105 Ways to Give a Book

Comment Challenge Check-In

Why aren't people commenting on my blog? It's a common complaint, a question for the blogging ages. There are big picture answers that highlight content, engagement and connection. But today I want to focus on some concrete things I noticed as I am making my way through the Comment Challenge participants.

1. The commenting process is difficult. At this point, most bloggers are using some sort of filter that keeps spambots out. But I've noticed that some commenting systems are harder than others. For instance, I have no problem with the ones that want a Google ID, but I shy away if a Facebook login is requested. And I'm not even sure what Disqus is. A lot of this isn't in your control, but might be worth knowing.

2. The content isn't updated. I'm one to talk with my pathetic January posting schedule, but fresh content does matter. As I've been visiting blogs during the Comment Challenge, I comment on the post that drew my attention most - and if I didn't have much to choose from then sometimes I didn't comment.

3. The content isn't varied. Maybe you are focused on branding your reviewer/illustrator/writer blog, but give yourself a little room to play in the bigger world of KidLit/YA literature. Throw in something personal, book recommendations, movie tie-ins, Kidlitosphere news - just something different from your norm to engage more people.

4. The post doesn't invite comments. Personally, I've struggled with asking questions at the end of a post, and generally avoided it myself for fear of leaving it dangling out there, unanswered. But what I'm thinking of is posts that give little to latch onto. Okay, an example is posting illustrations alone. Other than "Lovely," what have you given me to say?" But add to that posting where the idea came from, what you struggled to capture... whatever went into it that gives me a way to relate.

5. The blog is continuous self-promotion. Obviously, your blog will have some self-promotion for your achievements, but if that's all your posts are about then you are not inviting engagement. You're not even inviting return visits.

What have you noticed on your commenting travels? How are doing on your commenting goals?

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20 comments:

Melissa Fox said...

I did better this week, visiting a couple new blogs and a commenting on a couple blogs I haven't in a long time. I'm not going to make 100, but I am getting more involved, and that's what counts.

Joanna said...

I haven't done as well this week, with about half as many comments.

Great thoughts on why people don't comment. i would also add length. If a post is really long, I often don't finish reading unless it is exceptional.

Mrs. Silverstein said...

I'm just past 70 comments--once again, Road Trip Wednesday really helped. I'm also having to make time during the week to comment extra because I'm in the middle of four consecutive weekends of travel and I'm discovering that commenting with my iPad can be very iffy. But I've connected with a few new blogs I really like and I'm feeling like a better bloggy citizen!

Katy Manck, MLS said...

I struggle with the option of showing my whole blog post on RSS feed or just part with "read more here".

Since I'll rarely go "read more here" when I'm checking through blogs on RSS, I don't think others would like to do that for my blog.

On the other hand, since I'm reading the whole post in RSS feed, I will hardly ever go to their post to comment - unless I really, really feel strongly about it.

As to the Comment Challenge, I had all good intentions - and thought I'd signed up at the start - but finally checked back just a bit ago to discover that I had commented on Lee's invitation post but not signed up! Much ground to make up before the end of the month...

Beth said...

One of the challenges of the comment challenge is that I'm spending so much time visiting new blogs that I don't have time to update mine, especially since my computer time is limited right now.

So just when I feel I should have more content to help commenters, I've got nothing. Oops. Last night's post didn't make it out there, getting replaced by a minor kid emergency, for example.

Jim Randolph said...

Wimped out this year but my comments seem to be up on the blog, so thanks to you taking the comment challenge! I'll try to update the blog daily to keep something worth commenting on up there. Today I'm thinking about favorite places to read...

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

Thanks, Pam! I'm finding that mixing up the content of posts from day to day (or whatever my posting schedule is) helps keep me interested, too.

Library Kitty Cat said...

I'm not doing the Comment Challenge, since I don't follow that many blogs (and I'm new to blogging myself), but I can relate to the discouraging feeling when a posed question embedded in a post is left unanswered / uncommented on by readers. So if you need some new material to comment on to help you reach your comment goal, feel free to check out my fledgeling blog. http://librarykittycat.wordpress.com/

Kathy (Mommys Reading) said...

Here is a quick comment to let you know that I will be back soon to read all of you Mo Willems posts. And I know that I will have more comments to leave as I red through them. We are huge Mo fans at this house.

Kathy

Liz said...

Oohh, this list is really smart. Some things to think about for this newbie blogger.

Man, I'm not going to get anywhere near 100. Probably not even 50. But since I'm a chronically shy non-commenter, my few dozen is a vast improvement!

MotherReader said...

I forgot to check myself in last time, but I've been doing well. More with concentrated commenting times than five per day, but that's what's working out this time around. I'm on track with 65 comments as of now - 9:30 p.m.

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

Susan at Pen and Ink. I am up to 73 comments. I am working my way through the list (and continuing to comment on blogs I follow.)
The Captcha that many use (incluging you) drives me bonkers. I can't see that well. They give me performance anxiety.
I decided to keep a spreedsheet (did someone just say anal retentive?) so i can make notes on some of the information I've been getting. My favorites this week wre Top Ten Picture Books of 2012 because now I have a new reading list and Mother Daughter Book reviews. I also noticed a lot more traffic coming to our blog which is a nice benefit.
Blessings.
now on second try for your captcha (Honestly comment moderation works just as well without giving the real commenters fits)

Michelle Cusolito said...

Great observations.

I also struggle with posts that are too long with little white space. I need more space to breathe and scroll. Keep the paragraphs short. Add photographs to make it interesting. Try making lists sometimes.

Also, try talking to your readers. (Use 2nd person, "you" voice) If we don't know you, that funny thing your kid said yesterday doesn't resonate. Find a way to connect with us.

And my pet peeve: Please respond to people who comment on your blog. It's supposed to be a conversation. You may miss some occasionally (we all do), but I pay attention to whether the blogger generally responds to other people before I comment.

I'm 10 comments behind after being away from the internet for 5 days, but I'm catching up. I WILL make it this year.

Amy said...

I didn't sign up for an official challenge but it's been one of my 'back of the mind' goals lately to comment and not just lurk. So, thanks for the inspiration and the reminder!

Ali said...

These are great tips. I have had my comments disappear on blogs because they want me to a log in a certain way and then I have to rewrite it. I have to REALLY want to comment to go through the trouble twice!

I struggle with the "question at the end of the post" idea, too. It often looks contrived to me, especially on my own blog posts. Definitely makes it easier to think of something to say, though.

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for the reminder to consider closing posts with a question. I always neglect this and realize afterwards that I need to invite conversation more directly.

Playing by the book said...

I'm finding I'm much much better at commenting on blogs to which I'm subscribed by email - with an email reminder sitting in my inbox I'm definitely more like to comment!

Ms. Yingling said...

Then there is the totally random post that gets more comments than I have ever gotten in my life! Duct Tape Projects beat out even the picture of my dog in a sweater I knit for her as most commented upon. That's just kind of weird! And believe me, I have fresh content. Maybe I need more random.

Michelle Cusolito said...

Are people participating as much as last year? Things feel kind of quiet this time through.

Sylvia Liu said...

This is my very belated check in for the comment challenge. I started out great, but then things got busy. I still loved participating and discovering new blogs. Thanks again for running this challenge.