Handling Comments

March 25, 2007 by Kailani  
Filed under blogging

How do you handle comments on your blog?

I was over at The Ice Box where Desert Songbird was talking about conversations within comments.

This has been a topic that I’ve thought about many times and I’m still not sure what’s the best way to handle it. What I do know is that comments should be followed up on, especially those that ask specific questions. Yes, I know I’m not the best at doing this but I am going to make an effort to do better . . . I promise!

As I was doing a little research, I came across a couple of great posts that address the issue of comments.

  • 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog by Darren Rowse
  • 10 Tips for Attracting New Comments by Chris Garrett

Basically, the idea is to repsond to comments to show your readers that they are important. Makes sense, right?

But what’s the best way to do this? Should I email eveyone personally? Do I respond on my blog so that others can follow along in the conversation? If I do that, should I respond within each individual comment or start a new comment box? There’s so many things to consider.

What do you think? How do you respond to your comments? How would you like a response to the comments you leave here?

Technorati technorati tags: blogging, comments

About the author:
Kailani is the owner and founder of An Island Life. You'll find her sharing her daily life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii. She is also the founder of the group review site - Family Review Network. Follow along on her adventure of a lifetime this Winter as a member of the Vaseline Dry Skin Patrol!
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31 Responses to “Handling Comments”
  1. grace says:

    I respond to comments I get in my blogs by visiting the blogsite of the one who commented. =)
    I love your blog, will be visiting for more!

  2. Hsien Lei says:

    I usually start a separate comment responding individually to everyone who’s commented so far. That way people who’re subscribed to the comment thread will get notified. I sometimes email people as well if they’ve got a specific question that needs to be answered but that is extremely time consuming.

  3. Author Mom DogNut says:

    I respond to comments sometimes individually, or if there are a group of comments sharing the same sentiment, I’ll respond to the group of them with one comment. But I often wonder how many people come back to check the comment section or do subscribe to the comment thread. I know that after I comment to a post, I’ve moved on and usually don’t go back to check.

  4. Eric Hegwer says:

    It’s all about customer service for me. My website/blog is like my yellow-pages advertisement (which I don’t have).

    Everybody get’s a thanks for responding e-mail. For me, a travelling wedding photographer, I neve know where my next client will come from. It really pays to provide this kind of responsiveness to potential clients.

    Perhaps one day my comments section will get so many that I can’t keep up, but until then, everyone gets at the very least a “thanks for commenting” note. If you don’t beleive me, just try it out.

  5. Carey says:

    I respond to comments in a general box, since i do not know how to leave a comment attached to the one left. If there is an email address from someone, and they ask a question i try to send them a reply. I dont get a lot of comments, but i do try to visit the people who leave comments and post on their site as well.

  6. Arnold says:

    I think it depends on the volume of comments.

    Up to now, I’ve just responded by adding a comment in reply as I’ve only had a handful of comments on any given post.

    However, on some blogs with a really high volume of comments I think it would be better to have a separate forum as it’s a pain to reply a few times when there are hundreds of comments to download before you even get to the “add my comment” box.

  7. Anne says:

    sometimes I respond to comments if asked a question. or sometimes to say thank you or to continue the conversation lol.

  8. maria says:

    you may do whatever you like with my comments…i comment and bolt..99 times out of 100. just like i post and forget. someone had asked me a ? in a comment and I didn’t even see it for 5 days…i felt so bad.

  9. This Eclectic Life says:

    I can see where people with a lot of blog traffic would have a problem commenting to them all. Right now, I sometimes add a comment that includes responses to several folks at once. Sometimes, I visit the other blog and leave the comment there. But, it’s true that we need to let folks know we appreciated their response. I liked the idea from the first article you mentioned of deleting the comments of those who seem to just be fishing for a link.
    I was unaware that I could reply inside a comment box! Can you do that? I’ll have to try it!
    This was a helpful post!

  10. Pamela says:

    I would like to responde personally to comments, but unless their link attaches an email to blogger, then I can’t.

    I still don’t have a blogger template, so I am unable to use all the new features they have. That might be one of them.

    I often reply back on my blog comment section when I’m in the mood.

    I know when your mood changes because your template does!!!!

  11. yoshi says:

    This is always a tough thing. There are so many ways to handle this, who knows what is the right way.

    Sometimes, I’ll comment directly on the entry. Sometimes, I’ll email a reply to the person. I try to at the very least email a reply and/or post the same reply on the entry.

    But wow, it gets crazy. I just wish that I could email a reply and it would automatically add on the comment on the entry for me. Hmm. sounds like a project for me to do.

    But I think the ability to subscribe to the comments is important. I say this because I visit so many blogs that I won’t remember every single comment that I’ve made, and know where to go to see any responses. This is one thing I especially don’t like about blogger. You don’t seem to have the ability to do that. If there is a way, someone please tell me!

    But any way you do it, is probably all right with everyone. :)

  12. Lissete says:

    I personally never go back to a comment that I posted, so I wouldn’t know if the blog owner had responded or commented back.

    If a comment that I receive includes a question or even a comment that I want to comment back on, I will email an answer if the email addy is available. I also visit their blog.

    I hope that I haven’t offended anyone if I was not able to respond.

  13. wendy says:

    I don’t get a lot of questions but when I do I reply in a new comment box. I usually try to comment to whomever has commented when I do so though whether they have asked a question or not. Sometimes I’m good at keeping up with comments…most of the time I’m not.

  14. Desert Songbird says:

    I did my first “weekly wrap up” post yesterday where I addressed what I felt were the highlight comments for the week.

    We’ll see how it goes. I already had one person who said she really liked the post.

  15. Lorri says:

    I don’t get a ton of comments, so it’s not that hard for me. If someone makes a general comment like “I agree” or “how cute” or “sounds like you had a great time” then I don’t usually respond. I receive all comments to my blog in emails, so if someone asks me a question, I just reply back through email. If the answer is something I think other people would be interested in and I’m willing to share it, I’ll respond in my comments. Sometimes the answer merits a post of its own, so then I’ll write one.

  16. Pass the Torch says:

    I LOVE the comments I get on my blog, but lately I just haven’t had the time to respond to them. Sometimes I’ll reply via email and sometimes I’ll respond within comments, but I’ve been behind on most things, and this is something I had to cut down on.

  17. TopChamp says:

    I don’t know how to reply by e-mail… so I’ll usually reply to a question in the comments or in my next post.

    I do love commenting though and I love getting comments. You can reply or not reply any way you like x

  18. Holly Schwendiman says:

    I love the conversation on this topic. I respond to every comment left on my blog – I think it’s very important and good blog etiquette. I don’t create a new comment to respond because I like to keep my comments statistics accurate regarding comments from visitors so I edit the comment by adding my response in bold under the original one. But sometimes I know people may not come back to read my response so if it’s important I’ll e-mail them too. I also always visit the blogs of those who comment or visit my blog and leave comments on their blogs and if they use e-mail to reply to my comments I will return the favor often using the same method. I use comments to help dictate which blogs I will be faithful to in reading as well. If someone never reciprocates multiple comments on their blogs I’ll rarely continue reading their blog. In turn, if someone is a faithful commenter I will subscribe and return the favor regardless of whether it is my favorite read or not. I find so often you get what you give.


  19. Holly Schwendiman says:

    I forgot to add that there is an exception to the response to every comment for me: the Wordless Wednesday meme. For volume and purpose of the project I simply visit every commenter’s WW and leave a comment there.


  20. Karen is Thrifty says:

    I usually return a comment at my blog post. If I have time, I will visit their blog too.

  21. Renee says:

    The blogs that I like to visit the most are the ones where the comments are responded to. I don’t really care how they do it, email, in the comment that I wrote, or a separate comment box.
    It just gives me a good feeling to know that my comments are being read…even if the blogauthor disagrees with me.

    One of my all time favorite blogs we commenters often comment to eachother. The blogauthor sometimes joins in as we are usually picking on him, and if we happen to include some of his favorite topics he is sure to join in.

    I really enjoy your blog because you do make a real effort to comment back.

    I think you are the Queen of comments! I don’t know how you find the time.

  22. Mary (mert) says:

    If my blog could send and email reply, i would do it that way… but blogger doesn’t. I always feel weird about replying to a question on the other persons blog, but I have done that. I am bad about answering questions in comments too… but how often does a person really come back to follow up on their question? I read so many blogs that I sometimes can’t remember what I asked where.

    lately, I have been trying to find a balance between life and blogging… I’m not being as obsessive about blogging, but that means that I don’t have as much time to reply to comments sometimes. I do try to reciprocate blog visits as much as possible though. And visit my blog buddies first! :D

    I’m glad I’m one of your blogging buddies! I am you buddy, right? LOL!

  23. Amy says:

    Check out what Southern Girl does at http://southern-born-and-bred.blogspot.com. I like it because we get to see what other people are asking as well and then we just learn that much more about a person! Does look like it will take a bit of work though, but I know how much I am enjoying it too!

    I checked it out and it seems like a good idea. Maybe I could do an end-of-the-week recap or something.

  24. jenn says:

    I usually respond by e-mail to comments, not all of them, but the ones that need a thank you, or a response.

    I usually don’t come back to a post to visit comments, unless it’s something I’m REALLY dying to know I won’t even remember that I asked a question in the first place. I personally like the e-mail thing because it’s faster for me to respond and it’s fun to get a response from someone else.

  25. jenn says:

    I like responding to my commenters in an e-mail. it’s faster for me that way and I think, especially if they’ve asked a question it’s easier for the person that left the comment. I often times forget to come back and check for an answer to my question.

    BTW – that doesn’t mean I respond to ALL my comments, but most of the time I will.

  26. Sparky Duck says:

    well, you know what I do, though the idea was stolen from Trish and I am also a bit behind on it this week

  27. rach says:

    I love receiving comments and I try my best to reply to them individually in my blog.

    However, I find it a little difficult to reply individually on my blog when I receive comments for weekly memes so I often give the person a visit and reply there.

  28. NOLADawn says:

    You know I never really realized how you replied within the comment until this post. I’m going to try to do that from now on when it comes to a regular post. As for memes, I try to visit their site and reply there.

  29. Scone says:

    I like the way you respond within the comment; that lets other people follow the Q&A or conversation a lot easier. It’s always nice to get a response, but you do have a lot of readers! I wouldn’t expect you to answer every comment, and the readers’ comment string can be a good conversation by itself. Thanks for caring.

  30. Zeus says:

    I am the absolute worst when it comes to acknowledging my readers through the comments. I tend to only respond back to comments when I have been asked direct questions. Otherwise, I let people talk amongst themselves in my comments. I think I may just have to read the two linked articles to get some ideas for increasing my readership.

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