OK, it’s time to come clean.
When I first started this blog, I was all about posting and getting comments. I didn’t get many because of the platforms I used to have this blog on. Eventually, I settled on WordPress and I’ve been with it ever since. Thankfully, I took the time to make sure everything from older posts — comments included — made their way to this site.
My life with the blogging world has been up and down ever since. I don’t worry so much about comments as I blog because I love writing. Still, I love the interaction of the blogging community, so comments help with that.
There are times I just don’t have the time for posts. There are other times when I want to write and can’t think of something. Then there are the times when I get into a groove and have a few months of a post every day. Having interaction helps with that.
That’s the world of blogging.
Still, with my writing style and being a personal blog that goes all over the place, my followers aren’t a massive number. And I’m OK with that. I keep things as real as I can and try and give good posts to read.
Sometimes, I probably don’t succeed.
Remember, I was a newspaper writer. I have a journalistic style when I write. Sometimes that comes off as fully boring. I get that. I don’t get all excited with multiple exclamation points at the end of a sentence and I cringe with grammatical or spelling errors that I should have caught.
And there are times, I admit, where I might write a tad long. So if you are a blogger stopping by and are visiting many blogs in a day, maybe you don’t want to read through everything. I need to try and work on this.
That brings me back to my comments.
For non-bloggers, allow me to explain one thing — blog hops and linkups. Basically, these are posts on somebody’s blogs where you link one of your blog posts. In the end, you’re supposed to visit several other blogs with the hopes of dropping a comment or maybe finding a new blog to like and follow.
That’s all theoretical, of course.
Often, you may get a couple of visits and a speckle of comments. But many of them will show the full post had not been read. I can think of one not too long ago where this happened. Always makes me chuckle.
See, here’s one thing — the blogging world is heavily female dominated. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but let’s be honest — some of my posts might not be of interest to somebody who runs a mommy or foodie blog. Sure, I will write of some adventures and all, but if you’ve seen blogs like that, our styles definitely clash.
So I usually stayed away from hops and linkups.
Recently, however, I decided to change that. With doing the job hunt and being on the computer a ton to find and apply for jobs, I need breaks. I need to do something else as I write a cover letter or think about what I need to say. So I look at blogs.
One of those was one as a Commentathon where it was supposed to garner you at least 50 comments on the post you link up. In my group were 58 (me included) bloggers. Within the first two or so days, I had visited — and commented — on every single blog. And I made sure the comments were more than just a “great post!” With that in mind, I also linked up my bridge jumping story and ended with a question for readers, figuring it would be a good way to make it easier to comment.
By the deadline, one of those who commented was a regular visitor here. Outside of that 38 others commented (there are more there because I have been slowly responding to each) on the post, which means 19 others didn’t comment.
Believe me, I’m stoked with 38. But I took the time to visit each of the other blogs, read their entries and comment. If you sign up for something like this, wouldn’t you think you’d follow the link to the post and comment? After all, you agreed to get involved.
I realize it can be time consuming to visit every blog in a hop or linkup, but isn’t that the point. The blogging world has two sides — writing and visiting. And if you are a blogger, both need to be done. It’s how this community works. Unless, of course, you are one of the big-time bloggers who has a huge following. In that case, I doubt you’re signing up for these hops and linkups anyway!
I’m making my pledge below. Though I always try and do what I’ve written below, the reality is sometimes I slip. With this pledge, I’m hoping not to slip!
My pledge as a blogger
- I’m going to start making sure I respond to each comment left on my blog. I’m going to start by doing it on the blog, as I normally do. However, I get e-mails every time a comment is left, so maybe I’ll do it via e-mail as well. It seems a lot of blogs do that and it probably is a more personal way. Either way, I’ll be making sure to always respond.
- When I join a link or blog hop, I always try and visit each blog. So I’m going to keep that up but try and make sure I comment on at least 75 percent of them. Let’s be honest, there are times when I just have nothing to say. If it’s something truly to do with parenting or something, I’m just not somebody who can comment and make sense with things like that. But if it’s anything about life or whatever, I’m going to comment.
- For those who comment on my blog, I’m going to make every effort to follow the link to your blog and read a few posts. Maybe I’ll like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter or something. But I’m going to return the favor and look at your blog and, usually, comment on something.
I’m even going to put a linkup below. It’s not anything major, but it will run through the weekend. Do me a favor and link one of your best or favorite posts. It can be about anything at all. Tell others to come linkup, too. And while at it, if there are a few people, go check them out and drop a comment.
So how about you? You in on the pledge? Let me know below!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!
I DID read the whole post. The only time I don’t, is if it’s something I have no interest in and have nothing to add with a comment 🙂
Babs recently posted..30 days of Photographs IV: Never
Totally understand that, Babs. There are times when I just can’t get into a post and can’t comment. It happens, that’s for sure!
I read your whole post PJ and agree with it. I always make a point of responding to all commenters on my blog, as it’s the courteous thing to do. Yet, you just can’t expect everyone to do the same. Sometimes because of work or my travel schedule it takes me extra time to respond. Blogging is a give and take, but nothing to get upset about if you’re in it for the long run.
Phil recently posted..Gilligan’s Clam Bar & Grill – Kitschy Eats in Pomona NY!
I definitely agree, Phil. Nothing to get upset about, that’s for sure. Just makes me wonder at times! That’s why I’m making my own pledge, hoping I’ll at least keep giving back! 🙂
Tami Von Zalez says
PJ, you have got to join the AtoZ Writing Challenge in April! It is the mother of all blog hops. It is the commitment for the whole month but well worth it. Who knows, there might be some other geocachers in the midst.
I’ve linked up too – just for the hellavit.
Tami — I looked at the A to Z challenge in April and I’m not sure what I think of it. I decided to skip it this year and will think about it for next year. There looked like SO many people on it. I do follow the challenge on Facebook, so I will be reminded!
Read it all and found myself nodding along. If I like a post and can relate, I comment. If it’s another post about nail polish, I usually move along, but that’s just my preference. The blog community works best when we all participate and engage one another.
Wishing you many comments, this was a great post!
Jennifer recently posted..Back to School, Busy Night Casseroles, and a Basic White Sauce
I’m in total agreement. It makes sense to comment if already there. I usually avoid the nail polish ones as… well, I don’t use it. 😉
I totally get where you are coming from. I respond to all comments via E-mail although sometimes (like yesterday) I have a crazy work day/night so it takes me longer than usual. I also always visit the blog of any commenter. Link ups are tough and I don’t visit every blog that links up- but I do visit three or more. Sounds like the link up you referred to required more visits than that- it is too bad people didn’t follow that “rule.”
Kate recently posted..Time for another Boy Behind the Blog
The on blog/e-mail thing is something I’ve wrestled with for a long time. I can’t ever decide. I like to respond here to see if it gets a conversation going, but the e-mail is more personal. So tough to decide!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
I completely identify. I have been meaning to write a posting about how I comment and interact with my fellow bloggers. Quite frankly, if I read it, I comment on it. Period. It seems odd to not comment. I wouldn’t ignore someone who’s talking to me therefore why ignore something I read?
Unfortunately, this way of thinking means I can maybe comment on one or two of a blogger’s postings a week. However, I comment with my heart and I engage with what I read. So… if I haven’t commented, then that means I’ve been too busy to read but I always come back to my “friends” and try to catch up.
I’m not that great at responding to people who comment on my posts. I would like to but if I’ve got a limited amount of time I would much rather visit their blog and comment on their latest posting than reply to the response they left on my post. I think most bloggers would appreciate that I do this as well.
I struggle with linky parties because once again I like a good “return” on my time. I would rather foster existing relationships than hoping I can start up 40 new ones. It’s no wonder I’ve been blogging for 3 years and have only 220 GFC followers. Oh well. I’m not in it for the “numbers” I write because I, like you, love to write and I love the people I’ve met along the way.
I too am guilty of writing lengthy posts (and sometimes, ahem, lengthy comments).
Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a lovely day.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted..Technology in Homeschooling
I am so with you — if I am there and am reading, why wouldn’t I comment? It makes more sense as I was there. Plus, I took the time to read, comment is next!
I am also with you in regard to the amount of comments and trying to engage. I have found with these linkups that I can get into almost anything when reading — even the mommy blogs and stuff like that, despite not being a mommy (or a parent, for that matter).
I come and go with my responding, but hopefully this pledge will let me do more.
And as much as I’d like more followers and people who comment, I’m OK with how it goes. I’ll be checking your blog out this weekend, too, and will dive in. No matter if posts are long or not! 🙂
Hi there! I found your post through the North East Bloggers Network Facebook page. I’m really glad I read the whole thing, because it reminds me that I’m sometimes guilty of half-reading a blog and then getting side-tracked. I think your pledge sounds like a fantastic idea and I wish more bloggers would abide by it 🙂
Emily recently posted..Generosity and Perseverance – Lessons in Advocacy from a Six-Year-Old and Rubber Bands
I think we are all guilty of it. And I’m sure I’ll be guilty of it again. But I am going to try and not to do it!
Paul Myers says
I’ve always tried to comment on everyone’s post who post to my blog. I appreciate the effort for you to do the same. Not saying I always succeed, but I’ve tried.
Paul Myers recently posted..National Park Signs
I try and I know others, such as yourself, do the same. It can get tough!
I love love love this post. I can relate to a lot of it. I think I’ve been struggling a little bit with my blogging lately, but truth is I miss the connections so I will be back to regular blogging (pr at least trying to be) and I always reply to every comment I get on my blog – maybe not always as punctually as I would like, but I always respond! I think its just good manners, and I like connecting with other people too!
Vicki recently posted..Twelve Years
Thanks so much! I think many bloggers can and will relate to the post. I can’t say I’ll always fully stick to it, but I’ll try. And I can relate with the struggling. I think we all go through it!
Jen Anderson says
I know how frustrating these things can be. A few years ago, I left a bunch of comments on a big art blog link up/giveaway. One of the blogs I started following disqualified from the giveaway anyone who left a comment that made it seem like they’d just skipped to the comments to enter, or had only read that one post before commenting. Because she’d decided that you should click a link to that post, read a bunch of other posts, THEN go back to the original post and leave a comment.
So I stopped following her because she made up her own arbitrary rules that, BTW probably disqualified me even though I’d started subscribing to her blog. And no, she hadn’t gone back to my blog after reading any of my comments.
Jen Anderson recently posted..The Time I Was Almost Assaulted By An Off Duty Clown
See, now that just seems silly to me. I realize people should read a post, but to decide who read and who didn’t seems like a way to isolate people from reading your blog. I don’t think I should have to jump through 75 hoops for a giveaway and then be told I didn’t jump through the hoops.
I don’t blame you for no longer following. I would do the same.
Rachel G says
I like this pledge–it’s a lot about simply being a courteous and friendly blogger! I definitely try to implement these methods–if I’m going to leave a comment, I make sure it’s one I’ve put some thought into, and I definitely try to always put out more comments than I receive back. I haven’t heard of link-ups specifically like the “commentathon” one you mentioned, though I could imagine that could possibly bring you more into contact with interesting blog posts….hmmm….
Anyways, hurray for commenting! I think you have a great attitude toward handling the whole commenting business, and it’s true that as bloggers, it definitely brings a smile to see those new comment emails!
Rachel G recently posted..What Beauty School Taught Me
Exactly! If you are part of the blogging community, why wouldn’t you go and check things our, comment, respond and try and interact? My comments (for the most part) are like yours — I try and add something, rather than just the normal. I am guilty of that sometimes, but it could be because of the post or maybe others have said everything I would have.
Gunmetal Geisha says
It’s apropos that this post would be the very first of yours I read, and purely coincidental — I picked it through your “category” drop down list… Apropos because one, I’m very new to blogging (2 months), and two, I’m working out how to manage the twofold aspect of “writing and visibility.” It’s overwhelming, especially if you add the vital need for discovering new blogs and actively engaging on them. I haven’t yet figured out an efficient workflow — but I really do believe “workflow” should be term employed. What you have written here certainly helps. I’m not ready to make any pledges, because of course, they are meant to be kept. But I do always make a point of to my blog comments, and visiting the blogs of commenters. I may not be timely about it so far, but in in the end, it always gets done.
Gunmetal Geisha recently posted..Father Strumming My Boyfriend’s Ribs
I’ve long found that it comes down to what you want to get out of a blog. Do you want readers and interaction? Do you want to make money? Something else? Depending on what you want to do is key to deciding how to go about it. I love being a personal blog. I visit others, read, comment and hope to build relationships. I’m part of a couple of blogger groups and enjoy that, too. In the end, though, blogging is about the writer and what they want to get out of it.
As you keep pushing forward, I’m sure you’ll find your “workflow” and do it as you seem fit. I’ll look forward to following along with your blog. 🙂