One Tip for Better Blogging

I see a lot of blog posts out there offering advice about how to write a better blog post. They seem to cover the same topics: word verification is evil, spell check is good and link your other posts within a post for better search engine optimization (SEO), among many other great tips. Now, I am not one to give writing advice (at least to your face) and I am no social media expert, but I have a single tip: let people know if you (or someone else) has replied to their comment.

Blogging is about writing, sharing and community. At least it should be. And a great was to build community is in the comment section of a blog. People write a comment, maybe comment on someone else’s comment and move on to the next blog in their reader. How often do you go back and check to see if the blogger or another commenter replied to your comment? If you are like me, never.

There is are plug-ins for wordpress (I use Comment Reply Notification, but it doesn’t work with all themes) and I am assuming there is something similar for blogger that allow a reader to check a box to get an email when their comment has a reply. Then, if you have something more to say, you can go back, comment again and start a conversation. There are also programs like Intense Debate that manage comments and send notifications.

This sounds ridiculously simple, but I am constantly surprised by how many blogs skip this step. Occasionally, blogs only give you the option to subscribe to ALL comments, which is a little annoying so pay attention to what box you are checking.

That’s it, my pet peeve for the day. Happy blogging!

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28 Responses to “One Tip for Better Blogging”

  1. TMae says:

    I’m a complete idiot when it comes to blogging, but I completely agree with this. I love to know if other people have commented on what I said.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Yes, it makes it feel more like a community and conversation. Otherwise it is just throwing words out in to the void.

    [Reply]

  2. I love holding conversations with my readers and with other bloggers on their blogs. Especially when it’s a subject I actually had enough interest in that I asked you a question about what you wrote… So simple yet so important…

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Answering questions is super important, otherwise people feel ignored. I don’t always respond to comments that are just “cute!” or “nice post!” but I do try and answer all the questions or respond to more detailed comments.

    [Reply]

    Polish Mama on the Prairie Reply:

    Same here. I do hate the comments, though, that say “Nice post! I’d love you to stop by my blog at blahblahblah.com”. Really? Mindless…

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    It is funny, people always talk about those comments, but I never get them. I must not be popular enough. Heh.

    Polish Mama on the Prairie Reply:

    You are so lucky! I’ve gotten like 4 or something and it irritates me to no end! People will see you have a blog from your name on a comment if it is an interesting comment. If it’s not, they won’t care you have a blog. If your comment is that one I said above that I get sometimes, they DEF won’t follow your blog, lol. And I’m not as popular yet as I would like, but I joined a bloghop once and that was what I got out of it while I was looking for actually interesting blogs to follow… Go figure.

  3. TheNextMartha says:

    I have no idea if I have this but really like when I get an email follow up to a comment.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Yay! You do have this.

    [Reply]

    Polish Mama on the Prairie Reply:

    I don’t know if mine does either, I think it does. But I also like the followup emails also. Why else comment if you can’t find out if others are commenting back?

    [Reply]

  4. Veronica says:

    Also people that never respond to comments are douches. It’s like what the hell are you blogging for?

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I was going to respond to all of the comments but this one just to be a douche. And then I changed my mind because I agree. I relaxed my respond to all comments stance because of wordless wednesday, but I do try and answer most of them. It’s not like I can’t handle my 5 comments, if that, a post.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    lol you kill me

    [Reply]

  5. Natalie says:

    Hehe I’m glad I got that little dohicky to finally work on my blog. It IS working, right? lol

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Yes, it works great and makes me so happy.

    [Reply]

  6. Suzanne says:

    YES. It took ages for me to figure out how to make this work – someone who isn’t even a blogger mentioned she would like an email notification for follow up comments on one of my “hey, what can I do to make my blog better?” posts. So even people who don’t consider themselves part of the “community” like to know when you’re talking to them!!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I remember that. I was just about to comment the same thing on that post.

    [Reply]

  7. Ginger says:

    Totally, 100% agree. I’ve even put off upgrading my site a few times until I knew that my comment responder plugin would still work.

    Of course, then I have to be on my game enough to reply. Sometimes it may take me a week, but I think it’s so important to building that community!

    [Reply]

  8. Denae says:

    I love my intense debate because its so automatic. My friend’s wordpress drives me nuts b/c I have to subscribe to every comment I post (which includes approving an email that makes sure I really an okay with this). Its annoying and time consuming. Check box is ok, check box that leads to more steps – not okay.

    [Reply]

  9. Alena says:

    So I’d love to have something like this. But I’m sorta at a loss. Disquis crashes and sometimes I hear of people losing comments. And Intense Debate…I KNOW there are problems of comments being left on the mobile site making it to the actual site where everyone else is viewing the blog.

    I don’t even have a way for people to reply to other comments…which has always sort of bothered me. But I downloaded the comment thing you said. And I guess it doesn’t work with thesis?

    FWIW I do try to reply via e-mail to almost every comment. Unless I get super behind. I’d rather comment on the blog..but I’ve never found a good system for that.

    So I’m obviously losing some commenting battle. And writing a book in your comments section :-)

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I use the WP Thread Comment plug-in to enable threaded comments on the blog and then I use comment reply notification for the check box. I think Suzanne uses WP Thread Comment for both the thread and the reply notification, so maybe you could try that. I have also found with a lot of them that they don’t work until you post a new post after you have installed the plug-in and done the set-up.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Hi! I got a tweet from @L8Enough and she said comment reply notification does indeed work with thesis. I would check the set-up/settings and try a new post, maybe?

    [Reply]

  10. Michelle says:

    Love this, but the options are limited for Blogger Blogs. I respond via email to most comments & always forget when someone asks a question to repost the answer in comments.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I might be mistaken, but I do believe Disquis and Intense Debate work on blogger.

    [Reply]

    Cole Reply:

    I used Disqus for a while and it totally ate my comments, so it wasn’t worth it for me – I kind of got spooked by that, so I’m leary of trying Intense Debate. I try to respond to most comments via email – and I visit the blogs of people who leave genuine comments (i.e. NOT “Cute blog, check mine out: http:…) and comment back…

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I’m so sorry you lost your comments. That sucks! I’ve heard that can happen switching from blogger to wordpress too.

  11. Leighann says:

    Great tip.
    I always love that about other blogs

    [Reply]

  12. Tonya says:

    Admittedly, I suck at this! I just don’t have the time. I know that’s a lame excuse, but I only reply to a comment if I’ve been asked a specific question, BUT if you visit my blog and leave me a comment, I will visit yours and comment too. That’s my new thing anyway.

    Great post. Greta tip. I will work on it, I promise. :)

    [Reply]

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