Commenting: Blog Etiquette

Comments are kind of like the life blood of a blog, at least I think so. It’s what kind of gives your blog the sense that it’s alive, when people are interacting and sharing opinions, contrasting ideas, or just saying, “cool post”, or whatever. Without comments, the blog seems very static and boring.

I’m the first to admit that I don’t comment enough, and that’s the point of this post.

1. I don’t comment enough on other people’s blogs. I do a lot of reading, a ton in fact. Here’s my current Google Reader Stats:

From your 96 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 325 items, starred 24 items, shared 13 items, and emailed 10 items.

That averages out to 10.8 posts I read a day (all of the sudden that doesn’t sound like much). But that doesn’t include the actual reading of blogs, which I’d say is about another 5 posts per day. So let’s say I read 15 posts per day. I imagine I only comment on 1 per day on average. That sucks! That means I am not contributing to the life of other blogs that I highly value!

So my number 1 question is how important is this to you? How often to you leave comments? And when you do, do you subscribe or go back and see what others had to say?

2. I very rarely comment on my own blog. Is this rude? I have a funny feeling it is, a little. I was over at InWorship last night and notices that this guy is a super commenter, there’s almost a response to every comment by him personally. Flowerdust seems to also be actively invloved in the conversations at her site. This tells me that these bloggers really care about what people are saying on their blogs, and it seems to encourage even more comments.

So my number 2 question is how important is commenting on your own blog? Do you consistently do it? Has it increased the comment traffic?

Comment away!

27 thoughts on “Commenting: Blog Etiquette

  1. Jeff M. Miller

    I had to ask myself those questions not too long ago, and I came up with the assessment that I was a comment slacker. Now that I am trying to actively engage in conversation on other’s blogs, as well as my own, I’ve seen an exponential jump in my reader base.

    Sometimes just commenting on another person’s blog will get them to read your own stuff when no other method will.

    I still don’t think I’m all that good at it yet, especially in comparison with the duo you mentioned above. They are blog comment stars.

  2. Alastair

    Yeah, it’s important to comment on your own blog. It’s like your hosting a discussion. You have to chirp in with your own comments sometimes.

    And, commenting on other blogs is important too. You add value to other people’s blogs. You get people clicking through to you because they like what you say.

  3. alex

    Jeff, I agree that when you have an upswing in leaving comments you tend to have an upswing in blog traffic & comments. Maybe a good analogy of relationships – sometimes people that complain that they have no real relationships need to work harder at investing in others…

  4. inWorship

    I feel like a super hero “Super Commenter!”


    Both Jeff and Alastair have great comments.

    If you want increased readership, definitely comment other places. I always check out the blog of a commentor.

    If you want to encourage conversation, definitely respond on your own blog. I didn’t used to comment that much on my own blog, but last fall I changed that and now there is a conversation on every post.

    For me, if someone comments to me after I have commented on their blog, I fell welcome and will most definitely return.

  5. alex

    Alastair – just subscribed the other day – thanks for stopping by!

    InWorship – I’m learning from you.

    James – brother, check yo blog for fresh comments.

  6. Becky

    Okay just kidding.

    I comment on blogs about as often as I would in regular conversation. If there’s something I feel is worth saying, then I say it.

    As far as commenting on my own posts, I see the blog as a conversation, so I often respond back.

  7. alex

    OK, just kidding as well.

    Conversation seems to be the overriding theme here. And yeah, the whole saying something worth saying is huge as well.

  8. eric

    I need to post more!

    I subscribe to about 15 blogs (not as many as you) and read on average about 5 a day (I hate long posts).

    Blogging for me is kind of like practicing my guitar… I know that it’s extremely bendficial and even possibly considered part of my job, but I often feel guilty doing it because I enjoy it so much. Therefore I don’t do it nearly enough.

    Anyone else feel that way?

  9. Becky

    See … isn’t this fun.

    And I guess it goes without saying that I do go back to see if the blogger responded.

  10. Skip Crust

    I agree, comments are the lifeblood of blogging. It lets me know that people actually care enough about what I say to tell me so! Even though I read every post here, I don’t comment enough! If I don’t comment on this post, I may as well not comment on any…ever.

    BTW, I can’t believe how big your kids are man!

  11. Greg Maitrejean

    Wow- all these comments in one day for one post!!! If nothing else has, then just the posts show the value you talk about!!! Thanks for the thoughts on it- and I will try to head there( do the commenting) as well!! I hadn’t really thought about commenting on my own blog, cool idea- I try to contribute to relevant discussions(blogs) when I have something to add…now there is a real 2-way interaction all of a sudden- kinda like going from static web 1.0 to interactive web 2.0…hmmm…

  12. Kyle

    I lurk way to much and comment way too little. I guess I sometimes don’t feel like I have anything important to say or add to the conversation.

    Like right now, I don’t feel like that was at all interesting or important… I only commented because the post was about commenting. Maybe that’s the trick. I’ve told myself many times I need to comment more, if for no other reason than to tell the person that I’m there and listening.

  13. inWorship

    Looks like you’ve created a conversation 🙂

    Another thought on that is how you write your posts. I found if I am just telling people something, they tend not to respond. If I am writing so as to look for advice or thought, I usually get response.

  14. Will Young

    I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t cool to have people comment on my blog. I’ve had some rather “famous” and even unique people run across it and leave a comment.

    However, I blog because it’s a nice way to vent, and it allows me to follow my passion without making a career (and thus relinquishing my passion) out of it. So whether anyone comments or not doesn’t really matter to me.

    I used to be all into the who is visiting, whose commenting/e-mailing crap, but then I realized that I was loosing the entire reason I started blogging in the first place. So I lost my trackers, and made it more difficult to comment. I get a fair share of e-mails that I reply to, and a comment here and there. Truth be told, if no one ever commented my feelings wouldn’t be hurt.

    That’s just me though. :-/

    I read your blog and comment rarely, the same with Anne, and Carlos and several other “bloggywood stars,” typically it’s because you all are much smarter than me and I’d rather not make a you know what of myself by looking like an idiot. 🙂

    I think the bottom line is, you, as the blogger have to have a firm understanding of what it is you’re going for. Anne uses her blog in part as a research tool, thus the need for constant dialog, if you’re like Chris Elrod ( and your blog is a learning resource then who the heck cares what comments you get. Ya know what I mean?

  15. alex

    Will – it is nice to have a blog superstar show up on your comments, it does feed the ego, I’m not gonna lie.

    One thing I struggle with a bit is authenticity, and are these blogs really for sharing and learning or is it a popularity contest?

  16. Amanda

    I love to comment! I used to comment on nearly every blog post I read but lately I’ve been slacking. Now I only comment when I have free time and am reading. I looooove when people post comments on my blog and most of the time I do comment back, I found it does increase traffic but also it’s just polite. I used to always have follow up comments emailed to me but then my email was just way over loaded so I usually just check back it I wanted to know what others thought too.

  17. alex

    Amanda – I think it’s so cool that we knew each other and then found out that we both blogged! And everyone makes fun of us, but hey so what? When is the whole gang gonna get together and show off some GH3 skillz?

  18. Fred McKinnon

    Hey man,
    So does that mean that since you don’t comment@ FredMcKinnon.Com, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t read? (grin) …

    As for coming back – I LOVE the “notify comments via email” subscription options, and wish more had it.

  19. JXL51

    The reason for my question is that I need to take shots of our classic cars that are currently in a garage. ,

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