Today I leave my blog in the very capable hands of a frequent visitor to Tossing It Out, my A to Z Co-host and friend Nicole Ayers:
Do YOU Have Lazy Commenters’ Syndrome?
Some people who do not leave comments on most of the blog posts they read tend to have a few lazy habits in common. Excuses are among the most discouraging habits that one can possess when it comes to engagement within the blogging community. The habit affects bloggers who have taken the time – and sometimes courage (if the blog post is revealing) -- to share a bit of knowledge, wisdom, personal experiences and/or useful resources with their readers, through the power of the written word. Here are some solutions that can help get rid of the excuses that people make for why they are not commenting on blogs.
“I don’t have enough time to leave a comment on the blogs I read.”
Depending on the length of a blog post, reading it takes up more time than commenting. If you have time to read a blog post that is 500-1,000 words in length, then you have time to also comment on that post. Are you still really short on free time? Consider leaving a comment during commercial breaks while you’re watching a TV show. You could also play some music to provide a three-five minute “countdown” limit, of sorts, where you write comments on blogs within that specific timeframe. When the song (or TV commercial break) is over, you will have completed a task that was once low on the priority list. The central focus here is about making time where (you thought) there wasn’t any available.
“I don’t know what to say/can’t relate to the post/am unfamiliar with the topic or subject matter”
Ok, we’ve all been there – when one finishes reading a blog post and realizes that he or she is at a loss for words, and thus, clicks away without leaving a comment. Maybe you liked the post but don’t think you have anything further to add to the conversation. Or, maybe you didn’t like what you read at all and would rather soon forget about it like nothing ever happened. Even when neither of the two apply because you’re neutral and fall somewhere in the middle of “I can take it or leave it” land, there are always options for commenting on a blog post – just be honest.
When you really don’t have anything to say, consider writing a sentence that expresses what you didn’t like about a post or mention one small part of the entire post that stood out to you and why. Also, I’m going to let you in on a little secret “Hack” that I use sometimes when reading blog posts – especially when I’m short on time and need to get things moving along – commenting on comments! When you’re lost for words, just read a few of the comments that are already on the blog and then either respond to that commenter, or reference what the person said by using it as the basis for your comment.
“I’m not a member of the blog/social network/third-party app that is requiring me to sign-in or complete some sort of extra task just so I can add my two cents to the conversation”
If this scenario applies to you, there is good news – you are not among those with this particular case of lazy commenters’ syndrome. The bloggers who make it difficult for people to leave a comment on their blog have this one! Yep, bloggers are not immune to the poor commenting habits that spread through the blogging community like a disease. If you are among those bloggers who place all sorts of hoops for readers to jump through before posting comments on their blog, you have created an unnecessary barrier to audience engagement. The hoops include world verification, placing the comment box in a hard-to-find location on the page or requiring people to sign-up for third-party apps and platforms such as Facebook, Disqus, Intense Debate, Google+ and Wordpress. Keeping these barriers in place is doing a disservice to your own blog. It is also just plain rude and shows a lack of courtesy to readers who have dedicated a portion of their busy day to engage with your blog posts.
Providing a variety of options is the best way to accommodate comments from people who use different online platforms and profiles for their commenting activities. If this is not a feasible option for you, consider at least adding an optional “Name/URL” field – one of the most general fields to grace the comment boxes on many blogging platforms including Blogger and Wordpress. Since no one owes us or our blogs any attention, if you make it difficult for people to leave comments, it could cause them to start visiting someone else’s blog instead of yours!
Have YOU ever had a case of lazy commenters’ syndrome? What is the #1 reason why YOU have chosen to not leave a comment on a blog post, at one time or another?
Nicole Ayers is a writer and filmmaker who hosts the Monday Movie Meme, Co-Hosts the 2013 Blogging from #atozchallenge and Co-Hosts the Post A-to-Z Road Trip. She also wrote and directed the short film “Abyss” and can be found @MadlabPost on Twitter.
The ‘Post A-to-Z Road Trip’ Introduction: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2013/05/want-to-join-us-for-ultimate-road-trip.html
The ‘Monday Movie Meme’ Listing: http://thedailymeme.com/day/monday/