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Talk It Out: Blog Comments

This week’s question for Talk It Out comes from two lovely ladies and it’s a great question that I think many of you may be interested in contributing to today…

How do you engage your readers?

Two lovely fellow bloggers, Alex from Strawberry Lemonade and Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim, are curious as to how to engage readers.

“How can I get readers involved in the comment section… Do bloggers do anything to encourage dialogue or discussion (in their posts or via social networking)? Or are they content simply knowing people are reading (and therefore they do not put much thought into writing posts that will encourage participation.

I’ll add my two cents in the comments section with all of you… Please join me there. :)

(photograph: aux petits oiseaux)

Posted by decor8 in real talk on December 03, 2009

Your comments...

  1. ishtar commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:43pm

    GREAT question!!
    I t really makes me sad that most peolpe dont leave comments at all on my blog. I dont really want to say this but it feels like only ghosts read you… : (
    Yes, i would LOVE to know how to encourage them writing at least one or two words, just to know they are there, that they actually DO exist.
    Thank you for posting this!
    .-= ishtar´s last blog ..Etsy Finds =-.

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  2. decor8 commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:54pm

    First let me say that no blogger has the secret recipe for attracting billions of comments per post. And for those who do have hundreds or even thousands of comments (Dooce for instance), you can be sure that these comments are not all adoring words of love and respect.

    There are some wonderfully written blogs with a loyal following of readers, but due to content or other, have very low levels of participation in the comments section. Then there are blogs that have a loyal following who regularly comment because there is a connection to the blog author or product/person being blogged about. But there is no real secret there, they may simply have a larger audience due to the sheer number of years that they’ve been diligently blogging. Then there are blogs that regularly receive very snarky, even hateful comments and the blog author appears to be aloof to them. Perez Hilton comes to mind.

    Blogging is not a popularity contest, and if you measure the success of a post by the number of comments that you receive, you will be kicking your own butt. It’s pointless.

    You have to reason, how many blogs do you find yourself commenting on regularly, and did you leave comments on every single post you’ve read today? And think of the posts that you DID comment on. Ask yourself why you left a comment. That can help you as a blog author to identify what lured you in.

    I think there are a few ways though to attract more comments. And I don’t mean once weekly contests or tons of freebies and other giveaways that only make readers see you as a content provider or “free stuff giver” and not really a real person and blog author. While contests certainly help, they ultimately do not keep the traffic you receive from the temporary spike — most will go back to what they were doing before they found your blog via the contest. The best way to attract comments is to simply ASK questions. When you blog, try to be conversational as you are in real life… and ask a question now and then. A sincere question. Talk about a concern or a situation and then ask for advice. That’s a good place to begin if you have no clue WHAT exactly to ask. And don’t ask dead end questions that require a simple yes or no.

    While I don’t write posts with comments in mind, I do write each day as though I’m sitting before a good friend because, well, I am. A lot of them! And I think this shows in how I write. I’m easy going and try to encourage open communication. I publish all posts, even snarky ones, and though I won’t publish spam or extremely hateful comments, I do publish even those ones that may not shine the best light on me. I’m a real person, I have flaws, if someone wants to call me out on something then they have that right. I also have the right to not agree! ha ha! But I will hear them out and many times those comments have helped me to see something differently. Though I can’t say my blog topics are controversial – I mean this is a decorating and creative living blog, I don’t talk about religion, politics, sex, celebs or the usual topics that stir the pot. :)

    With anything, it takes time… continue to blog, show your loyalty to your readers and they will return the gesture. Also try to comment on other blogs that you read to show community spirit and support. On your blog, ask questions, be authentic, and make sure you don’t put too much thought into the number of comments you will potentially receive as you’re writing a post. Also be careful to not over edit and water down your post when you write. Remember, people love blogs because they are authored by real people who, for the most part, honestly express themselves and voice their ideas, passions, feelings, etc. openly.

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  3. aimee commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:56pm

    I like it when I get comments, but unless I ask a direct questions to the readers, I do not expect them. I had ran a 10 week series on my blog recently and received 4 or 5 comments. :) they all brightened my day. I guess I focus on quality not quantity.
    .-= aimee´s last blog ..i love penguins and freebies =-.

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  4. Kim commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:57pm

    I would love to hear how you get people started commenting! I threatened my 5 readers into commenting. I had a post about delurking and still only got two comments!

    I think it would come from more readers, right? But how do I get those? I’ve been trying to comment on more blogs that I follow and hope people will find their way to my blog too.

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  5. Maryam in Marrakech commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:05pm

    Oh this is such a complicated issue. I used to regularly have more than 40 comments on every post and that has significantly dropped. I confess that it has me wondering if my blog is less good, even though my blog traffic is the same!
    .-= Maryam in Marrakech´s last blog ..A Marrakech tale of My Curious Home: Part 3 =-.

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  6. Mausumi commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:05pm

    I don’t ask for comments, but I do ask questions from time to time. I agree with Kim above me here, I think I read somewhere that only 6% of readers comment on average or something. That makes sense to me, you have to have a lot of readers to get a lot of comments!

    I would also like to get more info on how to get more traffic, but what I’m really asking for are tips that are a little more specific, because I’ve read a lot of these post and they all say the same thing; comment on other blogs, do a guest post (how do you even do that, just ask another blogger directly or wait patiently until you’re asked?) and have good content (the hardest, I guess…)

    :)
    .-= Mausumi´s last blog ..The Advent Calendar; December 2nd =-.

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  7. Rachel commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:06pm

    This topic has been on my mind lately, too. I started blogging for myself, not for anyone else, and I still blog largely only for myself. But receiving comments can be like a warm hug. At the end of the day, no one likes to feel she’s only been talking to herself. Since I’ve realized the power of thoughtful comments to really brighten my day, I’ve been much more conscious about leaving comments on the blogs I do read. You bring up a great point–to think about how many blogs you read versus how many you comment on. I was a lurker for years before I ever commented on anyone’s blog.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Is it too early to talk New Year’s resolutions? =-.

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  8. Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:06pm

    I don’t think this could have come at a more appropriate time. My blog is about 4-5 months old? at this point. In the beginging, I didn’t expect any comments. I think had a lucky Friday 3 weeks back where I received a ton. Since then I’ve been down in the why aren’t I receiving the same amount of comments again? I have to admit I fell down the Giveaway Comment Now path but I agree that it didn’t bring new regular commenters…

    Some of the best feedback I’ve gotten is def. when I ask questions (Which Small Christmas Tree would you pick? Which chair would you buy for your house, etc).

    I’m really dying to take your blogging class (and it’s posts like these that are the reason why!)
    .-= Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life´s last blog ..Bailey, you’re lucky I think you’re so cute… =-.

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  9. Monica commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:09pm

    Great topic. I am in a similar boat, but not really minding. I know there are readers ( I see you all in the stat report!), but I guess they are all quite. I actually find a lot more interaction with readers through twitter. Besides, posting should be first for ourselves. I started the blog. I choose what to post. If people want to comment, then great. Sometimes just knowing people are reading is enough, but a comment every once and a while would be great.

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  10. alex*strawberry lemonade commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:13pm

    THANKS HOLLY! Your response was perfect. Like Ishtar, Aimee and Kim, getting comments does make me happy—it’s validation that a real live person is actually reading or looking at your posts! I don’t care so much about boosting visitors. Well, OK, that’s not TOTALLY true. I can’t fib, I would love to have 1000s of people! But at the same time, I love have a small-but-loyal base and wouldn’t trade that for anything! It just sometimes feels funny to see “Wow, 400 people looked at my weird post on graphic design moustaches!” but then see only 2 people commented. Then again, what can one really say about moustaches?? haha.

    I think you raise an excellent point about asking questions and starting a dialogue. I know some of my post are just eye candy—and unless the person is REALLY psyched to see the images, its not like there is too much to talk about. I need to adjust my expectations too. If I post something more personal, either a “What I Wore” post or personal photos about something I did, people are usually much more chatty. Which really supports what you said about getting to know a blogger and feeling connected. It’s easier to comment when you think you are commenting to a real person!

    Something I try to do (although I’ve been bad at this lately) is making sure *I* comment on other peoples blogs too. I am so guilty of the drive by….reading a great entry while I’m dashing off somewhere and not taking time to say hi. If I see a comment from someone new (or even an old friend who has popped up to say hello) I try and go to THEIR blog to comment back (as opposed to just continuing the conversation in my comments section). It’s tricky. I think I’m going to definitely try and ask more questions and engage people to chat. I’ll let you know if it works!

    Thanks again Holly. You are always the best.
    xo
    .-= alex*strawberry lemonade´s last blog ..Hide yer ‘stash. =-.

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  11. alex*strawberry lemonade commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:15pm

    OH! one last thing. It’s all perspective. While it’s true Dooce gets a couple of 1000 comments, keep in mind she also has a million readers—so technically it’s a pretty low ratio for even someone as bad ass as her!

    ;-)
    .-= alex*strawberry lemonade´s last blog ..Hide yer ‘stash. =-.

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  12. Virginia @ Where You Hang Your Hat commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:17pm

    No one is more suited than you to pose this question! I frequent many blogs but comment on maybe one per day. Your blog is a bit different – you start up discussions for which I’m actually interested in reading others’ comments. I generally contribute a bit myself to these discussions because they’re a real conversation, as opposed to “I love that coat rack!”

    Of course, you don’t do that every day and I’m not sure anyone could. But as a blogger, if I could have as many comments as you do just once a week, I’d be very happy indeed! Also, I’m not sure this is something others can learn but your conversational tone and occasional ramblings totally set the stage for your readers to do the same. We probably shouldn’t expect our readers to get wordy if we don’t do the same!
    .-= Virginia @ Where You Hang Your Hat´s last blog ..muses. =-.

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  13. Jennifer Squires Ross commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:18pm

    I try to ask questions towards the end of my posts and encourage readers to share their opinions.
    .-= Jennifer Squires Ross´s last blog ..december is a month for giveaways! =-.

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  14. pruh commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:18pm

    What I don’t understand is that people usually react on a written blog, when it’s just an illustration or art people just don t know what to say.

    What does bother me is that that way most blogs are about uninspiring daily stuff.The only way to gain readers and comments is publishing about celebrities and sex.

    @mausumi Don’t they ever mistake you for masuimi?

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  15. Josephine commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:20pm

    Hi there!

    I’ll comment as a regular blog reader without a blog of my own…

    I tend only to leave comments about posts that really resonate with what I’m thinking/feeling on that particular day, or when I feel that the blog author has shared something special of themselves that deserves encouragement/acknowledgment.

    This is not to say that other posts they have made are not worthy of comment! I tend to agonise over what I write in the comments section, so that my contribution is meaningful and not necessarily parroting what has been said in other comments. As I am not a natural-born writer, a simple comment can take me a while! So I only comment when I have crystallised thoughts on the matter that are not going to take me forever to articulate!

    I’ve also noticed on several occasions that I’ll start a comment, only to abandon it, thinking to myself, ‘Who’s really gonna care what I think?’.

    I’ll admit to feeling guilty visiting blogs on a regular basis and virtually never commenting. I realise so much effort goes into even the simplest blogs, and I imagine creating a blog which attracts few commenters must feeling like throwing a lavish dinner party where everyone leaves without saying thank you!

    Reading blogs such as decor8 is a daily pleasure and this is a good prompt to be more mindful of the folk behind the blog! (So, thanks Holly!)

    I hope this all makes sense ;-)

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  16. Carly commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:20pm

    Oh what a great topic! I have had Deco8 in my reader forever now and this is my first comment. I can only say that I admire so many blogs and completely appreciate their content, but to be honest I often feel intimated to comment; especially with such widely read blogs such as yours. It probably has more to do with that fact that I am aware of how many people can read my lonely little comment and it’s kind of scary. For my own blog I truly value ever person that comments so much that I try to always respond to each comment with a personal email and thank you. In doing so I have built some wonderful relationships with some of my readers and they are the ones that will consistently comment.
    .-= Carly´s last blog ..A Perfect Announcement! =-.

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  17. decor8 commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:23pm

    Alex – A blog drive by – funny and cute way of putting it! I’m guilty of doing that too!

    Mausumi – I think in the end we all have to examine what the goal is with our blog. Blogs come in all shapes and sizes. Some bloggers want to do it full-time and dedicate their life to it treating the blog as a career. Others already have careers and want to use their blog as a creative outlet, like a virtual scrapbook where they collect things and use it to communicate regularly with their real life friends and family or to even make a few friends who have common interests out there. Then there are bloggers who have careers that they want to promote via their blog. The artist who wants to promote her paintings, the teacher promoting her workshops, the author promoting her books, etc. Again, all shapes and sizes.

    That’s the real question here — what is the goal that you have set personally as a blogger. Of course, I’m not expecting you to answer this here, but personally –ask yourself, and then set your expectations accordingly. Maybe this perspective can help….

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  18. yasmine-aprintaday commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:23pm

    oooh. nice topic. for me it’s not so much the comments. but i do like to know if readers find my downloads useful! fortunately, i have a tracking system for the amount of downloads, and that’s enough for me. but it is nice when people say thanks for the service :)

    personally i try to comment on blogs as much as possible, which i used to do–until i got so busy because of my blog and side projects that come from it, that sometimes it’s all about time.

    i am on twitter (and fb), and i chat with my readers that way from my phone (as i am out and about a lot). and if they have a link to their blog, sometimes, i visit and comment (like what you did in facebook). i think that’s one of the better ways to engage comments and/or visitors at least.

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  19. AlysonIsNeat commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:25pm

    Holly –

    I totally agree with you. A good rule of thumb is always to think about how many comments you, yourself as a blog reader post a day. I am more of blog commenter because of what Mausumi said, it does bring in more traffic.

    I think the key things are to:

    1. Be real. Then people will be more likely to comment because they connect with the subject.

    2. Ask questions. Even if they are just rhetorical, the more you get your reader thinking, the more likely they will want to engage in the discussion.

    3. Try not to be pushy. Haha! Yes, calling out your lurkers is one thing… that seriously makes me giggle Kim! But you have to be careful to alienate your readers.

    Comments are a gift, they are unexpected, and they are such a joy. But I am also just so thankful to my readers, and I appreciate them. I want to write consistently and update consistently because I want to keep my readers engaged.

    I am just a beginner in this whole blogging thing and I am running a personal style blog because a lot of my friends are always asking me to help them pick out an outfit, or for style advice. So definitely, take anything I say with a grain of salt. The above are just a few things that I try to do to engage my readers, even if there are such a small number!
    .-= AlysonIsNeat´s last blog ..Update – The boots =-.

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  20. decor8 commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:25pm

    Carly that is super impressive!!! Thank you for sharing that…. :) And from coming out of the blog closet. :)

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  21. Sam commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:29pm

    Recently someone told me that she writes her blog as if she’s inviting her readers into her living room. I keep that in the back of my mind now when I’m writing a post. I may not know my readers personally, but I seem to get the most comments when I’m just being me (or when I create something really new and fantastic ;)
    .-= Sam´s last blog ..Cozy in the Country =-.

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  22. cristin @ simplified bee commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:30pm

    Great advice! I too don’t dive into hot topics i.e. politics, religion, celebs, etc.

    I like to leave comments when possible bc I know how much time blogging takes and appreciate good posts.

    xo,
    cristin
    .-= cristin @ simplified bee´s last blog ..Bee is for Baby Shower =-.

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  23. decor8 commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:30pm

    Josephine – Thank you, wow – what a great “other side of the fence” perspective, you know? You are not a blogger but a blog reader and so what you’ve said is so helpful to those of us who author blogs. I agree with you on the “Who’s really gonna care what I think?” because I sometimes think this as I’m writing a post! Ha ha! But I’ve also felt this when commenting on other blogs.

    I have to add that often a reason I have no commented on another blog has to do with the comments section and how it works. Some have multiple pages where you need to log in or type in codes or put in all of this information, etc. and by the time I do all of that I usually forget a step, screw it all up, lose the comment, curse under my breath, and then say, “Oh screw it, I’m sure they’ll never miss my comment anyway!”. Then I moan and groan and skate on to the next post or blog. So I think that it’s a good idea to try commenting on YOUR OWN BLOG to see how easy it is to leave an actual comment.

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  24. pinkpeonygirl commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:31pm

    Since I no longer have blog (that’s about 6 years ago) I will comment a as reader. First there must be a certain content in the post that stirs something up inside you so you feel like you want to have your say as well. Secondly, it’s nice to feel that the blogger is really interested in your feedback and thirdly and for me personally important, and what drives me from thinking about maybe commenting to actually doing so is reading the other comments, because all the other input helps you feel part of something, sometimes you share the feelings but wish to put it differently and sometimes you wish to state a complete opposite view of the subject. The other readers are sometimes just as inspiring in response to the post and the original post is. If that makes any sense.
    Oh, and maybe this last one too: blogging is a very international happening, but sometimes the posts seem only relevant to people from a certain country.
    Warm greetings from Fabi from Belgium.

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  25. Katie Stephenson commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:32pm

    This is a great topic! It’s funny, I don’t think people who don’t have a blog really get that bloggers like comments. Sometimes I tell my non-blogging friends this and they seem very surprised to hear that we do like comments/questions. I will ALWAYS comment when I read a blog post where someone has shared something very personal about their lives or their day, especially if it’s not a big blog and I don’t see a ton of comments already. It seems very sad to me for that person to think people aren’t listening after a very personal post. Also, if someone shares a comment on my blog, I’ll often hop over to where they live online and share something with them. It’s like a little blog hug or at the very least, a blog high-five.

    I’m not sure how other people’s analytics programs work but I don’t get any results until the next day for my 2 blogs and sometimes it’s nice to get that immediate feedback of a comment, and to know you’re talking to someone.

    Anyway, great topic, I’m excited to hear what others have to say.
    .-= Katie Stephenson´s last blog ..gift guide 3: $50 to $100 =-.

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  26. Tatyana commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:33pm

    As someone who doesn’t have a public/commercial blog (or should have one) I felt compelled to give my view on the subject, only as a reader and (sometimes) commenter.
    As a reader/commenter, I really like when the blogger appears to be someone approachable. I think the reason I don’t leave a comment is because I feel inferior to the god-blogger and think my comments are insignificant or bellow their amazing abilities and talents. I like to know that behind the amazing blog there is a normal person, with normal problems… it’s encouraging to know that someone like me was able to create an amazing blog. It says “you can do sometime great, too.”
    I also like when (as Holly said) they ask a genuine question… and that the question comes out as them honestly wanting to know… and not just a way of finishing their post.
    But the most important part is when the blogger actually responds in the comments and answers your question. Now, I realize that sometimes with so many questions or suggestions they might not have time (Dooce comes to mind), but knowing they actually read the comments and acknowledge it in subsequent posts feels good. I don’t feel like their blog is just a revenue maker, but that they also care about me as a person.
    I hope that helps, someone. :)

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  27. Ashling commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:37pm

    This is a topic that will interest us all. I was blogging along time before I got any comments, my first blog was on wordpress, I didn’t really know what blogs were when I set one up as none of my friends here in Ireland have them. But now I have three- two on wordpress and one on blogger. On wordpress I find that I get comments from the general readers of wordpress or from specific searches whereas on blogger I have a list of followers and blogs I follow so you seem to get to know those who leave comments. One of my blogs is on heritage in Ireland and therefore is more limited to those with an interest in the subject. My other blogs are about all things nice.. and that varies alot :) I find that some blogs have no follower tab so I might comment once and never come across the blog again.

    All things nice…
    .-= Ashling´s last blog ..Some Old Christmas Cards =-.

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  28. Lucinda commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:54pm

    My most successful comments came when I truly engaged my audience. I twittered and FB’d that I wanted readers to come help me decide what finish to do on this old cabinet I had in my garage. I provided four different finish ideas and surveyed my visitors. I had the most visits to my blog, I had more people than I anticipated take the survey and select a finish for me. Then I provided a step-by-step through the transformation of the cabinet.

    Then my life changed and I’m now shifting back into the corporate world while I’m reinventing my life. So if you go to my blog you’ll see if haven’t posted in some time.

    If I continued doing projects like the one above, I know I would continue to develop and engage my readers. They really gave me a lot of feedback.

    I also find that when I’m at my most transparent and authentic that more people speak up and delurk.

    Alex, I love your blog! It’s one of my favorites. I’m not sure why I lurk most of the time… but if you asked me to speak up I would. :)
    .-= Lucinda´s last blog ..Seasonal & Life Changes =-.

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  29. juliette commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:56pm

    * please people check how hard it is to post a comment on your own blog! many times, many many many times I’ve either not bothered, or stopped halfway because it was just ridiculous. I get spam on old posts on my blog, and you know what? I can click a setting to moderate older posts, so that still allows people to be free to comment on the recent stuff without hindrance.

    * “Notify me of followup comments via email” is awesome for those posts where you DO want to keep up with the conversation (like this post). Blogs w/that option make me think people DO CARE what I have to say, so I’m more likely to type out that comment in my head.

    * I think people who post a comment just to post are silly. “FIRST!!!!” comes to mind. gag me. Sometimes I do a “love it!” post b/c I just want to give the writer some feedback on something that particularly struck me, yet there’s no need to go on and on (like i’m prone to do here….lol)

    * I get more comments on my posts when the content is really good, regardless if there is a question or not. I have noticed that. I have a consistent readership, but the only pattern to the more-comments thing is the content. At least for MY blog. Makes me want to be more intentional and shames me a bit for those times I’ve sort of slopped around. It shows.

    Even if I post less often, my readership stays solid. I can tell from Google Analytics that my readers would rather read fewer quality posts than lots of weak ones. I like that sort of accountability. =)
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Crafting for Advent =-.

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  30. Angela commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:03pm

    As a new blogger, comments really make my day and I’m intrigued when I see someone has visited but didn’t comment – who they are, how they found me and what they thought. I myself however don’t comment a lot because I feel a little like they will think “Who is this punk reading my personal stuff? She’s not in the cool gang!” I’m already a regular reader of fat mum slim and do comment there because there is a lovely feeling of welcome and friendliness and you are encouraged to comment with questions like “What exercise did you do today?” (Although I didn’t answer this because I done none!)
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..Getting old…? =-.

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  31. Mausumi commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:05pm

    Pruh,

    I don’t think so? I don’t even know who Masuimi is… (?)
    .-= Mausumi´s last blog ..The Advent Calendar; December 3rd =-.

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  32. Laura C commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:06pm

    Hi Holly,
    This is such a great topic. I find myself wondering this same thought all the time. Why don’t people leave me comments? Why won’t my own mom leave comments? Is anyone even reading?
    But every comment comes as such a fun surprise. This week there was a link to my blog from The Pioneer Woman site, so I got lots of hits which is neat, but my favorite part was getting a sweet comment from a military wife overseas. I don’t know why, but it’s really fun to know that someone on the other side of the world that you’ve never met read what I had said.
    I don’t know that there’s any rhyme or reason to when and why I comment on blogs… it’s just when I feel a connection or want to say, “Nice work!”
    Holly, I like to comment on your blog because for one, you always have something beautiful to share! Also, I like that you pose great questions and respond to comments… it’s nice to have a two-way conversation!

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  33. decor8 commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:10pm

    Laura C – You know what I wonder… why my own mother, whom I adore, doesn’t read my blog! Seriously… she doesn’t. She is a young, energetic, bright and lovely woman who is 61 and very, very savvy but not on the net and not a blog reader at all — and as a result she’s never read decor8. Not ONE word of it. I had a little “problem” with this awhile back but I’m over it now, but trust me I always wondered when I first started blogging if she’d surprise me one day with a comment. It’s been four years now and still… nothing. But the day she does surprise me and comments on my blog, I will definitely pass out. :)

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  34. Katie Stephenson commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:13pm

    My mom doesn’t read mine either. Maybe they WILL surprise us someday :)
    .-= Katie Stephenson´s last blog ..gift guide 3: $50 to $100 =-.

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  35. decor8 commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:21pm

    Katie – Oh well… do you ever think she is secretly reading and just not telling you?

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  36. juliette commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:25pm

    my mom reads mine on occasion and comments even less. i wonder if that’s worse than not reading at all…. except I know how my mom is w/reading blogs, even mine! =P
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Crafting for Advent =-.

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  37. Emily commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:31pm

    This is an absolutely great discussion. I agree with so many things being said and want so many things to come of my blog. It took me a while to get comfortable with the concept of commenting on other people’s blogs but now I just write when I want to about what I am feeling. I try as best I can to engage my readers, I ask questions all the time and get no answers. I mean NO answers. When that happens I feel kind of like the red headed step child in the corner being ignored, but somehow it doesn’t stop me from wanting to have a place to put all the things I love, want, or in some cases need ;). I would love to have more comments, I have only been at this blogging thing for about 6 months but sometimes I think I am just talking to myself on my blog. I suppose time, knowledge, and growth much like in life have to come into play on your blog. So for now I will keep doing what I am doing and trying new things to get my readers (however few they may be) involved in what I love and maybe snag some new ones every now and again.
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..FIXED IT =-.

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  38. Katie Stephenson commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:34pm

    Um no, because she is a horrible liar. What I do know is that she will drive 4 hours to help me make curtains or take a call after she’s gone to bed if she knows I’m sad, or help me with a crying baby at 2:00am, so I think it’s best to just accept that she won’t be a “follower” and move on with it. I have a handful of friends that have been my total and complete cheerleaders since day one and others that have not said one word about what I do. I’ve learned that if I take it personally, it’ll just make me upset so instead I try to focus on the positive feedback that I get from that handful and let them know just how much it means.
    .-= Katie Stephenson´s last blog ..gift guide 3: $50 to $100 =-.

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  39. Ms. Jenn commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:37pm

    Great question. I think asking questions and being personal helps get readers involved. The other thing, which I’m not always good at doing but I’m trying harder, is to reply to comments! Have a conversation with your readers. Also, take time to visit their blogs if they have one. Leaving comments on other blogs is helpful, but make sure you are being genuine! I’ve met some bloggers who are just out for themselves (usually new bloggers or businesses with blogs who can’t stop thinking of a blog as a marketing tool.)

    In other words, if you aren’t genuine, you readers will smell it from a mile away!

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  40. Monica commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:41pm

    That’s too funny about your mom. Mine reads all the time and has only left one comment. It was on the about me section and she only left her initials! She said she didn’t want others to think she was “silly”. Made me realize there are a lot of shy people out there who like to read, but don’t necessarily want their voices broadcasted. I bet your mom has had at least a glance!

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  41. Out And About Africa commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:47pm

    This is a great topic as it’s something I often think about. I know there are people out there reading my blog, but very few comment even when I try to ask engaging questions in my posts. Then I think about it and I go through several blogs a day and I swear I can barely find the time to get through all my favorite ones, let alone comment on them given that I actually have other things going on. It’s a really hard time-management balance and figuring out how much time I can spare doing something like commenting on a blog versus engaging with the people physically around me or even something simple like reading a book or magazine article…

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  42. Rebekah commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:49pm

    Just letting you know that I’m reading despite my not always commenting. Sometimes people who comment too much can be a tad bit obnoxious too….I would think anyway. I don’t have a blog, however, that’s one of the main reasons I don’t always contribute my opinions to other people’s blogs.

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  43. decor8 commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:50pm

    Katie – Totally, my thoughts too. My mother comes through on everything else and like you, I know she’ll be first on a flight to Germany if/when I have my first baby to help me care for it… She’s already said she’d spend the first month with me and help me out. But I think the point is valid – sometimes our own FAMILY MEMBERS do not read our blogs so when strangers read them, and comment, and slowly become our friends it is really precious, meaningful and very, very thoughtful of them you know?

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  44. Alanna commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:51pm

    My family and friends read and comment on my blog through facebook…but never or rarely on the main page. I’m ok with that, since I really write it for them anyways. I love getting little emails from FB “friends” that I haven’t spoken to in years telling me that they love reading my “notes.” I can’t lie, though a comment or two would be nice!
    .-= Alanna´s last blog ..My Handmade Christmas Wishlist =-.

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  45. Katie Stephenson commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:01pm

    Holly: Exactly. “Out and About in Africa:” Exactly. Rebekah: the only time I think a frequent commenter is obnoxious is when it seems they only have negativity on the brain, or self-promotion, neither of which really are an issue on my 2 little blogs but on some of the bigger ones, maybe.
    .-= Katie Stephenson´s last blog ..gift guide 3: $50 to $100 =-.

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  46. Katie Stephenson commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:10pm

    Ok, I’m smiling over here. Alanna I just went to your blog..to see where you live online and …gave you a comment and am now a follower because I saw so many good handmade and eco-friendly finds there, and even some DIY’s which I love…then I went back to my blog and saw that Holly had made a comment to me. Thanks for that little gift. Group hug :)
    .-= Katie Stephenson´s last blog ..gift guide 3: $50 to $100 =-.

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  47. Beach Vintage commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:17pm

    Great post. For me it’s just making sure every post is inspirational to me. I guess this rubs off onto others.
    .-= Beach Vintage´s last blog ..Project Day: The Beach Vintage Thrifty Christmas Tree =-.

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  48. Lindsey commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:21pm

    Great post Holly!
    I agree with you and other commenters that it is so nice to see comments on your blog…to let you know that someone out there finds what you say relevant in some way or another. It is flattering to know that you are connecting with someone out there in this great big world.

    As for getting more comments, I don’t have a blog that gets hundreds of comments (or even close) but I try to do what you suggested. I try to talk similarly to how I would in person. And I ask questions…not to try and get people to comment but just because I’d like to see what they have to say! I love getting to know those who read my blog better. In fact through the blogosphere I’ve met some really great people. Some that I even now call friends.

    Reading the comments I do get helps me to see what content my readers like and what moves them. This helps me know what to focus on when in a blogging “funk.” I try to post things I like first knowing that will attract likeminded readers but the comments do help curate that further.

    As Alex said and you talked about also, commenting on other blogs has helped me in my own posting. I have learned more about the types of things that interest me and inspire me to comment which in turn has possibly helped my own blog comments. I really do try to comment often on the blogs that I read. Any time I see something I like or that interests me I try to say something nice about it to encourage fellow bloggers. Who doesn’t love feedback!

    I’m loving reading all the comments on this post and am learning a lot.
    Thanks for getting this started,

    { Lindsey }
    http://greatfullday.blogspot.com
    .-= Lindsey´s last blog ..Light and Airy: Ann Inghardt =-.

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  49. Lindsey commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:22pm

    Oh! One more thing, I always try to read the comments left on my blog and respond back in the comments. I don’t want anyone to think their comment is for naught and never noticed. Not sure if they check back or not, but I do respond!

    { Lindsey }
    http://greatfullday.blogspot.com
    .-= Lindsey´s last blog ..Light and Airy: Ann Inghardt =-.

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  50. Cynthia commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:23pm

    So, love this comment thread. I adore blogging:) that is why I do it. And Comments are just a bonus to me. Don’t get me wrong when I first started getting comments. It was like a lovely pat on the back. But, now many of my readers are friends. And that is my approach completely. I engage them with questions and love hearing what they have to say. And I am oK with lurkers, because I am one on many of my favorite blogs. I usually comment when I can. But, there are just some blogs that I consider like window shopping. You never go in, but you love to peer in at the beautiful things.
    Great thread:)
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..Hello December. Holiday Frazzle. =-.

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  51. Micaela commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:38pm

    I think getting comments comes with time…as your readership increases, you will see that you get more comments (and that never stops). There’s no secret formula to it…when I first started blogging I went absolutely crazy commenting on other people’s blogs. I had over 100 blogs in my blog roll and commented on every one of them every time I posted (and I think that helped me out immensely). That’s the extreme approach, but you could ask for link exchanges or if you really like a blogger and want them to comment on your blog, ask them a question pertaining to the post in your comment.

    xo
    Micaela
    .-= Micaela´s last blog ..I HEART: An inspiration project =-.

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  52. Kristin commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:47pm

    Cosmic. I just today asked some of my friends who are readers to comment on my blog and they were like. “why?”. they had no idea that I would like that. I am thinking of doing a post about commenting because many of my readers are VERY new to the blogosphere. BTW anyone who wants to do a link swap—I am game.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..The Affordable Gift List: Wednesday Edition- Man Stuff =-.

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  53. Toni Brockliss commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:57pm

    I used to think that my blog was measured on how successful it was due to the amount of comments it received.
    Now I have gone back to the basics and just write it for me. If people want to comment, I appreciate it, but I am fully aware of time constraints and that there are so many great blogs out there and only so much time to read them.
    Generally I have found that people who insist on comments are the ones that don’t leave comments in return. If you want comments it has to be a two way street.
    .-= Toni Brockliss´s last blog ..posy and garland =-.

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  54. Dorkys commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 7:00pm

    I’ve tried to figure out how to get more comments and have come to realize that it comes down to way too many factors, timing, luck, general interest. I might spend ages on one post and get no comment love and then dash off another one and have it be popular. Who knows why? I do encourage participation by asking questions and then replying to answers right in the comment section, but sometimes I don’t get as many responses as I’d like.

    Does that mean I won’t cover that same topic again? No way! I’ll continue to write what I enjoy. And I have a steady stream of readers/friends who do their best to regularly leave their relevant two cents and I support them right back.

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  55. Priya commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 7:11pm

    Comments and reader feedback has been on my mind a lot lately and it’s wonderful to read all these different viewpoints. My blog is turning a year old tomorrow and blogging has really changed my life. I can’t imagine life without my blog now. I love getting comments because to me it means that someone liked the post well enough to leave me their thoughts. I adore decor8 but usually someone has already said what I wanted to say.
    .-= Priya´s last blog ..Christmas countdown: Inkling Prints =-.

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  56. teresa commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 7:14pm

    Oh I do wish I had the time to read these comments!
    I am new to blogging…have been blogging for 3 months!
    I must admit…there is something so exciting about getting a comment!
    You feel extremely vulnerable…shy…when you first begin to blog.
    It’s like you throwing your heart out into Space and left behind to wonder if ANYONE out there will have any interest at all in what you might have said.
    I’ve been at a disadvantage…none of my friends that I left behind in the South to BLOG for…when we moved to the Northwest…have blogs or know HOW to leave comments!
    I was very nervous about adding the followers button to my sidebar…what if noone every decided to FOLLOW…that’s a scarey thought. My husband made me promise I would keep it up for at least a month…and now I have 41 followers! Wow!
    I have gone through several phases since I’ve been blogging just these few short months. It seems that there are many angles…at the art of blogging. I had no idea so much strategizing went on behind the scenes of blogging.
    It’s like you have to decide WHY you are blogging and for who.
    Do you want to see HOW MANY FOLLOWERS you can gain…or do you just want to develop relationships and have people read that genuinely have an interest in just YOU…plain ole you with no frills!
    I want blogging to remain FUN…it gets a bit tedius when you have to strategize.
    For now…I’ve just decided to write and share from the HEART.
    It is just not my style to try and LURE people from all over the place in to my world.
    I’ll have to admit…the blogs out there that have huge followings are AMAZING! It just blows my mind! And I love to read them. But I find myself steering away from commenting when someone has 100′s of comments already. But that’s okay…those blogs are the leading forces…and the information on them is just so incredible!
    So that’s my take on it all.
    I’m just choosing to be myself.
    One committment that I do have…I respond to all comments. I think it is important that you let fellow bloggers know how delighted you are that they have taken the time to comment!
    There have been several blogs that I just adore…and have left many comments on…and have never gotten a response.
    I don’t even go back to these blogs anymore…because I do think it is rude never to respond to your readers.
    Now I certainly don’t expect this from these BIG BLOGS who have tremendous following…but I do from other blogs.
    Happy Day!
    XXOOXX
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..My Birthday! =-.

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  57. Piper commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 8:04pm

    This is such a great discussion. I’ve been a blog “watcher” for months now – because I was new to checking out blogs and getting an idea for which blogs I enjoyed I never made comments. It’s only been recently that I started commenting especially when something resonates with me. (such as this discusion) Now that I’ve finally set up by own blog I see how important it can be to get those comments – especially when you’re starting out and trying to get a feel for what people would enjoy. In fact it’ll be such a happy day when I get my first comment :) But then I realize that I’m just excited to have such a great creative outlet like blogging that I want to keep doing it no matter whether I get any comments or not (of course it would be wonderful to know people enjoy seeing what you’re posting!)
    Although comments give you that personal feeling I think you can use stats as well to know that people are visiting your site – like Josephine mentioned, some people don’t want the pressure of writing and just want to enjoy the site!

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  58. sungting commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 8:13pm

    Dear Holly,

    I really do love your “Talk It Out’ posts! =] You address the issues very close to my heart. As a very new blogger, I sometimes feel like maybe there’s no one reading my blog, or if there are, if they liked what they see. I recently set up my blog linked to my blogshop, and decided that I wanted to have a personal place where readers or even potential customers could get to know me personally. So I try to keep a blog that talks about my life, apart from offering freebies and announcing new items for sale.

    Thank you, Holly for all your advice and for sharing your experience with us! And to all of you who have left a comment here, I am so glad to learn from each of you, and knowing that I am not alone in this! =]

    Looking forward to your next “Talk-it-Out” topic!
    Cheers!
    sungting
    .-= sungting´s last blog ..COLOR PLAY: LIGHT BLUES =-.

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  59. teresa commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 8:25pm

    Hi to all!
    Just popped over to Dooce!
    Had no earthly idea what Dooce was while reading your comments…
    so of course I had to pop over!
    In a nutshell…who is this girl?
    I don’t have time to spend reading all that I would need to…just curious…in a nutshell…how can someone be drawing in over 7000 comments???
    I thought I was seeing things!
    Then she had “comments closed” on older post.
    Wonder what number she caps it off at?
    This is unreal!
    Had no idea bloggers were out there with this kind of following!
    XXOOXX
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..My Birthday! =-.

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  60. Luisa @ Dance in my garden commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 8:31pm

    I like Alanna, rarely get family and friends commenting on my blog posts, and yet they will chat to me about them!
    Comments are like little petals of appreciation scattered around. I worry that I worry about not receiving them! I started blogging as a bit of an experiment, and now treat it like a creative brain dumping ground, and cheap therapy! I try to be true to myself, and post meaningfully.
    I enjoy it, so it’s nice when others do too.
    The best part is the connection with other woman around the world, after comments have been exchanged. As a stay at home mum, with a toddler that still has massive day sleeps (lucky me!), it’s less isolating to be able to communicate in this virtual way. Perhaps if I knew about blogging 7 years ago, I might not have had PND with my first child.
    .-= Luisa @ Dance in my garden´s last blog ..All is well =-.

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  61. Jane @ the Borrowed Abode commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:30pm

    I love my little blog, and started it just for me. I had no idea what great friendships one could form with other bloggers. Cool bonus!

    I don’t have much luck getting comments. The other day I had over 400 views and only one comment. . . even though I try to ask questions of my readers. I wondered briefly if people didn’t like what they saw. But comments aren’t the reason I blog, I reminded myself.

    My dad reads my blog (funny, because he’s SO not into creative/decor stuff) but never comments. My mom never reads it. . . but she can’t really remember how to get to it, let alone comment on it. She’s a bit technologically challenged.

    I’ve got to admit, though – even though they’re not the goal, comments are truly like little fun presents that always bring a smile to your face!!
    .-= Jane @ the Borrowed Abode´s last blog ..Weekend Adventures: Fall Hike =-.

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  62. Marilyn commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:34pm

    This is a great topic and I’m enjoying reading everyone’s input. Add me to the list of comment lovers although it’s true, I leave comments…sometimes. There are blogs where I absolutely LOVE and visit on a regular basis but not comment or hardly ever do (ie: this one! =D) One thing I like to do is try to respond to comments when they pop up in my email. Just to acknowledge the person who took the time to leave a message. I think that says something and it may encourage the person to come back.
    .-= Marilyn´s last blog ..Closed for the Holidays =-.

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  63. Jillian commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:37pm

    This is such a great post, and I’ve read through all of the comments. Getting a comment also makes my day. I have been thinking about my commenting habits while reading everyone’s responses. I used to be very good about commenting, but since moving to Google Reader I comment much less. Is there a way to comment through Google Reader that I’m just not seeing?
    .-= Jillian´s last blog ..Martha Stewart’s Crafty December =-.

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  64. ShockTheBourgeois commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:59pm

    *sigh* This question is one that’s always flitting around in my head. Why doesn’t anyone comment? What am I doing wrong? So many doubts!

    At least it’s not too hard for me to step back and remember why I’m doing this- putting my ideas out into the eternal internet is so much better than letting them waste away in my head. Heck, maybe somebody out there is inspired! I also have to put things in perspective: I am not a full time blogger who can drop a couple grand on a beautiful web design and a fancy camera, then crank out beautifully crafted posts each day. I’m working 50+ hours per week and pulling together posts in my spare time… if people like them enough to comment, that’s amazing!

    I really have noticed that the more I put myself out there (even when I’m feeling shy and awkward) the bigger return I get in terms of commentary. Attending a blog function, pointing out my own posts on twitter and fb (and even AT… shame on me), and COMMENTING on other’s posts- speaking up encourages the same in others!

    Anyway, so good to hear that I’m in good company! Thanks to Holly for these cathartic forums! Keep at it all, and err… feel free to drop by and leave me a comment :)

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  65. Viv commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 10:31pm

    How funny about mums not commenting on blogs. My mum does read mine on occasion but has never left a comment. I was shocked a while back when she came over and headed straight to the laundry saying something along the lines of “Let’s see that chandelier you bought!”.

    Sometimes I have a conversation with my sister and she’ll say “You know, I already read about that on your blog”. I forget that my family and friends might read what I write.

    I’m always flattered when people leave comments on my blog. I don’t expect them but it’s so lovely and I’ve gotten to know some people that way and love checking out their blogs too. The thing I find hard is to balance blogging, commenting on other blogs and replying to comments I receive. I try my best though.

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  66. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 10:47pm

    Such an interesting topic…unfortunately, I have nothing enlightening to say :) I usually do comment on any blog I visit to say “thank you” and show support. I adore comments from my lovely readers but, also know I have some loyal readers who do NOT comment. That is a-ok. I do think some folks don’t feel they have the time or it doesn’t even occur to them. I will add, don’t let that bring you down about your readership….there are many folks out there listening and you just don’t realize. :) Keep blogging if it makes you happy & the comments will come, I think. Thanks for doing these Holly…so interesting.
    xo
    Melis
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..The little things: an offering.. =-.

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  67. I'm (not) Superhuman commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:25pm

    Here’s the funny thing: I saw that there were already 54 comments on your blog and though, “Hm, maybe I’ll pass. I’m not going to say anything else new.” But then I saw the irony and so I’ll share, too:

    I’m a new blogger and I too watch the comments like they’re a validation that someone out there is listening. Thanks for the post and, especially, the great discussion that followed!
    .-= I’m (not) Superhuman´s last blog ..Weak Muscles Can Lead to Runner’s Knee. That, And Really Bad Luck. =-.

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  68. lisa commented
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:55pm

    i kind of just started, so i don’t know what to expect…so far i’m just using it as a notepad to get stuff out of my head…

    right now i’m just doing it for me, and hopefully “me” is interesting enough :)

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  69. Penny commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 12:11am

    Usually I just leave a short & sweet comment, just to say hello!

    I know this question is more about the connecting-with-people aspect of it, but if a blog is too hard to comment on, with pop up windows, or comment systems that require me to log in, or register – forget about it!
    .-= Penny´s last blog ..beach mini-break =-.

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  70. Amanda commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 12:50am

    I don’t get a lot of comments but I do try to ask for feedback. I also ask a question in a post occasionally. I think people generally read things and then don’t comment as it takes a bit of effort. I like connecting by commenting though.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Christmas Give Away! =-.

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  71. Lois commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 12:57am

    I find that people will come over and leave a comment on my site if I leave one on theirs. Don’t expect people to come to you, go out there and find them! Certainly don’t link to your blog in your comment, people just find that annoying, but most comment forms have a spot for you to put your website address in. Leave it there and see if anyone comes through. You will be pleasantly surprised.
    .-= Lois´s last blog ..As they say… =-.

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  72. Lori commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 1:22am

    Thanks for a good topic and timely for me. I’m just starting a blog (about a month old), so comments are few and far in between. But when I do get one I get so excited. It’s probably quite pathetic. :-) But it’s really neat to think that someone out there is reading what I’m writing and taking the time to comment on it. And then I tell myself if someone is taking the time to comment then that means hopefully a few more people are reading it just not commenting. But then I go through stretches of days where no one is commenting and I wonder if my posts are not interesting. I just have to remember that I’m writing my blog for me. I’ve taken notes on everyone else’s feedback!

    BTW – I don’t think my mom has read my blog yet either. :-)
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Sneak Peak – Christmas Presents =-.

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  73. ruth commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 2:57am

    I think when I started blogging that no one would read ‘it’. But the comments I do get are lovely, although most people who pop by do not leave any. My be I should improve my blogging etiquette and say hi when I pop by, just like in the real world!
    .-= ruth´s last blog ..strawberry pincushion =-.

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  74. Marianne commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 3:05am

    Hi Holly,
    You really got me thinking about the comment section! I wish I could enter your blog course, but it will probably have sold out when I return from work next Monday.
    Have a nice weekend!
    Bye,
    Marianne.
    .-= Marianne´s last blog ..{Paris} =-.

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  75. Alice at Simply The Nest commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 3:48am

    I agree with all the comments made above – especially in terms of asking questions in your posts, writing with an authentic voice, and so on.

    For me, blogging is first and foremost about community. About having a conversation, creating a dialogue with like-minded people. About developing a supportive network.

    Therefore, I think a great way to encourage your readers to comment is to get to know them. Who is reading your blog? Setting up a Twitter account is a good way to find out. Follow people on Twitter whose blogs you read. Follow people on Twitter who leave comments on your blog (assuming they have a URL, which you can visit to check if they have a Twitter ‘follow me’ button). Send them messages via Twitter to compliment them on a recent post, or to share a link they may find interesting. And of course, leave comments on their blog posts.

    As others have said, I also think it’s really important to respond to the comments that your readers leave you. This creates a dialogue. Otherwise, it may feel to your readers that they are talking to a black hole. Right now my blog is still a two-month old baby, so I’m able to respond personally to every comment I receive. If I start to receive lots more comments, I may not be able to continue doing this for each individual comment, but I would jump in to answer any questions, pick up on particular comments, and in general to thank everyone for taking the time to comment.

    Other than this blog – lovely work, Holly! – I think a great blog example in terms of encouraging comments is Young House Love – John and Sherry regularly get hundreds of comments, and interact in a very authentic and personal way with their readers. It would be worth checking out to see how they do it, if you haven’t already come across them.
    .-= Alice at Simply The Nest´s last blog ..Etsy Christmas Card Round-Up =-.

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  76. ishtar commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 3:58am

    Wow! Wonderful topic ! I just loved to read how we all have very similar thoughts and feelings about it.
    HOlly, It is GREAT that you respond to comments keeps it alive! : )
    .-= ishtar´s last blog ..Etsy Finds =-.

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  77. Jo in NZ commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 4:48am

    Wow! I feel incredibly naive. I just didn’t think about how it would be for a blogger *not* to receive comments, to wonder if she was simply “talking to ghosts” (as it has been so beautifully put)!

    I am not a blogger, but I read a good number of blogs on a daily basis — yet I rarely comment. I have to ask myself why. I think it’s the “I haven’t got anything of substance to contribute” mentality.

    But this discussion has prompted me to step in and express appreciation for the bloggers whose work really enhances the quality of my life.

    Sometimes, I’ll send an “offline” message or a little gift (magazine etc) but I’ll certainly express myself more often in comments from now on!

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  78. juliette commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 4:50am

    Reading through these comments I notice 2 things:

    1) a lot of people wonder if anybody’s reading their blog and are looking for validation in the comments. I think they could boost their confidence by installing something like Google Analytics to see how many new/repeat visitors they get, etc.

    2) some people really connect through comments and look for a dialogue (either on their own blog, or as a reader of other blogs).

    OR

    Connecting via comments is not important to them (as evidenced by their statements on how they feel getting low comments on their own blogs or what motivates them to ever post on somebody else’s blog)

    I think those who look for comments on their own blog can be encouraged by tools like Google Analytics as well as by reminding themselves that some people just don’t ‘connect’ via comments.

    People are just wired differently. I can think of several people who at one point I thought, gosh, they would be awesome bloggers! and yet, online journaling is really not their thing for whatever reason, and because I stopped to think about it, and how I knew them, I got it.

    I think our expectations on comments really have a lot to do with the type of personality we have. I would be so interested to read sociology studies on the blog culture…. =)
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Crafting for Advent =-.

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  79. Morgan commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 5:04am

    What a great post, Holly! This topic is on the mind of so many bloggers…

    The ultimate goal is to build a solid base of regular readers who continue to come back for inspiration based on your content — and with that comes the added bonus of comments. I’m working more on making my posts ‘comment oriented’ and adding questions, engaging readers in dialogue, etc are all great suggestions. Thank you, everyone!
    .-= Morgan´s last blog ..Celebrating with a Lavender & Lime Baby Shower =-.

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  80. caro commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 6:33am

    Hi Holly. What a great topic. I think this is the first time I have read ALL the entries (and this is not easy, because my english vocabulary is limited and I have to ask google for many words …;) Anyway, it seems so good to read, that other bloggers got the same “comment-problems” I have. Since I have my own blog, I write a lot more comments on other blogs, because I now know how beautiful and important it is to get positive feedback.
    I also did not know that my mom reads my blog – until last week: she called me and said, that she could not buy me the christmas presents, which I have on my blog-wishlist, because she could not order the gifts via Internet and certainly not in U.S. ;)
    .-= caro´s last blog ..Talented Sarah =-.

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  81. Janice commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 6:33am

    I have found that I have loyal readers–but very few comments and I am fine with that because:

    -I read a lot of blogs and I myself do not always comment, that said I do like to take the time to leave a comment if a post resonates with me.

    -When I read a magazine/print media sometimes I see something that evokes feeling/that I like but I do not write/email to the editor/magazine.

    I did a give away because I ‘wanted’ to after my blog was over a year old and I chose from previous comments that had already been made, so not to fall into the trap of a glut of comments ‘just to get a freebie’. I received many emails about this and people were so appreciative of this method–I actually ended up with more personal emails from readers on this than all of the previous total comments on the blog!

    I do however appreciate when someone takes the time to comment because it lets me know that someone is ‘out there’ reading and being drawn in by the content.

    I don’t think it is a healthy mindset to get drawn into the
    blog comments=popularity, then one might lose their own voice and start writing content that is not true or original to themselves.
    .-= Janice´s last blog ..holiday crafting {revisited} =-.

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  82. Kim commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 8:18am

    All wonderful comments and suggestions. I did take Holly’s blog class last spring (sign up now!) and out of all the great information she shared, the one think I can’t seem to do is visit and comment on blogs myself. So if I can’t find the time, I can’t expect anyone else to either.

    Her class taught me that the real reason I blog is for me. I remembered that I use to share ideas on a regular basis when I started my website years ago, and I missed it. Would I love more comments? Absolutely. Would I love more readers? You bet. But I know that when and if I find this issue takes precedence over the real reason I blog, it’s time to quit.

    That said, I’m going to take some time today to visit some of the blogs posted here. :o)
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..I’ll Have a Fashionista Christmas =-.

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  83. Nem commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 8:18am

    I have been wondering about this myself recently, not only about how to engage people in conversation, but how to make my blog content engaging. Interestingly, I posted about changing my blog content, making it more personal, and that got me my first conversational comment! :)

    I just want to be myself, be open and real, and I think that’s what creates the interest with others.
    .-= Nem´s last blog ..Nanao’s Orchid =-.

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  84. Iva commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 9:04am

    That’s a really great topic and I see how many people have commented, so I guess that means we all more or less care about this. I guess it is not so much about the number of comments itself, as it is communicating with more people. My blog is small, but still I have made some great friends via blogging. I appreciate when people leave a comment but I do understand that too often the content itself doesn’t let you to write more than “wow, that’s great” or something like that and I personally don’t really enjoy leaving such “empty” comments on other people’s blogs for the sake of commenting. I do believe that bloggers have a strong community and this is what makes it so special, not just writing in front of a machine, but actually feeling there is someone out there who is listening to you and shares your thoughts.
    .-= Iva´s last blog ..Inspiration: By the window =-.

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  85. Cheryl commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 9:33am

    I look forward to “let’s talk about it” posts because there is actual reflection and interaction on this blog and that is largely because there is something to talk about. Posting links to beautiful products generally receives a response to the product, liking it a lot and saying so. Holly alerts us to wonderful artisans and we click at leisure and she may or may not know how much we gain from that. I personally explore many of the links and I really appreciate Holly’s highlighting sites I would never find myself. I especially like posts that ‘teach’ us how to style, analyze a room and how it works. Those kinds of posts might garner more response as seeing a beautiful room and learning how it’s arranged and why really helps us become part of a community of stylists that walk the talk.

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  86. Cheryl commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 10:53am

    I am curious how you decide how often to respond to a reader’s post, Holly? I would think it could eat up your life in a hurry. In this discussion, I’ve noticed that you respond to several readers’ thoughts in one response — that seems efficient and also you give quality-responses.

    another question I have: is there a way to leave a question for you and not include it in a post that is focused on a particular topic/subject? it would seem like an unrelated question would just get lost in the shuffle.
    Maybe that would just drown you in questions that eat up the clock.

    I do think your talk about it series is a good thing. There are many eye-candy blogs out there that post products, but this blog layers thought, reflection and response. I’ve yet to find a blog that focuses on teaching its readers how to style in a way that is beyond the do this, do that mode. More like a true lesson with examples that work and that don’t work so well. That doesn’t seem to be the goal of your blog so this is not a critical comment, just voicing my own curiosity.

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  87. julie commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 10:57am

    I enjoyed this comment section and post. I am not a blogger but I do enjoy reading other people’s blogs, mostly design/interiors/”lifestyle”/crafty. In some of the other comments today I read that even bloggers own mothers don’t comment. I would like to speak to that; this is the first and only blog I have commented on because I am very private (read shy). I know my comments are sometimes off-topic, but I feel proud that I had the courage to comment on something that struck my fancy. My comments are obviously not meant to be as magical or as touching as the post, but they are a little tiny step for me to connect, however nebulously, with the blog community and to assert to myself that I have a voice and can participate, and be appreciative.

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  88. decor8 commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 11:34am

    Cheryl – Hello and thanks for asking!! :) I read all comments left on decor8 — I “approve” comments for this reason, so that I don’t miss one single one. I love reading them, it takes time yes, but it is important for me to connect the community in an intimate way. I was recently told that I should hire someone to field my emails and approve/moderate the comments coming in and I said NO NO NO! I could not imagine losing this important part of what I do — though I’m still considering hiring on someone to field emails – personal ones they’d send to me to answer, everything else would be sorted – this would help me since I receive a few thousand emails each week. When it comes to responding to comments, when a reader comments and directly asks me a question — as in they say “Holly what are your thoughts?” etc. then I will reply to the comment. But sometimes people just leave comments like “What is that paint color” and if I don’t know I’ll leave it for a reader to hopefully help out on because we’re a community of people here and I don’t have all of the answers. As for questions unrelated to the blog post, I appreciate it when readers just shoot me an email or tweet me or facebook me. That is why I have all those links under “elsewhere” in the right column — so I am accessible. If you tweet a question to me that doesn’t require a lengthy response, I will usually respond same day (on week days). I try to be as approachable and easy to find online as possible, though I am very busy so I’m not perfect and my schedule is a bit of a mess right now… but I’m always here! And I love your idea about styling, this is already something I am working on behind the scenes so stay tuned.

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  89. Nicole RJ commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 11:49am

    Such a great question – and so many great comments to read through!

    I’m a regular blogger with a small-but-steady readership who gets semi-regular comments… but then I’m also a regular-blog reader of many many blogs who rarely comments, and it’s horrible of me really! Sometimes I feel like I really don’t have much to add, but an actual question at the end of the post certainly helps prod me to comment! :D
    .-= Nicole RJ´s last blog ..Honeymooners: Day Seven & Eight ~ the Final Recap! =-.

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  90. Ana commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 11:54am

    Here’s a nice topic! I also ask myself why, oh why, don’t I get more commnets on my blog. But at least I get one good reason for not having as many as I’d like. I really can’t post every day and sometimes it’s been more than a month that I update it. But, on the other hand, having some hints to improve blog traffic and comments would be great. That’s why I want to enroll on Holly new course!
    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Makover =-.

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  91. Nina commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 12:11pm

    what a beautiful photo!
    .-= Nina´s last blog ..Perfume give away =-.

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  92. anonymous or Rose commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 12:30pm

    Why I don’t comment these days :
    1) snarky complaints that using “anonymous” is wrong. From my childhood days,, i remember the “clique-y” way some groups of “people” react to comments – so i use this to protect myself … and the nasty response proves my point … “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
    2) any comment that isn’t gushy, sickly-sweet, “fabulous”, or “wonderful” is ignored, deleted, or used as a “negative” example to prove the bloggers’ point of view … “You can’t handle the truth”.
    3) the cumulative count of comments is used to raise revenue from advertisers. Blogs have become this era’s “Soap Opera” – “Stay tuned for the next installment and now a word from our sponsor”.

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  93. jen commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 12:52pm

    i have been blogging for over 4 years and i do not get a “ton” of comments although i am happy with the lovely comments i do get. i have made what i consider real friends, pen pals, through my blogging and it’s a wonderful feeling. and luckily i have only gotten positive feedback so i guess my blog isn’t all that bad! (like you, i don’t write about controversial topics, just my own art and craft pursuits!)

    i think it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of equating the number of comments you get to the quality of your blog posts – or even using them to evaluate yourself as a person. (which is bad, bad!) so when you don’t get comments it can be a drag; i have felt this way at times. but then i must pull back and remind myself why i’m blogging and that i really do enjoy it and hope very much that someone out there is enjoying it too or benefiting from it in some way.

    and i think some bloggers may forget or do not realize that many people are really shy about commenting. while it is really easy and comfortable for me to comment on a blog (which is funny, since in “real life” i can be quite shy) it is not that easy for others.
    .-= jen´s last blog ..Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags {09} =-.

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  94. Mrs. M commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 12:53pm

    I was tempted to not comment because there’s already over 80 over them, but here goes….

    I’m new at blogging (started in August) and it is definitely a creative outlet for me. I’m really proud of each post, and feel completely honored by the small handful of comments I have received.

    commenting on other blogs I admire has definitely helped me reach out to other bloggers, and I was beyond flattered when one of my fav bloggers commented on my blog! also, when I blogged about a particular shop I loved, I sent them a little note of praise with a link, and the praise was reciprocated (much to my surprise!). I felt stupid about leaving these comments (again with the “will they even give a hoot?”) but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

    so I guess the key here is perseverence, putting yourself out there and trying to make connections with other bloggers or online entities. I haven’t gotten any comments in a month but I am hoping that if I keep on truckin’, people will tag along.
    .-= Mrs. M´s last blog ..cupcake liner holiday projects =-.

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  95. Erika - 2byDesign commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 1:00pm

    This is SUCH a timely question, I can’t even tell you! Like several others here, I’m a relatively new blogger. I’d been thinking of starting one up for so long but always felt intimidated by others’ “genius” if that makes sense. And really of putting myself out there, you know? But then I realized that I was really only doing it for me in the end, for fun. I’m a copywriter, but went to school for design before changing majors to English. I also come from a LONG line of amazingly talented designers, architects, etc. Anyway, all that to say that I’ve always had such a passion for interiors and finally realized I didn’t have to JUST be a copywriter. And a blog has been the perfect outlet for that side of my creativity.

    That being said, lately I’ve found myself feeling burned out in my writing career and wondering if there really could be something for me in the world of design. I don’t receive too many comments, but the ones I do get are very positive and really make me think I could take “it” to the next level. What that is, however, I don’t know! Blogs like yours though, really inspire me and certainly inspired me to take the leap into creating my own. If nothing else, it’s a fabulous outlet for me and comments or no comments, only good things have come of it so far. Who knows what the future holds, right??

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  96. B commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 1:31pm

    I love this topic and all the comments here! Like so many others, this is something I think about a lot since I started my own blog six months ago. Sometimes I get down when I pose a question and…nothing happens.

    But I try to keep in mind how I acted before I began blogging. I very rarely commented, because I didn’t realize how much it could mean to the writer to receive a comment. But now that I notice how much I light up when I get a notice that a new comment has been posted, I try to always comment on other blogger’s posts if they move me in some way.

    I’m also learning from another blogger I love (Heather from Gathering Spriggs). If I leave a comment on her blog, she’ll often visit my site and leave a comment on a post that strikes her. For obvious reasons, it isn’t a tit-for-tat exchange, but I think it’s such a great way to show appreciation if you genuinely are starting to have a connection with a reader who happens to be a blogger.

    Also, I just had to add — my mother doesn’t read my blog either!! I’ve shared it with her a few times, but now I’ve simply given up. Like yours, she’s so very present in my life in other ways, so I am not upset by it. But I do find it a bit baffling.
    .-= B´s last blog ..Just Launched: Print Society =-.

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  97. decor8 commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 1:57pm

    anonymous or rose: I think #1 and #2 are not common so I guess you have to just try to find blogs where that is not the case and read those regularly so you’re investing your energy and time into something that feels right for you. Don’t waste your precious time commenting on blogs that you don’t enjoy or feel are playing fair. That’s my experience anyway — I’ve never had your problem on blogs but that is not to say it doesn’t happen. And #3 may also be correct but I think that depends on the blog because this is not the case on my site since I do not charge advertisers per impression, I charge a flat rate and I do this personally because then I do not feel pressured to play a numbers game or to post a billion times a day to earn money. While I don’t fault other big blogs who do that, I respect those who earn a living blogging because it is a hard career, I personally would get stressed out by it and know that while I’d double my income, I wouldn’t feel happy or excited to write anymore. I don’t think all blogs are “this era’s soap opera”, though some do make me feel that way too so I get where you are coming from! Totally!

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  98. michelle commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 2:02pm

    I coming into the conversation a little late but it was great to be able to read everyone’s comments so maybe it’s a good thing.

    The feedback from nonbloggers is extremely helpful. From myself and other bloggers I know let me tell you, we care what you have to say, we love hearing your opinion, questions, etc. so please keep them coming.

    Maryam, your blog is amazing & definitely not “less good” then it previously was. I think what can account for your decrease in comments is your activity in other social networks. Since many follow you via twitter or FB they may be more inclined to just send you a quick comment through those mediums then on your actual blog.

    AlysonIsNeat had a lot of great advice in her comment and I wanted to add one more thing to it – Ask your readers for their advice. This ties into something Tatyanna mentioned about feeling inferior to the blogger. The post I write about being unsure about a decorating decision or when I flat out just request advice from my readers always get the most comments. It’s like an ego boost for your readers, that you actually need their help & don’t consider yourself and authority on all subjects.
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..Favorite Post of the Week – December 3, 2009 =-.

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  99. Beth @ 990 Square commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 2:11pm

    I am way late to this conversation (the dangers of only trying to check google reader once or twice a day) but this is a great topic!

    My current blog is my second, and I feel like I care about it a lot more than I cared about my first blog, because the content is nearer and dearer. I feel like comment growth has been pretty organic for me, but I think the fact that I’m just more engaged in the blogging community is helping that. Sometimes I will have a post that only gets a few comments, but then I just have to remind myself that blogging is for me!

    As an aside, my mom was actually one of my first regular-ish commenters. But I think she might be the only person in my life that is a regular reader. None of my close friends are into blogging, so I don’t think they really understand it. I do also post my blog in my facebook feed so I think some of them see it there (and will sometimes comment there) but I’ve always felt a little weird that they don’t participate in my online life.
    .-= Beth @ 990 Square´s last blog ..Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake =-.

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  100. jen commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 2:26pm

    ok, i did read a bunch of comments here but now i feel inclined to go back and read all of them! michelle, thanks for pointing out tatyanna’s thoughts on this, i’ll go back and read her comment. i wonder how many people may feel inferior to particular bloggers? or feel that there’s no reason to comment, because who would care what she (or he) thinks?

    i do my best to be authentic but at the same time i try to be positive and focus on the good things that happen, or on the stuff i’m proud of (i don’t think those are bad things). i wonder if i, and other bloggers who do the same, come off as idealized versions of ourselves and therefore seem to be not authentic or not open to criticism…and sometimes comments (dialogue)?

    maybe i need to post more photos of the tornado that is my office and complain more about my screw ups. ;) (although i had just assumed no one would want to see/hear about them – there are many.)
    .-= jen´s last blog ..Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags {09} =-.

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  101. fat mum slim commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 2:45pm

    Thank you so much Holly for answering my question. I am so grateful for your input.

    And thank you everyone else for contributing. It’s been great reading through the responses. I need to go back a re-read through. There is some great advice and stories.

    I do write for me. I had my blog set to private for the first 6 months so no one hardly read it, and I loved it. I would still continue writing even if no one read. I do it for me, and my family.

    I guess I need to stop thinking of comments as a source of validation, and put it into perspective a bit.

    And I need to make more effort with other blogs, because it’s clear that other’s enjoy feeling the comment love too.

    Thanks again. x
    .-= fat mum slim´s last blog ..Friday Frills. =-.

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  102. Making it Lovely commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 3:46pm

    Great topic, Holly! Sometimes people email me to ask how I gained a following and how I attract so many comments, but it’s such a hard question to answer. I don’t have some secret formula… I simply write about what I like and about the various creative things that I do and find interesting. Luckily that resonates with a lot of people, and I’ve been blogging for a few years now so I now have a fairly sizable readership. Still, I don’t know if people realize when they look at my blog (or yours, or whomever’s) that a post with hundreds of comments was actually read by thousands of people that DIDN’T say anything, and people shouldn’t be upset if they’re not pulling in a million comments. It takes a LOT of readers to get just a few comments!

    And it’s so nice to know that you will always read all of your comments, even with advice to the contrary. How can we ever stop reading them? :)
    .-= Making it Lovely´s last blog ..The Pink Christmas Tree is Here =-.

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  103. Kat commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 7:03pm

    Wow this has been fascinating to read thankyou to evryone who’s commented. Just a little note Holly-I like how my details are all already typed in when I come to comment on your site…wish all blogs could be so quick and easy to comment on but I guess it depends on the provider and so on, still like you say it is something that puts you off if it takes ages to get your details typed up before you even comment. Thanks for the good tip to try out ‘visiting’ your own blog and see how easy it is to comment.Love kx
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..Wishes of Peace…my book =-.

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  104. Kat commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 7:07pm

    Oh just one other thing…I often find new blogs when I read comments left on some of my favourite blogs(such as yours) So I guess that’s a way people can think of encouraging more foot fall to their blogs. If they leave comments on others they do get seen and links followed by other readers
    night night everyone kat :)
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..Wishes of Peace…my book =-.

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  105. Summer commented
    December 4th, 2009 at 7:41pm

    Holly,

    Thank you for your honesty and realistic thoughts on this subject. I often wonder about comments myself. But, I’ve felt that I need to be as honest as possible with my blog and be myself. That said, I think that asking questions is a very helpful tip. I also think that your advice about just keep blogging is fantastic. I haven’t had the extra time or money to focus on advertising for my shop/blog…so just doing what I love is really important and having a way to express or talk about it is wonderful! I have noticed that I don’t always comment on the blogs that I read every day. Sometimes I’m in a hurry, sometimes I don’t feel like there is something to say, and sometimes I just can’t put into words what I want to say.

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  106. Chloe C. commented
    December 5th, 2009 at 1:10am

    whew!

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  107. Kayo commented
    December 5th, 2009 at 6:11am

    I don’t have a blog but this topic made me think.
    Part of the reason is that I read blogs as though I’m reading a printed magazine, and leaving a comment doesn’t cross my mind… I got so used to the “one-way” media, to be the receiving end only, if you know what I mean! I know blogs have been around for sometime but the fact that it can be a “two-way” is still new to me.
    I also used to think it must be ok for bloggers as long as there is enough traffic, before reading the comments here! Well now I know, and I will try to leave one as much as possible. :-)

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  108. Cindy Sue commented
    December 5th, 2009 at 4:13pm

    Love this subject! I finally figured out that I’m not really the blogging type. I don’t seem to have the stamina or that certain kismit it takes to be interesting for each post, lol. Yes, I have had blogs and I have one now. But what I am doing now is finding blogs to post about and my posts are set to go to three special people in my life and I share what I have found w/ them. So from now on I will be taking my time checking out a blog or two a day and posting to share w/ my blog buddies. Slower pace for me and something interesting for my them. And yup, you got it, you’re the next one I’m posting about, lol…
    .-= Cindy Sue´s last blog ..The First: Living w/ Lindsay – a true crafter @ Heart & all around fun Gal =-.

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  109. Kika commented
    December 5th, 2009 at 10:42pm

    If the blogger never responds to my comments I usually discontinue commenting; When usually only a few people comment but all of a sudden there is a giveaway and a hundred folks chime in, I choose not to participate; like others have said, when the blogger is approachable, somewhat vulnerable seeming (as in, not presenting themselves as perfect or know-it-all) then I am more likely to want to comment or engage in conversation. Finally, I often change my mind about commenting because of the concern that “no one really cares about my thoughts anyways”.

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  110. Shell commented
    December 5th, 2009 at 10:53pm

    I know I’m all late in commenting.
    What has helped me is being real and honest with my posts. People can smell when your not writing from a real place.
    I write about what I love, what inspires me and what I dig. People respond in kind. Even if I get one or two comments to a post I really love, it’s still worthwhile for me.
    .-= Shell´s last blog ..Celebrate the Light =-.

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  111. decor8 commented
    December 6th, 2009 at 5:12am

    Kika — Thank you for stopping by and saying this!! I think that if you leave a comment that isn’t really a question, a blogger may not really know what to respond – you know? Like on decor8, I have many comments that add to the conversation of the overall topic and if I were to jump in and reply to every single comment left it would disrupt the flow. Plus, if I have 30 or 40 comments, and I reply to all, then that post would have 60-80 comments, half from me, and I suspect that would be a bit overbearing of me. So lots of times I stay behind the scenes and only address comments that are asking me a specific question. So with that in mind, perhaps you understand a little better as to why some bloggers don’t respond to your comments, they may think as I do on this topic.

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  112. Brooke H commented
    December 6th, 2009 at 7:46am

    This has been such an insightful conversation. I get down on myself for going long periods of times without comments but through analytics see that people are i fact reading my blog. And when people do comment sometimes there’s not much to say except thank you and feel I a little ridiculous commenting thank you on comments! Am and I making sense here?

    But then again I do understand it, cause besides commenting here on decor8, I usually just do drive by’s of blogs. I guess here its different because I’ve been such a long time reader, and I feel like I know you. There’s also a community vibe/interaction so I can check back in and see what others have said.
    .-= Brooke H´s last blog ..Holiday Shops =-.

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  113. Zee commented
    December 8th, 2009 at 6:26pm

    I don’t leave comments on blogs very often. I do when I really feel like it. I don’t expect people responding to my comments because I know sometimes they don’t know what to say and they don’t have time to go over all comments they receive. I also know that if they don’t like our blogs or if we don’t fit their aesthetics, we get pretty much ignored. Back in 2006 when I started with my ex blog (pixie blossoms) I used to comment a lot on my favorite blogs. Today I am slow with blogging and I don’t really bother if I have zero or 10 comments. I visit some blogs listed on my sidebar when I have time, I enjoy visiting them but I usually prefer to be just a reader, not a commenter.
    .-= Zee´s last blog ..Western Spaghetti =-.

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  114. Liss (daydreamlily) commented
    December 8th, 2009 at 6:32pm

    I get asked this same question alot, I just spoke about it only yesterday with another blogger. I think one great misconception in blogging is that commenting is a reflection of a good blog. I know blogs that get alot of traffic and regular readers but they will get only 1 or 2 comments on a post.

    I used to average 40ish comments on a post and recently it has halved. Ive tried not to take this personally as Ive heard the same complaint from other bloggers.

    So to get more comments…. I find people comment when they can give their opinion or advice. I did a post once asking about Love vs Career which would you choose and got lots of comments.
    .-= Liss (daydreamlily)´s last blog ..Joolz =-.

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  115. Liss (daydreamlily) commented
    December 8th, 2009 at 7:40pm

    ps. I’m loving reading everyones thoughts on the topic! thanks Holly for opening up the conversation for us all.
    .-= Liss (daydreamlily)´s last blog ..Joolz =-.

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  116. Amanda {Mocking Bird} commented
    December 9th, 2009 at 1:20am

    I find that I have built a small group of regular commenters and that makes me far happier than having random people on every post.
    I talk to my commenters in the comments and try to email them as much as I can.
    I think building a community around your blog is really important.
    for your readers and you. It helps you to keep on truckin when you know that there are people out there who appreciate and enjoy what you do.

    Holly, I love your comment luv plugin. I think it’s a lovely way to show your readers that their blogs are important too. :)
    .-= Amanda {Mocking Bird}´s last blog ..Words To Shoot By =-.

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  117. Averill commented
    December 9th, 2009 at 4:16pm

    Great topic and I’ve so enjoyed the discussion here — it’s definitely making me want to sign up for your class, Holly!

    To add in my two cents:

    1. Most commenters are also bloggers, precisely because they understand that their fellow bloggers want/need feedback. I have a TON of family and friends and even acquaintances who read my blog (and tell me this whenever they see me!) but have not once commented. I get hundreds of hits a day and yet the same 20-30 folks commenting on each post. I think this is typical and something we all just have to accept and move on. And I’ll also add that, like Amanda, I enjoy seeing my “regulars” and getting their input — blogging IS a community and I’ve so enjoyed the many “friends” I’ve made this past year blogging.

    2. To get readership (and, by association, more commenters), I think it’s important to have unique and high quality content. Be yourself, talk about what you’re passionate about but all with an eye to a wider audience. My favorite bloggers are those that you feel like you “know” but at the same time provide new and inspiring ideas that you can apply to your own life.

    3. Commenting for non-bloggers is a lot like blogging is for bloggers — a leap of faith, swallowing your fears and putting it out there. I was petrified the first few weeks of blogging, almost too embarrassed to tell anyone I’d even started one. The first time I received a negative comment I nearly quit. By the same token, commenters are afraid of being shot down, of disagreeing with a blogger or with each other, or (perhaps worst of all) being ignored or dismissed. I think bloggers who generate the best discussion are those who, like Holly, make their readers feel comfortable and free to express themselves.
    .-= Averill´s last blog ..Dear Santa…A Gift Guide for Me! =-.

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  118. Kendra commented
    December 14th, 2009 at 2:15pm

    Greetings Well I finally did it – replied on your blog that is

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  119. Miss B commented
    December 16th, 2009 at 11:18pm

    I don’t know if this was covered so many wonderful comments! BUT this is one reason I don’t leave a comment on some blogs is because I have to sign into my Gmail acct. to A lot of Blogger blogs don’t give you the ‘name/url’ option (which I think can easily be added for free) and with Firefox it’s automatically populated. Without that option I have to take 2 extra steps and time is a factor:) If it was available to me I may leave comments all the time! Just my 2 cents…
    .-= Miss B´s last blog ..CLUTCH THAT! ROSEMARY BALAZS =-.

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  120. bamboolabcode commented
    December 20th, 2009 at 11:38pm

    It’s cute.

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  121. becky from hatch commented
    December 31st, 2009 at 3:27pm

    OH my gosh, I feel so guilty. While I CRAVE comments, I am really bad about commenting on the blogs of others! And Alex from Strawberry Lemonade is one of my favorite (and only, but that’s not why she’s a favorite) commenters! ;)

    Sometimes it’s just a matter of blog reading flow. The blog has taken a long time to load, I’m cruising along, catching up, nodding and smiling, hitting “previous posts”…it kind of stinks to interrupt that flow and put in my name and type in the spam-reducing numbers and letters and then lose my place in the posts.

    Also, I talk to much and I’m self conscious about it. So sometimes when I comment I feel like I’m trying to hear myself talk (um or read myself writing, or something like that!). I mean look, obviously this conversation has wrapped up, but here I am typing away ;)

    I guess what makes me sad is when I ask a question or really want to have a discussion like this one and no one leaves a comment. I feel like my posts are echoing like Ben Stein calling out “Bueller, Bueller?” Bottom line: This post has inspired me to pull up in front of the house and give a beep instead of driving by!
    .-= becky from hatch´s last blog ..Cleaning Up My Workspace =-.

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  122. decor8 commented
    December 31st, 2009 at 6:28pm

    yay Beckster – NO MORE DRIVE BYS he he :) xoxoxo

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  123. treelovers commented
    December 2nd, 2010 at 11:55am

    Thank you for taking the time and sharing this information with us.
    It was indeed very helpful and insightful while
    being straight forward to the point.
    treelovers´s last blog post ..A Sustainable Tree for Christmas

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  124. Anonymous commented
    February 11th, 2011 at 4:56pm

    I have also had to consider WHY people are coming to my site – for example I have a wedding blog – brides are coming there for info and inspiration – not necessarily to engage or participate in anything. Some may come back if they want more inspiration, some may even sign up, some may not.

    Its taken work but I had learn to be OK with that, and stop worrying about comments. Comments are little gifts from a reader that has connected with your writing and is comfortable with saying something. Nothing more – nothing less.

    Once I started keeping these two things in mind, the muddy feelings have lifted and I feel better about the whole blogging experience.

    It happens to the best of us – we get comments on our early work, and sometimes the blogging process turns into a different animal entirely – seeking the approval and comments of our readers. Im working hard to turn the focus back inside – blogging for myself as a creative outlet, what inspires ME about weddings, what I LIKE. If others agree and want to comment, great – and this also does the job of making each blog post more genuine which people appreciate – but it doesnt really matter what they think anyway. ;)

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