Monday, February 18, 2008

Readers' Panel: Finding Time for Commenting on Blogs

Commenting on BlogsDear Michelle: How do you find time to comment on other people's blogs? How often do you comment and how do you decide who to visit?

This is something I'm asked frequently, most recently by Maddy from Whitterer on Autism. Fabulous question, very tricky, and the short answers are: "It's the hardest part of blogging for me," "Not enough," and "I try to visit everyone."

The first comment I made on a blog was at Chookooloonks and I had no idea that it was a "biggie" blog, I just liked Karen's beautiful photographs and her personal voice. I left a comment to that effect, asked her what she thought of Scribbit and sat, too terrified to hit the "post comment" button. I re-read my comment, worried at how it would sound, second-guessed myself, then sent it. It was about 5:30 am in Anchorage and within five minutes there was a reply waiting in my email box. Karen had responded graciously and I was instantly hooked. I couldn't believe someone on the other side of the world had been nice enough to respond to me and I read her blog in faithful devotion.

That experience made me take a little vow to always be as gracious and responsive to people as Karen was to me. I've been to a few blogs (no names, we're being nice, right?) where I've felt that my comment or my blog was ignored and I have to say it hurts a bit. I don't ever want to make anyone feel ignored here but I do understand too that it's hard to find time to comment on blogs--even the blogs you love the most.

If you've just started a blog getting out into the community and visiting other blogs is critical--second only in importance to writing good content--you must get out there and you must make yourself known.

But once you've established yourself and created an image or reputation though you still need to be active in the community it becomes much harder to find time to visit others. If there are lots of people at your house you're so busy cleaning, cooking and playing the hostess that it makes it hard to get out and visit other people's homes, you know what I mean?

Time I Spend BloggingTo give you an idea of how I spend my daily four or five hours of blogging here is how it breaks down by largest percentage to smallest:

* Writing posts, including editing and photography.
* Answering emails, questions and comments.
* Finding advertisers.
* Setting up giveaways and reviews.
* Organizing posts, backing up posts and planning posts.
* Reading RSS Feeds.

The amount of time it takes to do all these things properly is the equivalent of a part-time job (some times more) and the highest priorities need to be met first. So this means that you need to decide what your goals are with your blog. If close associations with other bloggers are your highest goal then by all means, make time to visit everyone every day--you'll enjoy the community and the on-line friendships regardless of how many hits you have a day. But if your goal is to produce a product that draws readers, improves your writing skills and earns income then you'll need to focus your limited time on the activities that most contribute to this goal.

For me this means I've had to make a few decisions:

1. I always find time to answer an email. If someone takes the time to comment and makes their email visible in their profile then I will always answer their comment via email. This is completely doable--I have seen very few blogs that have so many comments that they can't answer them this way. The only exception might be contest posts that inspire hundreds of comments as entries. At least half of commentators don't make their email public anyway so I can't respond and that cuts the job in half right there.

2. I read my RSS feeds regularly. When someone comments at Scribbit (especially more than once) I usually find my way back to their blog at some point and if I like what I see then I add it to my RSS feeds. I read almost all blogs this way because I can scan them quickly and be aware of what others are doing and what the hot topics are. Sidenote: if they don't have their full feed posted then I don't read it nearly as often because it takes extra time to click through and a partial feed usually doesn't include a picture which I find necessary. Not sure why, I'm just a visual person and need a picture to lure me in. But all this means that just because I'm not commenting on your blog regularly doesn't mean I'm not still reading it, I'm just lurking in the shadows ready to pounce on any great post that I see coming through. If I do see something that I really want to comment on I will or I might bookmark a post to link to later.

3. I respond to links with a comment. If I see that someone has linked to me in a post I will always leave a comment to show I've noticed and say thanks. It's hard to pick up all of them but I try--depending on how busy things are. I also try to do this when people add me to their blogrolls but that can be much harder to keep up with.

4. I comment on any blog that participates in the Winter Bazaar or Write-Away Contest. If someone takes the time to enter one of my carnivals or contests then I figure I can at least comment on their entry, seems to be an issue of common courtesy.

5. I use awards, memes and my "Site of the Week" to say thanks. When someone has been kind and linked to me repeatedly or done other nice things I like to try and repay some of the favor by giving them one of the many awards floating around or passing a meme to them or highlighting them as "Site of the Week" on my sidebar. I may not be able to make it around to comment everywhere but a little thanks can go a long way.

There you are, for what it's worth--my thoughts on commenting and visiting other blogs. And the first draft took me just over three hours to write, including but not limited to: writing the post, making the graph, handling five phone calls, picking up kids at school, answering the doorbell and eating lunch.

Do you dare comment?

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75 comments:

poppy fields said...

I remember where I left my first comment and that she responded got me hooked, too. I've been strapped for time lately, but feel like I have made some very nice blog friends that hopefully will still be there when I can dedicate more time to my blog writing and commenting.

Lis Garrett said...

I think yours was one of the first "big" blogs I began reading, and I have never felt you were anything less than gracious. Seriously, you are what blogging etiquette is all about.

Lori said...

Thanks for always commenting on my blog! Keep up the great work! Love your blog!
Lori

Kelli said...

I admit, shamefully, that I used to be an avid commenter on the blogs I visited regularly. But over the last few months, I've become a lurker.

I've become less "involved" in the blogs I read, but I'm there every. single. day.

It's time for me to get my act back together, cause I miss the interaction. I mean, heck, that's one of the main reasons for blogging- right?

Relationships take two to tango.

Better go dust off my dancin' shoes.

Chris said...

I'm amazed at how organized you are! I try, I really do, but I don't think I have an efficient system like you do.

Patty W said...

Lovely!

I don't have a blog and only learned of them in the last few months..well..ones that are crafty/life enhancing for me :)

I was amazed when I received my first email from someone whose blog I visit regularly! No way, I thought, she is so kind and took so much time to say something nice to ME! Hooked, lined and addicted I became.

I have stopped visiting a few blogs..some that seem so conceited and selfish, which seems odd, considering it is their blog ..but...

Anyhoo...Thank you for always having an interesting read ready for me ! I haven't been commenting every day , mainly due to time allowances, even though I am home every day, I do need to get a FEW things done!

Thanks again for keeping me entertained, I do love your blog and you are always kind and generous with your time and thoughts.

Gray Matters said...

Thank you for the great post. You clearly showed that with a little organization you can manage to have the blogging experience you wish to have. Thank you for blazing the trail for us new to this world.

Tammy said...

I've always appreciated your response to my comments on your blog. It is something I'm not so good at--I've been trying to amend that! =)

Sarah (Genesis Moments) said...

Wow - that was great! You are indeed always so gracious. Thank you for what you offer to all of us. It is obvious the quality time you put in.

Melissa Markham said...

I have always appreciated your policy on replying to comments and I try to do the same myself (though not as timely as you, I usually respond within 24 hours).

BTW, to find out if people are talking about you, go to Google, click on the news alerts and fill in Scribbit. Then anytime it comes up, you will get an email.

Amy said...

Great tips! We switched back to partial feeds because our traffic was down to our site and that does affect our bottom line for money that we get. It sounds silly, but every click counts :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

When I started my blog, I promised to respond to every comment (even the off-topic and occasionally kooky ones). I respond on the blog, and occasionally follow up by email, too. And I use a blog reader (Bloglines) to keep up with other blogs. Remaining active is important; I tend to leave comments more often for those who are active in commenting on my blog. If you're not an active participant in the community, you can't expect people to be active on your blog.

Tami said...

This is an area that I am not that great at. But, I have been making a conscious effort to comment on other blogs in the last couple of months and have gotten a little better.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

THANK YOU for this, Michelle! You were definitely the first "big-time" blogger I started reading, and you have always, always been so gracious with your email replies to comments. In fact, if it weren't for you doing that, I would never have known that it's good bloggy etiquette to do so!

I am still a long, long ways off from being "big time" but my blog traffic has increased quite a bit, even just in the past three months (strangely, through no heroic efforts of my own). I am finding that this very topic - how to get out and read the blogs I love and the blogs of those who read mine - to be my number one biggest challenge. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic - very helpful.

Love the readers' panel. AWESOME as Dacey would say. ;)

Jennifer said...

I sure hope I'm not one of those people you think ignore your blog comments. I love getting comments and appreciate that you've come and visited my blog on occassion even though it is not nearly as interesting as yours. Over at Family Musings and my other blog, EatingItUp, I have linked to you a few times... probably more than I've linked to anyone else because I find your content so in-line with things I enjoy. On average, I have maybe 30 minutes every other day that I can spend on my own blogging and commenting (though I spend more time reading blogs while I pump for my daughter), so it is hard to find time to join into the blogging community. Since I started my blog just for my family, I didn't realize all the blog-etiquette there was. I don't want to be that rude blogger so I guess I'll have to find some time to make commenting and replying a piority. Thanks!

Jolene said...

I love your blog. Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading. A friend e-mailed me a link of one of your crafts.

I use google reader now because it is so easy to find new blogs and add them to my list. But it does make it harder to comment because you have to click over to the actual blog.

I don't comment as often as I should - especially when I know how exciting it is to get a comment or to find out that people are actually reading your blog!

Sue said...

Wonderful post! Informative, too! I'm new to blogging and haven't figured out how to respond to people that comment on my blog or how to list favorite blogs. I have SO much to learn! Don't they have an Idiot's Guide to Blogging book or something? Oh, and to answer your question, just 'cause I can here, I know how...!... No, that isn't my home, I WISH it were!

Maryann said...

Very good advice in this post. I have to say, you are very diligent in your communication and kindness. It is much appreciated :)

Tabitha said...

I have to say that your blog is one of my favorites. I appreciate the information you give especially when the topics are Alaska and blogging.

I have had my blog for about 6 months and am still trying to find out who I am in the blogging community but my favorite thing is improving my writing skills.

Thank you for sharing how you break up your time for your blog.

Cagey said...

Excellent post on commenting!

I approached this question of commenting a few months back and most seemed to agree that they did not mind that I was not replying to their comments on my blog. However, I tend to read THEIR blogs and comment there instead.

I am still torn on replying to comments - I rarely get an email included. When I polled on my own blog, most folks said they do not come back to read for responses to their comments. At that point, I made a renewed decision to visit and comment on those blogs that frequently visit mine.

Hope all those awkwardly worded sentences I just wrote made sense!

angie said...

I think responding to those that take the time to comment on your blog is essential, too. I've always appreciated your comments, and LOVE your blog.

Janet said...

I think you were the first non-relative who responded to a comment I made on a blog. I need to be better about doing that on mine, but so many people don't leave email links, so often I just leave another comment, which isn't a great way of doing it.
So what is an RSS feed exactly? Maybe that could be a Panel question.

Chief Family Officer said...

This is something I'm still learning to do "right," and I've been blogging for almost three years now. I try to be as responsive as possible to comments on my own blogs, but time constraints can put a damper on that depending on what's going on.

I think it's really sweet of you to respond to questions via email, I rarely do that but I'll try to do it more now that you've pointed it out. When I leave a question on someone else's blog, I subscribe to the comments since I always go through my Google Reader anyway - I love that this is almost always an option now.

P.S. I love the Readers' Panel idea!

Karen said...

May I first say, your pie chart is very snazzy, lol. I would shudder to think what mine would look like.

Alas, the responding to others' comments would be my thinnest slice. I'm pretty bad about that and I think it's mainly due to the fact that I'm not quite sure how to go about it. I hesitate to email people because, well, I tend to get a ton of email and I know how overwhelming that can be sometimes and I'm always afraid of being a nuisance to someone.

I try to visit commenters' blogs, but I don't always do such a good job following up.

In short, I suck, lol. I have gotten into the habit of writing, publishing and then forgetting everything about my post. (I'm easily distracted and quite often forget what I was doing to begin with). It still amazes me that people read what I write at all.

I do try to answer questions though, either in comments or by email - sometimes both. I hate to leave people hanging.

Thanks for another great post, Michelle. I have you in my reader and I always look forward to reading what you're up to.

Write From Karen

Jenna Consolo said...

Michelle, this was a great post. I have always been impressed with your grace too. I noticed that you always commented on my comments, and being new to blogging, your post is especially helpful. You're a shining beacon in the blogosphere! And I'll bet you're the best kind of friend, too!

Simply Stork said...

Great post...

I use to be a lurker...then I started my own blog and realized how important the comments are! So I started leaving comments on other blogs...there is always something cool about a post. I keep them simple because I am a horrible speller...I wish the comment box had spell check??? sheesh...I always hold my breath when I push that button.

~simply~

Corrie said...

I love to respond to comments and wish that people would enable their email on their blogger profile (I think people often don't realize they need to do this).

I love that you're having a reader's panel. Thanks for all the great blogging information you already provide.

Beck said...

This was a very good post - for me, I LOVE commenting and try to make sure that I comment back for everyone who comments on my site. I can't respond to every post, but I try to make an appearance, you know?
I have some questions about finding advertisers, if you would be so good as to email me about that, please and thank you?

Miriam said...

Okay, so I've been a daily lurker for QUITE some time now. Guess I should introduce myself! I LOVE all of your ideas, (we'll be making flubber this week!) and your recipes always look smashing! My father-in-law lives in Soldotna, so I'm always intrigued by the Alaskan info. Thanks for a great daily blog read!

Jamie said...

You are so right! I'm a new blogger but I just love when people respond to comments! It's just such a nice thing. Thanks for sharing!

Cocoa said...

Ahh, been wondering how you organized your time and "do it all."

Using a feed reader has greatly cut down on the time I used to spend reading blogs. Just keeping up on my family took a big chunk of time!

Thanks for all the tips you've posted.

laughingatchaos said...

I'm glad you wrote about this, it's something I've been wondering about. I always like seeing what you write over at my place, so thanks! : )

chickadee said...

i think you are one of the best at returning comments. you always respond kindly to my comments and that was one of the things that made you stand out when i first started reading your blog.

would you mind expounding on "finding advertisers" and advertising?

enjoyed all that.

chelle said...

I always enjoy what you share about blogging and the like.

Comments are tough sometimes. I am odd I always try to comment if left a comment, but rarely is ever send an email. I am not always comfortable getting an email back, sometimes it is nice to leave the thought and leave it at that, if that makes sense. I would much rather have a visit than an email :D

grace said...

I comment as often as I can and do believe that it is good to respond to comments so that readers feel their opinions are heard.

This is a great post. I hope all bloggers follow this great etiquette you have written here.

Shelli said...

This was really interesting because it's something I often think about. I always pop in on your blog, although I know I rarely leave a comment...sorry. Since I have limited time while taking care of my one-year-old, I've had to make a conscious decision about how much time I'm willing to blog, read other's blogs and so forth. I use the RSS feed for sure. As my list grows longer, I think there will be a point where I just have to stop adding on blogs to read even though there are some great voices out there. I have made some very good blogging-friends, and it's great fun. There's about a dozen or so that I always try to leave comments on, especially since they are so kind to read and comment on my blog regularly.

Karen said...

You are the epitome of a gracious blogger. I found your blog when I was searching for some old friends in Alaska and have been hooked every since - I didn't even realize you were a "big-time" blogger until just about a month ago when I looked at your feedburner stats...holy moly! :)

Sarah said...

I think I'm guilty of lurking here for a while, but this post is SUCH a helpful one for me as a new blogger. It's so hard to figure out how much time to spend doing things, and I truly love the community aspect of blogging. It's good to hear about other bloggers' routines.

Lucy said...

And this post is why I don't have a blog myself. I just don't have that much time. :)

I love to read blogs, but have never expected a response to my post unless I ask a question or offer a good suggestion. Nearly all of the bloggers I read are really good with that. If I ever do start blogging, I'll reference this post so I'll be sure to be courteous, since what's a blog without readers? LOL!

Daisy said...

Awesome graph! I'm impressed. :)

diXymiss said...

ThanX for the informative post. I'm beginning to realize that comments are to the blogger what laughter is to the comic, applause to the actor, "Amens" to the preacher... Motivation!

ewe are here said...

I remember when my blog first attracted a couple of comments from people I didn't know... that little thrill of excitement that someone had taken the time to say 'hi'... and then came back to say 'hi' again.

I'm very impressed by how organized you are when it comes to maintaining your blog. Clearly why it's so enjoyable. :-)

cheeky said...

I like the fact you take time to acknowledge. It is important. It's nice to let people know you are aware and I think it's an unspoken courtesy in blogland. I think it basically falls into "Treat others as you would like to be treated".
As for my blog, well it's been neglected for almost two months but I'll be back.

Irene said...

I agree with what many others said. You definitely are one of the nicest bloggers around! I really appreciated when you responded to my comments. You are the one blogger who I definitely feels reads and appreciates all comments.

Somehow, I think my blogger is set to "no reply" when I comment. But I have no idea how I changed it and how to change it back!

I am definitely guilty of not responding enough to comments. Thanks for the reminder of what blogger "etiquette" really should be.

thediaperdiaries said...

I am commenting :) I have really been convicted by you to do a better job of responding to my commentors. Its funny cause I live for those comments, but then don't always respond. Thanks for the encouragement.

Inkling said...

Okay, so I still haven't acted on the lessons you are teaching me, but will say that you are the person who taught me the whole concept of replying to comments. I guess I never "knew better" or even considered how useful that might be. But you make an impression with the time you take to write even the shortest note, and I think that's a great habit. Okay, so I'll be good and start applying the lessons you are teaching..... =)

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Michelle, I'd say that now you're one of the more well known bloggers just judging by the amount of RSS subscribers you have and I appreciate the time you take to answer comments even though I can see you get loads of them. Lots of bloggers don't, but the ones that reply to me are the ones I usually stick around to read.

The Estrogen Files said...

I've been kind of ratty about commenting lately - this baby is just kicking my buns! I'm bad about reading lately, too, but that's another story...

I've been on my Google reader tonight, updating my favorites list and pitching the ones I don't dig "no more".

Thanks for this post.

jubilee said...

I was ecstatic when one of the first comments I ever rec'd was from you. Especially since your blog was the first I ever read regularly. I was a lurker long before I was a blogger. Didn't realize how important it was to comment until I had my own blog.
Thanks for the tips and your generosity in general to other bloggers.

Scribbit said...

Oh I hope I didn't make anyone feel guilty with this post, that certainly wasn't my intent but it just goes to prove how I'm not the only one who feels guilty about things like this.

Amy--I understand the reasons behind partial feeds and they're pretty valid so I hope you didn't feel I was taking a jab. I've still got you on my RSS list :) And LOVING your blog as much as ever!

And Jennifer--no, I wasn't meaning you :)

One thing I should have mentioned was that I don't necessarily live for comments. Gasp! I know a lot of people really value them and I love them as much as the next person but many bloggers base their experience on how many comments they get. It's not really an accurate measure of a blog's success, I get pretty steady traffic every day but some posts just don't get many comments. I'm okay with that, though I do like to get a discussion going.

Some people don't like "lurking" but to me it's just fine. I figure some people just want to read, they don't necessarily want to say something or commit to a comment and that's okay too. Whatever they're comfortable with.

Irene--if you're in Blogger and you go to your edit profile page and click the button that says "show email" or whatever it is it will enable it so it appears as part of your profile.

Scribbit said...

Oh and one more thing: THANK YOU! You're all so kind! I really wasn't fishing for compliments with this post but you've all just been so nice you've made my day!

Oh--and making the graph was easy, just Google "Making a graph" and you'll find sites that will let you put one together.

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

hi M -- i really liked this post by you, but my favorite by you will likely always be ALASKA SURVIVOR!!! that still chuckles me to remember it.

when our church burned up, your blog on the newspaper was what got me hooked on wanting to start a blog. that was when i really started liking blogs -- all cause of YOU girl. and since then, i have thoroughly enjoyed myself in this blogosphere. i love using my blog mainly as a journal and i love visiting my favorite bloggies.

great post girl, take care, kathleen :)

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

You are one of the most responsive bloggers that I've ever come across and I always feel cheered to know that you've read my comment and taken the time from your busy day to respond.

I always wish that I could respond to more of the comments on my site than I have time for - I'm loving Wordpress' ability to let you edit comments and respond that way though! Especially since it doesn't seem to be as good about e-mailing comments to me. :)

Maddy said...

Well thank you so much! That really does help a great deal in figuring out where I'm going wrong.

I simply don't have that much time so I concentrate on the writing. Luckily advertisers give me a wide berth so that saves a load of time.

I am intrigued by the email replies. Like you I replied religiously to every commented [who had email or a URL] and then people emailed me back asking why I was replying, that there was no need, so I sort of fizzled out.
I think I shall return to that plan.

Many thanks again, and I loved the chart [visual learner]
Cheers

Pocklock said...

This is awesome. I actually wrote about something similar this week, but I called out one particular blogger in general that I was hurt by. We've since worked it out through various email exchanges, but the end result is that both she and I are glad I posted about it.

Thanks again. This is terrific advice - I'll be back!

Dina Eisenberg said...

First, you have an amazingly beautiful blog. Having just finished the design process, I know how hard it can be to get just the right tone and visual.

I've been blogging for 3 years in a fairly narrow niche, but now have a more mainstream blog about marriage. There are so many opinions about how to build relationships and a business online that it gets confusing.

Your tips on organization and your philosphy on commenting seems so right and reasonable to me that I plan to adopt them myself. I loved the chart!

Thanks, Dina

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I've often wondered if I should email people in response to their comments (like you've always done to me). I usually choose to, instead, read their blog and return the favor by leaving them a comment. Is this an acceptable substitute? Someone needs to write a Miss Manners type book about the etiquette rules of blogging. Sounds like an article you could write =)

Cass said...

There was so much talk about that topic this week and I was really looking for a knowledgeable source to give me the "lay of the land" - thanks for being that source.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Your organization and blogging brilliance NEVER cease to amaze me! Seriously. Thanks for all the grand pointers.

Pat said...

This was so interesting! I'm fairly new at blogging and I'm always so thrilled to get a comment on my blog. I always try to leave a message on all the ones I visit, but I can see that there can sometimes not be enough hours in the day to do it all.
Thanks so much for helping me see all the ways to acknowledge a blog I enjoy....and thanks for commenting on my blog ;-)

Jinxy calls me "Mom" said...

I loved this post. I'm brand-new to blogging and found your blog because you commented on mine - - My very first comment actually!!! I found this post inspirational and now I'm even more excited about blogging and being in the community. THANKS!!!!

Anjali said...

Wow, 4 or 5 hours a day blogging? That IS a part-time job.

I, too, would love to respond to comments more, but I have the same problem as Cagey - most people that comment on mine don't have an accessible email address, or don't have their own blog!

Shalee said...

Heck yeah, I'll comment. You've always been so gracious and kind whenever you've been to my place, I can't help but keep coming back to a place of comfort, joy and fun. (That means you Michelle!)

What I dislike is that I cannot comment at Blogger sites from work and I've vowed that I will not spend my evenings blogging as that is family time. So my comments are hit and miss. I hate that because I really love chatting with whomever leaves a comment at my place. But I CAN do email, so I think it's really important to emphasize the need to attach one's email to one's identity when leaving comments. It's so much easier on everyone!

Leigh Anne Wilkes said...

As a fairly new blogger (Sept. of 2007)who is still working hard to grow her blog I appreciate your comments and ideas. I have a goal to make two comments a day on other blogs so glad to know I am doing the right thing. Guess I have one of my comments for the day done!

Thanks again.

Betty C. said...

Yes, I dare to comment! I just found your blog through Poppy Fields and appreciated this post about managing commenting, which is one of the "side effects" of blogging that a lot of us don't think about when we open up our Blogger account!

jpdmom said...

Thank you for these great ideas, and tips - I am still trying to figure it out. My first blog I commented on was Seth Godin's and HE, emailed me direct. I was smitten to say the least. I too get very upset when I take the time to email or comment (especially one that is like mine, or a good compliment to mine) and I get nothing. They should hand out Blogging Etiquette 101 to people when they start a blog. Thanks again!

Jamie Lentzner
www.jpd.typepad.com

thea said...

thanks for sharing these tips.
i just want to say, reading this inspires me to bloghop more and comment on others' entries aka hard work. good day!

Magpie said...

I have nothing to say other than Hi!

Pieces said...

Michelle, this is a really great post. I love how you have explained your priorities and how you spend your time blogging. And that is a killer pie chart!

Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home said...

That is a great explanation, thanks!

I wish that I had more time to devote to my blog, but with littles and homeschooling, I just don't. So one of the ways that I try to keep on top of comments is to answer several comments at once, in my comments section. It's not the same as a personal email, but it still shows those who hang around my blog that I do read and enjoy and respond to their comments. If there's a particular question in a comment that I think really needs an answer, then I will take the time to send out a quick email.

As for blog reading, I am trying a new schedule for myself where I take time 3 mornings a week to read and comment on blogs whose feeds I receive. It helps to have that purposeful time set aside for reading and commenting, and helps me to get around a little bit more.

I'm impressed that you're able to keep up with your readers and commenters so well! Looks like you have a very balanced approach to the time you spend on your blog.

Jen@BigBinder said...

I love this post. I worked in the Corporate World for a long time, and tended to email too much - I never used to know when to end. Thank you! You're welcome, have a good day! You too! Thank you! You're welcome! etc. Finally one of my bosses said I was annoying with this stuff so I backed off.

Then I started blogging about 6 months ago and I am never sure how much to email, or what to respond to (every comment? first comment? is just going back on their blog and commenting on something the wrote ok?).

I am still figuring out what is comfortable for me. I would hate to be told I am annoying again, that hurt! But I don't want to be rude either, so this was a good post for me to read. Also - to see that other people 'needed' this advice makes me feel not so much like I am a blogging wierdo.

Leslie said...

This was a great and very helpful post! I've often wondered how the big time bloggers keep up with all the comments and blog reading!

I don't respond to every comment I get. I always e-mail a first time commenter and give their blog an obligatory visit or two. If they write good stuff, I add them to my feed reader. If it's still good, they'll end up on my blogroll.

I don't respond to comments as much as I'd like to (usually only if I have a direct question), mostly because I can hardly keep up with my blog reading. It's getting unmanageable. I need a better system of organization! This post helps.

Liza's Eyeview said...

This so helpful. Thank you for sharing. I always learn a lot from you.lm23

Hazel said...

There is no way that you're going to respond to this lot, surely? Anyway, thanks for the tip about showing my email address in my Blogger profile. It does mean that if anyone wants to contact me direct then they can. I don't collect much by way of comments but since I don't write original material I don't expect to get lots of "thank you for finding ... about the UK tax laws".
I have started using facebook for the non-information-giving conversations that I might like to have with virtual friends -- although I notice that people are starting to develop a business outlook here as well.
Thanks for everything you do.

JanMary said...

Great post - I found it very helpful. Do you often answer questions in your comments in your comments?

Sometimes I have been asked a question, but have no email address or blog page to reply on - very frustrating!

Keep up your great posts - an inspiration to us little minnows from a bigger fish in the blogging pond!