What makes you comment in reply to an article on a Blog?

I’ve been wondering about this a lot.  What makes you stop and comment on a blog article your read?  There are some people who comment all the time.

My top commenters are pretty much the same people.  Three of them switch back and forth duking it out for the “Top Commenter” honors on a daily basis.

Then a new name pops up, and they hang out for a while.  Some disappear.  Are they still reading?  I don’t know.

I don’t know why there is a Shakespeare guy next to this post, either.

I think maybe some people comment for the social-networking aspect, and some people are just looking for information.

Stop, read, and go.  I guess that’s okay too.

Does anyone else mull over this?  I guess I’m weird, but when I visit another blog, I usually like the person to know that I’ve been there.

It’s kind of like poking them with a sword, or leaving a message on someone’s desk.

“Hi!  I stopped by, and wanted to let you know I was here.  Catch ya later”.

According to my stats, I average 150 people visiting this blog every day.  (Crazy, isn’t it?)  I run an average of six to twelve comments per post, give or take a few here and there.  (Yes, a few have gone as high as 50 comments, but that’s not the norm)

That means 90% of people read, but don’t comment.  I’ve seen some people create Gravitar accounts just to comment.  That’s cool.  You don’t need to be a blogger to join in the fun.

So… If you are a commenter, what makes you comment?

If you don’t comment, are you just shy? 

Now, I am completely aware that the people who don’t comment probably still won’t.  But if a few of you do, it would be great!  If you are shy, and think “I don’t have anything to say” just type “Hi, I was here.”

Consider it your first step into the madness of Social Networking.


119 responses to “What makes you comment in reply to an article on a Blog?

  1. Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good
    gains. If you know of any please share. Thank you!

  2. Time is a big factor. I’m so happy that I put aside early morning (5:30 ish) to read blogs. If I like what I’ve read, I push the like button and move on. And if I’m reading my e-mail on the phone, comments are difficult. BUT of course, you’re right, I LOVE it when people comment on my own posts. We just do what we can do. I appreciate all the great blogs out there, and I so appreciate others reading mine. Thanks for getting the conversation rolling…

  3. I comment when i can relate to the text or a picture – or when i like it for no particular reason – and – as you say, to let people know i read/have seen their work… Stuff like that. Great question though, made me ponder for a while! 😉

  4. Hi Jennifer -thanks for visiting my blog. I was honored you stopped by 😉

    I have often wondered the very same things and also noticed that most people don’t comment. The reason I leave comments is because I want that person to know how much 1. their post spoke to me, or 2. I like their site in general. (sometimes both!) I think as a blogger it’s just good manners to leave a mark (like or comment) letting a fellow blogger know you stopped and visited.

    My site is more of a personal nature, so I am also always trying to build relationships for the long haul. I think the only way to do that is by commenting -a back-and-forth relationship just like in real life.

  5. WOW, those photos at the bottom! Thanks for following my site! 🙂

  6. I like alot and comment little. Like you I have some regular commenters and have built up a bit of relationship with some which is just lovely It’s also really lovely to receive a comment from ‘randoms’ though that have been moved in some way..so yes I comment when moved to do so. Great topic for a post Jennifer 🙂

  7. Hello, Jennifer – I tend to read blog posts via my email, and – as is the case with so many people – time is short and there a million other things to do! 😉 So I digest, inwardly thank, and move on to the next email or ‘task’!

    But the title of this post caught my attention – and I realised that I can’t expect people to stop by my blog and leave a comment if I’m struggling to find the time to do that same thing myself!

    So here I am, commenting, and thanking you for your previous (and future!) posts, whilst I have a minute! 😉

    I also echo Julie’s comments above – what more do I have to add of value, anyway?! Perhaps, in future, I could at least click the Like button. 😉

    • It is true that there are a lot of people that read blogs via email. These do not come up as “hits” even though the posts have been read. This is something to keep in mind as well

      Thanks for reading!

  8. I tend to comment on certain blogs regularly (the ones I receive email feed for) or when people stop by and comment on my blog. Generally, though –when arriving at a blog post after surfing the net, I don’t usually comment unless something jumps out at me –i.e.–a post that’s particularly relevant to something I’m working on or doing, etc.

  9. Hello! I comment here occasionally. What makes me comment is usually because your post is something I can relate to, or if something moves me in a certain way. Sometimes I’ll comment if I laughed. I’m just a friendly kind of gal I guess. This sure got the comments! Including mine, again.

  10. Wow! You certainly got a huge response to this post! 🙂

    Many things motivate me to comment on someone’s blog. I comment when I read something that moves me, or if I am reminded of something or if I want to be supportive to the blogger. Sometimes, I’ll just ‘like’ the post to let them know I’ve been by and that I’ve read and liked or agreed with what they had to say. 🙂

  11. Being asked what makes me comment makes me comment!

  12. Hello, let me introduce myself, I’m Lurker. I come and go, but don’t comment very often. Usually because I’m reading at work and don’t want my boss to walk in while I’m writing my life story in the comment field of your blog. 🙂
    One day, when I actually make some money with this writing gig, I will spend my days leaving lengthy comments that will blow your mind and make you think I’m smarter than I actually am. LOL Okay, maybe I’ll never fool you like that, but I will at least send you a note saying, Hi, I stopped by.
    BTW, 150 visitors a day it awesome. I get about 6.
    I like to subscribe to blogs by email so I get the latest in my inbox daily. (THAT’S A HINT TO ALL THE BLOGGERS OUT THERE WHO DON’T OFFER EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS) This is especially helpful when I don’t have a lot of time to surf the web. It also fools my boss into believing I’m reading work email.
    AND . . . I often don’t have anything witty to share, so it’s best to keep my mouth shut and my fingers idle.
    Now that I’ve wasted soooooo much space in your comments field, and hopefully made up for my lack of past comments, I will tell you, I love reading your blog, and I might be a little bit shy too…regardless of the previous ramblings. Sorry it’s late. But just for good measure, I’ll add one more smiley face. Why not, tomorrow is Friday. 🙂

  13. Well for me its a mix of:
    1) Do I have time?
    2) Do I have anything to say?
    3) Can I be bothered?
    4) Has sometime else already said.what I planned to say?
    But I can’t say for others. Also, since I do quite a lot of commenting from my phone,i really have to want to say it, since one comment can take 10 mins to get down. A bit like now. :-p

  14. Mostly what they all said but I will add that I will comment if I’ve found something helpful and/or have an emotional reaction to a post. I too will ‘like’ a post to at least show that I was here.

  15. This is an interesting question. I often feel bad when I read and don’t comment. Part of why I don’t comment is because I do tend to be rather shy, even with the anonymity that comes with the Internet. Especially blogs like this with a lot of comments – I guess I just feel like what I have to say isn’t important enough to join in, especially when all I would say is “good point” or someone else has already said exactly what I would have.

    However, if I feel like I have a different take on something or if I read a post and think, “Finally someone understands!” then I’ll comment regardless of size or anything else.

    That said, the biggest factor is where I am when I’m reading. If there’s other stuff going on, I generally skim or read quickly and then just move on to the next thing on my to-do list without commenting.

  16. I always try to at least “like” a post when I visit, but sometimes I don’t have time to comment on everyone’s post that day. Your titles do draw me in, Jenn! You are so good at that. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the post was interesting, but I don’t have anything to add. If someone takes the time to comment on my blog though, I always return the favor and comment on theirs:-)

    • Yes, I try to do that too, but like I think I said to someone else this morning… it’s TIME that is the problem. THere are so many of you who are just GREAT and not enough of little old me to give (unless someone wants to volunteer to bring my three kids and the dog to their different sports practices) [wink]

  17. I usually comment on blogs I follow (or try to) and especially on blogs of people who comment on mine all the time. The post title helps a little. If I see a subject that I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in (politics for example), then if I am pressed for time I will probably skip it. Mind you, this post seems to be getting a lot of comments. 🙂

  18. Okay, most people have covered what I’ll say. There’s a core group of blogs I comment on regularly—and it’s a reciprocal arrangement with those bloggers also commenting on mine. There are others I tend to skim more an leave likes and occasional comments. Some, I don’t do either, especially in those cases where the blogger doesn’t interact on my blog.

  19. I look at the blogs I read regularly as a commitment to a conversation. Sometimes I’ll just nod my head at what someone has said. (the ‘like’ button)
    Sometimes the conversation is about something that doesn’t interest me at all, and I’ll just move right on.
    Sometimes I’ll engage in the conversation.
    Blogs that consistently miss keeping my attention, tend to fade into the background and eventually disappear.

  20. I’ll admit time plays a big part in if I comment or not…with so many ‘social media’ commitments I’m stretched too far. However, if a blog title catches my eye, intrigues me, is similar to one of my own in content or a picture grabs me I will comment. Sorry it is not a finite answer.

  21. Well, I get the wordpress blog posts sent to my old email account so I don’t get clutter. I generally tend to read the blogs on Saturdays which means when some bloggers post twice I read both posts but comment on the most recent. Sometimes I HAVE to reply (like this one) because I have an opinion. Sometimes I get free time which means I comment on more posts. But also there’s the factor of laziness. I have to sign into my email address, then into my wordpress account which I never use so it takes me years. It’s not too easy for me to comment on wordpress blogs which means I’m not as regular. With blogger it all comes up in my reader and I occasionally miss a few posts but that’s rare 🙂

  22. If a post really grabs me, I’ll leave a comment. And if a post ends with a question, I’m also more likely to leave a comment.

  23. Well I comment when the topic is something that interests me or I makes me feel like I want to say something in regards to it. I don’t like the idea of posting for the sake of posting.
    This same mentality actually defines whether I read a blog posting or not too. If the blurb in my email indicates it’s something I’m not interested in or not participating in, like those flash fictions or “write a story with me” then I just delete the email.
    A lot just comes down to time available. I have enough on my plate to keep me busy, so stuff gets cut out.

  24. I recently posted about a similar topic, but more in line with noticing that blogging is taking over my writing time. I tracked my blogging hours and realized I was spending over 30 hours a week with social media (this included FB and Twitter et al). That’s way too much for someone who isn’t trying to sell a book yet!

    I realized I was commenting on every possible blog that I was following (which is over 200 blogs). I can’t do that and hang on to the little sanity I have left.

    Now, I comment for sure once a week on every blog I follow. If a blogger posts more than once a week–then I’ll read everything, but push the like button instead of commenting. Right there I’ve saved myself about 15 hours.

    There are a select few that I’ll comment on more than once a week, but they’re the special ones 🙂

  25. Like most bloggers mention, time is a factor. Some people post 10X a day. I subscribe to over 200 blogs. Some days I slack off LIFE and try to catch up on commenting, but never can manage and end up feeling brain dead. So, the answer to your question is, if the post is LONG or I don’t have anything to say, I click LIKE, otherwise I comment. Time is the culprit. Some days I don’t attend to my own writing which causes frustration. The next day, I start all over again.

    Love this conversation.

  26. I follow something like 250 blogs. That’s a lot of notification emails. So I read what I can and usually “Like” the post. If I made the time to read the entire post, that means I liked it, right? Sounds good. As for commenting, time is limited. I’m writing, I’m social networking, I’m kind of a housewife (yes, kind of), and now I’m working at the crappy bookstore to pay for my editing/cover art. So, a lot of times I don’t comment. When I do it’s because a question was posed, like “What Makes You Comment?” Or because I have a strong opinion about the topic, like “Fake Book Reviews.” Or when I want to be supportive, like “Congrats on your book’s release!” That makes sense, right?

  27. I’ll comment if I have something to say, or even sometimes if I don’t. But in reality it often comes down to a time factor. I follow a lot of blogs. If I commented on every blog post I read in a day, I’d never get anything else done. Sometimes I have to skim, and to show I’m grateful for the content, I’ll at least try to leave a “like.” That way, the blogger knows I’ve been by.

  28. I comment if I feel I have something to say, if I’m a regular follower of the person and s/he makes a habit of reading and commenting on my stuff, or if it’s a bloghop or contest and I really enjoyed the writing. Sometimes I’m guilty of reading but not commenting, maybe because the post was too short to really have much to say in response, or if I don’t think I can say anything besides “I agree” or “Good points.”

    Like others, I also have a very low percentage of comments to traffic. If I’m seeing maybe 80 hits on a good day, I might get 12 comments, or if I only get 25 hits, I might not get any comments. I don’t get why I’d see so many hits per post and then not have comments for all the hits. I’ve worked hard to bring my average post down to under 1,000 words and don’t post every day anymore, and I’m still not getting huge amounts of comments.

    I agree about the “like” button being kind of weird. Some of these “likes” don’t even show up as hits on that post. Who are these people, how did they find me, and why did they “like” the post? Some clearly look like spam, like “Real Estate in Miami” “liking” a post about the editing process.

  29. Thought provoking questions like this one always get a comment out of me!

    I probably think about this way too much but I have a system.
    My first consideration is always: how much time do I have? Lots of time means I make lots of comments. Having something to say is not a problem for me–whether or not that’s always a good thing I’m not sure, but I’m chock full of words,

    But after that I have to make choices. I really try to comment back for people who comment on my blog because they’ve shown they’re interested in what I have to say, and so I’m happy to oblige. I also comment on blogs where the host answers all comments. I like to be a part of a conversation!
    Finally, if someone has reached a major milestone or needs a boost, I like to comment so they know I care. I love being a part of the community.
    For the days I just don’t have the time, the like button is a great alternative for me, so I can say, yes, I was here, I enjoyed the post but don’t have time to comment.

  30. Julie Catherine

    Another great topic today – I just came from Bob’s blog, where he asked what makes you follow a blog. I usually like and comment on the blogs I visit (I’m a Canadian, and we’re pretty famous for our ‘politeness’, lol) – unless I really have an issue with the topic, in which case I will tiptoe out of the room quietly … lol. If nothing else, I like my blogging friends to know I was there and give them some support. I will say though, that if I never receive responses to my comments, and there is no reciprocation, I’ll probably drop that blog from my visits – there are plenty out there, and I tend to shy away from blogs where there is no interaction between the blogger and their readers. Sometimes the comments themselves will bring me back, just because they’re so much fun to read and make me want to join in! (I’m envious of your page views! On the other hand, the friends who follow me are really wonderful, and I enjoy our interaction!) 😀

  31. When I decide to follow a blog, I’m expressing a commitment to read and contribute on a regular basis. So, for me, it’s all in the choosing. Before I follow someone, I peruse a lot of his or her posts to see if this is a person I want devote serious time to.

    I do periodically check in with ALL of my followers to see what’s new (and will occasionally comment when I do so) but I am devoted to only a couple dozen blogs. My schedule doesn’t allow me to review much more than that, I’m afraid.

  32. It’s mostly a time issue for me. I try to check email, facebook and twitter in the morning first before my day really starts going and if I’m overwhelmed with email, I “read and go” with the blog posts. I think I need to be more deliberate and make a point to comment more often 🙂

    • It is so hard though. I understand. I am trying to comment on everyone’s comments just today and it’s taking so much time. It’s really hard to keep up with all you want to do.

  33. I just wrote a blog similar to this today . I think I like to comment on blogs that I find I like, that help or inform me, that make me laugh, or just to say hello. It’s always encouraging to get a comment or two, so I try to have something to say to the author of the blogs I read regularly to keep in touch.

  34. If I had time, I would probably comment on every single post I read, because, I LOVE to chat 🙂

    But, if I did that, I would be online ALL day, and most of the night 🙂 So its not practical. Instead, I use the “like” button a lot. I use it when I’ve read a post and enjoyed it, or found it useful, or to show my support 🙂


  35. If I’ve got something to say, I comment. If not I just hit the like button to let people know I stopped by.

    Sometimes, I have brain farts and can’t think of anything to say.

  36. I comment when I have something to add or really like a post — I like this post because it starts a conversation. I am sorry to say that if I comment a lot on someone’s blog and they do not come and visit me then I lose interest in them–a sad state of affairs I know –but I look at this thing as a friendship, and if it is just one way, then I give up. I like your blog and find you very informative–so when I drop in and have nothing to say, I will still let you know I was here.

    • Thanks for the support. I really appreciate it. I feel the same way but it’s very hard like others have said to keep up with the pacewhen there are so many people that you want to follow.

  37. I agree with everyone who said they comment when they have something to add. What I love about blogs is the conversations that can emerge in the comments, versus just bombarding each other with information.

  38. Hey Jen,
    I usually comment when there’s something to say that actually adds to the ‘conversation’ of the blog, but usually, I don’t. Though I do read your blog frequently!

  39. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around this but I do notice that most of my comments are from my blog loyals as you said (which is to say, not too many). Sometimes, I get a courtesy comment (for the lack of a better word) for a comment I made on a blog. They come back to my site to support me, but rarely comment consistently.
    I generally comment on posts that make sense to me, add to my knowledge or simply make me laugh. I try not to get too lazy to catch up with most of the people I am following.
    As usual, great post!

  40. I’ve always wondered the same thing…! How could 96 people have visited my site, yet only 4 likes that entire day? Maybe you had more relevant tags one day, but generic googlers weren’t interested in your actual page if it wasn’t what they sought?

    • It is always possible that people are landing on your site and not really finding what they were originally looking for. I hope to think not though .

      • I google things all the time and click the first 10 pages only to wonder how half of them are relevant to my search. Some of my posts get weirdly high views but they’re nothing different/special (the ones I really like get fewer) so I just assume its my tags or my title are relevant to something (maybe the news?) that day.

  41. I ask myself that all the time. 😉 I may like a post, but not have anything interesting to say, or what I do have to say is the exact same thing as the comments before me. If I enjoy a post, I try letting people know by at least hitting the “like” button. Then there’s also the issue of time…so many wonderful posts and so little time. 😉

  42. She Started It

    I can LOVE a blog post, but have nothing interesting to contribute to the conversation! This is pretty much the main reason I don’t comment.

  43. Hi Jen!
    I admit I don’t read every post that pops up in my reader, only the ones that grab my attention based on the title and first visible sentences. Your blog and a few others I follow seem to be regulars that I find myself visiting often. 🙂
    For me I guess it’s partly a social networking thing if I can think of something worthwhile to say. Partly a “Here I am!” or in graffiti-speak, “I was ‘ere!” which is ironic because in person I’m not one to scream out “Here I am, look at me!”. I’m more likely to stand around and look for the one-on-one chat opportunities. Something that will no doubt be an obstacle when it comes time to promote my currently unfinished book!
    Interesting topic. 🙂

    • Thanks Richard. I feel like I should at least let someone know I was on their blog.. Like pressing the like button. But sometimes I feel funny just doing that like I’m not really reading. You know?

      • Yes, that’s it. It’s all too easy to press the like button. I once had someone like a post within seconds of me posting it! They couldn’t possibly have read it all in that time. Next time I see him I’ll bring it up. Oops! That might have just identified him to the observant reader! 😉

  44. If I read on my iPhone, I don’t comment because I hate typing on that tiny keyboard. On other devices, I usually comment. Sometimes I may not if there if nothing left to say, and there are a lot of other comments.

    • I just discovered Dragon software which helps because I can speak into my phone and not have to type everything out. But I don’t like to do it around where there are people because I feel silly talking into my phone. I’m using it to do this post to you right now.

  45. I never comment on blogs 🙂

  46. I follow a lot of blogs, but I don’t always read every post from everyone because there isn’t enough time. There are a few, yours included, that I pretty much always read, and with those I make a point to comment regularly, or if I don’t have anything to say particularly, then I’ll probably just ‘like’, unless I don’t like it, in which case I won’t! (Until yesterday, I hadn’t done any reading/commenting/liking for over a week because I’d been away and now find myself feeling bad that I won’t be able to catch up on all those!).

    What really encourages me to keep commenting on someone’s blog is if they reply to comments. If I comment a couple of times on someone’s and they don’t reply then I probably won’t bother to comment again – I may still read it if I like what they have to say, but there doesn’t seem any point in commenting if it’s a one-way street. So it’s definitely a social networking thing for me.

  47. I’m with some of the others in that I’ll comment if I have something to say. Sometimes, there is just nothing to add to the post, so I just read it, maybe like it and go. The people who drive me crazy are the ones who will like my post without even visiting my blog. The stats don’t lie if there are no new page views when they did it. I know they got the headline off the WordPress Reader and that allows them to like it without actually going to the site or seeing the full article. My suspicion is they do that in the hopes you’ll come visit their blog even though they couldn’t be bothered to do the same for you. I just ignore those people. It’s the one reason I hate the like button because some people abuse it. If a regular visitor only likes one of my posts, though, I chalk it up to them not having anything to add. In that case I’m fine with it and glad they at least let me know they stopped by.

  48. I’m new to WordPress – my regular blog has been on Live Journal since 2003 and most of my long term comment every day friends hang out there. I find the WordPress reader very clunky in comparison with the LJ one, or maybe I’m just unfamiliar with it. In any case I read far more than I comment. I’m a bit shy when off my own patch – frequently start a comment then delete it because I feel what I’m writing isn’t really pertinent to the problem [or because it would just be waffle for the sake of seeing my name appear on their post]. However, I have just discovered the joys of the ‘Like’ button which I can use as a calling card. I just need to remember to scroll through the Reader thingy every day.

  49. Ok, here’s the thing. Time. So my rule of thumb is ‘like’ to say I’ve been here and enjoyed myself. (Only occasionally have I not ‘liked’ when I’ve visited – either because I violently disagreed, was embarrassed, or there was a power cut and I lost my place before the power came back on.)

    Like Julie, if what i was going to say has already been said, I won’t comment, unless I just can’t stop myself. And that’s my basic commenting criteria: I’ll comment when I can’t stop myself – I just have to say how wonderful i thought something was, or add a different dimension to the conversation, or disagree, even, if there is a genuine conversation happening. I like it when bloggers have ‘rate this’ stars, because I can ‘like’, and rate, without commenting – which is especially nice if all I want to say is ‘bravo, thought it was great”.

  50. I don’t always comment but I do “like’ when I visit, well, most of the time. I think it’s fantastic you have an average of 150 hits on your blog a day. I average about 75 – 100 a day, most of which don’t leave comments, either. I have my loyal peeps like you whom I love dearly for hanging out with me. Sometimes I wonder if my content isn’t worth commenting on… you know, like I’m booorrrring with a capital B. Then again, it takes time for peeps to chat and they may not have time to chat, so all you get is a ‘hit’. Hits are good. They may be drive by’s, but they still show in the numbers. I guess it’s all in finding the sweet spot with bloggers. Then again, the lack of conversation could have something to do with hormones and full moons. Or maybe you’re not holding your mouth right or standing on your head long enough.

  51. A lot of times I decide to comment on someones blog because they’ve commented on one of mine. I’m not too shy, when it comes to commenting (but I am in real life) but I’m not very good at it. My blog is known as a sort of Spiritual/Churchy type blog, but I have a sense of humor and I think I refrain from commenting cause I’m not sure if that will come across or not. Hmm, good questions. Thanks for asking it.

  52. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. If I have something to say, or add to the conversation, I will. Other times, it’s to offer my perspective or experience on the subject. The thing is, if others have all said everything I might have mentioned, I won’t comment. I prefer to add something, rather than “me too”-ing. That’s probably one of my quirks not widely shared though.