Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The power of comments

 want to talk for a minute about posting comments on the blogs you follow.  Do you take time to do this very important action?  If you're like many, you follow a whole slew of blogs and you might not take time to read any of them.  That was one of the basic reasons that the Authentic Blogger Facebook group was created - to form a community of bloggers who actually DO want to connect to one another in a sincere, authentic manner.  The next logical part of that premise, beyond connecting and following other blogs is to read the content.  Okay, yes, sometimes you can't read every single, individual blog post that pops up on your FB wall, or pops into your Inbox.  I realize that the hours are filled with endless responsibilities for all of us and that it takes time and commitment to read more than a handful of various blog posts each day. 

That being said, I still want to emphasize that just following and just reading isn't enough!  For a blog author, and from my personal perspective, the most valuable aspect of the blogging world is getting feedback from my readers.  Let me digress a moment and say that there are some nifty tracking websites out there that you can sign up for free service to give you daily and weekly reports on the traffic your blog receives.  The one that I use is called StatCounter.com.  Take a moment to pull up their page, register and get this tool for your blog - it shows you, daily, how many hits you get on your blog, how many new, repeat and unique visitors you receive.  It will give you charts and graphs to delight the heart of any analytical or graphic arts inclined blogger out there!  There is even a navigation button to click on that produces a map of the world, with push pins indicating the location of each visitor to your site.  Until I got this set up for my blog, I had no way of knowing if people ever visited unless they posted a comment. Now, I have StatCounter set up to send me a weekly report and it's a very valuable tool that I highly recommend.

Important plug for Authentic Blogger (AB) group on Facebook - until Marty and I created AB, I was building a slow, steady following of my personal blog, Healing Morning.  That is the way I prefer it, as it indicates people following (I hope!) who truly enjoy my posts.  My StatCounter weekly reports, however, exploded exponentially with this first week of AB being live on Facebook - this means that the AB group is succeeding in its mission goal, to provide exposure to all the talented blog authors out there!

That being said...let's get back to posting comments.  Feedback matters, people!  You, as a blog author author, know the devotion, care, time and effort that you put into each of your blog posts.  I'm sure that you're pleased and gratified when someone takes a minute to post a comment about a given blog entry of yours, right?  I would also be willing to bet that you look forward to those comments and hope for more of the same with each new entry posted.  Why then, would you deny another blog author that same simple courtesy?  It takes mere minutes to scroll down to the bottom of their blog post, click on Post Comments and write something genuine and thoughtful.  I realize that there are trials and tribulations with Posting Comments for us all - I have days that it seems every blog I attempt to post a comment on is holding a personal grudge against me and refuses to accept my comment.  I don't claim to have IT answers for why it is sometimes difficult or impossible to get your comment to successfully post.  I know it's aggravating and annoying, but you CAN keep trying.

I find that with my own attempts, and my blog is with Blogspot, sometimes I have to click as many as three times on Post Comment for it to succeed.  It will tell me my attempt was not successful, please try another time.  I ignore that and click on Post Comment again, and again, and usually by the third click, it works and attaches my Healing Morning blog stamp to the comment. Other times, it will be really aggravating and "poof" my comment out of existence.  I've learned to take the precaution of copying my comment prior to clicking to post so that if it poofs, I can go back in and try one more time. 

My point here is that Posting Comments is a vital, important part of the blogging process.  It gives us all important feedback.  It lets us know that yes, we were successful in communicating our message and thought, or it lets us know that no, we weren't quite on the mark as sharply as we had intended.  Comments are the only way we're going to know these things, and they help us all to grow as writers, hone our skills and stretch our personal boundaries and horizons.  Plus, let's all be honest, it is just plain fun to know people liked your blog post enough to write a comment!!!  It tickles that secret place inside that we have that really, truly wants recognition for our writing efforts.

So, in closing, I encourage you all to embrace the practice of always, 100% of the time, posting a comment when you read someone's blog.  If you fail to post on their actual blog page after multiple tries, then go the next step of posting on their Facebook page where most of the time, you can access a link to their most recent blog post.  It is a small action, but huge in the impact it plays out for the blog author.

Dawn S.
Author, Healing Morning blog
Author, Authentic Blogger blog
Co-Creator, Authentic Blogger Group


Timberwolf123 said...

Thanks Dawn, I try to post a comment on every blog I read if I have something to say. I don't like to leave comments that say "good job" or "nice". I haven't decided yet is I want to know the stats on my blog. I was getting daily numbers on the other site I wrote on but the ups & downs of readers was hard so for now I'm just leaving it as not knowing =D



Healing Morning said...

Bill, you're wonderful with your dedication to not only reading individual blogs, but also with posting sincere comments. Thanks for adding that part - I forgot to write that very thing in the blog post that "nice" and "good job" aren't sufficient to qualify as comments!

I understand your feelings on getting stats. That's going to be a personal choice for each of us. I can promise you this, though, now that you're part of the AB community, you WILL gain followers and a good number of them WILL visit your site, read and, I hope, start posting comments!

~ Dawn

Sharon Cohen said...

Thanks Dawn for emphasizing and clearly defining the most important characteristic of any follower.

A follower provides feedback. For bloggers, the feedback is usually in comments. Sometimes, the feedback is in linking your readers to the blogger that you follow; a facebook link or a link in a blog you've written. The easiest feedback, by far, is the comment.

All that I need help with now is how to receive notification that my favorite bloggers have written a new post? (This social networking technology is not so easy as one ages.) Looking forward to a post on this elementary or beginner's concept.

Thanks for the StatCounter site. I was going to look for something like that this weekend. You did my work for me!

Thanks again - and you are apppreciated more than you know.

Healing Morning said...

Sharon, just below the Post A Comment box, at least on the Blogspot sites, there should be a button that says "Subscribe". Click on that and it will ask you where you want to receive follow up email alerts that someone else has posted a comment on the same thread. Pretty simple w/ Blogspot, but I'm not familiar w/ how it's done with other blogging formats like Word Press. Will let you know when I learn more on that.

And regarding your comment on the elementary/beginner's guide type thing - Marty and I are working on a simple How To for posting links to FB pages. We'll also incorporate other useful tips as we learn more. We'll be posting it as Note on the AB wall, so we can update it regularly.

Thanks for the kind words - Marty & I are working really hard on the AB community and it is NICE to know that our efforts are appreciated!!!

~ Dawn

Jane said...

Such important input for us new bloggers and those who have been around for awhile. I'm thrilled to see that you addressed the importance of posting comments. Thanks Danwnie. Jane

pr0udmom0f3 said...

I had installed the STAT COUNTER on all three of my blogs! Thanks so much for all of the advice. And I too agree, that a comment on our writings goes a long way. Especially by our avid followers.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Dawn! I am reposting this to my wall. I have been blessed with great people that comment (or try to) on my blog, and I can assure everyone, that it is the favorite part of my day when I read the comments! Love it!

Dagny Taggart said...

Oh you read my mind, Dawn, I have often wondered this myself and hoped that people would leave footprints of how they felt reading what they read....however, it rarely happens!!!

Great Post!!!

Jenn said...

100% agreed, Dawn. Commenting is important. Blogs aren't set up to be discussion forums, but a little conversation is better than nothing.

Chelsie Rose said...

Yes, I believe commenting is definitely a great way to connect, advertise to receive more followers and definitely to be inspired from. Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Also I think another thing is for people to comment on the actual blog post, not just on the links we put up throughout FB. If I wanted comments on FB then I would write it as a Note or something, you know? (maybe that's just my own issue lol).

Healing Morning said...

Wow, what wonderful comments!

Anahid, I mentioned posting on FB links as a last resort if you've tried posting on the actual blog page and met up with error messages and complete inability to get the comment accepted. I agree, posting on the actual blog page is ALWAYS first preference!

Dagny, I LOVED your "leaving footprints behind" comment!!! That was so beautifully lyrical that it just made me stop for a moment to appreciate the way the words flowed. It really is true what you're saying, those comments DO leave footprints behind for us. Just lovely!

Chelsie Rose, Melissa, Jane and Jenn, thanks for taking time to be authentic and post each of your wonderful comments.

Melissa, glad you like StatCounter - just wait until you get your first weekly report! It's so cool to see those results, and also to poke around on the other features. I'm still learning about that site.

Marty, thanks for re-posting the blog! That is always the highest form of flattery to me, when a fellow blogger re-posts one of my articles. You and I have discussed this topic endlessly, after all.

Everyone, Marty is the one to thank for StatCounter - he told me about it and also helped me with the setup to my Healing Morning blog. I can never recognize my partner - Marty - enough w/ all of the AB community!!

Thanks for all the positive, encouraging comment here!!!

~ Dawn

Richard said...

I hope your enthusiasm never fails. Without your influence, we will be deprived and probably fall ill or something like that. (Smile.) Yes, yes it is important to read and comment. Bringing us together is enough, by itself, to justify the Web. I think it's working pretty good nowadays. Besides research, shopping, etc. Similarly, we've got to listen to and talk to each other. Listen to hear. Talk with meaning. The stakes are quite high. So, we have to do these things. Unfortunately, we are not the ones who don't already know it. Okay, I'm going to go repost this. You are right again, about that.

KingsKid777 said...

I agree. I have been blogging since July, and well lets say that I think I only have 1 or 2 people who are frequent returners. I have some that check it out here and there, but most come read and leave.

I use Google Analytics to track my traffic. I find that it works great.

Healing Morning said...

Richard, thanks for the sincere comments and the droll delivery....that's among my favorite types of humor! I agree w/ you about the fellowship aspect of the internet. I was at a seminar last night and made the comment that the world is perhaps at its "smallest" in history, due to electronic communication. I can talk to someone 5 min's away, and just as easily chat with friends in Belarus, Indonesia, Chile...you get the gist here. It's fascinating & fun to connect w/ people I'd otherwise never get a chance to speak to in such an intimate fashion.

My enthusiasm is boundless, btw, when it comes to writing and the AB concept! Never fear...I shall be here tapping away at my keyboard for a long while to come. Marty & I are devoted to our AB peeps!

Thanks, btw, for the re-post! That just tickles the writer in me to endless degrees, that you liked the post enough to share it!

~ Dawn

Healing Morning said...

Kings Kid, thanks for the new info on another tracking device option! It never hurts to check other options out for that purpose. I'm glad you found the post to be of interest. Keep writing/blogging!!!

~ Dawn

Dave said...

I agree that comments are wonderful things, and I enjoy getting them on my blog (which is why I get annoyed when somebody tries to leave a comment and can't!)

One thing about Statcounter that I really like is that it shows the path of the visitor, so you can tell if they tried to leave a comment. That's how I've identified my two missing commenters (though one of them also commented on the FB Group page).

There are many times where I like what I read but I just don't have anything to say about it, and I'm not going to post a "great post!" or anything like that (unless I seriously think it was such a super post that I want them to know I thought so). So I don't leave comments as much as you're suggesting. But I do try to as much as possible.

Healing Morning said...

Dave, again, I have no idea why Posting Comments can get ornery on occasion. I just wait for a while, then come back later and keep trying. I don't comment on every single blog either - as I said in the blog post, there are only so many hours in the day! I do make an effort, as you do, to post comments when I read something that truly inspires and touches me. I think that's the key...just making a conscious effort to participate and interact w/ one another.

StatCounter has so many helpful features! I'm still in the learning process and loving all of it!

~ Dawn

Robin-Lynn Edgell said...

You are so right about posting comments. It is very important to let the author know that you like what you have read.

I think it's also important that, as an author, we make sure to comment back to those that leave comments. They want to know that we value their ideas and opinions. It isn't necessary to respond to every comment that is made, but it would be nice to put one up every 5 or six posts to let them know that you are reading. I noticed you did it here in this blog and I know that everyone that left a comment that you commented on is happy that you did! :)

Thanks for the information, it is very helpful!

Healing Morning said...

Robin-Lynn, I appreciate you appreciating us! Sounds redundant, but it's true! I do make an effort to keep up with the threads of discussion on each post. I may not be able to continue to reply to each individual post in the future as we get busier, but for now, I am trying to do that very thing. I am sincerely happy whenever anyone takes time to comment and I want to acknowledge that when I can. I'm also glad you're finding the info helpful.

Happy New Year!

~ Dawn