One of the best things (maybe THE best thing) about the blogosphere is the amazing people in it. I am often in awe of all the intelligent, compassionate, and truly talented individuals that I come across as I "poke around" cyberspace.
If you comment on my blog and leave your blog's URL, I will often check it out because I'm interested...in YOU.
That being said, sometimes I don't leave a comment. I'd like to, don't get me wrong, but you - perhaps unknowingly - have put too many obstacles in my way:
1. You require me to log-in. When I notice a required log-in, I usually run away from that site faster than you can say be-bo-banana five times fast (go ahead..try it...it doesn't take long). Even if I love your content, I don't have the time or the patience to log in and create a username and password. It's free and easy, you say? Sorry. Still not convincing enough. Just let me comment already.
2. Your page is loading super slow. I clicked on your link and I'm waiting and waiting...and decide to click somewhere else instead. It may be a little unfair, but I'm part of the "Internet Age" - I want results and I want 'em now. If your page is having major speed issues, I highly recommend you look into the cause. You could be losing readers because of it.
3. You have no new content. The date on your last post is from 3 months ago. My automatic assumption then is that you are probably not that dedicated to your site or that you may not be checking it frequently so I typically leave that lonely post alone.
4. You have no profile picture. One of the first things I look for when I stop in at a blog is information about the blogger behind the blog. I want to know there's a real person behind that computer screen. I want to see your smiling face, your kids, your life. And, yes, I do want to know your name and a bit about you. I know you probably have concerns about security and everyone has their own "boundaries," but you have to give me a little something to "hold onto" - your hometown, your favorite ice cream flavor, something, anything.
5. Your posts are too long. There are a few good reasons for longer posts, but only a few. Most of your posts should error on the side of brevity. Unless you're the world's most talented writer, you should probably keep most of your posts relatively short. And if you are the world's most talented writer, you probably already know that.
6. Your posts are all text. The saying: "a picture is worth a thousand words" is totally true in blogland. Don't just type and hit publish. Grab a photo from Microsoft Clip Art or Flickr Creative Commons (don't forget to cite the photographer). Buy a photo from iStockphoto. Or, best of all, take a picture yourself. Go ahead - you can do it.
7. You have too few posts on the main page. So, let's say you have three posts on your main page - one about your new cat (I'm allergic), one really long tribute to your great grandma (very sweet, but I'm not sure what to say), and one super short one announcing that you will have a new blog post up soon. I may just skip right past your blog. There's a good chance, however, that your fourth post was absolutely amazing and we would have connected instantly had I read it. So, give me some options.
If you are a blogger and you want people to comment, please avoid these 7 mistakes. In fact, do the opposite of these DONT'S and I bet you'll be well on your way to having more commenters in no time.
YOUR TURN: What makes you comment [or not comment] when you stop in at a blog?
"Your page is loading super slow. I clicked on your link and I’m waiting and waiting…and decide to click somewhere else instead. It may be a little unfair, but I’m part of the “Internet Age” – I want results and I want ‘em now. If your page is having major speed issues, I highly recommend you look into the cause. You could be losing readers because of it."
Something I doubt ...
Marriage is an umbrella. With it, when the storm, you will be comfortable ,coach handbags but in some natural flatly light weather, the more umbrella the unavoidable.
Wow - great points... I am guilty of the overly long blog post even though I KNOW BETTER!
And I feel sad that some people won't read or comment b/c of a default template - I do use a default right now, although in the future I plan to upgrade...but not everyone can afford unique blog designs and I think content should trump design (unless your blog is ABOUT design).
I will review my blog using these points to make mine more "comment-friendly!" ;)
I like the colors on this blog.
Thanks for the tips. I'm new to blogging so I'm just sifting my way through and figuring it out as I go along. I have a mom blog that features craft ideas, parenting tips and entertainment reviews. Looking for guest bloggers and blog swaps if interested!
Just came across your site and it is so full of great information. I'm sure I'm guilty of being too wordy guess I will have to watch it in the future.
wers df ser sd
What a great post. I couldn't agree more with your points. I really hate those log-in ones, like Disqus (I've blogged about my dislike of that program). I just don't get why people choose to use those things.
I too need some interesting pictures in a post, just to break up the text space. Otherwise it seems to run on and on.
Adding one to the list:
Your blog is using a default template. I'm probably missing out on fabulous content, but if nothing is catching my eye design-wise, I won't bother reading.
My thoughts exactly.
Blastoff Network is coming! It will launch to the world on October 26, 2009, and will change the way we use the internet forever!
Sign up is "FREE"...
Launch your Blastoff Network and get paid! When you invite your friends to join the Blastoff Network, you will get paid every time they make a purchase within the Blastoff Network. Just think about getting paid every time your friends buy a song on iTunes, books at Barnes & Noble or a new TV at Target. And as your friends begin to invite their friends, you will see your network and your income begin to virally grow. So spread the word and get ready to Blastoff!
Don't miss this opportunity to Blastoff and make money with the rest of us on October 26, 2009!
Be ready to Blastoff!
I like this.
I agree 100%.
Thanks for the post, very helpful.
I've always wondered what it would be like to be a metropolitan mama.
FANTASTIC info once again Steph! So true - if I have to log in, I often choose to leave. And autoplay?? Seriously now??? NOT a good idea. (Although on some photography sites, I must say it does fit nicely.)
Just found your blog tonight! Love it! What great tips you have for new bloggers! I hate entering the codes in, when I participate in blog parties and go to all the blogs commenting I despise entering those in but I guess it helps with spammers?
Anywho, I would hate logging in to, I wouldn't either. My questions is what about these forms that you have to enter like here on your blog with the name, email, website, etc. I am new to blogging so I guess I don't understand as to why some have and some don't. Stupid question? Just trying to understand, some of it is so confusing. I am on blogger and sometimes I just want to scream! But am so scared to switch to something else and have no idea how or how it would effect me readers. I already bought my domain and have yet to use it as I am unsure how that will work as well.
Ok sorry, this is a super long comment. Again, Love your blog!
You are absolutely right.
A header that is too big... ie... on my little netbook I had to scroll wayyyyy too much!
I have to chime in with everyone else and say that auto music playing is a big turnoff for me on blogs - especially if I'm nursing a sleepy baby. But also because I usually have Pandora playing the music I want to listen too.
I'm guilty of writing too long of posts sometimes and definitely guilty of the whole not using enough pictures thing. I prefer to use my own pictures but often forget to get the pictures I need and get frustrated when I go to look for a picture online. Guess I need to work on that picture thing and just do what I know I need to do!
thanks for writing this post! we thought with our blog it was kinda hit or miss regarding comments, but there is an art to creating a post that people comment on.
one other way i've learned is to write the post as an open-ended question so readers feel compelled to answer.
what do you all think of that? :)
I'm really new to the blogger world but this really opened my eyes to the in's and out's of blogging. I'm going to get my photo up and put more of me out there as well as shorten my blogs...However, at this point my blog is mostly for me. To keep me sane :0)...I also feel like I might put "too much" out there. ( I have one about a fart that I find very funny but others might not)
Thank you though for all of your wonderful info. I enjoy reading.
Infuriating autoplay music. Ugh!!!
Very good points! I like to comment on blogs often to return the kindness of someone commenting on mine frequently. But also, if the post moves me, I will comment.
(But there are many times I read blogs from my phone and I am not able to comment easily. So in those cases, sometimes I wish I could comment, but can't.)
Yeah I have problems with keeping up with my blog sometimes but then I do play catch up :) I think these are all great tips.
It is absolutely impossible to comment when there is nothing but giveaways going on!
Great post. Good tips here. I agree about the log-in. Nothing I have to say is important enough to go through those hoops. And, ditto on some of the other comments re: music. Ugh, people!
I am guilty of not enough pictures, which CC should help. I am also guilty of probably not enough personal insight. I try to keep my posts short but there's a chance they are *too* short.
A lot of people comment on my posts when I share them on Facebook. So the comments are on FB, which is great but doesn't leave a great trail on the blog itself.
Well said. I tend to be somewhat verbose only if detailed description is required, but otherwise, I agree with everything that you've said --especially the username/password. *grumble*
I'm pretty good about returning comments. I love getting to know different bloggers. However, if the blog creeps me out then I stroll on by. And, the log in is a huge turnoff. As a blogger, if your goal is to connect to other bloggers, then you have to keep in mind that their time is precious.
Great Tips. I Stumbled it and recommend others do the same as we could all learn from this.
I'm totally guilty of writing overly long posts. But I can't help myself. The biggest reason I keep blogging is to keep a sort of journal (and I'm making a blog book each year, so it really is a bit of a journal!). I've always put a lot of details in my journaling, and so that carries over to my blogging. It's nice to get comments, but since my goal isn't to garner a huge following of bloggers, I've decided to stay true to myself and keep being verbose. If that means less comments, that's okay. It's a family blog, after all. ;)
What gets me is having to enter a stupid code before I can comment. I HATE HATE HATE those things. It often ends up meaning that I'm rarely commenting on my sisters' blogs, which I feel guilty about sometimes. But it is truly that annoying to me.
YES!! The login/subscribe to comments thing really gets me. I'll go to that length if I've already established a relationship with another blogger, or if I really really REEEEEALLY need to respond to something - but otherwise, forget it.
And I agree with Jinxy ... music is a total turnoff, because my speakers are usually (unbeknownst to me) set too loud and I end up jumping out of my skin.
Great post! :)
Great points all. The easier it is to comment, the more likely I am to do so, too!
I have a troubling time with those damn cryption thingies. I never get them right and i feel like an idiot when I mispell Zg67fgy.
Great post; thanks for that. I really try to do the things you mentioned (or the opposite of what you mentioned). Gonna read it over and maybe even link to it from my blog. :)
Those are great don'ts and I agree with them all. Another reason I don't comment or even read a blog is because they have music on it. I usually have a sleeping baby in my arms while surfing and the last thing I need is a loud surprise jam session.
The only reason I really keep my blogger blog is because lots of people who blog on blogger only give you the log in option. I would much rather use my name/url but its not there. Usually I won't even bother with these blogs but sometimes I really want to say something or enter their contest.
Wow - Great advice, and perfect timing!! I'm taking these into consideration as I prepare my new blog!
A few of these make me skip commenting too. I personally don't post on Blogger blogs that won't allow me to put my name/url in but rather require me to log in with Blogger. I will usually mention it to them but if they don't change it, I don't return.
I'm horrible when it comes to images in posts. I really need to work on that.
The other thing that makes me leave quickly is automatic music play. I cannot stand that and that is usually what slows the load time too. Get rid of the auto music and you'll have a ton more interest in your blog!
OK, I have another...if someone is consistently negative on their blog, complaining about this or that, I'm outta there.
Sure I still have a long way to go with my blog but I'm working on doing better all the time.
Great post, Stephanie!
What makes me comment or not comment:
there are a million reasons why i comment or why i dont. Most of the time i browse around someone's blog and if the content is creative enough and appealing enough i will leave a comment, i have to feel like a have some kind of connection with the person, also, a bit of info about them and more importantly, and image either on their post or profile is very important to me, i want to know who's blog i am visiting, how the person looks like, we are all curious as human beings, so, i want to know!
And also depending on how long or attractive their posts are, or interesting, from there i decide whether i like it so much that i follow their blogs, or i lurk from time to time.
I could go on and on about why i post a comment or not, but i would say those are the main reasons why i sometimes i post and sometimes i dont post a comment, but i agree with most of the things that you pointed out above. :)
I could have written this post. Exactly!
Another one would be the tone of the blog. If it's dripping with sarcasm or moaning about their husband or kids then I click out.
For me, leaving a comment to a post is often about whether the post resonated with me in some way. Can I relate, or do I have something to add to whatever they were speaking about.
There are only a couple of blogs that I'll leave a comment on almost every post, because I love their content so much, and I feel a real friendship with them... so, to me it would be like having a heart to heart with a friend on the phone and not acknowledging everything they were talking about.
I'm loving how honest you're being with these blogging tips. I think so many mommy bloggers keep their opinions on blogging to themselves because they're afraid of offending people.
(Just so you know, I think there's nothing offensive about anything you've written about. I just know some people are ultra sensitive online.)
What I'm about to say is going to sound very contradictory....but here it goes! : )
What makes me comment or not comment on a blog is a personal post. It's ironic because I do a ton of product reviews. But if I go to a site and that's all there is (reviews, giveaways, press releases) but no personal posts....I run away...Just like you said above, blogs are a little window into someone's life. If I don't know the person behind the blog (or can't get to know that person) then it's really hard for me to believe what they're saying about the latest toy or broom or cereal. Does that make sense?