Tag Archives: comments

You Can’t Please Everyone – Comments

Over the last couple months, I’ve been receiving a lot of comments on two posts which talk about things that bring a lot of controversy. One is about politics, the other is about climate change.

I’m better at talking about climate change, so I don’t have a problem rebutting climate change deniers’ claims. One comment questioned what I said in the post and provided some information about Mt. Etna’s CO2 output, thinking he won the “debate.” Well, the information he told me matches what was said on Snopes, as well as scientific sources. It only confirmed what I’d said. That backfired.

And about Snopes, if I refer to a Snopes article, don’t say it’s not a legitimate source. You know why? The information they give references scientific journals, government research, and other legitimate sources.

But then, we get to the political post. The topic doesn’t matter, but what does matter is how people comment. I was insulted in a rather crude manner. The first rule on this blog for comments is this: Do not insult anyone. The second rule: Be civil. These people broke those rules.

If you want to have a constructive conversation, then behave. Use intelligent arguments, not reactionary ones. Don’t use all caps on random words. Whenever I see comments like that, I can pretty safely assume that the person is irrational and illogical. All caps don’t make an argument stronger, it makes the person look like they’re shouting. Don’t call me or other commenters idiots. Behaviour like this makes a person less credible. It’s not worth my time to debate with people like this.

Now that I got this off my chest, I’ll return this blog to normal.

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What Defines a Successful Blog?

Blogging can be a hobby, a platform for selling something, or it could be a job. But what makes a blog successful?

My short answer: You enjoy doing it. That’s it. The numbers don’t matter.

But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about the numbers. The numbers are fascinating for me. I like to see them go up, but this isn’t because I have an ego to stroke. More views and more followers mean my network grows and my ability to get my books out to more readers improves. It’s an important factor for my future livelihood.

If we look at the numbers, there are several to consider: views, followers, likes, reblogs, and comments. They all show something positive.

  • Views: The more you have, the more popular your blog may be, or you’re just good at marketing your blog.
  • Followers: Another measure of popularity. Or maybe you follow a lot, so they follow back.
  • Likes: If they like the post, then they click on like. Or they click on like merely because they saw it in their newsfeed without even reading it.
  • Reblogs: Someone really likes your post! But I find that these aren’t nearly as common as the other factors.
  • Comments: People want to talk about what you posted. What you said inspired someone to say something. It means your message is getting out to people and they want to engage with you.

Personally, I think the most important measure is comments, especially if many of them are your own. This means you are active, interested in your readers, and attract readers. They want to talk to you. Views are good, especially if you have a lot of return readers. You can easily tell this by your comments section. You want people to return. But I believe comments are the greatest indicator of your blog’s success.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below (see what I did there?).

Authors Answer 69 – Unusual Comments and Requests

The more well-known an author gets, the more likely they’ll receive some interesting comments or requests by email or on their blog or website. Some may be lucky to get totally sane comments, others may get totally crazy requests. This is what we’ve received.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 69 – As a writer or blogger, what was the most unusual request or comment you’ve received?

D. T. Nova

I don’t think I’ve gotten either a comment or a specific request that was really unusual. (Unless you count spam comments, which can be hilarious when they aren’t just unreadable.) Or a specific request at all.

I got a comment from someone who didn’t like Oreos. That was really unusual.

Eric Wood

I wish I could say I’ve received from strange and unusual requests or comments, But I can’t. Or at least not truthfully. I sure can’t wait to read what the other authors share for this one!

Gregory S. Close

I can honestly say that I’ve not received any weird or outlandish requests.  I guess I can look forward to the day when that might be a problem!

Linda G. Hill

I don’t get many unusual requests. The comments that often stump me are those which make no sense because of typos or because the writer’s first language isn’t English. The latter I find to be quite tricky, since I know what it’s like to try my best at a foreign language only to be laughed at.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I don’t think I’ve gotten any off the wall requests. The closest I’ve come was an invitation to join a food tour in Miami and blog about it. That request on its own wasn’t strange, especially because I kept a sporadically-updated food blog at the time, but the strange part was that the invitation came in the form of a comment on my writing blog. (I went on the tour and it was tasty, by the way.)

S. R. Carrillo

Every comment I’ve received has been unusual in its own little way, but this is another matter of memory, and that is where I continuously fail.

Paul B. Spence

I usually don’t like to talk about my love life… In seriousness, I suppose the most unusual was someone asking me if writing about so many “evil” things was difficult for me, morally. Took me a moment to realize the person was talking about Science, my comfort in writing about women and gay issues, and the equality in my books, not the ancient evil monsters from beyond. I was troubled by that…

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I don’t know if I’ve really gotten that many unusual requests or comments. On YouTube I’ve gotten a few declarations of love that caught me a little off-guard, but there hasn’t been much strange or unexpected on the blog or with regards to the book. I suppose if I was going to give one example, I’d say this one rating/review I got on “Nowhere to Hide” on Goodreads. The guy basically had nothing but good things to say about the book, but then he gave me a 3-out-of-5-star rating. That really perplexed me, because if I had literally nothing bad to say about a product, I’d probably give it 5 stars, right? And if he really thought it was only worth 3 stars, then why didn’t he explain his reasoning? I don’t know, that one just kinda annoyed me. I can handle the 3-star rating, but tell me why ​you only gave it 3.

Jean Davis

I wish I had an entertaining story to tell here, but  my blog followers have been well behaved and comments on my writing have been fairly standard. I’ve been thankful for that, but now I’m going to be waiting for something really far out there to pop up so I can share it the next time a question like this pops up.

H. Anthe Davis

Beside bizarre spam comments?  Nothing much, really.  All my commentators have been (apparently) sensible people, and the wacky comments tend to come from my RPG friends, so they don’t really count.  (I play some of my story-characters in games with them, so now and then we’ll break into in-character commentary on a post.)

Allen Tiffany

In response to my novel on combat in Vietnam, a woman reached to me on my page on Facebook and publicly posted pictures of the headstones of her husband, brother and uncle. She said they all  died in combat in Vietnam or later from wounds suffered in Vietnam. She thanked me for writing about the trauma of war and the wreckage it leaves behind. I did not know what to say for a while. I stared at that one for a long time before I could respond.

If I did not fully believe it before this happened, it certainly drove home to me the power of words and of storytelling.

Jay Dee Archer

I’ve had a couple. The first was a comment about a worldbuilding post I’d made on this blog. It came as a response to a Facebook post I made linking to the blog post from someone I knew in school. He’s a Christian fundamentalist and creationist, and he was offended about my talk about the creation of a planet.

The second was a request to write a guest post on the blog. It was an interesting topic, and I said yes. However, it turned out to be an advertisement or endorsement for a product, which goes against WordPress guidelines for free blogs. I cannot have advertisements for products, unless I have a paid account.

How about you?

Have any of you bloggers or authors received unusual comments or requests? Share them in the comments below.

My Take on This Whole Blogging Thing

I write this blog for many reasons. I’m sure everyone has their reasons, and not everyone is the same. But I think most people would like to have other people read their blogs and interact with them. How can we attract readers? Here are some ideas I have and what I’ve done.

Focus

Your blog should have a focus. Try not to be too broad in terms of topics. People looking for a certain topic will be more likely to stay and read more of your posts if you stay on topic.

What I’m doing is focusing on writing, books, and anything related to the genres I read and write in. I focus on science fiction and fantasy, so I will often post about writing in those genres, book reviews, worldbuilding, and so on. I write about science, as well. But this relates to science fiction and using science to make it more believable. I will also be writing a lot on geography, which goes hand-in-hand with worldbuilding. I want to understand the world I’ve created, so I’ll study our world and make mine more realistic. Consider it a big research project.

Reply to Comments

If you want to have people return to your blog regularly, make sure that you reply to their comments. They’ll see that you care about what they have to say, and they’ll want to engage with you on your blog more often.

I do this. I reply to every comment that I can. I’ve built a good group of regular commenters, and I thank them every month with Commentition. This month, I’ve had a slow month. My views are down, the comments are down. I’ve been slow at replying. I think there is a direct correlation. However, consider the fact that my sister was here for half of the month, and I was writing mostly shorter posts and haven’t had much time to reply regularly. My sister has gone back home, so things should return to normal now.

Post at Regular Times

It’s best to understand when your readers are online. Consider where they live, and what times they’ll most likely be online. Post at those times if possible. If not, then set your blog to post at those times for you. Use the scheduling feature. Your posts will be more visible, and they’ll come.

Most of my readers are in North America, so I tend to post around the evening and morning. Interestingly, the most popular time on my blog is in the morning, so I try post at those times. This post will be visible to everyone in the evening, though. But that’s fine, because that’s also a busy time.

Reply to Comments Part 2

Reply to your comments after you post. That way, those who come to read your comment will check and see if you’ve posted anything else.

Exactly what I try to do. In fact, after I post this, I’ll be replying to comments!

Comment Elsewhere

Don’t just comment on your blog, comment on other blogs. Comment on blogs that are popular. You’ll get greater exposure that way. And if the owner of that blog happens to like what you say, they will probably visit your blog, and who knows, maybe they’ll reblog something you post.

I try doing this, but it seems that I often don’t have time. I need to work on this myself.

So, does all of this work for me? It has worked quite well. That is, it works well when I stick with it. I don’t always do a good job at taking my own advice. Looking at my blog stats, I notice that this month is likely to be my worst month this year. But that’s because of my sister’s visit. Two years ago, I crossed the 1,000 view per month barrier. Why? Perhaps because of a post a day challenge I set for myself. I then decided to continue doing a post a day for 2014, and my numbers kept going up, eventually passing 2,000 views per month. Then for this year, I increased that to two posts a day, and I topped 3,000 views in January. I’ve repeated that a few times this year, and not one month has been below 2,000 views. I must be doing something right.

But there’s a problem. This year, I’ve stagnated. The views haven’t increased.  The comments have, though. I have far greater interaction on this blog than I ever have, which is wonderful. I’d like to get more readers, though. So what’s wrong? I think this goes back to commenting on other blogs. I’m not attracting those other bloggers. I don’t comment elsewhere regularly enough. This is something I must focus on, and it will be my big focus over the next few months.

Other things that definitely help are the following:

  • Use social media to plug your posts.
  • Provide a link to your blog in your signature on discussion forums.
  • Tag your posts with appropriate tags, but keep it under thirteen.
  • Invite comments on your posts by asking questions.
  • Do a weekly series that keeps readers coming back, and post them every week on the same day.
  • Provide links to websites you reference. This can help your search rankings.
  • Link to blogs, don’t reblog. If you like another person’s blog post, say something meaningful in a blog post about it, and link to the post. People often don’t like reading reblogs very much.
  • Use pictures in your posts. They’ll be more visible in your blog reader, as well as social media.
  • And finally, be yourself. I think if the post sounds more personable, then people will like it more and want to interact.

So, my question to you is this: What else would you recommend to help increase readership and interaction? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. And please share this post. Let’s get some great advice.

The Blog Post Share Project – Share the Love

I was thinking yesterday, I’m usually giving blog posts I like a comment and a like. I get plenty of those myself on this blog. But there are other ways to show your appreciation to blogs and bloggers.

So, how about this? Whenever you see a blog post you like, don’t just like it. Leave a comment if there’s something you want to say, of course. But why not use social media to help get the word out to others about that post? At the bottom of each post in a blog, there should be buttons you can click on for various social media. Twitter is great, if you use it. Why not pin it on Pinterest? Or how about share it with your friends on Facebook? Or even Google+? If you think the post is really, really good, you could even share it on Reddit.

So, this is what I’m going to do from now on. When I read a blog post I think should be shared with everyone, I will not only like and comment, but I will share on social media. Who’s with me on this idea? Let’s share our love for great blog posts!

And while you’re at it, share this post on social media.

I Need More Time

Ever feel like your entire day is work, then running around and doing things, never able to sit down? That’s kind of how I’ve been feeling recently. And once I finish one thing, then something else has to be done.

In fact, once I finish this blog post, I’m going to work. And when I get home tonight, I’ll have eating to do, then getting a bunch of stuff done around the apartment. But the thing I really need to catch up on is comments on this blog. I’m a little behind, so I apologise for that. But I’ll get caught up.

Life sometimes takes over. Just hoping I can take charge of life.