Since the main reason I blog is to find online friends to discuss books with, I'm always frustrated when I find an interesting blogger, leave lots of chatty comments on her blog, and then never see her show up on my own. And no, I don't mean one of the really busy ones who gets dozens of comments a week and can't realistically be expected to reply to all of them.
It has happened several times, and every time it does, I wonder: What are they waiting for? An invitation?
Not that it always works, either. There have been a couple of bloggers whom I did invite to visit my blog--even leaving a link--and nothing ever happened.
My own habit is to check out the blog of everyone who leaves me a comment. I guess this isn't a universal practice. I'm just surprised that so many people aren't more curious about new visitors, especially when they average only one or two comments per post.
A few weeks ago, someone said that Blogger's comments have been acting up, and that might be one factor when comments don't get returned. But I really don't think it's just a technical problem.
Another possibility I've considered is that my blog is just not as interesting to others as it is to me. (Ouch! LOL!) In that case, I guess this post is just to let everyone know that if you like having chatty commenters on your blogs (as I do), then it's really worth returning visits to get them to keep coming back to you. =)
Sometimes I visit a new blog several times before I can think of something to say. Perhaps your visitors (Do you know if they're regular/return visits?) are just among those "silent readers" Jillian brought up.
I can relate to your frustration, though, Alex. Some time ago, I started another thread wondering why reviews tend to get so few comments. I honestly think there's something about the review form that discourages discussion. People read it, find it helpful (or not) and move on. But they won't always have something to say, and it's neither the book's nor the reviewer's fault.
I'm trying to limit the time I social network so I can get some new writing done.
But, I usually reply on my blog to comments plus I make it a point to visit the blogs of people who comment on my blog and leave comments on their blog.
On the weekends, I tend to reserve time to just visit all sorts of blogs and leave comments if I can think of something pertinent to say.
I do get what you mean, Kay! A friend and I have been laughing over the curious fact that our Number One hindrance to reading these days is the blogging we do about what we read. (LOL!) And by "blogging," we mean not just the writing of our own posts but the visiting of other people's blogs.
But it's heartening to hear that you respond to your commenters and try to visit their blogs whenever you can. You certainly aren't waiting for an invitation! =)
It does sound fairly intense! I'm now really impressed at how you keep up with it all, RYCJ. I know another author who closes her combox when she knows she's going to be far too busy to return comments and doesn't want to be bothered with a backlog (in addition to new comments) when she finally finds some free time.
And now that you mention it, yes, I guess people often do feel obliged to comment even when they have nothing to say--and threads like this one don't really help, do they? =P Comments aren't meant to be tallied on a balance sheet, however frustrating it gets when one side feels like it is doing all the "work." Then again, last time I checked, blogging wasn't work!
I always visit other bloggers who come to visit my blog. As such I have been pretty lucky that when I visit other blogs my fellow bloggers return the visit. That is the point if networking and it is sad if it is one sided.
I find that this helps. When I post a review or more importantly an article post. (Like today my post is "Does This Make Scents to You?) I usually end the post with a question, so that anyone who reads the post, has something to contribute or comment.
It is harder when doing book reviews to end the post with a question but I just did that with "Kiss of Snow" by Nalini Singh and I got a bunch of comments.
Sometimes when the blogger just posts something, I am at a loss of what to comment. I don't just want to comment "Hi I was here" but the post or review just doesnt leave me an opinion worthy of commenting.
So when I finish a post to a potential reader, it is usually worth it to end in a question. Does that make scents to you? LOL
Hi, Michelle! I agree that networking shouldn't be one-sided. =) But if there's one thing I've learned since I started this thread, it is that some bloggers really aren't in this for the networking!
I am new around here (and to blogging - May of this year) so maybe you can give me some advice.
Each time a comment is left on my blog I always use the 'reply' button to respond - but as far as I can tell the only way the person leaving the original comment would see my reply is if they return to my blog - is that the way it works?
Each time I get a follower on GFC I always click on the new follower to see if there is a link to their blog in their profile - if there is I always check out their blog, leave a comment or follow. But often there is no information at all (or none that I can find).
How do you go about finding people that have followed you and how do you respond to their comments? Do you just respond on your blog or do you email or something else?
I'm not keen on Facebook but I do Tweet a lot.
Hi! About the comments: Most comment boxes have a spot to click to subscribe to that particular thread by email. If a commenter subscribes then any reply you make is sent to their email. So no, they don't have to return to your blog to see your reply. If they want to reply to your reply, there is a link to the post in the email that will take them right to your blog.
Thanks for the info, I am learning so much by being a part of Book Blogs.
I also feel a bit frustrated when I get a new follower and can't check out his own blog. When they leave comments, I just respond on my own blog, assuming that since they know that there's no other way for me to reply them, then they would return.
I have a friend who personally thanks every new follower in an individual post that will show up in the feed. That's really nice of him, I think, but I don't know if I would do that.
Other writers have brought up the same concern, Stephanie. I confess that I never wondered whether the blogs I can afford to give time to are written by bloggers who don't have as much time for the same.
But the end result of such seemingly one-sided interaction, no matter what the cause, is likely that I'm going to stop reading and commenting on the other blog. It will have nothing to do with the quality of the content or the writing, though, but on the fact that the squeaky commenters really will end up getting all the grease!