Comment Etiquette

Terra emailed me with this question in light of my previous post, so here’s my 2 cents.

Stupid question for you…You should add a blog about
comment etiquette?  What is it…do you respond to the comment with a
comment?  Will the person ever come back to see your comment?  Do you email
people that comment?  Do you sit quietly back and enjoy them in silence?  I
have never quite known what the right thing to do is and based on the comments
on your comments blog I am willing to bet I am not the only one.

These are great questions that I’ve heard many times, and it’s always good to keep the conversation going about blog etiquette.  As a blogger, there are several options when you receive a comment.  Tara basically listed them all:

1) Sit back and enjoy in silence.  BAD idea.  At least if you want people to come back.  I’m not saying that I respond to every single comment, but I try to answer MOST of them.

2) Email the commenter.  With Typepad, everyone who comments is required to leave an email address, and I receive my comments via email, so it is very easy for me to hit Reply and respond via email.  This is what I do most often, especially when what I have to say wouldn’t be of interest to anyone but the commenter.

3) Respond in the comment section.  This is always a nice thing to do so.  This way your readers get a sense of community when they visit your blog.  My bet is that since I respond most often via email that people who don’t comment often probably don’t realize how interactive I really am with my readers.  The downside to this is that not everyone will come back and check comments on a post, so the person you respond to might miss your comment. Which brings me to #4.

4) Email AND respond in the comments.  I do this when what I have to say is something I want my readers to see.  I return the email so the person I’m responding to is sure to hear me.  And then I copy it and go to my blog and paste it in the comments so other readers get the benefit of the conversation as well.  Sometimes I alter it a bit to be more general, it just depends on the situation.

I’m working on moving my blog to WordPress, and one of the reasons I’M SO PSYCHED is that there is a plug-in that allows your email comment to also post in the comment section of the blog post.  WOOT!  When that happens, I expect you will see a lot more of my responses in the comment sections.

The other thing I try to do is visit the blog of new commenters.  I don’t always have time for this, but I try to check it out and leave a quick comment.  It’s always appropriate to return the visit when someone comments on your blog.

So that’s my 2 cents on comments.  If you have any bloggy questions, always feel free to ask!  I am more than happy to talk blogging until the cows come home.

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18 Responses

  1. You rock, as always. Thank you I like the email/and comment! I am using Blogger as you well know…maybe someday I will look into wordpress.
    Thanks to the answers to my questions! Have a lovely weekend.

  2. In my opinion, the power of a blog is that it’s a conversation. And a conversation is not just one way communication. So responding to comments in the comment section is essential.

  3. I just finished reading all of your comments on your last post (53, whew!) and had a few things to say, too.

    Lately, I’ve been superbusy so I have been posting fairly often but not visiting a lot of other blogs much. And if I do read, I don’t always comment.

    Now you are one of my oldest and I would say dearest blog friends because I like you TONS, but a lot of times I won’t comment because of a few things:

    1. You’re having a giveaway. Now I just recently won a giveaway of yours (a diaper bag, which I LOVE and use every day) so I would feel like a greedy pig if I was entering every giveaway you had because, heck, I just won one! So I don’t comment.

    2. You already have a big ol’ stack of comments already and what am I going to say, ditto?? That’s not anything exciting for anyone involved. And I know you know I’ve visited, because you check your site stats and can see I’ve clicked on your blog from my blog!

    Now this isn’t really pertinent to your blog, but a lot of times if someone gets a lot of comments and they’re not someone I really know well, I won’t comment. Because they won’t respond and I sort of get bugged by that. There is one blog I read that is pretty funny, but the guy who writes it hardly EVER responds to comments. I think he’s visited my blog twice ever, and left comments. Which made me kind of happy because I thought “hey, this relatively big time blogger visited my blog! and left a comment!” and then I just felt pathetic for feeling grateful for that.

    Blogging to me, is just my blog to say what I want to say. I don’t do ads, it’s not a business. I get 20 comments if I’m lucky, usually about 5 or 6. And that’s all right. But I do appreciate it more if someone visits my blog and comments if I visit their blog. I know that’s not always possible and I know I read a lot of blogs where they maybe don’t even know who I am, and that’s fine too. But recipricality is nice. (and yes, I made that word up).

    Just my thoughts! 🙂

  4. I stumbled on you because my own blog is ‘athgarvan musings’. I write it because I am old and my memory is failing fast. I review my posts to see what was happening in my life last week or last month. I think your posts are interesting if a bit too long! I am from Ireland.

  5. You will love WordPress! I started out on WP.com and moved to self-hosted with help from Desperately Seeking WordPress. I found her through an ad on DCR Design BTW, so thanks! Anyway, the Comment Email Responder is just the beginning of all the great things you can do on WP.

  6. Emily – I don’t comment back to every comment. I respond with an email if I have something to say. I would say I respond to maybe half or 2/3 of my comments? (Not including giveaway comments. I rarely respond to those.)

    It’s really a personal choice how you handle it. but the more you communicate with your readers, the more likely they are to hang around b/c they start to get to know you. KWIM?

  7. If I understand this correctly, are you suppose to comment back to every comment you get on your blog? or only if the person who comments has a question? I lost what brain cells I had left when my fourth child was born, so can you confirm that what I am thinking is correct or not?

  8. I too am trying to move my blog. I really want to go to a more reader friendly format but don’t want to loose all my old posts. So I have a question…Will you copy and paste all of your old posts to your new blog with dates in the title or will you just post a link back to your old blog? Oh and will you keep the same name or change?

    These are all the things I’m struggling with.

  9. I also blog on Typepad. You mention that you are moving your blog to WordPress. Not that I’m totally dissatisfied with Typepad, but how does one move their entire blog to another hosting site?

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