Reciprocation and the Art of Blog Commenting

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Blog Commenting Made Simple

There is an art to blog commenting! It would serve us well as bloggers to learn that art well.

Blog Commenting

“We are obligated to give back to others, the form of behavior that they have first given to us” (Robert Cialdini, professor emeritus at Arizona State University)

Blogger reciprocation groups are a great way to meet other bloggers and support each other on this blogging journey.  When used correctly, they can be an amazing resource for bloggers worldwide.

I have noticed a disturbing trend however that has prompted me to just leave a few reminders here for all of us. Notice I said ALL of us so that includes me, we all need to keep these things in mind when we are dealing with blogger reciprocation.

computer desktop trends blog

Here are a few things that I try to bear in mind as I approach your blogs each day:

  1. Don’t forget the true meaning of reciprocation;
  2. Follow through on your commitment to reciprocate;
  3. Do not un – follow once the time has passed.  I think it is better not to follow at all if you know you are going to un-follow that person once the designated time has passed;
  4. Read and understand before commenting – you can browse an article and get the gist;
  5. Be fair and honest in your commenting;
  6. Please do not give half hearted  comments because the blog owner will know;
  7. Think before you comment, after a while you come to know a little about each blogger so use that in your responses;
  8. For heaven’s sake do not keep saying the same thing every time you comment, change it up a bit;
  9. PLEASE do not pretend that you cannot finish reciprocating, we understand that sometimes there are emergencies but if this is not the case then you get the idea;
  10. Repost or share if you come across a great post.

 

“We are obligated to give back to others, the form of behavior that they have first given to us” (Robert Cialdini, professor emeritus at Arizona State University)

 

 

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140 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    I can appreciate the content of this write up and many of the comments posted. I think the content is very relevant considering the growing community of bloggers to which we are apart of. It is a tidy list of do’s and dont’s that perhaps should stay close to the communication devices.

    • mardenec@hotmail.com says:

      Julie as bloggers we need to do to others as we would want for ourselves. If we follow that code then all will be well

  2. I completely agree that if we agree to reciprocate we should do our very best to comply. But I have a problem of liking a blogger some of the time and then finding out that I really don’t care for some of their topics. I feel it is inauthentic to comment when you really don’t care for the topic of what’s expressed. When that happens I just don’t comment. I think it’s VERY important to only agree to reciprocate when you find other bloggers who write about things you appreciate reading. Otherwise, you’re just another person saying, “Nice Post!”

  3. I completely agree that if we agree to reciprocate we should do our very best to comply. But I have a problem of liking a blogger some of the time and then finding out that I really don’t care for some of their topics. I feel it is inauthentic to comment when you really don’t care for the topic of what’s expressed. When that happens I just don’t comment. I think it’s VERY important to only agree to reciprocate when you find other bloggers who write about things you appreciate reading. Otherwise, you’re just another person saying, “Nice Post!”

  4. Anamika Ojha says:

    I get frustrated when I see lots of people commenting on my blog which is irrelevant to the subject. It simply means that they are just spamming without reading the blog. I am deleting almost 50 comments a day apart from spams which are too generalized that you hardly understand anything. Thanks for taking an effort for writing such a beautiful post telling readers how to respond. 🙂

  5. Anamika Ojha says:

    I get frustrated when I see lots of people commenting on my blog which is irrelevant to the subject. It simply means that they are just spamming without reading the blog. I am deleting almost 50 comments a day apart from spams which are too generalized that you hardly understand anything. Thanks for taking an effort for writing such a beautiful post telling readers how to respond. 🙂

  6. thewordhermit says:

    This is a struggle for me and for many others I’m sure. These groups are meant to boost traffic and build a community, but sometimes it feels like I’m just going through the motions. I try and find something meaningful to say in every comment. We are committing to support each other as bloggers and writers.

    It doesn’t really bother me to read meaningless comments on my blog, but I do love the ones that spark a conversation, make me think, or make me smile.

  7. thewordhermit says:

    This is a struggle for me and for many others I’m sure. These groups are meant to boost traffic and build a community, but sometimes it feels like I’m just going through the motions. I try and find something meaningful to say in every comment. We are committing to support each other as bloggers and writers.

    It doesn’t really bother me to read meaningless comments on my blog, but I do love the ones that spark a conversation, make me think, or make me smile.

  8. Love this post… And according to me reciprocation groups are a great way to get started.

  9. Love this post… And according to me reciprocation groups are a great way to get started.

  10. Kelsie says:

    These are great points! I get so annoyed when people unfollow!

  11. Kelsie says:

    These are great points! I get so annoyed when people unfollow!

  12. Amber Hanne says:

    Very great post. I’ve recently been participating in threads and have noticed some people unfollowing, not reciprocating etc. and it’s not fair. So good tips!!

  13. Amber Hanne says:

    Very great post. I’ve recently been participating in threads and have noticed some people unfollowing, not reciprocating etc. and it’s not fair. So good tips!!

  14. Thank you for this. For saying all the things I’d like to say, for reminding everyone (including myself) that this is a community and how important it is to be kind to one another and follow through on promises. Love this!

  15. Thank you for this. For saying all the things I’d like to say, for reminding everyone (including myself) that this is a community and how important it is to be kind to one another and follow through on promises. Love this!

  16. I feel ya. I just started really branching out and trying to connect with other bloggers. I try really hard to make sure I comment on stuff.

  17. I feel ya. I just started really branching out and trying to connect with other bloggers. I try really hard to make sure I comment on stuff.

  18. This is so true. That’s why I don’t get on the follow-for-follow wagon for instagram for example. I hate to see crappy pictures of another and to pretend that I like it. I try every time to add a comment with value or something funny. I get many times “oh nice” “cool idea” or something and that totally shows that they didn’t even open the post to read it on the blog. So I tend not to participate lots of time (because it takes allot of time) because I would like honest comments and things that really matters. So I applaud you. Virtual high five here 🙂

  19. This is so true. That’s why I don’t get on the follow-for-follow wagon for instagram for example. I hate to see crappy pictures of another and to pretend that I like it. I try every time to add a comment with value or something funny. I get many times “oh nice” “cool idea” or something and that totally shows that they didn’t even open the post to read it on the blog. So I tend not to participate lots of time (because it takes allot of time) because I would like honest comments and things that really matters. So I applaud you. Virtual high five here 🙂

  20. I love participating in blogger groups. These are some great tips.

  21. I love participating in blogger groups. These are some great tips.

  22. I love blogger groups! That’s how I got to meet some pretty amazing bloggers. The ones that follow the rules and actually leave comments after actually reading a posts are the best! Following just to unfollow is so childlike and not very professional in my opinion.

  23. I love blogger groups! That’s how I got to meet some pretty amazing bloggers. The ones that follow the rules and actually leave comments after actually reading a posts are the best! Following just to unfollow is so childlike and not very professional in my opinion.

  24. I really like reading others opinions whether they are different from my own or the same! It opens my mind up to a bigger world and helps me see things from others perspectives. I never want to offend anyone as that would be very “bloggerly” 😉 I love supporting other bloggers and knowing they support me as well!

  25. I really like reading others opinions whether they are different from my own or the same! It opens my mind up to a bigger world and helps me see things from others perspectives. I never want to offend anyone as that would be very “bloggerly” 😉 I love supporting other bloggers and knowing they support me as well!

  26. I love finding great posts to share on my Facebook page or on Twitter. It’s so important to learn to comment well and be supportive to other bloggers.

  27. I love finding great posts to share on my Facebook page or on Twitter. It’s so important to learn to comment well and be supportive to other bloggers.

  28. I always try to leave a relevant comment. Some days I’m better than others – it depends on how bad my headache is mostly. What I don’t like are the comments like “great post” “looks delicious” “I’ll have to try it” and that’s it. A comment on a blog post should be at least one solid sentence. Preferably two. Not two or three words.

  29. I always try to leave a relevant comment. Some days I’m better than others – it depends on how bad my headache is mostly. What I don’t like are the comments like “great post” “looks delicious” “I’ll have to try it” and that’s it. A comment on a blog post should be at least one solid sentence. Preferably two. Not two or three words.

  30. Liz Mays says:

    What gets me is when I see bloggers who leave negative comments get mad when someone leaves a negative comment on their blog. I feel like they’re attracting the negativity because they give it out. Oh well. I try to be supportive and positive with everyone.

  31. Liz Mays says:

    What gets me is when I see bloggers who leave negative comments get mad when someone leaves a negative comment on their blog. I feel like they’re attracting the negativity because they give it out. Oh well. I try to be supportive and positive with everyone.

  32. Esme Sy says:

    Leaving a thoughtful comment is very important. It can be a negative comment if you really don’t agree with the post, but you can always say it nicely.

  33. Esme Sy says:

    Leaving a thoughtful comment is very important. It can be a negative comment if you really don’t agree with the post, but you can always say it nicely.

  34. It drives me bananas when another blogger leaves a negative comment on my posts. It happens way too often, though :/ It always seems kind of catty to me.

  35. It drives me bananas when another blogger leaves a negative comment on my posts. It happens way too often, though :/ It always seems kind of catty to me.

  36. I have to make sure that I finished the last thread before joining the new thread. I also read the post first before learning a comment. Running is not option for me. Being a blogger, takes responsibility as well.

  37. I have to make sure that I finished the last thread before joining the new thread. I also read the post first before learning a comment. Running is not option for me. Being a blogger, takes responsibility as well.

  38. Lexie Lane says:

    I don’t even commenting a negative comment to someone’s blog, except if the topic is negative fo us.

  39. Lexie Lane says:

    I don’t even commenting a negative comment to someone’s blog, except if the topic is negative fo us.

  40. I appreciated this post sometimes I got full negative blog comments even my post are all about beauty.

  41. I appreciated this post sometimes I got full negative blog comments even my post are all about beauty.

  42. Amber says:

    I couldn’t imagine leaving a negative comment on someone’s blog especially if they were apart of a group I was in. I would find some way to find a positive thing to say about the post. I think also when you give half hearted comments not only will the owner know but other visitors to their site will as well and that doesn’t look good for both the blogger and the poster.

    • Amber I agree, I think when we should all re-examine the reasons why we wanted to be a part of these groups. We are all gaining something from it so I believe we should put out the effort to make these connections work.

  43. Amber says:

    I couldn’t imagine leaving a negative comment on someone’s blog especially if they were apart of a group I was in. I would find some way to find a positive thing to say about the post. I think also when you give half hearted comments not only will the owner know but other visitors to their site will as well and that doesn’t look good for both the blogger and the poster.

    • Amber I agree, I think when we should all re-examine the reasons why we wanted to be a part of these groups. We are all gaining something from it so I believe we should put out the effort to make these connections work.

  44. I try to be positive – but sometimes a post may not be relateable to me in any manner. If it goes against my morals – I refuse to leave a negative comment – so I ask to comment on something else

    • Tiarasandtantrums that is what I am talking about. Ask to comment on something else or just go to the blog and comment on something else. I think we really have to nip this thing in the bud before it turns into the opposite of what it was intended to be

  45. I try to be positive – but sometimes a post may not be relateable to me in any manner. If it goes against my morals – I refuse to leave a negative comment – so I ask to comment on something else

    • Tiarasandtantrums that is what I am talking about. Ask to comment on something else or just go to the blog and comment on something else. I think we really have to nip this thing in the bud before it turns into the opposite of what it was intended to be

  46. This is such an interesting post for me that I do have much to say – so here goes Part 2. LOL. My point is – if the post is not appealing to a wide cross section of us in your blogging group – it stands to reason that it will not be for a wider audience who is “not forced to” comment on your blog! I understand the concern about “negative” comments but there is a difference between constructive dissension and hate-filled comments. For example, I am not going to comment on a post about cat food with a “how wonderful, great food, etc” when I do not own a cat!!! I have no idea if it is good or not! Or is it that we are supposed to lie? My personal bottom line is – write quality content – even if it is a sponsored post – and you will get quality comment. Look at the length of my two comments here – because this is a quality conversation! I would not be commenting more than a sentence when I visit a blog focussed on whining, money-making, network marketing, gossip or even celebrity news in such details as they do not interest me. So, when reciprocating I do read the most in their entirety but if it does not interest me I will not be spending my time to post epistles as these two comments have been! Content is king/queen and great content will always get great comments. On the converse, you will write great content and you have the “slackers” in these reciprocating groups who make meaningless comments on your blog. It is clear that they are doing so out of obligation. Let me stop. Mardene, great conversation.

  47. This is such an interesting post for me that I do have much to say – so here goes Part 2. LOL. My point is – if the post is not appealing to a wide cross section of us in your blogging group – it stands to reason that it will not be for a wider audience who is “not forced to” comment on your blog! I understand the concern about “negative” comments but there is a difference between constructive dissension and hate-filled comments. For example, I am not going to comment on a post about cat food with a “how wonderful, great food, etc” when I do not own a cat!!! I have no idea if it is good or not! Or is it that we are supposed to lie? My personal bottom line is – write quality content – even if it is a sponsored post – and you will get quality comment. Look at the length of my two comments here – because this is a quality conversation! I would not be commenting more than a sentence when I visit a blog focussed on whining, money-making, network marketing, gossip or even celebrity news in such details as they do not interest me. So, when reciprocating I do read the most in their entirety but if it does not interest me I will not be spending my time to post epistles as these two comments have been! Content is king/queen and great content will always get great comments. On the converse, you will write great content and you have the “slackers” in these reciprocating groups who make meaningless comments on your blog. It is clear that they are doing so out of obligation. Let me stop. Mardene, great conversation.

  48. Okay, here is my two cents worth. This is a very timely and well-thought out post. It serves as a great reminder to those of us participating in such groups. I, however, beg to differ on some of the subsequent comments to your post. As a blogger, I would like those visiting and commenting on my/our work on my blog to be honest. If your honesty includes something opposite to what I/we have posted – say so. I have absolutely no problem with that. If you cannot relate to the content of our posts, say that and share what your views/experiences are. My blog for one is about honesty, truth-telling, healing and all of those nice things. I do not want platitudes posing as comments. I want when others visit my blog these see real conversations. What I have noticed though is that some people only read the headline of posts and commented with a totally irrelevant remark – usually a one-liner. Please do not wast your time. I also see people who no matter what you write, their sole aim is to come and preach their gospel of “Jesus Christ” on my blog. I love Jesus but my blog is not the place to do missionary work. The other thing that I have noticed is people inviting comments to their blog on topics that are so way out their and it is hard as a visitor to find anything interesting to say about a gadget, for example, that only those with specialised knowledge would appreciate. Is it that they want you to pay lip service to their hard work or do they really want genuine comments? Let me post this before I lose it.

    • That is why I say I feel better if you think you can’t speak to the post to say so. I am totally fine with that. Quite okay with disagreements to anything I post but we can disagree and still be respectful about it…I think we can all do that

  49. Okay, here is my two cents worth. This is a very timely and well-thought out post. It serves as a great reminder to those of us participating in such groups. I, however, beg to differ on some of the subsequent comments to your post. As a blogger, I would like those visiting and commenting on my/our work on my blog to be honest. If your honesty includes something opposite to what I/we have posted – say so. I have absolutely no problem with that. If you cannot relate to the content of our posts, say that and share what your views/experiences are. My blog for one is about honesty, truth-telling, healing and all of those nice things. I do not want platitudes posing as comments. I want when others visit my blog these see real conversations. What I have noticed though is that some people only read the headline of posts and commented with a totally irrelevant remark – usually a one-liner. Please do not wast your time. I also see people who no matter what you write, their sole aim is to come and preach their gospel of “Jesus Christ” on my blog. I love Jesus but my blog is not the place to do missionary work. The other thing that I have noticed is people inviting comments to their blog on topics that are so way out their and it is hard as a visitor to find anything interesting to say about a gadget, for example, that only those with specialised knowledge would appreciate. Is it that they want you to pay lip service to their hard work or do they really want genuine comments? Let me post this before I lose it.

    • That is why I say I feel better if you think you can’t speak to the post to say so. I am totally fine with that. Quite okay with disagreements to anything I post but we can disagree and still be respectful about it…I think we can all do that

  50. All very true! I always look at commenting on someone else’s blog as an opportunity to really connect with them–not just leave some meaningless comment. You have the chance to really brighten someone’s day with a simple comment. That’s what I bear in mind.

  51. All very true! I always look at commenting on someone else’s blog as an opportunity to really connect with them–not just leave some meaningless comment. You have the chance to really brighten someone’s day with a simple comment. That’s what I bear in mind.

  52. Elizabeth O. says:

    That’s right. A lot of people leave nasty comments as well. It’s tough when you’re on the receiving end and you know you’ve tried your best to give them a meaningful comment. Ah well. It’s really just how the world goes I guess, you can never please everyone. Thanks for the pointers, they really are helpful. I hope everyone participating in comment groups would read this.

    • What I don’t want is for this to turn into something ugly because I think this is such a beautiful experience that we get to share with wonderful people from all over the world without even getting on a plane.

  53. Elizabeth O. says:

    That’s right. A lot of people leave nasty comments as well. It’s tough when you’re on the receiving end and you know you’ve tried your best to give them a meaningful comment. Ah well. It’s really just how the world goes I guess, you can never please everyone. Thanks for the pointers, they really are helpful. I hope everyone participating in comment groups would read this.

    • What I don’t want is for this to turn into something ugly because I think this is such a beautiful experience that we get to share with wonderful people from all over the world without even getting on a plane.

  54. Because... I'm cheap says:

    I think reciprocation groups are a great way to get started. I’m a member of a few fantastic ones.

  55. Because... I'm cheap says:

    I think reciprocation groups are a great way to get started. I’m a member of a few fantastic ones.

  56. I appreciate this post. I have never commented on one and didn’t know proper protocol. I do now; thank you … all because you took the time to comment on my post. Thanks!

  57. I appreciate this post. I have never commented on one and didn’t know proper protocol. I do now; thank you … all because you took the time to comment on my post. Thanks!

  58. tara pittman says:

    Think before you speak is always best. I try to leave good comments.

    • Yes Tara, I think we should all try because as another blogger said, people are putting themselves out there by writing each day for us and it can break their spirit. Some people are better at this than others but there is still no reason for us to be mean to each other.

  59. tara pittman says:

    Think before you speak is always best. I try to leave good comments.

    • Yes Tara, I think we should all try because as another blogger said, people are putting themselves out there by writing each day for us and it can break their spirit. Some people are better at this than others but there is still no reason for us to be mean to each other.

  60. Very good reminders for everyone that blogs. Be good to others and it will come back to you.

    • Absolutely AnnMarie….let us all try to do better by saying something meaningful at least some of the time. I am not saying that we have to be on fire all the time but we should not be known for our negativity.

  61. Very good reminders for everyone that blogs. Be good to others and it will come back to you.

    • Absolutely AnnMarie….let us all try to do better by saying something meaningful at least some of the time. I am not saying that we have to be on fire all the time but we should not be known for our negativity.

  62. atkokosplace says:

    I really try to give each post I read thoughtful consideration and a kind comment. I think it’s brave of people to put something out there for the world to see and it’s sad when others comment with negativity. I think it goes back to, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Great info and thank you for sharing. Peace, Koko 🙂

  63. atkokosplace says:

    I really try to give each post I read thoughtful consideration and a kind comment. I think it’s brave of people to put something out there for the world to see and it’s sad when others comment with negativity. I think it goes back to, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Great info and thank you for sharing. Peace, Koko 🙂

  64. I try to be as positive as I can in commenting. I get irked when I get a new comment and find that the person just stopped by with something negative :/

  65. I try to be as positive as I can in commenting. I get irked when I get a new comment and find that the person just stopped by with something negative :/

  66. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    I get a lot of lousy, negative comments left sometimes. I keep track of all of those and have blocked many people who do such things.

    • LOL @ Robin….I wonder sometimes what some of us are thinking. Even if I am not a fan of what is posted, I still have to think of a way to comment without being mean…as I said it is best to not comment and let the person know why (if you want to)

  67. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    I get a lot of lousy, negative comments left sometimes. I keep track of all of those and have blocked many people who do such things.

    • LOL @ Robin….I wonder sometimes what some of us are thinking. Even if I am not a fan of what is posted, I still have to think of a way to comment without being mean…as I said it is best to not comment and let the person know why (if you want to)