Receiving comments is one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging. Comments show that someone out there is listening and interested in participating in the topic at hand. In fact, comments were a large part of what kept me going in the first year of blogging. When you first start out, blogging can get lonely.
I often write posts to understand the other side of the story. There are things I believe in which for the life of me I don’t know why other people disagree e.g. getting good grades, getting into work first and leaving last, equal treatment by the government for all, and the West Coast being the best coast to name a few. Through comments, I get to understand other people’s viewpoints and expand my own horizons.
There are also a ton of things I do not fully comprehend, namely tax laws. I’ve learned so much from my readership of accountants and lawyers that I can’t thank them enough for the information they’ve provided. Discussing legal advice, although dangerous to accept at face value, is also very helpful given lawyers are an expensive bunch.
BEWARE OF TOO MUCH
Financial Samurai has the “Top Commenter” and “Most Commented Posts” plug-ins on its homepage to keep track of who have participated the most and which posts have generated the most discussions over time. As you can see, I comment a lot, with over 2,300 comments since February. That’s about 300 comments a month.
I’ve come to realize that perhaps I am spending too much time commenting and not enough time publishing! Often times, I’ll let the commenting go out of control with comments reaching 60+ due to a lot of back and forth between me and my readers. At more than 60 comments, we start beating a dead horse to death.
With more free time now, I’ve decided to up my posting frequency by 20% to around four posts a week. With more content comes more traffic. That so much is obvious. But what about burnout and sustainability you wonder? Well not to worry at all!
Given I post more frequently, the average number of comments per post has come down. My posts don’t have enough time at the current moment to mature to the point where we go over the same points over and over again. A higher frequency helps me comment less and focus my energy on writing more content!
NEW COMMENTING GOAL
I now have a soft goal of shooting for roughly 30 total comments per post before I move on. This soft goal has meshed well with my posting frequency increase to every 36 hours from every 48 hours. I’m careful to not be too rigid in my posting schedule because sometimes, I’ll have myself a hit that may lead to 100+ comments and a tremendous amount of coverage. If this is the case, I’ll leave the post up for longer before publishing another one.
My quest is to work no more than 20 hours a week. When I sit down at the table, I want to feel as efficient as possible since I’ve only got about three hours a day on average, or four hours between an arbitrary Monday-Friday. I say “arbitrary” because when you’re retired, everyday is Saturday!
So there you have it. Comments are always fantastic to have. Just beware that you are not going overboard with your comments at the expense of producing new content. If you tally up the number of words you’ve written in responding to everybody in a post, you’ll be surprised to find out you’ve probably written another full-length post just in your comments!
Readers, what are your thoughts on comments? Is more always better? Have you ever got so caught up in commenting that you’ve felt exhausted afterward? Do you have a comment or interactive goal before moving on to the next post?