When I read about ways to reward those who comment on blogs I always enthusiastically try them out. I see comments as the life blood of a blog, providing a distribution system for so many other aspects of blogging. Their are plenty of blog posts around about the benefits of leaving comments but what of the benefits we gain by receiving them?
Benefits of receiving comments:
- Comments are a concrete way of showing that your blog has readers, particularly interested in your blog, rather than just passing trade. The passing trade do comment too but you can distinguish these from your regulars. A hello and thank you to my regulars.
- Satisfaction – Stating the obvious – no one wants to run a blog that is not read by others, for whatever reason we blog. – stats may indicate visitors and readers but figures do not provide the same sort of personal satisfaction.
- Motivation – to keep writing posts and to keep going with the blog itself – many blogs are abandoned (probably too early) because of receiving few or no comments.
- Egos are stroked – a natural human need to one extent or another (not because bloggers in general need ego strokes more than anyone else)
- Social advantages/Social Networking – we get to know others, we develop contacts outside of the blog itself, we can develop friendships, contacts can lead to more contacts and more friends who also come to comment on our blogs – the Blog Loop.
- Networking – again to develop contacts but done for business, professional or money making reasons rather to satisfy strictly personal needs.
- Networking + Social Networking – those who start blogging for the above reasons often find it is the social aspects that motivate them to keep on going.
The Blog Loop and how it goes wrong
This post is not just an off the top of my head type now – it has really got me thinking and I even created an image. Do some of your blog posts develop along these lines?
- This includes the pat on the back type comments that help with the motivational and ego stroking needs mentioned above. We know deep down that some of these type are not sincere but how many of us ignore this and choose to appreciate them anyway? This does not include the "nice post", "well done", "I am not adding saying anything else because I just want you to visit my blog" type. These are just a drag and for delete or the spam folder. I notice some of these have snuck into some of my older posts – they will be ex-comments soon.
- Learning which of our posts are popular with our readers. It does not necessarily mean posts that draw the most comments but also those which elicit the more valuable comments – what is valuable depends of course on your own particular blog and your own blogging needs. Being aware of which posts fit these criteria is an enormous help in showing us how to improve and meet the needs of our readers. By aware I mean not just knowing which posts they are but thinking about why they are popular and how to reproduce the success again. Looking at our unpopular posts can be similarly helpful.
Research and learning
- Finding other blogs in our own niche areas can advance our learning of the particular subject we cover. Blogs tend to beget contact from similar blogs. Following your comments and the comments left on their author’s blog can be a source of valuable knowledge.
- Even if you blog on a particular topic by following comments you can find wonderful blogs to interest and entertain you; to satisfy leisure and personal learning needs.
- Comments that give us information, add to the topic, or add things we may have missed are a valuable learning tool (the latter is only of positive use for perfectionist types who do not beat themselves up about missing something.). And to prove that I am not a perfectionist I am going to end here and ask you to add any other positive things you can think of – (Ok the truth – I don’t particularly like missing things but I ran out of steam and ideas and I even like getting comments that tell me what I have missed, as well as ego stroking ones.)
Benefits of Leaving Comments
Simple – just take account of the benefits you gain from receiving comments and bestow these on others – not only will you feel good about yourself you will receive backlinks, kudos, recognition for your own blog, more visitors, readers, increased page rank and all the other stuff you can read one of the many blog posts already written on the subject.
I started this post only intending to tell you some news relating commenting tools but not wanting to lose your attention I will write about these next. I have a real talent for (problem with!) getting completely sidetracked.
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