Lola’s Ramblings: Commenting Back

February 12, 2015 Lola's Ramblings 42

LolaRamblings

Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.

Bloggers commenting backToday I want to talk about commenting and in specific about commenting back. Commenting Back is when you visit the blog of someone who commented on your and leave a comment on their blog in return. Once upon a time I came across bloggers commenting back and decided to join.
I know quite some bloggers comment back and also quite some who don’t and while I do comment back I can also understand why others choose not to. So I wanted to delve into my reasons for commenting back, the difficulties of commenting back, alternatives to commenting back and ofcourse I would like to know if you comment back and why!

Why do I comment back?

My main reasons for commenting is that I see it as a thank you to the blogger who left me a comment, it fosters a sense of community and it helps me discover new blogs. I love receiving comments and every comment makes me happy, so I want to spread the love back in return.

When I sarted blogging I was one of those bloggers who never commented on other blogs and while I did respond sometimes when someone commented on my blog I didn’t reply to every comment and I certainly didn’t check out their blog. Sometimes I did check out their blog, but I hardly ever left a comment. I didn’t visit other blogs a lot and I thought I could just write interesting content here on my blog and the visitors would come eventually. Well after more then a year of working with that philosphy I had very little comments on my posts and I didn’t feel like I was part of the community. Guess what: I wasn’t! While I was blogging, I wasn’t being social and until I started commenting on other blogs I never realized what I missed. After seeing the bloggers commenting back button on a few sites I decided to check it out and join. I don’t think you have to join that site or add the button to your blog, but for me it helped have that concrete proof that I was doing this. Since then I made the commitment to comment back. And having the button on my site is proof of this commitment and as I display it on my blog it feels like a promise to those who visit and comment. Ever after I joined bloggers commenting back I became more serious about commenting back. I also started commenting more in general and I am glad I did as commenting makes me feel like part of the book blogging community and I met some great bloggers who feel like friends to me.

I like commenting back, it gives me a good feeling and I think it’s nice to reciprocate leaving a comment. Someone leaves a comment on my blog and I go visit their blog to leave a comment on theirs. It’s saying thank you by visiting their blog and taking the time to read and comment on their post. I think it’s nice and I love commenting back. It also feels like I am connecting with other bloggers by commenting back. I have discovered some awesome blogs thanks to commenting back, which I might not have discovered otherwise. It also forces me to look past my initial impression of a blog and find a post I like, read it and comment. I also love it when someone comments back on my blog and I am more tempted to visit their blog again or see if they replied to my comment. Commenting back feels like a way to connect me to the blogging community and to those who took time to leave a comment on my blog. So in general I think commenting back is a good thing.

Disadvantages/difficulties of commenting back

While I like commenting back I also think it has some difficulties or disadvantages and I can understand why some people don’t comment back and why other’s don’t always comment back.
So here are some disadvantages/difficulties about commenting back:

  • Obligation. One of the things about my commitment to comment back is that I feel like I have to comment back on every comment, except for when that comment is a comment back itself. Sometimes I find that obligation a bit restricting. Sometimes I don’t want to or don’t have time to comment back and it can feel bad to force myself to comment back in some cases. So yeah sometimes it feels like an obligation and that isn’t always a good thing. Most of the time I don’t mind though.
  • It takes time. Commenting back takes time and I can understand how not every blogger has time to comment back, espcially when I had a busy week it can be really challenging to keep up with commenting back. Also recently I have had some posts with quite some comments and commenting back takes so much time I skip my normal commenting just so I am able to comment back on the blogs of those who left me a comment.
  • Is it really about their blog or about commenting back? Sometimes I wonder if the comment is still about their blog or post or more from my desire to comment back. Is it still about them or more about me? I have commented back on some blogs with which I feel no connection and wouldn’t comment on if it wasn’t for my policy to comment back. I feel like because I made the promise to comment back I have to comment back on every comment and I feel bad about myself when I don’t.
  • Don’t know what to comment. Somedays I am in a commenting mood and I know what to say or comment on almost every post I read, but there are also days when I am in a bad mood and just can’t think of anything to say. I really have to force myself to come up comments on thsoe days. And I can imagine that it might be difficult sometimes to come up with somethign to say, either because you aren’t in a commenting mood, don’t see a post that sounds interesting or you don’t have a connection with the blog.

Alternatives to commenting back

If you don’t want to comment back there are ofcourse other ways to show your gratitude to a bloggers for commenting on your blog. I listed a few alternatives below, although I call them alternatives ofcourse you can also do these next to commenting back.

  • Replying. If someone comments on your blog one of the easiest ways to show your gratitude is to reply to their comment. I think replying to comments is very important as it shows the commentor that you have read their comment and appreciate it, while also having an opportunity to respond on their comment and maybe even keep the conversation going. I do this next to commenting back, but I can also see how some bloggers would choose either for commenting back or for replying.
  • Sharing is caring! I have heard some bloggers mention that instead of commenting back they would share a post of that blogger on social media. I wish I did this more often as it’s such a nice way to say thanks without having to comment. It also helps spread the word about a post to a broader audience, which is really valueable as well and open up the possibility of bringing more/new visitors to your blog and post. I would love to do this more often myself.
  • Liking their blog or post. You can also like someone’s blog or post on any of the social media platforms you are following. Likes can be really valuable, especially now that it’s so difficult for your posts to get seen on facebook or on bloglovin where you can see the activity of your friends and which posts they like.

Do you comment back and why? What do you think the disadvantages and difficulties of commenting back are? Any alternatives to commenting back you can think of?

42 Responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: Commenting Back”

  1. Sophia Rose

    I figured out the same thing about commenting. I’ve always visited other blogs and commented after reading their posts, but it was only when I finally figured out to include the blog website that I got visits back. That’s when I realized that ‘visiting’ was the way to get return visits. Last fall, I started tweeting posts I visited and once in a while I would share on facebook too. I know its rather slow of me, but it took that long to figure out that the blogs were all a community of people and I was part of it. Like you, some days I’m too busy to visit other blogs and others I don’t feel in the mood to be social. I’ve also figured out that I needed to limit my time on the computer so I take a break sometime during the week and don’t go near blogs or social media at all.

    And by the way, another way to support other blogs is to participate in their memes reading challenges and hops. I noticed that you do that part really well. I’m starting to figure that out too.

    Nice discussion, Lola!
    Sophia Rose recently posted…The Great Pick Up Line with Terran by Cara Bristol #TGPUL #GiveawayMy Profile

    • Lola

      Oh it took me a while too before I finally started participating in the community and I stil don’t share posts that often, even though I would like to.
      I think it’s good to take a break now and then and don’t be too hard on yourself. Some days I am just not feeling it and if I force myself to comment then, it’s hard, while other days it can feel almost effortless.

      Ah good one, indeed participating in their memes and readign challenges is a good one! I only started doing that this year and even then there’s a limit on how many challenges I can participate in, but indeed it’s a ncie way to share the love.

    • Lola

      Just like you I want to add something and I always try to comment with at least a few sentences. When I don’t see a post to comment on, I often just pick one and force myself to comment and sometimes I just decide to visit them later as I don’t know what to say.

  2. anna (herding cats & burning soup)

    I’m big on commenting and getting that community feel/connection. It does take a dang long time though. I tend to add people to my bloglovin’ feed and reply when I can. It might not be every day or every post but I make an effort to check then out too πŸ™‚ My biggest issue for not commenting back is when I just can’t find their blog. So either they don’t link to their blog in their comment or they don’t have their profile filled out. I always feel bad but only so much you can do.
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…Guest Post w/ Anne Barton–Crushing on Your Brother’s Friends…My Profile

    • Lola

      Indeed it takes a lot of time, I spend about an hour or two each day commenting when possible. And it really does take that amount of time to clean out my bloglovin feed, although I only visit posts that catch my attention.

      I’ve had a few of those comments as well when I can’t fidn their blog. I usually click on the commentluv link or on their name and if that doesn’t work I give up, unless I know which blog they’re from.

  3. tonyalee

    Hmm.. I am in the middle on this one. I usually reply back to comments on my blog, and I will visit their blog, but I don’t always comment. I use to, but then my comments were vague and they felt forced – and even started to sound the same. So usually, I don’t comment if I have something to say.

    I feel like I’ve lost people who comment, but then again, I know there were people that would only comment to get one in return. It was obvious.

    I am getting better at visiting everyone, but.. It’s hard. I can spend all day writing up a comment on a post – so like I said, I only comment when I have something to say πŸ˜€
    tonyalee recently posted…Meet Kristen Kehoe | Interview + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Lola

      That’s one ht ethings I dislike about commenting back sometimes, as I made that commitment I feel like I have to comment back, but sometimes I just draw a blank and don’t know what to say or leave lame comments.

      And if people really like your blog they will comment anyway, no matter whether you comment back or not.

      Visiting other bloggers takes a lot of time and some days I can’t manage either, although I do my best and I do enjoy visiting other blogs and commenting. And some comments really can take a lot of time to write.

  4. Jasmyn

    I don’t necessarily go back to the blog and comment, but I try really hard to reply to any comments we receive. I may make exceptions to that rule if we have an author on as a guest post – then the author should be replying instead. I may still jump in once or twice to keep conversation going though.

    On other blogs, I tend to share a post that I like. It’s my way of saying “Hey this was cool – you should all read it, too.” I tend not to comment too often on other sites unless I have something productive to add to the coversation. That’s why I like commenting here. You generate coversation.
    Jasmyn recently posted…Cover Inspirations: The World in Shadows Series by Bridget BlackwoodMy Profile

    • Lola

      I have a plugin that keeps track of which comment I haven’t replied to and it helps with replying to every comment. Replyign to comments is my first priorirty always and commenting back my second.

      I really wish I could get into the habbit of sharign posts as there are soem great posts out there, but the thought never crosses my mind to share, so I am going to try and do that sometimes.

      And thanks for the compliment, that’s exactly what I intend to do with these posts, generate conversation. And it’s just so interesting to hear how other people deal with these things.

  5. Silvara

    I comment back, though I’ve been a bit lax the last few weeks. So much stuff going on RL, my days off haven’t been much in the way of ‘days off’.

    If I don’t see any posts that I feel like commenting on, or have anything to actually say about, I skip that blog for a few days. I also don’t comment on blogs that force me to sign up for a site I’m not part of just to be able to comment on the blog.

    As for your ‘alternatives’, *grins* I reply to every comment left on my own blog. And add most book reviews and some discussions to the social media things I use. Like Twitter and Stumbleupon.
    Silvara recently posted…Faery Moon (Tess Noncoire #3) by P. R. Frost (review)My Profile

    • Lola

      Yes sometimes live get’s busy and it get’s in the way of blogging. I had one of those busy weeks last week and am happy to have a more quiet week now so I can get some more blog visiting in.

      I think I have an account for most commenting systems, I can’t remember having trouble commenting, although sometimes it can be annoying how many different accounts you need to comment on every blog.

      Replying to comments is certainly one of the more important ones in my opinion and it made me think about your post recently about why not everyone replies to comments on their blog.

    • Lola

      Thanks Michelle πŸ™‚

      When someone comments on my blog I first reply and then check out their blog and leave a comment back, even if I am very busy I try to do this as it still makes me feel a bit connected and like I still comment on some blogs, even though they are all comment backs. It’s easier sometimes then scrolling through my bloglovin feed trying to find an interesting post to comment on.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: Commenting BackMy Profile

  6. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I feel like commenting back is important in blogging – it fosters community as you say, and it’s nice to feel engaged with people. All the positives of it outweight any negatives (although it is hard when you don’t know what to say). I’m like to follow bloggers who engage with their readers though, since I feel like those are bloggers I can really get to know and it makes blogging more fun.
    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted…Movie Musical Challenge: Show BoatMy Profile

    • Lola

      Indeed I completely agree, commenting back fosters community and I agree that the positives outweigh the negatives, but I did feel like it was worth mentioning the negatives as well. Engaging with other bloggers is one of the things that makes blogging fun for me, especially because I know how it is to blog in a vacuum (as I did that when I staretd blogging) and not engaging and I would say I choose engaging and commenting on other blogs over that any day.

  7. S. J. Pajonas

    Let me start off by saying that I love that you comment on my blog regularly (you don’t have to, if you don’t have anything to say, but I still love it) and I have also gotten in this mindset of commenting back too in the past six months. It was hard in the beginning to know where my boundaries were as an author and the whole “should I comment on book blogger blog?” “am I welcome there?” “will they feel weird if they then read my book and don’t like it?” Ugh. That’s hard. It must be easier amongst peers than it is for authors. BUT, I still make it a policy to comment on my favorite blogs often. I only have a few I love and visit daily (yours being one of them) and I feel a deep love for them that transcends obligation. When new people comment on my blog, I definitely click through to theirs and follow for a bit to see if we’re compatible. It has made my own blogging more enjoyable, and the experience a lot more fun. So I am in favor of this policy. I’m even just happy when people respond to my comments! And using a comment system that is easy for people to register and comment and get replies is helpful too. Anyway, great post! I’m glad you wrote about this πŸ™‚
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Who Is My Wattpad Audience?My Profile

    • Lola

      I love stopping by your blog and commenting and I always have something to say πŸ˜‰

      Ah I can imagine it being a bit difficult when you are an author, especially with the whole debate whether authros should respond to posts or reviews of their own book. But personally I like it when authors comment on my posts. And to me you feel like a friend as well, so I love it when you comment!

      I think commenting back and interacting with those who comment on your blog, makes blogging more fun!

  8. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I comment back! I joined “bloggers commenting back” too and, honestly, that’s when I got serious about replying/commenting back and THAT’S when my blog (finally) started to grow. I’d been trying so hard to boost my blog for, like, two years and barely got anywhere…so I think commenting back is an AMAZING way to get your name/blog out there. πŸ˜‰ It truly helps. Although, yes, I totally agree with the nitty gritty side. Gah. It’s exhausting. And I hate it when I just CAN’T think of something to say on their blog, or they post about stuff I have no interest in. -_- So I’m not a 100% commentor-back, but I try to be. XD
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Mini Reviews // Unwanted – Soulprint – All Fall DownMy Profile

    • Lola

      Same here, joining bloggers commenting back really made a difference in my blogging experience and made it more fun. I also think that my blog has started to grow a bit more slowly since then.
      I make a few exceptions, but I really feel bad when I don’t comment back, but some days it can be hard.

    • Lola

      I am the same Cynthia, even a simple thanks you is nice. And commenting helps you feel involved in the community.

  9. Melanie Simmons (@mlsimmons)

    I reply to all comments on my posts. While, I’m not always good about “Commenting back” as the true sense of the term, I do notice who is commenting and I’m sure to visit their blogs. Usually the regulars on my blog are also regulars that I visit, so I don’t have to make the effort, I will comment just because I follow their blog anyway. If I see someone new commenting on my post, I do take their blog and add it to my bloglovin feed, so that I will be sure to keep with with their posts as well. I’m also better at sharing posts on Twitter than I am at commenting. I’m trying to make more of an effort to comment more.
    Melanie Simmons (@mlsimmons) recently posted…Beg Tease Submit Audiobook – Sequence One by CD Reiss (Review)My Profile

    • Lola

      I notice that as well, those who regulary comment on my blog are also those whoms blog I regulary comment on. I wish I was better at sharign on twitter, there are some people who regulary share my posts there like you and that always makes me happy :). So I want to do the same for others, but it just isn’t routine yet. I do think of commentign but when I like thier post I hardly ever consider sharing.

  10. Ana @ Read Me Away

    I definitely try to comment back, because it has let me discover new blogs that I absolutely love to visit now. πŸ˜€ And to find new books for my ever-expanding TBR!

    I think the only time I don’t really comment back is when I can’t find a recent post on their blog that I can actually leave a thoughtful comment on. For example, if it was all excerpts and cover reveals, I’ll have a hard time finding something to comment on. πŸ™
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Valentine’s Day with Ana & Dee: Book boyfriends, a giveaway, and dates!My Profile

    • Lola

      That’s one the things I love about commenting back as well, discovering new blogs. There are some blogs I would’ve never foudn otherwise.

      I struggle with finding posts to comment on as well and sometimes I just pick a post and force myself to comment, but it can be hard.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #113My Profile

  11. Grace MyBookSnack

    Lola, I love this post! I agree that it’s a lot of work, but I love the sense of community when commenting back and getting know other bloggers who like doing the same thing. I’ve been either a reviewer or a co-blogger on previous blogs, and just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you’re automatically accepted into other bloggers’ circle of friends. My previous co-bloggers didn’t understand that networking is important and forging some type of bond with other blogs is a good thing. This is one of the reasons why I started my own blog recently. I love any positive comments and taking the time to visit other blogs who do the same.
    Grace MyBookSnack recently posted…My Book Snack’s Sunday Post (#5)My Profile

    • Lola

      I agree it’s worth the effort to comment back. I also staretd as a co-blogger on another blog and my co-blogger didn’t comment much on other blogs, so I thought that was normal. She still did receive some comments on her blog. Only about a year or more after I started my own blog did I found out the importance of commenting on others blogs, I wish I had realized that earlier, but beter late than never.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #113My Profile

  12. Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA

    I love receiving comments, but lately I am pretty bad at returning them and at replying. In fact, I’m spending today doing just that…and I have to go back to January 11. I am feeling so guilty about those unanswered comments that I am finally just going to do it. Fortunately, at least for this, I don’t get *too* many comments. I would love to get more, but I really need to get — and stay — caught up first!
    Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA recently posted…Review: The Truth about Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh (Audiobook)My Profile

    • Lola

      I always try to reply within a day or two, some days it can feel overhwelming. I missed a few coments once and then after month or so foudn out and still replied, it does made me feel sad, but better late than never, right?
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #113My Profile

      • Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA

        I have skipped replying back when it’s been “too long” and I hated doing it. I was hoping to get through my backlog today but didn’t manage to finish. I can only do so much and I want to relax for the rest of the night so I guess I’m done for now. I’ll get back to it in a day or two.
        Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA recently posted…Weekly Rewind: February 8-14My Profile

        • Lola

          It always feels abit weird to reply to an old comment, but I have this plugin which shows how many comment I haven’t replied to and I can’t stand it if it isn’t on 0. Yesterday evening I also decided to just stop for the evening with blog commenting and get some reading done instead, having some time to relax before goignt o sleep is important.

  13. Laura @ trips down imagination road

    I’ll admit I’m terrible at commenting back. Though I do often lurk behind the scenes a bit! I don’t get much time during the week, but I do like to comment back to people who comment on my blog, and at the weekends I like looking through my favourite blogs’ posts and commenting where I feel I have something to say. I do tend to feel a bit weird if I just say ‘great review’!
    Laura @ trips down imagination road recently posted…Book: Three Two One (321) by J A HussMy Profile

    • Lola

      I also feel weird when I only say great review and always try to reply with at least a few sentences, but some days it’s hard to come up with anything to say. I still lurk a more then I comment, although I have gotten better at commenting in the past year.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #113My Profile

  14. Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    I also finally started trying to comment back late last year and it has led to some really great connections that I might have missed otherwise. Since I don’t often have time to reply to comments until a week later, it works well if the blogger also comments back since we go back and forth about once a week and I don’t forget to check out their new content (like this great post :D). I tend to follow a policy of checking out their blog, looking through the first page of posts and if I don’t find something that I have something to say about, I don’t stress and force a comment. Sometimes I get comments from people who blog about very different genres or have blogs filled with only promo posts of books I have no thoughts about and there is just nothing I can do then :(.
    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings recently posted…Updates from the Lair 2/15/15My Profile

    • Lola

      Same here, commenting back led me to connect to new bloggers and find new blogs to follow. I think it’s a good policy to not stress if you don’t find a post to say, some days I feel like I get a bit too obsessive about commenting back and force myself to comment even though I don’t realy know what to say at first.

      Thanks for stopping by I am glad you enjoyed this post :).

  15. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I try so, so hard to comment back. But it is tough! It takes a lot of time, and normally, I would not mind, because it is genuinely something I enjoy doing. But when I have such a limited time frame, and I don’t want anyone to feel left out, I do find myself spread very thin. But like you said, I really love being involved in the community, and I WANT to read other blogs and comment on them. It’s just so hard! But I try, and it may take me a few days, but I really try to get to them all. I love some of your other suggestions though, I think liking or sharing is a great alternative on the days that I simply cannot get to everyone’s blogs! Thanks for the lovely ideas and discussion πŸ™‚
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…This Week At Midnight (48)My Profile

    • Lola

      Sometimes I wish eahc dayhad two extra hours, just so I could do as much commenting as I want to, but like you said it takes a lot of time and some days it just isn’t possible to get as much commenting done as you want to. I haven’t had much time to reply on blogs this week beside commenting back and in those cases I prioritize commenting and just hit read all in my bloglovin feed, let’s hope next week is better.
      I’ve seen a few other bloggers do the sharing thing and it really is a great way to spread the love when you don’t have time to comment.

  16. Bookworm Brandee

    I like commenting and commenting back – it’s finding the time. πŸ™‚ As you know, I’ve been a slacker at commenting lately – although I think I’ve caught up. But replying to comments on my blog is another thing. And it’s important to me. But sometimes I think I’ll have to sleep fewer hours to get everything in. I’m trying to remember to tweet bloggers’ posts as I think that’s a nice way to show some love. πŸ™‚
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Interview with Author Michelle Mankin ~ Plus GiveawayMy Profile

    • Lola

      Indeed findign the time can be hard some days. I prioritiuze rpelyign and commentign back, but as a result of that I haven’t had tiem to comment on blogs that aren’t comment backs. I wish I could sleep fewer hours, but then I turn into a zombie.
      Lola recently posted…Cover Reveal: Enticed by JA BelfieldMy Profile

  17. Stacy (StacyHgg)

    Great points Lola!
    The first couple years I was blogging I took on too much and did not really have the time to participate in the blogging community. Then about 6 months ago I was ready to quite. But my sister joined the blog (as a sort of virtual assistant) and now I have time to do all that–and let me tell you it is SOOO much more enjoyable now! I love visiting other blogs and getting their opinions on books, blogging, etc. I even signed up for that bloggers commenting back because I had the time to make that promise.
    And you bring up a good idea when you said to like or share a bloggers post if you don’t have time to comment back. I actually have done that a couple times before. And it’s a good habit to get into.
    Stacy (StacyHgg) recently posted…5 reasons why (I think) the FSOG movie was better than the book.My Profile

    • Lola

      Starting a blog is always hard and it takes some time to find a way of blogging that works for you. That’s great your sister was able to join your blog and made it more enjoyable for you.
      I hope I can get into the habit of sharing posts as well.

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