Do your Comments and Replies attract or chase away readers?

If you are like me, you probably relish “Comments” from readers. And as we all know, comments are great morale boosters, aren’t they, and keep us fuelled.

For this reason, I try to leave behind well thought out comments on blog posts that touch me. Do unto others — (Note: “try” as I don’t always succeed). I also try to give thought to fashioning “Replies” to “Comments” left in my blog.

We all love positive feedback but negative feedback is more challenging and needs greater consideration.

Our “Comments” and “Replies” give us opportunities for building bridges and traffic across cyberspace – or destroying both.

If you are an aspiring (or even published) author, poet, editor, etc –  your “Comments” and “Replies” provide a window to showcase your skills. Think of an “editor” who commits horrible grammatical errors in his comments or replies. Need I say more? The same applies to several other callings. At the very least, our comments and replies reflect on us as human beings.

As an aside, I have also acted as a bozo with some of my “Comments” and am constantly learning. Unlike “Replies” on my own blog, a comment posted on another’s blog can’t be retrieved. Since I started blogging about 16 months ago, I’m sure to have offended some with my “Comments”. I do apologise and shall continue to be more circumspect.

Carefully crafted “Comments” encourage bloggers to visit your posts and, hopefully, to start “following” you. And not only the bloggers, but their readers too might check you out. Similarly, the “Comments” left on your post, provide opportunities to add depth and scope to your post – via your “Replies”.

As my regular readers are aware, some who read my “Comments” section remarked that it is an added bonus. I am humbled and encouraged by such compliments. And a great big “Thank You” to all the people who leave their comments in my blog as their contributions trigger interaction and add vibrancy. Do check out my Comments section – take a recent example > The Fried Chicken Syndrome – or something more serious > Mammon, a haiku or any other post for that matter.

As mentioned in my page – Blog Tips – building traffic is fun when incorporated as part of our overall blogging experience.

In this post, I deliberately did not cover many aspects on Replies and Comments, as it is your voices my readers and I would love to hear. To trigger some thoughts:

1. What are your considerations when posting “Replies” and “Comments”?

2. How do you handle negative feedback to your comments and replies?

I would love to hear your views.

Related link > Blog Tips

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Tom_Haiku
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121 comments

  1. Thanks for your down-to-earth, upbeat reflections about likes and comments. I love getting and leaving both. I didn’t have time (!) to read all the comments above, but was encouraged to keep at it. There’s definitely a correlation between taking time to comment–even briefly–and visits to my blog.

    So happy WordPress pointed me your way. They were right on this one!

    Elouise

    1. Good to know,

      I notice that your blog is marked “private” and one needs to sign in to access. Unless you’ve compelling reasons – this would dissuade most visitors. You might want to reconsider.

      WordPress pointed you my way? I don’t quite understand.

      Anyway, thank you for your visit and comment,
      Eric

      1. You’re welcome. Thanks for telling me it’s marked private. It isn’t private, and never was. I’ll check it out.

        As for WordPress pointing me your way, your blog came up in their rotating list of blogs I might like to visit. So I did.

  2. I appreciate every single comment I get, but I wouldn’t mind a negative comment or two on my blog. Good criticism is inspiring, and bad criticism, while annoying, can sometimes be even more inspiring to me.
    As for myself, I try to only comment if I think the comment I’m about to write is worthy of the post. Unfortunately, sometimes that has lead me to say mean or dumb things on mean or dumb posts. Always maintain a constant level of professionalism, that’s what I’ve learned.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Shane.

      I don’t recall ever posting a mean comment or reply – although I sometimes delete mean comments left on my blog. At other times, I do leave the mean comments standing – more as a reflection on the person who made it.

      Dumb comments – yes, I’ve posted a few on other blogs and wish I could have retrieved those 🙁

      I subscribe to that – about maintaining a level of professionalism and decorum.

      Cheers,
      Eric

  3. I just realise I had not said anything about my considerations when posting comments on other blogs and replies to comments on my blog. I try as much as possible to be positive. Don’t say anything if you have nothing nice to say, is probably the mantra I go by. 🙂

  4. Beautiful post. I, like everyone else, enjoy getting comments. Not only do they suggest the reader appreciates the post enough to share their thoughts, they often help me in acquiring different perspectives. Like you say, they add scope and depth.
    As for less than positive remarks — which I have not so far received, yet — I imagine I’d try to see things from the other person’s position and respond with reason and tact. Whether I manage to do so remains to be seen. Now, I’m not suggesting you start giving me negative comments, to test me, okay? 😀
    BTW, Eric, I’m from Singapore too.

    1. Rest assured you’ll never get a nasty comment or reply from me 🙂

      A Singaporean? Hey, you’re my kind of gal. I know you live in Melbourne and assumed you were from Malaysia, Taiwan, HK, etc. Why? Because, although I’ve hundreds of Singaporeans ‘following’ my blog, only a handful (less than 5) actually post comments or even tick ‘like’ – I believe they are mostly shy.

      So nice to interact with a local girl 🙂 I hope I don’t come across as being overly partial to Singaporeans – but only because it is so rare to receive comments from them.

      Peace and good wishes,
      Eric

  5. Well articulated Eric, as always.

    Since I started blogging, even though it is more nerve-wracking, I have looked fwd to “comments” more than “likes”. It gives you a glimpse into how it affected a reader. While “likes” are welcome, I think the engagement is more superfluous. I do observe that all of us tend to be circumspect, perhaps more than is required, while commenting on other posts, for fear of offending. I am guilty of the same. I think a writer (or an aspiring writer) will benefit more from an honest comment than a needlessly eulogistic one.

    1. Hello Ankur,

      Thank you for your visit and comment.

      We all love comments – especially those that help us grow. Some types of posts require candid feedback – about the economy, injustices, etc. – and with other types, we can be more generous, I reckon.

      I usually leave comments if I can add to the discussions or if the post strikes me. Otherwise, I tick a “like”.

      I’ve responded to some writers who asked – pleaded even – for candid responses, only to be flamed when I said something not to their liking. So, now I don’t except for a handful who genuinely welcome candid comments.

      Peace, Eric

  6. It’s a dual edged sword – sometimes when I visit a site and see some of the downright nasty comments, it makes me cringe. I think having a thick skin helps though, and like it or not, the more controversial comments engage visitors even more

    1. I wonder why anyone would want to leave donwright nasty comments in “their” blog. Unless, as you point out – the aim is to drive traffic.

      People who put up their names and images seldom resort to unreasonable comments and replies, I reckon. Anonymity brings out the worst in most of us.

    2. Eric’s ability to find the time to respond to everyone’s comments never ceases to amaze me.

      Over on my blog I often allow comments to pass unremarked, though always with a twinge because I do recognise that some people think that such behaviour is impolite. But I have to be in the mood to write, even a short ‘thank you’ can, some days, feel too much. So on some days comments pass unremarked that would not have on other days. And sometimes I cannot think of anything to offer other than a hollow platitude, and so I excuse myself on the grounds that although it may be my blog, it’s not all about me. On those rare occasions when my readers begin to talk amongst themselves (ignoring me) I feel proud to have sparked a conversation 🙂

      1. Well Colin,

        I view responding to comments as part of blogging. I don’t buy that argument from some bloggers about how busy they are and simply can’t respond to comments or visit the commenters’ blog. But, meanwhile, they keep churning out post after post and expect others to visit and comment.

        I reckon this has to be mutual support – unless the person is such a well known celebrity or something.

        In my case, if time does not permit, I simply cut back on my posts so that I can put aside time (at least) for my commenters.

        Cheers,
        Eric

    3. I do hope you haven’t interpreted my comment as any form of criticism — it was most definitely not intended as such.

      Although I’ve been ‘blogging’ for years, I feel I have yet to get to grips with a fundamental aspect of it, which is this:

      If someone comments on my blog and then I visit theirs and comment there, this does indeed tick the box for ‘mutual support’. However, to other visitors to my blog it may appear that I am ignoring my commenters.

      The only way around that problem would be to comment in both places… which is sometimes nonsensical, and is certainly time consuming (so I am tempted to accept the ‘too busy’ argument — life is too short).

      It’s like the concept of the ‘like’: some things I actually ‘hate’ — because I want to like them (to acknowledge that the item is important), but I don’t like the content itself, or what it means.

      1. Not taken as criticism at all.

        “…The only way around that problem would be to comment in both places… which is sometimes nonsensical…”

        1. When someone comments on my blog, I reply to their comment on my blog.
        2. I then extend the courtesy by visiting their blog, reading their post(s) and (almost every time – unless I find really nothing to say) leave behind a comment in their blog re their post.

        I don’t see how this is nonsensical unless you’re referring to something else

    4. In that case. your ability to find the time to respond to everyone’s comments doesn’t just amaze me, I am totally in awe, considering how many followers you have. It takes me too long to compose replies to consider trying to craft one for every post I read (not to mention some places I visit require registration, blogspot is clunky, and so on).

      As for the ‘nonsensical’, I did say ‘sometimes’. I had in mind in particular those occasions when I would visit someone else’s blog, comment there… and then that person would visit my blog and respond to the comment I’d made on their blog on my latest post, making the content totally out of context not just for any other readers but often for me, too.

      Another thread to all of this is that it’s only fairly recently that WordPress has had a built-in system that alerts me to the fact that there are responses to comments I have made (and of course that only applied within WordPress, not elsewhere). Though this is handy, I’ve sometimes thought that it’s unfortunate because it’s like the situation where someone says, accusingly: “I sent you an email — why haven’t you replied yet?”. Sometimes I need to go ‘off the grid’.

      ‘Too busy’ may sound like an excuse, but I say again: life is too short.

      Namaste.

  7. Eric, I love your pointers – that’s twice this week, I think. Comments and Replies – I love it when someone takes the time and the thought to comment. It makes me feel like I really did reach out and touch someone. 🙂 I wrote a post guaranteed to provoke, and to my surprise, all comments were thoughtful. One, though, made me want to instantly asked, “Is English your second language?,” as it was obvious he was on a hobby horse and hadn’t really read or absorbed the post. Fortunately, I slept on it for three days, contemplating whether to let it go forward. I did, deciding it was better to allow free commentary rather than only what pleased me… 🙂 For myself, I try to comment on the positives I enjoyed about a post. Best ~ HuntMode

    1. Thank you for sharing and happy that some of our views find place with you 🙂

      I’ve always felt, though I sometimes grapple with this advice, when upset – walk away. Time and distance blunts the edges.

      I don’t have problems when people disagree with me. “Thank you Eric, but this is what I feel —.” Hey, no issues, I can wear that! What grates is, when people feel their views cannot stand unless they destroy everyone else’s. That’s presumptuous if not sad. And you can see how the readership of these blogs dwindle.

      This exchange is in the context of building blog traffic.

      Glad that you cut that guy some slack. I believe it worked out well all around.

      Peace, Eric

  8. Personally, in regard to commenting, I often find it comes down to trying not to gush, when I really like what someone has posted.
    It’s about getting that delicate balance between praising someone else’s work, on the one hand, while not seeming to fawn over the creator of the work, on the other.
    That said, you’ve given some great advice and insights here into the whole interplay between “comment and reply” that we, as bloggers, are needfully caught up in.
    Thanks!

    1. Thank you Lorem,

      For your visit and input. Thank you also for “following” my blog. I’ve also clicked to receive your updates.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

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