Kernels of Nonsense: Keeping Up with Comments

Kernels of Nonsense is an original feature on my blog where I talk about random bookish and blogging related topics. Despite the fact that I haven’t posted one of these in a while, I actually have a few sitting in my drafts. It’s just been a matter of finding the time to edit and finding where to fit them into my blogging schedule. Today I’m talking about something we bloggers don’t really talk about a lot. Comments! I’m talking the stress that comes with keeping up with comments, how time-consuming comments can be, and what I’ve ultimately decided to do at this point in my blogging journey.

When I first became a book blogger, I wanted my blog to emphasize engagement. I wanted other people to comment on my blog and I wanted to show support to them by commenting on theirs. I ended up signing a “bloggers commenting back” pledge to signal my commitment to commenting. You’ve probably seen the widget on my sidebar at some point. I’ve met so many great bloggers through my blog’s comment section and theirs. One of the most rewarding parts of blogging is the interaction we have with others and discovering like-minded people and those in general who make us think deeper about what we are reading. I’m at the point where I’m more likely to view a blog post’s success based on the number of comments versus likes or views.

I’ve always said book reviews are the number one hardest post to put together, but when it comes to time spent on my blog throughout the week, I spend the most time replying to comments and commenting back. It doesn’t feel so overwhelming when there are only 5 to 10 comments I need to catch up on, but there are times when I’m away from my blog for a couple of days and I accumulate dozens of comments. When you factor in the time spent creating posts and reading, there isn’t always a ton of time to get to all these comments. I end up putting off something else in order to make sure I stay up to date. You might have noticed lately that I haven’t been as committed to my comments section. I can go a week without getting to comments on a particular post and occasionally I haven’t replied at all. This is completely unlike me, but something I’m trying to let myself do more of.

Sometimes replying to comments and commenting back on your posts is the only “blog hopping” I get to do throughout a given month. I always feel like a bit of a bad blogger when I’m not initiating interactions with you, but sometimes it’s really difficult to find the time when all my free time is being sucked up by the various aspects of blogging. I wish I had more time to explore your book reviews, recommendation lists, discussion posts, etc. But time always seems to slip away.

So I’m going to be making the conscious decision to cut back on my commenting back. This doesn’t mean I won’t be commenting back. I will still be doing this, but I don’t want to keep stressing about it. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to catch up on comments and when a few days go by, I feel so overwhelmed trying to get a reply and blog visit plus comment in for everyone. If I don’t reply to comments on my blog, that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen them. I might end up resorting to the like button to show you I’ve seen you. I’m not exactly sure how this will all translate, but I do want you do know that I’m still committed to visiting back even if I don’t always do and even if I don’t reply to your comments here. I’m hoping this means I have more time to blog hop because it’s one aspect of blogging that I’ve always wanted to be better at.

I low-key worry about the bloggers who won’t comment on my blog anymore because they can no longer count on me commenting back on their blogs, but there is nothing I can do about that because this decision is about me and how much I believe I can handle.

Do you ever stress about comments? What’s your policy on commenting back? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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35 thoughts on “Kernels of Nonsense: Keeping Up with Comments

  1. I comment back, but only on posts of interest. Camel breeding in central Austrailia? eh. The latest novel from Andy Davidson or Yawatta Hosby? yes!

    And then there are days when I don’t even visit other blogs period. If it’s a busy day, I give myself a break and just let the blog hopping fall to the wayside. There will always be another blog post to visit next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the idea of commenting back is wonderful, but I don’t think it needs to be a one-for-one thing. I usually add a blogger, who comments on my blog to my Feedly feed, and normally will see a post I want to comment on at least once a week, if not more. Other bloggers have talked about showing their appreciation by sharing the post or showing your were there by “liking” their post (where available). I know I have over 200 blogs on my feed, but reading them in one place has helped me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the idea of commenting back…but I don’t even get that many comments, and it’s still hard for me to keep up. I’ve decided that I’m going to focus on commenting on the types of posts that interest me. I’d rather have something truly unique to say to add to a discussion than just… ya know “nice post” or whatever. I do think likes go a long way in showing that you’ve seen someone’s comment and appreciate their words. But at the end of the day, people will read and comment on your posts because they want to… and if they’re doing it because they want something in return, they’re probably not the kind of readers you really need to keep around anyway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely will drop a like if I’ve read the post but don’t feel I have anything specific to add… especially if it’s a tag post or something that all I would say is “oh I loved [X] book also!” It’s the simplest way I can think of to communicate to the blogger that I see them, I appreciate what they’re doing, without writing a comment that doesn’t feel like…me.

        Like

  4. I will always comment on your blog when I really want to. I don’t tend to comment on every blog post even though I read it, as I’d be commenting all the time! You’re so right, it’s so time consuming! I always try to comment back when possible, but sometimes I get a little backlog!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the interaction from blog hopping and I really do try to keep up but it does get to be too much on top of everything else. I’ve had to slow down in my interaction a lot over the last 6 months and my stats definitely took a hit. It bothered me for a while but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. On the days I can, I do scroll through my feed and read and comment on posts. May not be as often as I like but it’s what’s doable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I try to always comment back, but that doesn’t necessarily happen in a quick time frame. I try not to stress on that aspect. I don’t mind when other bloggers can only come to my blog once in a while because I understand the time restraints. The only time that I may give up on a blog is if that blogger never replies and never comes to visit my blog in return, and I mean NEVER. I think we have to extend grace to each other, though. Just blogging alone can be a full-time job, let alone everything else we have going on in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t get near as many comments as you, but this is the same problem I’ve been having this year – I definitely don’t reply the same day anymore, I seem to be waiting until later in the week, and then I try to do all my replying. As bad as it sounds, I’ve never been a huge commenter back – most of my comments come from the same group of people, so at this point we’re commenting on each other’s posts pretty consistently, so I don’t feel a huge need to be commenting back. I should make it more of a priority for new commenters.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoy it when people comment back but it isn’t the main reason I leave comments. I do so to appreciate the post and provide input/feedback. I always try to comment back but there are times I just have to let it go. I do try to make a point to answer any questions which might be asked in comments. Sometimes it’s just hard to find something else to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Commenting can be such a pain, but like you said, I enjoy the engagement. I know some people judge a boy’s success on pageviews but comments are important for me. And commenting can be soo stressful! There are some weeks when I just can’t keep up and I feel guilty, but there just isn’t enough time in the day.

    Do you boo!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally click the little “like” star on comments to show I’ve seen them without writing back. Sometimes, bloggers just write things like “Great review!” and I don’t to write back “thanks!” It feels too much to me like this interaction: “how are you?” “I’m good! How are you?” “Good!” There is a whole song and dance there I cannot support, either on blogs or in real life.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel you. Its hard to combine all the aspects of blogging to be honest. I don’t usually do a comment for a comment because I just can’t do that and reply and still blog hop. So I made that decision for myself. I’d rather comment on posts that I have a real interest in. Often I follow those via email or feedly anyway. I sometimes struggle with keeping up with the top ten tuesday commenting. I always end up coming back a week later to those that commented on mine because it sometimes feels like such a pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I hear where you’re coming from! I try to comment back, especially when someone new comes to my blog, but sometimes I don’t really have anything substantive to add to the conversation other than “I agree that you agree with me!” which seems silly.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I stress about comments alllllll the time. I love blog hopping, especially on my regular stops, but it’s usually the first thing to go when my life gets stressful and I always feel bad about missing out on content. I know how much I appreciate comments and figure other bloggers feel the same way, so I try my best but I need to get better. I never expect comment for comment, I just like doing it. As for my own, I was so bad at replying when I first started blogging and still fall behind inadvertently. Ahhhhh, this hobby of ours haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I seem to do things in waves. Sometimes I’m really quick to respond to comments and I blog hop once a day. Other times I go a month without blog hopping… I track every blog I follow in feedly, so getting caught up is doable, but daunting. I logged on today for the first time in a few weeks and I had 800 posts to scroll through. When I get that behind, I only pick and choose the ones I want to visit rather than trying to at least click through to each listing.

    Like

  15. Comments really can be tough to keep up with. I don’t really comment back ON my blog. If someone has a question, or there is something specific to comment back to, then I might send them an email or something. Otherwise, I try and spend commenting time by visiting THEIR blog instead. This can still take some time because I don’t have the same amount of time every day to comment, but I’m doing my best.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Liked by 1 person

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