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Comment strategies

This is a guest post by Danny Iny.

Have you heard of comment trading communities?

It’s a new fad that seems to be sweeping the blogosphere (or at least a few corners of it). Basically, the idea is that a bunch of people get together and agree to comment on all of each others’ posts.

Some bloggers are experimenting with the idea, some love it, and others hate it.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. A short while ago, I emailed a successful blogger whose audience I thought would be interested in a post I had written, asking for a link (this wasn’t out of the blue – I’ve corresponded with this blogger on a few occasions).

The blogger responded that I could go ahead and post the link in the comment community – everyone else would take a look and comment, just so long as I did the same for them.

I thanked the blogger and said that I would head on over, but I didn’t – and I probably never will.

Okay, before we go any further, it’s time for full disclosure: I had participated in one round of this blogging community, which means that I commented on nine blog posts, and nine other people commented on one of mine.

It wasn’t a great experience, for two reasons:

  1. A few of the blogs really stunk. Most were pretty decent, and some were great, but I felt very uncomfortable being committed to leave a comment on a blog that I was completely unimpressed with.
  2. A few of the blogs were about things in which I have no interest. They were good blogs, near as I can tell, but they were about subjects that I neither know anything about nor have any interest in exploring. And yet, I was committed to leave a comment.

So what did I do? Well, I had made a commitment, and I take commitments seriously – on the good blogs that interested me I left solid comments, and on the others I left comments that were friendly and encouraging, but vague and non-specific.

I feel like I’ve littered on the blogosphere.

Contrived, but reasonable?

My experience was mixed, but I’m not ready to make blanket condemnations. I discovered some really great blogs through it, and sparked a couple of great online relationships. And I’m not the only one.

The most commonly heard argument against these communities is that if people have to leave a comment, then that comment isn’t really worth anything, but I’m not sure that I agree.

I mean, sure, if people leave crappy, fluffy comments, then there’s no value to them, but if the comments are well thought-out, and insightful, then what’s the problem? Bloggers want others to read and interact with their stuff, and at the same time they’re looking for blogs for whom they can do the same. Isn’t this just a way of formalizing and adding some structure to what they want to be doing anyway?

In other words, some might see it as contrived, and I agree – it’s a contrived solution to a very specific problem, but maybe it works?

My hesitation from doing it again is that I’m not comfortable having to comment on blog posts that I don’t like, or have no interest in.

Maybe this is a solvable problem…

Niche-specific, approval-required communities?

What if a blog commenting community were created that met the following two criteria, to address the main issues that I had with my comment community experience:

  1. Each community is around a specific niche, so that everyone is – at least in principle – likely to be interested in everybody else’s writing.
  2. Each community is moderated, and blogs are reviewed before being admitted into the group. This will make sure that terrible blogs never make it in.

If these two criteria were in place, I would give it another shot, and my guess that a good number of other bloggers would do the same. But I may be wrong…

Now I’ll turn the conversation over to you – I had a feeling that this post would spark a lot of debate, which is why it’s being published here, where the microphone is a little bigger that over at Firepole Marketing.

What do you think? Do you think this middle ground solution makes sense? Do you think blog commenting communities are a false economy, or the best thing since sliced bread?

Let’s get the debate going!

About the author: Danny Iny is an author, strategist, serial entrepreneur, and proud co-founder of Firepole Marketing, the definitive marketing training program for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-marketers. Visit his site today for a free cheat sheet about Why Guru Strategies for Blog Growth DON’T WORK… and What Does!, or follow him on Twitter @DannyIny.

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110 Comments on "Building an Audience with Commenting Communities: Smart, or Sleazy?"


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[…] toss-up between my Is the Bank of Social Capital… Broken? post here on Firepole Marketing, and my Building an Audience with Commenting Communities: Smart, or Sleazy?, which I posted on Danny Brown’s blog a while back. Not sure which was more controversial – you […]

Cynthia Leighton
3 years 8 months ago

Oh! You too? That’s encouraging to know. Thanks.

by the way: I like the confirm human or alien!

Cynthia Leighton
3 years 8 months ago

interesting… not familiar with the trading concept til today. hmm. I’d guess it’d confuse me. As in, who is interested vs. who is, well, just commenting for the sake of commenting.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 8 months ago

Yup – knowing who’s who is the real challenge. :)

Melissa
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Everyone,

I’m new to blogging. I created a blog site and I have yet to get substantial feedback on the articles, only a bunch of comments with backlinks. I understand the concept of blogging and I think it’s a great way to promote service. There have been several offers emailed to me about “swapping” comments. So I tried it, I have to agree with Danny. If the blog is about something I am interested in and presents a good argument or point of view then I will comment on it, otherwise I think I am going to stay away from swapping. My question is, do I allow others to comment on my blog if it isn’t a substantial comment? Does having those comments help or hinder my blog?

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Hey Melissa, welcome to the blogging scene. I tried clicking through on the link to your blog, but it didn’t seem to work – what’s the address?

To answer your question, I think it depends on how you’re defining a substantial comment. If you mean a spam comment that just wants the backlink, then delete them – most people would agree there. If you mean that it’s just an empty comment like “great post”, then you can try to engage them, or not – it’s up to you.

Fundamentally, it’s a matter of what the intention is of the person who left the comment. If they’re interested in some way, then you should encourage that.

Does that help?

Brad Harmon
3 years 9 months ago

I have mixed feelings when it comes to these types of arrangements, Danny. In many ways, these arrangements happen naturally. Even when they don’t, how are they any different from the local chamber of commerce or networking group?

I think your suggestions are a great place to start to improve these formalized arrangements, but it seems unfair to put all of the onus on the leader to determine qualified members. Ideally, I think members should vote on who to let into the group. After admission, each blog should have a periodic review by fellow members to ensure quality.

Heading over to Heather’s post now. Thanks for the great guest post.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

“how are they any different from the local chamber of commerce or networking group?” – Exactly! But there’s no controversy around chambers of commerce or networking groups. Is the blogosphere really such a “different animal”?

Sonia
3 years 9 months ago

This is something I hate the most, fake comments. I will admit, I will use the “delete” button in a minute if the comment is fake or vague. You can just tell when people really read your post or just skimmed through it. I want people to leave a comment because my post resonated with them deeply.

Sara Goldberger
3 years 9 months ago

I did. And in fact I grew in Malmö and went to university in Lund.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

It’s a small world after all… :)

Sara Goldberger
3 years 9 months ago

Terribly sorry if I don’t get the nuances correct, Danny. My mother tongue is Swedish.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Oh, no worries at all – I like it when people disagree with me online. :)

Did you grow up in Sweden? I have good friends in Lund, near Malmo…

Sara Goldberger
3 years 9 months ago

Well, pick your preferred synonym, Danny. But if I have read your initial post correct you weren’t talking about helping out you spoke about something I understood as if you post a comment on one post you “have” to comment on the “other’s” too. Hence leading to the situation where you felt you were littering cyberspace with comments on posts/blogs with little or no interest for you. So were you not then “coerced” to comment?

And should this be meaning of your first post, I see that as a certain amount of “forced behaviour” involved.

So I reiterate my question, how can a forced situation like this ever lead to something genuine?

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Well, it’s forced behavior just like any transaction is forced; I agree to do something in exchange for you doing something as well. Nobody is forced into the transaction, though.

I understand your perspective, and it’s a fair angle, but the language seems unfairly harsh to me. Just my opinion, though. :)

Sara Goldberger
3 years 9 months ago

How can acts undertaken under some kind of coercion – however mild – ever lead to something genuine?

Keith Davis
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Sara
No coercion – just make contact and ask if people are interested.

If they say no, that’s fine.

Danny
3 years 9 months ago

Coercion? That’s a very strong word, and I don’t think it’s fair… when we agree to help each other, is it coercion?

When my brother asks me for help, I have to help him, because he’s my brother. Does that “constraint” make it any less genuine?

Alex Aguilar
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t see the point of people being obligated to comment on a blog because of some kind of a cross promotional scheme. It strikes me as weird and counter-intuitive. I’m sure there are many people who are taking part in this scheme and are benefiting from it, but I’d never use it on my own blogs. I prefer genuine interaction with my readers.

Danny
3 years 9 months ago

Hey Alex, thanks for weighing in. Are you sure that this sort of starting point can’t lead to a genuine interaction?

Alex Aguilar
3 years 9 months ago

Oh it definitely can lead to genuine interaction, but only among writers of blogs whose actual agenda is cross promotion. I prefer interaction from my users who stumble upon my blog through Google or wherever, and not through some kind of a link exchange program.

Once again these are my personal preferences… if somebody else finds the comments exchange program useful then more power to them! I am all for people using whatever methods they can to market their blogs.

Keith Davis
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Danny
I’m going to post my comment before I read the other responses, don’t want to be swayed.

“If these two criteria were in place, I would give it another shot, and my guess that a good number of other bloggers would do the same. But I may be wrong… ”

I blog on Public Speaking and the community of Public Speaker bloggers is hopeless at forming any sort of network.
Maybe they see each other as competition.

I had thought of contacting a few Public Speaking blogs and suggesting that we get together and support each other.
Sounds a bit like your idea.

I haven’t done it, but it sounds as though I would support your blog commenting community.

So now I’ll see what everyone else is saying and if there are any Public Speaking bloggers out there… pay me a visit.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

That’s too bad, Keith, but yeah, there are still a lot of industries that are very concerned about competition, and very “closed” in that way…

I think it’s a great idea, and might be worth trying for you.

Keith Davis
3 years 9 months ago

I could be wrong about the reasons Danny, it may just be that they think that they should have a blog but really don’t know how to use it properly.

Conversation, interaction is non existant for most of them.
And these are guys who communicate for a living!
It’s beyond me.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Maybe it’s just a case of “shoemaker is barefoot”…

Keith Davis
3 years 9 months ago

You’re probably right.
No more ranting – got it off my chest. LOL

Thanks for listening.
Cheers Danny.

Frugal Living
3 years 9 months ago

I think it is smart business because they have control of the social sphere and can spread your messages virally

Emma Hobes
3 years 9 months ago

Great insights in this post, Danny. I, too, believe that moderating comments will have to be made for such efforts. Considering that it is a commitment for all parties involved, and that each have their own followers, it would be much beneficial to all if the conversation has quality and credibility in it. I mean, if I were following my favorite blogger and “know” him already, and then I happen to read a half-baked post from him (not knowing that he was “supposed” to comment on it anyway) I am sure to be disappointed. Others might take notice of this too and so on and that would just be sad.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

I agree with you, Emma, quality control is a real issue for this sort of thing. :)

Diana Simon
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Danny,

Thank you for this thought-provoking post. I am part of Heather’s tribe and think she is an amazing leader. I am a beginner blogger and I strong feel that blogging communities are necessary for someone like me who is starting out. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

In communities, I get the chance to get more visibility but I also love learning from other bloggers who are further ahead than I am. On top of this, I am more than happy to leave my comments on their posts which I can really relate to.

The point you bring across is very relevant because writing a comment for the sake of writing a comment doesn’t make much sense. I always feel bad doing so and it’s worse than pulling teeth.

There are other blogging communities which I am also part of that don’t require you to comment on all blogs. You can pick and choose a couple which is great. It is based on an honor system!

I agree with Kristi that once you get to know other bloggers, you don’t really need to be part of a community. You subscribe to their RSS and when you feel a post is worthy of a comment, you leave one. More often than not, the blog owner returns the favor.

However, when you beginner blogger with no clue about what you are doing, blogging communities are the best place to be as members are often very supportive.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Diana, thank you so much for getting involved in the conversation here – the more perspectives on a subject we have, the more likely we are to reach a more enlightened understanding of it.

You make some good points, and I agree that especially when you’re starting out, the communities can be very valuable.

I like the solution that you hinted at – that of the total number of blogs in your “thread”, you only have to comment on some of them, and it works on an honor system. I think that would be a great angle for it.

Thank you for sharing, Diana. I checked out your blog, and I really like your clean look and design. I’ll be back. :)

Mark Harai
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Danny, it’s great to see you here on Mr. Browns blog :)

For me personally, within the current network of friends and bloggers I like a lot, I don’t have time to give them the love they deserve. They have given so much to me over the last couple of years I just want to give back to them and support their efforts.

There’s only so much time in a day.

For new folks, this could be a viable way to get some traction for their blogging efforts; but is it the same as getting to know someone over a period of time?

I’ve come to trust folks based on their actions and behavior’s in the community and it seems like this would take some of that away from building genuine relationships and admiration.

There’s always a sacrifice of substance when you try to accomplish things faster than they normally would take if you just did them the old fashioned way so to speak.

Interesting topic Danny and congratulations for landing on one of the best blogs in the world :)

Cheers!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

I hear you, Mark. I’m struggling with that as well. There are so many great people out there in the community, and I feel guilty when I realize that I haven’t been over to someone’s blog in nearly as long as I should have.

I don’t think the structure can replace those ongoing relationships, but I think the structure can be a good way of kick-starting those relationships when you’re getting going.

And yup, I’m honored to be on one of the best blogs in the world! :D

Extreme John
3 years 9 months ago

Sounds like something I have zero interest in. I comment on the posts I enjoy reading, and then I usually turn around and add those posts to my Sunday Smash collection of great finds, share on Facebook and RT. In other words, the excellent articles I read get the full monty, I have no interest in commenting on anything because I need to based on the “club” and I have no interest in commenting on articles I don’t care for in topics I don’t care about.

Jk Allen
3 years 9 months ago

Danny,

This is one good topic you brought up here. I first learned of these communities from Jon Alford on a post he did back in March.

Personally, it’s not for me. With the limited time I have, I want to read stuff that interest me. It’s the learning that drives me to follow blogs and to comment.

And, interacting on blogs typically leads to reciprocity back to my blog…if not immediately, typically at some point.

So, that’s my take. I don’t have a problem with someone using the blogging commenting community as their way of growing – but it’s not one that I have the attention span for. My comments be null/void because I wouldn’t have anything to say – if I wasn’t truly interested.

Reading posts like this always brings about a natural comment from the heart.

Danny B – thanks for hosting Danny I. Killer Danny combo!

PEACE

Erica Allison
3 years 9 months ago

Agree! Hi Danny B and Danny I…I left 2 comments earlier, the first lengthy, the 2nd, not so much. Blog was undergoing scheduled maintenance. Short version: I prefer to comment and tweet those items that interest me and that I think may interest folks in my network or potential networkers. There’s a beautiful reciprocity that happens when folks visit your blog; you tend to visit theirs and while there, you usually comment. I like that. Systems/strategies like this one mentioned today, as well as tribrr, tend to automate that process and speed it up. That can be very beneficial for folks who want to ramp up their social presence. At the end of the day, however, content is still king and if it’s not happening, neither are the comments.

I appreciate the post and the perspective! Thanks for sharing both…

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Hey Erica, I’m sorry you had trouble getting the comment in, and I’m glad that you made it through, because you’ve added value to the conversation.

I’m like you most of the time – I don’t want to share or comment if I don’t like the content, if I’m not inspired to do so.

One thing I have noticed, though, is that when I’m looking at blogs that I frequent, of bloggers with whom I have a relationship, I do make more of an effort. Even if a post doesn’t grab me at first, I know that my friend made an effort to write this, so I’ll give it more of a chance, and look for the good in it – whether it’s the good idea to comment on or share, or the value that might be brought to someone that I could pass the article along to, even if it isn’t super-relevant to me.

I think this is what we naturally do with our friends, and I think the comment community might be a good way of creating that critical support for beginners.

What do you think?

Erica Allison
3 years 9 months ago

Danny,
Nice to chat with you! Had my original comments made it in (no problem, it happens!), you would have seen more on the topic you bring up. Yes, I agree, there’s a huge amount of support out in the blogging community that encourages comments simply because your friend put forth the effort to post. I totally get that and welcome it. And yes, your comment community would absolutely do that. So, would your target market for the comment community be new bloggers? If so, definitely a help and quite possibly something that your initial group may ‘age out of’.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Well, it makes sense to me that it would be more beginning bloggers, but the most value would be had if there was a mix. I’m not really sure what the best composition would be, just brainstorming. :)

Riley Harrison
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Danny,
To me smart is something that works and sleazy is something that doesn’t feel good. So if I can comment in a way that works and feels good I’ve nailed it. And giving thoughtful comments meets that goal for me. Authenticity play a part in the equation, a half hearted insincere “good post, thank you” really doesn’t benefit either party nor feel particularly good.
Riley

Paul Sylvester
3 years 9 months ago

Riley,

I have noticed that those types of post make me feel like they are spam and no actual person. I also feel the idea of Great Posts with an explanation to be not be bad but to be truthful. I could be wrong what’s your stance on that?

Riley Harrison
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Paul
Yes, they do feel spamish (if there is such a word), but sometimes they might be sincere and it’s all the person has to say. I can think of some bloggers I would never pay a short compliment for fear that my intentions would be misconstrued.
Riley

Paul Sylvester
3 years 9 months ago

I’m a little confused but that is to be expected. I’d rather you pay a comment then to not be truthful. Yes it could be misconstrued but that is nature of blogging. I personally would love to hear truth so that I can learn from my mistakes. I could be wrong but that is the only way to become a better blogger!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

I feel the same way, Paul.

Steve@Internet Lifestyle
3 years 9 months ago

Danny I.,

I am somewhat on the fence about this idea. (As I assume many are)

I think for someone starting out, it can be a great way to teach them to interact and get those needed first comments/reviews.

Hopefully those comments will be a lot more than, “great article”
——-
Personally I am at a point where I do not want to comment on every article I read. It may not resonate with me. It may be great, but I have nothing to say, it may even be “bad”, but I wouldn’t go to someones site and trash them publicly.

I just don’t like the feeling I “have” to comment.

Now unofficially I do follow this strategy -a bit-. I try to go to the sites of people who comment. I will try to comment. Sometimes it may even be a little “forced”.
But if I REALLY have nothing to say… I do not feel like I am not holding up my end of the bargain.
—–
Like you said, I think it comes down to the fact that I take commitments really serious and I do not want to do more than an “unofficial” comment trading personally, but I can see where it could be very beneficial to someone starting out

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Over on Heather’s blog, she suggested that a good solution to this would be to give people the option of sending an email explaining why they didn’t leave a comment, rather than leave one. For beginner bloggers, I think that email would sometimes be more valuable than the comment would have been. What do you think?

Amy Putkonen
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Danny,

It’s been awhile since I have visited. This brings up some good points. I never quite feel right about leaving a comment somewhere unless I am actually saying something that adds to the conversation. Although, add to this that I often feel as I should read all of the comments as well before commenting but that is a bit challenging on your posts!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Amy, I’m guilty of rarely reading the comments – I read the post, and if I have something to add, I leave a comment, but I’ll only read everyone else’s comments if I’m really curious how people might respond to the content.

I’d love to say that I read everybody’s comments on other people’s posts before commenting myself, but I don’t think that would be practical time-wise. How do you manage it?

Lisa Gerber
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Danny (ies),
I’m going to have to agree with Davina. Very contrived. Call me naive but I see it happening naturally within our own blog spheres. Why not continue that natural evolution meanwhile making a point to visit someone new either daily or weekly? (thereby still continually expanding your circle)

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Hey Lisa, that’s a great point. Where would you find the new blogs?

Lisa Gerber
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Danny @ firepole,
sorry for the very slow reply, I’ve been lounging poolside with mojitos for the last week. (I wish). I find new blogs a number of ways: by going through blogrolls on blogs I like, scrolling through my twitter feed, or just checking out alltop or technorati.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

I’ll join you at the pool, Lisa! :)

Ferris Stith
3 years 9 months ago

Not meaning to interject here, but I just thought I’d mention that a great free tool for finding new blogs/bloggers to connect with is Guy Kawasaki’s website: http://alltop.com

I search blogs based on topics they cover, it’s pretty cool!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

That’s a great recommendation, Ferris. Alltop is great – thanks for the reminder. :)

Ferris Stith
3 years 9 months ago

No prob ;)

Paul Sylvester
3 years 9 months ago

Building a Community is essential because with Google introducing Panda, you are going to be able to depend on search as much as you used to. You will need to be able to collaborate with the other bloggers in your niche to be able to survive!

Cindy King
3 years 9 months ago

Today I’m very much in line with Kristi’s comment above: I find it’s more worthwhile to develop my own blogging community in a more natural way because real relationships develop better that way.

BUT, I thought I’d share something I did in the past. In 2008-2009 I was part of a private tweet group. We all wrote daily on our blogs and were in the same niche. There was a structure to the group and new members were voted in. When thinking about these blog commenting groups, I prefer the tweet group better. Committing to tweeting out one tweet a day per member was easier. I knew these tweets fit in well with my Twitter stream and it brought the articles to my attention. It was then up to me whether I wanted to comment on the blog post or not. I made some fantastic online friends through this group. It was great to see how we all grew and these are people I care for. The only reason why I left this tweet group was because my online focus shifted and this niche was no longer a good fit.

I’d probably be open to joining a small tweet group again, if the niche was relevant and if it was a small number of committed bloggers… Because I think tweets are easier to commit to (and it’ll naturally grow into a good commenting and social networking group), without the downsides of committing to commenting on several blog posts each day. And although you can build this sort of thing organically with socially-minded people online, a formal group sometimes helps to deepen those relationships.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Hey Cindy, I like the idea of new members being voted in. How did that work?

Cindy King
3 years 9 months ago

It was easy and as simple as it sounds. The main questions was whether the new blogger was on topic, was blogging daily or very consistently and had been blogging for a while (ie was going to be able to play the game). The group had 10-12 members. And all we were committed to do was tweet everyone.

Kira Permunian
3 years 9 months ago

Very meaty article! For me, I usually give comment on a blog post that catches my attention. I give a feedback because I wanna be part of the community. I want to learn from great bloggers, such as what I am doing now. You’re all great here and I am sure I am learning in every word you guys stated here.

Kristi Hines
3 years 9 months ago

I think that’s the flaw in these groups. Even if the blogs are in the same niche, not every post will resonate with you and lead to a great comment.

There are sites I love, from the super authorities to people just getting started, all within my niche and my RSS feed. But I don’t comment on them every single post because not every single post is something I can get into.

It doesn’t mean the posts are bad, it just means for whatever reason (maybe I’m just having a bad day even) the posts don’t work for me. And if you force yourself to make a comment just because you feel like you have to or you are supposed to, it makes commenting as a whole that much more difficult.

My vote is skip the circles – find blogs in your niche you love, comment when you see a post that interests you, branch out from that blog post’s comments by finding new sites within the comments, and continue.

Then you’ll grow a more natural community that really wants to be there, and the overall atmosphere of your own comments and discussion will change for the better too!

Jack @ TheJackB
3 years 9 months ago

I am no different than many bloggers in that I would love to have more traffic and more comments. But if I have to make a choice I would rather have 50 committed readers than 1000 fly-by-nighters.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Amen, Jack.

So… does that mean you feel that comment swapping communities would necessarily be fly-by-night traffic?

Jack@TheJackB
3 years 9 months ago

I am skeptical about it. It is relatively easy to get people to visit your blog but far more difficult to retain those readers.

Much depends on what your goals are for your blog. That begs the question of whether people know why they are blogging.

I have that conversation on a regular basis. I know more than a few people who are blogging because they think that they should.

I think that is a ridiculous reason. To do this properly there is a substantial investment of time/energy so you might as well know why you are doing it.

Paul Sylvester
3 years 9 months ago

So your saying that just because some think they should is really saying they shouldn’t? I know I loved to write in highschool and that is my reason for blogging because I enjoy journaling and not just blogging. I also like to commune with other readers in a way that is public and private all in one. My readers are my family and I like to think that they support me because they like to be a community. That might just be me but that is why I blog, I don’t do it because I should but because I want to!!

Jack@TheJackB
3 years 9 months ago

It all depends on what your goals are. Some businesses start blogging because they think that they should but they don’t have a clue as to why they are doing it or what they hope to gain.

I think that they create a lot of work for themselves that might not be necessary or beneficial.

Personal blogs are a different animal altogether.

The one thing that I can say with certainty is that personal bloggers don’t last unless they love what they are doing.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

I agree with you, Jack. I actually wrote a post about exactly that on Problogger last week: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/05/01/should-you-even-be-blogging/

Marlee
3 years 9 months ago

I’m with Kristi on this one (again). I do think, however, that this could work for a mastermind group or some very small (less than 5 people) closely connected group. I think in that instance this could work because hopefully you’d trust the work of those in your group and you already want to support their work. In that instance I would definitely be on board. Great food for thought Mr. Iny!

On a side note. I think if your leaving sincere comments on blogs you like the rule of reciprocity kicks in naturally and you don’t need to create this comment circles. Okay, now I’m done.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

“I think if your leaving sincere comments on blogs you like the rule of reciprocity kicks in naturally and you don’t need to create this comment circles.”

Marlee, I think this is the biggest argument against the comment swapping practice – if the content is good and the intentions are solid, then it just becomes unnecessary.

But what about bloggers who are just starting out, and whose content hasn’t reached your stellar levels of quality? In that case, would it be helpful to have these communities, admittedly as a bit of a crutch, to help them get on their feet?

Marlee
3 years 9 months ago

Wow Danny, speedy reply.
Your quoting me makes me realized that I should re-read my comments before I click “comment.” LOL. But, I probably won’t.

As to your question. Yes, I do think they are great for startup bloggers under the same conditions I suggested previously. Blogging is really hard at the beginning. Especially, when you feel like your blogging in a vacuum.

I think the psychological benefits (and social proof) of having a supportive group of fellow bloggers to get you to your tipping point can go a long way.

As for content quality. It will kill itself eventually no matter how many commenters agree to help you out. Crappy content dies. Just the way it is.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Oh, for sure, I agree with you – but it takes time for writers to find a groove and for their content to improve. :)

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

I agree with you, Kristi – but then how do you discover the smaller blogs?

(okay, there are other ways, like the ones that I wrote about on your blog: http://kikolani.com/kick-start-your-blog-by-embracing-the-nobodies.html)

But seriously, Kristi, would you find value in this practice as a way of discovering new talent, rather than swapping comments on a regular basis?

Gail Gardner
3 years 9 months ago

I started writing a comment here and – as sometimes happens – it turned into a post. There may be other communities of bloggers who love CommentLuv and commenting that have requirements but that is NOT what most of us are about – at least not the bloggers with whom I personally collaborate and interact.

We do NOT require anyone to comment anywhere. We DO identify other blogs related to our own and as often as we can make the time we read, comment and share what they’re doing with our social followers.

I explain in depth why communities of bloggers are so important in the post I just published in response to this one.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

Hi Gail, thanks for getting so involved – I’m heading over to read your post!

For anyone who’s interested, here’s the link: http://www.growmap.com/collaborating-communities/

Brian Driggs
3 years 9 months ago

I can see how such actions could be argued either way, but it seems disingenuous to me. We all want the comments, but for different reasons.

What I’ve found, in talking to various members of my community, is that they don’t comment on blogs because A) bloggers seem to be in it for themselves, and B) blog comments are seldom conversations (unless there’s an argument). Now, I see the blogosphere a little differently, but that’s the feedback I’ve received time and again.

Quid pro quo comment arrangements like this seem a facade, and I don’t see how one can build genuine, meaningful value from something like that.

One genuine comment is more valuable than a hundred contracted pieces of “content.”

Danny @ Firepole Marketing
3 years 9 months ago

I agree with you, Brian. Absolutely. So what if instead of an ongoing sort of agreement between bloggers, you’re paired up with a handful of new bloggers for each round – that way your content is exposed to new people (and vice versa), and there is an opportunity for new readers to stick?