I am happy to be hosting a mini-challenge for this summer’s Mini Bloggiesta. Bloggiesta is a chance to catch up on your book blogging to-do list, learn valuable tips and tricks of the trade and meet and mingle with fantastic book bloggers. Bloggiesta runs from Saturday, July 20th through Sunday, July 21st, the mini version is short, sweet and I hope it is super-productive!
Do you comment on all the blog posts you visit? What drives you to leave a comment? Or what prevents you from doing so? Leaving comments on blogs you visit starts valuable discussions, helps grow your network and allows you to make blogging friends.
Why Should You Comment on Every Blog Post You Visit?
1. It lets the blogger know what you like or don’t like. If you are taking the time to visit a blog and don’t comment, how will they know what you liked or didn’t like about their post? Bloggers write because they like to engage in a discussion, so leave a comment and discuss how you felt about their post.
2. It encourages return visits to your blog. It’s your “I was here” stamp on their blog. You have to give visits and comments in order to receive them. If the WordPress site you are visiting has CommentLuv on the bottom of your reply entry, when you enter your website info, it will leave a link to your last post. If you comment on a Blogger blog, tell the blogger which post they should visit on your blog that is relevant to the topic .
3. Grow your support network and regular readers. I visit my favorite blogs regularly and love that I can count on them to return the visits and comment. I feel like I get to know them better as people and better yet, as bloggy friends.
How Do You Leave An Engaging and Valuable Comment?
1. Be original. Show the blogger you really read and thought about their post. Don’t just copy and paste a generic comment. Don’t be a perpetrator of what MomComm calls “Comment Vomit”.
2. Describe what you agreed with and how it relates to your life.
3. Ask the blogger a follow-up question that continues the conversation so that the blogger will reply to you.
4. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Just because a blogger does not respond once, does not mean they do not care. Maybe they were busy. Visit bloggers several times before deciding you will not comment anymore.
This topic has been covered by several great bloggers, and here are some of my favorite links.
MomComm’s article “Comment Vomit: The Facebook Fan Page edition
Book Bloggers International article: The Importance of Commenting
Book Bloggers International article: The Importance of Commenting, Part Deux
and yes, cause I gotta agree as Southern Mess Mom says: Captcha is Evil!. Can you moderate comments instead to help prevent spam? You might be surprised how many readers are turned off by Captcha requirements. They are hard to read!
How Do You Get People to Leave Comments?
You will notice that I try to end my post by asking questions of my readers. Have they read the book? Are there other books with similar themes they have read and recommend? Find a way to connect the book to your own life and ask how it connects to the readers’ life. Some of my favorite comments were when I wrote a review on a book about sisters. I asked about my readers’ siblings and loved hearing about everyone’s family situation. Some commenters left some very personal stories I was surprised they would share but it helped me get to know my readers a little better.
If you are on a WordPress blog, download the CommentLuv and Comment Reply Notification plugins. CommentLuv will allow the commenter to enter their website URL and their most recent post will be visible below their comment. It allows you and your other readers to visit their blog easily and helps showcase their latest post. Comment Reply Notification will send an email to the commenter when you reply to their comment. This way they can continue in the discussion and pay you another visit to reply.
If you are on a Blogger blog, see this blog tip on setting up comment reply notification. I visit so many blogs, I cannot rely on my memory to know who I visited and when. Make it easier for the commenter to know you wanted to continue the conversation.
What’s the Mini-Challenge?
So now that you know why you should comment, how to leave a valuable comment and how to get readers to comment on your blog, your challenge is to complete as many of the below tasks as you can.
1. Comment on blogs that you have not visited before. Tell us how many you commented on and give a shout out to some of the new bloggers you met and enjoyed. Better yet let us know something cool you learned about a fellow blogger from your comment discussions.
2. Activate CommentLuv on your WordPress blog.
3. Activate Comment Reply Notification on your WordPress or Blogger blog.
4. Sign up to be a commenting cheerleader next time the opportunity arises. You’ll be amazed at the people you’ll “meet” and might not find otherwise. Two I had signed up for were Dewey’s 24 hour readathon in April and October and Armchair BEA at end of May/beginning of June.
5. Sign up for the next Book Blogger Love-a-thon during February, a blog-a-thon dedicated to spreading comment love and discovering new blogs.
I do not have any prizes to offer this time. The prize in itself is making new bloggy friends and getting to know others in our amazing blogging community. Ready, set, mingle! Comment and show the love to your fellow bloggers and help grow your network, you’ll be glad you did!
How do you ensure you have enough time to visit blogs and leave comments? Do you dedicate time to visit other blogs or comment on the spur of the moment? How do you feel about Captcha word verification?
Who did you meet during the mini-challenge? How many comments did you leave and blogs did you visit? Thanks for participating and hope you enjoyed spreading comment love and growing your network!