If you enable comments on your blog (which I’m sure most of you do), then you obviously want your readers to interact by leaving comments after your post. Then why, I ask, does it usually end up being a one-sided conversation?
It’s like giving a presentation to a group of people and not responding to questions and comments from your audience. It just seems rude, but for some reason it has become standard for bloggers not to reply to comments made on their post.
So much for “interaction”.
For big-time bloggers with several comments on each post, it would obviously be tough to respond to each and every single comment. But you have to admit that it is nice to when the big names take the time to respond to some of the comments, right?
The truth is, most of us are not “big time” bloggers and we do have the time to respond. And yet – we don’t.
In Step #6 of 6 Steps To An Effective Guest Post, it mentions:
“If you are fortunate enough to get your site published, the work is not over yet. All your efforts should go into promoting that article and taking part in any comments that may be posted.
Why is this something that only guest posters should do? Every blogger should be doing it on their own posts too.
For the past several months, I’ve been doing my best to respond to each and every single comment on my own blog, just to see what would happen. The response has been nothing less than amazing. In fact, people have pointed out that they love that I respond to almost every comment, and some of my readers have even emailed me just to say thanks.
So what’s the real benefit? Why should you invest a few extra minutes to respond to your readers? Here are 5 reasons to do so:
1. It Encourages People To Comment
People don’t leave comments just so they can be left unread. By replying, you’re not only letting people know that you’re actively involved in reading the comments, but you’re encouraging them to come back and comment again later.
Furthermore, people who don’t normally comment may be happy to do so knowing that their comment will indeed be read.
2. It Adds to the Quality of Your Posts
A reply can often lead to side conversations within the commenting area that add to the content and overall quality of your post. Your points will be explained further, new points will be brought up, and questions that people may have get answered.
Also, new people will join the side conversations and add their own comments that they wouldn’t have normally made otherwise.
3. It Helps With Search Engine Optimization
Comments on your blog posts do in fact help with search engine optimization, although admittedly in a minimal way.
More comments, including your own, usually mean more instances of the keywords that you used in your blog post, which means you’re more likely to be found in the search engines for those terms.
Additionally, new terms that you did not use in your blog post will be brought up and discussed, which could potentially help you for those terms as well.
4. It Adds More Social Proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people’s decisions are influenced by making the assumption that surrounding people know more about certain situations than you do.
For example, if you’re at the mall and you see a huge crowd of people around a particular store, chances are that you’re going to walk over and see what the big deal is. In a similar way, you might be more inclined to follow a certain blogger in a niche just because they have more subscribers and followers than others.
In most cases, your own comments will count towards the overall comment count of your post. Respond to 15 comments, and you’ll have a total comment count of 30, which looks more far more impressive and interesting to your readers and any new visitors to your blog.
5. It Helps You Build Authority and Credibility
Finally, by responding to each comment, you’re establishing yourself as a go-to expert in your niche. You become more “real” and are seen as someone who actually takes time to care for your readers, which adds value to you and your blog.
Because responding to comments is abnormal, you’ll stand out of the crowd like no other. And if you can leave thoughtful, meaningful comments, you’ll make that much more of an impact on your readers.
It doesn’t take very much extra time, and the return on investment can be phenomenal. So why not give it a shot?
Try responding to every comment and see what happens.
So What Do You Think?
How do you feel when a blogger responds to a comment you left on his or her blog? Do you think it’s worth the time and effort to do so, or are we just wasting our time?
Please leave a comment below, and tell me what you think.
I’m wondering how this is possible? I am a small blogger, but when I do post something that does well, and I am thankful for it, I can get about 100 comments.
If I visit each commenter’s site, and email them, and leave a comment for them at their site…I am up all night. I know, I tried it. And I was no good as a mother to my 3 children and I was falling asleep at my job.
I suppose that the thing to do is just turn off comments, but I don’t want to do that.
Is there an easier, faster way? I am so behind on comments right now, that I’m getting a headache when I see the numbers. It creates a negative reaction in me now, b/c I see it as work.
If you have any ideas, please let me know. I’m thinking of posting only after I get back to all the commenters from the previous post. What do you think of that idea??
I love your blog, and am subscribing to it now.
The Corner Girl says
I would if I got comments. ha-ha.
No really, though. I think that what you say has a lot of weight. It’s very important that the blogger always responds to every comment that is not hostile or spamming in nature.
Blogging is unique in that you get to orchestrate your posts however you want, and you get to hear directly from your readers! This is a priviledge that even magazine and book authors do not get the majority of the time!
This means that we should take this advantage and use it well. We get to have the readers interatcing and being a part of our posts and maybe even changing our thinking for the future. It’s exciting to both the commenters and the blogger!
Very very well said. Thanks so much!
Especially just starting a blog I think it is very important to reply to all the comments left by other readers. Organically I can see the benefits of making this a priority in operating a blog site.
Duane, i think when starting the blog, that’s the MOST important time to leave comments. Why shouldn’t you? I mean, the quantity isn’t so many that it’s impossible, so why not?!
Pat, I’m in total agreeance. If I take the time time to comment on a post, I expect some sort of acknowledgement, even if it’s a summary “Thanks everyone” type reply.
I’ve actually stopped commenting on blogs where the author doesn’t reply to any comments.
Vicki, I’ve done the exact same thing. I don’t want to talk to a brick wall. Thanks VIcki!
Thanks everyone for your comments, and helping me prove my point!!
I agree it makes a reader feel appreciated if you reply to their comment, and I admit to being disappointed sometimes if I comment (particularly on a blog which doesn’t seem to have many comments) and don’t get a response, it’s like I’ve been ignored. However, sometimes I just can’t think of anything relevant to say (and want to avoid the banal) and sometimes it’s a case of ‘if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything’ – the commenter has missed my point perhaps, and I’d rather not point that out but also don’t feel like I can say ‘thanks for that’. I can’t do small talk in person but I can do deep impassioned debates; responding to questions or insightful comments can spark a good debate or further elucidation of my point, but the brief non-specific comment leaves me lost for a response.
On the social proof side, I confess I feel cheated when I go to read the long list of comments on someone’s post and discover that at least half of them are their own! Maybe that’s just me…
Could be just you 😛 Nah just kidding – I’m sure a lot of people may feel that way, but a lot of people see the number, and immediately forget about it when starting to engage in the post.
First of all every comment is not a reply able like any other person share his experience/thoughts but some people want conversation so you must need to respond to that comment but the result in my point of view is to check & read your every comment everytime you got comment or after logging into your wp dashboard. It will engage your visitors and its mean alot for visitor if blog owner reply to him.
sTyLo’s comment 🙂
Thanks Stylo! I think setting up a schedule for when to respond to comments is the best way to go, definitely.
Well, now you got me commenting on this article just to see if you will respond 😉 Great stuff though, I agree with the general consensus.
Hey John – here I am! Hehe. Cheers dude!
Dave Higgs says
Thanks for the great info.
I think comments are important, but replying to them shows not only the “love” but that you have thought about it as well. Often there are “many correct answers” to any given problem and admitting that you don’t necessarily know (or have stated) everything also gives you credibility.
I try to reply to all the comments on my blog – but akismet seems to get more spam than I get comments 🙁
Don’t worry about the spam numbers, I have the same issue. 😛
This is a fantastic post Basically replying to comments is good for organic relation and get return visitors.Nice post
Yes indeed, Jamal. it’s great for keeping good relations with people online. Thanks!
Liposuction side effects says
Replying to all comments really encourages your readers to leave their own comments too. It proves them that you are real and not a robot.
There are a lot of “robotic” blogs out there now, and replying does make us stand out and become more personable.
I hope you’re feeling better from your lipo. Hehe.