when they ask to hear the story years later i will tell it in the momenthow it was so near to the beachif you closed your eyes and the trains were far enoughyou could feel the jetty creak beneath the weight of glowing bonesa summer dusk in octoberwe watched the sun set for an houruntil […]
I just wanted to say that I appreciated the thoughtful comments I received on Part I. Especially those from Silverapplequeen, Cindy over at Unique Times, my long-time subscriber Ronnie, and the young lady (who has an amazing blog or two for such a young writer) over at Introverted Thoughts.
Comments and Community
In Why Blog Comments Matter, I was supposed to tell you why, but I kinda never did! Instead, I spiraled off into discussing comment statistics and bashing the WordPress Reader. So today I am going to dive right into how feedback (comments) help to build a vibrant community between our blogs, as I only briefly did in my post from 4 years ago! Which is another way of showing you why blog comments matter.
There are many ways in which comments can affect the author. And, depending on the comment thread, can really have a great affect on the community surrounding the author. Here are some of the ways that comments can affect not only the author, but the communities that author is connected to:
my work is worthwhile
people were touched
supply positive reinforcement
I should keep going
I am uplifted
people are getting it
encourage meaningful dialogue
people are joining in
strengthen community ties
I feel connected
provide words of affirmation
my work is meaningful
Why Blog Comments Matter – In A Nutshell
As an aside, there is a great book called The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. The author basically illustrates that most of us respond to any one of five love languages. That our relationships would all be that much better if we figure out our significant others’ Love Language. Commenting certainly has to do with one of them: Words of Affirmation.
People with words of affirmation as a love language value verbal acknowledgments of affection, including frequent “I love you’s,” compliments, words of appreciation, verbal encouragement, and often frequent digital communication like texting and social media engagement. “Written and spoken shows of affection matter the most to these people,” says couples’ psychotherapist Fariha Mahmud-Syed, MFT, CFLE. “These expressions make them feel understood and appreciated.”
Perhaps Words of Affirmation is not your particular language, but I think most of us would agree that using Words of Affirmation in our comments, will most certainly have a positive effect on that blogger; considering that the other 4 Love Languages are not really viable options in the blogosphere, we’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain in supplying them! For me it’s also just an act of kindness to lift a blogger up who has few to no comments on a post that is particularly worthwhile. The reward is in the deed itself.
So When Should We Comment Then?
That’s up to you. Since it is both impractical and unnecessary to comment on every blog post we read, when should we comment then? These are the times that I will more often than not post a comment: Each one links to an actual post I commented on.
My friend, Chuck, was excited. He was all set to ride his 25th century (100 miles, not kms) for 2020 yesterday. The weather was going to be perfect, too. Sunny, 65 at the start, 75 at the finish (1…
What does your list look like?
A Simple Comment Structure
Framing a comment doesn’t have to be difficult to be impactful. Here’s how I try to frame each of my comments whenever possible:
a. Expression of gratitude: “I really enjoyed what you had to say about…”
b. (optional) Empathetic Statement: I could identify with you subject matter because…”
c. Compliment: “This post was very well written. I particularly liked…”
d. Gratitude: “Thank you for taking the time to share such a great story.”
Or something along those lines. It doesn’t have to be a novel. It doesn’t have to be some great work of art. It just has to be genuine with the aim at making the author feel appreciated and heard.
Now go out and build your community! PS: Linking to other blogs within certain posts is a terrific way to encourage others to do the same! Even if they do not, it’s a great way to build interconnections between blogs, and to introduce to your community, blogs they may be unaware of but should be!
I came to believe in God in early 2015, when I was literally drowning in alcohol. I spent a year or so learning about who He is, and about the twelve steps of recovery. After countless relapses, and two trips to the hospital, I ALSO came to understand the importance of surrender.
This woman writes about something important and meaningful for those of us were/are there. Oh, and her writing is superb.
The other day, while talking to my mother-in-law, she told me “dear, you have been living in isolation at home for the past 6 months, you must make phone calls and talk to people more often. Call your friends, cousins..just talk to them regularly about anything that’s bothering you and which you can’t discuss with […]
Why Blog Comments Matter is a very important topic to address. However, before I get into the WHY matter, I want to share with you a brief story about a virus. This virus, (let’s call it Like-20, and no I am not making light of our current pandemic, lighten up), is responsible for the dumbing down of us all. We should have seen it coming.
In contrast, it wasn’t always like this. From about October of 2016 to April of 2017 I was blogging regularly. Myself and my followers had one hell of a community. A community that not only liked what we had to say, but spirited commenting abound. I even used Robmoji to get my point across. I then stopped blogging from April of 2017 until this past September. Since then, I am astounded at the serious lack of comments around our community..
But We Just Kept Hitting The Like Button!
Now I’m not just talking about my own blog here. That would be selfish and self-serving. Many of you who have been following me know that I may be abrasive, but I’m not self-centered (most of the time anyway). The underuse of the comment feature really strikes a blow to our ability to grow and prosper on this medium.
And that just sucks. Take a look this microcosm I from the reader, and you can see what I’m talking about (yes, I do love Flipbooks! :). On average, when we like a post, we comment only 6 % of the time.
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The Nitty Gritty
That’s 584 Likes and 34 Comments. What the heck! The last two pages are statistics from my own blog: 805 Likes and 61 Comments. That’s also at 6%. And don’t forget, that’s counting our comments as well. While there are a small sample of blogs with higher numbers, those numbers are actually working with that same 6% comment rate.receiving an abundant number of comments, that usually correlates to a huge number of likes. That is one pithy number!
The reader doesn’t help. The WordPress reader sucks! I absolutely hate the reader. Why? Its design makes it easy to simply click on the like button, and move right along. Buh Bye.
At the very least, the previews of posts in the reader should not show the likes and comments; I feel we should click through straight to the blog that created it. Therefore, not only would more of us see each other’s blogs, it would encourage a full reading of the post. Wouldn’t we all love that!
That would slow down those who simply click on the like button in the reader, and never actually read your post. Don’t think it happens? Guess again. I am convinced there are certain folks shotgunning their way down straight down the reader, to whatever end. These actions inherently reduce honest reads, and reduce the overall number of blog comments. For them it’s not about integrity, and contributing to the greater good, it’s about the likes, likes likes.
You Could Just Remove The Like Feature, Right?
Considering the statistics, do you really want your blog to go the way of an old west town? Anyway, the other thing that super-sucks about the reader is that it dissuades folks from actually visiting our blogs! How absolutely stupid is that? Some of us have invested in Premium and Business Plans, so that we can use many different mediums to get our messages out on WordPress (Click to see my site snapshot), only to have the majority of our posts viewed in the reader.
Publishing Your Posts As Excerpts
There is a way for you to encourage visits to your site: simply set your blog to publish excerpts (summaries rather than full text) of your posts. That way, folks have to click a link to get the full post. However, given the fact that it seems clear that most folks are merely clicking on the like button, I wonder how many are even bothering to click into our sites. How many folks, when seeing in the reader only an excerpt, are actually clicking through? I could go on and on about this, but moving forward.
Likewise, there are those who either do not bother to respond at all to likes or comments, never bothering to reciprocate and like or comment one of your posts. It’s vexing. It’s ok that we expect reciprocity. Commenting is important in helping each other to grow our audiences.
I understand that there are some folks who will never comment, and some that always comment. Surely we can do better than commenting on 6% of the posts we actually like. Why not spread the love, and grow our community this way?
The Comment Tab In The Admin Panel
You may have inadvertently ignored some of your readers without even knowing it! That’s because most of us view and respond to our likes and comments from the notification panel. That’s not the place to see everything.
One of the best way to engage folks who have commented on your blog is to go into your Admin Panel. In the left column click on “COMMENTS.” You will then see a listing of your comments, and link backs. In each comment space, in the upper right corner, you will see an exclamation point next to “user info.” When you click on that, you will see the commentator’s email and the link to their actual blog! Now that’s a great way to return the commenting favor.
Another reason why you want to review your comment page everyday is this: If someone reblogs something of yours, or links to one of your posts, the only way you will know is from this screen. Instead of the blogger’s picture in the upper left, you will simply see the link icon. The second comment on the image above is a notification of a blogger who linked to one of my poems.
Coming Soon: Part II of Why Blog Comments Matter
I hadn’t intended on blabbering on so much in this pot! In the next part, I am going to deliver on WHY blog comments matter! I’ll share my tips on how you can generate more comments on both sides of the aisle. I’m also going to share the strategy I use to manage my likes, follows, and comments. For now, here is my number 1 rule of engagement:
Always, always, always respond to your likers by leaving a like AND a comment whenever possible. If you are blessed with 50 million likes, try to get to at least 10 blogs per day. It’s not as time-consuming as you think! Then, take note of what happens over the next few days. They will thank you (and hopefully leave a memorable comment as well, and our community will grow, and we can stop the spread of this Like-20 Virus once and for all!
Quick 5 Minute Video On How To Write Great Comments