Comments are like chocolate

Blog comments are like chocolate! Which is saying a lot given how much I love chocolate (dark chocolate in particular). I’ve had blog discussions about comments before, but I realized that my posts were in 2011 and 2012 so I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the topic again. I think it’s always fun to receive comments because hey, it’s a form of validation… someone is reading my post and is interested enough to say something about it! πŸ™‚ I think commenting is great in the way that it encourages discussions and conversations with people who read the same kind of books that I do. And for me, that’s what makes blogging interesting. This is why I always reply to the comments that people make in my posts.

Comments are like chocolate

Or like potato chips covered in dark chocolate

Over the years, I’ve noticed that people’s commenting habits have changed. I don’t have any stats to prove it but I feel like I used to receive more comments in the earlier years of my blog. Now that could be due to a number of reasons like some of my blogging buddies going on hiatus. But I also cross-link my posts on Facebook and Twitter, and I’ve noticed that some people are more comfortable leaving a Facebook comment or a tweet rather than writing down a comment on an actual blog post. Totally understandable because it’s easier to do that, especially when you’re on your phone. I also do the same thing when I’m going through other people’s posts while I’m on the go. It also makes it easier for me to reply to someone when they do that, it’s just that it’s more difficult to keep track of the discussion when it isn’t being saved on the blog.

I know that some people tend to prefer to lurk, instead of writing comments. This is also something that I could relate to since I was a lurker before I started my own blog. There are also instances when you’ve read the post but you don’t feel like you have anything substantial to add so you skip leaving a comment. That happens to me too. But I hope visitors and followers of my blog feel like they can comment anytime, even with something random like just saying hi. πŸ™‚

I also used to comment on other blogs a lot more. Back when I used Google Reader to keep track of blogs that I follow. Nowadays, I usually just leave comments when I have some time to check out the blogs I’m interested in, or to visit other blogs participating in a meme. If you ever come across a blog post that you think I’d be interested in, feel free to share a link so I can check it out.

I’m basically thinking out loud here, and sharing some of my thoughts about blog comments. What do you think about comments? Do you also enjoy receiving and replying to them?

Thank You, 2013 Top Commenters

Last year, I thanked the blog’s top commenters and I thought it would be a good idea to do the same this year. I’ve already thanked them on Twitter but I think it’s a nice tradition to share this on the blog as well:

Alexa of Alexa Loves Books
Maggie of Young Adult Anonymous
Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile
Holly of Book Harbinger
Rachel Neumeier

2013 top commenters

Thank you, ladies! I love getting comments and I try to reply to all of them to show my appreciation. As always, I would also like to thank the blog’s visitors even if you guys aren’t listed as top commenters. I may not be as posting as much as I’d like but I’m glad there are still people out there who are interested in dropping by my blog. πŸ™‚

My Commenting Habits

typewriter weheartit

Image from We Heart It.

It looks like talking about comments is becoming a yearly habit for me – I had a post in 2011 and another in 2012. It’s a topic that I like revisiting because most bloggers will be able to relate to it. I think it’s also a good idea to look back and see what have changed in my commenting habits and what that stayed the same. None of you will find it surprising when I say I love getting comments on my blog posts. I’ve said it before: comments are like candy or chocolate (I prefer the latter). I usually publish a post at night and it’s always nice to wake up and find notifications for comments received the next day. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. I do get bummed when I don’t get any comments on some of my posts but I don’t let it get to me. I know that doesn’t mean that no one has read my post, it probably just means that people are too busy to comment.

I’m grateful for all the comments that I receive so I make it a point to reply to all of them. I may not be able to reply to comments right away but I do reply when I find the time for it. I think I got the habit from some of my blogging friends back when I first started – when I drop by their blogs again, I notice that they reply to the comments that I leave behind and that usually prompts me to comment back. I feel like replying to comments is a nice way of showing your appreciation to the commenter and it encourages them to reply back so you start having a discussion. I wonder if the rest of you do this as well, do you go back to blog posts that you’ve left comments on to see if the blogger replied?

I used to be better when it comes to reading posts and commenting on the blogs that I follow. I would go through my entire feed reader and comment on most of the posts that I find interesting – if it’s a review of a book that I’ve read or I’m curious about or if it’s a discussion post that I feel like contributing to. But nowadays, I rarely have time to do that. We all know how real life gets in the way of reading and blogging. I still drop by the blogs I follow but I don’t get to read or comment on them as I would like to. If there’s a blog post that you think I would like, feel free to send me a tweet or message about it because I’m more likely to check it out if someone points me in the right direction. There are also times when I read blog posts on my smart phone and it’s not easy to comment using that device so I usually send a tweet instead. I’ve found that sometimes, it’s more convenient to have conversations on Twitter rather than back and forth in the comment section on a blog post.

In terms of blogging platforms, I’m really happy with how WordPress handles comments – threaded discussions, no Captcha and even non-bloggers can leave comments without signing in (they can just enter their name and email address). I also like how WordPress has notifications when another WordPress blogger replies to a comment that you left on their blog. WordPress also sends a notification when there’s an incoming link from another WordPress blog, like when a fellow blogger links to your review. It’s nice to know when you get a signal boost like that and more often that not, I end up leaving a comment on a post when someone was nice enough to link back to my blog. Of course, this is just a personal preference and it doesn’t make me less likely to leave comments on another blogging platform. I just find WordPress more convenient in this sense. I also notice that some people click the “like” button on WordPress rather than leaving comments so maybe that’s their way of saying they agree with the post even though they don’t have anything specific to say about it.

So how many times did I mention the word “comment” in this post? LOL. How about the rest of you, what are your commenting habits? Do you reply to all the comments in your blog? Are you a serial commenter or are you more of a lurker in terms of commenting?

Comments are like candy (or chocolate)

Typewriter

Image from Tumblr

WordPress recently wrote a blog post about how to get more comments and it has some pretty interesting and useful tips. I have to admit that I love receiving blog comments (I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way). I’ve talked about comments before and I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the topic. Some of the tips from WordPress and what I think, based on my experiences with my own blog:

Reply to every comment you receive. I reply to all the comments in my blog because I want to show my appreciation when people read my posts and take the time to leave a comment. Also, I think replying to comments encourages more discussion. What I want to add to this is I love bloggers who also reply to comments on their blog. I try to drop by again and check if they replied and if there’s anything else that I can add to the conversation. I love that WordPress now sends notifications when a fellow WordPress blogger replies to one of my comments.

Ask your friends. I don’t ask real life friends to leave comments on my blog but there are times when I’ll send them some links if I feel like I talked about something that they’ll be interested in. It always surprises me when I find out that my friends read my blog. Like when I see them reading something that I’ve reviewed and I ask them where they found out about it, they’d casually say that they saw me recommending it on the blog.

Start conversations. Whenever I put up a non-review post – be it a discussion post or one of the features and memes I participate in – I throw out a question at the end. I’ve noticed that the posts tend to get more comments if I try to engage other people. It’s also a great idea to publish discussion posts about book-related topics from time to time because there’s so much that we can all talk about.

Write a response to another blogger’s post on your blog. Hey, I’m doing it right now with this post. πŸ˜› This is an excellent way of starting a discussion post – you can link or quote another blogger (or author) and then proceed by letting everyone else know what you think.

Run a contest. Oh yes, giveaways are really popular in the book blogosphere. I’m not sure if it’s really effective in terms of encouraging other readers to follow the blog? My stats do soar whenever I’m holding a giveaway and that post gets a lot of comments but I’m not sure if those who join end up following my blog (I’ve never made it a requirement). I’m sorry if I haven’t had a contest in a while, I pay for the books that I give away and I’m trying not to spend too much on books so I’m not sure when the next giveaway will be.

Make a post out of the best comments from your readers. I haven’t done this yet but it seems like a great idea. I do get several intelligent comments and some of the lengthy ones can stand on their own as blog posts.

Those are my thoughts regarding some of the tips that WordPress provided and here are some of my own suggestions:

Turn off CAPTCHA. Okay, so CAPTCHA won’t really prevent me from commenting but it’s such a nuisance. I’m not a fan of it. Some of the words that turn up are so difficult to decipher, I feel like I’m trying to understand a foreign language. It’s a good idea to make things easier for whoever wants to comment on your blog. My settings only require a person to type in a name and email address, although I’ve heard from some people that WordPress has been having issues about requiring commenters to login (I have no idea how to fix that).

Link to reviews from other bloggers. It’s helpful to followers who want to find out what others think about a certain book. And it’s also helpful to fellow bloggers because their blog gets more exposure that way. When I get a notification that someone has linked to my review, I drop by to check out the post and comment. Make sure you’ve read the reviews before linking to them though.

Link your blog to other social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads. Sometimes, it’s more convenient for other people to comment on those venues. Like I said, anything that makes it easier for followers to comment is a good thing.

I feel like this is something that all bloggers can relate to so please share your ideas. Do you agree or disagree with the things that I’ve said? Do you have any tips on how to get more comments?

Comments and Such

Image from We Heart It

Let’s face it, most (if not all) bloggers love comments. Comments are like candy. We work hard on the posts that we put up and comments show that other people appreciate that effort. Also, it feels good to know that others out there feel just as strongly, whether it be positive or negative, about certain books. I love getting comments and it makes me sad when some of my posts don’t receive any. I feel like no one’s interested in that post even though I know that followers probably read it on their Google Reader but didn’t feel the need to say anything. Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with something better than “Great review! Thanks for sharing!” and I understand why people would rather not leave comments. Also, I know there are lurkers out there who are more comfortable with just following the blog and I’m okay with that.

I love leaving comments in other people’s blogs as well. Once I start following a certain blog, I usually leave a comment whenever that blogger features a book that I’ve read or I’m interested in. I don’t even know how many blogs are in my reader but I enjoy browsing through new posts every day. It makes my day when I comment on a certain blog and then the blogger returns the favor by checking out my blog and leaving a comment in one of the posts. I try to do that as well when someone new comments on my blog, I drop by their own blog too. Do the rest of you do that as well?

I reply to all of the blog comments in my blog, both in reviews and discussion posts. I know that not all book bloggers do this but one of the reasons why I chose WordPress was for the threaded comments. I think it encourages discussion and even non-bloggers leave comments from time to time. I’m curious if that’s really true, are you more likely to leave a comment when you know that the blogger will reply? Some of my favorite bloggers do that and I go back to their posts to check their replies just to know what else they have to say.