners have the right to not post comments that they don’t want to post, there is a large difference between spam comments and comments that add to the conversation of the post. You don’t have to agree with the comments, but as long as the comments are on topic I feel they should be posted.

There are blogs that I have taken part in over the last few years that I simply don’t return to. Not because the content of the blogs was not interesting, but simply because the blog owner has chosen to delete, not post or basically be disrespectful to their readers and commenters.

Be good to your commenters. They have taken the time to share in the conversation that you started. If people are not sharing thoughts and opinions back with you then what is the point of blogging? The reason I started this blog is so I could take part in conversations about web mastering and blogging that I enjoy and I look forward to the conversations.

8 Responses to Love Your Commenters

  1. I completely agree with you. Why post something if you don’t want to get engaged in a conversation with your reader? On the other hand, I do realize that it may be difficult to keep up with the comments if your blog is so popular that it gets 50 or more comments a day, but even then I’ve seen many popular blogs where the owners take time to respond to comments, and that’s what makes their blogs even more popular.

    Personally, I didn’t come across of my comment not being posted or deleted, but there were many occasions when my questions in the comments or my points weren’t addressed.

  2. It is a conversation. Granted I post some straight forward information sometimes, but there is always more information that I can learn on topics and I hope readers will enlighten me when they have information on the topic.

  3. Good point. Commenting is indeed a way to carry on a conversation. In my view, commenting is part of blogging too.

    I think writers should consider it their most important task to interact with their readers/commentors, and to carry on conversations. A comment left by any person is their unique work; we have to respect it and interact with it, since that person created that work as a response to our work.

    Interacting with other people’s works on outside blogs is important too, as staying only on our blog somehow makes us enslaved in a shell which limits outside interaction.

    I also would not want to continue helping someone, through comments, who deletes comments at will or disrespects readers simply because of the fact that people have different opinions.

    Inspirationbit [above] brings up a good point: many blogs get a lot of comments everyday. I think bloggers should make it their jobs to not only post everyday but to respond to every comment. Many bloggers are already paying other bloggers to guest post for them; how about paying bloggers to respond to all commentors also? It is like a customer service situation, where bloggers are making money through community interaction but they are not responding to comments due to the number of comments they receive.

  4. Bes, excellent point! Those people that are making a living blogging should make it a point to respond to comments. It is their job.

    I was just reading on thereasoner.com a great post entitled “Are you treating your blog commentors like slaves?”. It has a great section about how to repay your commenters. I would like to repay by removing the nofollow attribute on the comment authors link. Now if I can just find out how to do that with Blogger.

    What are some ways that commenters can be compensated for their efforts?

  5. Thanks for the add on Twitter and for stopping by. I have been thinking of writing an new post on nofollow and text links actually. I had a client ask me about them the other day.

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