Blogging Etiquette — Comments

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Blogging-Etiquette-101

It is generally accepted that there is an unspoken mode of conduct within the blogging community that when a fellow blogger takes the time to read your blog and leave a comment that you do the same in return. Of course there some relatively big bloggers that are unable to do this do to the sheer amount of comments they receive, or they offer other services via their blogs and are to busy to do so. This is perfectly understandable and acceptable. Granted, you should not be reading blogs and leaving comments JUST for a comment back, however what about those small to mid level bloggers that not only do not comment back on the other bloggers blog…but they comment back on their own blog?

This is a trend I have been noticing quite a bit and I am not sure how I feel about it. It seems to me to be quiet self serving. By doing this you are:

1) Not bothering to visit and or read the other bloggers blog so you are essentially saying…thanks so much for liking my blog but I can’t be bothered with yours. It seems that the blogger is insinuating albeit subtly, that her blog is more prestigious then the blogger who is commenting on her blog.

2) When a fellow blogger comments back via their own blog (commenting on their own post) it alerts you via an email. So I am not sure about you, but between other comments, spam, and other legitimate email—that is a lot of email to go through, and it seems that this is just clogging up one’s email unnecessarily.

3) It falsely gives the impression that the blogger who is doing this has more engagement on their blog then they actually have. If the blogger in question is planning on working with brands, isn’t this a form of false advertising? Granted brands look at other stats besides comments but still, it seems a bit misleading. If you look quickly at a bloggers post and see that she has 70 comments when in actuality there are only 35 comments from visitors, if you are not paying attention it will register in your mind as 70 when it reality it is half that, so the stats then are misleading.

How do you feel about this? Some bloggers do both—they comment via their own blogs, and will read and comment back on the other bloggers blogs and in some cases the blogger is responding to a question. But I am sure we all know what I am talking about. Do think this is cheating? Do you think this is fair representation to potential advertisers? And how do you feel about bloggers who do this and are not bothering to visit their fellow bloggers blogs?

 

Image via this photographer you must check out his other photos.

XOXO
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38 Comments
  • Edita
    May 22, 2014

    What a great topic Ali 🙂
    I generally reply to comments via my blog because I am truly grateful that people take the time and look at my stuff & share their thoughts. When I share my thoughts on someone else’s blog, I also take time to sink into the content & reflect & share what I think with the author, aka you in this instance 🙂

    Also, I don’t think a number of comments is a statistic brands look at when looking for collabs – it is GPR, social media followers etc. I am yet to see a brand that looks at comment numbers to make decisions, so I don’t think it’s false advertising because it’s really just a forum, isn’t it 🙂

    Call me crazy, I often go back to posts where I left comments to see if the author replied on that thread & I often continue it too! :):)

    Maybe I am just overly social? 🙂
    Edita
    http://www.pret-a-reporter.co.uk

  • Rachelle
    May 22, 2014

    lol yea I’ve seen bloggers do that and it is kinda snobbish, but oh well :/ I think it’s important to respond to your comments/questions it shows the engagement that you have with your audience, but I don’t think it’s necessary to reply to every single comments.

    xo
    ​PinkSole​

  • Jackie Harrison
    May 22, 2014

    Wow doll this is deep but true I agree 100%. I believe a true blogger visit other bloggers without waiting for a comment first to me that is a true blogger that like her followers and respect their work. I visit so many and only a few of the one I visit, will visit me back I already know them by name not counting my new visitor. I always visit back hey I’m not the center of the universe and I’m to humble to think I’m better than others. In the same note there is so many blogger do not make an effort and is not right, I work have a maniac schedule and if I could make time they could make time. As per writing their own comment is a person that is vein cannot handle have her box empty need to act like he or she is important. Great post doll.
    http://tifi11.blogspot.com

  • Courtney
    May 22, 2014

    I do both. When I respond to comments on my own blog, it is no way an attempt to ‘pad’ my stats. I am simply noting my appreciation for their kind words. When I visit their blog I am giving feedback on their content. I had never thought about it from your perspective though. This should get an interesting dialogue started!

    Love&Clothing

  • Jane Y.
    May 22, 2014

    this is so interesting. i used to comment right back on my blog post and then stopped and then started up again just recently and i don’t do it to give a false impression. i have a couple of thoughts — i comment back on every single comment because i want to acknowledge in some way that i have read their comment. sometimes i wonder on other blogs why bloggers only comment back on some comments and not all. i also comment right on my blog so that others can see – especially if i’m responding to a question or a different opinion/view point. i figured that if the person asked the question in the comment that the person would come back and see (because that’s what i do when i ask a question – i go back and look at their answer). I only use email when it’s a prolonged conversation or when the question or comment is emailed to me directly and not in my comment section. and i agree about visiting bloggers who comment on your blog. i am always not great at this but i do try my best! great topic and thanks for always sparking interesting conversations!

  • daphne
    May 22, 2014

    Another great topic! I never commented on my own blog but then I was noticing that others were replying to my comments on theirs and I had to go back to their blog and read the reply if I had asked a question. Sooo then I started replying back to a few in my blog but I try my best to leave a worth while comment back to anyone who takes the time to read my blog, but I also totally understand not everything can have a reply back.
    I do enjoy/read your posts even though I don’t get a chance to comment:)

  • Shannon
    May 22, 2014

    Great post, Allie! There are a few blogs I follow that I comment on and they reply back via their blog…It really is annoying. Especially when you don’t even get an email! Oh well, what can ya do?!

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

  • Hélène
    May 22, 2014

    I totally agree with the first point: “thanks so much for liking my blog but I can’t be bothered with yours”, although i do get what some of the other commenters are saying about using that method to answer questions, versus going to visit the person’s blog to really sink into the content.

    One of the primary reasons why i don’t answer comments on my own blog is because i think it’s useless and a waste of time: i don’t think that people are going back to check on that post to see if i said thank you for visiting. Plus, I’d much rather go visit the other person’s blog to get a sense of who they are.

    That said, here is the biggest pet peeve i have: people who comment only to say “follow me and i’ll follow you back” – i can’t even begin to say how annoying this is. Like, you’re just fetching for followers and don’t really care, nor are reading the posts that you’re commenting on. That shit really grinds my gears.

    xx Hélène
    http://www.FashionOverReason.com

  • Griffin
    May 22, 2014

    I really appreciate this post, as a hobby/newer blogger I guess I never thought about commenting in this way. When someone comments on my blog I always respond on my blog because that’s where the conversation started. I always check out their blog and usually spend a significant amount of time browsing but don’t always leave a comment unless I think I have something that might be somewhat worthwhile to say. Considering all the blogs I follow and love I don’t leave many comments to show my support. While I don’t worry about stats as much, just for the sake of making connections and showing some love, making sure I comment on these blogs is something I will be doing from now on. Anyways, I always enjoy your commentary!

  • Erin
    May 22, 2014

    Haha! I just read this as I responded to your comment on my blog. Thank you though for commenting, I really enjoyed what you had said and had to say something back in regards to that 🙂

    However this post is legit. I see this stuff happening a lot. I mean I don’t mind when someone is responding, like you said, to really personal comments or questions, but ya, I’ve def seen the blog where you get the response, “thanks!” And that’s it. Anyways, nice post 😉

  • Rowena
    May 22, 2014

    I think it’s just generally polite to visit someone back when they take the time to leave a comment on your blog. I’ve been doing it since I started and hope to be able to continue. As for responding to comments/questions, I try to answer back on their blog rather than my own cause who has the time to circle back to someone’s previous post for an answer to something. I think doing it this way also helps you to build up a rapport with your fellow bloggers as well and creates a relationship that is more reciprocal as opposed to a more one sided one. In some cases I’ve also taken to email or twitter to continue a conversation with someone.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  • I try to do both, as well. I think it makes sense to respond to comments on your own blog – especially questions – since the conversation is related to that post and not everyone who leaves a comment necessarily has a blog. That said, I also try to pay attention to who is commenting, visit their blog if they have one and leave a comment about something they’ve posted. I also think that blogging is quite time-consuming in general, since if your blog doesn’t have a massive following chances are you’re also juggling a full-time job, family, etc., and try to be understanding that it can be hard to be a good commenter all the time.

  • Kathleen
    May 22, 2014

    This is a great post, very inspiring! True words too 🙂
    <3
    katsfashionfix.blogspot.com

  • Jenmarie
    May 22, 2014

    Funny. I was thinking of writing a post on commenting myself. This was a really good post and raises a lot of questions to ask oneself. One of the things I don’t like noticing is when someone comments on my blog ONLY if I comment on theirs first. I follow a decent portion of the people who comment on my blog and I’ll comment on their blog regardless if they’ve commented on mine. I follow them for a reason. I won’t comment on every post unless I feel there’s something I want to say, ask, congratulate etc. I could go on (hmm, maybe I SHOULD do my own post as well!) but I also want to answer one of your questions… I am kind of torn on bloggers replying on their own blogs. I definitely get what you’re saying as far as stats go and receiving many email notifications. I myself like to reply to them via Twitter if they asked something or every now and then just to let the reader know I see their comments and appreciate them. You know?

  • melissa
    May 22, 2014

    I think everyone should do what feels right to them, sometimes I reply on my own blog sometimes I go to someone’s blog. It just depends on the day or the moment. I am not to concern as in what other bloggers do or how they conduct themselves I just keep the focus on myself so there is not even a bother to me what others do or not.
    M

  • Shannon
    May 22, 2014

    This is an awesome post and so 100% on! I always make sure I visit the blog and comment back on the bloggers who take the time to visit mine and comment! I use to do both, respond and comment back, just strictly to answer questions and to thank them for stopping by or their kind words, but quit because I felt like no one saw it anyways since they don’t get an email! So I stared responding via email. Another thing I hate is generic copy and past comments! Cute outfit, visit my blog! Or nice dress, visit my blog! When I’m not even wearing a dress! Ugh haha!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeatsoles.blogspot.com

  • Angela
    May 22, 2014

    I usually add a reply on my blog so it’s the same thread and then head over to the person’s blog and comment on one of their recent posts. At the very least I do the latter, because I agree, it’s just the considerate thing to do–someone’s taking the time to read your posts, you should at least do it as a courtesy.

    I’m not bothered when other bloggers don’t always do this, but one thing I’ve noticed after years of blogging is that there are some blogs I’ve commented on time after time, because I really enjoy the content, and I’ve NEVER received a reply. It puts a bad taste in my mouth not because they don’t reply to every single comment and become my virtual bff (haha) but because that means there are that many people who are faithful readers to that site, and said blogger hasn’t even taken the time to get to know their readers. Recently I’ve unfollowed a few. It sounds selfish to unfollow people who don’t comment back, but I think it comes down to the fact that blogging is supposed to spark conversations and it should be a two way street.

    Whew, hope that made sense! I’ve wanted to write about this before but never had the courage, so I was glad to come across your post! Will be tuning in for more blogger etiquette 🙂

  • Akaleistar
    May 22, 2014

    Very interesting! I always appreciate it when people comment on my blog, so I try to do the same and comment on their blog. While I wish everyone returned blog comments, people have to stick with what works for them.

  • Cee
    May 23, 2014

    This is such a tough thing to get a handle on. Personally, I would love to return every comment I receive because I appreciate them so much. But between my day job, preparing content for my blog, working on my freelance writing projects and my book, this doesn’t always happen. That said, commenting within your own post feels odd, and the only time I would ever do it is if someone asked a specific question that I wanted to be absolutely sure I answered – I tend to be absentminded and might otherwise forget to respond!
    xox,
    Cee

  • Kim
    May 23, 2014

    Great topic!

    I am trying not to take it personally, and care less about comments and blog for myself. But to answer your question, I do get irritated when bloggers do not acknowledge or comment back but I’m starting to be more intentional with my comments not just to comment hoping that I’ll get a comment in return. 🙂
    as always awesome topic, and I appreciate you following my blog

  • Glamoury Armory
    May 23, 2014

    Great topic!! I follow many blogs and i like to comment on them, I would love for them to do the same in my blog, but there is nothing you can really do about, this is way i try not to comment just for the sake of it, if i really enjoy the post and it is inspiring (like yours) :D! i do leave a comment!. excellent post!.

  • Mary Jo
    May 23, 2014

    I enjoyed that you wrote about this. These days I fall into the category of being so overwhelmed with work that I don’t get back to everybody in a timely manner as much as I wished I could but I always try to get back. The commenting on one’s own blog thing is something I never have understood but I always chalk it up to people not understanding blogger etiquette. Hard to believe I’m going on 9 or 10 years now with my blog and I’ve seen a lot of blogs come and go – the ones who don’t give blogger love don’t usually last, lol. Hope you have a great weekend!

    xo Mary Jo

  • Sarah
    May 23, 2014

    Love this topic and how honest you are about it. I tend to leave replies to comments on my blog to let the person know that I saw and appreciate their comment, but then I always go to their blog and comment (lots of times I end up following their blogs!). I have seen lots of bloggers though who just reply to comments on their own blog and leave it at that.
    xx Sarah
    http://sarahkatestyle.com

  • I always respond to people that comment on my blog, unless it’s a generic comment. I know one blogger, that pretty much only comments on the comment you leave and doesn’t read your post. HAHAHA I guess it’s what you’re looking for. I try and develop friendships with other bloggers. I like visiting the same people everyday and meeting new ones. Some people like to pad their stats. Some are in it just for the business.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

  • Nicole
    May 25, 2014

    First off, I just want to say what an outstanding blog you have here! Seriously so much goodness happening! And as for the commenting thing…it’s pretty simple for me. If someone comes over for a visit I pop over to visit back. I think there has to be a bit of courtesy when it comes to this whole blogging thing. If you want to have dialogue with people it has to be an equal give and take. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and so lovely to meet you! Nicole

  • Alexandra M
    May 25, 2014

    I agree that it is so important that when a fellow blogger leaves you a comment, you check out their blog. Besides anything else, I like to discover new blogs and this is one of the ways in which I do so!

    I think that it’s ok to comment on your own posts in reply to comments, as it shows that you’ve taken the time to read it and acknowledge it, especially important if it included a question. I wasn’t sure about this but I think that it’s a nice thing to do nonetheless 🙂

    http://ablonde-moment.blogspot.co.uk/

    X

  • Rebecca
    May 25, 2014

    I have mixed emotions on this commenting issue. If a blogger comments on my site I always make sure to visit their site, it may take a bit but I always do! I am not a big fan of when I get an email response from a blogger when they reply to a comment that I left on their blog.

    Rebecca
    http://www.winnipegstyle.ca

  • Renfashionista
    May 25, 2014

    I have just started blogging few weeks ago so I cannot tell exactly how it works yet but so far I try to pay back comment for comment which I think is a nice thing to do.I also comment on those blogs whose owners haven’t left a single word on my blog yet but I simply like their posts and when I think its worth to leave a comment there,I do.I usually don’t comment on my own blog. Well,that how it is for me at the moment!I am too fresh of a blogger!:-)

    http://www.pursefixation.com
    Toast your Purse with an Outfit!

  • Melissa
    May 26, 2014

    I always respond to the people on my blog, unless they leave out a comment like “nice post” every single time. Other than that, I really like to discover new blogs out there, so I love to comment back

  • Merritt
    May 26, 2014

    Agree with you! I do try to comment back when other bloggers comment on my blog, but it doesn’t always happen when I’m busy or traveling. I’m pretty consistent with it though.

    The Style Scribe

  • samantha
    May 26, 2014

    you made some great points! I always make sure I return the favour of comments, if someone follows me, I follow back etc. I try to answer peoples questions over on their blog (when they leave me the link).

    http://www.fashionfixhunter.blogspot.co.uk

  • I find replying to comments a little tricky – when I first started blogging I replied to everyone on my blog because I thought that they were receiving a notification that I had responded so I thought it would be rude not to. Turns out comments don’t get a notification so now only respond about 50% of the time unless someone asks me a question in which case I’ll respond to them by email (if they don’t have a blog) otherwise they’d probably never see it. My usual method of responding to comments though is to return the favour….I got to my favorite blogs and comments and comment on their posts.

  • Haylee
    May 26, 2014

    Very good post and topic, don’t think I’ve seen one like it before! I reply to others on their blog, unless the reader does not have a blog or asks a very specific question that I think others may have too, then I reply back on my blog so others can see the answer too but also usually go reply on their blog as well so they see my answer. My biggest pet peeve is when people leave comments when they don’t relate to my post or blog at all and just say something like “nice blog” and then three sentences advertising their blogs -_- oh well lol.

    xo, Haylee
    http://www.dolledupdaily.com/

  • Stephanie
    May 26, 2014

    Your bring up an interesting point! I also find it odd when people don’t respond to their readers. After all, isn’t the point of having a blog to engage with others? I usually don’t reply directly on my blog because I find that most people don’t get notified that I’ve replied, so I tend to reply to questions directly on their blog.

  • am2pmchic
    May 27, 2014

    Oh wow really nice post.
    xoxo
    Christy

    http://www.am2pmchic.com/

  • Diva In Me
    May 29, 2014

    This is definitely a very interesting topic and I believe it’s necessary to be brought up to talk about. I realized many times when I commented on bloggers that uses Bloggers platform, my replied comments will not be prompted so I didn’t even know till I went back again to check if the bloggers responded. Only then I saw the replied comments. I find that pretty time consuming as I would need to remember to turn around and re-check for an answer. So what I do is that, for those who commented on my blog, I will read each and every comment, and return to the blogger’s blog to read and comment back. I think it’s the right thing to do. Unless, there’s a reply that goes “Nice blog! Would you like to follow each other?”, which I find it distinctively annoying. Before I started blogging, I’ve had bigger bloggers who gave me tips about being genuine when it comes to blogging. Follow blogs that you really love and those you find inspiring. So, if a blogger genuinely find my blog nice, I would really appreciate it if you follow me without an agenda. If I do like your blog, I would follow you back. No questions asked.
    As for Disqus users, I would be notified when my comments have been answered. So that makes it a little easier for me to follow through. Which I really appreciate it that even big bloggers take their time to reply my comments.

  • Jenn | LUMINNEJ
    May 31, 2014

    Such an interesting topic. I stumbled upon this blog via Diva In Me, since I am very new at my blog, I do reply to my comments via my blog post because I think it is courtesy to do so, and also shows that you acknowledge the other blogger who is willing to spend time to visit you and read your blog post and leave a comment. But I also make it a point to visit the blogger’s blog back and leave comments if I find any blog posts that truly interest me. That, I feel, is also a courtesy.

    Of course, if we are talking about those already established big bloggers, I don’t think they will even have time to reply each and every comment they receive. And I do have to agree with Diva In Me above, that if you find a blogger’s blog interesting, you should follow it without any agenda. Like wise, if I find a blog that really inspires me, I would follow them and even include them in my blogroll.

    In some ways, I also feel what Edita says is quite true, I don’t think potential advertisers look into comments that much as the benchmark, I may be wrong simply because I am still quite new.

    Whatever it is, blogging is supposed to be fun and it is about sharing your experiences and exchanging them with one another to be inspired to be better. That is how I feel and believe.

    Cheers!

  • Gabrielle
    June 1, 2014

    This is a very interesting topic for discussion, for sure! Personally, I leave comments on any post on any blogger that has captured my attention, however I always comment back whoever has commented me, too. I’m not sure if I am the nor or the exception, but I also reply to comment directly ON my blog.. my reasoning is to keep track of who I have responded to so far, to be polite and also to answer any questions immediately, without me dropping a comment on their blog answering something they’ve said and being met with total confusion haha! I get your reasoning, but I believe that it depends entirely on whether it is INSTEAD of repling on the people’s blogs, or AS WELL as 🙂

    http://findmethoseheels.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

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