Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joint Blogging Series - Comments

I am joining Elana Johnson and Jennifer Daiker at Unedited this week for a series on blogging. Please visit their sites as well for some expert advice. As for me, I’ll just offer my humble beginnings and advice.

Most bloggers crave comments. Our blog post sits there, ignored by the world, and then – a comment appears! We’re thrilled. We want more. We need more. It’s a matter of life or death!

Eh, maybe not that bad.

I’ve watched my comments grow this year from single digits to over fifty-five per post. While I’m still not sure how this happened (I swear I didn’t bribe anyone) I can tell you what I’ve done to encourage comments.

I follow and comment on a lot of blogs. My goal is a hundred a day. Some days I fall short. (I slack, I sleep in, I live my life – that sort of thing.) I usually comment on quite a few though. Now, while I enjoy the luxury of blogging from work in addition to blogging at home, I think every blogger can hit 2-3 dozen blogs a day.

I try to create interesting posts, ones that spark the interests of others. Sometimes I drift, but I try to stay within my basic topics as well. If it’s a passion of mine, I like to think that shines through in the post. I believe that’s the key, too. A blog can be about anything that excites the host, and it works as long as the posts reflect that fact. After all, excitement is contagious.

Posts that receive the most comments are the ones that encourage a response. Asking a question entices others to get involved in the discussion. Sometimes the individual comments here are longer than my post! But that’s great. Blogging is all about getting involved.

Okay, my movie posts garner a lot of comments, too. Guess my followers are just as geeked-out about movies as me!

I reply to commenters in my post, and you’d be surprised how many come back for a reply – and comment again.

Word verification turns off some people and they won’t comment. Enough said.

Participating in blogfests will draw comments, but you need to comment as well.

Contests are a big draw. I’ve held one contest and that post still holds the record for the most comments.

Finally, really big news draws comments. An event that rocks your world! When I posted my book trailer, everyone stopped by to comment on it. I don’t often post about my upcoming book, but it really made me feel good to receive so many words of encouragement.

I don’t think there’s any big secret to increasing comments. If you’re willing to do a lot of little things, then it will happen!

68 comments:

Ted Cross said...

I turned off word verification on my blog. I don't get spam so far anyhow. About the only thing I wish I could do better would be to make funnier posts. I don't do funny well.

Jessica Carmen Bell said...

One hundred? Wow! That's a decent effort there, mate! :o) I'm lucky if I comment on 30 a day.

Ellie said...

One hundred?! I'm off to visit a few more blogs ;)

Unfortunately, I don't have access to a computer at work. Well I could do, but I don't think the manager would be too impressed to see me in his office. LOL.

Whilst I won't lie and say I don't get excited by increasing comment numbers, for me its more about the comments themselves and being able to respond to them.

p.s. I posted about your TV Blogfest today. I'm excited about this one already and super pleased I'm on holiday that week!

Helen Ginger said...

You personalize your posts and they're fun to read and get involved in. Plus, as you say, you visit other blogs and participate in them. That's what makes you so popular. You just rock.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

One can't expect to recieve comments unless they put themselves out to comment on others. I comment on many and I seem to draw a frm flow of comments back, there are a few that never borher to comment, it don't worry me that much but once in a while an aknowledgement wouldn't go amiss,

Enjoyed your post today and looking forward to the blogfest,

Yvonne.

Jules said...

Yeah, word verification seems to deter people, I turned mine off too, I think.

I do my best to comment as often as I can, on as many as I can but I do it because I connect with what has been written or have connected with the author.

I would rather have 8 real, sincere comments than 30 "Hi, I'm here," messages. But that is just me. :)

Wonderful post though, Alex.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Liza said...

Thoughtful posts and thoughtful comments seem to be the key...though I don't know how you get to 100 blogs a day. Good for you!!!

DEZMOND said...

a hundred a day???? Alex, you should join Olympics!

I've noticed that you don't post anything about your book. You might wanna indulge your readers now that we have about a month till the premiere! You might give us a post a week about CASSASTAR. You could present the characters in one, some other sequences of the story in the second one etc. I think it would popularize the book better and draw new fans. Because currently I think all of us mostly loves you, not the book, so we need a bit more info on your work :)

Copyboy said...

Just wondering, what's your comment record?

Powdered Toast Man said...

I don't know how you manage to read 100 blogs a day. You are a true loyal blogger.

Mason Canyon said...

Posts that asks questions of the visitors does tend to draw a good response. The content you have in your post always makes the visitor want to converse with you. I'm in awe - commenting on 100 posts, WOW.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Jamie Gibbs said...

Wowza, 100 blog a day is pretty incredible. I probably only do about 10 a day so far, so I think I need to up my game, hehe.

I think it's really easy to delve into the realms of irrelevance when we're given a platform to talk to the world about anything we want. One of the reasons why you're so successful (in my humble opinion) is that every post you make is relevant and interesting at the same time. Kudos to you :D

aspiring_x said...

yeah! i agree with dezz! to be honest, i rarely click on extra pages to find out more about the blogger... because there's only so much time, and i always mean to come back and check out people's pages... but then i'd never have time to WRITE!
all that's to say that i'd really like to hear more about cassastar! premise, characters, themes, etc...

iZombie said...

i left you a present on my site... because of your 100 blogger comments a day... i wanted to say i hear what you are saying... and it is beautiful...

:)

iZombie

Clarissa Draper said...

I hate word verification. HATE, HATE, HATE it. Especially when I'm reading hundreds of blogs a day. I find it irritating. Isn't that what Google's spam filter is for?

CD

Matthew Rush said...

Wow 55 every day? That's awesome Alex, you certainly deserve it. I also comment on around a hundred blogs a day, but I've only had over 50 comments once or twice total. Probably because you blog about much more entertaining stuff than I do.

Great thoughts on the reasons why though, love this series!

Crimey said...

I thought I read a lot of blogs. Well you beat me out on all accounts. I don't get that many comments, but I like the small circle of thoughtful comments I get anyway.

Crimey said...

I thought I read a lot of blogs. Well you beat me out on all accounts. I don't get that many comments, but I like the small circle of thoughtful comments I get anyway.

Elana Johnson said...

I love how you said it's not any one big thing, but a lot of little things. That makes it sound do-able.

Karen Walker said...

Hi there Alex,
Just wanted to ask for a bit more info on the upcoming blogfest. This is the first time I've agreed to participate in one and I haven't a clue what to do or how to do it. Thanks much.
karen

AlexOngNYC said...

Paying attention to other's blogs is like a second job to me these days. One I am throughly enjoying!

Alex
Breakfast Every Hour

Charles Gramlich said...

One thing I haven't posted about much is movies.

Summer Ross said...

well said. I don't post much about movies. I recently watched "gamer" so maybe one day I should put up the review.

N. R. Williams said...

I am enjoying this post Alex.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Piedmont Writer said...

For what it's worth, I agree with Dezmond.

And thanks for stopping by my place so often. I really do appreciate it.

lbdiamond said...

Congrats on your success!

Wow, 100 blogs a day? Looks like I've got some work to do. ;)

Talli Roland said...

Great post, as always, Alex. I hear you - it's the little things, consistently, that help. 100 blogs! I thought I was doing well with 50! :)

Carol Kilgore said...

I agree. I use word verification, but it doesn't mean I like it. I didn't use it for a long time, but then I started receiving spam on every post. I dislike spam more than I dislike word verification.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

100? 100! I was so proud of my 35 yesterday – which was exhausting. And I wasn’t able to comment on each one. That’s the hardest part for me sometimes it hard to leave a comment. I hate writing “Great post” and that’s it, but sometimes that’s all I can say. It’s hard to latch on to one part of the post to comment on.

“Service Unavailable
Error 503”
This is a stinker too! Let's see if I can post now.

Budd said...

100 is a lot. But it does seem to garner good faith and readership.

Kelly said...

Great advice. I'm off to turn off my word verification after my comment.
You comment 100 times a day?! Whoa. That is dedication. I try to comment on my blogger buddies at least three times a week, maybe 20 every other day.

Talei said...

Hi Alex, I'm in awe of your 100 blog posts a day, well done! And thanks for sharing your tips. ;))

Hart Johnson said...

You're definitely right about passion garnering comments. I seem to get knocked for a loop though, by what does and doesn't generate interest. I think sometimes when I get overly excited about something, I am a little too much to handle... That's the way with an Amazon Queen, you know...

Terry Stonecrop said...

This is a great series. Thanks for sharing your tips!

A hundred blogs a day? Hell, I do a thousand! Right, just joshing:)

Candyland said...

Comments are like little presents. I leave them if I have something (or nothing) to say. I know w a lot of work goes into posting and it's nice to see people respond:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, I should've checked comments sooner!

Ted, I'm not a bag of humor either. Don't worry about it.

Ellie, thanks, that's cool!

Thank you, Helen!

The Blogging Olypics! Dezz, I do intend to start mentioning it more. My tour kicks off a week before the book comes out, so I'll be mentioning my stops, too.

Copyboy, 100 on the nose!

Jamie, I'm trying!

Aspiring, I'll whip together something for next week. Promise!

Thanks, iZombie!

Karen, I'll pop by your place and leave you some tips.

Summer, I just saw that movie this weekend!

Talli, considering how many comments YOU get, I think you're okay at 50.

Hart, you always post good stuff to me!

Thanks, everyone!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I'm a weary blood courier so a 100 blogs a day is out of the question for me. Labor Day I drove 427 miles and worked 13 hours straight.

But my hat's off to you for the extreme effort you put into your blog and your friends who comment.

I ask myself what I would like to see addressed on a blog I would visit.

Synopsis. Ugh! Sounds like an ancient Greek philosopher. And I would rather kiss an ancient Greek than have to write a synopsis. So I'm researching the subject. If I find anything useful, I will post on it.

When I taught I found humor won me a listening audience. I think the same is true for blogging.

Thanks for this creative, insightful series of posts. Roland

Jen said...

Yay for blogging about comments!!! I totally forgot and said we all took a break, I'll be sure to fix that on my blog!!! And let everyone know they can access your blog tomorrow as well to catch up!

So there are a few differences between you and I, my contest posts seem to generate less comments then my regular ones!!! I threw a contest today and I'm around 20 where as the past week I've been up in the 60-80's, just shows you that everyone is different I suppose.

The funnier and more inventive I am, the more people come flocking over. Short, sweet and funny, that's how I role!

I didn't realize you count the amount of blogs you stop by... I would hate to know my number, I definitely think I'm up in the 100's where you are!!

arlee bird said...

I agree with what you've said and I guess you know that. I'm always tempted to double my comments by reponding to each one individually, but I like doing my responses in blocks like you do. But individual responses sure make the numbers look good, eh? Guess I'm too lazy to try it.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Karen Lange said...

Appreciate your thoughts, and am enjoying this series!

KarenG said...

In the blogging world, comments and followers are like cash in the real world. We go after them like gold. Don't know why really, it doesn't pay the mortgage or put food on the table. But yeah, it does seem like a matter of life and death sometimes! And you get out of it what you put into it. Those who visit others and comment and build relationships get more in return. I don't get the ones who write their posts, never go anywhere and never respond to comments. Why are you here then? Just go write in your journal.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Ah the thrill of a comment when it comes is nice. It reminds me I'm not alone on my blog. lol.
That said, I do try to get round as many as I can and comment. I'm working on a new schedule now, so hopefully I can be an organized blogger like you. How you get around all those blogs is amazing. :)

RaShelle said...

Hey Alex - A movie geek? Yep!! Totally. And a nerd too. That's me. LOL Everything you said makes sense. Blog about what makes you happy. =D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Roland, that's some hard driving!

Jen, that's good to know I'm not the only wild commenter out there!

Karen, I know quite a few who do just that! I don't get it either.

RaShelle, let's hear it for the geeks!

Kelly Dexter said...

One hundred blogs a day is really admirable!

Thanks for the continuing flow of great advice. For someone like me who's still working on increasing her followers, it's golden.

Also, I'm one of the many geeks who love the TV and movie posts, so feel free to keep them coming!

Michelle said...

For me, being a new blogger, this post was just what I needed. So much useful information, thank you!!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I do happen to find myself reading more and more blogs. I try to even it up a bit so that I'm commenting on the majority of the blogs I follow, but unfortunately sometimes I miss one. Fortunately, every day is a new day and I get another chance to make my rounds.

LTM said...

100 a day! Holy matchstick! But now that I think about it... I probably do 100 every few days.

It takes a lot of time, but oh well! :p good stuff~

Lynda Young said...

omgosh!!! 100 blog visits/comments A DAY!!?!! I'm impressed. It takes me forever to read through so many blogposts. I think I need to step up my game! lol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kelly, I will keep them coming! Hope you signed up for the blogfest on Sept. 20.

Jeffrey, I don't always hit my daily ones, but I do try!

Cheeseboy said...

I do love to get comments. I'll admit it. The most I have ever reached is 103 and I am constantly trying to break that record.

Unfortunately, I can only get to about 30 blogs a day. I wish I could do more, but my time gets more and more limited. And as a teacher, I can't really be reading blogs all day.

Gail said...

...and I am commenter 52.

I love comments! They are my chocolate! I try to visit every one I follow but some days I fall short on commenting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cheeseboy, I know how many followers you and your soon to be shaved self have, so I am honored you always manage to come by here and comment!

Jemi Fraser said...

Good advice Alex! I've never counted how many blogs I visit a day - I think it's probably a lot. I do have a bunch I check daily (40???) then daily folders (probably 40+ per folder). I don't hit them all, but I make a good stab at it :)

ali said...

I'm really loving this little blogfest! Thanks for another great post, Alex!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex, the comment discussion is always a good one. Because I have limited time to do this, I aim to visit ten a day. Each blog I visit, however, I scroll through the posts I haven't read, pick one of two that seem most interesting, and read them thoroughly. If I did more than that, I wouldn't have time to write and query and promote. I admire what you do, but I sure don't know how you do it (unless maybe you're really a big pink bunny with a drum?).

cassandrajade said...

I don't get a huge number of comments, but I appreciate that most of my comments are well thought out ones from people who have really enjoyed reading the post.

Thanks for your advice on comments.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi, mine are divided in a similar fashion.

Patricia, a pink bunny? Dear Lord, no!

Ellie said...

Wow, You are a commenting ninja; One hundred, I am in awe! I wish....

I do what I can, but I totally agree with your post! It takes time and
commitment to commenting, that helps build the ranks. I do think being genuine; Your authentic self is key~

Well Done~

Lola Sharp said...

I agree, it's a lot of little things.

I try hard to get around to as many blogs as I can. I try to start with everyone that leaves a comment on my blog and my regular haunts...from there I hit my google reader and read as many as I have time to read, and jump in a comment when I can. I suppose I hit 100 or so/day...and still I can't get around. It's hard. But I try my best. (still, I do feel guilt)

Sheila Deeth said...

Interesting. Thanks. My blog hovers round 6 or zero comments, so I've got a lot to learn.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ellie, I am indeed a ninja!

Sheila, I hovered there for a long time as well, so don't be discouraged.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I haven't been able to comment much this summer due to family situations & stress, so I am stunned that my posts still receive 20-30 comments. Hoping I can do better soon.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Holy Toledo, Alex! I knew you followed a lot but 100 a day? I don't read that fast! :)

SAMUEL PARK said...

Very useful tips. Glad u're having so much success with your blog! Well deserved.

Ishta Mercurio said...

One Hundred comments a day? Holy dogpoop, that is admirable.

Great tips about word verification, and about blogging about things that you're passionate about.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

I'll check that Unedited.

Well, you got me here: "I follow and comment on a lot of blogs. My goal is a hundred a day." (Visual -- head shaking, eyes wide, mouth dropped!) A hundred a day! Okay, maybe I'll work toward the few dozen.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry, I hope I haven't freaked anyone out with my 100 blogs a day!