Blogging brings about a two-way interaction. You share your opinions through your posts, and your readers respond to them through their comments. This makes the whole blogging interaction mutually beneficial.
As a personal blogger like me, the least you can do after going through your readers’ comments – to retain their loyalty – is to acknowledge their effort by genuinely responding to their comments. I see it as a sign of disrespect not to do so.
I like to read and respond to all the comments on my blog posts. There are immense benefits in doing so.
In this post, I am sharing some of the simple reasons I love reading my blog comments:
1. To show that I acknowledge and respect my readers
Out of the millions of blogs out there, it is a big favour for you to have people reading yours, and even a bigger one to have them leave comments on your posts. So if someone is kind enough to comment on your post, be respectful enough to acknowledge the person with a response.
If you do not respond, the person may stop commenting on your future posts because he or she will feel unappreciated. Hardly would you have a neglected reader who keeps coming back and commenting on all your posts.
As you well know, respect begets respect. I want to be acknowledged whenever I comment on other blogs. So I extend the same courtesy to anyone who takes out his or her valuable time to leave a comment on mine.
2. Readers’ comments on my post reveal their connection or engagement level
When a post strikes a chord – positive or negative – in the heart of a reader, he or she is most likely to react to it by ‘liking’ it, sharing it or leaving a comment after reading it. That goes to show that if I explore the comments on my blog, I would often see how much the post resonated with the readers.
I would not know much about how you as my reader feel about my posts, except you leave me an appropriate comment. And once I see your comment – positive or negative, I feel bound to respond to it.
Apart from clearly identified spam comments, I don’t yet have a record of ever deleting any reader’s comment on my posts.
Experience has shown me that it is easier for readers to simply walk away after reading a post than to click the “like button” below a post or write a comment after reading the post.
Even when a reader shows that he or she ‘likes’ a post, (I am glad to see those “likes” on my posts) I feel that comments show a deeper level of connection or engagement between my readers and I than “likes” do.
The “Like” button is a one-way traffic; as the name depicts, you hit it to show that you like a post. But through comments, I can get to see whether you like the post, disagree with it or you are simply indifferent.
Usually, I can feel my readers pulse through the comment window. While exploring the comments, I would often see all sorts of emotions and attitudes on display: joy, agreement, disagreement, anger, hate, love, appreciation, prejudice, faith, hopelessness, desperation, to mention but a few.
As I said already, I endeavour to respond to all of the comments as most appropriate. So far, none of my posts have generated more number of comments than I have been able to respond to.
You don’t have to follow my example here; you have the power to decide which of your readers’ comments to delete or keep. That’s why there is a setting on WordPress that allows you to moderate the comments on your blog.
3. A measure of the success of a post
The comment section reveals a lot about the acceptability or impact of any post I make. It lets me see whether or not the post has ‘hit the target.’
There are many ways to measure the success of a post. Apart from the number of views, shares and likes, the number of comments generated by the post also counts for me.
Please don’t misunderstand me; I do not write any post with the sole intention of generating mere comments. Rather, before I hit the publish button, my number one wish is always that my post will positively touch at least one person’s life.
That is to say that the ultimate test of the success of my posts is the number of lives they impact positively, not the number of comments they generate. But how would I know that someone somewhere was touched or influenced by my post except he or she leaves me a feedback comment?
Perhaps a few examples will bring home my point.
I can recall a positive feedback I once received from a pastor in the US who commented that a post I made bothering on time, talent and treasure gave him an insight to a message he had been proposing to preach to His congregation but did not know how to go about it.
How about a reader who after reading my post on forgiveness commented that the post touched her and she had decided to forgive someone whom she had refused to forgive for years?
Quite recently too, “you have made my day,” was a comment a reader left below the post why not to judge people.
How else could I measure the success of my posts without all these positive feedback which I glean from reading the comment section?
4. Ideas for new posts on the blog and other suggestions.
In my relatively short period in blogging, I have discovered that the comment section of my posts is a goldmine for new blog ideas and readers’ suggestions. I have been able to spurn several posts from looking at my readers’ comments and also improved on my blog generally by implementing some of their suggestions.
So if you thoroughly explore your readers’ comments, you will definitely pick up ideas for new posts on your blog. For instance, there were some comments on my blog that I lifted and turned into full fledged posts. All the Conversation series so far posted on this blog fall into this category.
Not too long ago as well, I got to know through a reader’s comment that the Twitter sharing button on my blog was not properly set up.
Before I received the feedback, I didn’t realise that once anyone tried to share my posts via that button, it usually led them to a Twitter account that is not mine, though bearing some semblance with my blog name. But I was able to rectify the improperly set-up blog-twitter link because the error was pointed out through the comment section by one of my faithful readers.
So check your blog comments, you will see fresh blog topics directly suggested by your readers. Although most of them will not be so direct, you will still be able to pick up some fresh ideas that can help improve your entire blogging experience.
5. Gives me a lead on to new blogs to follow or fresh posts to read.
There are many ways to discover new blogs to follow or interesting new posts to read. One simple way I have found is to follow through the channel of the comment section of my posts.
I do check my WordPress Reader from time to time for new posts and I also do receive daily email notifications from blogs I follow in numbers more than I can handle on a given day. But I make sure that no day passes without responding to my blog comments, which in turn lures me to the commentator’s blog.
Once someone leaves a comment on any of my posts, I am most likely to head to the person’s blog – after responding to the comment – to see what the person has to offer on his or her blog. This way, I have discovered interesting new blogs to follow and great articles to read.
I have also observed that some readers do recommend posts for me to check out on their site by dropping the link via the comment section. (To guard against being spammed, I have set up the blog to allow for maximum of two links at a time from anyone comment section).
By and large, the comment section of my blog has become the easiest way for me to reciprocate comments and actively follow up with the conversations on my commenters’ blogs.
If you have followed this blog closely by commenting on my posts, you will have observed that I seem to pay a visit to your blog once you have left me a comment. I don’t intend to stop doing that because it is a strategy that has been working for me.
6. Gives me further insight on a post.
Your post is essentially your perspective on an issue. And no one person has it all. By reading your readers’ comments, you can gain some more perspectives on the issue in discourse.
On any given posts, there are readers that will give you a very interesting perspective to your post, different from the one you wrote about. So you will miss out on them if you do not reckon with your blog comments.
When I wrote 8 reasons I do not follow your blog, I was simply sharing my own perspectives based on my limited experiences on why I am unable to follow some blogs. But as I took a good look at the various comments generated by that post, I could see other reasons adduced by my readers on the principles that guide them in determining which blogs to follow or not to follow.
Of course some of their guiding principles tallied with mine. But there were some that didn’t, which kind of gave me some more insights on why some people may not follow a blog.
So if you do not mind receiving a different view to your post, allow your readers to engage you through their comments on your posts. The feedback might pleasantly surprise you.
7. Avenue to throw more light on a post or correct a wrong impression.
On more than one occasions, some readers have misunderstood my posts, as seen through their comments. By responding to their comments, I was able to throw more light on the post and also (hopefully) corrected the wrong impression that might have been formed from reading them.
I have also had to do some rejoinder posts after following the direction of the comments that followed the earlier posts. That was what happened when I wrote 5 reasons I could not have been single and satisfied.
You could take the post as an open response to some readers’ comments precipitated by an earlier post on singleness. And I must tell you it helped to assuage some feelings precipitated by the referenced earlier post.
My dear friend, it is important you read and respond to your readers comments. It is a huge disservice to both you and your readers if you do not read and respond to your blog comments.
For instance, how can you provide an answer to a reader’s question in the comment section if you didn’t check it out in the first place? You can be sure that you will lose a reader’s loyalty if he or she feels repeatedly ignored by you.
8. A source of some motivation
I will not end this post without adding this point: I get some motivations (no matter how little) from looking at my blog comments.
When I started this blog, I did not so much imagine that so many people around the world would appreciate the thoughts I share. Now that I am aware that people are reading and giving positive feedback through their comments, I get encouraged to keep writing.
That does not mean that I would stop writing if the comments stop coming. But sincerely I am glad that people do read and comment on my posts. So that’s a source of motivation for me to keep the colourful blogging flag flying.
What benefits have you enjoyed reading comments on your blog?
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©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne