Blogging and Writing

Do You Respond to Comments?

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I’m guess most people would agree that it’s pretty cool to get comments on your blog. When you do, do you respond to all of them? Let’s chat about that.

Responding to comments

I try to respond to all comments, although it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I can’t fish words out of my head for a response, as my brain can be awfully slow-moving, but in that case, I like to use emojis instead to give more of a response than just a like.

I think that the way a blogger responds to comments has an impact on the comments that are left to them. If a blogger isn’t responding to comments, there are only so many times others are going to try leaving comments before giving up and just not commenting anymore. On the other hand, if a blogger is regularly responding to comments in a friendly manner, that helps to encourage other bloggers to leave comments.

Why someone might not respond to comments

For people who get a lot of comments, time can certainly be a factor, and it may not be practical or even possible to answer all comments. That’s never been much of an issue for me, because I don’t have much of a life outside of blogging. 😉

Another possible reading for not responding or a delay in responding is if Akismet, WordPress’s spam filter, decided to eat the comment. That seems to go in spurts. I check my comments folder pretty regularly, and it hasn’t caught many legit comments lately.

Sometimes, the legitimacy of a comment is a bit iffy. Maybe it’s not so clearly spam that you’d want to delete it, but you also don’t necessarily want to encourage it by writing a response.

It’s also possible that comments got lost in the shuffle of notifications, and if they’re not seen, they’re not going to be responded to.

Is liking a comment enough?

When it comes to comments on social media, liking a response is often enough, but I feel like the blogosphere has a different vibe than social media (in a good way).

Sometimes, there’s truly nothing that needs to be said in response, and a simple like to acknowledge the comment will do the trick.

The flip side to that is that if someone likes a comment, it shows that they’ve actually seen it and chosen not to respond. That can send the message that a blogger isn’t interested in interaction. There have been times when I’ve unfollowed blogs that repeatedly didn’t respond to comments, because it doesn’t create the most friendly atmosphere.

Over to you

Now it’s your turn. Do you always respond to comments on your blog? How do you decide whether to respond or not?

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89 thoughts on “Do You Respond to Comments?”

  1. I do my best to respond to comments. I agree with you that WordPress “hides” comments in spam. Therefore, sometimes I have to fish for them in the net.

  2. I used to only respond to comments that seemed to require a response, but somewhere along the line it got into my autistic head that people like getting responses. I now respond to all non-spam comments, except that sometimes if a conversation thread develops, and I run out of things to say, I’ll just like the comments — I feel that I’ve already responded once to this person on this topic and I don’t need to keep doing it.

  3. I always try to respond to comments, even if it’s just a simple “thank you” or an acknowledgment of appreciation to the commenter.
    The conversations that can build within the comments section is just another thing that helps build a community around blogging and make bloggers seem more like actual people, so I always do try to respond.
    Last week almost all of my comments ended up in the spam folder and I didn’t catch it for a few days, so I felt a bit bad about that. 😞

  4. I really appreciate receiving comments and always make it a point to respond. It’s important to me to engage with my readers. I enjoy interacting with our little blogging community here and sharing ideas. The spam folder is an annoyance for sure, I try to keep up with what gets lost in there. You do a great job of interacting with your audience my friend. I enjoy what you post and find your insights very helpful 😊

  5. Your questions: “Do you always respond to comments on your blog?” I really try to. But lately sometimes I probably don’t hit everyone. I apologize if I catch that, or at least do an emoti, as you mentioned you do when things aren’t exactly prime for commenting.

    “How do you decide whether to respond or not?” I always respond to comments on my prompt “SYW”, probably more than is warranted. Time is becoming a big factor in that, but so far I’m managing. I’ll probably have to become a lot less verbose if it continues to gain popularity.

    I personally think it’s polite to respond to a comment that engages one in a sort of conversation. The ones that say “Good post!” or have a emoti in response usually get a ‘like’ or an emoji in response.

    For me it’s on a comment by comment basis. And time and wellness of course!

  6. Comments and commenting are pretty much my favourite aspect of blogging, though I may not always be able to respond instantly for a number of reasons. Like when I’m climbing or out anywhere, I don’t have WordPress on my phone or comment notifications set to send to my email, so I won’t notice to begin with.

    Commenting can pretty much be make and break sometimes when it comes to who I follow. You can plan a post, but not a comment, so it’s usually there when I’m more likely to see a person’s true colours.

  7. Abso-bloomin-lutely! Comment exchanges are often more interesting and informative than the original blog post. But then there are comments that are so off-the-wall they leave me scratching my head in bewilderment. There is one guy who reads my blog and comments on occasion but his comments just leave me blinking…I tend to not respond to those because there is no response aside from “What the hell are you talking about?”

  8. There are various reasons why people do or don’t respond to comments. I nurture my blog but not all of my content “requires” the comment engagement. In some circumstances, getting a comment when all I did it was rant about something is helpful in terms of friendship/tribe – it resonated to someone who took time to say so and that is a soft form of therapy for me.

    Other times, it’s a social thing, especially during this pandemic. Responding, or at least acknowledging, comments is like socializing.

    I enjoy comments and make an effort to respond to all. Mostly, I manage to do so.

  9. I try to respond to as many comments as possible, even if it isn’t on the same day. I have less than 1000 followers though, so I don’t quite have an excuse 😅

    1. I have no idea how people with a whole pile of followers, whether that’s blog or social media, don’t get totally overwhelmed by notifications of likes and comments.

  10. I respond to most comments, but if it’s the 5th “nice poem” in a row, I may just send a heart. I don’t reply to replies to replies unless they have substance. I dislike cascades of silliness…

      1. it was Paula who first introduced me to the term Cascading and l would say now ‘Yes we all know at least one cascader if not a few more! I try to be polite with cascading, but sometimes it can get a bit like a labrador exchange [as a breed Labs always have to have the last word!]

        1. I don’t tend to have the cascading issue on my own blog, as I’m fine with letting others have the last word, but I’ve definitely come across it on other blogs.

          1. It doesn’t bother me that much, but once it gets past 4 comments of one word answers, it is as a conversation not really going anywhere, so l usually proffer up a smile or simply hit like.

  11. I try to use authenticity as my compass when it comes to comments. Like you, I don’t think every comment requires a response. I do thank people, because no one is obligated to comment. The reader is making time for me, and thanks is the least I can do to acknowledge that. Great post. Got me thinking 🙂

  12. I don’t get a lot of comments, so I always respond. Sometimes, I don’t know what to say to the very brief ones – in that case, as with other responders, the emoji gets dusted off.

    I also don’t get a lot of spam: the ones I do aren’t spam to the sender, necessarily, but spam to me. Those ones are harder to decide on vis a vis publish or not (they’re usually overtly religious: it’s odd that Christianity makes me so hostile when comments about by people talking about other faiths doesn’t. You hate what you know, perhaps.)

    I’m with you: the “like” with blogging feels like a warm-fuzzy in a way that it doesn’t on other social media platforms.

    Finally, this response is why I often don’t respond: verbal diarrhea 🙄

    1. I figure any comment that I can view in my notifications without having to scroll down does not come close to verbal diarrhea territory.

      I get some spammy Jewish comments that are probably all from the same person. I always wonder what the point is. I think the thing that can get annoying with over-zealous Christian comments is the evangelizing element. Other religions don’t seem to feel the need to do that, or at least not to the same extent.

      Emojis are a wonderful thing. I never used them pre-blogging, but now they’re great when my mind can’t generate a verbal response.

      1. I think perhaps you’re right: it’s the evangelical element that gets my back up instantly. I did grow up in the heart of the bible belt…

  13. I generally respond to the comments on my blog. I sometimes dig to do so, and those comments are generally made by people I don’t interact with much, so that can sometimes be difficult.

  14. 🙂 Yes, Ashley. I respond to comments (It is one of the reasons why my blog posts receive lots of comments).

    No, liking comments is not enough, but it is a great way to let the commenter know that their comment was acknowledged.

  15. I try to respond to my comments even if it’s just a short response. Sometimes they get lost in my notifications and I won’t respond or will much later

  16. I think it depends on a lot of factors, I always try and respond to comments but sometimes I will forget to do so, or not even notice the comment, especially if I haven’t been on the blog in a while. But personally, especially if the blog is smallish, I think the blogger should try and take time to respond to comments because it does show gratitude toward the reader for commenting in the first place, but then I have received spam like comments before, which I tend to ignore.

  17. Before I started my current blog, I always disliked seeing blogs where the blogger wouldn’t respond to any comments, even those that quite objectively would require some kind of answer, where people ask about something or share some seemingly valuable input. It always really put me off and seemed very haughty to me so when I started my current blog I decided that I will, as much as I’ll be able to, answer all comments from people, because that’s simply what I like others to do and I’d like to have a friendly atmosphere on there and make people feel heard. I probably wouldn’t do this if I had a lot more comments, but as it is, I’m perfectly capable of doing this so why not. Sure I could only answer to comments that I think need a response, but I think it can often be a bit subjective which ones do and which ones don’t, and I wouldn’t want to make someone feel discouraged or left out or something because I didn’t respond to them despite I did respond to someone else. Lately I rarely see legit comments in the spam, but when I used to check my spam less often than I do now and there would be spurts of Akismet being less accurate, sometimes people had to wait a really long time for a response from me. If more of a conversation develops in the comments – like, I respond to someone’s comment and then they respond to mine – I don’t always respond to that further comment, only when I have a clear idea of what I want to say and it’s something that I think is meaningful to the conversation in some way, but I usually won’t do it just for the sake of it. I’ll still give it a like though. If something looks semi-spammy, I’ll usually just trash it. I agree with you that when you respond to ALL comments, sometimes it can be difficult to come up with responses, and in such cases I like to use emoji as well.

  18. I do respond to all the comments i get on my blog. I think they help make connections, and that’ s why we blog; to form bonds, connections, relationships and most definitely friendships.

  19. I try to reply every honest and true comment. I know I *should* check the spam more often, but I have such a busy mind that I forget it quite a lot…. Although I haven’t seen many honest/real/not spam messages on there so I think Aksimet is doing a fine job, so far.
    I also try to reply to posts by others. But sometimes I really don’t know what to say, so then I’ll give their post a like, hopefully they know then that I’ve read it and liked their writing. I really would like to reply on all, as I also enjoy getting honest replies on mine…
    When I reply I often use emoticons as well as they sometimes can mean more than the words I can think of. 😊

    1. Emojis come in very handy!

      I also try to reply to other people’s posts, but when my brain put together something to say, in which case, the like button is a nice alternative.

  20. I always feel it is a nice kind thing to do to respond to a comment, even if I can’t think of really what to say back or may be busy. It is nice to just acknowledge someone.

    However, recently I had comments that were bullying in form, and emotional manipulation and gaslighting, from a blogger, who was clearly intentional in what she was trying to do. I had to block her, and her many names, IP addresses, and emails, that she goes by.

    Then I had one person who just said: “I enjoyed reading you” and I wasn’t sure if it was a language or typo thing, or whether it was creepy so I didn’t respond to that.

    Otherwise if I feel safe and feel the blogger is genuine and not maliciously trying to tear me down, then I’m happy to respond.

  21. I am way way way behind with comments. I am blaming work. I come home from long days at work just feeling shattered. I want to curl up in a ball and hide. I like to read the comments on my blog, but I often don’t have the energy to reply. I am more likely to comment on other bloggers’ posts or reply to comments on my blog on a non NHS work day.

      1. I hope your queue is short!!
        Yes…I am afraid work has considerably effected my time and energy levels for interacting on WordPress. Thank you for being so sweet about it.

  22. We try to respond to every comment because receiving a comment and responding meets our needs for connection. Sketchy comments like from a bot we might not approve

  23. I want to respnd to several comments that went to the spam folder this morning, but after I approved them they don’t seem to be showing. By the time that I get a chance to come back later to see if they show up, I will probably forget and be on another mission.

    1. Yeah, when you approve them, WordPress doesn’t bump them up to the time that you approve them, but puts them in your comment list based on the time they were left, which could be forever ago.

      What I try to remember to do before clicking the approve button is to click where it says the post title that the comment was left on. If you then approve it and click on the “all” tab, it will just show the comments for that post, making the newly approved one easier to find.

  24. I have a general idea of what I want to do with my social media presents, and I’ve been getting everything prepared before I start actually publishing content. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, an email, etc. I’ve been preparing blog posts, but I have yet to start building a website. Once I finally do though, I really look forward to interactions on there. I don’t look forward to social media so much because, well, social media. But blogs always seem different. Kinder, more human. Of course, I love positive interactions on social media too. I just don’t look forward to dealing with the trolls as well. In short, if I ever get comments I look forward to interacting, and I will definitely do so.

    1. That’s good to be prepared ahead of time.

      I find the blogging world is much nicer than the world of social media. Perhaps it’s because looking at blogs is more time-intensive and it’s quicker and easier for trolls to get reactions on social media.

      1. I suspect that has a lot to do with it. There’s a lot more effort in reading through a blog post and coming up with some stupid dig at someone then there is in just looking at a picture with a two sentence caption.

  25. I see what you mean about liking something and it showing they’ve acknowledging it, but it could come across as that they’re not bothered or aren’t interested in an interaction. I try to reply to comments on my posts, though I’m not convinced the commenters get notified of the replies very often, if at all. There are times though where I just can’t, which is only a mix of exhausting, no time and a mental block where I can’t face it. Predominantly just can’t do it all, and yet I appreciate all of the comments and would definitely not like anyone thinking I don’t care or don’t want to interact because I absolutely do and I love the interaction, that sense of community and friendship. xx

    1. I don’t get notifications in the WordPress Reader of your responses to comments.

      I’ve recently been contemplating making a little graphic to occasionally stick at the end of posts telling people that I love their comments, but my head is currently too tired to respond to them.

  26. I try to respond to all comments with something genuine, but sometimes it is not always possible especially 1] if it is a false positive generic comment or 2] it is a comment that doesn’t have an answer but just a like as an acknowledge,ment from me or 3] sometimes l genuinely don’t know how to answer a comment so l like it and then try and ponder upon it and answer something of note.

    I think the big question of all is what is the best generic answer you can award to a generic answer that’s not a generic answer in itself?

  27. I always respond and always try to continue making a conversation. If somebody makes time to comment on my post, then I’ll always make time for them 🙂

  28. Receiving comments is a highlight of blogging. I always try to respond – with words or at least an emoji to acknowledge that the comment is appreciated.

  29. I try my best to respond to blog comments but it’s always the task I forget about – it’s one of my goals for the new year to respond to them quicker! One thing that always annoys me though is the “great post.” comments – ARGH! x

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