Monday, May 07, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions #7

Book Blogger Confessions is a new meme hosted by All-Consuming Books and For What It's Worth. You can find out all about it here

Every second week there is one topic that has something to do with book-blogging that you can discuss on your blog.

This week's topic is: Comments. The holy grail of blogging success! What type of posts do you leave comments on? How do you try to encourage more comments on your blog? Do you respond to people who leave comments on your posts? How do you handle negative/spam comments? Do you use captcha?

I love comments. Comments are one of the things I like best about blogging. I get excited every time I see I got a new comment. Especially those thoughtful comments telling me someone likes what I'm doing, or a comment saying someone will read a book because of my review - comments like that make my day. I am so thankful to anyone who has ever left a comment on my blog.

I don't really know how I encourage commenting on my blog, other than just consistently providing quality content. Other than memes (which don't really count, in my opinion, because writing 'great IMM!' and leaving a link to your own IMM post is not a thoughtful comment), the posts that get the most comments are discussion posts. Whenever I do something new, like start a new feature, I get a lot of comments, too. Really, anything unusual gets a lot of comments - not the reviews I write all the time, but something readers haven't seen before. Now, that's not a way to consistently get comments, since you can't start a new feature or write a discussion post every day - we need to write normal reviews and continue older features, too. But that's when I've noticed I get the most comments.

I've also noticed that I get more comments on positive reviews than on negative ones - I guess it's just easier to write 'I loved this one, glad you liked it too!' than to discuss a negative review. That's a little disappointing, honestly, because I think a discussion in the comments would be great - I want to know what other people thought, why someone liked that book when I didn't, anything like that. But that type of discussion doesn't happen often. And it's not something you can influence, either - you can't only write positive reviews because they get more comments. Really, I think it just comes down to consistently providing quality content, and people will comment when they have something to say. I think ending every post with a question is nice, too, and lets people know that comments are definitely welcome.

For the month of May, I've decided to do a Comment Contest - each comment you leave on my blog this month is an entry for a giveaway, in which you can win a May release of you choice. I've seen a huge increase in comments since then, so I'd say that idea works! I don't know how much it'll help in the long term, since I don't know whether I'll be able to afford doing a Comment Contest every month. But for now, I'm loving all the comments!

But even though I love getting comments on my blog, I'm not exactly good at leaving comments on other blogs. I have a few blogs I comment on regularly, but other than that, I don't comment all that much. I read a lot of blog posts, but I just don't comment often. I think I'm more likely to comment on smaller blogs - I feel bad when I see a post with 0 comments and want to leave one, while I think my comment wouldn't really make a difference to someone who already got 20 comments on their review. When there's something I want to say, when I feel like I actually have something to contribute, I do comment - but I feel weird writing something generic like 'Great review! I really want to read this book!' so I usually just don't. It was one of my New Year's resolutions to comment more, and the way it always is with those, right at the beginning of the year, I commented loads, but now I'm back to not commenting much. I really need to work on that.

And as to whether I reply to comments on my posts - of course! Well, I don't respond to every comment, but when someone asks a question or leaves a thoughtful comment I'd like to add something to, always. I think responding to comments, and thereby interacting with the people who read you're blog, is very important, since building a blog community is basically the ultimate goal.

Now, about whether I use Captcha... NO! I hate Captcha. I'm sorry, but if your blog has Captcha, I probably won't bother commenting. The new Blogger Captcha is so hard to read! And honestly, I don't really see the point. I've never used Captcha, and I've gotten, like, two spam comments in my one and a half years of blogging, which I've just deleted. If you're worried about spam - which I'm not, considering I get basically none - turn on comment moderation, but stay away from Captcha!

And about negative comments - I think you have to distinguish between comments that respectfully disagree and hateful comments. Comments that respectfully disagree are great - not everyone is going to agree with my opinion, and that's fine. I love when a discussion starts in the comments, as long as everyone keeps it respectful. Hateful comments are different, though. I've gotten only one, as far as I can remember, but that one was pretty hurtful. It was on a negative review of mine and insulted me for not getting what the book was really about it, using language I don't want to repeat here. I felt hurt for about a day and doubted myself a little, but then I just deleted the comment - if you want to discuss a book with me, that's fine, but don't insult me for my opinion. I won't have negativity or language like that on my blog, so I feel I deleting the comment was the right thing to do. I'm grateful I haven't gotten much negative response - I hear that April from Good Books and Good Wine gets hate mail, like, every day, which is crazy. But I guess there are always going to be hateful people out there. I just try to focus on the positve!

So that's what I think of comments - I love every single comment I get, but I myself need to work on commenting more. What are your thoughts on blog comments?


  1. I tend to get more comments on my negative reviews. I guess people feel validated when someone else didn't like a book too. 

    You bring up an interesting point in your post. I thought there would be more discussions about books when I started blogging but there really isn't. We either all agree and say Yay! I'm glad you loved it or don't bother talking to those disagree. That's sort of sad because it would be great to discuss the pros and cons of a book as long as it's done respectfully.

  2. I agree with you about loving to get comments but not giving too many myself. I follow over 700 blogs and, while I look at their posts in my Google Reader, I am bad about going to the blog and leaving a comment. I need to work on that too. My BBC post is here. Have a good day!

  3. I actually find I get lots of thoughtful IMM comments. Well, some of them are just ''cool imm here's mine'' but some people leave really fun ones, telling me which books they've read, what they thought of them and which they think I should read first. I love it as it creates lots of excitement. :) 

    My reviews generally get around 5-7 comments which I'm really happy with. I do wonder what the other 50 people who looked at it think but oh well! It really, really helps to comment on other peoples blogs and get to know them a little bit. 

  4. I get thoughtful comments on meme posts, too - but I also get those generic ones, and that's why I don't think you can say memes get the most comments.

  5. I tend to get most of my comments from my immediate friends, and every now and then someone else will pop on by -- it's mostly from those blog memes, and it's obvious they're just going through to link their blog. Which... I mean, I post meme comments too, but I like to think I actually try to leave something a little more meaningful, or at least just comment on blogs I like. It reminds me of the days of LJ, where you could write a silly post and get 40something comments, but as soon as it's a sad one, or just not as funny, you get all of two or three. 

    I really think your contest idea is neat, and I'm actually super happy I stumbled on your blog last week! I like your reviews, and I like this kind of post. I thankfully haven't gotten any negative comments, but I'm sure it'll happen. Haters gon' hate. 

  6. I tend to comment as much as I can and make them meaningful. I try to do contests where they have to comment on the post LOL. I enjoy the comments 

  7. Very true! My review comments mean more to me because it means people came to my blog without being sent there by a linky! ;)

  8. What really gets me to comment more is if the blogger responds to comments. I've commented on lots of blogs, gotten no response, as if the blogger didn't even want to have a conversation, just a good number of comments after each review and so I never bothered to comment again.

    You're really nice about replying to comments, which I really appreciate, because I feel you've read my comment.

    I guess this means comments go both ways. Regular readers should comment, to encourage the blogger and begin a conversation, but the blogger should also respond.

  9. That's interesting that you get more comments on positive reviews than negative ones. I think for me it depends on the book, if it's a lesser known book or from a lesser known genre, I usually get less comments.

  10. Now I'm glad I replied to your comments :p I think building a sense of community and interacting with other readers is the best part of blogging, so I always respond to comments if they asked a question, or if I have something to add. That sucks, that other blogger's haven't been responding to your comments - but I guess it also depends on how popular the blog is. If a blogger gets 20 comments on every review, I guess she won't have time to respond to each one. But to me, reading and responding to comments is an important part of blogging :)

  11. Great post! 

    Just kidding, I have more to say! I think every blogger loves and appreciates comments but I think a lot of bloggers forget to return the favour which is a shame but it's also hard to comment on every single blog you read because there aren't enough hours in the day!

    And like you, I get more comments on my posi reviews compares to the reviews where I didn't love a book and therefore don't have a lot to say and I definitely don't mind when someone disagrees and says they loved what I hated or vice versa :)

  12. I can't stand captcha.
    I ask a question at the end of the post to hopefully get a response from my readers.
    I have a short attention span so if a post is long and essay-like, I don't read it. I just scan for keywords then I'm out.
    (exactly what I did in this post lol)

  13. One of the things I've been trying to be more diligent about is to leave meaningful comments. I want meaningful comments on my blog, so it only makes sense to leave them on other blogs.

    I did find that I started leaving questions at the end of my reviews and that has led to more comments. I also respond to almost all comments left on my blog - and now that blogger has threaded commenting, it's so easy to do.

  14. I'm so glad to hear that! And I like how you comment because what you say leads to a conversation.

    I've found that even smaller blogs don't answer comments. It's the strangest thing. And it wasn't just my comments, the bloggers generally didn't engage in comment conversations.

    What I really love and which has generated comments on other blogs has been casting questions - take a popular book and people have to cast the characters. That kind of thing is fun and you get to google all these cute guys;)

    Character interviews are fun! I'd like to see a "character" (ie a blogger) answer questions from readers in the comments as the character. I know this takes  a lot of work on the blogger's part, but if it's a character you love it might really be fun!

  15. I almost completely agree with what you said.  I tend to go in spurts on commenting a lot and then not commenting at all.  I also tend to not comment when it seems 20 other people have summarized exactly what I'm thinking already.  I just feel like it becomes redundant or pointless to say the exact same thing again.  Contests like the one you have going for the month of May are a great way to boost comments, though, and is something different.  

  16. Hmm, that's strange. I started this blog because I like talking about books, but no one I know IRL reads the same books as me. So talking books with other readers is really the point of blogging for me, and this whole thing would be a lot less fun without it! It's strange that other bloggers don't feel that way, apparently - I can't imagine starting a book blog and *not* wanting to interact with other readers.

    That's a really cool idea! It'd feel weird to steal an idea like that, though...

    The character interview idea is nice, too, but I'm not sure it would work. When I do character interviews, they're usually part of a blog tour, and I send my questions to the author, who responds as the character. I guess you could have other people ask questions in the comments, and the blogger would answer as the character. But often, when I'm doing a blog tour, I haven't even read the book, and then of course I wouldn't be able to answer any questions since I don't know the character at all. If a blogger just did a character interview independently, not as part of a blog tour or anything like that, just picking a character from a book they like and answering questions, I guess that would work. But I'd feel a little weird doing that without the author's permission - I don't know if every author would be fine with that, since I could give someone a wrong impression of the character or something. I don't know how an author would feel about that.

  17. Yay, Hannah. Isn't it funny? We were just talking about blog comments on our Goodreads profile the other day! Then poof. Now, it's the topic of book blogger confessions. ;)
    Like I told you before, some bloggers do not reply to me, but you did which made me real happy. You know that! :D

    Anyway, as I told you, I think it's a good thing for blog readers to comment on blogs which they enjoy reading. In that way, we are able to share our thoughts too with the bloggers. But it's a shame sometimes that bloggers don't get to reply to them. Of course, like you said, it's gonna be a problem when there are like 30 comments. That, I understand. But to those who only have a few? I don't know. Maybe the comments are not reply-able. Or. I'm just thinking they're busy and all. :)

    So with you, I'm really having fun writing comments. Even if you don't have the May Comment Contest, of course, that really inspired me! But then I just really love comments so I hope we'll still have a conversation even after your contest ends. 

    I TOTALLY AGREE. There are blog posts which have 0 comments and that sometimes make me feel bad. I mean, if I were that blogger, I'd go insane thinking that there are no readers of my blog. So when I see that kind of thing, I usually put a comment.

    As for the negative comments, I agree with you. I hate it when people are really disrespectful. And I'm sorry if you've been a victim before. I mean, yes, people have the free will to say anything they want but there must be some kind of boundary. 

  18. Yeah, perfect timing :)

    I think replying to comments is important, if the commenter asked a question or if you have something to add. I don't respond to each one, since sometimes I just don't have anything to say, but I always take the time to respond to thoughtful comments like this one :)

    I am LOVING all the comments I've gotten because of the Comment Contest. I'm tempted to do one every month, but my wallet would not be happy, so I don't know... we'll see :p

  19. You could always just tweet the authors or do it with characters that "belong" to authors you already know and have developed a working relationship with.

    It would be a great way of generating buzz for lesser-known books, which most authors would probably appreciate, especially if it doesn't involve them having to create a post for promotion.

    I don't know, just my thoughts:)

  20. Oh! And it wouldn't be stealing to do a casting post - lots of blogs do it, and even authors post photos of people they had in mind. It would be so much fun:)

  21. I LOVE comments. I think we all do... hmmm... I.. get more comments on the books that people know, and are INTERESTED in. While I might love 'X' obscure fantasy by 'X' obscure author, not everyone else does, or is even interested?

    ANYWAY. I love these posts--and I'm with you: I DESPISE CAPTCHA *glarestabkick*

  22. DOWN WITH CAPTCHA! Honestly, I'm so glad I got rid of it! Some of my commenter complained and I was just like "screw it" Spammers are just gonna spam!


Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...