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Quick Tip: Be the Perfect Guest

Yesterday, Elizabeth published a great post on moderating comments to encourage thoughtful conversation. But what if you have no comments…

Yesterday, Elizabeth published a great post on moderating comments to encourage thoughtful conversation. But what if you have no comments to moderate? Many of us, new and not-so-new bloggers, still struggle to attract commenters other than our mothers.

There’s no magic button that turns your blog into a comment mecca (drat!), but there is one simple thing you can do that will have more impact than anything else: engage with the community. No one knows about you or your site? Get out there and comment on others’ posts. Add something substantive to the discussion (No “Great post, I agree!” comments, please), and before you know it, others will want to know what more you have to say and will find their way over to your site.

We’ll be doing longer posts on attracting an audience and being a good community member in the future, but wanted to drop this quick tip now. Get out there, and get talking! Use the topic listings in the Reader, visit other Writing and Photo Challenge participants, whatever—just go.

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    1. I second that! :lol: I couldn’t resist this one… TY Michelle, it takes effort and a desire to stay connected (an unending feat). We fall behind sometimes and then have to follow up. As I wrote in Elizabeth’s post, I add a postscript to all my blog posts: *Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on reading and commenting on your blogs… etc. We do the best we can! I keep saying I’d love a virtual assistant or the Goddess Durga’s extra graceful arms. :-)

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  1. Great post. I agree. (just kidding) I do think that making comments on other blogs is an excellent way to gain “exposure” and meet new people. I’m delighted with some of the interesting bloggers I’ve found this way, and they’ve often found their way to my site!

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  2. Thanks Michelle. I must admit that I have had a good deal of traffic from new readers by comments I’ve made on others posts. Including yesterdays post regarding comments! Go figure! ;-)

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  3. The trouble is trying to think of something worth while to say in the comment. I like lots of posts but can never think of anything worth reading to say other than ‘nice post’ or similar :???: and sometimes wonder if that’s enough?!

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    1. Well, I would say it’s not. If you look at the previous post here on the DP I wrote an exceptionally long comment (not exceptional for me but longer than the DP norm) about replying to comments and commenting on blogs.

      If you can’t think of anything more to say than ‘nice post’ – maybe you are reading the wrong blogs? Depends what you are interested in. The blogs I read always make me think of lots of things to write. My commenters always do the same. Or maybe I just write too much :D

      Incidentally, I did look at your blog before I wrote this. It takes one hell of a long time to load. Do you downsize your pix?

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      1. Thanks for your comment. Apart from ‘huh?’ on your question re my slow loading blog I stood there wide eyed, trying hard to think of a response that wasn’t just ‘No, I upload my images full size and they are displayed on my blog usually around the large screen size, sometimes smaller’ which wasn’t anywhere near the kind of response I would like to give when you have read my comment, looked at my blog and written more than one point for reflection.

        Before being able to get a decent thought process, I’ve been to the previous DP and read your comment, thought to myself you must be a writer or journalist to write such a large amount and express your opinions with gusto (not a bad thing, it’s very engaging). That led me to your blog where I noted the size of your posts that show a writing skill I’ve seen during my course and something that makes me a little envious. Obviously I’ve now seen your ‘about’ page and had a few assumptions confirmed but that’s irrelevant.

        I’ve made a cup of tea, read a few other comments and then sat down with a cloud of thoughts, think of them as bubble above my head, tens, hundreds of replies but broken and jumbled to each point you’ve made. I then have to try and piece them altogether to write my reply. The problem I then find is that half of the good ones have shifted to the back and I’m now only seeing the small comments and having trouble reaching the others. They don’t flow and I spend ages working it altogether into a coherent bundle worth saying or reading. Do others have this problem?

        I understand what you say about the need to read blogs you enjoy and I do but I do struggle with conversation. I’m not sure where this stems from; it’s not just on paper but also in real life. I can enjoy a conversation but have trouble with thoughts and how to reciprocate; if it’s a subject I love and have knowledge of then I’m fine. The problem with that is I really don’t have a great deal of knowledge on much at all which is why I struggle. This lack of knowledge isn’t for the lack of reading or going to school but I just don’t absorb information easily if it’s not something I really enjoy. It’s like tunnel vision; anything else around it doesn’t go in, is ignored or is forgotten!

        Re: Pix – I didn’t think that made much difference with WordPress as it’s held on their server for easy loading – is this not the case and should I be downsizing then? I’ve never been told otherwise but then maybe I should have read the WordPress jargon when I first joined and what the best way to present photos was. At the same time my thoughts lead to question what kind of connection you have or if the server was just having a bad time.

        I started reading at 9:30 and writing at 9:50, it’s now 10:55! A long time for one comment don’t you think?

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    2. I frequently start out with nice post :) and then tell them what I like about it. I know that some of my posts get a lot of likes (for me) and others get just a few (four or five) and I frequently wonder what makes some posts “likable”.

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      1. I wonder too.. I’m a new blogger.. since this wednesday…never blogged before.. and would love to have feedback from the few souls that have found their way in there so far…
        Maybe I must give to receive?…

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    3. I’m in the same box here. I love the post but sometimes don’t really know what to say in a comment. I guess if you read and engage with what the writer is saying then you do usually think of something.
      I really enjoyed this little post about comments, I have a low readership at the moment but am quite enjoying the few people that do read and it especially when they leave comments.
      One thing that is a bit tricky is getting comments on a fictional blog. I think people kind of read and dash sometimes.

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      1. Thanks, although I’m not too sure how I’d transition that into my own post. It’s already here being discussed on DP with most of my thoughts – wouldn’t me reposting that comment or a version of it, just be cheating?!

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  4. You are so right. I try to comment on almost all posts that I read and feed back that I get when someone send it to me pertaining to my posts. Thank you for Sharing…maybe someone who has not been to see my post will see this and stop by for a visit ;)

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    1. wanna someone comment back to my post, but my blog in indonesian language. And almost people use blog with english. So the foreign people that come can’t understand what i’m saying and just like because they saw my photography

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  5. I find that if you are willing to spend the time commenting on others’ blog posts, you will attract visitors and commenters to yours. It is all a question of receiving what you give.

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    1. I agree!=) I’m sure you’ll find my newly created blog stimulating and would love your feedback! Have never blogged before….but first..I shall give what I wish to receive

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  6. I wish I had more time to visit many more blogs, but alas, there are just not enough hours in the day. I have, however, made some very close contacts and friends world-wide through blogging – and so yes, I too agree…

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    1. It is challenging to find the time, but it’s also critical to building an audience. I found that if i set small goals for myself – “Today I’m going to visit 5 sites I’ve never been to before” – it became manageable.

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      1. And we do! However when we follow and support over a thousand blogs, it takes more effort to keep the wheel spinning. As our blogs grow, we learn to adapt to new ways of reaching out and it could mean segmenting blogs into comment groups and days. A number of my blog friends do that. Also responding to comments on my blog and clicking back to the author and commenting back is another option. Likes are great too. I don’t object to any way a fellow blogger supports me as we are all pressed for time. TY! And yes, great post! :-)

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  7. Great post, I agree…Just kidding…. It takes a lot of work sometimes, and I think the mood of the reader at the time they are passing by and how much time they have. I think it’s also a matter of gaining rapport with your followers.

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  8. Hi! I thought I would comment since there aren’t any comments yet! Go figure . . . I have done all the suggestions above, but my readership remains limited and I generally get comments from two people in my audience. My blog is new — only three months — so I intend to be patient and attract readers by building a quality blog that will gain more readers as word get out. I have attracted more readers by featuring other people in my blog posts to increase interest. I avoid sensationalism or catchy little posts to just increase my stats. I want to know what people think and I need my stats to give me a true picture of what my readers really want. Thanks so much for all your helpful suggestions! I appreciate your daily posts. Thanks, Valda

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  9. One way I built up my following and commenters when I started out was that every time I wrote a post, I went and searched specifically for posts that had recently been written about the same subject. Then I would comment on their post, and mention within my comment that I was interested to read their post because I had just written one about the same, or similar, subject – obviously you have to say more than just that in the comment, but as long as you are adding something interesting to the discussion, it will probably pique their curiosity enough to want to come over and see what you had to say about the subject! That might sound a bit manipulative, but actually it’s a good way to start hooking up with like-minded bloggers.

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    1. Vanessa, that’s a great idea, but I doubt there are too many other bloggers writing about Rico Suave today. Ha Ha. My topics usually come from somewhere in left field, and so while I will try that if I do write about a more popular topic, I tend to write whatever oddball subject strikes my fancy most of the time, unless I’m taking part in a challenge. I think that may be one reason why my regular readers come back. They never really have any idea what I’m going to be spewing on my page.

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      1. There might not be anyone else writing about Rico Suave, but there might be other people writing about rap music? (assuming that’s the Rico Suave you’re talking about here!). I’m fairly random in what I write about too – I keep wondering if I should be more specialised, but it’s much more fun this way!

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      2. Yes it is! :-) When I tell people I write a blog, their first question is always “Really? What’s it about:?”–My answer is usually. “Um…..I have no idea.”

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    2. Vanessa— great tip! I started my blog on wednesday and did just that thing (and felt very smart) have had 120 visitors already.. but only 4 comment=( alas, it is harder to get them to say something than just pay a visit.

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      1. When you leave a reply there is an option below the box to ‘notify me of follow-up comments via email.’ Choose that box and you will know when someone replies :)

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      2. There is more than one route, but one way to search posts is like this:

        1) When you are logged in to WordPress, hover over the W in the top left hand corner, and select ‘Reader’ from the drop down list.
        2) Once you are in the Reader, on the left hand side you’ll see it says ‘Topics’ – click on the ‘Explore Topics’ next to that.
        3) Next you will see a whole load of suggested topics you could click on, your you can enter your own word into the search box at the top, and it will bring up any posts in that topic.

        With regard to your other questions, did you mean if someone comments on your blog posts, or if someone replies to a comment you have left on another blog? If it’s the second one then as samiamnan says, you can choose the ‘notify me of follow-up comments via email’, but the problem with that is you can end up with too many emails if you comment on a lot of blogs. But if you look at the top bar of WordPress when you are logged on, there is a little square top right, in between New Post and your name, and that will turn orange when you have any notifications – those notifications are either that someone has commented on or liked one of your posts, or followed your blog, or that someone has replied to an comment you made on another blog. If you were asking about how will you know if someone comments on your own posts, well they should just appear under the post, unless you have it set where you have to moderate and approve comments before they appear. I shall go and comment on your post now, and you can see what happens…

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  10. Of course the best part of commenting on someone else’s blog is the excitement of checking back later to see if they’ve posted a reply. Many of the bloggers I love aren’t just great writers or artists… they’re engaging conversationalists.

    It’s such a thrill to comment on an intriguing post and receive a thoughtful response in return. This is what’s great about WordPress to me… it’s a perfect mix of original observations, interesting arguments and casual chats!

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  11. Thank you for the tip. I’ve been blogging for a few months and although I know friends, family and other bloggers are enjoying my blog, few are leaving comments or clicking ‘Like’ which is somewhat discoursing.

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  12. Something that also might be helpful is taking your post to other mediums. Share, share, share. Facebook and StumbleUpon are great locations to submit a piece and even ask for feedback.

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  13. I thought about leaving a lone emoticon as my comment, but I’m afraid of Blogging Karma.

    One of the best things I ever did was start the habit of reading a few blogs through global tags everyday. I have found some of my favorite blogs that way, and I often find interesting conversations where I can contribute and follow.

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  14. Horrible post! I strenuously disagree! (because I’m not one to follow the crowd…)

    Actually, one thing I like about having few comments is each one feels more important to me, and it gives me a greater chance to interact directly with them.

    But on the flip side, it’s nice to know something you posted was worth someone else’s time to leave something more than a *like.

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  15. I was the 8th like on this post but I only see three comments, are you sure this works. I would much rather see a comment than a like. Like really doesn’t tell you why the person liked your post. I was just thinking about writing a blog on this same subject. I’m glad you brought it up. thanks

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  16. You forgot to add, for the love of god, give it a quick reread before hitting “submit comment”. I have a bad habit of cruising WordPress when I’m groggy and leave some less than clear comments, or I’m missing a word, and I read it later and cringe.

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    1. Oh, me too! That’s all I need is for new people to discover right away that I’m an idiot. ( They will find that out in time if they read me, but I like to fool them for at least a little while.) I have left quite a few comments and have seen later they are full of typos–I have a bad habit of not wearing my glasses when I am on my pc at home.

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      1. I bet our husbands would like to meet each other and complain about how we don’t wear our glasses when we need them. I can’t see distance, at all. He always thinks I’m upset when really I’m just squinting.

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  17. Great post, I agree. Laugh out loud! :)
    I just can’t help but laugh!
    I was tempted to do as some have done; leave it at “Great post, I agree”. But as you can see, some others beat me to it.
    Your post is striking, brief and hilarious! All the necessary point were passed. I call that; hitting the nail on the head. Did I just say: I call that? I seemed to have forgotten that it is general English.
    I would have loved to go on and on, and write about how commenting is a good way to let other bloggers know about your blog but that would be repeating the point that has already been made.
    The perfect response would really have been “Great post, I agree”, but it seems prohibited. :) I don’t want to be an out-law, so let me leave all these words just the way they are.
    Great post!

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  18. The traffic exchange is nice, yes. I enjoy the camaraderie that develops from the comment thread. Like many others, I look forward to hearing a reply to my comment and find it enjoyable when someone comments on or replies to my comment. Sometimes the blogger will go further in the comments than was left in the original post, clarifying and expanding on points made earlier. Works out great for us guests.

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  19. I have no fear of “blogging karma”, as does becomingcliche, but the hitch is that my range of emoticons is very limited. :)
    I do appreciate “likes” just as much as comments because then one can tell who has actually read your post and liked it.
    I find it interesting how so many people who appear to be so different from one another – judging from their blog output – can like the same thing. Sometimes it is surprising.
    When it comes to my own blog, it is often the posts I view as less inspired which have greater appeal than the ones I like the most myself. There’s no accounting for folk!

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    1. Allison, I’m with you on that one… I appreciate LIKES, comments and even the occasional emoticon. It’s all good! It is not always so clear what appeals to the masses as blogging tastes vary tremendously. What I continue to do is keep on blogging, varying my content, and reaching out to others. ;-)

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