My thoughts on blogging…returning comments

13th November 2014

My thoughts on blogging...returning comments

I feel like a veteran of the blogging world. I may have started off making Piczo websites 5 to 6 years ago, but even then I had a blog (of sorts).

It was more of an updates section where I told my visitors about the winner of my Site of the Month (SOTM) competition, and shared what ever rubbish “blend” I had made using images of Heath Ledger. I also discussed a few personal aspects of my life, like starting GCSEs and going to the cinema to watch The Dark Knight again and again.

I wish you had known me in the Piczo days because you’d probably be laughing right now! This was genuinely what my “blog” was all about, and I loved it.

I moved on and stopped editing and destroying celebrity images. I focused on coding and learning about comment management systems. I was pretty clueless to be fair. I used Haloscan, CuteNews, FanUpdate (are you feeling nostalgic yet?) and finally WordPress.

Change is inevitable. I changed websites, commenting systems, website content, blogging style, etc. But the one thing that remained constant, and still remains constant to this day, is my belief in returning comments.

To me, if someone has taken time to read my blog and write a comment about it, that is something special and it means a lot. Always has, always will.

To show my gratitude I return the comment. I visit the commentor’s blog and leave a comment about their blog post. Even if it’s not straight away, I make sure I return the comment. It’s a fantastic way to communicate with bloggers and make new friends online. Constantly returning each other’s comments is a wonderful cycle.

I also reply to comments on my blog, but replying isn’t really the same. Replying is like saying “I’ve acknowledged your comment. Cheers.” where as returning a comment is going that little bit further. Taking the time to visit their blog and read their content is meaningful. It will mean just as much to them receiving a comment on their blog as it did to you. Why wouldn’t you do that?

You see, I think returning comments is a dying act. I think it’s us veterans who stick to the tradition while many newbies have yet to learn the tradition. I’m not saying it’s just veterans who return comments nor am I saying it’s just newbies who don’t, but it certainly seems a lot less common these days.

Asking someone to read your blog gains hits. Returning comments gains loyal readers and friends.

Come on folks! Let’s keep the tradition alive. Look at all the comments on your latest post return them! Visit their blogs, say hello and make some feel special.

Do you return the comments you receive on your blog? Do you think the act is becoming less common?

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  1. I’ve blogged for over five years and I feel the same way *__*. So much has happened over these five years, it’s amazing. Almost everyone I blogged with years ago are not blogging anymore or moved on to their separate ways. It’s always wonderful when someone actually comments on something relevant to your blog post. I usually get a bit pissy when I get a sentence comment that’s half-assed because I actually spend the effort reading the content :I. Hopefully newbies will adapt to the ~ways~ of proper commenting. To those who already did on the first day, props to them :).

    I normally do return comments by commenting on the respective person’s blog about their post around once a week or so- depending on my schedule. I find the act common in certain circles of blogging. If it’s with someone I just started commenting on or vise versa, it is less common.

    • Holly

      It’s really sad that so many bloggers have left. πŸ™

      I don’t mind short comments but I hate short irrelevant comments.

  2. Cat

    This made me look back on when I started my previous blogs. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 10+ years! Things have definitely been changing over the years. I remember when Greymatter was the main blogging software.

    I always try to return comments and keep up with people who frequently visit my blog. Unfortunately, there have been times where I try to return a comment but realize I have nothing to say about the person’s entry. I end up not leaving a comment because I don’t want it to sound forced.

    I also don’t return comments for people who leave a comment completely unrelated to my blog entry. Examples are one liners like “just blog hopping!” or “nice site!” It just shows me that they didn’t read and were trying to leave their link around.

    I’m not sure if returning comments is becoming less common, but I do notice that it’s on and off. I seem to get more comments during times when people have breaks, like in the summer.

    • Holly

      Yeah, I often have times when I don’t know how to comment on a certain blog post without sounding fake. I usually jot that blogger’s name down in my notebook to remind me to return the comment at a later date.

      Ugh, the “nice site” comment drives me mad!!

  3. Susanne

    I think you are a hero!! There are so, so many people who don’t return comments or even reply to comments. I don’t think it seems like it’s mainly newbies but more those who seem to have more visitors, followers etc. You’d think they should know good blogger behaviour, but…… πŸ™
    Returning comments is THE way to make new friends and connect with people. The social aspect is actually the one reason why I continue to blog. It’s a nice way to make connections online, especially for me who have a very limited possibility for a social life because of my job (shift and weekend work). I don’t have great success with that because I’m not the typical blogger, I’m 40, have no kids, I don’t blog about DIY, food, outfits or reviews/sponsored stuff, but I still like writing a blog and still have hope that there are other people out there who just blog about life and for the love of sharing.

    When I first started out I used to receive a lot of those crap comments like “great post! come and follow my blog!”, but I see a lot less of these now. I always marked those comments as spam and sort of felt ashamed for those people because the behaviour was so stupid.

    • Holly

      Why thank you! Hehe. πŸ˜›

      I think the social aspect is why I’m still blogging too. Of course, I like sharing my thoughts, feelings and occasionally useful info, but speaking to others online is probably my favourite thing about blogging.

      I hate those type of comments too, but surprisingly I do return the comment, even if I never ever hear back again.

  4. Jennifer

    At one time I used to reply to all my blog comments. I used to do it in a timely fashion. As the years went on and my websites changed, so did my life offline and on. I started taking longer and longer to reply to comments and now it’s to the point where I often don’t get to reply at all. πŸ™

    Don’t get me wrong, I feel all blog comments should be returned! I’ve always felt this way. I love returning blog comments and reading others blogs. πŸ™‚ It’s part of the reason I got into blogging in the first place. In recently years though, it’s just been that my life has taken more priority over returning the comments that I’ve received.

    I’m hoping that once I move and settle into a more permanent life style that holds some sort of consistency, I’ll be able to make more time to reply back to all the comments. Well, not all, but at least go to the websites of the people who’ve commented and post a comment or multiple on their websites. πŸ™‚

    I feel bad though, because I just hadn’t been able to comment on people’s blogs like I should. I feel it’s only right and obviously fair. People take the time to comment on my blog and I feel I should reply back. So I always make plans to do so, it’s just a matter of when and sadly, life has kind of pushed this into the back seat. πŸ™

    • Holly

      It can be difficult finding time to return comments, but I know that so many of my fellow bloggers have full time jobs and other commitments and still manage to return comments. I guess that inspires and motivates me to do the same.

  5. I remember those Piczo days! I had so many butterflies, hearts and cringy selfies on my “website” and it was open for everyone to see. It was pretty funny to be honest, I wish I still have it now. πŸ˜›

    I definitely agree with returning comments. I’m not good with doing it right away, but I usually have a commenting session once a week. It’s a very simple gesture, but it’s a shame that not everyone “understands it.”

    A nice comment definitely means a lot! πŸ™‚

    Olivia x

    • Holly

      Oh yeah, I had tonnes of glitter graphics on my very first Piczo website. It was crazy! It’s such a shame that Piczo closed down because I’d love to go back and see my old website.

      I’m not good at returning comments straight away due to other commitments but I will always reply at some point.

  6. Leaving comments is great, but it’s fucking irritating when someone comments and you clearly can see they haven’t read the post properly, then it’s just the case of “Why did you bother?”

    Also, I’m not a huge fan of people leaving links in their comments, most commenting platforms mean that if someone clicks the link they can get to your website, disqus does, I think the one you use does etcetc

    It just seems a little unnecessary at times, but maybe I’m ooooold. 10+ years blogging and I’m not part of the ‘cool kids’ πŸ˜‰

    • Holly

      The amount of times I’ve had comments like “Hope you had a nice holiday in Liverpool” and it’s like WTF?! Obviously they didn’t read the post or they’d know I live in Liverpool.

      I only leave my link in comments when there is nowhere to put my URL. I think the worst thing is when people leave their BlogLovin address, the giveaway URL, etc. It’s plain rude.

      • ALL OF THE AGREEMENT ON THIS.

        I don’t think they send the memo out to new bloggers anymore that it’s totally bad practice to put your links in the body of the comment–especially when most of the comment forms have a place for your link anyway!

        I’m ALL FOR your commenter name being linked to your site and I’m ALL FOR linkbacks–I link the hell out of pages I like. But it’s pretty fucking spammy to drop your blog URL into your “Love it!” comment and then hit the road.

        *sigh*

  7. In my 10+ years of blogging, I’ve seen bloggers who are comment hungry (yes hungry for more traffic/comments) were they would comment on another blog to get that person to return the favour. To the total opposite of were some bloggers who would only reply to comments that another blogger leaves them.

    For me, I don’t always reply back to comments that are left on my site but I guess it all depends on what it is.. If someone takes their time to leave a real comment on one of my blog posts, I would return the favour.

    • Holly

      I think if someone has wrote a decent length comment relating to the post then they deserve a response. People who leave comments like “Nice site. Visit mine.” are comment hungry, without a doubt.

  8. I try to return comments whenever I can. I don’t always do them in a timely manner because I have other things going on. But if you leave a comment on my blog, you’ll definitely hear from me… eventually.

    I actually don’t mind the shallower comments. I don’t have a very strict comment policy, if one at all. You can leave me a one-word comment and I’ll approve it because hey, I don’t mind plugging you. You can even leave a comment in blinky text, I’d just do the same. πŸ˜› I want people to be chill when they come to my blog. It’s my spam filter you have to worry about.

    • Holly

      I’m in a similar situation. I have a pretty busy life but I try to find an hour or two a week to get those comments returned. πŸ˜‰

      I approve the short, meaningless comments too even though they annoy me. They aren’t really doing anyone any harm. But I’d like to think that my commentors wouldn’t both to view the blog of a blogger who leaves shallow comments. πŸ˜›

  9. I’ll always try to return comments, even if it’s a month later. I agree with Raisa, I don’t mind people leaving short comments as I don’t mind plugging them (that’s clearly all they want!), but I do feel really happy when people leave comments that show they’ve got into my post and relate to it. It stops me feeling like I’m talking to myself!

    Occasionally, I come across I blog who’ve commented on a post of mine that I simply can’t comment on for one reason or another. Usually it’s because I have to sign up for something, but occasionally it relates to the person’s blogging subject. Sometimes a post is too personal for me to comment on – I feel like I don’t know enough about that person to comment on these aspects of their lives. If that happens, I try to return the favour by linking them somewhere.

    • Holly

      I can completely to relate. If I can’t comment on a particular post without sounding fake I will leave it and come back another day to a different post.

  10. Melissa

    I always comment back on every person who visit my website, it really means a lot to me. The only time when I’m not returning something is when they haven’t read the post at all but other than that, I’m always loyal to my visitors. Besides, it’s always fun to get to know more people out there πŸ™‚

    • Holly

      It’s so good to hear that there are other loyal bloggers out there. πŸ™‚ I agree, it is fun to get to know more people online.

  11. I agree!

    I definitely try to return the comments, check out their blogs, etc. It’s one of the fastest ways MY blog grew, other people checking me out because they liked my comments, and it’s a FANTASTIC way to connect with other bloggers. I’m happy to return the favor, and I’m of course always happy to make connections and friendships.

    I truly value my blogger friends as FRIENDS, not just as acquaintances who can help each other out (although that is certainly true too).

    Great post!

    • Holly

      I feel exactly the same. Some times I feel like I know my fellow bloggers better than my friend IRL.

      Thank you. πŸ™‚

  12. Elena

    Yes, I agree with you. I love writing and reading comments. I love it when people take the time to comment on something that I have written and give me their opinion. I also love commenting on other peoples blog posts and tell them that I liked their post or how I feel about what they wrote. When people comment back after that it makes me feel like they actually bothered to read what I wrote and then took the time to return the favor. I wish more people would do this.
    Personally cannot stand the “nice post. Come visit my blog!!” comments. They are getting so usual with all the “blogg.no” Norwegian blogs. I feel like people don’t bother reading other peoples blogs anymore and that they are only after the statistics. Many people would rather have 50 comments telling them to visit another persons blog than to have one person write a message that is actually on the topic of that blog post. I personally prefer the last one.
    I want to share my opinion, be nice and make other people feel good with my comments, and hopefully make some friends along the way. I don’t want to promote myself or show off. So yes, I feel like the art of commenting is fading away, and I wish it wasn’t.

    • Holly

      I wish more people would do so too.

      There’s nothing worse than meaningless, irrelevant comments. Unfortunately I do think they are becoming more common. πŸ™

  13. brittanyssp

    I do this to a point. 99% of the time I return comments if able (so as long as the commenter isn’t a no-reply blogger). I do this through email rather than on my site because it’s more likely to actually spawn a conversation (commenting on my own blog seems odd & doesn’t notify them as well IMO). The majority of my comments from from bloggers that I regularly follow, so I am naturally commenting on their blog anyway. If it is someone completely new to my blog, I try to visit them and say something nice but sometimes content just isn’t relatable and I would rather leave no comment than an annoying, generic “Thanks for visiting my blog.”

  14. I always try to return comments, sometimes I fall really behind but I try to catch up! I also like to leave a comment on each post I read, sometimes they’re only a couple of words long but I hope they’re taken in the way they’re intended, as a little hello that I’ve stopped by xx

  15. I totally agree – returning comments is awesome but unfortunately I’m a little hypocritical – I love getting comments but sometimes get too wrapped up in life to find time to reply to them.I really should make more of an effort – maybe I need a resolution!

    Anyway, hi! I just found your blog through20sb, I’m going to have a read around πŸ™‚ I love finding other UK bloggers!

    • Holly

      That would make a great resolution!

      Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚ I’m only recently starting to discover more UK bloggers. There’s quite a few Twitter and Facebook accounts that are area specific for UK bloggers which you should check out. πŸ˜‰

  16. I usually comment on their blogs first πŸ™‚ But yeah, I may have not been together at the very beginning, I was way too young, but I caught on early enough, regardless, I love returning comments.

  17. I’m relatively new to the blogging world but made a promise to myself that every comment I received I would answer. My favourite thing about blogging, besides writing the posts, is interacting with my readers. I think it’s important to respond so people know their words are actually reaching you πŸ™‚ Plus, I’m always on the lookout for fellow Canadian bloggers πŸ™‚ Nice post!

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