Thursday, December 8, 2016

Discussion: What If You Can’t Comment Back?

Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts At Midnight host the 2016 Discussion Challenge.


When I first started book blogging, I was pretty religious about commenting back. If you left a comment on my blog, I left one on yours. This was the first thing I did in the morning. Every single morning, I commented back. Then, two things happened that made commenting back difficult.



1. My blog grew. Compared to a lot of blogs, mine is small, but it feels big to me. Keeping it going is time consuming. As I got more interested in blogging, I started posting more often, and I got more comments on each post. I also discovered cool link-ups and “favorite” blogs that I wanted to read every day. I could easily spend a whole day blog hopping. I started to become less disciplined about commenting back because I just didn’t have time. The book blogosphere is huge. I want to see everything. If I spend all my time commenting back, I might not be able to look at link-ups or read the thousand blogs I follow on Bloglovin’.

2. I don’t always know what to say. Not everyone who comments on my blog is a book blogger with similar reading tastes to me. Sometimes I go to comment back, and I find a beauty blog, or a movie blog, or a baby-pink blog plastered with pictures of people kissing. Then I panic because I don't know what to say. I loathe makeup; most movies make me twitchy; and I don’t read sexy-times books. I have no idea what to comment in these situations. I spend a lot of time struggling to come up with something semi-intelligent to say about a topic I know nothing about.



I still comment back as often as I can, but I’m not as crazy about it as I used to be. It’s been hard to find a balance. I want to comment back, but I also want to discover new blogs, click links, read my favorites, and find random stuff that interests me on Bloglovin’. How do I do everything?



If you’re a blogger who comments back, are you strict about it? What do you do when you encounter a blog about a subject that doesn't interest you? Do you comment or skip it? 





31 comments:

  1. I try really hard to always comment back but I know sometimes I miss people. It is not on purpose at all. I think most people understand. If it is a name that usually comments I try to make my way over to their blog soon. But sometimes things just get in the way and that is ok!!

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    1. I’m glad that bloggers are so understanding. I struggle to comment back fairly often. There are just so many blogging things to do! Sometimes I fail at a few of them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I only get comments from people who feel obligated to because I commented on theirs.

    When I did the A to Z Challenge, we were encouraged to comment on other people's blogs. So I got comments from different people then and I tried to comment back. Not sure if I did every time though.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate a post on why you don't like movies. Especially considering so many of them are based on books.

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    1. I think a lot of my comments are also from people who feel obligated. That’s okay, though. I’m happy about all comments. I’ll think about writing a post that addresses my movie problems. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I don't really get the point of commenting back in general. What I do is I go on someone's blog when they comment and click through and see if there's something I'd have something to say about. It really defeats the purpose of commenting back to force yourself to leave a comment when you wouldn't have otherwise. Sure, it's a good way to network, but if you don't -care- about the post or dont even read the whole thing - why comment? I'd rather have people not comment if they feel like THEY HAVE TO because I went on their blog. Genuine comments are the best imo.

    - Jen from The Bookavid

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    1. That’s kind of how I feel. Sometimes it’s really hard to find something to comment on, and then I’m like, “Why am I forcing myself to do this? I don’t know anything about the stuff on this blog!”

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I don't visit everyone's blog and comment back there. But I do always reply to the comment on my blog. Sometime it's starts a conversation, and that's fun. If it's a new visitor, then I try to visit their blog that first time, and if I like their blog, then I'll follow it.

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    1. YES! I always try to visit the blogs of new commenters. Mostly because I’m curious.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. I almost always comment back on every blog that comments on mine, but I have to admit that sometimes I fall down on the job. Mostly on memes that people comment on days after they were posted. But if I go to a blog and what they've posted doesn't interest me at all and I have literally nothing to add, I'll skip it and possibly try again the next day. Great discussion!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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    1. You’re so good at commenting back. I’m envious. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. Oooooh how I feel you with this post. So, I LOVE commenting- it has always been one of my favorite parts of blogging. But it is also THE most time consuming. I have tried EVERYTHING to catch/keep up. But nothing works. NOTHING. For awhile, I was quite literally staying up ALL NIGHT to try to respond to everyone's comments and comment back but my goodness, I nearly collapsed. And like you, sometimes I just plain have NOTHING to say! Or, if someone comments on MY blog, some comments just plain don't need a response? Especially memes and such, "Great list, I liked X book too!" doesn't really need a huge detailed response from me. So I found myself scrolling through pages of posts that didn't apply to my interests, willing myself to leave a meaningful comment somewhere. And now... I can't. Like I am physically and mentally too drained. I have even tried staggering my posts so that I post one day, return comments one day, but even 4+ hours a night of commenting isn't enough, and frankly, I am EXHAUSTED.

    In theory, I am strict about everything, but in practice? I am a mess. I TRY though, I try SO HARD, but a lot of times, that doesn't seem to be enough. But like, we are human, and have to cut ourselves some slack, you know? It's a struggle. The guilt is a struggle. I'm going to go respond to a very small percentage of comments now for the next 2873 hours ;) LOVE this post.

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    1. Thanks! I don’t know if I could handle a blog that’s as big as yours. I’d constantly feel guilty and overwhelmed. You’re my hero for trying so hard.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I like to comment back a lot! I mean, in the last few months I have been posting a bit less so it's been a bit easier to stay on top of. But when my blog is busy and I'm posting frequently, it can be hard. Especially as I like to leave meaningful comments! I try to comment back with my friends, the people who I know well and will come back often. It's best to try and keep a great relationship with those people <3 For the really short comments I might not bother going back, but if I have the time of day to, I will comment back. It's touch and go with me, really.

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    1. Interesting! If I posted less often, I could probably keep up with commenting back. Right now, I post 3-5 times a week, so it’s difficult. The comments pile up much faster than I can reply. (That’s an awesome problem to have.)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. Honestly, the reason I comment on some one's blog in the first place (like I'm doing now) is NOT so that they (you) will run over to my blog and comment. I'd much rather someone respond to my comment on the original blog that I commented on.

    If a commenter on my blog is a semi-regular, chances are we have similar tastes and I'm following her/his blog anyway, and will be commenting there anyway on a post that genuinely interests me.

    If a commenter on my blog is visiting for the first time, I'll usually pop over to their's and try to find something to comment on that first time.

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    1. That’s a good point. Most of the people who comment on my blog have similar reading tastes to me. I already follow them and comment on their stuff regularly. I’m commenting on their blogs because I like the content, not because I feel obligated.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. This an interesting, and relatable topic, for discussion.

    I reply to all the comments I get on my blog... If it's an older post, I can miss it sometimes, but the vast majority of the comments will get a reply back. However, I don't always comment back to those who have commented on my site by commenting on theirs. I will always look at their site, and try to comment, but as you say, sometimes I just don't know what to say as we have different interests.

    The community I have on my blog tends to be regular visitors though, and so typically I read all the blogs that comment anyway. If I'm taking part in a linky, I'll try my hardest to reply back to their blog but still make sure it is a sincere reply.

    Because that's the thing for me, I don't want to leave a comment for commenting sake, y'know.

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    1. YES! Exactly. When I was strict about commenting back, I often felt like I was just leaving a comment because I had to. I didn’t like that. It felt fake.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. I feel like an outlier here--I am MORE likely to visit someone's blog and comment on one of their posts than to respond directly to their comment on my post. That could be because I am not doing a good job at initiating true conversations in my comments section. As Shannon said, not all comments really bear responding to. "Great list!" could be replied with a "thanks!" but that's pretty boring for all concerned. So I'd rather go check out their blog and respond to something they put time and effort into writing.

    All that being said, I am feeling kind of discouraged in general about having time to write, to read blogs, to comment and respond to comments, to participate in link-ups, to keep up on Twitter, and to actually READ BOOKS, which is the whole thing the pulled me in here in the first place.

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    1. I totally understand about feeling discouraged. When I started blogging, I didn’t know how time consuming it would be. I’ve spent a lot of late nights and early mornings working on this blog. I wish I had some advice to offer you, but I don’t. It’s a constant struggle.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. I don't comment back, generally, but I do try to always respond to comments. If someone takes the time to comment, I feel like it's rude to ignore it. But I don't feel like commenting should create an obligation to comment back on someone else's blog...I only comment on posts I come across that spark it organically, if that makes sense.

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  12. Commenting back is something I ALWAYS try to do. Sometimes I fail, but don't beat myself up over it. I only post 2-3 times a week, so commenting back is more manageable, but still super time consuming. If I blogged more often than that, I'm not sure I'd be able to keep up!
    For me, it's a habit but I totally understand when other bloggers don't have time to comment back like I do. But to be quite honest, if I repeatedly comment on someone's blog and they never visit back, I'm going to stop commenting all together because I have too many other blogs to visit! Sure, I may still read their content, but commenting takes a lot of time so I want it to be mutually-beneficial.
    Thanks for writing this! Bloggers should know that commenting on people's blogs is how you make yours GROW! But it's also important to find a good balance.

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  13. This is me exactly. I used to comment back. Every. Single. Time. But I just can't do it anymore. I found that I don't have enough hours in the day. I still make my priority reading and commenting on posts in the discussion challenge because that's really important to me. Then, next is replying and commenting back. I do it as much as I can, but I don't get to all of them anymore.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  14. Most of my commenters now are known to me and I know I visit and regularly comment on their blogs, so I don't push myself to comment back every single time.

    If somebody new shows up, I do try to visit their blog and leave a comment if I possibly can. But if I just cannot find a connection to anything on their blog or say anything meaningful, then I don't. I think we have to be honest in how we relate to each other.

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  15. I think that it is a nice thing to attempt to comment back and show support for the community, but I don't see any need to beat my heat against the wall trying to find something to say, and don't see any point in leaving a comment that is the equivalent of nothing, "great picks", "great review", etc.
    Rest assured, when I leave a comment I either have something I genuinely want to say, or I have a large appreciation for the post and want to let the writer know.
    I reading doesn't attract many readers without similar interests, so like Lory, most of my commenters are known to me and I follow their post anyway.

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  16. I used to comment back faithfully, but like you as I got more commenters, had a growing list of blogs I read, and was writing more blog post content it became difficult. When I hit a point where finding time to comment on my favorite blogs was a problem I decided that if I went to a blog and it was focussed on a genre I don't read, I would rather be spending my time commenting on my favorite blogs than trying to hunt down a post on their blog that I could comment on. I also no longer go to the blogs where the comment on my blog is an obvious copy and paste, "You have some nice books here, you can see my post [here]. :)

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  17. I've been thinking about this topic. I do comment back because I'd like to maintain an interaction, and most of the time I find a blog or at least one post I enjoy reading. There have been times, however, that I struggle to say something. In those circumstances, I'd probably skip it. An insincere comment is not likely to jumpstart the kind of connection I want to make anyway.

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  18. Commenting has been a real struggle for me. This year I did the commenting 365 challenge, so I am commenting on a new blog everyday. So many bloggers are commenting back. That's good, and bad. I can't possibly comment back on everyone's blog, although I really try. Sometime I have nothing to say. If a blog has nothing but cover reveals and books I have no interest in I don't force myself to comment. I found plenty of new-to-me blogs and kept looking for ones I wanted to comment on. I believe in commenting back, so I always try to.
    As far as responding to comments, I almost always do. If I have nothing then I say "Thanks for stopping by!" I am always grateful for someone to say something on my site, so I always try to respond to comments. I draw the line at contest posts, where commenting is an entry. That is just too much.
    Great topic!

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  19. LOL AJ, my blog is very light purple / pink, and there are often covers with people kissing! So sorry, about that ;)
    I used to be much better about commenting back, too, but now, I kind of keep to a group of bloggers that I visit all the time, and then, I may follow a link to another blog-post if they look interesting. Time is of the essence, and I prefer to spend my time reading books rather than commenting on blogs, you know?
    If I have someone who is great at commenting, I will do my best to comment back, though - but only if I feel like I have something to contribute to the conversation going on at their blog. Not just to wave and say hi - at least most of the time.
    Great topic!!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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  20. I reply to all comments left on my blog posts and through bloglovin it's easy to see every time the people I follow post a new message. I try to leave at least a couple of comments on these blogs each week but I don't put a comment on every single one ie I don't read posts about beauty, fashion, cats, babies, food, the classics, erotica, modern music so I don't comment on them at all rather than keep saying 'I don't like this' which can be a bit negative for the blogger! I try to respond each time to Stacking the Shelves, Sunday Post, Top Ten Tuesday, challenge updates, reviews for books I've heard of or read or plan to read, any interesting discussion topics, book tags etc which keeps my replies at a decent level. Some weeks I might comment on every post if I have something to say but not always. I'm trying to leave more comments on reviews even if the book isn't to my taste.

    If I spend a couple of months commenting on a blog and they never answer the comments and never post back even one comment on mine, I'll stop following them and use that time to visit other people or find new blogs to follow instead. That lack of response would suggest the person isn't interested in my comments or being friends so why waste the time, y'know? If someone visits me say 3 times a month, I'm ok with that even if I visit them more. I don't expect every visit I make to be replicated!

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I do a happy dance every time I get a comment. (You should be grateful that you’re not around to witness this dance. It’s truly horrifying.) Leave a link to your blog so I can visit you.