Comments on Comments (and comments on “comments on comments”)

I think almost all bloggers love to get comments on their posts  (not counting spam comments, of course).  The interaction and discussion is usually a reason why we started blogging in the first place.  Many of us watch our stats frequently as well, looking for how much traffic our sites get.  But “raw traffic” is not the end goal for me, or for, I expect, most others.  I suspect most of the traffic I get is image searches for pictures of authors I post, or maps from books.  For example, my post on A Game of Thrones, which included a map, churned out big traffic for a long time; same thing for a post on Stephen King’s Under the Dome.  But that traffic is largely NOT representative of people actually reading posts.  A comment, though, that’s the real treasure chest that we seek…  A comment means that a visitor actually did read your post (or at least part of it), and it sparked them enough to “join in the discussion.”

So, here’s my little survey for myself about Comments. & I’m sure many others have done this before, but if it’s not too tedious, I’d love to hear other bloggers’ thoughts about this (hey, that’s more comments, right!?)

  1. What makes you comment on another blog?
  2. How often do you comment on other blogs?
  3. Do you reply to comments others leave on your blog?
  4. How frequently do you read the comments left on your blog, or check for new comments?
  5. Do you leave more comments than you get, or the other way around?

Here are my answers:

  1. There are several reasons.  One is that someone has posted about a book I’ve read and on which I want to put in my two cents .  Sometimes, I make a return comment.  If I have a new commenter show up on my blog, I always make it a point to visit their site in return, hopefully finding a recent post of some interest to me, or one where I can add some color to a discussion.  I also like to make the occasional “congratulatory comment” in the case of someone writing a really good post – one that makes me think, or laugh, or ponder some new avenue of literary exploration.  I’ll also comment if, solely by reading their post, a new book has become known to me that I will actually read.  This has actually happened more often than I expected it would.  When a blogger’s book has tipped the scales and influenced me to read something I wouldn’t otherwise have read, I want them to know about it.  I will also often throw in a comment suggesting further reading that they – or their other comment-ers – might like based upon their post.  I always appreciate when others make these suggestions to me (even if I don’t always act on them).
  2. The short answer is “not enough.” I probably only average between 10-15 a week, but I try to make sure my comments are somewhat meaningful, going for “quality over quantity” I guess you’d say.  It seems I’ll go through a spree of commenting for a few days and then nothing for awhile.  I’ve recently deliberated whether or not I should make one or two days a week “comments days” where I try to “give back” to my fellow bloggers.  Does anyone else have designated days that they generally make comments?
  3. I try to reply to all comments (I still get few enough that this is possible), unless it is the type of comment that obviously does not need a response.  I like wordpress for replies to, as you can reply to a specific comment rather than the whole thread.  If I’m not mistaken, it doesn’t look like Blogspot allows this.
  4. I have to admit that I greedily read them almost “immediately.”  I’ll check my dashboard a couple times a day, and when the little comment indicator is there curiosity doesn’t allow me to ignore it…
  5. I’d guess it’s close to equal (which is as it should be, isn’t it).  I may leave a little more than I get, but the difference is not enough to hurt my feelings.

 What about you?  Would you care to share your … comments?  🙂


  1. anatheimp said,

    December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Jay, I would answer as you have answered. There is so much pressure on my time that I can only read a few other blogs, those I most respect, yours included, though I may not always comment.


    • Jay said,

      December 21, 2011 at 8:08 am

      Thanks, Ana, and I am honored to be on your “short list.” 🙂 Yours was one of the first blogs I discovered when I started early last year, and it’s not an exaggeration to say your writing/blogging style – especially in your more “historical” posts – has influenced me in many of my posts.


  2. Darlyn said,

    December 19, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I’m usually pretty quiet on workdays, but, on my days off, I try to respond to every comment I get. Like you, I think I don’t comment on enough blogs.

    And what makes me leave me a comment? It depends actually. If I feel like I have something meaningful to say, I’m definitely going to leave a comment. If I haven’t read the book reviewed by the blogger yet and I have nothing to say about it, I decide to just save my comment for another time. Waiting until you have something to say is better than saying “Nice review” or something to that effect.

    I check my comments several times a day. LOL. I think we all do that.


    • Jay said,

      December 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

      Thanks for the comment, Darlyn. Like you say, I think for most of us it’s a matter of what our “real world” schedule is like. Sunday mornings are “about all I have left” as far as time that I can always count on being wholly my own, and I get a lot of my reading, posting, commenting done in that 7am-11am block of time each week.


  3. December 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Great questions. I need to get better about commenting. In real life I tend to be pretty quiet and I think that trait trickles over into the blogging sphere. I try to remember how much I appreciate getting comments from people, even if it’s simply to say “thanks” or “enjoyed the post,” etc. Even the simple comments lets the author know that their post was appreciated. So I’ve been trying to keep that in mind and not over-think it, if you know what I mean.

    I read every comment on my blog and I strive to reply to all of them, even if that doesn’t always happen, that’s what I aim for. I don’t tend to comment on posts about books that I haven’t read though.

    Cheers! And have a great holiday. 🙂


    • Jay said,

      December 21, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Thanks, Nicki, and same to you!
      Like Ana above, I may not always comment, but I almost always do read the posts on all the blogs in my blogroll, yours included. 🙂


  4. Alex said,

    December 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    What makes you comment on another blog?
    I find I comment more often on reviews of books I’ve read before or are on the TBR. Also, questions to the readers also help.

    How often do you comment on other blogs?
    I have a group of about 20 bloggers that I always try to follow closely, and try to comment on all their post. The other 100 on my Google Reader… see Q1 🙂

    Do you reply to comments others leave on your blog?
    Always, sometimes a bit delayed, but always.

    How frequently do you read the comments left on your blog, or check for new comments?
    I get email alerts every time someone comments. I always read.

    Do you leave more comments than you get, or the other way around?
    Good question. I probably comment more than “get commented on”.


    • Jay said,

      December 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

      Hi Alex,
      Thanks for weighing in. I think that twenty is also about my upper limit as to number of blogs that I can truly follow and give the time that they deserve, and – of course! – yours is one of them. I also probably have close to a hundred others bookmarked on my iPad that I visit less frequently, but still like to peek in on every now and then.


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