That little notification I get when someone has commented on a post of mine, makes my day. It really does. You go through hours of planning and writing a post, arguing with yourself on your appalling grammar mistakes, and lets not forget the copious amount of time spent with your camera to end up using just one image for said post; but all of that is forgotten when someone genuinely engages with your work. We’re not talking talking about a retweet on Twitter, a ‘love’ on Instagram or a share on Facebook (which lets be honest, did they ever click through to read your post?). Instead we’re talking about a sentence or two – sometimes an essay – from someone sharing their thoughts on that day’s chosen topic. The outcome we aim for.
This post isn’t about why I love receiving comments on my blog, but instead is about why YOU should be replying to comments as well as returning the favour to make someone else’s day. Let me talk you through some of the reasons; it’s pretty straightforward, so there are no excuses for not doing it!
I’m not saying that replying to comments is going to guarantee you triple the amount of organic traffic, but it will bring in returning visitors. Replying to someone’s comment means you have acknowledged them and their opinion, but also provides a small, personal connection that’ll make them want to return to see what more you have to offer, with the hope of the same sort of response. I’ve noticed some bloggers even give their regulars a small shout-out on social media which is a nice little touch and is something I’m starting to consider.
Gather new ideas
I’ve often had comments on my post where I’ve actually been inspired to write a new blog post revolving around the topic that one comment addressed. Might sound drastic, but there’s been a couple occasions where that’s all it took. Readers share their thoughts, wisdom and opinions when commenting – unless it is the generic ‘I love your blog, thanks for sharing!’- so crediting them as inspiration makes a nice touch. If you are genuinely stuck on post ideas though, I recently shared 47 beauty blog post ideas and 19 travel blog post ideas. You’re welcome.
Gain more followers
Bloggers who interact with their readers by replying to comments, will often find those readers are more likely to follow them on social media, share the post and interact with you in other ways. This not only grows your following slowly, but surely, but also gains you more exposure in front of your reader’s own social following. And all it requires is a minute or two of your time!
Google loves a little UGC (that’s user generated content between you and me)
Now, I know this one is going to be hit and miss, more so for the SEOs out there, but Google values user generated content on sites (comments). The same works for e-Commerce sites through the likes of customer reviews. Albeit the low quality ones aren’t exactly beneficial, but the ones that are wordy and offer value in opinion, are well worth your time! One way to encourage readers to leave more comments is by replying, but asking them a question for further thoughts. They may not respond to you the second time around, but that’s okay. You tried.
So they’re just a few of the reasons why you should be replying to blog comments, but what about returning the favour? I make commenting on blogs one of my weekly tasks, as I have a nice little ‘Blog Checklist’ that I abide by on the weekly – sometimes daily, but who’s got time for that? This helps me to keep on track with comments, social media, blog promotion, Google Analytics, SEO tactics and so on. If you’d like to have access to a free printable version, let me know!
Moving on, here are a few reasons as to why I believe you should be commenting on blogs where the blogger has commented on your own, but also on new blogs too:
Share your support
As bloggers we know it can be difficult to gain interaction from the get-go, but once readers start seeing that a blog has ongoing engagement, it can often encourage more in the long run. If I feel I can offer a genuine comment to a fellow blogger’s post, I will definitely leave one. No doubt about it. If I feel my comment would be somewhat negative, I don’t bother – not because I’m worried about controversy (okay, maybe a little) – but simply because it’s just asking for a whirlwind of negativity to follow. We all know it happens, as people jump on the bandwagon!
Encourages comments in return
When someone has commented on my blog and has left a link to their own, I always click through, have a gander and comment on a post that caught my eye (after reading it, of course). When I leave the comment, I always sign off with my real name (not blog name, as this makes it easier for them to talk to you) and then my URL underneath this. This gives others who are browsing through the comments the opportunity to visit your blog at the click of a button, but also encourages the owner of the blog to return the favour if they haven’t already!
Offer a new outlook
I mentioned in the beginning section of this post that comments readers have left on my blog have sometimes inspired me to write a new post. Well, you could also be the one to influence others with a simple comment. Offering your opinion and also sharing your own tips and knowledge on a subject, can often influence other’s thoughts in a good way. But, it could also generate some form of healthy debate which is beneficial for all parties!
What do you think? Yay to replying to comments and giving them, or nay?