I Need to Comment More. Don’t You?
As part of my ongoing Blog Challenges, I challenged my readers to Comment on 10 Blogs. The results by participants were amazing. Some had trouble with the number “10” and shrunk it down to 5. Others went nuts and increased the number and changed the rules to comment on 10 blogs a day or 10 a month. For the most part, people really enjoyed the challenge and it increased their awareness and importance of the blog comment.
Recently, I ran across that challenge and realized that I haven’t been commenting as much as I’d like to on other blogs. I’m so wrapped up in my own little bloggy world, I forget to open the door and see what others are doing out there and give my feedback out there.
Okay, that’s the challenge. Now, where do I start?
Finding Blogs To Comment On
I started close to home first. WordPress lists blogs that link to your blog in the Administration Panels Dashboard, and/or on the WordPress.com Blog Stats panel. The list is generated from Google Blog Search. I felt it safe to get back into the spirit of commenting by commenting on blogs that had something to say about mine.
You can manually generate the same Google Blog Search list by going to Google Blog Search or Google and type in the search command to list only blogs or sites that link to yours:
Don’t be dismayed to find out that this also uncovers splogs, scrapers, and copyright violators. You can deal with them, too, but let’s focus on blogs with something of value said about your blog, so you can comment on theirs.
Open each link of interest in a new tab or window, going down the list until you have five or ten blogs open. Leaving the Google Blog Search list open, check out what these other bloggers have been saying about you and leave a comment or two.
Sometimes it’s hard to add much, especially to those who just blockquote and link and don’t add to the conversation. I tend to ignore those and concentrate on the bloggers who really have something to say. I thank them for the link, but I want to do more than just say thank you. So I read carefully and try to find something of value to add to the conversation and to help the conversation get going if it hasn’t started.
Did they overlook a point? Did they get something wrong? Maybe it’s enough that I agree with their point. Think about how to add to the blog conversation and encourage them and their readers to get talking.
If you haven’t checked out the list of incoming blog links for a while, you can spend days prowling through Google Blog Search’s links to your blog.
Comment on Your Reader’s Blogs
If you still want to comment close to your blog home, visit the blogs of your readers. They want you to visit. Why else would they waste their time entering their blog’s URL in your comment form and signing their blog comments with another link to their blogs?
Make time to prowl through some of your readers’ blogs and dig into their content to find something to comment upon. Tell them they are doing a good job, and even thank they for stopping by.
You never know what you will find when you go looking at other blogs. You might even find something worth blogging about, linking back to them and encouraging them even more to return to your blog and be a fan.
Finding Blogs to Comment on From Your Feed Reader
I monitor a lot of blogs from my feed reader, but I don’t always have time to go through every blog on the list. Now, I take time to go through the blogs I’ve overlooked recently to find subjects worth commenting on.
We can’t comment via our feed readers, so it does require opening them in new tabs or windows. Do this just like you did with Google Blog Search, opening multiple windows or tabs at one go, and then processing through each one, commenting and closing them to speed things up.
Comment on Social Bookmarking and Networking Sites
I also monitor social bookmarking and site submission services by category or search term or tag. I monitor “WordPress” and “Blogging Tips” on many of them. As I go through these, I look for post titles of interest and open those up to see what’s going on and find something to comment upon.
I comment on individual posts, but commenting on the social bookmarking and networking sites is another way to add more comments to the blogosphere conversation. There are so many now to choose from, and then there are things like Twitter where all you do is comment.
I used to hang out on social networking and bookmarking sites, commenting on links mentioned on Digg and elsewhere, but I don’t have time for that now. If you have the time, it’s a great way to add comments to the web and to increase the “social” and “networking” in your blogging experience.
Don’t forget that mailing lists, newsgroups, forums, and chats are another way to add your voice to the web and get more social with your blog and life.
Find a New Subject to Comment Upon
If you’ve exhausted all of these commenting forums, why not type in a search for a subject of interest, but not typical to your blog’s content. Hit Google Blog Search for stamp collecting, car repair, travel, or another subject that has intrigued you, and find some interesting blogs to comment upon.
You don’t have to comment only on blogs related directly to yours. Be a real human being and have interests outside your blog to keep you well rounded. A little off-topic conversation helps stimulate the brain and might give you new energy and motivation for your blog and work.
How Many Blogs Are You Going To Comment Upon?
Is it time for you, too, to start increasing your participation in the blogosphere? This year, I’m going to start making time within my week to “blog commenting” to get more involved with more bloggers. What about you?
Now, if only someone would invent a better way of easily monitoring blog comments. SIGH.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
Commenting on other blogs really makes a lot of sense. Its the basic form of networking with fellow bloggers.
Let me start participating in your comment challenge as well ;-)
When you’re just getting started on a new blog I find this to be a really effective way to get visitors and eventually a few direct links, especially if the author picks up your blog and includes it in one of their posts.
I’d love to see blogging redefined to include commenting as well as posting, reading, linking… It’s so much a part of what makes blogging worthwhile – and motivating, and fun.
Thanks for the pointers here for people who are looking for ways to extend their blogging connections
PS You’re welcome to leave a comment on my site any time :-)
I couldn’t agree more. We all love to see comments added to our posts, but how many of us regularly leave comments elsewhere? One of the New Year’s resolutions for my blog was to generate more conversation, and one way to do that is to generate conversation elsewhere first.
it just feels good, to know that something you’ve said has been recieved, and generated some kind of response.
Ten? Well, I do commnet a lot, mostly on WP or design related sites, not so much on blogging related sites, as most of them are repeating the same ole’ blogging tips. =)
I’ve no doubt that my readership would be much smaller if I didn’t comment on other blogs.
What I like to do from time to time is look through my older blog posts, and click on the links of commenters who I haven’t heard from in some time.
It can be interesting to see what changes have been made to their blogs, or read what’s happening in their lives. I know I like it when a familiar face drops by after a while.
I don’t know “how much” I comment, but I do leave a comment whenever it is appropriate. I consider myself a very generous person when it comes to leaving comments! :D
Wow! This was all great information. I have just started blogging. I have hesitated to respond/comment on past blogs that I’ve read. I will not hesitate anymore. If I ever do generate a positive response from blogging, it will make me feel great.
That’s how I started blogging before I had a blog, Lorelle. Putting time and thought in taking the conversation to other blogs, their authors and readers.
That’s still how I meet new bloggers from Twitter or other places. I file the information away in my head and resource folder and then build on their content at the appropriate time on my blog — so I can highlight it as well ;-)
Yes – but only comment if you’re read the post/article and have interesting to add or say.
I think one well thought out comment, (even if brief,) of agreement, disagreement, or somthing relevant to add is far better than 10 “Right on Dudes”
just my opinion – james…
I think it’s really important to comment with authenticity like what the folks are saying above. And all of us like to read comments because they let us know that our blog postings are evoking a thought or emotion and engaging people in real conversation.
I love commenting on other blogs….and it’s beneficial on so many different levels.
On a side note, you mentioned having a better way of monitoring comments. Blogger has a notification option now to have an email sent to you when new comments are made on that post. Coupled with Gmail’s label system (so I can filter those into a folder automatically) and their collapsing system (so I don’t get 40 emails when people go crazy on a blog post…they’re all collapsed into one)….it works great for me. A few other random places offer features like this (like Blog Herald, of course), but I really wish more platforms and sites would offer it. It makes it so much easier to keep track of where I’ve commented and if the author has replied on his/her site, etc.
I get so many emails a day, the idea of adding any through email notification is overwhelming. I did a guest blog post on one blog that had email notification enabled by default and my email was flooded with 85 comment notifications. Email doesn’t work for me.
Also. WordPress has had email notification for ages, along with the popular Subscribe to Comments WordPress Plugin that allows commenters to get an email notification when someone posts a comment on that post. I’m glad that Blogger finally added one.
Lorelle: This has been particularly true in my case, especially after my blog refocus (thanks again for your article). One of my 2008 blogging goal is to comment more and I have noticed an increase in others returning the kindness.
in trying to wean myself from myspace, i find it difficult to find blogs that genuinely interest me. i just started blogging a couple days ago though, so hopefully with technorati and similar sites i can at least narrow my choices somewhat.
I’ve made a pledge this year that I’m going to comment more. And how appropriate to comment on a post about commenting. Woah. Great challenge.
I visit a ton of blogs and don’t bother commenting. Hell, I don’t even bother subscribing either. Lately I have been trying to make a better effort at it, but eh… we’ll see how long that lasts.
Jesus Lorelle! You really did make me comment on this one. ;)
Seems like I am with the majority here who don’t comment even on their favorite blogs. And I realize that it’s bad for me and my blog.
So let’s see.. I am going to comment on 10 blogs right now! (this one is the first one)
Commenting is nice… as long as you have something useful to say. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to purposefully go out and look for things to comment on (unless you’re trying to get them to promote their site). But I would encourage people to not be lazy when something actually does pop in their head that would be useful for other people to hear.
The commenting in others blogs and making them to comment on our blog which is similar to link exchange program.