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Posted by: David Spinks - 26 July 2010 / 9:39
The question comes up all the time.
“How often should I reply to comments on my blog?”
My response is always the same and I’d like to explain why. I think that bloggers should reply to every single legitimate comment they get. By legitimate, I mean, it’s not spam or one of those “omg great post I totally agree” comment.
A general rule of thumb: Respond to a comment with equal effort to the commenter. That means, when a reader really takes the time to read your post, and share their thoughts, you owe it to them to respond with a thoroughly thought out response.
So why should you, a busy blogger, take the time to read and respond to every single comment? Here’s 7 reasons:
1. It shows your readers that you’re listening.
When someone comments on your blog, they expect you to read it. Responding to every comment shows that you’re reading each comment.
2. Drives the conversation further.
Maybe you don’t care about driving conversation. If you do, then as the host of the conversation, it’s up to you to get it going. Responding to every comment will help get a discussion going amongst your readers.
3. Builds a connection with more readers.
By responding to every reader who comments, you create a connection with each reader. I probably don’t have to tell you, but you never know what a simple connection can lead to. If you’re a business blogger, you can create valuable networking opportunities. If you’re a personal blogger, it’s still great to get to know your readers.
4. You’d appreciate the same treatment.
When you comment on a blog and get a well thought out response from the blogger… Feels good yeah? Yeah.
5. It will encourage more readers to comment, knowing that they’ll get a response.
If a reader sees that you respond to every comment, they can feel confident that they’ll get a response if they comment too. This will drive readers to comment on your blog more often.
6. Makes your posts look more popular.
This really shouldn’t be your reason for responding to comments, as it’s somewhat misleading, but it’s still worth noting. If your comments are included in the count of comments on your posts, it will look more popular. Of course, as soon as they see the comments, they’ll see that a lot of the comments came from you.
7. Improve the quality of comments.
If your readers know that you’re likely to respond, they’re likely to put more thought into their comment. It holds them to a higher standard.
You may not care about any of these things. If you do, then give it a shot. Respond to every comment. It’ll pay off.