There’s nothing quite like the warm, fuzzy glow you get when you receive a comment on your blog. No matter how long you’ve been blogging, that wonderful proof that someone has not only read your blog but cared enough about it to leave a comment, is pretty hard to beat.
But what if that comment has come from taking part in a comment ring? Does it fade the glow? Or does it not matter?
For newer bloggers, a “comment ring” is where a group of people share links to their posts, all agreeing to comment on each others’ post. It’s not a new phenomenon but, for some bloggers, the subject of the comment ring can prove a controversial one.
Here, two Tots100 bloggers debate the pros and cons of comment rings.
“I LOVE COMMENT RINGS”
Penny Carr blogs at Being Mrs C and regularly takes part in comment rings. Here, she tells us just what she loves about them.
Ah, the humble comment ring. Who would have thought people could be so split on something so simple? I personally just don’t see why everyone’s so wound up about them as I can’t see what harm they cause. Surely it’s no worse than having a Facebook thread in which people leave their Instagram IDs so they can follow each other?
Here’s what I love about comment rings:
When you write a new blog post you set out to publicise it – it’s the natural thing to do. You put links on all your social media accounts as standard. For me I also add a regular comment ring to that list. It’s a way of driving traffic to my blog and hopefully if the people like what they see they’ll stick around and read some more. The only difference from posting links is that it’s a two way bargain in that I have to go and look at other blogs in exchange for doing so. A two way transaction that I’m entering into willingly. So, what’s the problem with that? It’s not as if you’re adding hundreds or thousands of extra page views to your stats. If you really want to increase your traffic then you’d do something else with your time.
- Prompt to read blogs and discover new ones
As a busy mum of two, who has never got round to sorting out who I follow on Blog Lovin’, I mainly use comment rings as a prompt to go out and read other blogs and to discover new ones too.
I strive to make my blog and its content as good as I can so reading blogs I might not normally is a good exercise to look at what everyone else is doing. Seeing which posts are working for them and which aren’t. What are they writing about? How’s their blog design looking? How are they using video or photo content? What do I think about their writing style?
- Supporting the blogging community
One of the things I love most about blogging is that sense of community. I’ve made some amazing friends through blogging and to me, part of being in that community is supporting each other in what we do. Being part of a comment ring is a natural part of that community to me and it’s something I want to do.
The thing that makes me laugh most is when people refer to “illegal” comment rings. Sorry, but what? I’m not entirely sure which bit of British or International Law they think was drafted in order to stop bloggers having a bit of fun!
I’m firmly on the pro side of the comment ring fence!
“I hate comment rings”
Joanne Dewberry blogs over on her website JoanneDewberry.co.uk. It’s fair to say she’s not a fan of comment rings. Here she tells us why.
- Comment for comment
I’m guessing comment circles were designed to stop those rogues who link drop and run. The basic idea is that you leave a comment in return for a comment – a kinda blogger’s “you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” (although far more organised!). But whichever way you look at it the comments being left are being written on the basis that you will comment back NOT because they want to leave a comment on your post in the first place.
I see it as being a bit like buying Facebook likes or Twitter followers! You’re almost cheating yourself AND you open your blog up to nonsensical comments. Those you can see have blatantly not read the post properly and done a poor man’s job of skim reading. “I’d love to go to Italy. Lucky you!” because the word Italy appeared in the title and in fact it’s an easy peasy pizza recipe for children.
- Feeling the love
Don’t you still get that butterfly feeling of excitement when you glance in your inbox and see a “waiting for moderation” email? Knowing that something you’ve written has made some small impact on a reader that they felt compelled to comment? I always try to reply to comments and on occasion tweet a “thanks” too.
I REALLY appreciate the time taken to read, comment and share my blog posts. I love engaging and discussing posts with individuals because I want to not because I want a comment in return. When I wrote a blog post once about sponsored posts I had so many comments and a real discussion broke out. Comments related to other comments and I thought, “Wow! I wrote something that matters! I struck a chord with other bloggers! Everything is awesome!”
I’m not going to lie – a comment makes me do a little dance, my ego is suitably rewarded. And,for that small moment, I am invincible!
- Inflated popularity
In any genre of blogging there is overlap. Many of us get invited to the same event with the same outcome: a lovely blog appraisal at the end. I don’t know about you but I always get a touch of the green-eyed monster when I see the same event posted about with 20+ comments on it and mine sits there all lonely, waving. To Joe Public these blogs look superior. Brands see this as being part of a larger community of avid readers and networkers. But, from what I can see, the comments are really there because the blogger posted a link to their post in a comment ring.
- Time Poor
And to be brutally honest I’m time poor! I have 3 small children, school runs, swimming lessons, Beavers, Ballet, a small business and a home to run. Oh, and in my spare time I write a blog. I don’t have time to sneeze let alone comment on 20 plus blogs to inflate my comments.
Blogging is hard work. Fact.
I suppose there will always be ways in which to almost cheat the system. But, for me, the warm fuzzy feeling that I write something that matters will out-weigh the inflated appeal offered by comment circles.
Where do you stand on the comment ring debate? Are you on the love or hate side of the fence? We’d love to know your thoughts!
[Photo credit: Shutterstock]