Monday, May 12, 2008

Guilty!




I think most bloggers do [or don't do] something, in the operation of their blog, that may hurt its repeat readership. And let's face it, while an especially-interesting post, or a particularly heavy ad campaign, may bring you new readers, those efforts are wasted if they don't become regular visitors. One that I've just become aware that I'm guilty of (and deserve a session with the Blogosphere's Judge Judy for, if such a one exists) is not replying to readers' comments.




Under the best of circumstances, it's difficult to know if anyone is reading your posts [I got a comment recently from fellow blogger Dave Rosenthal, of http://welcomebackrosenthal.com/, that used his EntreCard stats to postulate that about 1 in 100 'Card droppers actually read posts on a site they drop on. I'd be curious to hear what others' experiences are, but that's not the point of this post]. If someone actually shows the interest to A] read your blog, and B] make a comment, don't they deserve some reply? Even if it's a "Hi Erica! Good luck with your new site for "Tales From The Tracks": [http://www.talesfromthetracks.com/]! And thanks for your kind words on my recent post". First of all, you show they you've read their comment. Then, by taking a few minutes to update yourself on the happenings at their site, you can then comment, sensibly, on what's going on there.


(My problem, it turns out, is that I almost never re-read my posts. It's waaay too scary. But, like the little boy in that classic story, I need to fight my fears, listen carefully for the noise under the bed, reach for my "old-school" Victoriaville hockey stick, and bash the defenseless creature to within an inch of its miserable life. Like Billy Warhol, residing on the Blogosphere at http://billiondollarbaloney.blogspot.com/. By the Bye, Billy, where's my gazillion dollars? Just kidding, as I expect you were.)


Seriously, though, what should bloggers do about comments? Reply to them, preferably on your comment page. As noted above, get a sense of what they're up to on their site. Like Dan Thornton, purveyor of The Way Of The Web: http://thewayoftheweb.blogspot.com/. Congrats on the new kid, Dan! Or Tix-R-Us, who's about to split, atom-like, into a collection of mini-blogs at http://www.dorkage.net/. Tix [may I call you that, by the way?] is also responsible for a bit of wisdom, pulled from one of her new blog-ettes:"...[P]eople believe graphics, not data". I think she may have a point there.


If all these options seem "too little, too late", consider an entry in your blog where you spotlight the blogs of your commenters, with links and compliments aplenty. Hey, it could work...


-Mike Riley

6 comments:

hidalgo said...

Hiiiii MIKE...NICE TO SEE YOUR COMMENT IN MY BLOG....thanks a lot...
newayz....u also own a nice blog..

from how long u hav been blogging???


check my blog....its having new and spicy updates..

Mike Riley said...

Two years at my original blog [http://aftermidnightpage.blogspot.com.]. The blog lab started this year, as did Tech Forest [http://techforest.blogspot.com.]
Thanks for commenting. I like the look of your sites, too...

-MR

jakill said...

Very good point, Mike. I am a relatively new blogger with hardly any traffic until I joined entrecard. But as soon as I started reading and commenting, the traffic accelerated.

Now you have to practice what you preach. See you over at my blog.

Shirley said...

I spend a lot of my time just reading blogs. I think most are interesting. Somes times I read subjects I had never before found to be of any interest to me but the articles were written so well I just couldn't pass them up. I don't usually leave a comment because I tend to talk (type)too much. I love learning new things so I will continue with the reading. Thanks for giving me the pleasure of reading your blog. Drop by anytime...
Make Money While You Sleep

Karen Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

I like that idea of writing posts about spotlighting the commentators! I may start doing that myself, course, I work full time and already am spending hours on the computer as it is. Now that summer is here, I hope to get out some and enjoy the beautiful weather and other more active activities.

Tix•R•Us said...

Sure you can call me Tix!