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




  1. Reblogged this on Daylight Tune Ministries and commented:
    I would like to introduce Eric Alagan who is our brother in Christ who has been following our blog and I’m touched by this article to share. Hope to hear feedback from you all. 🙂

  2. Great post Eric, to reiterate what has already been said 🙂
    Needless to say, I welcome comments and likes…who doesn’t? The problem is when I can’t make time to respond to them. But I do try my darnedest to get to the blogs of those that have taken the time to share their thoughts. Mostly 🙂

    1. Thank you Madhu,

      Yes, we are all strapped for time
      and have to admit there will come a tipping point.
      Then, we’ve to decide the blogs to follow, the blogs to shun
      With only so many hours a day, that decision stays foremost on my mind
      I thank you for putting aside, for me, your time.

      All good wishes,
      Eric 🙂

  3. Eric:

    Re: Negative Feedback: Always remember to ask yourself this question: “Why is the person saying this?” Could be candid & constructive. But, just as with positive feedback, the statements made will always have at least as much to do with him/her as with you. Same goes with neutral feedback, as well. … And, with that, I’ll just stop here.


    1. You are right of course KP,

      Behind every comment is a person and intentions – as many commenters here had mentioned. And every comment reflects on the person making it – but not neccessarily on the person receiving it, I reckon. As long as we speak in generics…this is never ending.

      Thank you for your comment and advice.

      Peace, Eric

  4. I love comments,well that is why i am sharing isnt it to get other people’s views on my write ups, negative comments can hurt but more ooften than not they help me to grow. so i take that is a positive spirit.
    i am at times lost when it comes to posting my comments on others blogs, sometimes i don’t cos i don’t think i will add anything valuable or different from the already existing ones but now i am learning how to
    must say this was a brilliantly written and very useful post.
    Thanks a ton 🙂

    1. You’re welcome Soma – and hope kitty is feeling better soon 🙂

      I’m usually reluctant to comment on posts about personal tragedies – always felt awkward because words can never help. Moreover, it is a rich ground for taking offence – as all it takes is a misplaced word or a poor interpretation of nuance.

      Glad you found this post useful,

  5. Actually I haven’t been gone, just quiet. Nearly all the new stuff I do is Bible study stuff and that is on Caleb’s Eye II. I still put poetry on the original website but it has been too long since that muse hit. sigh.
    It sounds like you have had worse experience with outrageous comments than I. Mine was content to warn me I was going to hell. Generally I do have a more specialized audience, it is true. That makes me feel all the more honored by your visits.

    1. Hello Carroll,

      Caleb II – Bible study – all the very best.

      The example I pointed out was the most extreme I received. She had identified herself with picture and name – so, to give her some benefit of expressing her opinion, I cut her some slack – until I realized she had some real problems. My sentiments are – you have problems, don’t make them mine – see a shrink.

      The occasional nasties from “brave” people who hide behind anonymity – these I spam.

  6. I am always so appreciative when someone comments on something I have written, they have taken the time to give me their thoughts even if it is just to tell me they enjoyed something. I try to respond to everyone, even if it is simply to thank them.

    When I read other blogs, I love reading the comments and responses. As you say the interaction adds vibrancy and expands ideas. This I think is what makes the world of blogging so interesting, the interaction.

    To the idea of negative comments, in Tilted Tiara I don’t believe I have ever gotten one. In another place I write to a more controversial slant, there the comments can get extremely negative. In fact I have had some who have threatened me with physical violence, tell me I am brainless and stupid, tell me they hope I am raped and killed; all sorts of lovely things. Most I let stand, explain why their comments are problematic and move on. What I don’t let stand? Fallacious and self-serving arguments, funny right.

    1. I suppose these brave people all hide behind layers of pseudonyms.

      Not long ago in Singapore, one man posted nasties about a blogger on her blog. He thought he was safe as he hid in anonymity. The spunky woman tracked down his IP address and exposed him and his family to much ridicule – complete with photos lifted from his Facebook. He claimed “unfair hitting below the belt” as his family was also muddied.

      If one lives by the sword —

      1. I simply find it easier to delete their comments. Make the statement I have done so and why. If they come back, I simply continue to delete them. Far to much work to do otherwise.

        My favorite was a person who told me if Jesus was alive he would slap me to death.

        When I pointed out Jesus was the King of Peace, he said he would make an exception for me.

        I laughed till I cried.

      2. Val,

        It will not be the first time some wolf or lost sheep tries to hijack the Good Lord for their own ends. If you wish or perhaps you are already aware of the run-in I had with a self important priest > – it is somewhat laborious and if pressed for time, you might want to give it a miss. The man is not worth your time.

        I agree the best way to treat such people is to ignore their very existence.

        Peace, Eric

  7. An interesting post and one that I battle with – the replies. On each occasion, I thank the person for firstly visiting, reading and commenting. I also give feed-back on what they have written. When I started my site in August last year I had no idea the amount of work that would be involved once people started following me. It is hard work! That being said , I wouldn’t want it any other way. I come home from my ‘day job’ and can spend up to 2-3 hours reading other posts and replying to the comments left on mine, then I write a piece. I think it simply boils down to manners. If someone has taken the time to follow you or just read and place a comment, then in return I acknowledge that. I have had a couple of critical comments only to do with punctuation and when I re-read (as I’m in a writer frenzy at the time and don’t take heed to such matters) I thank them and go back and correct. Thankfully thus far I have not had any negative comments about what I have written. Fingers crossed…but then again I am open for critique and would find it a challenge, if they are honest in their intent.

    1. Hello Jenny (is it?)

      Thank you for your visit and comment. I think you got it right.

      The problem of time gets acute when we have more people “following” and commenting. There is an obligation for us to respond and visit. What do you do when one has more than a thousand active bloggers who are “following” you – one is forced to make impartial choices.

      I accord priority to those who visit and comment, or at least tick “Like”. I also set aside time to visit all my “followers” at least a couple of times each week – it is fullfilling fun (pun intended).

      I don’t normally point out typos and grammar – nobody likes it but it will not go away. I’ve picked out glaring errors even in NY bestsellers that have supposedly gone through professional editing. For me, the key is content. If that hits a chord – let’s sit back, relax and enjoy.

      All good wishes,

      1. Thank you Eric, heaven help me if I get to a thousand followers I shall be strapped in a white jacket I think! Seriously it will grow more difficult if the numbers increase to such a volume that I couldn’t dedicate the time required to each individual. I will have to cross that bridge when I get to it I guess. The ones that are ‘regular’ will always receive my attention and those that have followed me for a long time. Yes I worry not about those that pick on my grammatical errors, life is too short 🙂 Yes it’s Jenny 🙂

  8. I value even negatives comments. Having been an administrator most of my life I always expected some negative reaction to needed change. The negatives get our attention so we can review what we are implementing, doing or saying.its a point of view that can help us improve. If the comments go beyond acceptable behaviour you can deal with it. In the case of blogging you block nasty people.

    1. Very true, Ian – we handle criticism differently, depending on the environ.

      For blogging, it is best to simply ignore and block the nasties – we should not even give them the pleasure of a retort, that would mean acknowledging their existence. This is especially so when people hide bravely behind anonymity and spew vitriol.

      Have a great evening,
      P/s I’m done for the day and am nursing a lovely tumbler of Jack Daniel’s as I read and respond to comments.

  9. Great post, Cik Eric. I learn a lot from this post. I agree with you that comment add the vibrancy of blog interaction. In my experience, as much as compliment is useful to boost our confidence, people who actually add their insights on the topic we are writing are actually the ones who fill in the holes in our post. You know when I meant “people” here, that means you’re included, right? 🙂

    1. Hello Mas,

      We value all our commenters and readers. You are right, some encourage with their words and others help fill in the gaps we missed. A true “gotong royong” – community self help initiative, I reckon.

      I try my best to pitch in whenever I can – as you do too.

      Peace, Eric
      P/s Eric harap anda yang merasa lebih sehat 🙂

  10. A great topic, Eric, and one I’ve not considered. Comments…

    Naturally it’s great to get a comment – and so curious when people only hit ‘like’. What, you like but I brought no thought from you? But then I also realise, sometimes you just can’t add to what has already been said in comment, and again – and ‘like’ is sufficient.

    I enjoyed this interesting piece – & see it brought many comments! 🙂

    1. Hello Noeleen,

      With some very personal posts, I am a little awkward about commenting. One has not walked in the person’s shoes and can easily cause offence with a misplaced remark. But I usually tick “Like” to indicate my visit and that it has touched me in some way.

      Yes, the response has been very good and I am grateful to all who commented – and/or read and ticked “Like”.


  11. I value comments on my posts soooo much! I like to read what people think of the words or music – good or bad 🙂 I know people are busy too so I appreciate that they took the time to stop by my site and drop a few words during the day.

  12. Well thought out post. Now in leaving this comment I feel I have a new standard to live up to. That is not a bad thing.
    I seldom get comments on my blog, and partially I think that is due to the primary subject matter. Only twice have I gotten negative comments, and they were pretty intensely negative. I just tried to give a reasonable answer and let it stand. Their criticism was so extreme that I couldn’t figure out how to get any good from it.
    When I leave comments I try not to be negative only if the blogger specifically invites it – seldom, in other words. Frequently, I have difficulty thinking of anything to say.
    Now I must say your blog is exemplary. You do a good job with this kind of thing. I have never noticed any failure on your part to be courteous. I actually have nothing negative to say even if you asked for it.

    1. Well, hello hello hello, Carroll 🙂

      You dropped out of sight for a week or so. Great to have you back!

      Regarding extreme comments – there are what we call “trolls” – bloggers who go around posting nasties to draw attention to their blogs. It is pathetic because it is a one-off visit and their blogs are usually shunned – and rightly so – by the blogging community.

      I once had a kid (18 years old) post some very vitriolic comments about one of my published books. By his own admission, he had self-published an ebook (a novella) and sold a grant quantity of “one”. He also took umbrage with my book reviewer – an established author of some standing in the region, if not the world. The kid actually posed a question – “Who is XXXX who reviewed this book? Never heard of him! This is not a review, this is nonsense.” Then he caps off to say, “Okay I have not read Eric’s book but did read three pages and it rightly belongs in the slush pile.” Then he proferred advice on story development, character and dialogue.

      I did not leave his comment standing because he was obviously trying to draw traffic to his blog. I also did not acknowledge his infantilism with a reply. It is sad because he is an aspiring author and the literary community is small – even more so in tiny Singapore.

      Coming back to your blog – if you are writing for yourself and a select few, you are doing all right. You certainly have me visiting and commenting. Though I must say, you have not published for a while.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts and words of encouragement for my writing.

      All good wishes,

  13. I always leave comments on the posts which I actually like and on the blogs which are my favourite! It feels connected to the writer and the concept of the thought that has been posted! whatever I can share ,whether it is my view or my emotion,or just a reaction,I try my best to comment on the posts of almost everyone’s blog whom I regularly sincerely follow! Yes If I dnt receive any comment on my posts,I feel I haven’t been able to do justice to the topic which I have chosen,due to which I wasn’t able to instigate any reaction! My lack of perfection in my effort!

    1. I notice this about you Soumya,

      You spend much time commenting and replying, which I think is lovely. Though, as I mentioned recently to you, don’t pressure yourself into thinking you have to comment every piece. Relax, enjoy and occasionally, give your hubby a little trouble 🙂

      As you probably know, I comment when I have something worthwhile to share. Otherwise, I leave my ‘calling card’ – tick “Like”.

      You’re doing good and have a healthy number “following” who always leave behind words of appreciation and encouragement. This is mostly because you treat all your commenters respectfully and correctly.

      I view you as a lovely soul, my dear.

      If I may be allowed to say,
      “Luv and Hugz”

      1. Wow! that was a lovely treat of showering praises ! To hear from you on my post is like accomplishing a task perfectly! So your appreciation is always awaited and earned I feel!
        As for troubling my hubby! I have much energy left even after all these stuff ! 😉

      2. Well Soumya dear,

        First, I don’t normally insist on having the last word – not even for comments in my blog. I leave that to Mechanic Leigh 🙂 but your remark brought a smile – poor hubby 😀 – But I am sure he loves you troubling him.

        As you can well imagine, I try to visit all my “followers” at least a couple of times each week and this leaves precious little time to comment. All the more, as I invest time thinking about appropriate comments. But when a post strikes me – never mind typos or grammar – I want to show my appreciation and encouragement.

        Luv and peace,
        P/s Typos and grammar can be easily fixed by a good editor – the key is the original and creative content and that remains my focus.

  14. Eric,

    I am always grateful when someone takes the time to comment on one of my posts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wondered if any of my followers are reading or if what I write touches anyone even the slightest bit.

    Once again, I appreciate your generosity in addressing concerns common to “Bloglandia” (I like that from Joel’s comments). Your comments are what reveal you as a person of heart and great spirit, Eric.

    I respond as graciously as possible to every comment–even to ones from those who don’t seem to understand my posts. My time is limited so I don’t always comment on others’ posts. If something touches me, I comment. If I’m in a rush, I at least “like” the post so the blogger will know I’ve visited and appreciate his/her writing.

    After reading this post, I hope to improve my own commenting presence.



    1. Hello Peg,

      You echo my sentiments about time constraints, reading and commenting. This is even more why we need to treasure those who post comments or even tick “Like”.

      Everyone is after readers’ time – and when given, we need to husband their return. This is a challenge for all of us.

      By sharing our experiences and even “likes”, we can pick up tips and step up the blogging experience for our readers and ourselves.

      All good wishes,

  15. I agree with your position. Up to this I still manage to leave more comments than Likes and while I lack your melodic eloquence, I think I succeed in respectfully expressing the points I wish to make.

    I analyse each piece and highlight its virtues to encourage the writer and am always complimentary of at least one aspect of the post. I sometimes make a point of politely offering suggestions but limit myself to technical writing issues that are within my formal competence (in this case Editing). In all cases of doing this my input has been appreciated and a number of bloggers have replied that it was rare for them to be offered constructive criticism and would like to see more of it. I have seen simple misspellings in posts that some twenty others have Liked and believe it wrong not allow the author the opportunity to correct a potential embarrassment.

    Your article is timely and valid. I support any initiative that helps to establish a protocol for better feedback between bloggers showing courtesy, sensitivity, encouragement and even some ‘tough love’ – judiciously applied.

    This is a circumspect piece on an important issue. Well done Eric.

    1. Well Mike,

      For a person who pleads meagre eloquence, you are succinct.

      Yes, I recall your comment on my post “Sleep” > You were direct but also suggestive rather than aggressive. Thank you, I appreciated that.

      I spot mistakes all the time – even one of yours above – but my take is, let’s have fun. Therefore, I don’t normally point out typos or even poor grammar.

      The only time I do, and you are right here, is when someone wants to eat Grandma. Yes, then I’ll suggest a correction to > Let us eat, Grandma.

      I admire what you do – reading, analysing and encouraging bloggers. It’s also a great way for you to keep the pencil sharpened, I suppose. There are many who are anxious about going public and receiving nasty feedback. A gentle hand such as yours is always welcomed, I reckon.

      Thank you for your kind compliment about this post.

      I shared my experiences and am rewarded with so much feedback from fellow bloggers sharing their views.
      Peace, Eric 🙂

  16. I have two blogs, one in English and one in Romanian. The one in English is not very popular, I have only moved it on wordpress in November so it’s pretty young. I am very grateful to each person that spends few minutes reading and/or commenting on my blogs since I am aware of how many articles exist on the world wide web. Because I respect each reader I try to reply to each comment in the nicest manner. As for the negative feedback, it can be classified in two categories: constructive and mean. I do appreciate constructive negative feedback because it is sent to me with a good intention. But at least in the Romanian blogging world, many readers comment just for the sake of it and their comments are very bully like. To these readers I explain once my position then I am done with them.

    1. Hello Lavinia,

      Two blogs – Wow! I’m pressed for time just maintaining one.

      Yes, people can be so mean and I suppose that delete button has its uses.

      I once had a female blogger who evidently thought she had discovered god. She insisted that I should get to know “her” Jesus – she asked – Do you know MY Jesus, Eric? She hinted that if I did not know “her” Jesus – I would surely burn in hell. After a few polite exchanges – the politeness was all from my end, whereas she became increasingly belligerent > I took Arnold Schwarzenegger’s advice > I “terminated” her as “spam”.

      My sentiments are > If you can’t say something nice, hold it. If you really have to say something un-nice > package it with love.

      All good wishes, Eric

      1. Yes, package it with love or don’t say anything at all. If you don’t like what you read, you should go find something else to read:)

  17. Indeed, I also relish comments and replies. So, I know people reading my stuff and they like it. And it will open a door to communicate to each other. A ‘Like’ is also good but communication may not happen. Anyway, I always check the blogs of the people which gave me any response to my posts.

    1. Hello Bernd

      Welcome back 🙂

      I do the same thing – always check out anyone who leaves a comment or ticks “Like” – it might take me a couple of days, but I always catch up.

      Guten Tag,

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