Bloggers – Do you reply to every blog comment that is left on your site? Given some pretty tough work weeks and time constraints, I’ve been asking myself that question lately as I try to optimize the time spent on this blog.
Like many newer bloggers, I’ve felt compelled to respond to each and every blog comment left on my site out of respect and appreciation for the time spent visiting my site. But sometimes when its 11 PM at night and I’m just now getting around to logging onto my site for the first time, it can be extremely difficult.
Plus as my blog grows, comment volume increases, and other activities take priority, I question whether replying to each and every comment is really value-added or even necessary.
Let me start off by saying that I really appreciate the feedback that people leave on my posts. Though we’ve had some negative comments over the year, the positive responses far outweigh them. More importantly, I’ve learned quite a bit from all your tips and suggestions – perhaps more than I would have simply on my own.
However, the big constraint here is “time”. I started my blog as something to do in my spare time, not to create a second full time job. Like many of you, I already have a full time job plus a family which is the most important thing in the world to me. So with that, let’s just all agree that we all have a certain finite amount of time we can spend on blogging each week.
How Will You Spend Your Time?
So if your time is finite, how would you order this list of activities to get the most bang for your buck?
1. Writing great posts for your own blog. This includes idea generation, keyword research, fact research, and proofreading.
2. Writing great posts for other blogs for guest posting. Guest posting can create strong relationships with other bloggers as well as build some good natural links for PageRank.
3. Advertising. If you monetize your blog, this activity includes responding to advertiser emails, working out deals, researching affiliate products, planning ad placement, and following up on payments.
4. Commenting on other blogs. Everyone loves to get comments on their blog. A big reaction is often how people measure the popularity of their best articles. So by commenting on other blogs, you’re reaching out to others and letting them know they’ve done good work. Although there is almost no link building value in terms of PageRank, you could still potentially build some good relationships with other bloggers which will serve for strong link placement in other ways.
5. Replying to comments on your own blog. This allows you to start conversations and show your appreciation with people who have spent the time to leave you a message – which in turn can help you build community and good relationships.
While all of those activities are good, I would personally have to rank Number 5 in last place. Even though it is important to respond and interact with comments, there are some obvious quality, link, and monetary value with the other activities.
Plus, I personally have a hard time remembering to follow up on all the comments I leave on other blogs. Therefore, if I rarely follow up on most of the comments I leave, why should I assume that other people aren’t doing the same? Do most people even read the responses I type to their comments, or could all that time be better spent?
Do the Big Boys Reply to Every Blog Comment?
Like many questions I have, I decided to take a somewhat scientific approach to solving this question. My setup was to randomly survey some of the most personal finance popular blogs (greater than a Google PageRank of 4) and see how they handle this issue.
Here are the findings:
Results: So it appears as though the way the popular blogs handle this topic is to have little to few replies on the comments that the readers leave.
It’s All a Matter of Preference:
No matter what the Big Boys do, the bottom line is that how you handle your blog is completely up to your preference.
Since my blog is still growing, I will continue to reply and interact with other bloggers as much as possible. But given the time constraints, my priority will flow like this:
1. Write good quality posts for my blog and other blogs
3. Post comments on other blogs
4. Reply to comments on my own blog
Readers – How do you handle this situation? Given the choice, would you rather leave comments on other sites or reply to all the comments on your own site?
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