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(If you recall, a fine line post is something that Val @ The Innocent Smiley– who, today is my graphic twinsie, because out of alll the designs on Canva, we somehow picked the same template, Holly @ The Fox’s Hideaway, Amber @ YA Indulgences, and I came up with to talk about things that might not be popular, but are worth discussing.)


Hello, my darlings. You all know that I adore you, right? I sure hope you do. Can I tell you what one of my absolute favorites things to see when I wake up is? It’s an email with all the amazing thoughts you guys have left for me! It seriously makes my day! And then, I get emails from your blogs, or click on your links, and I read your things, and I cannot wait to share my thoughts for you on your amazing posts!

But then. Then some kid is throwing a fit (it’s my child, not like, a random street child), or someone has an appointment, and I am basically held captive for a long time. So I come back, and I eagerly start commenting, because quite frankly, I like to! I mean, you have seen my novella comments- I am not phoning it in 🙂 And as I was replying to some particularly fun comments on my 5th Wave movie post, I noticed the date of the post. A full week ago. oh-crap

But I keep going. I asked a few other bloggers how much time they spent returning comments and commenting back. The responses varied a lot, anywhere from an hour or two a week to “I lost count” (fine, fine, that one is just me).

And I have felt bad for not being able to comment and respond as much as I want. So bad. I kept apologizing about it in my weekly recap- then I even cut out the weekly recap hoping to have more time. (For the record, it hasn’t really worked, but that’s another issue entirely.) Anyway, while I was literally losing sleep over this, I read a post that Tonyalee @ Lilybloombooks wrote. She addressed the whole “commenting back” movement, and in doing so, a lot of the concerns I had. I kind of felt better reading through the comments, knowing that I wasn’t alone in worrying about this.giphy (24)

And yet… that nagging feeling of inadequacy never went away. Every few weeks I’d see a post pop up about blogging tips, or best practices, or what have you, and they’d all talk about how a blogger must comment/reply. Some even said they wouldn’t visit a blog that appeared to have not responded to a post.

And that seems plain unfair.

You know, the thing about blogging that I think we all forget (I know I am definitely guilty!) from time to time is that it really isn’t any of our livelihoods. And even if by chance it is yours (and seriously, I am applauding and want tips ASAP!), it isn’t ever that serious. No one is ever going to list “lack of comments back” as a cause of death. And I will stand by this statement: You never know what is going on in someone else’s life. It’s a slippery slope to condemn someone based on a few missed comments.

That isn’t to say it’s cool for people to just ignore each other.

I mean, technically, if you really want to, have at it? Ignore away? But that isn’t really going to foster discussion, and I write this stuff hoping to be able to chat with others about it, to see everyone’s viewpoints. This is a very social thing for me, and I do intend for it to stay that way. I don’t want to shout into the void- I want to talk to this community! But again, that is certainly a person’s prerogative- and a commenter’s prerogative to not bother anymore. 

So… what are you even saying?

I’m saying that I don’t think commenting needs to be an “all or nothing” approach. I do not keep a tally chart to keep tabs on when people comment on my blog, or when I comment on others. I try to make my rounds. I try to respond, even though I am usually behind a few days weeks. And I hope that we can appreciate that more than likely, most of us are trying. Trying really hard. I know that the bloggers I have spoken with genuinely enjoy commenting. I know I do. I also know that sometimes you just can’t help when life gets in the way.

Let’s take a poll!

We all want to know what our friends think, right? Let’s find out! 

So, what say you? Opinions? Thoughts? Have you ever felt like you’re kind of drowning, but want to stay afloat?

Posted March 3, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 120 Comments


120 responses to “Commenting: Nice or Necessary?

  1. Kind of weird that I’m leaving a comment about getting comments… Anyways! I honestly love getting comments and I love sharing that feeling with someone else when I comment on their blog. Even if they don’t respond, I’ll more than likely go back as long as the content is superb. I don’t like doing comment for comment because that’s not the point of commenting; the point is to share your thoughts on their post, regardless on if they respond. It’d be nice if they did but I’m not keeping track and I don’t think people should either. If you do reply, then you do. If you don’t, no biggie. You haven’t lost my follow. As a blogger, I try to reply to their comment on my post as much as I can. I will admit that sometimes I skip the novel comments, momentarily. However, I find that I don’t have enough time to comment on their blog. Yet, I still sometimes use their comments to find new blogs. For example, the more you comment on my blog, the more notifications I’ll get about you, the more times I’ll see your name, and the more interest I’ll have in you. Sorry for the novel-comment!

    • Pshh girl, I am the queen of novel comments, you never have to apologize for those 😉 And I agree with you completely- comment for comment is silly, if you really think about it, because people don’t even post at the same rate- nor is everyone going to be interested in EVERY post. SO many reasons really. (Also- I am, in my head, picturing someone sitting at a desk with this MASSIVE list of blogs and checklists for comments bwhahah)

      I read all the comments too, because sometimes I AM able to read them, on my phone, since they come to my email. But it is REALLY time consuming to respond on my phone, so sometimes it ends up having to wait.

      And I LOVE your point about the more you see someone around, the more likely you’ll be to comment, because it’s just plain true.The person will be in your mind! And I try SOOOO hard not to let someone comment more than twice without a return visit- doesn’t always happen, but I do try. And I think that’s really the key- just being there, talking to people, being friendly- it doesn’t have to be some kind of big “thing”, we should all just support each other!

  2. I try my best to reply to comments on my blog. It’s really nice for them to commented in the first place and respond to my post, and I would really like to talk or respond or just say thank you for it. And I do always try to comment back on their blog because I know how their comments brigthen up my day, and I’d love to do the same thing for them<3 As for other bloggers replying or commenting back on my blog, well I don't really care… Not in a bad way. Like sometimes I checked back to see their replies in my comments, but if they don't reply or comment back, it's totally fine! I commented because I like the post, the design, or just want to voice my opinion. Or maybe because I just want to talk and socialize. I mean, that's the whole point of commenting right? Socialize, making friends, spread happiness. For me, if you reply to my comments or comment back on my blog, I'm really grateful! But if you don't, then it's totally fine! I like your blog, of course I still going to visit your blog! It's okay because everyone has their own lives, not only their blog<33

    • I totally agree! I comment because I genuinely want to, and it is fun for me! At the same time, I also want to acknowledge that people are stopping by- because I really am SO grateful, and want them to know that their kindness doesn’t go unnoticed. And really, 99% of the people who comment on my blog have similar likes and such, so I DO like their blogs and want to comment.

      It’s hard sometimes, I will admit. I guess it’s like, no matter how much I WANT to comment, there will be times when I can’t, and I have to come to terms with that myself. I keep trying, but I do struggle a lot. I really appreciate your input AND your kind words ♥♥♥

  3. Fun poll! I wanted more questions to answer LOL. Okay seriously though, this is an interesting topic. I generally try to visit back every blog that comments on mine, and I try to answer all comments (although I haven’t been so good at this lately). I think it’s important because I figure if someone is nice enough to read my crap and leave a comment the least I can do is reply! And comments are nice- love em like most bloggers. So even though I do try to revisit anyone who comments to me, I don’t think it’s essential to do comment for comment. I’d like people t comment if they like my post or have something to say, not feel like they need to because I was on their blog that day.

    • Thanks! I LOVE clicking on things too! I am glad that you enjoy it too, I shall make more of them! 😀

      And YES! That is how I feel too- I never want anyone to feel some kind of obligation. But I DO love comments- as we all do, I think because we know we aren’t just typing into the void? At least, that’s how I feel! I do try to respond to comments but, as you probably know, it sometimes takes me a kind of ridiculous amount of time 😉

  4. I’m not going to lie: it’s always fun to see a comment on a blog post. It always makes me happy. I know that not every reader comments, but I feel like if someone comments they do so because my post inspired them to. I have learned to stop relying on comments as a determinant of my posts. I used to think that if no one commented, the post must not be good, or no one had read it. But that’s not true. While I do read many blogs, I certainly don’t comment on everything I read, because I may not always have something exciting or interesting to reply. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy or read the post.

    Sometimes, I am so behind on reading blogs that I will comment on a week-2 week old post. Oops. But that shouldn’t matter, should it? No matter when you get to it, that still says that someone read and enjoyed this post enough to comment on it. As for commenting back, I sometimes do. Not always. I will usually visit the blog back, but I don’t always comment. Especially with Top Ten Tuesdays. I’ll probably read their post, but I may not always have something interesting to add, you know? I’m a firm believer in commenting only when you have something to add. That’s why I like that with WordPress, you can like a post. Because then I can show that I did read it and liked it, even though I have nothing useful to comment…

    I do try to reply or like each comment I get, because I feel like that’s just common courtesy? But it sometimes takes me a few days to do so! I may not always have the time to reply immediately.

    I think you shouldn’t worry about this too much. It sometimes takes me a while to either reply to a comment, or leave a comment on a blog post. But that shouldn’t matter! The point is that you did read the comment or blog. Like you said, you never know what’s going on in someone’s life.

    • That is SUCH a good point about comments, and them not determining the worth of your posts. I read TONS of posts, and some I just think “wow, that was a good post” but don’t have anything specific to add. So yeah, I appreciated the post, will definitely visit the blog again, but didn’t comment. I like your thinking!

      And YESSS! I so agree about the two-week old post thing! I want to be able to do that! Because sometimes I am just behind, or sometimes I will see a link to a post on someone else’s blog, whatever, and I want to comment! So I do- but I also don’t usually expect any response because the blog owner probably isn’t still even checking it for comments (unless they’re emailed, which mine are, otherwise I would NEVER remember!)

      I like the WP.com “like” thing too. I have never used it much, just because I had Blogger and then self hosted WP, but it really seems like a great option!

      And thank you, I really appreciate that! I struggle with it a lot, because I DO think it’s common courtesy on one hand, but on the other, I can’t keep functioning on no sleep, so it’s been a huge challenge for me to try to find the middle ground. Thank you so much for the very thoughtful response! I love to know what everyone thinks about these things ♥

  5. Great poll!

    I try to comment on other blogs, but sometimes there’s no need – depends on a post. I do like the option to ‘like’ a post on wordpress, and I use it to show my appreciation. (Pehaps that is lazy, but I think a good indicator that you’ve written something people like is the number of hits you get. ‘Likes’ are an upgrade to that, and comments the absolute pinnacle.)

    I always reply to comments I get on my blog (since there are so few of them and it’s always a novel thing for me), but I can easily understand the volume of replies can turn unmanageable with higher traffic. It’s nice to get a reply though so I try to do my best. It doesn’t matter if comments and replies are a bit late – it’s always nice to get them. 😀

    • Aw thank you! I agree, sometimes a post doesn’t really require a comment- and sometimes a comment doesn’t require a reply! Someone else mentioned the WP “like” thing, and it is pretty handy, at least to acknowledge that the comment has been received and read. (Kind of wish I had this feature, honestly!)

      And I am very glad that you do not mind lateness- it makes me feel better about being SO far behind 😉

  6. This is SUCH a fabulous post. I’m terribly behind on replying to comments right now, but I am somewhat on top of comment backs. I feel like commenting back is an important policy to ME personally because I do want to thank everyone who’s taken the time to comment in some way, but that’s just MY take on it. I definitely don’t expect a comment back for every comment I leave. That said, I feel like mutual commenting is one of the best ways to build a relationship in the blookunity? So I’d say it definitely HELPS because being nice always helps, right?

    • I try to comment back ALL the time- I definitely place that higher than replying in my hierarchy, unless it’s a comment that definitely requires a response. I also am the same way- I WANT to acknowledge the people who are kind enough to leave a comment. I just wish I had the time to do it! And like- it’s not a case of “I should comment, but I’ll watch Netflix instead”, it’s like “welp, I’ve been at it for hours, and it’s 3am, and i should probably sleep” hahaha. But it makes me sad, because you’re so right- at least 95% of the friendships I made started out through comments, and I never want to lose that! The struggle. Someday, I will have lots of time, and I will make up for my lost commenting 😉

  7. I love commenting on other people’s post, and personally it doesn’t bother me if the blogger doesn’t reply for ages, or even at all, unless (and this happened once) the blogger has replied to all of the other comments and seemingly ignored mine (and to be fair they could just have missed it!).
    I do try my best to always reply to my own blog comments, and I usually get to them eventually, but sometimes it takes me so long that I worry that the person who commented will think that I’ve just ignored them. At the moment I have no Wi-Fi, so i can only really reply on my phone (which isn’t ideal) or when I go round to my parents, so it does take me while to get to them!

    • That would be really weird to reply to ALL the other comments- though once I did notice that I somehow had replied to all the top comments, all the bottom comments, and left out about five in the middle- completely accidentally. That’s what happens when I try to reply from my phone!

      And YES! That is my exact concern, as you may be able to tell from me responding to your comment almost a week later 😉 I read them as they come in, via my email, but I don’t get to respond right away- and when I DO, I leave entirely too long of responses, but that is because I like to actually take the time to TALK to the people.

      No Wi-Fi would be an actual nightmare. I am BAD at the phone thing (and I don’t have unlimited data, so that would be too hard!). I really hope you get some Wi-Fi as soon as you can, just for your own sanity!

  8. ooh, what an interesting topic. XD Tbh, comments are really important to me and I’m a 100% supporter of returning-blog-comments. I feel like blogging can easily be a person just stating their opinions with no concern for anyone else if you don’t have that connection of commenting/discussion/community? I mean it’s NOT a community if no one talks to each other, right? Buuuut, it definitely depends on what you want to achieve. XD
    ALL THAT SAYING: I don’t think we should be ripping our hair out over it though! (Okay, I’m totally telling myself this too…) I have the tendency to stress over comments. Like. Literally right now. XDI planned to have a full night of comment-answering-and-blog-hopping and we had like a 2hr black out. BUT THERE’S ALWAYS TOMORROW.
    So yuuuuus. I do think commenting is decidedly important. i do think it’s nice. I don’t think we should stress. XD

    • Thank you dear! They are important to me too, honestly. Like, if I check my email when one of my small humans wakes me at an inappropriately early hour, and see no comments… I get a pretty big case of the sads. And I LOOOOOVE talking to people. SO MUCH.

      I feel like you can relate to the struggle. I mean, you have more comments, of course, but you’ve spawned fewer humans, so it’s a wash 😉 I stress SO. MUCH. Because I know that you are like me in the sense that it is VERY important for you to interact with your readers. And it is just SO important for me. I try to make this a friendly, interactive kind of place- so if I DON’T interact, that is just… weird. But I am also losing my mind. So I need to find some way to make this work. I keep trying to pay Amber to be my secretary and type out the comments I want to write as I think them, but she keeps declining… :/

  9. When I started blogging, I had blogger. Unless you check the box to be notified, I wouldn’t never see responses to anything I comment on blogger blogs and vice versa. I switched to a different comment system just so I could respond and know they’d get the email.

    This is one of the reasons I like WordPress so much. More people are on it and we can respond and like and have a conversation and know we are getting notifications. But if it’s not a WordPress blog, sometimes I just won’t respond. Who knows if I’m talking to dead air?

    That’s my biggest issue with blogging. I can have full conversations on other social media but blogging is flawed with our comment system.

    And even with notifications and blogs that allow you to leave an email for notifications… I don’t always get notifications.

    • Just an FYI: I use Blogger and I added Disqus for my commenting system-I receive email notification every time someone leaves a comment on my blog, and they automatically receive an email every time I respond to their comment 🙂 This has allowed commenting chains as we go back and forth, lots of fun!

    • I had the same problem with Blogger. And the kicker is, I tried to install IntenseDebate, and it kept eating my comments! 😂 So I agree with you 100%, WP is soooo much better.

      Oh wow that is weird that you don’t get the notifications! I HAVE had some go into spam, which I don’t understand- why would SOME blogs go to spam, but not others? I do agree with you that it’s a bit of a downside, but I think that social media is kind of a supplement, or a backup of sorts, so it kind of works (usually hahah).

  10. I’m doing this blogging thing 99% for the commenting interaction. I do respond to every comment left on my blog and I also visit/comment on their blogs every time as well. But, it may take me a few days to do this and that’s ok (I usually have a 24-48 hour turnaround on responding, since I usually only do blogging stuff early morning). Since commenting is so important to me, I’ve recently revamped my blog to make it work better time-wise. I now only post 3-5 times a month. Not posting as much frees up time, so I can focus on responding to comments and visiting other blogs. But, others have different blogging priorities and goals, and you just need to do what works best for you without feeling guilty!

    • I know what you mean about not posting as much, I have tried that, but I seem to have SO many commitments/review books/etc that I end up not really having a choice. But I am working on it 😉 It is absolutely a priority for me too, I LOVE talking and interacting with everyone. Like you said, it’s the main reason I do it! i know I should probably cut myself some slack but… it’s a struggle 😀 I am so glad you found a way that works for you though! That is fabulous!

  11. Love this post so much. I try and respond to every comment I get. It takes so much time and I get behind but I feel it is important. I also try and comment on every blog that visits and comments on mine. I do miss one sometimes because you know I’m human. I don’t care if a blog comments on my posts all the time or not if I comment on theirs. I do kind of get annoyed if I never see them comment back. I mean I shouldn’t care and they don’t have to at all. I will probably visit that blog less or maybe just not comment as often. And it isn’t to be petty it is more that I like the interaction part of blogging a lot and feel like I missing that with other blogs who don’t reply or comment back. Still everyone has to do what they have to do and this is just for fun right??? My thing is I will take some time off if I get really behind or overwhelmed – with commenting an blogging in general. That always helps me. Great post!!

    • Aw thanks! And I know what you mean- it takes SO much time. It is super important to me too- but I KNOW I miss them all the time, which makes me mad at myself. The thing is, I don’t hold anyone else to these ridiculous standards! Like you said, if someone is NEVER talking to anyone, replying to anything, etc, that’s a turn off. But if you can tell someone’s trying? I think that’s definitely good enougH!

      Taking time off IS a good idea- I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it! BUT unlike last year where I scheduled posts during BEA (seriously, WHY?) I am definitely taking a whole week off. And trying to catch up before I go!

  12. One of my goals for 2016 was to visit blogs and comment more. So far, I’ve been doing wonderfully. I sign into Bloglovin every morning and night and go through my feed. I don’t read every post, I read the ones that interest me, and I try to always comment. For reviews, I don’t usually swing back to check for responses, unless I asked a specific question about the book/reading experience. To me, comments back are more important on discussion posts where it’s fun to keep the conversation going.

    On my blog, I try to respond to every comment. Even if it’s just to say thanks for stopping by. If the commenter returns, I want them to know that I took the time to read their comment and reply. But that’s just my personal preference. I will also follow the link to their blog and comment on their posts, make sure I follow them on bloglovin’ if applicable, and if I like their tweets – I’ll follow on Twitter. This is my attempt to make long lasting blogger/reader relationships. So far, I don’t often see the follow back, but I continue to follow because the content is interesting for me to read.

    This was such a great post. Thanks for sharing your personal and emotional thoughts about commenting. Don’t stress yourself out, just do what you can do. Have a wonderful day!

    • Aww, that is awesome! I do agree about your thoughts on discussion comment responses being most important (hence me replying to like, a few a day for the ten days bwhaha)

      I ALWAYS try to visit their blog, and if I see a blogger following me I do try to follow back too- though I admit, notifications can get lost in the shuffle from time to time. A few weeks ago actually, I realized that I wasn’t following one of my best blogging friends on Bloglovin! Like, HOW did that escape me!? I visit all the time, talk to her all the time, and somehow, I wasn’t following that way!

      And THANK YOU! That was really sweet of you, and it helps to know that you guys understand the struggle- and how much I DO want to comment! ♥

  13. It always makes me smile whenever I check my email and get email notifications about new post comments on my blog! The thought of someone bothering to share their opinion about my post makes me smile a lot – which is exactly why I comment on others’ posts as well. I do feel a bit bad when I reply late on comments on my blog though, especially since I love replying to them. 🙁 Great post!

    • I totally agree with you! I LOOOOVE that feeling! And if I can make someone else feel happy too? Then yes please! Which is what is so great about this community- it isn’t a big competition, almost everyone genuinely wants to chat and have fun! And thanks 😀

  14. I try to comment back on most everything, or at least within my own blog. I don’t always go and then comment on that person’s blog unless they’ve left me a link. Part of that is like you mentioned, time. There is only so much in the day. And the bigger my blog gets follower-wise, the less time I seem to have to comment back to everyone. Also, I still have a Blogger site, so unlike your lovely comment boxes, there isn’t an automatic link back to a post. So if I had this, I think I might get stressed about commenting back. But I love your blog, and I love when you can comment back, but if you can’t, then I have never thought it was bad. I just figured you were busy, you do have a very popular blog!

    Great post! Thanks for discussing this, and helping me see that it isn’t just me feeling stressed about commenting sometimes!

    • I try too, but… well you know how well I am doing 🙁 I feel you with the link though. I hated that when I had Blogger, because half the time, I couldn’t FIND the blogger! Now everyone can easily leave a link so it’s much better. I used to leave my link on Blogger, but then I just changed my name and figured if they didn’t feel like looking, that was fine, and they could save some time! Is that weird? It might be hahah.

      And THANK YOU for the sweet words! It’s hard to juggle the kids and the blog- mostly because I am alone with them ALL day- about 12 hours- and since they’re still so young, there isn’t much chance to get stuff done. And my 4 year old decided she is done napping, but NOT done driving me batty 😉

      I am glad I could help you feel less alone too- and you made ME feel less alone, so that is a win for us both!

  15. I love this post!! Commenting back is always hard for me because I work such long hours that on those days, I usually come home, take a shower and go to bed and then on my days off, I try to make rounds and visit blogs, but I also have to use that time to come up with blog posts, read, take care of the kids, finish housework, get my weekly shopping done, pay bills, and the list goes on and on. So, it’s really hard for me to try to divide my time so I stopped trying to reply to every comment on my blog, unless of course it requires one ( a question being asked, etc), but I still try to make the blog rounds when I get a second and comment on blogs. I feel like people would like that better? Like, instead of replying to their comments on my blog, instead I go and comment on theirs? I don’t know. I just know that I can’t do it all so I try to do what I can, when I can and just hope it’s enough.

    Great post, Shannon!

    • Aw thank you! I have the same issues, except it’s taking care of small humans for 12 hours straight. It’s so hard to divide the time, it really is. Some posts I have stopped replying to comments unless it requires one, for a TTT or a recap post or something. But I do try (and usually fail) at discussions and reviews and such.

      And really, all we can do is try our best. We put more pressure on ourselves than any outside force, and while I know this, I can’t help myself from worrying either!

  16. OMG. I did a post kind of like this a few weeks ago because I felt like it needed to be addressed too. I love receiving comments almost as much as I love going to blogs and commenting, but I find that I can’t return all of them. Yeah… I really do try to return all of them, but because I reply to all of them on my blog, sometimes returning the comment gets put on the back burner. I have a good idea of the people who regularly comment on my blog, so I’ll hit them up with a few comments when I blog hop, but I’m not going to return every single comment. If I see that someone leaves a meaningful comment, I’ll do the same, but there’s no way that I’m going to comment back on the one word ones, you know?

    • Ugh, SAME, it is so hard! Did I read your post? Off to check… OOHHH yes, I did! I remember it now! It was after you posted this that I saw someone post some really snarky stuff about bloggers not commenting back, and I was filled with rage- as you can imagine. Because it is impossible if you have like, any kind of responsibilities. Like calling your boss and being like “sorry, cant come in today, behind on blog comments!” or “sorry kids, no dinner tonight, Mommy hasn’t replied yet!”

      And girl, I NEVER bother with the one words. No time for that!

  17. This is a great post, Shannon, and you articulated every thought I have on the topic here!
    I think comments/commenting back is an essential part of blogging. It’s what helped me make friends with bloggers and also help my own audience.

    I try to go on commenting sprees daily and it takes me about 1-2 hours a day because it’s something that I personally enjoy doing. Also, I love getting comments too and it makes me feel like my post is being read or worth being read. And I want to make others feel the same way too.

    That being said, there are days when I just don’t feel the motivation to comment. So I will read the posts, but not comment and I don’t think that’s the end of the world. Life happens as you said and you never know what can pop up!

    About commenting back, I make an effort to go back and comment on those who take their time to leave a thoughtful comment on my blog, but it doesn’t always happen. I do feel bad sometimes, but eventually I do try to make an effort to comment back. I don’t think it’s necessary though. When I comment on a blog, I don’t do it with the expectation of a comment on my own blog.

    BUT, if a blogger NEVER responds, whether its on their own blog or commenting back, then I’m going to take it as a “I’m not really interested in your comments”. And the likelihood of me going back to the blog is pretty much non existent. It might make me a little bit terrible for thinking that way, but that’s how I roll. I feel like an acknowledgement that my comments are appreciated or being read is important to me, personally. I’ve seen a few bloggers complain about the bloggers commenting back campaign. And these same bloggers have also whined about how no one comments on their posts anymore. I don’t really get how you expect to get lots of comments without you interacting and in a way sharing your links over the blogosphere. And it’s stupid that they feel the need to shit on those who do participate in commenting back. It might not be for you, but it’s working for others! ^^

    Anyways, fab post, Shannon! You really are good at writing discussion posts (along with your super long comments!) 🙂

    • Aww thank you Nick! I agree with you- I like do it too! Tonight, in between freaking out about Bookish Games, I have been commenting for about 4 hours. But I am going to have to stop and like, sleep or something soon.

      And I DO agree about a blogger who NEVER comments- that turns me off too. I mean, show SOME indication that you want to interact. Because if you don’t, there are TONS of awesome bloggers out there who DO.

      And Nick, that is REALLY sweet of you! You’re the best 😘

  18. I’ve addressed commenting on my blog a couple times actually. I feel pretty strongly about it. I think people should comment back. BUT, I’m not picky about when. It could be within minutes, a day, a week, whatever. But I think it’s important to comment back and visit other blogs because what is the point if not? I mean, if someone takes the time to read my post and comment, I feel like it’s my duty to then respond. Not, as you said, let them shout into a void, and I don’t like feeling like I’m shouting into a void either.

    I do realize people have lives outside of blogging, and that’s why I’m not picky on when people respond. Everyone should find a blogging schedule that works for them and ALLOWS them to respond to people. I post 5 days a week, I spend 2 days of the week writing the posts and I am able to come on every morning to respond to every comment (not always visiting blogs, though). That’s what works for me, but not everyone. I think there is a schedule for everyone so they can build a community on their blog – that’s very important – they just have to find it.

    I noticed you mentioned people who have stopped reading blogs because of lack of replies — I’m one of those people XD But It’s not like “oh look, they haven’t responded to anyone on this 2 day old post UNFOLLOW!”, it’s more like “oh, they have 4 posts in a row, one of them is 2 weeks old and they haven’t responded to ANYONE? Well, ok then, I’m not going to waste my time” — because why should I? I have other bloggers that I CAN talk to, rather than talking to a ghost blogger.

    Definitely not trying to insult anyone, people have busy lives, but so do I, so when I spend the time to read and comment it’s because I’m trying to connect with the blogger themselves, not to just “hear myself talk”.

    Great post, by the way!

    • Thanks so much! I agree with you on some levels-I probably would be unlikely to return if someone NEVER commented back (that’s actually the option I chose in the poll!) but I also feel like I know a lot about the bloggers I interact with, so I know if they’re especially busy and such.

      It’s hard sometimes to have a set schedule- for me, I have kids, and an unsupportive spouse, so I literally carve time wherever and however I can. It’s a big struggle for me, and one that I try to work on ALL the time.

      I think we basically agree- it’s just that we feel a bit different on the strictness of it perhaps? Plus, I LOVE commenting on people’s blogs, and reading what they have to say, so I would never, could never stop! 😀

  19. I try to comment on most of the blogs I follow…but with two kids (and since it’s school season, two kids and one brings home just about every illness her classmates have), it gets complicated. I just don’t have as much time to spend commenting on every single post as I would like…so instead I find myself saving one or two days a week for commenting. I tend to pick out the most interesting posts and comment on those, as opposed to every single post for every single blog.

    Sometimes I feel bad for not commenting more (and unfortunately, I don’t get very many comments on blog posts in return), but I just don’t have the time. Actually, this past week I’ve had strep throat so I haven’t even posted on my own blog, so there’s that. I do try to comment back to anyone who has commented on my posts…I think of it as a way to interact with people who have taken the time to read what I have written, and it’s rather enjoyable for me.

    • UGH I feel you with the kids! My two are still small- they both go to a preschool, but only two days a week for two hours. Not enough time to give me a break, but LOTS of time to get the germs 😉

      I am sorry that you were sick! I hope you’re better now though! And don’t feel bad- it’s such a struggle, especially with kids. I know people work a lot too and stuff, but with kids, there’s NEVER a minute off- random things can pop up RIGHT when you have tried to schedule some time! In fact, just tonight, I thought I’d have a few extra hours, but instead, my daughter had a huge meltdown, and woke my son up, and it was a mess! So yeah, I feel you. But I DO love commenting and reading posts too! So it’s always a tricky balance to find!

  20. I think you need to kind of view it as if you were in a conversation. If you start talking about a topic and someone responds… but you don’t respond back, it sends a bad message. It seems like you only care about what you think and you don’t really want to discuss it (despite adding a question at the end). Sorry if that comes off way more hostile than I mean to. I just think that if you’re posting but don’t respond to the responses, it’s kind of null and void to have a comment section open to begin with.

    That being said, when I started my blog I didn’t know Blogger had this weird thing with comments on how the person commenting and the poster had to have a G+ account for this conversation to happen. I think that’s really silly and it bothered me because I simply couldn’t reply to comments even though I spam the reply button. So when I see blogs that still use this commenting interface, I give them some leeway just because I understand the circumstance. Though I just changed it then to Intense debate and now I can reply to comments AND I get to discover blogs. Yay!

    Again, I’m not saying everyone has to reply to EVERY comment they receive especially if they get hundreds, but if they’re not replying at all… ever I just kind of put their blog to the side. I like reading posts that will encourage conversation.

    • Well, that is a good point. But then also, if I respond, what happens if you don’t respond back? I feel like this could go on forever hahah. And I see what you mean, I do. But at the same time, sometimes the best intentions of responding are there, and then… life happens, I guess. I suppose it’s a personal preference though. I don’t know if someone responds to all my comments, because I simply don’t have time to check back on each one, you know? If it’s important, and something that I DO want to further the conversation on, I will bookmark it to check back. But I can’t do that with hundreds of bloggers’ posts!

      Glad that you got your commenting system figured out! I am not a fan of the Google+ thing either. It’s very hard to navigate, especially since you see all the shares right in the middle of the comments. The old Blogger system was troublesome enough!

  21. When I started my blog I made the decision that I would comment back on all comments I receive on my blog. So far I have done that with 100% success, however my blog is nowhere near as busy as some others. Also, I try to make the rounds and comment a lot on others blogs, but hey we all get busy! Sometimes I am able to go comment back a lot and sometimes it’s not so much. I think as bloggers we all deal with the same thing and I’m sure all of us think we don’t comment back as much as we would like, but life is busy! 🙂

    • WOW that is impressive! 100%!!? I am seriously blown away! Kudos to you, my friend! I always AIM for that number, but I also always fall short 😉 And you are SO right, things are busy- I wish I could spend LOTS of time commenting and replying and such, but sadly, there aren’t always enough hours!

  22. I love this post entirely too much!

    While I genuinely pay no attention to stats, I pretty much measure my bloggish satisfaction by the comments – not the amount I get, but the sentiment behind them. It’s always a mindblowing realization, that someone took the time out of their doubtless busy day to comment – and even more so when they use that time to weigh in and give their own two cents on whichever topic I happened to be discussing at the time.

    I’m talking personal experience when I say that it’s really easy for a first-time blogger to get ‘lost in translation’ in this wide, expansive community. For one, they have no idea how to find the right sort of blogs they want to follow and interact with. For another – no one interacts with them. And it isn’t so much blogging as it is just… diary-keeping, when a person is just writing for themselves, with no one else to listen or weigh in. The general practice of commenting and returning comments takes care that things like that don’t happen.

    Having said all this – it’s work. It’s haaaaard work, replying to comments and commenting back and doing all of the above in a timely manner. I’m 100% on your side – I stress about it entirely too much. And I have a tiny blog, run with a co-blogger. I have it EASY compared to some.

    And even with the comments being my favorite thing ever – is it worth it, keeping tallies and taking a quid-pro-quo approach to everything? No. I’ll follow and comment on my favorite blogs even if they don’t come and comment on mine all the time. I can’t treat the entire blogging experience as some sort of a business transaction. It would suck the fun right out of it. I comment not because I want a comment back, but because I have something to say. (But it’s worth noting that those who consistently and constantly comment on my posts will pretty much rise up the ranks of my favorite humans ever. That, I can’t help.)

    • I agree with you- nothing is better that a really well thought out comment- like yours! ♥ I feel you about the newbie in this huge community thing too. I didn’t have ANY comments on my blog for the first 6 months. Not one. You can go back and look, it’s sad hahha. So I DO feel you on that level.

      And it IS work- so much work. I said I wanted to be in bed by 1, and it’s almost 3:30 and I am still commenting away, and feel like I haven’t even made a dent! But I DO love it, and will absolutely still do it!

      I am in complete agreement with you- no one is going to be able to comment back ALL the time. It’s just not realistic! And obviously, the people I made connections with, I will not just abandon because life gets hectic. I think as long as people are trying to be friendly and supportive, that’s good enough for me! (Except when it comes to myself, I have to beat myself up apparently 😉 )

  23. I love this post! I won’t lie, I like comments. But I think that’s how everyone is. It’s validation that people actually look at your blog and took the time to say something. It can be kind of sad when you see that you get a ton of views on a post, but little to no comments. It makes you wonder if your content isn’t good, and of course you want it to be good. You want people to like and be interested in what you have to say. I’m pretty good at replying to all the comments on my blog and commenting on others blogs. Even if you don’t care that much about getting a ton of comments, it’s nice to know that someone took the time to say something.

  24. I love that poll thing. It’s interesting to see other bloggers’ thoughts about commenting.

    I *try* to be relaxed about the comments on my blog. I have enough stress in life; I don’t need to be stressed out by my hobby, too. I read every comment I get, and I try to reply and/or comment back, but it doesn’t always happen. I hope other bloggers understand that I’m doing the best I can. I would never get mad if someone didn’t reply to a comment I left on their blog.

    • Thanks! I agree, it was VERY interesting for me to see the results too! Some are surprising, some I expected 🙂

      And good for you! You are very good about commenting, I definitely would not stress if I were you. (Yes, this is the pot calling the kettle black bwhaha), and I feel the same- I hope others know that I am doing my best. And I know that 99% of us fall into that category- which is why I think that sometimes, cutting people some slack is the best route.

  25. Love this conversation that Im going to share it on my site for todays meme. I love commenting and getting comments but I tend to forget or just can’t find posts to comment on. And then figuring out what to say. I don’t just want to come over and comment like great post and nice site. That gets way boring.

    • Awww thank yoU! And I agree- it IS hard- especially if the blogger reads a different genre or something, and you WANT to comment, but… what do you say? That makes me feel the worst- when I WANT to, but can’t! Because like you, I don’t want to leave generic comments either. I feel like that’s worse than not responding at all!

  26. Totally necessary if your blog is your business – gotta show your potential clients that you are around and care about them. But for hobby blogs? Very nice. VERY VERY NICE, but totally understandable if you simply can’t spare the time. Though if someone never even acknowledges that I read their blog and interact with them, I’ll stop. Because I’m doing this for the connections and the community, and I don’t like one-sided relationships.

    • Aw, I LOVE that- that is the perfect way of saying it. I agree with you- I want to make connections, it’s fun! So I feel the same. I don’t expect anyone to comment on the regular, but a nice pop-in to like, acknowledge existence is always nice 😀

  27. I’m always sad that you’re always sad about comments! I wish they didn’t have to be so stressful for people. My usual protocol is that once or twice a week I’ll check out the comments on my recent posts and reply back to them. Most people who comment on my blog are people I’m kind of bloggy friends with, so I will usually be commenting on their blog – not because they commented on mine, but because I follow them and we’re friends. This is typically the case! There are some people who comment a lot and I feel bad because I run out of time to comment back… but they keep coming back! I don’t have a strict “comment back” policy but like to have conversations where they apply 🙂

    • BWHAHAH I know- I am sad about that too! To be honest, I just feel so BAD- I want people to know that I am REALLY trying hard to be better, even though I know I don’t really owe an explanation, I still feel like I want to give one?

      And YES- I agree with you about commenting back and forth with friends. That is actually SUPER easy for me to keep up with, because I cannot NOT comment on friends’ blogs, it’s like second nature. And frankly, they get priority simply because of our relationships.

      It’s generally when I end up with a couple big commenting days in a row- from tons of different people- when I run into trouble. It;s so weird because I LOVE that all these people are commenting, it makes me so happy! And then I go to their blogs and find out all about them and it is the BEST. But it’s also when I get most behind. The struggle!

  28. Girl, you know i have thoughts.

    I think the question is – is it the reply to YOUR comment or their effort to comment on YOUR blog? I almost always reply to comments, because like I’ve said, that is how conversations go. But I do at least visit the other blog for something TO comment on. Does it always happen? No. It’s always been a fine line for me when it comes to comments.

    I do believe the knowledge of the community and why someone started a blog is a factor. I didn’t know about a community and made my blog for me and for readers. I didn’t know I would have to “keep up” with a community, ya know? I guess we are all in this together, and it’s nice to support one another. But I shouldn’t be required, or other feels I SHOULD, comment back JUST BECAUSE. I appreciate my comments, and reply to them, but I can’t promise a reply on their blog.

    Thanks for link up! <3

    • That’s SUCH a good point! Honestly, I didn’t know that either. I LOVE that it has taken the community based direction, but when I had a mom/personal blog, almost no one left comments because it was one big awful competition. So this was like a whole new world. And even when I started, there were comments on the “big” blogs- but maybe 10-15. Now I will see posts on the big blogs- like Cait’s, which often have more than 100-150 comments on each post!- and wonder how on earth one is supposed to keep up with that. (But she does, because she has cloned herself hahah)

      And I want more than anything to chat back and forth with EVERYONE who stops by, but that just isn’t always possible. It makes me feel bad- both for them because I want to respond, and ME because I want to respond bwaha. The blogging struggle!

  29. I think I end up AT LEAST checking out the blog that commented on my own. I actually spend a lot of time tracking their blog down if they don’t leave a link, and that’s mainly because I want to SEE NEW BLOGS and visit them! I like looking for new things, but never know how to really, other than my comments!

    However, I would never force myself to comment on a post that I wasn’t interested in. I think I would try to find a post that I would like to comment on. But when I go through my Feedly, I only comment on the posts I want to read! Because if I comment on everything, I will be a sad lump.

    I think a week is my maximum to not replying to comments on my own blog. I try to catch up on Saturday and Sunday because CLASSES AND WORK. Because YES, people have a life. AND ESPECIALLY YOU. I have SEEN your children, they are crazy (crazy adorable).

    Anyways, I think I wanted to say one more thing, but class is ending soooo…uhhh

    • VALERIE. I comment on your blog almost every single time you post so SHHH. ANYWAY. I don’t hunt down. I used to, with Blogger, but with WP it is SO easy to leave a link. Plus if they DON’T, I just have a name to go on- nothing more- and well, I frankly don’t feel like stalking people. At least for that purpose 😉

      And I think the kids may just be crazy-crazy? Bwhaha. Especially your BFF.

  30. I generally respond to comments on my blog; I don’t get that many so it’s not a terribly time-consuming task 😉 It never really occurred to me until recently to reply to *every* comment I receive, though, because I just don’t really know what to say in response when someone says something like ‘I totally agree!’ Commenting is about discussion and, while I appreciate being agreed with (who doesn’t?), there’s not really any further discussion to come from that (though I always feel rude if there are two comments and I have something to say to one but not the other 😐 ). This is why I like the ‘Like’ feature WordPress has, because it gives me a way to acknowledge a comment without having to come up with something to say in response. I will, however, always respond if someone asks a question or leaves a huge paragraph, even if it’s only to say something like, ‘I hadn’t thought of it that way. Thanks for stopping by!’

    I’m pretty ignorant of this sort of thing, though. I didn’t know commenting back on someone’s blog was a thing until I read this post, and it makes me kind of sad to think people might have been commenting on my blog out of a sense of social obligation rather than because I said something that was interesting enough that they checked out my blog D; That said, I do often check out the blogs of people who comment on my blog, because if they’ve left a thoughtful comment they’ve probably piqued my interest enough for me to at least check them out.

    So, yes, I do generally comment when someone comments on my blog (unless it’s a three-word comment and I really can’t think of anything to say to it, because I have all the social skills of a brick wall), but I don’t comment back on their blog unless I have something to say.

    • People keep mentioning this “like” feature, and MAN, I wish I had that right about now bwahah. And I don’t think a three word comment merits a response. Because forget social skills, you’d have to be a social wizard to make a conversation out of that! 😀

  31. THIS POST OMFG SHANNON YES I LOVE IT SO MUCH <33

    Ahhhhh commenting is honestly a struggle. Receiving comments makes me so happy and really gives me the affirmation that yes this was a good post. And so yes, I do reply to all of the comments on my blog.

    Commenting back though??? Yeah that's where I tend to struggle. I don't know, maybe I take it too seriously or whatever but when it comes to commenting I just want to reply with a huge long comment. You out of everybody knows how much time and effort that takes. And honestly when I get on my laptop after a long day of work or school or whatever I just don't feel like commenting. I feel like reading the post entirely and enjoying it (which I always do for my favorite blogs) but not writing an essay comment. Sometimes I'll come back to these posts later and comment but more often I won't. I wish there was a way for the blogger to know I did appreciate and read there posts but unfortunately there isn't.

    I don't know, I just feel with some bloggers only replying or commenting on blogs that comment back or comment on their blog is ludicrous for me. I try to comment on blogs that post quality content I enjoy, not just because they commented back or whatever. It also wouldn't stop me if they didn't comment back on my posts, I get that everybody is busy and sometimes just can't come up with a genuine comment. And come on, it's obvious when somebody just comments without really taking the time to appreciate and read your post. It's honestly my personal belief that if somebody doesn't want to comment on my blog, whether it be a lack of interest or a time issue then they should feel it "necessary" or feel obligated to do so.

    That why the fact some even track who comments back for them and such boggle my mind like what O.o I'd really fucking hope somebody would have the same understanding they would for me that I do for them, that they'd get that everybody is busy or has different preferences and not just simply never visit my blog because of that. Because let's be real Shannon, I'd have zero comments if everybody felt like commenting back was the only way to blog, again it's not like I never do it (and I always reply to comments on my blog) it's just I'm quite sporadic. I do get people want to receive the same comments as they give but for me it shouldn't be like an obligation or something they track. People should just comment when they have the time and are genuinely interested in the post.

    Loved this post so much, it was written so well Shannon (:

    • Dude. YESS. I wish I could insert an applause GIF, because YESSSS. I ALWAYS read my favorite bloggers’ posts- and like, 99.9999% of the time, I do visit every single blog that comments here. BUT then leaving the comment (since they are posts unto themselves haha) takes a loooong time. And while I WANT to, I can’t always. It’s HARD- but I WANT to do it, so it’s extra confusing hahah.

      AND AMEN to your last paragraph. I want to SCREAM this from the rooftops. Like, I want to know who these people are, and then have their problems- to have time to be SO PERFECT? Sounds nice. GRRRR. I agree with the whole “doing it when you want to/can”, more than the “respond, wench!” theory hah. But I do also think it’s nice to reciprocate when time allows, so I do. But like you said- interest is key!!

      Thank you, love!! 😘

  32. Great discussion as always Shannon!! I think, and I’m not trying to single you out, but quality comments are probably better than sheer quantity of comments — I know you are not phoning it in with your comments and I appreciate each and every one. As long as you (and I mean everyone who blogs) is making an effort to comment back when they can, that is enough for me. I do try to comment back but sometimes comments can slip through the cracks and it is not a tally system for me.

    • Aww thank you!! And I TOTALLY agree- I’d prefer a quality comment over 10 “great blog, here’s mine!” comments. It is hard. I want to comment on ALLL the posts- especially of my favorite blogs (like yours!) but it is just not always possible. But I give it my best shot, anyway 😉

  33. I took the poll and I was surprised I wasn’t alone in my answers! I was with the majority and I got a tear when I checked 2-4 hours a week and the majority had that! *sighs in relief* I honestly don’t find it a necessity for bloggers to reply constantly. Do I get sad when I don’t get comments? Of course but I understand people have a life outside of blogging (I made a post about this earlier) so I don’t expect them to visit 24/7, you know?

    I sometimes don’t comment on a blog visit because sometimes I have nothing to say. I like what I see and what I read but if the post only requires me to write “awesome review”, then I feel really bad! It’s like I didn’t take time to read the review when I did but don’t really know what to comment on it. I do visit from my phone and make a note to reply when I have my laptop (rather, when I have time).

    Great post hun! I love your discussions 🙂

    • Aw thank you! 😘 I agree, I definitely know people are busy- myself included hahah. Which is why I think cutting people slack is ideal. I mean, we’re all in this together, and we’re all friends! I would never NOT visit your blog because you went MIA- I might be concerned about you, but in a “my goodness, I hope she’s okay!” way!

      And YES- I HATE when I read a good review, but have nothing to say, no way of saying that it was enjoyable without sounding like “that guy” who comments with “nice review”. Which is even further proof that we should cut each other some slack, I suppose 😀

  34. I try to reply to all the comments on my blog which, to be honest, isn’t a lot. I almost always tell the commenter “thanks for commenting” or some such. Though I have had my blog for a year and a half, I don’t always feel super-established. I feel like I need to thank people for even finding my blog because I’m not one of the well-knowns.

    As to commenting on other people’s posts, I can be rather terrible at times. Sometimes I’m reading posts on my phone and I have a hard time writing a comment out then. If a post really interests me or I have something to say, then I will make the effort to comment.

    I don’t always comment back. If someone comments on my blog, I will visit their website. If I don’t see a post on the home page that I am even remotely interested in, I won’t comment. I don’t feel like a comment on a post I don’t care about is doing that blogger any good. I’m not going to follow their blog just because they commented on mine. If someone who comments on my blog has a post on the home page that interests me, I will comment. I might even decide to follow their blog.

    I hope this rambling comment makes some sort of sense. 🙂

    • It definitely makes sense! I definitely feel you- I used to search and search until I found something to comment on, but it’s so ridiculous. Like, yes, I appreciate that person’s comment, but maybe we simply don’t have the same interests, so why should I make myself crazy?

      Also, I do the same thing with my phone! The Bloglovin app is both a blessing and a curse 😉 And I definitely have followed LOTS of bloggers from interactions on comments! It’s a great way to find people- but it shouldn’t be a source of stress either. I like your strategy!

  35. I don’t know if commenting is a thing now. I mean, I’d be happy if I get a reply or someone commenting on my post, but I had another life aside from blogging which is why I understand why most people didn’t reply a comment. Besides, sometimes there are comments that don’t particularly need a response, like a rhetoric question.

    • That is SUCH a good point- some comments DON’T require a response! I mean, we could spend all day going back and forth with “thanks for the comment”. And you’re so right about having a life outside of it- when it becomes work, it ceases to be for enjoyment.

  36. This post is LIFE. I agree with everything you said. It genuinely hurts me when I don’t have time to comment back or just comment in general, which recently I never seem to have time, but I CAN’T HELP IT. Just like I try not to get annoyed when I comment on a blog and never receive one back. Like you said, you NEVER know what’s going on in someone’s life, you don’t know that they just found your comment pointless or if something really serious and way more important is going on. I really love this community and I love commenting and posting and getting comments on my posts, but I really try to stay relaxed and casual and stress free because I just can’t make the time I used to have to blog and comment and do all the things and stressing myself out over not replying to comments every day isn’t going to accomplish anything. I think a lot of times we maybe do rely too heavily on commenting back, of course it’s something we should all try to do but it’s not something we should kill ourselves trying to keep up with. I literally have no idea how some people stay caught up!

    Also I feel I tend to lean towards, like if I only have a certain amount of time to spend commenting, then I lean towards commenting on other people’s blogs rather than replying to comments on my own. One thing that I find is lacking a lot of the time is we all tend to comment on a post once, get a reply and then the conversation stops so in a way it’s like, I’d rather that blogger who spent time commenting on my post know I’m reading theirs rather than just seeing a generic reply from me on a review or something.

    ANYWAY, lovely discussion topic, Shannon (and I loved the poll because I love polls)! <3

    • AWW Thank you! 😘 And YESSSS! I feel like you understand my plight haha! It’s so hard- I want to do ALL the things, but I have a very finite amount of time. And I feel like even when I cut back on posting, I still can’t keep up! I mean, there ARE cases where it is clear that a person just doesn’t want to interact with you, but those are SOOOO rare. I feel like more often than not, the blogger is just BUSY!

      And I also lean toward commenting on others’ blogs too. Because I know what I wrote already- AND I have read the comments that were left, even if I haven’t replied. So it just makes sense that if I have to choose, I choose other blogs. Though tonight I guess I am choosing this post, because it has been looming over my head bwahah

  37. This is amazign blog post! 🙂 I think every blogger loves seeing comments on their blog posts and it’s nice to see that the author found time to respond to you but I think it depends on how many comments you get and how much time a day you have. For example, my blog is still freshly new and I don’t get so many comments so it’s easy for me to keep up with them. It would be more difficult if there were more of them because my internet on campus is crappy and the school takes most of my time… so basically life happens. On one side I think it’s important to keep this in mind and not be rude to the author if he/she slips from time to time but on the other side, I love responding to comments so I think the author should at least consider responding. All in all I don’t think it’s necessary but to create a community you have to interact with each other. So yeah, I don’t think it should be something to stress about but I do think that it’s nice if the blogger finds time to respond to the comment or to visit other’s blogs. 🙂

    • Aww thank you so much!! ♥ And absolutely agree, it definitely makes me smile when someone comments- and responds!

      And yep- I think that’s what can get lost in the whole debate, is that we ALL have something going on. But I really LIKE to respond (even if it takes me two weeks 😉 ) so I DO try, but it can be daunting! I think my issue is that I have to cut myself some slack. I am good with telling everyone ELSE it is fine, but never myself hah.

      And I LOVE visiting new blogs- that’s the best part for sure, getting to meet new, lovely bloggers! 😀

  38. I love this post. I love seeing comments on my blog and I do reply to them. It just takes me a while sometimes, especially when I can’t find the time. I also do try to comment on other blogs, but I don’t always have something to say. I suppose it just depends on the post really.

    • Aww thank yoU!! I am the same way- I LOVE seeing them and I want so badly to respond, but it is a struggle! And you’re right- there isn’t always something to say. Maybe the key is really just telling each other “hey, it’s okay if you don’t have anything to say!”. I like that 🙂

  39. Such a great post idea Shannon – I wish I thought of it earlier! 😛
    But honestly this is a great topic – I know that commenting is a necessary part of blogging for me. I can’t imagine blogging without it, because for me, comments are pretty much what real blogging involves. Blogging is all about the interaction for me, and the posts are just the springboard that I use to get to know my readers more, if that makes sense? And visiting others’ blogs and commenting on their posts, that’s usually me trying to get to know them better – so if they don’t comment back at all, even after I’ve commented on like 50+ of their posts, I just forget about them after a while, because its not worth it anymore!
    So…pretty much, I guess I’m saying commenting is essential! 🙂

    • Hahah thanks! 🙂 I totally agree, I LOVE the interaction and connections, and yes, even legit friendships that come from commenting! And I LOVE reading what other people have to say!

      And I agree- if you are ALWAYS the one commenting and getting ZERO reciprocation, yeah, I don’t blame you, I would do the same thing. It’s kind of hurtful, really! I mean, YES, it has taken me a long ass time to reply, but I am replying? (Bwhahah lame excuse, I suppose!) But I absolutely agree that it would be such a waste of time if we never shared our thoughts!

  40. This is such a great idea for a discussion post, it’s so important! 🙂
    I have to admit that most of the time, I’m behind on comments, but I’m trying my best. Comments are important, because we’re here to talk about books and if no one responds… It’s not a discussion anymore. It’s true that when I comment on a blog multiple times but never hear of it again, it’s a little frustrating. If I like the contents, I’ll continue to read it, but won’t write comments, because it seem like it doesn’t matter to the blogger and that I’m kinda wasting my time? I know it’s not the case, but it can’t dissuade me to comment. At the same time, when I get generic comments on posts like Top Ten Tuesday, I’m torned because what’s the point to do that! There is one blogger who almost always leave the same comment, so I answer but don’t bother getting on his blog, even if I used to do it, because every comment is precious. Most of the time I try to comment back. Nevertheless, some bloggers comment regularly on my blog and I do the same on their blog, I don’t keep track of it. If I see a name that comes back often, I’ll definitely start reading the blog. I totally feel like commenting is essential, but I’m not saying that I do it on every post I read, because sadly, I don’t always have the time… :/

    • Aw thank you! I am SO behind- which, I am sure you can tell, since this post happened 3 weeks ago bwaha. I actually am not usually *this* behind, but alas, life happens!

      And I DO agree- it’s absolutely frustrating when you feel like you’re talking to yourself! I don’t like that either- and I do get a little irritated- especially because I always try to leave a thoughtful comment- and often, especially if it is a blog I haven’t commented on before, I have a lot I want to talk about on their post- otherwise I’d probably have never come out of my shell and commented 😉

      I also stopped responding to the generic comments. Honestly, I didn’t have time for it, nor did they require a response- plus, I am pretty sure that people who commented with “Great post, here’s mine” ever plan on checking back bwhahha 😂

      And I am glad to know I am not the only one who struggles with the time situation. It makes me feel bad, but what can you do?

  41. Thank you for covering this topic! This is one of my biggest struggles as a blogger, and I’ve talked about it before. Some people seem to have an endless supply of time, while I am basically living at my job and spending each weekend away from home. I LOVED this, and I tell it to my kids at school, too: You never know what is going on in someone else’s life.

    It is indeed a slippery slope to condemn someone based on a few missed comments.

    • UGH, I feel you SO. MUCH. And I am so much in agreement with you. Can you even imagine if we all just started hating each other over missed comments? It worries me sometimes, because I feel like some people DO think that way- but I guess I don’t need those people in my life, right? That is a GREAT thing to tell the kids at school too- I feel like people in general don’t remember that enough!

      • It would be terrible. Like, almost not liking someone for absolutely no rhyme or reason. At least, that’s how I see it. I do know there are some people who do think that way, and if I knew any of them, I’m glad they’re gone, because surely I didn’t start keeping up with comments and such until about a year and a half ago. Indeed, I feel people do not remember that enough, either. I started this year being very open with my kids about my cousin’s suicide, and trying to really get the point across that you don’t want to have any of that kind of guilt or accusation, whether you feel guilty yourself or others finger you as the thing that tipped the scales. It costs $0.00 to be a decent person, and there have been multiple people who have stated someone smiling at them changed their day and their decisions. I am all for that measure of kindness and humanity.

  42. Wonderful discussion topic! I think that you probably got a ton of varied comments (and judging from the feedback above my I’m probably right LOL) but this is a topic that everyone approaches differently I think. Personally, as far as commenting back on my blog, I try to respond to comments on reviews, the features that I host and discussion posts…but for WoW and/or TTT I chose to not comment back on my blog and instead visit the blogger’s blog instead. It just takes too much time to do both and I know a lot of bloggers don’t check back to see if you reply anyway…and I’d prefer the interaction and discussion as you said. After all, that’s a big part of why I got into blogging! I do try to visit other blogs 2-3x a week but often times I end up spending hours and hours…which cuts into my reading time LOL! It’s a double edged sword so I’m trying to find a balance there. I want to interact but if I don’t have any books read to blog about, what’s the point of having a blog XD

    • Aw thanks!! And yes, you are quite right hahahah. I do the same for memes like that- because you’re right, no one is going to check back- plus the comments generally don’t require a response. But I DO love to interact on discussions, reviews, personal posts, whatever else! I just wish I had ALLLL the time to do it!

      And YES- it cuts into my reading time SO MUCH. Like, right now it’s 3:30 am, so when will I read!? No idea! Hhaha. If you find that balance, PLEASE let me know how 😀

  43. I LOVE this post! I always try to reply to comments on my own blog, but though I always try and check out the other person’s blog, I just tend to forget about commenting. I’m not a social butterfly, y’know 🙂 I don’t get THAT many comments (never above 10) per post, so I don’t really spend that much time replying to them. Personally I don’t agree with commenting back JUST for the sake of commenting because you’re looking for another comment in return, but I definitely think commenting is a big part of socialising in the blogosphere!

    • Aww thank you!! I try SO hard to but… it’s a time struggle for sure! And I agree- commenting just to be like “LOOK I COMMENTED” is not great. Why bother? But 9 times out of 10, I DO find something great that I want to comment on! Now, if I could figure out how to add hours to the day… 😉

  44. I don’t get nearly as many comments as you do; so, I can’t say if I would be able to keep up if I were you. I reply to mine daily, but I admit I don’t always make it to other people’s blogs.

    I don’t think you should be judged based on your replies or number of comments on other blogs. If you do your best to keep up with the community, you’re at least trying 🙂

    • Aw thank you! That actually really helps me to feel less guilty- because I DO feel guilty, especially when it takes me 3 weeks to reply, like this actual moment haha. I totally agree with you though- I would never be mad at someone for being busy, and I think it’s very easy to tell when someone just has a lot on their plate, and when they just plain old don’t care. And luckily in this community, most people really DO care! 😀

  45. Whoa, this is an interesting topic. I was blown away for a moment. I think we should never ignore anyone. (Would add the Mean Girls rainbow happiness GIF, if I could.) I mean, honestly, I do try to comment on as much blogs as I humanly can, but there are also times I’m just lazy, tired, busy. The latter, which is rare. haha. I’ve never ignored a comment. Honestly, that’s the equivalent – to me, at least, unless it’s negative – of ignoring someone while they’re in the middle of talking to you. It’s just rude to be ignoring them, I don’t know. There should always be interaction.

    Love this topic! <3

    • Thanks! Yeah, I totally see what you mean. I never ignore a comment either- though sometimes I ummm end up not responding. Not intentionally! Never intentionally! Just like, well, there have been a lot of comments on this particular post, and I have like, negative hours hahah. I mean- I DO try to get to them all, even if it takes 3+ weeks 😉 But it can be a struggle!!

  46. This is a fantastic discussion, Shannon! I’ve loved checking the comments to see what everyone else thought, and I’m so surprised by how many people don’t comment back. Look, I get that it takes a lot of time, and some bloggers get a lot of comments so it takes even longer, but I personally think that commenting back is one of the best and most important things in blogging. For someone like me, who doesn’t really use social medias like Twitter, it’s my primary way of communicating with other bloggers. Without people commenting back on my blog, I doubt I would have ever made the friends I have. While I get that “real life” stuff gets priority, and it takes time that some people have scarce of, I think that never commenting back isn’t the way to go at all. Great discussion, Shannon! I love keeping an eye on the poll.

    • Aw thank you!! I am kind of surprised by any of the extremes, but everywhere in the middle seems pretty good to me! I agree that NEVER commenting back is pretty damn rude- I mean, it just makes it seem like the person doesn’t care. BUT I absolutely get life/time stuff- because it’s a big issue for me. So yeah, I think as long as we give it our best shot and aren’t rude or intentionally not responding, it’s good 😀

      • Exactly! The extreme of never commenting back is ridiculous. It’s plain old rude, and it kind of raises the point of why that person is even blogging – if they don’t care about making friends, branching out and connecting to their viewers then there doesn’t seem to be much point to blogging in the first place. But like with every aspect of blogging, real life comes first. Sometimes that’s hard, sometimes people can get touchy and weird and not understand it, but you do what you need to do to keep your sanity and stay afloat in real life. We love to see you around here, but if you cannot get to ever single blogger in record time, it doesn’t matter. No one’s keeping score. You do what you need to. <3

  47. I do find it interesting to see what other people think. When it comes to commenting back TO my comment, like you reply here, I don’t really mind either way. I get notices for some blogs and that helps if they reply, but if I don’t, I don’t remember/have time to check back. I do like when bloggers comment on my blog though. It doesn’t have to be every single time I comment, b/c that’s difficult and I can’t even do that…but for them to show an interest is nice. It’s a good way to get to know other bloggers and whatnot. For my own blog, I don’t reply on my blog because it won’t alert the person. If they ask a question, I email them or answer in a P.S./side note type of thing when commenting them (I don’t just answer the question though- I make a genuine comment on their post first haha).

    so yeah, I think comments are important. They show the blogger and other people that people ARE reading and they DO have something to say. It doesn’t have to be a really long comment all the time – whatever you think to say and have time for. I spend a lot of time per week commenting back (most of the time) but life does get in the way. Sometimes I can’t comment AS much, but I always try and comment back when people comment on my blog as often as possible because I want them to know I care and I noticed and I want to talk to them more!

    -Lauren

  48. I always reply to comments on my own blog. When it comes to leaving comments on other blogs, I do my best. I try to comment back for every comment I receive because I do get a manageable amount, but sometimes I just absolutely can’t find anything to leave a genuine comment about. And once I make friends with a blogger and we regularly visit each others’ blogs, I definitely don’t keep track of that. I just comment on their posts that I like, they comment on mine, and it is what it is. And while I do feel unappreciated when a blogger continually doesn’t respond to comments left on their own blog and never ever visits mine, most of the time I just forget I even commented in the first place if I don’t receive an email lol, and I don’t actually keep track of these things unless it was a comment I really wanted to know their response on.

    One thing I’ve noticed though is that it seems like less people are commenting around on TTT, and I just don’t understand that. Why join a social meme if you’re not going to socialize?

  49. Awh man, I have been such a bad blogger lately, but like you said, you don’t know what’s going on in somebody’s life, so I’ve just been trying my hardest to catch up on stuff, and just been concentrating more on commenting back and mostly replying back (I’m currently like a month behind, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.) I don’t feel bad about it now, I just feel sad because I LOVE commenting and blog hopping and finding new people to talk to AND CAN THERE BE MORE TIME IN THE DAY, PLEASE? I’ve started using weekends as the days I actually do stuff, haha, but it hasn’t worked out every weekend so then I’m behind another week AND WHY CAN’T THERE BE MORE HOURS IN A DAY? But I mean, commenting is important, and it’s fun, the same with replying, but I’m not going to judge people on it (especially since I’m in that person who hasn’t replied back for a while, like, I’ve only just started replying back to comments from Jan, since I was focusing more on commenting back) but I get it, it’s hard to do both all the time. And at the end of the day, this is a hobby, right? So you do what’s best for you, even if you feel bad about it sometimes BECAUSE THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE HOURS IN THE DAY. 😀

  50. I’m responding here pretty much the same way I responded on Tonya’s post, but that’s okay, right? You really want to read my opinions again. 🙂

    I really try hard to reply and comment back whenever possible, but it’s definitely gotten harder as my blog has gotten bigger. I have literally sat down some days and spent HOURS and still not caught up – which makes me frustrated because I WANT to reply and comment back. I do!!

    Generally, I’ll happily comment on a blog for awhile that doesn’t comment back, but if I notice that they NEVER visit me back, I’ll eventually let them fall off my radar or, at the very least, stop commenting. This is just the cold, hard reality in my case that I already have SO many blogs that I’m trying to keep up with, I don’t manage to ALSO keep up with bloggers who I have no other interaction with. I just can’t do it! And I feel kind of bad about that because I don’t want to be the type of blogger who says, “Hey, I’m only interested in what you have to say if you return the favor,” but the reality is that that’s kind of what happens – whether I WANT that to be the case or not. It makes me a little sad, but not sad enough to really change it. Sigh.

    By the way, I LOVED your poll – it was great to see how other people feel about it!!

  51. I try to reply to every comment, but I will say that it’s not easy. It is why I’ve always stuck with a commenting system that allows me to reply using email. However, I have struggled with emails not getting delivered and that one plug-in that shows you which comments are unreplied to doesn’t work very well. So it is a battle and I do wish there were better tools or that I was smart enough to code something that worked better!

    I hate the pressure of having to visit the other person’s blog after they comment on mine. Sometimes I just can’t find anything to comment on and that sucks.

  52. I really try to respond to comments and to go check out the blogs of those who commented, but sometimes a response to a comment like “Nice Post!” is hard to do. Sometimes if I check out there blog and I have read none of the books they have reviewed lately I find it hard to comment as well. I do my best to respond because it’s really nice to get comments, and I like to acknowledge the people that take the time to come to my dumb little blog.

  53. I enjoyed this post so much! And couldn’t help but comment, hehe. 😛 I totally agree with what you think about commenting – DEFINITELY not an all-or-nothing approach.

    I personally love commenting back, even just a little, just to show that the commenter is appreciated and I find that I subconsciously give back what I get. To the comments with paragraphs, I make sure to address all their points – making it another paragraph or two from me. To the comments with a couple of lines – that is, the ones that didn’t seem invested with the post – well, I give them just a short line too. 😛

  54. Lovely discussion, dear! In my opinion commenting is never mandatory, but I would HIGHLY recommend it. It’s a great way to find new blogs, interact with bloggers, and personally reading comments makes my day! It shows that people care. Also it gives a significant boost in stats and making friends is SO much easier. But I hate the idea that people get mad when some don’t comment back. It’s totally there choice, and you don’t know their background/situation.

    Say they could be a teen blogger currently loaded with buckets of homework, college apps, extracurriculars, and family health problems. You just DON’T know. Try your best but don’t try to impose on others to do what you do. Oh oops I’m not talking about you of course because you rock at all this, I say “you” generally. But seriously, commenting makes the world go round! Even if you’re 4 months behind on comments :0 I am getting there though ;D

  55. This post was really interesting! I probably only comment on about 30% of the blogs I read, but I think commenting back on your own blog comments is really important. I suppose it just seems polite to me? I’ve missed some, but I try and get to everyone. Hardly ever do I read the blogs of my commentators though. (Sorry, I guess?)
    A lot of times I’ll read posts that don’t really inspire me to SAY anything, but I comment just because I want the blogger to know that “Hey, I visited and I enjoyed your post.” It’s not a bad reason and I like to think of it as multiplying the love in the blogosphere, but those comments never feel as genuine as when a post actually gets me thinking and wanting to talk. Do you ever feel that sort of ‘obligation’ to comment?

  56. I SO enjoy reading all of my readers comments and am beyond grateful they take the time to even bother with my scribbling’s. Similarly, I enjoy visiting the blogs that I’ve either followed since day one or are more recent discoveries. For me, I like to return visit others blogs if they take the time to visit mine, but if I really like the blog, I’ll visit it regardless of the blogger’s track record on Finding Wonderland. Because time is an issue, I understand not everyone has the time to visit blogs, and I’ve even found I take longer to reply to comments than I used to (when I first began), or to “make the rounds” to favorite blogs. But so far I’ve still been able to find the time, and still enjoy it very much!

    It’s also nice to visit whatever are among your favorite blogs just to say, “hey, great post; thanks for writing it!” because a lot of bloggers put a lot of work into their blog.

    Great topic, Shannon. Someday I’d like to write some posts like this too, because these are important to mix among the usual book reviews. 🙂

  57. I’m terrible, and I have not commented on posts that looks like it has a lot of comments already or the blogger doesn’t respond. It just doesn’t seem like I would have anything new to say or the blogger would notice, so I don’t bother. But then that is a little irrational, because I did go through a busy period where I did not reply to comments. I say just let people do whatever they want.

  58. I totally know what you mean about commenting, you feel like a blogger fail when you aren’t on top of responding to comments and visiting people’s blogs. Lately I’ve been having a tough time in life and I haven’t been able to stay on top of it, even responding to comments on my own blog took a week! I’m trying my best but as you said, you never know what is going on. It’s nice to get that response back, but if I’m consistently commenting on someone’s blog and never get a reply back, then I think why bother?

  59. I don’t get an enormous amount of comments, so replying to all of them is not really a problem, and it’s something I try to do.

    I don’t have strong feelings on commenting back on another person’s blog. It’s not something I usually do, unless I notice the same person commenting on my blog very consistently, but I like when other people comment back on my blog, of course. :p

    I do think people should make a reasonable effort to reply to comments on their own blog, though. If they don’t, I think they’re not reading them or don’t care. And if someone never replies to my comments, I stop leaving them, because what’s the point of starting a conversation if the other person clearly doesn’t want to be in it? I wouldn’t necessarily stop reading the blog, though. I would just stop commenting.

    • I feel like this is not an app, and for some reason, I like to respond to spam. But you don’t understand. I need to use Spam-ese:

      You comment on app of this is many greatness. I sure you do many viruses with you link. Cash is no thing that I have in mine bank. It requires all the actual effort and you will not the money have any.

  60. Well, I finally made it to this post! *pats self on back*
    Well, you know I am always behind on comments too cause of life and I can’t comment every day and I refuse to feel guilty for it. But I do eventually comment back and I always reply on my own posts on our blog.
    I don’t get offended if someone doesn’t comment on every post on our blog, or if they don’t reply on every comment on their own blog. But I do need SOME kind of interaction to let me know you care. Either reply to my comments or comment back, it doesn’t even have to be all the time.
    It really annoys me when people cry about not having comments on twitter, yet they never comment OR reply to comments. Then they say they don’t have time yet spend all day on twitter??? Yeah, I’m not gonna feel sorry for them.
    I think we all need to remember that this is a hobby and I like sort kind of effort 🙂

  61. There have been many posts about blogger commenting etiquette over the past year, and it’s struck me as kind of odd. I’ve always been a sucker for comments. As in, I FREAKING LOVE LEAVING COMMENTS ON OTHER PEOPLE’S BLOGS. Here is why:
    1. I want the blogger to know that I appreciate them and the content they have created for my adoring eyes. Doesn’t everyone?
    2. It’s also good “marketing”. Does that seem kind of backhanded? I don’t care. Did you know that during my scroll down to your comment box, I clicked on 4 different blogs to check out?
    3. I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND SHANNON (and I want to be the friends of the other bloggers whose blogs I comment on). Seriously, on the surface, blogging seems like a solitary hobby because I’m creating content by myself, but it wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t have a network of book bloggers that I interacted with, ya know?

    Do I care if people comment back? I mean, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that comments on my blog give me some kind of validation. I love that! But, I don’t think any blogger should ever feel OBLIGATED to return the act to me. I don’t ever want anyone to feel obligated to pretend to appreciate my content. I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to be my friend. That’s just silly.

  62. I always check out blogs of people who visit my blog. But I comment on those posts that I’m genuinely interested. I don’t like “the comment for comment” politics; I don’t count how many times I commented and how many times I get a visit on my blog. I value genuine and thoughtful comments. It’s a little discouraging to get a one or two word comments. I admit that I’m not good at answering on comments on my blog in time. I have two little kids, so it’s hard to schedule time for blogging. Sometimes I don’t comment for a week or two, and then mass-comment when I have time.

  63. I love this discussions! For me and most bloggers, I think comments are big deals. Comment is a proof that people actually read my post instead of just skimming it or blindly liking the post. I am stoked every time I checked my wordpress/email and there are new comments! However, I spent a lot of time drowning in the sea of comments. Here’s the thing, I’m utterly, completely annoyed by blogges who reply to my super long, super thoughtful comments with things like ‘yeah, I agree’ or ‘thank you’. Those bloggers could go to the blogging tartarus. So I don’t want to do that to my followers. Whenever they drop comments, I’d like to reply thoughtfully and comment back on one of their posts. But those things are time consuming, so I end up putting off replying at all :’) At least until I could get on pc and have the spare time to do them.

    And like you, I feel guilty for being behind on comments! Also like you, I keep apologizing on my monthly recap and twitter and everyone says that it’s fine, but I still feel guilty 😛 I think comments are really important and it is a sole form of interaction and we could all agree that interaction is the key to successful blogging 😉

    Greatttt discussions! <3

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