My ventures into the blog-o-sphere have taught me some important lessons about maintaining an online presence. One of the more important lessons has been about commenting on other peoples' blogs.
I read anywhere between 20 and 30 blogs a day, sometimes more than that. It's hard to balance it between writing the novel and working the Clark Kent job full time. I try to look at blogging as part of my job as a writer. I write almost every day, therefore I blog almost every day. I use the "office" part of my brainspace for this, and think of it as a task I must complete, to bolster my writing platform. I give myself weekends off from reading and writing blogs (trying not to burn myself out). On every blog I read, I do my best to leave a comment on the latest entry. Even if it's just a "I liked this post because" comment.
And here's my reasoning behind this practice: first, I know how delighted I feel when people take the time to comment on my blog. Whether it's one comment or twelve, they never fail to make my day. Somebody out there's reading me, I say to myself. And they keep coming back for more! It's a great feeling. I want to pass that on to other writers who are working hard on their blogs.
Even more importantly, if you don't comment, a blogger won't know you've visited! Unless of course they have some fancy tracking stalkery type technology (and come on, people, we're taking blogspot here), blog owners can't know you've been reading their words unless you SAY something about it. It's a form of appreciation, in my opinion. Thanks, I'm saying to the blog writer, I recognize your dedication and your vision. Thank you for continuing to put it out there. Keep it up! We're a community of writers, for the most part, and we all know how fragile our universes are. Commenting is my way of encouraging the writers around me to keep writing.
I find comments are often reciprocal - I'll go to someone's blog and comment, and they come find me and comment on my entry. I love this kind of exchange. Not only does it show me who's reading my comments (and entries), but it helps me make new friends and connections in the blog-o-sphere. And don't worry if there are thirty, or fifty, or even a hundred comments. I bet the blog owner reads every single one. Each comment from their visitors is important, whether it's the first or the thousandth. And don't forget - people who leave comments often read the comments before theirs. You might find a new friend or a follower by commenting! One you didn't even expect.
My new blogging friend Elana Johnson posted on this topic last week and had some really insightful things to say in this post. It's an interesting read and has a few more things to say on the importance of commenting on fellow writers' blogs. Check it out, if you like.
How often do you comment on other peoples' blogs? Do you make a point to leave your mark on an entry?
And BTW, I'd like to say THANKS to everyone who reads and comments on my blog. I want you to know, every time you say something, it makes me feel good. You're spreading the love and I love you for it. :D