Happy Hump Day, friends.  Sorry there is no post today but I do have a question.  A blogging question – and would greatly appreciate any help or advice.  My confusion is with comments.  More specifically with responding or replying to comments.

Until just recently, after receiving an email notification that I had a comment, I would reply to that email and then add a reply in my comments on the blog as well.  Last week, I figured out that replies sent by email were not going back to the person who commented but they were simply going….well, I don’t know where!?!  The great WordPress inbox in the sky, I suppose.  Not only frustrating but so disappointing.

I blog for several reasons but, certainly, one thing I enjoy most about blogging is making connections and building community.  I know some connection is made through comments; however, is that actually practical?  If someone leaves a comment on my blog…have often do they go back and revisit that same post in order to read my reply comment?  I don’t think often.  If ever.  Makes you wonder who my reply is even for??  I thought, maybe presumed, that replying to the notice in my inbox was not only efficient but also more personal.  Apparently, I thought wrong.

So, I am curious.  What is the best way to have a dialog with your blogging friends and commenters??  Should it simply be the responsibility of the commenter to return and see if I left a reply?  Should I send separate emails?  Do all commenters even want to receive emails?  Is there a plugin or other “technical way” to facilitate this that I need to learn about?  Maybe leaving replies in the comment section of each post is sufficient and I am simply overthinking correct blog etiquette.  I don’t know but I would love your opinion.  Would love to hear your ideas and any suggestions or tips you have for creating and maintaining connection and community here in the blog world.  Thanks in advance!!

9 Replies to “A (Burning) Blogging Question”

  1. I think responding to comments in one way or another is essential, as that is fostering communication between the blogger and blog reader. I mean, if I comment and the blogger doesn’t respond, I feel like I am just talking to myself. Many bloggers now, though, aren’t interested in fostering communication—they seem to be only about growing their own blog.

    When I began blogging back in March 2006, it was at a little site called Homestead Blogger. It was a community, and people visited each other back. When that site folded in about 2011, I went to Blogger, and for awhile, it was community-minded, but the last 7 or 8 years, it hasn’t been. And I find Word Press worse. I read very few Word Press blogs, as the vibe I get from most Word Press bloggers is that of a business. Even Christian bloggers, sadly. I can’t tell you how many blogs I visit, where the blogger doesn’t visit me in return or respond to my comment.

    For me, I respond in the comments, but I honestly feel the best response is to visit the commenter’s blog. Like you do to me!

    The business-like feel of blogs is kind of a soapbox issue for me, as I got into blogging on the ground floor, and I miss the way it used to be.

    1. Patti, I know how frustrating (and disappointing) one-sided blog visits can be!! And I know what you mean about business feeling blogs…where I think someone is just wanting me to support them. I blog for a different reason. And your comment here and thoughts were really helpful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I struggle with this same thing too! I reply to each comment as if that person somehow knows what I wrote back but I know 99% of the time they can’t possibly be coming back to check. There are some bloggers that use Disqus and I do get those replies through my gmail account.

    1. Thanks for your help, Joanne. Glad I’m not the only one to struggle. I have seen Disqus – and should look into it some more. Appreciate the suggestion.

  3. I think responding to a comment is very nice; when I comment on someone’s blog it’s because I have a genuine response/ reaction to something the blogger wrote. I like it when the blogger responds back but that is not the main reason that I comment. I don’t feel that I am owed a response back but I do like it when there is a response from the blogger. I generally only respond to blogs that I read regularly so it is not difficult for me to go back to a post that I responded to and see if the blogger responded to my response. (It’s also kind of neat now to be commenting about commenting on blogs!!). Have a great day, friend!

    1. Comments are nice, aren’t they? I enjoy them…and enjoy replying to them. Would be nice if readers received those replies?? I’m glad you stop by often…and take the time to leave comments! Thanks!

  4. I have struggled with this as well, but like Joanne, I comment back as if they’re going to see it, when I know that most likely they will not. I was also going to mention the Disqus commenting option for you- it may be worth looking into! I too became a blogger as that got its start and I consider myself an old-fashioned blogger and love the community and relationship it builds. I’ve made two real-life friends from it in the last two years! One who lives in my city and the second who lives in Montana but have video called and sent Marco Polo videos to and whom I text on a regular basis. That’s the heart of it for me as well, obviously as well….as I’m writing, I’m thinking about adding a statement to the end of each of my posts that mentions how I comment back to them so they’ll know I always respond.

    I’ve seen other bloggers who are more business minded respond to their comments and even go back and forth as other people comment under one certain one. I wonder what it is they use? I have noticed that those blogs own their domain and are designed by a person or company. I wonder if that’s the difference. I’d love to do that but probably won’t ever since I don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to. I’m interested to know more about this, though!

    1. If blogging is not a business for you…well, it is somewhat of a “whole other animal” as the saying goes. And I definitely consider myself an old-fashioned blogger. Well, I’m just old-fashioned!! So glad that you stop by regularly…and thanks for your insights here. They really are helpful..and much appreciated!!

  5. Jennifer, I always love a good dialogue about blogging! It’s part of who we are, not simply what we do. Fortunately, there’s no blog police so that lets us get creative and a bit out of the box sometimes which is so much fun.

    I try to keep things simple as possible because any tech challenge drains my energy and puts me in a bit of a panic. I don’t want anything to steal my joy!

    Meanwhile, I always respond to comments unless I’m on some kind of blogging break. I truly think that the conversations are usually more interesting than my post! Building community is what matters most to me. I just want readers to feel welcomed, safe, appreciated, and valued.

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