why i don't like comment back culture header image

Why I Don’t Like Comment Back Culture Anymore // discussion

This topic has been on my mind for at least two months now.

I wasn’t sure if I should talk about it in a blog post or simply rant about it to a friend. But also, no one whom I text that much has a blog or bookstagram account which means they won’t relate to this.

For the sake of this post, I’ll be sticking to blogging. But some of this applies to bookstagram as well.

Also, this post and my views might offend some people because a lot of bloggers I interact with do this. So.. yeah. I’m a teeny bit nervous.

Although I decided to write this post a couple weeks back, I was waiting for my exams to end so that I can write with a clear head. There is a lot about this topic in my mind.

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the origin story

A few years back, when I first started blogging and was awed by all the amazing content, I came across the comment back phenomenon*. For every single comment that bloggers got, they would take the time to visit the person’s blog and drop a comment back. There was even a challenge on it, I believe, to motivate more bloggers to do it.

I was introduced to this through Cait @ Paperfury. I noticed it because every time I commented on her posts, she would drop a comment on my posts as well.

Commenting back as a form of appreciation is wonderful.

Let’s not forget that comment back culture started like that. It was through bloggers who wanted to appreciate every single comment. They wanted to give back. Once a few bloggers started doing it, more and more bloggers took inspiration and did it too.

I like to think of that time as the golden period of appreciation in the blogging community. You had many bloggers spending a lot of extra time and effort to comment back. I did it too! I did it as long as I could sustain doing it. It made me more appreciative of bloggers who did it all the time because, damn, it takes effort.

I love you. you are wonderful. GIF.

*I don’t know what else to call it?

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the transformation

I have been blogging for almost 5 years now, which is a lot for many people and not as much for others. But it is long enough to witness how comment back culture has changed.

During my 5 years, but especially in the last year, I’ve been a part of many blogging circles and spaces. I started being more active on Twitter recently which led to realizing that Twitter can be a good marketing platform. And while looking at Twitter marketing methods that other bloggers followed, I found today’s version of comment back culture.

From a form of appreciation, commenting back has become a marketing strategy.

As I follow more bloggers on Twitter and see more promotional tweets, variations of one sentence is becoming more common.

“I comment back”.

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the intention

What the sentence is for:

Blogging is hard and there are new blogs created every single day. We all want our posts to get more attention and get more comments.

As a blogger, if you see that another blogger is commenting back on everyone’s posts, you would be more inclined to comment on their post. They get another comment and you get another comment—everybody wins.

How it helps:

The simplest reason is that it’s nice to receive more comments. Who doesn’t like more comments, right?

But if you are a hardcore blogger or someone who wants to go the extra ten miles with your blog, you might know about SEO & page ranking.

"what does that mean?" GIF
if this is you right now, fear not.

Search engines are a great way to passively receive many views and comments without having to constantly advertise your post. SEO is the algorithm that reads & analyzes every single post on the internet and ranks them according to how “good” the post is for a certain topic or search term/phrase.

Basically, if you want your post to rank higher, you need to look at what SEO considers. Number of views and comments is a major factor that affects page ranking. The more views and comments you have, the better your post is.

Comment back culture helps because it drives people to your post and it helps your page rank better.

Related: Is blog hopping important for your blog? // discussion

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the result

and my thoughts

Disclaimer: I have nothing against the bloggers who use commenting back as a marketing strategy.

It helps and it works. If it brings more success to your blog, go for it. I am all for success and getting that coin.

But I personally don’t like it because of ONE reason only.

It doesn’t help form relationships.

There can be many different reasons for someone to start and continue with a blog. It can be to share their opinions, to use the blog as a journal, to start a second income, or to be a part of an online community.

I am here to share my opinions and make friends. While I may get distracted with all the advice posts that exist which tell me to focus on SEO, use Pinterest for marketing, and become self-hosted or use a host that is not WordPress—at the end of the day, I’m not here to earn through this blog. I’m here for opinions and people.

let's have a chit chat GIF

One of the biggest ways to form friendships with bloggers is through comments.

Everything starts with comments. You comment on a blogger’s posts regularly, they find out you exist and maybe visit your blog out of curiosity, and soon or after a while you start having conversations and become friends. You might even move to social media to have conversations properly.

You know what stops that? Not knowing whether the comment is really genuine.

I gave in to the comment back culture as a marketing strategy recently and declared that I will return comments for a couple posts when promoting on Twitter. So I have insight to share from BOTH SIDES. The “you didn’t try it so you can’t properly criticize it” argument is not applicable. Just saying.

As the blogger receiving comments:

For every single comment that I get, I don’t know if the person actually liked my content and is hence commenting. It might just be that the person visited because I said I’ll be returning comments and therefore does not care about my content at all.

The latter is a very valid possibility. And I don’t want that. I’m here to talk and have discussions. While I’d love for more people to see my content and comment, I’d rather have 1 genuine person commenting than 10 people who comment just for the favour to be returned.

Out of the 10 comments, there might be people who commented because they liked my words. But because I said that I’ll comment back, I don’t know how to differentiate the comments and their reasons. Unless the person is a regular visitor, I doubt every comment I get.

an "I don't know" shrug GIF

The doubting is the worst. Even normally, there are comments that just say “great post” and that’s awesome. But when it comes to comment-for-comment, “great post”* may mean that the person simply said something in order to have the favour returned.

Small aside here, because of this comment back culture, there are even posts on what makes a “good comment” and how to drop proper comments. This makes me question everything. All comments should be accepted without having random rules in place.

The question also comes down to whether I’m attracting the right tribe. Since its comment-for-comment, people who are absolutely not interested in books or my life could come and drop a line. Sometimes, its obvious that they’re not interested in what I have to say. And that hurts, okay? I’d rather have no comments at all.

Another doubt that I have is whether my post is actually good. When you put something on the internet, likes and comments are like validation. That makes me happy. In comment-for-comment scenarios, I don’t get that happiness or validation. My brain will not accept that the comments validate the quality of the post.

As a blogger commenting on posts:

I really like leaving comments and, more often than not, leave long comments because I start rambling. But long comments = showing appreciation for the post so it’s alright. Everyone knows that.

But also, I mostly leave comments when I want to actually talk to the blogger and have conversations. I hope for a reply and I hope for more conversations in the future. It’s how I start talking to bloggers and make friends.

First of all, leaving comments just for a comment back makes me feel guilty. Even if I read the whole post and drop a “proper” comment. I feel guilty because of the meaning I’ve attached to comments. If I don’t resonate with the content and yet write a comment, I feel like an impostor.

slowly hiding face GIF

Second, I don’t know how to start conversations with bloggers who follow comment-for-comment. I can think of at least three bloggers whom I would like to have conversations with and be friends with but I don’t know how to approach them because they always follow comment-for-comment.

Even though I follow them and drop comments without expecting one in return, they return comments because of their policy and marketing strategy. Since they comment back all the time and they’re known for doing that, I don’t know if they even consider that some comments are people who want to actually talk to them. When I do get comments back, they feel impersonal because it’s not done out of appreciation or wanting to give back.

I don’t know how to signal that I WANT TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH YOU. And that’s really frustrating for me.

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conclusion

Like almost everything else, comment back culture started with very good intentions. It’s still not bad but I don’t like the reasons behind it nowadays.

My opinion is completely personal and I don’t mean to attack anyone. As you probably understood, I don’t like it because I’m here for a completely different reason and the current comment back culture doesn’t fit in with what I want.

I also don’t like it because of what it looks like to me, even if every blogger who comments really likes my content.

Related: Marie has a post on fake engagement in book blogging which you can read for another take on this.

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Pin this post!

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talk to me!

What do you think about the current comment back culture? Do you relate to my opinions or do you have different thoughts? Are you okay with following comment-for-comment all the time?

I literally wrote entire paragraphs about how I’m here for conversations and talking, so you might as well start a conversation in the comments to make me happy.


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101 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Like Comment Back Culture Anymore // discussion”

  1. Wow, this is a great post! And I mean that as a compliment since I read all of it. And….damnit. That sounded stupid. But here we are.
    I think it’s a lot about validation. You wrote a post and you want people to read it and know how much work it was and you want people to like it and to tell you that they liked it. And if you get it, you want to give back. You want to say, I appretiate that you took the time to acknowledge me and I do the same. But then you go to this post and it doesn’t really resonate with you? Or you don’t know what to say to it? And then you feel bad. So you write, Great post! And hope it’s enough that they come back and acknowledge your hard work again.
    At least that’s how I feel very often and I’m sad to admit it.

    But then there are also those comments I don’t understand at all and those are those one line comments that also put the link to their blog in there. I see it often with those blog memes and I feel kinda annoyed. Because that really makes me feel that they just came to my blog to tell me that I should come to theirs.

    I don’t know. I feel like this comment is not very coherent but maybe you’ll find something about it anyway. In a way, what I wanna say is that I understand people, in a certain way, but also I don’t? Is there a way to really counteract it without losing all the engagement, especially when your blog is just small? Because if somebody is just waiting for you to come back without really making you feel like they appreciate what you’re doing or interacting with you, then what is the point in blogging anyway?
    Ah, so many questions! I think it’s safe to say, I really liked commenting on that post. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! I’m really glad you liked this post. I did spend a LOT of time and effort on it, rewriting things and rephrasing so receiving your comment (which is the first one) and it being a long comment is really like validation.

      While your comment is quite rambling, I understand what you mean. I have similar thoughts and opinions which was why this post was hard to write. It’s not easy to put down these thoughts down as proper words on first try, is it? 😅

      As you said, even if we want to appreciate posts and comment back, it doesn’t feel right if we don’t resonate with the content. That was one of the major reasons I stopped commenting back back when I caught on to the train to give back appreciation. It’s sad to admit, but it can be the case quite often.

      I totally agree with you about the one line comments with links! To be honest, I took part in the memes too. But the one where I actively went for comments was Top Ten Tuesday. But again, if the content wasn’t for me I wouldn’t comment at all. Instead I’d try to find posts where I actually had something to say. But I did receive many one-line comments with links which I wasn’t happy with. What you said is right, it feels like they come just to get us to visit their blog.

      There is no point to blogging if it’s just comment-for-comment because even if you had one bad week and didn’t work on your blog, they would notice and not try again. That’s not how it should work. We have to follow for the content, not to get something back. I think we should just do what we like and somehow handle such comments that we’re not really happy with.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea this comment for comment thing was so big. I totally understand what you’re saying though. Sometimes I get comments from blogs that I appreciate so much and when I go to check out their content I realize it’s not for me, so I might like a post or two but I don’t engage in what they’re posting because I don’t connect to it. It’s happened a couple of times when I later get tagged in a twitter thread in which said person is rambling about the injustices of commenting on certain blogs and not getting anything in return and, though their feelings are valid, it makes me feel really guilty. I understand that leaving comments takes time and effort, I do it so I get it, but I feel like it shouldn’t be an obligation to always comment back if you don’t feel like it? I don’t know how to phrase this without sounding rude is just, like you said: I rather get comments from people that genuinely enjoy my post, even if that means getting one or no comments.
    Awesome discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m really glad you liked this post.

      Let’s be honest, we all sometimes feel that way. We may not interact with people who don’t interact back even after a long time. But we should understand that not everyone would relate to a piece of content or a topic. For example, because my blog is not in one niche, I get comments from many different bloggers and some times I don’t resonate with their content even though I want to show appreciation.

      One handy thing that I’ve learnt is to share their post instead. If I want to appreciate someone but their content is not for me, I just share it on twitter and tag them so that they can get some exposure if possible.

      But yes, it shouldn’t be an obligation. Right now I can handle comments because I still get relatively less engagement. But big bloggers get a LOT and it would be really hard for them to even reply to all comments, let alone return comments for everyone. If it’s not one’s job, then blogging is generally not the first priority and all of us could learn to remember that more often.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Comment culture is turning into this huge thing on Instagram too rn. I’m not really familiar with it on blogs as only read those by a couple friends. But I do relate to this so MUCH. There’s some peoples’ work that I genuinely appreciate and love and they only comment back as a sort of obligation. My Instagram posts tend to have some pretty big captions and so few of them take the time out to go through it or even look at the picture. It does get a little disheartening. While I appreciate the effort, I don’t want it to be like a tit for tat situation.

    Anyway, great post, I loved reading it! Was pretty enlightening too xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a huge thing on Instagram! Since I’m familiar with bookstagram, I mentioned only that. But also Instagram comes with it’s own variables and talking about that would have complicated this post even more and that’s why I didn’t talk about it.

      I totally get you on Instagram because I also go for a generic picture and long captions which many people don’t interact with. In order to get something I generally put questions as calls to actions. But also, I think we have to remember that Instagram was not made for long-form content. It is always more for image, and now video, content than for words. That’s why I suck at it and spend more time on the blog haha. And yeah, it does become disheartening which the algo does NOT HELP WITH.

      Thank you so much! I’m really glad you loved it 😀

      Like

  4. Wow, I LOVED this – you really put the conflicting feelings I have towards comments into words! I also love interacting with people in the comment section, and, usually, if someone I have never come across before leaves a lengthy and meaningful comment, I WILL go check out their blog – and maybe comment, too. I want to know who this person reading my words is, because if I liked their comments, maybe I’ll like their posts? 😊 Maybe we could be friends? 🤗 Still, I worry that the people might think I’m doing it for marketing purposes and feel pressured to keep returning to my blog – which I don’t expect at all!! Or maybe they’ll be disappointed if I don’t keep returning regularly? Which I might want to, but I just don’t have the time to read every single post everyone writes… 😅
    And I totally also worry that people who comment or even like my posts might not genuinely think they’re any good. Personally, I will only like a post if I read it in its entirely and genuinely enjoyed it, but when people only like something or respond with “Great post! Here’s a link to my blog…,” I start to wonder if what I wrote might be too boring to hold people’s attention…
    For the most part, though, I love comment culture! Most of the people who respond to my posts do actually say things that show they have read what I wrote and that really get me thinking! And even if I only get a meaningful discussion going with one person, it is so worthwhile!
    Plus – first and foremost, I still write my posts for ME. I write about what I think is interesting and I love going back to see what I thought when I was younger. So even if no one comments on anything, I can always remind myself that I like my posts 😊😂
    (Sorry for the long ramble – but you really got me thinking!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I’m really glad you loved the post. It took me many rounds of rephrasing and editing to get my point across so I’m glad it turned out well haha.

      As you said, long comments with opinions and discussion makes us intrigued about the person and hence we visit their blog. It’s the same for me! In fact, if I remember right (correct me if I’m wrong?) I believe I first actually went through your blog because of your comments on mine. So that DOES work. Engagement and comments do work to make connections. The one line comments with links make it very impersonal and obvious that it’s a comment-for-comment thing. It doesn’t make me happy but also I feel guilty if I don’t visit their blog through the link?? Whether I visit or not depends on my mood haha.

      Comment culture itself is definitely the best. Yours is the 4th comment on this post so far and all are long which makes my blogger heart SO HAPPY. It furthers discussion and conversation which is absolutely what I’m looking for. The comment ~back~ culture is the only one I’m annoyed with.

      YES. We write the posts for ourselves first and that’s the best attitude to have, I think.

      And no problem at all! I love long comments with all the ramblings. I tend to this as well but it feels wonderful to receive such comments. I’m glad I got you thinking, that’s the best I could hope for with my discussion posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m actually no longer sure who commented on whose blog first, either 😅 But it is very possible that it was me, since I was already following you and knew who you were when you commented on me watching Russian Netflix series pretty soon after I made my blog publicly available 😉

        Either way, I’m glad I discovered your blog – I love posts that get me thinking as much as this one did! I hope you get many more long and interesting responses!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know comment for comment was a marketing strategy. I personally do it because I find that it helps me find other book bloggers and bookstagrammers to connect with. I have found almost all my online friends through it and I also think it’s a sort of courtesy you can show a fellow blogger/bookstagrammer. But I also see it from your PoV and think it’s completely valid. I don’t advertise it and I won’t in future either but I think for myself, I will continue doing it in the hopes of finding some genuine connection even if it’s just a handful 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s because you haven’t been a part of the twitter marketing spaces? I didn’t know until I started looking at promoting my blog on Twitter.

      And I find people to follow through comments too! Especially if comments are long, it gives us insight into the person and their thought. That start of conversation is enough and long comments with discussion drive me to check out their blog as well.

      It can be a courtesy but also sometimes you might not resonate with the other person’s content, you know? For example I follow a lot of personal blogs and teen blogs while my content is not similar to theirs. I’d rather they genuinely like my content and hence comment than do it just for the sake of it because, at the end, commenting shouldn’t be something that you HAVE TO do. A way that I deal with this is, if I don’t have anything to say or don’t have the energy for it, I share the posts. That shows appreciation but helps them but also takes away the pressure to comment.

      It’s awesome that you do it always! I don’t have the energy for it all the time and I appreciate that you spend time and effort to do it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I get your point. If it’s forced then it becomes a chore. But so far I have been able to manage it because I am small and the comments I get are in numbers I can manage both here and on bookstagram. But as they say, never say never, so I might change my opinion in the future. Also I just wanted to say, seeing your blogging updates and how consistent you were with your blogs on twitter is one of the reasons I decided to revive my blog. It inspired me to start blogging again. So keep on going!! You are amazing 😘

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You bring up so many good points here. This is exactly why I try not to write I comment back on posts. Chances are when a blogger comments on my post, I will check out their blog and leave a comment or two on their posts. I also think if it does become forced, it does become more of a chore and less of a chance to engage with other bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I agree, saying that you return all comments might change why people comment. And yes, it can become a chore which is the last thing we want for comments.

      Like

  7. It’s really sad to hear about the pretentious intentions of bloggers as well! Especially book bloggers who I used to think were some of the most honest no nonsense bloggers.
    I had no idea about this and I feel bad for you having to go through this mental turmoil especially because i figured out your real intentions of blogging some 2 or 3 years after you started (after I moved from outdated Facebook to Instagram)..
    This was such a insightful post!
    I hope finding new real friends gets easier!
    😬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t call it pretentious, it’s just something that occurs out of mutual benefit. It works for some bloggers and it doesn’t for others. And it’s there in all blogger circles, not just book blogging. It’s also in Bookstagram, oof.
      It’s alright 😅
      Thank you! 😊💜

      Like

  8. I never bought into that comment back lifestyle because I feel like I’m already bad at commenting on blogs so the idea of me doing it even more because I’m lowkey obligated too just does not work for me.
    But this is a great post and you’re right. It’s interesting to see how the blogging community has a whole has shifted because that idea of follow for follow/like for like/comment for comment was such a huge thing.
    One thing that I’ve also found kind of weird regarding comments is that on Twitter I’ve seen a good handful of people be like “here’s my new blog posts! Take a read! I’m replying to all comments!” as if it’s like a good deal and worth the read now that a comment is getting replied to. I thought replying to thoughtful comments was kind of the bare minimum unless you’re super popular and can’t keep up?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad my post makes sense haha. And it’s definitely interesting about how it has changed.

      Wait, there are promo tweets that say they REPLY to all comments?? I’ve only seen return comments. And you’re right, replying IS the bare minimum. This is boggling me now 🧐

      Like

  9. ooh, sumedha!! i LOVE this discussion, especially since i’ve seen so few people discuss it! you’ve brought up such interesting points omg. i’m someone who does comment back, but my intentions are always that i want to give something back to the other blogger (which is why sometimes i take a while to get to my comments, since i know i want to visit their blogs and that takes more time/energy than just replying to them). but i totally understand how some people can see it as a way to grow. i guess for me, i recognize how it can help my growth, but i’m much less focused on that aspect than the showing support for other bloggers?

    but i’ve actually never seen someone promote it in a way that they say “for every comment you leave, i’ll leave a comment on your blog!” and it sucks to know that some people are using it like that. i respect bloggers who want their blogs to grow but… that’s definitely weird. i feel like the people who genuinely care about commenting back and supporting never announce it lmao! and — so sorry that this is getting long but — i never thought about how the person who does the commenting back can doubt whether the comments they get are genuine. this was a really amazing post, sumedha! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you liked this post, May!! The reason I was very unsure about posting this and was also very careful with wording this is because I haven’t seen it discussed. But I felt like someone had to start the discussion, you know? Otherwise we’ll feel like we’re alone with these opinions.

      I’m guessing you haven’t seen promos like that much because you’re not a part of the twitter blog promo spaces? I saw a couple but only after seeing those tweets did I really notice how much it is being used. And those tweets are specifically for promotion only and many have “commenting back on all posts” or variations of it. It does bring people and comments in, which they need, but I wonder if they’re happy with the statistics. Because many of those comments are not from people who would keep coming back and who would be a part of their reader base, you know? And isn’t a regular reader base more valuable? Just thoughts I have which I could have mentioned on the post but I wanted to keep it as concise as possible 😅

      Your long comment made me really happy so no worries about that haha! Thank you again 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I had no idea about this 😂😂😂 I apologise but I totally love reading your rants as they have that basic source that is actually a very dire point but you put them out with your thoughts so well. I dunno about commenting back but I too look for content and the people. I wish to make friends and have discussions and share thoughts with people. I’ve obviously come across “nice review!” “This is good” etc .. and I just “😊💜” it ..
    What really matters is “how many readathons are you doing” kinda comments 😂 and I go and start a convo through DM’s and what not. It’s always nice to find new people and share our views.

    I always love the content you put out here. I follow your rec’s 💙 because your honest and you convince me with your words. I’m like your fan when you put up rant posts 😂🤭 so if you feel .. anytime that your content isn’t being read !! FEAR NOT 😂 I go through every single word and I love the flow of your thoughts and I know just how much effort you put into it.

    And I love reading 💜😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VAISH YOU MADE ME CRY THIS IS NOT FAIR 🥺🥺 Thank you so much for reading every single word of mine and hyping me up 💙 ily 🥺💜

      also wdym you don’t know about commenting back 👀 what about that one specific person (whom you know!!) on bookstagram who only comments back but never comments first 👀👀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. *gives a pristine but a soft hanky* wipe those precious tears yar 💜 I know about commenting back but I didn’t know that it was a thing or a trend kinda situation 🙈 that I had no idea … One specific person ? 😂😂😂 Now you gotta DM me 🤭 I’m not good at guessing about people .. so many people I know seem like that types now that I’ve read your blog post 🔥

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Commenting I think is one of the most fun aspects of blogging. I have once been interviewed by another blogger (no joke lol) in a post about the art of commenting, because well I comment a lot. I honestly have never cared much about stats, followers or whether or not people comment back on my blog. Sure, it’s nice if a post does well, and when you seen new people that like what you write enough to start following you. But well, just because I’m commenting on your blog and for me to expect to ask you in return to comment back on my own blog is simply put not proper etiquette so to speak.
    There is a flipside though. I have in the past followed bloggers where I left comments on their posts, and they never answered the comments or even liked them. Every blogger that spends time to comment on one of my posts, I always answer, because really it’s for me something that I don’t take for granted. But well, when you don’t take the time to answer comments someone left, that for me is a reason to stop commenting on someone’s blog, because really what’s the point?
    One of the most fun aspects of blogging is interacting, and I have really met some great people because of leaving comments on their posts. Some of them have truly become great friends…and that really is one of the most rewarding things this hobby has: the connections with people! 😊😊

    Like

    1. It is! Like your comment, it starts discussions and allows connections to form.
      And I have experienced that before—commenting and not getting a reply or even a like. It happened recently, in fact. The bloggers are popular and receive probably hundreds of comments but it does make me feel put off if I don’t get a reply. And like you, while I enjoy the content I stop commenting because there’s no point if there’s no reply even after months and many comments.

      Also, I’d love to read your interview about the art of commenting. Where can I find it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to do some digging, as the person I collaborated with at that time has started up on another blog but I managed to find it: here is a link to the post: https://animeshelter.com/blog-tips/raistlin-classroom-the-art-of-commenting/
        But yeah, that’s pretty much what I do. Of course someone can be busy, and I can respect that. But when you leave multiple comments at the same blog, and don’t get any response, that’s pretty much for me a signal to say: “ why bother lol😂” . That said, they are really missing out on one of the best aspects of blogging, because really for commenting is definitely one of the most rewarding things! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I never knew that commenting back is a marketing strategy. I did notice it happening with me on bookstagram a couple of times and I simply thought that the other person was being kind and wanted to become my friends or something. Thank you for sharing this post and I think I agree with you because I also joined bookstagram just to make new friends and to share my love for books. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it’s not advertised, I do think people comment back as a form of appreciation and to start conversations and become friends. That’s perfectly alright and what I think is the good side of commenting back. It’s only when they advertise that to get more comments which puts me off.
      Thank you for commenting! I’m glad you liked the post 🙂

      Like

  14. I loved this post.

    I have the same reservations about comment back culture. Like you, I also want to form genuine connections with other bloggers. Some people aren’t interested in that (and no judgement of them at all there).

    But the social expectation to comment back muddies the water in the sense that, like you said, it’s hard to tell if someone is commenting for marketing reasons or to make new friends.

    I wonder what the solution is? Do you have any ideas?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked the post.

      I’m not sure about what to do with people who comment and leave a link, expecting a comment back. I generally visit and leave a short comment if I can. But if I want to show appreciation but don’t have a worthwhile comment to say, I share their post on twitter.

      And I don’t think commenting back as a marketing strategy is going to go away. We can only stick to circles that we like.

      Like

  15. Personally, I understand others who have a comment back policy. Especially if they are blogging as a side hustle or career. But I agree with you that it may not be the best way to foster new connections online.
    I’ve been on a hiatus since last year and this is definitely one teeny tiny reason I feel unmotivated to blog and interact with the community. It seemed like some people engage with the expectation that you will also comment back. Kinda feels a bit transactional and not like the blogging community I grew up in 2015-2017 – now THOSE years were peak blogging years haha! I’ve slowly started to come back this quarantine but I intend only to engage with blogs and people I find fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! If their blog is their second income or they’re hoping to make it their career, it’s perfectly alright to use any strategies to get more comments and exposure. It can form a wall between the blogger and the audience, though, especially since the first views to most blogs are by other bloggers.

      Oh it’s unfortunate that this was one of the reasons why you took a hiatus! It does feel transactional. And I agree that 2015-2017 were peak because I joined in 2016 and I was BLOWN away by the community and the interactions.

      I’m glad you’re coming back and I’m sure they interacting with people you find interesting will help motivate you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree. It does form a wall between the blogger and the audience.

        It’s a teeny tiny detail but it still counted. It’s fine though, it’s helped me to try not to over-pressure myself. And ahhh yes, I still remember 2016. That was a good year for blogging!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I 100% agree on wanting genuine comments. I feel like I’m on here for the same reasons as you, wanting to find community, though I’ll admit when I started my blog and knew nothing about the blogging world it wasn’t at the top of my list. And I have seen some comments on my posts that feel more like they’re almost fulfilling this transaction rather than really engaging with the post. It feels MUCH better to have someone genuinely interact with you and to want to continue that interaction!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep exactly! I was similar to you in the beginning, I had this blog as a personal space online to dump my thoughts. But overtime as people started engaging with me, I was drawn towards forming connections.

      And yeah, many comments feel like transactions which is very weird, when you think about it. Especially when you didn’t invite anyone saying you’re going to return the favour for sure.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I think this is a very interesting topic. I’ve been returning comments for years and found it more of a… “This person spent time reading and making a comment, I will do the same out of respect and courtesy, while enjoying the content as best that I can.” I know some people aren’t comfortable with that. I have found a lot of blogs that are interesting and I really don’t expect anything in return, because in essence… They’re just doing them. I think this culture especially came from the comment threads. Nothing wrong with it – thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep I agree with you. The only time I found this was through comment threads but that was fine because those ARE meant for promotion so that’s alright. It was when I found these statements outside of promotional circles that it started bothering me. For example while posting about a new post on Instagram stories or people commenting on my posts like “I enjoyed this! Check out my post too”. That’s when this feeling started.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  18. Such an interesting discussion. I have noticed something similar on Bookstagram and Goodreads as well. In the end, comments and likes help with visibility on GR, IG and on blogs. The more you comment and like, the more likes and comments you get back in return. It’s sad, but part of social media platforms where most everyone wants to GROW.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I agree, it helps with engagement and visibility. Everyone wants to grow but I don’t think most people consider how growing is not just statistics.

      Like

  19. I can see why this might be a controversial post, but I’m glad you went for it anyway. My views are mostly similar to yours, though I wasn’t very aware of it existing on this platform as well. For me, comments are a way of consistent interactions, but of course that also depends on the content. You can generally make out if someone has actually read your post or is simply doing it for the sake of receiving a visit to their blog in return? Does that make sense? 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yep you definitely can. I was also part of an engagement pod on Instagram and I always noticed how some of the comments were just… transactional. It always put me off 😅

      Like

  20. I could have sworn I was already following you…I think WP is a little confused right now. I saw this post in my Reader, so I was following?? But it says I’m not following? I don’t even get it anymore 🤦🏾‍♀️

    Wonderful discussion, Sumedha! I’ve heard about this comment back culture a bit and it always felt weirdly wrong to me (not that I’m trying to attack any blogger who does it, I mean we all do it in a way, but the difference is in the intention) since you’re only commenting back because they commented on your blog? Naturally, I think most bloggers automatically check out the blogs of people who do comment on their posts and then they leave a genuine comment if they find something interesting. If I don’t like the blog of someone who comments on my post, I don’t feel forced to say something just because they commented on mine. That just feels wrong. It’s fake and can hurt more than it would help.

    I’m the kind of person who likes leaving, at the least, a few sentences or a paragraph-long comment just to show that I genuinely enjoyed the blogger’s post and what they had to say. I appreciate it when they do come to my blog and find a post that interests them enough to also leave a long comment. If they don’t, I don’t really mind because at least they’re being honest. I know some bloggers who just say “great post” or something similar and I kind of feel like it’s genuine because I don’t go to comment on their posts yet they still leave that comment on the posts of mine that they liked. That two word comment would make me happier than if someone wrote a paragraph just because I commented on their post and they said they comment back.

    We all want validation as bloggers but I don’t think comment back culture is the way to do it. People are already probably going to come to check out your blog if you leave a comment on theirs, so saying that you comment back kind of puts them off since it feels like you aren’t actually being genuine, you just want a comment. Which is exactly what you said 😅

    I feel like I repeated myself and everything that you, in a much more eloquent manner, said a few hundred times 😂 Nonetheless, I really loved reading this, and I’m so glad you posted it 💕

    Like

    1. That’s actually a glitch in WP that many are facing!! I am too. It really confused me. You ARE following people but WP may show that you’re not because of the glitch.

      THANK YOU SO MUCH! Seeing your long comment makes me so happy.

      And you’re right. If people comment on a post, we’re already more likely to check out their blog, especially if the comment is long or expresses their opinions and thoughts.

      The intention is exactly what differentiates everything. What each blogger looks for also matters. If the blog is a second income or a side hustle, comments would definitely help and I’m all for comment back strategies. In fact, use any strategy and get that coin! But what if it’s not? I don’t get it when someone is in a discussion and friendly space but uses extensive marketing strategies which can put a wall up between the blogger and their audience. It feels off to me.

      Haha it’s alright, thanks for the comment! I’m really glad you liked the post and that it made you think.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Well, ironically, this post is going to get a whole LOT of comments! That said, I agree with everything you wrote here, and well… to be honest, I didn’t realize that there was a whole culture around commenting. I mean, yeah, I hope that people will comment on my discussion posts, or let me know if they like one of my reviews. But I don’t think I ever went to someone’s blog to comment on something just because they commented on a post of mine. That’s so… fake, as you say! That also makes me think… oy, maybe some bloggers are pissed at me for not commenting back on their blogs. Gosh, I hope that isn’t the case!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I hope so! We all love comments.
      Thank you! And speaking of, there have been instances where bloggers post on social media that some people don’t return comments even though they never said they will return. Yikes.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. This is a really interesting take and I actually agree with you! I’d love to form relationships with others both on the blog and bookstagram but I don’t want people to feel like they have to comment on my posts just because I posted on there’s 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Very interesting topic! I didn’t realize ‘comment back’ was such a big thing. I’m on Twitter, but not ON twitter. Lol I am on Instagram, but not as much as I used to be. Just the thought of trying to keep up with ‘comment backs’ gives me a headache. 😉 I do try to respond to every comment on my blog–no matter how short. I always feel like if someone took the time to visit, I can at least acknowledge it. I do admit sometimes it’s hard when I come across a post that I don’t have much to say about, but I’m trying to return the favor, like Top Ten Tuesday. I might keep my comment short then. But I’m also fairly new in the blogging world, so I’m still trying to discover new blogs, too. I started my blog for relationships with book lovers. As long as I have a few of those that are meaningful and real, I’m okay with staying small. It’s a hobby for me and I just want it to remain fun and positive. But I’ll think twice from now on when I comment ‘Great post!’ 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was unsure about whether to post this but I love the discussions it has spurred in the comments.

      One of the first forms of comment back that I came across was through TTT! My initial understanding was that we use it like a blog hopping thing where you just visit a bunch of blogs and find new people. But I found out that many comment for comment backs and that really put me off 😅

      I have a whole issue with “great post” that I want to talk about but maybe in a post another day because I have THOUGHTS 😂

      thanks for commenting!

      Like

  24. Hi, that was a really interesting read, thank you for tackling a controversial topic. I’m relatively new to blogging and I’ve come across the comment for comment thing quite a lot on Twitter. I’ve participated in it myself but I find myself agreeing with you, it does feel a bit disingenuous. After receiving the comments, it doesn’t feel like a real connection was made to the person and I too question whether someone read my post out of their own interest, or simply because I commented on their blog. I started my blog for two reasons, to share the kind of information that I wish I knew years ago, and to join a community. I think from now on I’ll actively seek out blogs I can write meaningful comments for, without any intention or receiving a comment back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrew. Thanks for your comment.
      Contrary to what I said, I do believe that comment back strategies are valid, especially when blogging is a source of income or a side-hustle. But it can form a wall between the blogger and their audience which is not good when you’re looking to make connections. I hope your blogging experience is much more fulfilling now that you’re seeking out blogs you’re interested in interacting with.

      Like

  25. Hi Sumedha. I completely understand where you are coming from. Once upon a time, people blogged for the fun of it and, as you said, to communicate with other people. These days, a lot of people seem solely focused on making money from their blogs, which in turn means that they focus on SEO and page rank and domain authority, which leads to comments for SEO reasons rather than actually providing genuine feedback.
    In the past, I’m sure it would be really nice to receive a ‘Great post!’ comment. Now, it’s basically shorthand for ‘I feel as if I have to say something but I haven’t actually read your post.’
    The timing of your post is interesting. My most recent post was about ‘Blogging for fun, not profit’. And I’ve read posts and comments by a few other bloggers who feel the same way. Perhaps things might be beginning to change … but I doubt it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Richie. I completely agree with you. I have a whole post in mind around “great post” and whether it is a valid comment today. It used to be genuine but nowadays it feels off.

      I don’t think things are changing but rather bloggers are simply more vocal about what they’re here for. In my opinion, if more people are talking about it, it might start to cause a divide between bloggers who are here for an income and bloggers who are here for connections. We’ll just have to see. And your post sounds interesting, I’ll give it a read!

      Like

  26. I entirely agree with you! I don’t engage with comment-back culture because this kind of comment doesn’t feel genuine — just like you said. How could we know if what we said really interested people, or if they are just doing that for getting a comment back? It’s too superficial, I rather have real, genuine exchanges with people. So yeah, I entirely agree with you and your post!
    But that doesn’t mean I don’t like commenting on other blogger’s posts! I love that. I love sharing, and reacting, and discussing about our fav books, those we are excited about, etc. And I have to admit it, it’s also a good strategy to promote your blog. I noticed that when I post comment, I usually have more visitors. People come to see my blog, to see who I am. And that’s great! That’s even super when all of these is genuine — I commented because I liked what you said, I wanted to rant with you about a specific book, and then you come to see what I like, what books I read… it is what I’m looking for in the blogging community. Real exchanges, with real interest.
    But to each its own! We all have different experiences, and every one of them is valid 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Commenting can get you more visitors because many people (including myself) find new people through comment sections. That is fine, and that’s still genuine. And also, that’s not guaranteed. The point is commenting to get a comment back or something in return which feels like a transaction and takes away the charm of connecting with someone.

      But as you said, we all have different experiences and goals 🙂

      Like

  27. yeah i’ve said this a lot, but i deleted my twitter because 1. although my promo numbers went up, genuinely interacting/getting to know people was a lot/challenging, and 2. there are a lot of bloggers promo-ing there! which is not a bad thing. i just felt like adding another place to work on wasn’t for me right now. i LOVE this post because i think without a twitter, i personally feel like i’m making a lot more genuine connections with my followers who have followed either because they’ve found my blog or my instagram (where i think it’s easier for me to make true relationships because i’d prefer to dm one on one/start a conversation through a story post vs on a website where everyone can see your tweets).

    i definitely did a little of this at the beginning of my bookstagram (follow for follows), and i am still friends with some of those people, but i soon let go of that in the first months of my bookstagram basically because of what you’re saying here! i’ve muted a lot of people i follow on bookstagram and even apply that here in a way where i no longer pressure myself to read every single post, only the ones i am truly interested in. i find that a lot more fulfilling than trying to force connections with everyone because let’s be honest: i can tell when someone is just not interested in talking to me, like you say.

    however, there is this one blogger who i really admire who comments on my posts and i comment on theirs once in a while and we don’t even follow each other, which is really nice. i also find that i will leave a more thoughtful/longer comment if the post is one where i’ve learned or felt engaged throughout the entire post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, it is quite easier on Instagram. I think the only reason I’m more on Twitter than Instagram is because the latter requires visual content and I’m not great at that. Words are more my thing so Twitter suits me better. I’ve learnt to reach ot and DM on Twitter which also helps.

      It is more fulfilling to make connections through interest and conversations, those are the best.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I’ve been starting to notice this and I think you put my feelings into words exactly! My blog is fairly small and new-ish so I do comment back as soon as I can. I don’t get as many comments, and to me it’s an opportunity to keep making friends. But I can absolutely see it becoming overwhelming and difficult to respond to all of them if I were to get more. When I comment on other people’s blogs, I comment when I have something to say that I feel like is productive, and I also never expect any sort of like, reply, or comment back from it either. I’m noticing how much time blogging really takes and it’s hard to respond to everybody quickly while also keeping up with writing posts and reading everybody’s posts. So in the end, I’m happy to send some love regardless of whether or not a comment is returned or even acknowledged, because that’s not going to stop me from enjoying their content and wanting to support them. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And that is the best way to comment and interact, in my opinion. Discussions start when we truly have something to say about the blog post or topic. I find that when commenting just for the sake of it, we end up thinking more on the lines of “what can I say that will be enough to be genuine” instead of “what are my thoughts on this”.

      Also, welcome to the blogging community!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! And agreed – I feel like blogging gives us so much space to have long-winded conversations, so why not take advantage of the space to have those discussions? I think that’s my favorite part of blogging so far, is having so much room for things like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. This was a really engaging and carefully considered post. I’m not a fan of comment back culture either. I’ve been blogging for a few years now and I’ve never participated in it. When I started I got a lot of ‘great post’ comments, and I’d feel a bit disappointed because it’s not really a conversation starter. I realised many months later that the expectation was that I was meant to go to their blog and do the same. But it just feels sort of disingenuous to me. I think it’s like you said, and I paraphrase a bit, but it’s really about your priorities. You want to have conversations and create friendships, and comment back culture doesn’t naturally promote those sort of meaningful relationships between people. I’ve settled for ‘liking’ posts that I think are awesome, and only commenting if I actually feel compelled to add something or share an opinion. It almost certainly affects my blog stats negatively, but I’m just here to write and talk about books with other book lovers.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I agree with you about this! I started my blog in June and I regularly join twitter threads to engage and learn more from other bloggers + receive comments and will eventually comment back. But I don’t always comment back, the problem is, when I receive comments and visit someone’s blog (which I always love when discovering a new blog), I will choose which topic interests me and feel related to, I will share my thoughts and add some suggestions – if I don’t find it, I feel guilty if I don’t comment back, so I’ll just pin or give like! Sometimes I also can’t comment back asap so this is something that burdens me so I wanna say thank you for sharing this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you. While we might want to comment, the topic might not interest us or we might be very tired. Sharing on social media is a good way to give back without commenting.

      Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you liked the post.

      Like

  31. Oh, this is such a good discussion post, Sumedha!! And also so valid. It really is sometimes so hard to find out if someone is genuinely commenting or not. You can sometimes tell, and I sure hope people actually LIKE my content haha.

    I always try to, especially if I see someone a few times and I find them interesting. So wow I guess I might be part of the problem IM SORRY. Though no, I actually just want to return the kindness. I used to be a person who would just like follow back immediately and now I only really comment and engage if I find the content engaging?? Hope that doesn’t sound elitist or anything but there’s just SO MUCH out there.

    Ugh you know I hate the “Great post!” comments. I’ll literally just say thank you and that’s it because it’s so ingenuine. Which is why I try to leave as long comments as possible and when I’m looking at people’s content, try to really look at it and say something meaningful bc otherwise WHAT IS THE POINT?!?!?

    Anyways, again, ADORED this post so much. This topic is so interesting. Especially the fake engagement too. Love you and your posts much xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much!!

      We can try as much as we can but there’s only so much we can comment, you know? It’s better to save our energy and comment a few genuine thoughtful sentences than comment a generic sentence on many posts. It definitely depends on priority too but considering that book blogging generally is based on conversations.. it doesn’t feel genuine.

      Exactly! What’s the point otherwise? Content we love reading and really relate to >>>

      Thank you again!! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I’ve never seen it from this perspective but I’ve thought about things like if a comment on any of my post is genuine or not, especially those short ones. I know I should be grateful the person even took out their time to comment but sometimes, I wish the person could say something more, engaging? Just to make conversation or to connect with that person because I yearn for that mutual interest/connection with someone lol but I just have to take what I get, I guess.

    And sometimes, I feel it isn’t necessary to comment all the time on a blogger’s post? Because sometimes, it isn’t every post you might connect or relate with? But it makes me feel guilty sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not necessary to comment all the time. In my opinion, conversation starters and proper comments from people who connected to the post > more comments where not everyone connected to the content.

      And I feel you! I yearn for conversation as well. But yeah, we can only take what we get.

      Like

  33. Hey Sumedha, wow, you hit the nail on the head with this blog post. I never knew about comment for comment culture until a few weeks after I started blogging. It has shown results for me, and I finally managed to get eyes on my blog. That is encouraging for a new blogger!

    That said, I am with you that I do not approve of comments that simply say “great post” or its derivatives. I mark such comments on spam, and I do not publish them. Since I do not publish them, I do not bother to return the comment either.

    When I return comments, I do it not only with the mindset that I want to return the favor, but also because I am curious about the person who wrote the comment.

    It’s not my first time reading your blog post, and I love how you have these frank discussions on your blog. Thanks for sharing! Hope to see ya around! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I tried really hard to put my thoughts on the page clearly without offence so I’m happy that the post has been receiving discussions more than hate haha.

      I agree. “great post” feels quite ingenuine but that’s also a lot of the comments that I get. I’m still unsure if I want to trash them, like you do. It comes down to what is considered a good comment which came into discourse only because people comment only for a comment back. That’s a whole another discussion.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment! I’m really glad that you like my discussions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think if it’s that “great” a post, surely there must be a reason for it. It could be that the reader relates with the content, has a strong opinion about something I wrote, or remembers an alternative tip/idea/opinion to share. If so, I would love to hear them and “great post” just doesn’t cut it for me.

        Anyway, you make me feel like writing a blog post in response to yours. If I do, I’ll be sure to tag you in it! (That’s when a comment turns into an entire blog post LOL! How’s that??? 😆)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You make a very good point! If it is a great post, there must be something to say about it.

        That’s the best conversion haha! If you do write one, I’ll be curious to know what you have to say.

        Like

  34. Amazing post! You’ve put it all down really well. I’ve only been blogging since Jan 2019, but this is still something that I think about. Starting up, I think that it’s a great way for me to meet other bloggers who write about the same things as I do and to maybe build a network with them. I never really thought about the algorithm sides of things at that point. Still, I will always try to return a comment if I can, but it’s difficult when a blogger is writing on a topic that I’m not familiar with/ have very little interest in. In those cases, I tend not to because I can’t comment on something that I have no knowledge about or on something that I’m just not interested in. I like to keep my comments genuine.

    A lot of the comments I receive are sent to me in private as well and they mean just as much! ☺️

    Like

    1. Thank you! I agree, it’s a great way to find new bloggers and its awesome that you take the time to comment back. A handy thing that I’ve learnt to do is sharing posts on social media if I don’t have anything to say in comments. It shows that you appreciate their work while also not having to put down a generic comment.

      Same! I receive many replies on DMs and they mean just as much.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Lemme just collect my brain cells for this, again fabulous post I’m in love ❤ Comment back culture used to be really nice, I've been blogging for 3 years now and I remember back when I first started it was still a pretty nice thing. However these days I don't engage in it at all, like I'd rather someone comments on my posts because they have something to say rather than they're looking for a comment back. I will say that comments are a useful way of discovering new blogs, which I should probably use more often when I do my blog hopping. I had more to say but my brains left me 😦 just know I loved this post so much and agree with everything you said, comments are the best way to start a genuine friendship with another blogger imo so when you're questioning their intentions it can make it hard to know if they actually like you/your content or are just after comments back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! I spent a lot of time on getting this post “right” so I’m glad it came out well.

      And yes, it does help with blog hopping! But also in general, comments are a great way to socialize. It also opens up a channel to message someone, in my opinion. If you’ve interacted in the comments before, DMing seems easier, at least for me haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. This is very interesting. As a new blogger I wasn’t even aware of this comment for comment culture. The whole point of my venture into the blogging world is to build connection and understanding with others. While I understand that commenting on posts helps to build that connection and draw people to your site I cannot imagine simply commenting for marketing reasons, and I certainly wouldn’t want others to show up on my site for that reason. Thank you for this insightful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. What a great topic to write about! I’ve been blogging for just a couple years and honestly, have formed great online relationships. I’ve always said that the blogging community are some of the most supportive people I’ve come across (and this totally surprised me. I didn’t expect this when I started blogging).
    When I first started I was getting all the short “cool post” comments and it wasn’t until i came across Brunch At Audrey’s where I realized there are people out there that take time to really comment back and have a conversation with you instead of leaving a three word comment.
    I love the connections that form through blogging. I always try to ensure to make intentional comments and really comment on blogs that I have a genuine interest in.

    Des | https://www.itsbetterinheels.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Des! I had the same experience. Other than a couple bloggers whom I reached out to first, my received a ton of those short comments as well and it took me time to understand that it’s not all that’s possible.

      The connections formed through blogging and comments are really nice and can be very supportive.

      Like

  38. I see what you mean; I don’t disclose anywhere that I do return comments when I can – but I like and track in my bujo when I answer/ return comments and bloghop.

    Now, I don’t like commenting for the sake of it, so when someone don’t have any new posts/have a “random” website like the one about guitars that you can’t even comment on .. well, I just won’t comment on it and move on. Sometimes, I even spam things that are just … i’m not sure if this is a genuine comment or not, coming from a random website that isn’t even within our niche 🤔 (which they commented back how they did the other day and was NOT a spam and… it made it somehow worst?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay so on spam comments.. a lot of times what is marked as spam actually look like genuine comments if you don’t look at the url attached with the user! It baffles me. That’s just another layer of “is this genuine or not or worse, is it spam”.

      It’s great that you return comments when you can! I try to do it as well but it doesn’t always work out time-wise, unfortunately 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Comment back culture is something I’ve thought a lot about over the years as a book blogger and I definitely agree with a lot of your points. My main issue with it is the not knowing if a comment is genuine. I’ve also found with some people who say they comment back, often a comment is just a “great post” or “love this” type of comment, which I guess is fine, but it doesn’t help you build a real relationship with the person. I also have an issue with comment back culture because, well…what if I don’t like your content? I feel the same way about automatically following back someone who follows you. Sometimes I feel bad, because some of those people will comment on my blog a lot, but it’s hard to find something meaningful to say when you just aren’t a fan of their content. I think it’s so much more important to build meaningful friendships and engagement, because those are the people who will really stick with your content and offer the most engagement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! And particularly agree with what you said at the end. Even if someone has been following and commenting for a while, their content might not be something that we enjoy and it’s hard to reciprocate. The entire comment back and follow back culture, especially all those follow trains I see online, don’t make sense to me. We’re on the internet to connect on content, not just grow following who may not be active.

      Liked by 1 person

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