Authenticity In Engagement

It’s shouldn’t come as a surprise to any blogger, that writing posts can be draining, articulating your thoughts onto a blank screen? Yeah, let’s just pretend this post will write itself, shall we? That’d be lovely though. We put hours into each post we publish, taking into account any research, reading, writing the post, formatting and editing the post, graphics…oh and huzzah! Scheduled/published.

Now what? Well…now we wait for engagement.

Likes, comments, sharing our post on twitter all can make us bloggers feel fuzzy inside. It shows people appreciate our work, dedication, unhealthy obsession with yogurt coated cranberries caffeine and want to hear what we have to say.

Here’s the thing though, we don’t appreciate comments for the sake of well…you commenting. Nor do we appreciate comments, which hold no authenticity. (Stay with me here folks, I swear I’ll explain!)

I’m just gonna shout out my partner in crime here, Sam @ Fictionally. Sam came up with this pretty neat title, before I had a chance to blurt out a bunch of gibberish on my idea. Sam, you’re awesome thank you for reading my mind, better than I could. *coughs* Moving on, I do plan to have a post go up in my Book Blogging 101 series, about Blog Hopping & Commenting but I also really want to talk about this for a hot 1.1k words.

Commenting For The Sake Of It

Imagine this…

You’ve spent 3 hours on this post, you’re really proud of how it turned out as well. It’s been published for a few days now and you go to check the comments. 99% of them are AWESOME comments which make you feel fuzzy, appreciated and a lil giddy. But then…then you see this comment which is maybe “Great post!” or “Interesting!” or even this “Loved this”

If you have nothing to say on a post, that’s TOTALLY ok. I’ve frequently blog hopped to posts, read them and been well I’m sorry but I have nothing else to say. Or I just draw a blank on how to leave a thoughtful comment. So I leave a like and usually go on my way.

These short generic kind of comments, scream to us that you’ve commented for the sake of it. Yes it’s nice to return comments to people who left comments on your post/s, it’s also nice to leave comments in general; 3 hours of work reduced to a 2 word comment and maybe punctuation/emoji? I don’t think so.

A way to still leave a thoughtful comment, which includes these phrases would be something like this.

“I really loved <insert what you loved in the post> but I didn’t agree with/also think that <insert another point>. I loved this post!”

What this then says to us, is oh look, they have read my post. They also liked this or disagreed with that, oh and they loved my post. That’s awesome, I feel all warm and fuzzy!

Think back to analysing a book/text in class, you had to pick on parts to analyse. Use that method and apply it to blog posts, if you just say you like the post…does that sound like you read it? Does it sound genuine or generic? I’m not saying pick apart the entire post and ask them why they used this word, and that phrase there.

Look for a sentence or two which grab you and resonate with you, talk about that in your comment. That’s enough. *gasps* Authentic comments are really that simple?

Did You Even Read This?

We have this type of comment as well, which can crop up on many types of posts I guess, its more noticeable on say reviews. If the blogger shares their thoughts, opinions on a book and gives it say a 2 star rating.

Don’t comment “awesome review, this sounds like a fun read.”

Or something along those lines. Why not? Well, does it read to you like they read your review? To me it looks like they skim read it, and went let’s compliment the post and add in that the book sounds interesting.

I’m not saying you can’t use this phrase ever, on a post where the reviewer has rated it low. What you should think about doing instead, is expanding your comment more. Why does it sound like a good read to you? What didn’t they like about the book, that you think you may enjoy?

Adding those two answers into your comment, can honestly make such a difference. Let’s create a mock up shall we.

“I’m sorry this wasn’t the book for you, but I actually really like <insert feature you like they didn’t> so I think I may enjoy it! Awesome review!”

It reads better, oh look they read my review, awesome I hope they end up enjoying the book. You know, it also allows us to at least reply to the comment with “Thanks, I hope you end up enjoying the book!”

But I WANT To Comment Still…

If you want to comment, but are worried about maybe it being too generic. Consult said list below (we love a list!) but also remember a like is always as good as a comment, in fact we’d love a like instead of a generic comment. Or even share it on twitter! They’re both GREAT ways to show your love and appreciation for said post and blogger.

  • Is it under 10 words?
  • If yes attempt to expand comment by picking out a sentence or two which resonated with you
  • If no then you’re good to leave this list by the way 😉
  • Struggling with expanding?
  • Likes are also appreciated as is sharing it on twitter for example
  • Bottom line is if you don’t have anything to add in the comments, discuss, talk about then like/share and leave
  • We won’t mind

Also, an awesome thing to remember whilst you go on your blog hopping way, is you should always click on the post, before reading it. Why? Well then we get a view for that post, if you just read it from the homepage or Bloglovin’ we don’t get those stats. (this is more a point for blogs which don’t have excerpts, as you can just read their posts on the home page. Doing that won’t give them a view, so make them happier and give them that view! It takes one click = one view = happy blogger!)

Genuine comments are written from people who find something to genuinely connect to in a post, if the post makes them feel something then they’ll have something to say. If they agree/disagree and so on, they’ll have things to say in the comments. We’re not going to relate with every post though, we’re also not going to have something to say at the end, of each post we read.

It’s ok to not comment on every post you read. No one’s going to come after you with a pitchfork for your soul, just because you don’t comment on every post. they’re more likely to come for you if you keep leaving generic comments though

Friends, it’s ok if you’ve left the odd generic comment over the time. I’m curious though, if you feel like you can’t comment on a post, for whatever reason. Do you just like it and leave? Do you like and share it? What if there’s no like button? What do you do when there’s no like button?! 

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48 thoughts on “Authenticity In Engagement

  1. Yes! There is a particular someone who consistently comments on my posts, “Great review!” or “Sounds great!” and I know they are just spam commenting because A) It wasn’t a review (this happens A LOT) or B) I hated the book I was talking about, what about it made it seem like I had positive thoughts on the read?

    Drives me up the wall. No shame in smacking on a like if you have nothing to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I usually end up liking things because commenting is hard for me. I’m not a native English speaker so it’s difficult for me to say exactly what I want to quickly and concisely. (just now I spent 2 minutes looking for the word concise even tho it’s the same as in French…) What I’ve been doing recently is to pick a small part of the post to comment on. It makes it less intimidating for me, but I’m still adding something of value.

    Liked by 1 person

    • English is my native language and I still struggle to say things concisely, so you’re not alone, but *tips hat to you* I’d probably combust into smoke trying to comment in a language which wasn’t English. Picking a small part to comment on is a great way to go about commenting!

      Like

  3. I get comments a lot on my blog where it’s clear the blogger didn’t read the post at all because they’ll often say, “Sounds amazing!” on a negative review or, very frequently, assume the post is about something it’s not, apparently based on the title. Like maybe I’ll try to be provocative with a title like “Are libraries obsolete?” and people will come on and yell at me for saying libraries are obsolete, even though I wrote a post about how they are not obsolete. It feels like a waste of my time to reply, though, since they didn’t even read the original post.

    I will say, however, that even though I personally find this annoying, there are extremely successful bloggers who have built their brand and audience through frequently commenting around, even though their comments on my blog almost always indicate they didn’t read the post. So maybe a lot of people don’t notice the lack of engagement? Maybe this is actually a viable strategy for increasing your page views? I don’t know. But, personally, I blog to engage, so I wouldn’t want to employ that strategy myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it *is* an often recommended strategy for increasing page views… I’ve seen that several times in posts about building blog traffic. It’s the wrong approach, IMO, without adding value to your comments and wanting to engage with the other person in the first place.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Gotta love the peeps who don’t even read the post, just start shrieking based on the title *shakes head*

      That’s an interesting thought, honestly though I blog to engage too, if I’m leaving meaningless comments on posts like how is that helping myself or the other blogger? I also try and leave genuine comments/the kind I like to get on my blog. You know the whole “treat others how you’d like to be treated” is kinda how I view commenting to be honest and interacting with the community too I guess.

      Like

      • Yeah, I think treating others how you want to be treated works well! I also think it helps to consider commenting a form of conversation. If I wouldn’t ignore someone in real life and then vaguely reply with, “Sounds good,” I shouldn’t do that online.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I try hard to leave a good, conversation starter comment. I am disappointed though by blogs that don’t alert you where there is a reply to your review. So I comment but never hear back. Frustrating. However, even if I can’t think of something to say, I will share to twitter if that is available.

    I did like your mention of people going directly to the blog’s site to read the post instead of reading it in the RSS reader like Bloglovin or Feedly. It’s nice to see the clicks, it gives me a better idea of my traffic.

    Nice post, hopefully it will give people a little push to be more engaging in their comments. That is why I started the blog anyway, to communicate and get involved with the book blog community!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I mean I usually tick to get replies to my comment sent via email but ah….I usually totally space out and forget to check. I do my best to leave a question/s at the end of my blog post/s as I always appreciate those who do that on theirs. It’s just sometimes my mind blanks after a long post and I’m just “uh what do I want to say again?” so having a question at the bottom helps me sometimes.

      Sometimes we just forget to click to go to the site and really we shouldn’t, but it happens sometimes. Aaaah I hope so Tanya, I also joined for the community and to communicate so I love engaging within the comments hehe

      Like

  5. Love this whole post. Views, likes, and shares are always appreciated! And no, I certainly don’t comment on every post I read. I’m coming to value engagement above all and try to make any comments meaningful, whether it’s a blog, Bookstagram, or whatever. (Not always for Twitter. Sometimes a GIF is the only appropriate response on Twitter, LOL.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mean GIFs definitely have there place on Twitter hahaha, meaningful comments is the main reason I’ve not totally immersed myself in Bookstagram yet. When I do, I want to be able to dedicate time to scrolling, liking and leaving meaningful comments but for now I’m focusing on doing that for blog posts hehe. Glad you loved this post Cris!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a very nice post… I have trouble commenting on many posts too because I’m unsure of what to say, so I just leave likes… but I love review posts and definitely leave a comment when i can…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Depending on the post depends on what you can say in your comment I guess. When commenting on discussion posts, I always love commenting on points the blogger made, as well as adding in my own insights on the topic etc. Reviews are fun but I struggle reading those mostly because I prefer to read them if I’ve read the book *looks sheepish*

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ouhh this is so important, you’ll be sure to see your post in my March Bujo post !

    *aherm* im guilty of doing thoses “empty comments” sometimes xD but only sometimes I swear !! Most of the time I do expend to your suggested ones myself, and though I do find bloglvin so very helpful to bloghop, I always go onto the link to comment so… yay !!

    Oh- another thing !! As Dani @ perspective of a writer mentionned.. we can also share it instead if we really did loved it and couldn’t find a “proper” thing to say 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awh thanks so much Kristina! ❤

      I mean we've all done it at some point, I did some empty-ish ones early on when I started like they were a sentence *laughs sheepishly* Bloglovin' is useful I just really don't use it all that much, I tend to hop via shareyourposts channels and twitter sometimes. Totally agreed that we can share it even on our own blogs in a wrap up!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Clo, this post was extremely validating to me. Coming back to blogging after a long time, I feel like I’m super behind, and I have to comment on every single post that pops up in my reader. But I’m really working on resisting that impulse. The fact is, not every single post is going to resonate with every single person who comes across it, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve learned that I have way more fun blog hopping if I try to read and comment on the posts that truly interest me, where I actually have something to say.

    I also really love what you said about sharing posts when you don’t necessarily have anything to say in the comments. It’s something I hadn’t necessarily thought about (I’m awful at remembering to get on Twitter, tbh) but it’s definitely an important point. And I’m glad you mentioned that leaving a like is just as appreciated. Sometimes I worry that I like too many posts, but I just want the blogger to know that I appreciate what they’re doing. I’m just…a fluffy Hufflepuff marshemllow sometimes and I want people to know that they’re awesome!

    BTW: You’re awesome! I really enjoy reading your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sometimes I am guilty of this, ESPECIALLY with reviews, I try really hard to usually give out very thoughtful posts but sometimes I’ll see a post with no comments and it’ll be a review and I feel like if I leave a comment I hope that someone else will too…but! I try my best not do that at all now! And if it’s not a review I’ll never leave a comment that can’t add anything to the post. Either way, I’m done with leaving tiny comments and just stay away from reviews of books I don’t have any interest lol, great post 😉

    Like

  10. Great Post Clo!
    This is such an important topic and I am glad to see you discussing it.
    Your tips are amazing and well, you know, one like makes you feel good while a bad comment drains all that away, so it is better if you just like rather than commenting even when you have nothing to say.
    ANd I so get the ‘Did you read this’ part, I mean, some ppl comment cuz of the title or just see the name of the book and start commenting without even looking at what your views are about them! IT annoyed me to no end.

    Like

  11. I get a lot of “Great post. Here’s my link” comments. I delete them. I love when people leave links in comments, but I don’t want my blog to be used as a bulletin board for random websites. At least say something before you leave your link! I’m guilty of leaving generic comments. If a post has 0 comments, I feel bad and try to say SOMETHING, even if it’s not brilliant.

    Like

  12. Can we get an AMEN over here?! I think you made some amazing points here. Especially emphasizing the SHARE point. I always forget about that. How do I forget about that?! DUH, the button is right there next to the like, right above the comment box–its not hard! And shares are huge for us as bloggers.

    Like

  13. look Clo I don’t even have to imagine that scene, because (as you know from my ranting, haha) it happens so frequently 😕 it’s definitely really frustrating, and while I know they probably had good intentions … yup, “3 hours of work reduced to a 2 word comment and maybe punctuation/emoji” is exactly how it feels.

    while I was frequently reading/posting/commenting on fanfiction sites I noticed that my favorite comments were always the ones that picked out certain lines and reacted to them, because it really shows that they read closely (and a lot of the time they picked out my own favorite lines, which is so satisfying!) 💕 with blogging it’s often more about ideas and concepts than the actual wording, but I do still use a similar concept.

    and omg I lowkey panic when there’s no “like” button and I don’t have anything to say!! not enough to leave a meaningless comment though, luckily 😉

    Like

  14. Oh boy, with me is a gamble. I guess leaving one-word comments never really crossed my mind. Sometimes I’ll read a post and a comment will instantly pop in my head so I’ll write it. That’s best case scenario. But sometimes no comment will come to my head and you really want to leave a comment that the writer will engage with…that you end up writing nothing ^^’ (and just liking it, which, like you said, isn’t bad).

    Like

  15. I love that you’ve talked about this and have given tips because a lot of people don’t know where to start. I definitely use the technique of being sure to pick out a sentence or a point that I liked to make sure the blogger knows I read it. It’s also a great way to let them know that we might have similar ideas and they might be interested in my posts (not doing it exclusively for them to read my content, but it is sometimes a consideration).
    On my blog, I have every post with a “Read More” option so that readers have to click into my post to see the full thing – that’s one way I make sure to get the views on each post. Helps me know which ones readers are more interested in!

    Like

  16. I’m going to say that I don’t nessecarily agree with you completely. At least they took the time to comment. Some people find it really hard to leave comments but still want to engage in some way. In that way I don’t mind the generic ones. They are just so hard to reply to (which is what I try to do with each comment I get at least). What I do find annoying is when a blogger comments the same variation of generic comment on my ttt every week.

    Having said that I try my best to leave a comment of at least a good full sentence, preferably more. If I don’t have anything to say I don’t have anything to say. When I still like a post though I’ll like it. Sometimes I share on twitter and put a link in my wrap up posts pointing the way for others there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm I get that, I think I just personally would rather my blog stats and comments be a place of genuine engagement where its a two sided conversation about something, rather than someone stating they loved/liked etc the post. But that’s just me.

      I often share links of posts in my wrap ups, I love sharing other people’s posts which I’ve enjoyed and to hopefully give them a tiny bit of traffic/support from those who read my wrap ups.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. THANK YOU! I know that this approach to engagement and comments isn’t for everyone, but I reaqlly truly think that it’s for the best for everyone involved. The commenter no longer feels the obligation to comment, and with that weight being lifted you are having more authentic conversations and maybe even making friends! Ive actually stopped replying to comments that just say “great post’ on my blog; while I appreciate them taking the time to leave a comment and visit, I’d rather my blog’s engagement statistics actually reflect engagement.

    I read everything that’s in my reader except for the down the TBR posts (personal preference), and I will like even if I can’t think of something to say in the comments to let them know I appreciate them. I don’t mind when I only get a like on my post… it means I am doing something right!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same here, I’ve stopped replying to those comments and just like them instead. My reader is probably collecting cobwebs from how little I actually use it *hides sheepishly*

      Never underestimate the power of liking a post, also if you do it enough, we do notice. At least I do if you keep popping up and liking my posts and sometimes I’ll waddle over to your blog 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This is such a great and important post, thank you so much for writing it and sharing it, Clo ❤ I have to say that, sometimes I used to feel like I had to comment everywhere, but there are times when I don't have anything else to add or say, so I'm getting more and more okay with showing my appreciation by liking the post and / or sharing it in my monthly wrap-up. If I love when people are taking the time to comment on my blog posts that took me way too long to draft, it always makes me a little sad to see a generic comment that just points out that this is a "great post". It makes me feel like they didn't read it, not even skim read it to tell what they really liked about it and… well it always makes me a little sad. I'm always here to have genuine, authentic conversations about great topics and we can't have that a lot with these comments 🙂
    Sometimes though, I find it that it can be hard to comment on a post, or, especially at first, I felt really shy about commenting… so I appreciated and always appreciate it a lot when people leave questions at the end of the post, sort of inviting me to speak up, too 🙂
    This was a great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awh thank you so much Marie! ❤ When I first started I definitely felt like I needed to be everywhere, even down to on social media, now though I've realised it's better to focus on one area first and then expand.

      Also the fact that I'm not going to have something to say on every post, so why comment when I could like/share on social media/include in my wrap ups.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. So …. this is an interesting post. As bloggers, I think we all want that meaningful comment or connection with followers. I want people to engage with the posts I write because there’s a lot of effort that goes into writing it! But I actually don’t mind getting the generic comments. For me, that means someone has taken that little bit of effort to at least skim through my post and write something nice. And to be fair, I think I’m guilty of writing generic comments here and there, as well. But I do it because I actually want to show that I appreciate this person putting the effort in to write something that I found interesting, and now this is a book I want to read! I definitely do try to write more than just “Great post”, though, I always try to expand on my feelings about what they wrote, even if it’s just to say, “this book sounds so amazing, I’m glad you liked it and I can’t wait to check it out!”

    Really interesting post, girl, it’s made me think differently about my own commenting habits!

    Like

  20. Wow this is an incredibly helpful post! Me, fortunately has not encounter any comments like that (so far so good) lets hope it will keep it that way. But I do have experience with empty comments. One time I was announcing that I’m quitting my instagram acc and someone commented . Awesome post *inserts thumbs up emoji* and boy did that made me sad. ( Later someone else replied to that comment asking them if they are happy that I’m leaving. They apologized ) Seriously If you do not have anything nice to say don’t comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ahhh I used to do this a bit when I was a new blogger but now. Mostly I type out paras or whatever the hell I feel like but other times I get lazy and just end up liking the post. And yet other times I keep staring at the post for an eternity, wondering what to comment. Wrap up posts give me nightmares in this regard because I have literally nothing to say. Especially on blogs like Evelina’s where there isn’t even a button to like so she has no idea that I’ve read every single one of her weekly wrap-ups and it’s just that I have no idea what to say 🙈👀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mean I totally get that. I don’t mind wrap up posts all that much. If I have to something to say I’ll leave a comment otherwise I’ll like and move along.

      Honestly I wish like buttons were mandatory cause they are life savers

      Liked by 1 person

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