Nearly every week I participate in three discussion posts where I create a list or a blog post and then add my URL to a linky open to other bloggers. The hosts of these weekly groups encourage participants to join in the conversation and to visit many of the other blogs to make comments. It shocks me how few comments my blog posts generate even if I visit and comment on every single participant's blog.
On Tuesdays I create a Top Ten Tuesday list of books following a prompt. Usually over 100 bloggers also link-up to this weekly group and I try to visit at least ten sites. If someone comments on my post, I make a point to go back and find their post and make a comment. As I look at the comments made on others' blogs it seems like it is the same 20 people or so who make comments, leaving 80 others who don't make comments at all.
On Fridays I participate in two groups, Book Beginnings and Friday56 where participants are asked to post the opening line and a quote from page 56 of the book they are currently reading. These two groups are hosted by two different people but most of the participants, myself included, lump them together into one post. These groups usually have 20 or so folks who participate. Since there are fewer participants, I try to visit and comment on everyone's blog each week. What I've noticed is that usually about five people will comment on my blog (25%) if, say, I am busy and don't have a chance to make comments yet. Then, if my comments come in soon enough, another five or so will reply in kind, making it around 50% of the participants as commenter. Some bloggers participate every single week and I don't see their names on the comments of anyone's post ever.
On Sunday I participate in what is called Sunday Salon where bloggers recap their weeks, post pictures, list their books, whatever. One can sign up on a linky hosted by Deb Nance at Reader Buzz and/or on the Sunday Salon Facebook page. Since Sunday is a family day, I will link up only if I know I have time to fully participate. Often on Sundays I'm busy away from my computer so I won't link up to these sites because I know I won't have time to participate in a meaningful way with the other blogs. I link this post up to my own Facebook page and find that a few friends will comment there but hardly anyone makes comments on my blog itself except for a dedicated few. Since I live on the West Coast of the USA I am often aware that Sunday is over in some parts of the planet by the time I hit publish. Friends read this post and often verbally comment on aspects of my Sunday Salon posts.
I participate in these weekly groups as an opportunity to "meet" new blogging friends and to find out what others are reading and are excited about. If a person never makes a comment on my blog, I don't know that they have visited it or not. If a person clearly never comments on my blog, even after I've made several in a row on theirs, then I feel okay not visiting their site and not wasting my time trying to "befriend" them.
An article titled How To Get More Comments on Your Blog (13 easy tips), the fifth tip is to leave comments on other blogs. Obviously, we all want to increase activity on our blogs. Commenting seems like a nice invitation to others to join in.
One more thing before I open up the discussion. I wish people would put hyperlinks in their comments so I can easily return the comment favor. I've noticed, especially on TTT, that people will comment with their name but when they sign up on the linky they use their blog name so I can't always, with confidence, return comment or answer a question they've asked. Blogspot/Blogger doesn't hyperlink links, so it is nice if a person uses the code so I can just click on it, but that isn't necessary. Even if a person just leaves their URL, I can copy that into my browser and find my way back to them easily. To hyperlink a URL you can use this code, which can be copied and stored on your computer for future use: <a href="Insert your specific post URL here copied from your browser">Give your URL a title here</a> This creates a hyperlink to your specific blogpost and easy access.
So let's discuss comments.
How do handle comments yourself? Do you attempt to return comments by visiting their blog and leaving a comment? Or do you usually just answer comments on your own blog or both?
How do you handle it if someone participates in a weekly group and they don't comment on your blog? Do you notice who does and doesn't comment? Do you notice that some people are only commenters if you make a comment first, while some people are up-front ones? Why do you think people even link up their blogs if they don't plan on being a full participant? Am I the only one keeping score? Do you notice when certain bloggers never seem to return the comment favor?
Now it's your turn to comment! (Remember give me a URL so I can return the favor!)