Replying to Comments
Like I said, I had no idea bloggers replied to comments via email. Once I fixed the no reply situation, I started getting all sorts of email goodness from other bloggers and I started to feel like I was making acquaintances at the very least.
Now I needed to make sure that I was connecting with my commenters. Up until then, I had been replying on my blog and that didn’t guarantee that they would ever see my reply.
This posed a dilemma for me. My blog originally had an option to “email follow-up comments” so that bloggers that commented on my blog could see my reply, if they chose to.
Should I start emailing anyway? Do I just keep replies only to my blog? I love the personal nature of emailing a response because there have been a few times that one blog response has lent itself to an ongoing conversation. However, Danny and Mara only reply on their blog to blog comments and there are such rich discussions on their blog (someday I hope to have that) and I love to go back and read the comments and discussions.
I basically wanted to have my replies available to all readers and also respond in a personal way to be sure the commenter saw. It was a quick fix. I decided to remove the option of “Please email follow-up comments” so that I didn’t feel like I was going against someone’s wishes if I emailed them.
Now what I do is email my reply to the commenter via email (email addresses are required to comment on my blog). If the reply is personal in nature, I edit that part out. If it’s not too personal, I simply copy and paste my response onto my blog so all the readers can see it.
It’s a few extra minutes, but I love reading blogger replies instead of just the reader comments. My main goal is to make my blog a blog that I would want to read and this cultivates the exact relationship/community that I desire and enjoy about other favorite blogs.
I’m not recommending that all people do this. It’s just wise to be aware that commenting via email is the only way you’re guaranteed the commenter will see your reply. It’s also wise to be aware of the fact that WordPress bloggers (if logged in under their WordPress accounts) won’t have email addresses show up, so perhaps you could visit their blog and find them via contact information.
Every comment counts. I know I enjoy the blogs that make me feel that way, so I know it’s important to show that same consideration to the people who take the time to comment me (or email me).
For a post on this see Are You Ignoring Your Followers