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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Sit-Down Rants with Courtney: The Art of Comments

You've just written a kick ass blog post, blood sweat and . . . mostly long hours staring at a white screen gone in throughout the week. The golden gem. Praise be to you for getting your thoughts down in a whole coherent mass that people will want to read. It is time. To publish it.

Because this is the post. The review. The conversation starter.

You don't know what to do when all the comments start flooding your inbox. It's going to be THE WALKING DEAD of comment hordes. You just take your keyboard and start smashing every key for the love of all that is language!!

 And the post goes live. You sit at your keyboard clicking refresh until your finger turns white.
It never goes away. That "0 comments" haunts you. People have clicked on it. Your post has 30 something views in the past twenty minutes. So, why? Why you no comment? Did you read it? It's a great post. Your inner Lizzie Mcguire voice is running a muck inside your head. And now you want a cartoon version of yourself going off on this matter, right? Right.

You start to second guess yourself. All that time and effort. The meticulous detail and editing to get everything visually ready. By now 50 people have seen your post, and not one. Single. Comment.

The truth is, commenting . . . it's work.

You want the comments. But you don't want to give the comments. Or work for them. Or comment back. You just want ALL the comments. It's like wanting to get paid without putting in the hours at your job.

Who doesn't? Commenting means a steady readership. It means your blog is doing A-okay on the popularity range. It means that there are ACTUAL, REAL LIFE PEOPLE reading YOUR little baby of a bloggy. The big bloggers are getting at least a hundred comments on their posts. But they've been around for years, building up their readership. And maybe you have too, but haven't had the luck many others have.

Comments happen to be what some, if not all, publishers will be looking at to see just how widely read your little blog is. And you wanna catch 'em all. All the people. All the comments. It is a means of garnering statistics on your blog. It's a necessity. Like water to a plant. You want the ARCs, you gotta have the stats. So it's a little daunting as well as frustrating. Because your working your butt off to build a better blog, but readers are like fish (not really comparing you beautiful people to minnows and such), always avoiding the line. You just need the right bait. And that comes with patience and the right hook.

Publishers and statistics aside. Comments are satisfying. It's like that one notification on Twitter, the one message on Tumblr. The happiness that comes out of seeing people take time out of their day to read what you wrote and give their opinion (good or bad), it's a gracious and reveling feeling to have.

How do you go about getting comments on your blog? Well, it's a patience game. Networking is the best way to direct people to what you've written and catching their interest. It's a basic PR job. Like anything, you need something that I going to catch people. It could be your voice, the way you hook them in a tweet or a title. People generally read shorter posts rather than long ones. So try to scale back on the big paragraphs.

Another way, be social. Socializing in the blogosphere goes a long way. Check out your favorite blogs, comment your own opinion on a recent post, many take the time to comment back. 

Find some newer blogs, help their traffic by commenting on their posts. It's a random act of kindness or a pay it forward event. You may not get a comment back. But it feels good. And you can possibly gain a small following. Little steps, big results. 
Remember that whether you are a new blogger or an old blogger, you could be making someone's day by leaving just one, small little comment. It could mean a huge deal to that people on the other end of the screen. And to me, that's all that matters.

Let's rant: Do you take the time to comment on posts? Do you have your favorite bloggers whom you post on everything they write? Do you scope out new bloggers and comment on their posts? Or do you not comment at all? What are your views on receiving and giving out comments? Converse with me.