Aug 10, 2015

LITHW #7: Comments are Friends, Not Food

One thing we bloggers love as much as books are comments. Whenever we put up a post, we eagerly wait for feedback, and likewise, we should all remember that fellow bloggers also feel the same way.

No matter how big or small a blog is, a comment you leave will always lift the blogger's spirits. So here's some thoughts and tips for being a commentor who makes an impact in the blogger's heart - told by a blogger who leaves the best comments here at Chasing Faerytales , Megan @ Adrift on Vulcan

Hi everyone! I'm Meg from Adrift on Vulcan, and thank you so, so much to Mishma and Jillian for inviting me to their Learnt it the Hard Way blogging event aka letting me ramble freely on their blog, haha! But in all seriousness -- when they asked me to write about commenting, I was like, oh boy, what kind of tips am I supposed to give?! So many posts have already been written about commenting do's and don'ts that I don't really want to go over them again, you know?

So today I thought I'd write about something different and try to answer the question, "What are comments to you?"

We all had to start somewhere when we first joined the blogosphere. Our blogs were small, unknown, and probably even discouraging at times, because all the effort we put into them wasn't being recognized. Hell, seeing the "No comments" link was like getting stabbed in the eye, that's how and painful it was -- is. That's what comments are for, and why they are so important, in my opinion; they give bloggers encouragement, and let bloggers know that somewhere out there, someone appreciates what they've written.

And best of all, they build friendships.

Unfortunately, I had to learn that last bit the hard way. I first started blogging back in 2012, when the bookish community was still fairly tiny, and book reviews and ARCs were all the rage. Okay, I guess ARCs are still wildly coveted even now, but I feel like the blogosphere has shifted its focus and become a more personal space, rather than just simply a bookish community. Anyway, during those first few months, I was a pretty shitty blogger. I envied other huge blogs and got frustrated when I didn't get as much love as they did, like -- what was I doing wrong?

Oh selfish, stupid Meg. Sure, I commented on other blogs, but only the big ones, because they got the most traffic, and more people would see my comments. And even then, my comments were never sincere. I left one- and two-liners. I probably even did that annoying "Great review! I really want to read the book now. Check out my blog @ blah blah blah!" Basically, I was a huge-ass snob. That was probably my biggest regret: being so narrow-minded and so ambitious that I only saw comments as a way to feed my blog, not as a way to actually get to know this community I was in. If I had been more sincere from the start, less selfish and jealous, I feel like blogging would have been a lot more satisfying and enjoyable right off the bat. Instead, it took me a year and a half to finally realize that the way I was putting myself out there wasn't the right way. I'm proud to say that my manner of commenting has changed drastically since then. I mean, I probably win the award for best comment rambler, am I right? I've written long comments for so long that I even feel guilty if I just leave a one paragraph comment. (God knows I can be extreme.)

And that leads to the title of my post: comments are friends, not food.

Don't be like me -- I saw comments only as a way to boost my blog views, secure ARCs, and to measure my popularity. I'm telling you know: See them as a means of friendship, as a way to get to know other people who love the same things you do. Write the kind of sincere comments you would want to receive yourself. No one appreciates an obvious fishing-for-attention one-liner, after all.

But don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that comments in terms of blog stats aren't important. I do think they are very important (and I do get frustrated when a review of mine doesn't get as many comments as I would have liked), but sometimes, I feel like we place more value on our comment counts than we should, rather than seeing comments as genuine acts of friendship. It took me nearly two years to learn that. Here I am now, bestowing two years of wisdom upon you ;D

So what are comments to you?

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