Why I Think Comments are the Single Most Important Way to Support Book Bloggers

Disclaimer: Ok, some people would probably argue paying book bloggers is the #1 way to support them, but not every blogger has a ko-fi or Patreon where they are asking for money, and I’d personally say paying bloggers should be on publishers/authors/people asking for marketing and not other bloggers. This post is more about how blog readers can support bloggers.

A consistent theme in the book blogging community is that many of us started our blogs to connect with other readers– and that we value conversations and friendships more than anything else. When people answer questions about why they love blogging, they often answer “the community.” When people explain what they consider success for their blogs, they often say “connections with my followers.” So, while conversations about whether blogging is dying, whether bloggers should be paid, and whether bloggers are valued continue in the community, I personally believe that the most important thing we all can do to support other bloggers and keep blogging alive is to leave other bloggers comments.

In recent years, I’ve noticed that our traffic here at Pages Unbound has grown, but the number of comments we receive on each post has gone down. In casual conversations with other bloggers, I’ve had many report the same: they just don’t seem to have as many conversations with other readers as they used to. No one is quite sure why, though speculation includes the fact there are just so many platforms (Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok) that it’s hard to keep up with them all to the fact that people might just prefer other platforms entirely. A lot of people seem to think it’s simply “easier” to comment on something on Twitter than on a blog.

But what is the result of this? Bloggers feel that no one is valuing their content, and that can be a depressing thought to someone who has put hours into planning, writing, formatting, and promoting a post. And when people feel that they’re “wasting their time,” they might decide it’s time to quit blogging. I’ve never thought that blogging is dead, or even necessarily dying– but it might die if tons of bloggers decide they’re not getting what they want out of it, which is readers who are interested in what they are posting and conversations with readers about books. To me, it seems clear that the one thing that can really revitalize blogging, even more so than (some, probably the biggest) bloggers being paid for their work, is readers leaving more blog comments.

Yet I also think that more blog comments can lead to the payment that some bloggers are seeking. When bloggers request ARCs or payment from publishers or authors, they’re generally self-reporting their stats. I assume the majority of people are honest about their page views and visitor count, but a publisher can never be sure. I myself have been confused by blogs that claim to have a billion followers and views yet, when I look at their sites, have zero comments on every single post. Are they lying about their stats? Are their page views from bots? From people who don’t really care about their content? Who can tell? When I go to a blog and see every post has 40 comments on it, however, I know I’ve found a blog that people like to read. This might also be interesting to publishers when they decide where to give out ARCs and, maybe, money.

No one is obligated to anything, of course. I myself don’t comment around as much as I’d like or as much as I’d use to, as real life responsibilities catch up to me. However, if you’re really invested in supporting bloggers, I think commenting is the way to go. Retweets and likes on posts are nice, but it seems that what people really want are readers who are interested enough in their content to take the time to leave a comment and say so.

Briana

59 thoughts on “Why I Think Comments are the Single Most Important Way to Support Book Bloggers

  1. Ben Ace says:

    I definitely agree! It’s been weird in my ~4 years of blogging to realize that I get more comments/interaction on Twitter and Instagram when I feel like I put more work into the content I post on my blog. Although, I must admit, I’ve been consciously trying to get better at leaving comments on blogs myself, so I get it 😅

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hasini @ Bibliosini says:

    Totally agree with you, Briana! I’ve been blogging since last year and even I noticed how important comments are in comparison to likes and views! Lately, I have been trying to invest more time in commenting more often than just liking posts, but it is an investment of time, so there are limits as to how much a single blogger can do. Either way, I personally find that comments fuel my blogging motivation a lot more than any other stats!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Blk Cat Zon3 says:

      I accepted the fact not many people would comment on my blog. It works for me, since less is more and it helps with delivering information to active readers. After a few months I may reconsider this option.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      YES! I’ve seen a lot of people recently saying they want to move away from WordPress for whatever reason (I actually don’t know what the reasons are, and I am vaguely curious…), but I always think that could be death to their comments if they don’t have a good system. Blogspot always kicks me off, and then if people try alternatives like Disqus or logging in with Facebook, it really depends on whether people want to sign up for a new account or whether they want to use their real Facebook name to comment, etc.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Carol says:

        I think there’s frustration with the new block editor in WordPress….I’m continuing to use the older classic editor. But maybe users don’t realize they have a choice.

        I prefer to make comments within the WP reader otherwise it’s so problematic whether it will work or not. There are some blogs I’ve had to give up on ever being able to comment.

        Like

  3. jen_bookworm says:

    I stopped blogging last year because the time I put into it just felt like too much compared to what I got back. I’d lost motivation and interest in blogging. I was asked to do a blog tour this year so I thought I’d start again, getting back into it has been tricky. I’m reminded how long it takes to write a post and then I don’t get as many comments etc as before. I think it’s more difficult for small bloggers like me who maybe don’t have a huge amount of time or a big following. It doesn’t help that I try to go online less 😂 I’ve started reading blogs again though and I realise I’ve missed that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blk Cat Zon3 says:

      The Kitty Kat Life is my second blog. My original one, Blk Cat Zon3 had almost 100 followers less than 3 months. However, I took it down because I am revamping my business with my biz partner, and I don’t think many musical artists care about 3rd trimester pregnancy or how to handle the stress of a freelance writer 😂😂😂

      But I can say that so far, I noticed a huge change with my presentation. Plus, it is taking longer to receive views or likes verses pushing the personal homemaker life. I can relate how stressful and discouraging it can be, but sometimes it’s worth it.

      Keep in mind, connection is key. So keep building your connections, even if you don’t post much.

      Like

  4. Tales from Absurdia says:

    100%. I’m working harder to post more on here than I do on Twitter because, currently, I have zero visibility on here and a decent amount on Twitter.

    It’s not always easy to find the time, but j really value the comments and conversations I have with people.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Books Teacup and Reviews says:

    I agree with and it’s hard to get comments. Mine had gone from 2 per post to 5 and 10. It’s my observation but I might be wrong, it’s kind of, mostly, 2 way thing. You don’t get comments on your own blog until you start commenting more and more on other bloggers’ post. of course not everyone one return the favor or like to read what we have to say but I’ve seen if you just disapear after publishing post and don’t blog hop, start conversation on posts you like, nobody would notice you exist.
    It’s same with social media as well.
    It’s time consuming and most of the time not appreciated but one has to have dedication and hope. It’s what we are here for.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I completely agree with this! I think commenting more on other blogs is one of the biggest ways to get comments on your own blog, and I’ve seen so many other bloggers say the same thing!

      Unfortunately I’ve been a bit low on time to comment as much as I’ve wanted to during the past year, but hopefully I’ll get more time eventually. :/

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Siena says:

    I completely agree with you! For me, comments are the most important form of interaction, especially because likes and views feel impersonal. When someone comments, for me it feels like they are genuinely interested in my content and have read it. I personally can’t attest to how commenting has changed, as I’ve only been blogging for a little more than a year and I get more comments now than I did before. However, I would say that I’ve definitely been guilty of not commenting as much as I would like to on other blogs, it depends upon how busy I am in real life. It’s something that I’m trying to work on!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yes! It’s so hard to tell if someone who “liked” the post even read beyond the title, and views could be from someone who opened the post and immediately left. Sometimes I get comments from people who clearly haven’t read my post either (and I don’t really know what the point of commenting is, then), but I do think it’s the one stat that gives bloggers a sense that people actually read the post and found it interesting.

      I’m also super busy in real life lately and haven’t been able to comment as much as I did in the past, but hopefully we will find some more free time soon!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. aquavenatus says:

    An excellent post with excellent points!

    FYI: When I started posting more reviews, the authors’ comments and reposts caught the attention of their publishers (and their agents and their editors). That’s when I started receiving more ARCs and eARCs, and other requests. Every little bit helps goes a long way.

    Also, the pictures you take of books can help as well!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies says:

    I agree — comments make me feel like someone cared enough to actually read what I wrote. It’s nice to get likes, but as you point out, that could just be someone clicking to be supportive (still appreciated!) without actually reading or engaging. I’ve been under such a time crunch lately that I haven’t been able to spend as much time commenting on other people’s blogs, and it’s something I want to be better about.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Louise says:

    I think a big part of the problem is that we all stretch ourselves across so many platforms now that finding the time to engage with everything can be difficult! I personally have my blog, twitter and Instagram that I try to regularly engage with and it just gets on top of you sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I completely agree with this! I find it so hard to keep up with all the social media and photography in addition to my actual blog. I’ve basically just decided to focus on my blog, though, which is what I joined the book community for in the first place. Hence why I haven’t posted on Instagram in a while…

      Liked by 2 people

  10. valinoratroy says:

    Time and habit, I guess. I am only recently leaving book reviews on Amazon & Good reads. I don’t get a lot of time to read blogs but I will make try to always leave a comment when I do in future. Good post, by the way!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. mistysbookspace says:

    While comments are definitely important I am grateful for all the likes and shared I get. For me they are all important. Interaction with others is important but I know it’s not always an easy thing to do whether it be someone’s anxiety keeping them from commenting or as is the case with me a lot of times just not knowing what to say that isn’t just oh I liked your post.

    Liked by 2 people

      • mistysbookspace says:

        Yeah I’ve heard that too which is why sometimes I’m hesitant to comment because I just don’t know what to say and I feel like they want appreciate me just saying oh I really like the post or something along those lines.

        Like

        • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

          I honestly think people were pretty aggressive about this several years ago in blogging. Like, they would eviscerate the idea of someone saying “great review” and it WAS pretty scary! Now I think people don’t love it as a comment, but they’re not…so angry about it. That’s my take at least!

          Liked by 1 person

          • mistysbookspace says:

            Oh really I’ve never seen anything like that but honestly it doesn’t surprise me that it was a thing. I’ve known people to complain about not getting comments and only getting likes and they even went so far as to say they don’t like getting likes they don’t matter to them only comments do.

            Like

  12. femaleinferno says:

    I joined the blogging community to meet like-minded people who love reading and writing, and I try to comment on every post that gives me something, whether its a book recommendation, information, support, etc. I’ve also come across a lot of articles like this, who’s authors feel the same way you do – and I’ve commented on them to show support; yet most of the time, I do not get a return comment. I always attempt to start a conversation through blogs, but commonly find they are only after comments for the stats and/or validation. It’s a shame there is a trend with short attention spans and the need to grow your platform that it’s taking creators away from the reason blogs were created for in the first place… skipping over the ‘social’ part of social media. I love sharing my reading and writing but I’ve become a lot more complacent over the whole activity of late, with bloggers chasing recognition rather than interacting with their community.

    Liked by 3 people

    • _tirilu says:

      That’s an interesting point. Do people just want recognition and not a conversation?
      In a way, I think it really depends on the comment. There are comments that are practicly empty, that don’t really say anything besides “great post!”. What do you answer to something like that? Are those not more for validation and less of a conversation starter?
      In a way, it’s kind of sad that we even have to differ between them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

        This is a good point, too, and the interesting thing is that I think I’ve actually seen a tiny shift on this point. When I first started blogging, people unilaterally hated the “great post!” comments because they don’t add anything or start a discussion, and actually it still doesn’t demonstrate the person actually read or liked the post. I can write “great post” on anything without actually reading it! Now that bloggers seem to be getting fewer comments, though, I’ve seen some people start saying they wouldn’t even mind some “great post” comments! I guess even really short impersonal comments feel better than no comments at all!

        Liked by 2 people

        • _tirilu says:

          That’s true as well. Especially lately. Still, of course I would prefer comments where I can actually talk back and say something to the person who commented.
          I’ve decided to go out of my way to comment on other peoples posts, at least a few every day and will see if that makes a difference. At least I hope that somebody else will be happy to see interaction on their blog. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

            Yes, I don’t particularly mind the “great review” comment itself. It’s more that I awkwardly feel as if there’s nothing to reply to it besides “Thanks!”

            I tried an experiment once where I aimed to leave a comment on every single post in my feed for about a week, and I did notice an uptick in traffic and interaction on my own blog when I did it. The only difficulty is, yeah, I don’t *always* have something to comment on every post!

            Liked by 2 people

            • _tirilu says:

              Yeah, I know it’s trouble. Some books are just not for me or do not interest me enough to really care about them. What do you say then? I will still try a bit harder to comment on other peoples posts.
              And hey, whatcha say! We are having great conversation here. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

      • femaleinferno says:

        Yeah – I guess it depends on what you use blogs for: as a writing outlet, information, or connection (or any combination of.) Plus there is such a plethora of types of bloggers out there – some with a lot of experience, and others with little… I guess it all boils down to intention though. Commenting to support or continue the conversation will only help grow the community and help you form a great network of likeminded individuals. I’m all for that!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Oh, I am perpetually baffled by bloggers who seem to get a lot of comments on their posts and then proceed not to reply to any of them! I am even more confused that people keep commenting! I try not to think of comments as something I’m “exchanging” with the blogger, but if I comment on five of their posts, and they never respond to me, I do feel as if I’m wasting my time. I wouldn’t necessarily stop reading the blog if I liked the content, I but I do stop spending my time reading comments when I can’t even tell if the blogger is actually reading them or cares about them!

      I also do see a lot of bloggers say they want comments on their blogs and then basically…never comment on any other blogs ever. I do get that people have limited time, and I haven’t commented around as much as I’d like to myself recently, but the reality is that it’s generally a two-way street. You can’t really sit around and say you want 30 people to comment on each of your posts and then never leave a comment on anyone else’s blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      • femaleinferno says:

        I agree. If we can’t nurture and support each other, blogging may start to die out because authors feel the information/opinions/stories are not valued… and become a pointless exercise.

        This is such a weird medium of people with differing commitment levels, motivations, and experience; and what type of content they write. I guess those authors passionate about their blogs will have staying power, and the less interactive, or those chasing the statistics, will eventually lose interest and leave the platform.

        I try to support blogs that express similar passion and motivation as mine… lead by example and all… and maybe it will influence the blogosphere to remember why this platform was created for in the first place.

        Like

  13. Jess @ beyondthefrontcover says:

    Much like others have said I think a lot of it comes down to time – at least it does for me. I’m great at commenting and then life gets in the way and I find I fall off the bandwagon. Sometimes also I want to show my appreciation for the post so I like it, but I don’t have anything to add so I avoid commenting because I don’t want to leave the generic ‘great post’ comment. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes, but I do know that comments on my post give me such a boost so I really need to make the effort to be consistent myself 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  14. storiesandsidequests says:

    For me, it depends if I’m reading on my computer or on mobile. I hate typing on my phone so I find that I rarely leave comments if I’m reading on mobile. Sometimes I’ll go back later to comment when I’m on a computer if I really want to say something but most times I’ll forget. But I agree, I love comments and wish we could all (myself included) remember to use them to connect more consistently.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Mary Drover says:

    THIS! As a fanfiction writer, the thing I’ve always loved most is receiving comments. Likes/kudos are nice, but it’s easy to just pass right by those. But comments? Those were my lifeblood in the height of my fanfiction time, and it used to make me so happy to see my inbox flooded with them. There were times that I continued writing a story purely because people were commenting on it asking for me. Comments on stories, posts, what-have-you, really are the thing that keeps people motivated to write and share content.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Oh, yes, I can see this applying to fanfiction, as well! I think it really counts for any writing where there’s no other compensation or measure of success. All there is, is the sense that other people are reading it and enjoying it, when you can only really know if they leave you a comment saying so!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Michael J. Miller says:

    AMEN! I absolutely second all of this. The friends I’ve found while blogging are such a blessing and I’d never have made these connections without comment thread discussions. I’d also add comments can be a great source of inspiration. Just last week I wrote that post about ‘Loki’ which Krysta and another blogger, Gemma, commented on. Those ideas totally spawned a whole other post! I said in the beginning how this piece only came to be because of where the discussions from the last one took my mind. How fun is that?!?

    Also, it just feels good to know when something you’ve written resonated – whether it’s a take on a review, something goofy, something fun, or something more personal. It’s a unique sort of validation to write, to create, and then to know definitively those words led someone else to say/share something. So I really love how you frame this as commenting is the single most important way we can support each other. Because those feelings of validation that come from comments? Wow – that is such a beautiful, meaningful form of support.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Sumedha says:

    Totally agree with this! Also, most people nowadays don’t have enough time to write a proper comment on blogs because there is a lot that one can say. It’s easier to like and move on or say “this was good!” on social media. But yes, comments highly help and point to good content.

    Like

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