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Should I reply to every blog comment?

Feb10

Written by:
2010/02/10 08:12 AM RssIcon

comments The debate in the blogosphere for sometime now is this notion or idea that we as bloggers should make an effort to reply to every comment we receive on our blogs. Is this true? Should we make this effort? Is it even practical? What’s the lowdown.

Why reply?

Most bloggers rarely pay attention to blog comments because they are just part of the blogs that are there all the time. For them, comments are just features. Others hate comments with a passion because of the amount of blog comment spam they receive on a regular basis.

Why should you pay attention to comments when there are so many other things to do, like writing content, promotion and marketing.

Well, its all in the detail. Replying to comments show that you pay attention to detail. For me it’s a lot easier to just post articles than comment

Replying to posts shows you care. Getting involved builds up your community. It encourages those who leave comments to come back and comment again.

Be sure of your goals.

What’s the purpose of your blog. Is it just to get a message out. Is it a glorified web add? Do you actually expect comments? If this is your blog and goal, then replying to comments is not an issue.

But if your goal for your blog is to build a community. If you want people to be loyal and supportive, then you had better build that up in your replies.

Two different types of blogs

The answer is perhaps not as simple as one would like. There are two type of blogs when it comes to replying to blog comments. Those who receive few comments, and those who receive hundreds of comments a day.

Having a strategy for replying to comments defiantly dependent on the type of blog you have with the amount of comments you receive.

The short answer is Yes.

That’s my take on the matter. What ever the size of your blog, if you want engagement, and you want to build and keep a community then you have to reply. You have to have a strategy.

No matter the size of your blog replying to comments is integral in building your blog. Even if you have hundreds of comments a day. Keeping those readers loyal means that you have to show some commitment to them.

But I do understand that is is often very difficult to reply to every comment. I am not suggesting that you do that.

Here are some pro’s and cons to replying to as many comments as you can.

Pros

  • Build a community.
  • Shows care and interest.
  • Shows appreciation for your comments
  • Shows that you have paid attention to your commenter and that you are interested in the detail.

Cons

  • Takes a lot of time.
  • Sometimes it is not practical
  • Not every comment needs or deserves a reply
  • There is always something seemingly more important to do

The practicality.

With smaller blogs it becomes a lot easier to reply to comments. The difficulty is when your blog gets hundreds of comments a day. Sometimes there are practical reasons not to reply to every single comment.

Time constraints is a huge factor. Bloggers are just so busy that comments are very low on the agenda.

The question that needs to be asked is will my blog benefit from all the replies? The quick answer is only you can tell that. Its your blog.

But the answer still remains yes. You have to adapt. You have to build up a comment reply strategy. It might not involve replying to every comment. This is not practical. But it should involve some form of interaction.

It’s your job.

If you have a huge and famous blog. Chances are that you are a professional blogger. This means that it is your job. Not replying to comments means that you have failed in you job description.

If you were at a call centre and you did not reply to every call that came in, then you have failed in your job. Similar to a blog. Listen, the fact of the matter is that it’s your bed. You made it, now lay in it. Don't come up with all sorts of excuses. Rather find innovative ways to address the problem

If you are a full time blogger, and you do not have time to reply to comments, then hire someone who can. Hire someone who can screen the comments and pass on the more important one to you and they can deal with the rest.

My point is. It’s your job do it properly.

If you are not a full time blogger, and only have a few comments in comparison, then it is still your job.

Important Note: I do not expect or promote that one needs to reply to every comment. But we as bloggers should have the attitude that we are going to reply as much as we can to as many as practically possible

Conclusion.

Yes it is a touchy subject. Especially if you do not reply to as many comments as you should. But then who said life was fair. This is just my take on the matter. Granted I have no practical experience in large amounts of comments. But I do have client relationship experience. It is my experience that if you do not treat your customers right they will leave and go to the next guy who treats them with respect and gives them the time of day.

What are your thoughts?

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